Saturday, January 24, 2015

Santa Ana Winds Stoke Ontario Mulch Fire Hampered Fight #CAFire

Gusting Winds Hamper Ontario Green waste Mulch Pile Fire


Ontario Firefighters battled a stubborn fire fueled by strong Santa Ana winds on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015.
Photo Credit ABC



Update 0700 1-25: The where the fire started lost a small hay barn and two small sheds, It was still burning at 7 a.m., though winds had died down and firefighters had contained the fire, according to Ontario Fire Department deputy chief Mike Pelletier.
Start: 1-24 9:15 p.m
Location: Ontario green waste mulching and processing facility in the area of Chino and Grove avenues, an agricultural side of the city.
Weather: Santa Ana winds gusting up to 30 mph
Smoke: Smoke plume has as far as 20 miles away in Brea.
Structure Losses: Small hay barn and two small sheds, Ontario Police Department officials said.




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Kern River District Prescribed Fire 1,000 acres #CAFire

Kern River District Prescribed Burns

Incident Overview

Kern River Ranger District Fire Management personnel have implemented hazardous fuel reduction projects on three mountaintops surrounding the Kern River Valley. Two of the projects, initiated in 2013, are in the second phase.
The projects are located in the mountains of Greenhorn, Piutes and Breckenridge. All projects are on forest land adjacent to communities dense with high amounts of hazardous fuels. Fuel reduction activities on the projects will have beneficial impacts on health and public safety in the project areas by reducing the risk of a stand-replacing fire and restoring natural ecosystems.

Basic Information

Current as of1/23/2015 12:59:32 PM
Incident TypePrescribed Fire
LocationThe projects are located in the mountains of Greenhorn, Piutes and Breckenridge. All projects are on forest land adjacent to communities dense with high amounts of hazardous fuels.
Incident CommanderFuels BC, Ernie Villa
Incident DescriptionKern River Ranger District Fire Management Personnel Implementing Hazardous Fuel Reduction Projects On Three Mountaintops Surrounding The Kern River Valley.

Current Situation

Fuels Involved
Varying fuels types in units include, grass, slash piles, brush and timber.
Significant Events
The Forest Service expects to burn 1,000 acres, in small units, designed to minimize effects of smoke on communities. Smoke will be visible from most communities surrounding Isabella Lake.

Outlook

Remarks
Fire managers are working closely with the Eastern Kern and San Joaquin County Air Pollution Control Districts to manage smoke production and reduce any local impacts.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns
Prescribed burn efforts will continue throughout the winter as weather and air quality permit.
Source: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/maps/4137/

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Auburn: Loss Of SAFER Grant Money Reduces Response Capability #CAFire

Overlapping emergency calls spur concern

Staffing shifts build reliance on use of outside agencies
Overlapping emergency calls have been a thorn in the side of the Auburn Fire Department in the first weeks of 2015 as crews attempt to meet public need under new staffing conditions.
The loss of federal grant funding for five temporary firefighters, coupled with the city’s inability to afford all of the positions on its own, have raised concerns within the department about the personnel and equipment available during emergencies.
While the city was able to retain two of the firefighters with a third hired into an open position, two others were not retained.
The loss of these positions automatically caused a shift in the personnel and equipment at the department’s disposal, said Division Chief Corey Zander.
Between Jan.1 and Jan. 12, Auburn firefighters had to rely on outside fire departments six times due to simultaneous medical aid calls.
By comparison, crews had five calls they could not immediately answer in all of 2014, according to Zander.
“A concern we have right now would be the issue we have with simultaneous incidents where our one engine is committed to a call and we receive an additional call for service,” he said in an email. “We have to ask for help from another department due to only having the staffing for one engine instead of two with the loss of the SAFER firefighter positions.”
The federal SAFER grant, or Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant, allowed the city to hire five temporary firefighters for two years without requiring matching funds from city coffers.
Zander, who also represents the Auburn Firefighters Association, said while some of the firefighters were retained permanently, there is simply not enough staff to run a second engine safely or effectively.
“We have had six simultaneous incidents for Jan.1 through Jan. 12 with the longest ‘code 3’ response time being 13 minutes for a cardiac emergency patient. The closest available engine responded from Penryn. Our one engine was committed to a structure fire six minutes prior to the medical aid and was unable to respond,” he said.
City Manager Tim Rundel said he had not been informed of any problems regarding emergency responses within the city nor had he seen an official report from the department.
Rundel said he would not “negotiate through the press” and said early criticisms of the program were “discouraging.”
“We have more services now than we had prior to the SAFER grant,” he said. “I look forward to reviewing their reports.”
Rundel said the city made a substantial effort to retain as many firefighters as possible toward the end of the SAFER and said adjustments would be made as needed once all of the data was reviewed.
Council member Daniel Berlant, who also works as a CAL FIRE public information officer, said he does not believe the staffing concerns are connected to the ongoing labor negotiations between the city and the Auburn Firefighters Association.
Berlant said the issue comes down to not only meeting the daily average demand for emergency services, but also planning for worst case scenario events, like large scale wildfires.
“Those are the type of emergencies we need to staff a department for,” he said.
The council member said the city must weigh adequate staffing needs and its finite financial resources to balance public safety services effectively....

