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Thursday, October 29, 2015

CA-LPF- Gibralter Fire City of Montecito / Los Padres National Forest FRA [MAPS]

Gibralter Fire, CA-LPF-03471, Santa Barbara County, City of Montecito FRA
CA-LPF-03471, Santa Barbara County 
¼ mile below East Camino Cielo at Montecito Peak



10 Firefighting Aircraft pounded #GibraltarFire above Santa Barbara
10 Firefighting Aircraft pounded  above Santa Barbara Credit: Los Padres N.F.

Gibralter Fire Evacuation Map and Traffic Control points


Gibralter Fire Evacuation Map
Incident Overview
The Gibralter Fire was reported at approximately at 5:16 am on Thursday, October 29, 2015. The fire is located between Montecito Peak and Cold Springs Saddle. Currently there are 35 engines, 3 dozers, 2 patrols, 4 hand crews, 2 water tenders, air attack, 5 helicopters and 6 air tankers on scene. Equipment that is on order include; 10 Los Padres engines, 5 strike teams of engines (which equals 25 engines), 4 dozers, 4 water tenders, 4 helicopters and 4 hand crews. The Los Padres National Forest is in unified command with Santa Barbara County and Montecito Fire.

Road closures include:
East Camino Cielo at Painted Cave Road and Gibraltar Road and W. Mountain Drive at Gibraltar Road.

Evacuation warnings have been issued by Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management for zones 2, 3, 4 and 5 (See attached map). This includes areas north of Highway 192, east of Coyote Road, west of Buena Vista Road and south of East Camino Cielo.

Jurisdiction: FRA
Location: FRA/Los Padres N.F. The fire is located between Montecito Peak and Cold Springs Saddle.
Lat/long: 34.483 x 119.633
Start Date/Time: 10/29/15 @ 0515 hours
Fuels: Heavy Chaparral


Update 10/31/2015 0830: Fire Crews Push Containment to 90% for Gibraltar Fire
Area charred in blaze near Montecito Peak dropped to 21 acres from 50 after additional mapping.
Update 10/30/2015 0830: Fire Command is now Los Padres National Forest.
Jurisdiction: FRA
40 acres, short grass, and brush, 50% Contained
Type 3 IC (Scott, Enns)
Predicted strong, down canyon, Sundowner winds and low RH’s with little night recovery and continued winds throughout the evening
Contingency plan has been developed to support fire suppression efforts, evacuation, structure protection, etc.

Santa Barbra Fire PIO update 830am https://www.periscope.tv/w/aQOE-zFETEVCUEJlWW1LSmJ8MXlOR2FvcG9Pblh4amEOVXTStc-68fyJKzo2wAHxPySAnunkM9A-z63zfIhw

Update 10/29/2015 1830: Fire remains in Unified Command with Montecito Fire, Santa Barbara County Fire, and
Los Padres National Forest
Jurisdiction: FRA
Type 3 IC (Scott, Enns)
20 acres, short grass, and brush, 0% Contained
Reduction in acreage due to more accurate mapping
80°, 29% RH, wind is NNW at 11 mph
Predicted strong, down canyon, Sundowner winds and low RH’s with little night recovery and continued winds throughout the evening
Potential threat to communities of Santa Barbara, and Montecito should forecast Sundowners transpire
Access to incident is challenging
Firefighters continue to construct direct line, firefighters are making good progress

Update 10/29/2015 0845: 60 to 70 acres, heavy brush 0% Contained,
Moderate rate of spread,
Fire is in Unified Command with Montecito Fire, Santa Barbara County Fire, and
Los Padres National Forest
Wx: 69°, 55% RH, 15 mph with gusts to 40 to 50 mph. NNW
The fire is currently 8 miles from residences.



Monday, October 26, 2015

Future Wildland Firefighting: Is K-Max Drone Helicopter Ready To Fight Wildland Fire?

Pilotless Helicopter Tested for Wildland Firefighting

Lockheed Martin helicopter was tested in a water drop and supply missionBOISE, Idaho (AP) — The future of wildland firefighting launched Wednesday morning in Idaho.A Lockheed Martin helicopter capable of flying autonomously with no human control did so as it scooped up water, dropped it on targets and delivered supplies to a distant ridge in a demonstration in front of top federal decision makers 20 miles east of Boise.
A remote-controlled Lockheed Martin K-MAX sits Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, at the U.S. Forest Service’s Lucky Peak Helibase about 20 miles east of Boise, Idaho, following a successful demonstration of firefighting tasks performed by the helicopter. Federal officials say the helicopters that can operate without a pilot can be flown in conditions too dangerous for manned flights and are needed to battle increasingly ferocious wildfires. (AP Photo/Keith Ridler)

"Wildland fires are a huge problem, particularly here in the West," said Mark Bathrick, director of the Interior Department's Office of Aviation Services. "I'm a believer in the technology that could be put on other helicopters, that eventually could be put on fixed-wing aircraft — scoopers and air tankers."

The Lockheed Martin K-MAX put through its paces on Wednesday completed seven tasks in about an hour and a half. A safety pilot was aboard, often holding his hands aloft to indicate to about 200 observers that he wasn't using the controls.

Federal officials, who are also considering other aeronautic companies for the choppers, say having an optionally manned aircraft has advantages in that a pilot can fly it from fire to fire. A pilot could also fly it on fires during the day when conditions are safe.

The problem is that firefighting from the air stops at night or when smoke reduces visibility to unsafe distances.

The unmanned helicopter, though, has high-tech sensors allowing it to fly at night and in smoky conditions too dangerous for manned flights. That means at least tripling the amount of time aircraft could be attacking blazes.

"I'm highly confident (the helicopter) has the technology to be able to do that," said Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin's vice president and general manager for Aviation and Unmanned Systems. "If they bring in unmanned aircraft, they'll be able to do 24-7 flights. So it could be impressive in terms of helping fight fires."

The K-MAX demonstrated Wednesday has three communication methods, using line of sight and two different satellite links. The craft can be remotely controlled, but it also flies autonomously after being told what to do.

Even if it loses contact with ground controllers, it can complete a task, officials said. It can also be programmed to fly to a specific landing zone on its own if it loses communication for a pre-set amount of time, such as 10 minutes.

"The technology of the auto-control for the aircraft is not really the hard part," Bathrick said. "It's all this sensor technology that integrates with the autopilot to tell the helicopter where it's at."

The K-MAX itself is battle-tested, literally, having flown for three years in Afghanistan moving supplies so ground troops wouldn't have to risk traveling roads possibly rigged with improvised explosive devices. The flights covered as much as 85 miles.

Wildfires could possibly be more dynamic, with the helicopters tasked to make accurate water drops in multiple locations in short periods of time, often in areas with homes. If successful, Bathrick said, wildfires could be contained faster and losses to wildfires decreased.

"It will improve the safety of not only our ground firefighters, but the communities they're out there to protect," he said.

The K-MAX is considered comparatively inexpensive to fly at about $1,400 per hour, and Lockheed Martin officials said it also requires low maintenance time.

Bathrick said federal officials are still analyzing information, which will include results from Wednesday's demonstration. But he said pilotless aircraft could be flying above fire lines next summer.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Yosemite National Park: Proposed Prescribed Fire Schedule [Maps]


Proposed Prescribed Fire Schedule in Yosemite National Park
CA-YNP - Yosemite Parkwide Prescribed Burn Map
YNP -  Mariposa Grove Burn Map
CA-YNP -  Mariposa Grove Prescribed Burn Map
Yosemite National Park Fire Managers are planning one of two prescribed fires in Yosemite National Park, weather and air quality permitting, October 28, 2015. The projects are either the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias or a portion of Soupbowl along the Wawona Road.  Both of the projects have been planned for the fall and are near the southern entrance of the park near Wawona.  Fire managers are planning the projects in front of a predicted storm with only one being selected.
The Mariposa Grove project is the highest priority and is near the top of the Grove from Wawona Point to the south. Fire managers want to take advantage of the Mariposa Grove closure to conduct the 114 acre burn project.  Burning in the Grove is a continuous process and the burn areas have experienced fire in the past.   Fire produces the optimum conditions for Giant Sequoia reproduction and propagation.  Fire not only removes the accumulated layers of dead woody debris exposing nutrient rich mineral soil, but dries the cones allowing the seeds to shed.  Fire also creates holes in the forest canopy, while eliminating shade tolerant competition.

The Soupbowl project is to create a black-line along the Wawona Road in preparation for the entire prescribed fire project area at a later date.  The primary objective is to reduce hazardous fuels within the mixed conifer forest adjacent to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) community of Wawona, park infrastructures at the south entrance station and the Mariposa Grove of sequoias.  This project creates a continuous area of reduced fuel by linking together multiple previous prescribed fires.

A secondary objective is ecosystem restoration.  Applying fire under prescribed conditions mimics the frequent, low intensity, lightning caused fires that occurred in Sierras prior to the exclusion of fire which began over 100 years ago under aggressive fire suppression policies. Historically, natural fire burned an average of 16,000 acres annually in Yosemite and played an integral role in shaping Yosemite’s ecosystems.  In the absence of frequent fire, unnatural levels of forest biomass have accumulated which has put many of Yosemite’s values at risk, including neighboring communities, and natural and cultural features.  As climate changes, these values become increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire.

Smoke from the fire may be visible within the Wawona area and south entrance.  Smoke, affecting health, is always a consideration in the decision to schedule prescribed fires.  A smoke management plan has been submitted to the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District, and a burn permit will be issued prior to ignition.  A smoke monitor will be placed in nearby communities to monitor smoke.  


For More Information


CAL OES News: FEMA Public Assistance Applicant Briefings in Lakeport and San Andreas

Public Assistance Applicant Briefings in Lakeport and San Andreas


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services will conduct applicant briefings in Lakeport Monday and in San Andreas Wednesday to inform representatives of local government agencies and certain private nonprofits how to file requests for assistance with losses caused by the Butte and Valley fires in Lake and Calaveras counties.

Release date:
October 23, 2015
Release Number: 023

SACRAMENTO, Calif.
 – The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services will conduct applicant briefings in Lakeport Monday and in San Andreas Wednesday to inform representatives of local government agencies and certain private nonprofits how to file requests for assistance with losses caused by the Butte and Valley fires in Lake and Calaveras counties.
Affected local governments in the two counties are able to apply for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, restoration or replacement of damaged public facilities.
Public Assistance may also be provided for damage to facilities owned by certain private non-profit organizations that operate and maintain educational, utility, emergency, medical, custodial care and other essential governmental-type service facilities.
California provides a cost share of 75 percent of the remaining 25 percent to local government.
Lake County Public Assistance Applicant Briefing - Monday, Oct. 26, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Lake County Board of Supervisors Chambers - 225 North Forbes St., Lakeport, CA 95453
Calaveras County Public Assistance Applicant Briefing - Wednesday, Oct. 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Calaveras County Board Chambers - 891 Mountain Ranch Rd, San Andreas, CA 95429.
For reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities please contact Tamara Scott-Smith at (916) 845-8245 ortamara.scott-smith@caloes.ca.gov. Every effort will be made to honor an accommodation request, but last minute requests may be difficult to fill.
For updated information on California’s wildfire recovery, survivors may visit: caloes.ca.gov or FEMA.gov/disaster/4240 and follow us on Twitter @Cal_OES & @femaregion9 and at Facebook.com/CaliforniaOES & Facebook.com/FEMA.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

###

Retired Alameda County Fire Chief Told To Repay Pension For Double Dipping

Former Calif. Firefighter Told to Pay Back $450K Pension Benefits


Oct. 22--The board of the state's largest pension system ordered a former Alameda County assistant fire chief on Wednesday to repay more than $450,000 in pension benefits.
Two weeks after an administrative judge ruled that David Wheeler illegally collected a $60,000 salary from the Loomis Fire District while also receiving $137,000 a year in retirement from the Alameda County Fire Department, the California Public Employees' Retirement System board finalized the ruling.
"This is a clear case of pension abuse that CalPERS will not tolerate," said Matt Jacobs, CalPERS general counsel. "We remain on the lookout for all forms of pension spiking and encourage the public to help us root it out."
The pension giant determined that Wheeler, despite repeated warnings, knowingly violated the law while collecting his pension, working as the permanent chief for Loomis. Wheeler maintained that his position was temporary.
The practice of retiring, collecting a pension and working elsewhere is known as "double-dipping." In some scenarios, it is allowed, but Wheeler was told by CalPERS officials numerous times he could not work more than 960 hours a year at the Loomis job if he wanted to collect his Alameda County pension. His job as the Loomis fire chief exceeded that, CalPERS found.
Wheeler retired from Alameda County Fire on Jan. 8, 2007, and was hired by the Loomis department the same year. When the Loomis agency joined the CalPERS retirement plan in 2010, an employee from the pension giant warned Wheeler he could not continue working in the part-time job and collecting his East Bay pension.
"Wheeler's response expressed assurances that his hours would not exceed 960 hours," CalPERS said.
However, CalPERS determined his chief position required more hours.
Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.
Copyright 2015 - Contra Costa Times

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fire Jobs: Yuba City FD seeks Fire Apparatus Operator

Yuba City FD seeks Fire Apparatus Operator $6,846 – 7,189 closes Nov. 6

The City of Yuba City is currently recruiting for a Fire Apparatus Operator. The Fire Apparatus Operator position may work out of any of the five fire stations, located around the City. Individuals in this job class must have the experience and knowledge to operate all fire apparatus, be qualified to instruct other firefighters and act as supervisor in the absence of fire officers when assigned by department management.  Download this PDF for more information.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE - NORTHERN CALIFORNIA FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT TUESDAY

Nor Cal Fire Weather Watch

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SACRAMENTO CA
200 PM PDT SUN OCT 18 2015

 AREAS OF GUSTY WIND AND LOW HUMIDITY TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY...

 HIGH-PRESSURE BUILDING INLAND WILL BRING INCREASING NORTHERLY WIND MONDAY NIGHT WITH GUSTY WIND TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING.

SIGNIFICANT DRYING IS EXPECTED TUESDAY OVER WESTERN SHASTA COUNTY,
WEST SIDE OF THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY, AND EAST SIDE OF THE COASTAL
RANGE FROM SHASTA TO LAKE COUNTY.

AS A RESULT, THESE AREAS WILL SEE INCREASED FIRE DANGER. LIGHTER WINDS EXPECTED WEDNESDAY
AFTERNOON, BUT WINDS MAY INCREASE AGAIN THURSDAY.

EASTERN PORTION OF SHASTA/TRINITY NF-
NORTHERN SACRAMENTO VALLEY TO SOUTHERN TEHAMA COUNTY LINE BELOW
1000 FT-
CENTRAL SACRAMENTO VALLEY IN GLENN, COLUSA, YUBA, NORTHERN
SUTTER, AND BUTTE COUNTY BELOW 1000 FT-
SOUTHERN SACRAMENTO VALLEY IN YOLO-
SACRAMENTO FAR WESTERN PLACER, SOUTHERN SUTTER AND SOLANO COUNTY
BELOW 1000 FT-SOUTHEAST EDGE SHASTA-
TRINITY NF AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF TEHAMA-GLENN UNIT-
LAKE COUNTY PORTION OF LAKE-NAPA-SONOMA UNIT-EASTERN MENDOCINO NF-
200 PM PDT SUN OCT 18 2015

...FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING FOR GUSTY WIND AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR FIRE
WEATHER ZONES 213...215...216...217...263...264 AND 279...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SACRAMENTO HAS ISSUED A FIRE
WEATHER WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING.

* AFFECTED AREA...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 213...263...264...279...AND
WESTERN HALF OF FIRE ZONES 215...216...217.

* WIND...NORTH TO NORTHEAST WIND 1O TO 25 MPH WITH LOCAL GUSTS UP
TO 35 MPH.

* HUMIDITY...MINIMUM HUMIDITY TUESDAY WILL BE IN THE TEENS WITH
AREAS OF POOR OVERNIGHT RH RECOVERY...MAINLY WEST SIDE OF THE
SACRAMENTO VALLEY INTO THE COASTAL RANGE.

* TIMING...STRONGEST WINDS AND LOWEST HUMIDITY EXPECTED TUESDAY
AFTERNOON INTO EVENING.

* IMPACTS...COMBINATION OF GUSTY WIND AND LOW HUMIDITY WILL
INCREASE FIRE DANGER.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE
RED FLAG WARNINGS.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley Prescribed Fire Ignitions Completed. [CA-YNP TAFT TOE]

Taft Toe Prescribed Fire Ignitions Completed - October 15, 2015

The 111 acre Taft Toe prescribed fire project began on Thursday morning at approximately 9 AM October 15, and ignitions was successfully completed at 6:15 PM. There will be an additional 3 to 5 days for logs and other vegetation to completely burn out. Some large logs may smolder until rain occurs.


Prescribed Fire Igniters
Yosemite National Park Taft Toe Prescribed Fire Igniters
Weather conditions were optimal to complete burn project ahead of the estimated one and half days of ignitions. Air Quality is predicted to improve each day. Yosemite fire crews were assisted by 1 engine from the Stanislaus National Forest and 2 CAL FIRE Mt Bullion hand crews.

The Taft Toe prescribed fire project was a narrow forested area. The project was approximately 3 miles in length along South Side Drive of the Valley, and just east of Bridalveil Straight and Sentinel Beach picnic area. Parts of the unit were burned in 1993, 1995 and 1997; some segments had no recorded fire history.

A common objective for all the prescribed burns conducted in Yosemite Valley, since the practice was introduced in the 1970’s, is to use fire as an ecosystem restoration and management tool. In the absence of fire, the density of shade tolerant species such as white fir and incense cedar, along with forest litter and duff accumulations are now at unnatural and unacceptable levels. The purposes of the treatments called for in this burn plan are to reduce the density of small diameter
A burn permit was issued to the park by Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District (MCAPCD). Fire managers will continue to work with the MCAPCD by continuing to monitor air quality in smoke sensitive communities. Air quality information will be available through notifications and interactions with park employees, visitors and adjacent communities.

The project is identified in the Yosemite Fire Management and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Plan of March 2004.

For additional Information


Thursday, October 15, 2015

CA-BEU Cienega Fire, San Benito County

Cienega, CA-BEU-004582, San Benito County

 Location: Cienega Rd at Limekiln Rd, Thompson Creek area, South of Hollister, SRA
Start Time: 10/12/2015 1600

Updates: 
10/15/2015 1735: 670 acres, brush, 90% Contained
  • All federal resources have been released.


10/15/2015 0930: 600 acres, brush, 60% Contained
Federal resources remain assigned.

10/14/2015 1735: 600 acres, brush, 60% Contained

10/14/2015 0835: 600 acres, brush, 40% Contained, Federal resources assigned; 3 Type 1 Hand Crews and 1 Type 3 Engine S/T

10/13/2015 0830: 300 acres, 0% Contained, Heavy fuels, steep terrain and limited access.

10/12/2015 1730: 75-100 acres, 0% Contained, Critical Rate of Spread
94 °, Relative Humidity 25%RH, 6 mph, NW
No current threat to structures or infrastructure
Powerlines down.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Team Wildland Firefighter Foundation Announces Fundraising Event and Run Booster Campaign





Although the peak of fire season appears to be behind us, there are members of the wildland fire community still in need. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF) plays an integral role in meeting this need by providing support to those who sustained injury and to the families who have lost loved ones.  

In recognition of the importance of the WFF, a group of cyclists, comprised of current and former wildland firefighters and community members, based largely in Colorado's Front Range came together in support of the WFF  and created Team Wildland Firefighter Foundation (click for Team page). The official mission of the team reads as follows: "To raise awareness of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation by building and strengthening relationships between those who love and recreate in the public lands and the wildland firefighters who protect them through the common activity of cycling." Team Wildland Firefighter Foundation (Team WFF) formed only after the approval from the WFF, who Team WFF maintains a close and active relationship with. Since their formulation in December of last year, Team WFF has participated in events such as 18 Hours of Fruita, the City Streets Criterium, the Dirty Kanza, the Firecracker 50, and a multitude of training rides.


Team WFF members at a race this summer.

In support of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, on November 21, Team WFF will be teaming up with Boulder, Colorado’s Twisted Pine Brewery for their monthly Party With A Purpose charity event. Team WFF will be holding a morning group road ride, presentations, raffle and silent auction, in addition to being on-site throughout the day to interact with attendees. Look for more updates on this event through our social media outlets.

Team WFF recently launched a Booster Campaign in support of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation titled “Spreading Compassion” which can be viewed here.

Spreading Compassion Like Wildfire Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - front


The campaign has been successful, both in shirt sales and in raising additional donations that can be given to the WFF and then used to support those in need. Team WFF would like to thank everyone who has participated in this campaign so far and once again recognize how strong and compassionate the wildland fire community is. The campaign will be open for a while longer, shirts are only 15 dollars and proceeds will support the WFF.

Thanks for reading, we hope to see you on the line and on the trail, 
Team WFF

Instagram: @TeamWFF
Twitter: @TeamWFF


Email: TeamWFF@gmail.com

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