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CAL FIRE Cleans Up Fire Academy Mess Amid CHP Sex Probe #CAFire

Two Cal Fire workers fired, one resigns, 13 others disciplined in Ione academy probe

 The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on Wednesday fired two firefighters, accepted the resignation of a third and said it would discipline 13 others in connection with evidence of dishonesty, misuse of state equipment and other policy violations uncovered during a $2 million probe of allegations of misconduct leveled at the fire academy in Ione.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article7889088.html#storylink=cpy

The investigation of misconduct at the Cal Fire Academy in Ione was initiated after former Cal Fire Battalion Chief Orville Fleming, seen at his arraignment in Sacramento Superior Court on May 20, 2014, was charged with killing his girlfriend. Fleming’s wife said he and other firefighters had engaged in sex with prostitutes at the academy and said she had seen a tape of such activities. RANDY PENCH SACRAMENTO BEE FILE

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article7889088.html#storylink=cpy
The probe, conducted for the agency by the California Highway Patrol, was initiated in the wake of the May 1 slaying of 26-year-old Sarah Douglas. Authorities have charged her boyfriend, ex-battalion chief Orville “Mo” Fleming, with her slaying. Fleming’s wife leveled accusations after the killing that Fleming and other firefighters had engaged in sex with prostitutes at the academy and said she had seen a tape of such activities.
Cal Fire said the probe unearthed no evidence of a sex tape, a finding echoed by Sacramento County sheriff’s investigators. But the CHP investigation uncovered other abuses that led to disciplinary actions against a total of 16 Cal Fire employees, 15 of them instructors at the academy and the 16th an employee in the field.
“There’s a variety of policy violations, including dishonesty, misuse of state equipment, misuse of state time and compromising the hiring process,” Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. “None are connected to the allegations that were made.
“All, though, were discovered as part of the investigation that the CHP has been conducting for us over the last six or seven months into the initial allegations that were made. In that process, other violations were discovered.”
In addition to the three who are no longer employed at Cal Fire, all but one of the 13 employees facing discipline were notified as of Wednesday, Berlant said. The final employee is on vacation and had not yet been reached. All 16 were placed on administrative leave last month as preliminary results of the probe became available.
Discipline for those who remain employed at Cal Fire will range from reductions in pay to suspension to demotion, Berlant said.
The murder charge against Fleming, as well as the accusations leveled by his wife, brought embarrassing scrutiny to Cal Fire as it was entering the height of a challenging fire season last summer, and the agency director said Wednesday that misconduct by workers cannot be allowed.
“The CHP investigation brought to light the actions of a few individuals that violate the public trust,” Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said in a statement issued Wednesday. “We are pursuing the disciplinary process to the furthest extent allowed. This type of behavior will not be tolerated.
“I would like to extend my appreciation to the California Highway Patrol for the consummate professionalism displayed by their investigators during the course of this investigation.”
Mike Lopez, president of Cal Fire Local 2881, which represents the firefighters, said he could not discuss reasons for the discipline and said each of the employees can appeal.
“My understanding is it has to deal with the possibility of there being discipline for procedural and policy breakdowns in our academy, and each one of those is different from one to the other,” he said. “We’ll allow due process to take its place; we’ll represent our members to the best of our abilities.
“It’s something that no one wants to see at the place of employment where they work, and we’ll do the best we can to make sure the rights of employees are followed through.”
The sensational allegations began with the slaying of Douglas and the subsequent manhunt for Fleming, who hid out for 16 days, spending most of the time hunkered down under some brushy growth not far from the south Sacramento home where Douglas’ body was discovered.
Fleming, 56, has pleaded not guilty in her stabbing and strangulation death. He is being held without bail at the Sacramento County jail and faces his next hearing in Sacramento Superior Court on March 10, when a trial readiness conference is scheduled.
Source: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article7889088.html




Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article7889088.html#storylink=cpy

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Sacramento: Small Fire Under Investigation at Governor's Mansion Park


Small Fire Under Investigation at Governor's Mansion Park

CAL FIRE Asking Public’s Help with Information


Sacramento - Following a small fire on the grounds of the Governor's Mansion State Historic
Park in Sacramento, CAL FIRE- Office of the State Fire Marshal investigators are looking into how the fire started.
 
Photo of small metal hand cart with charred debris from fire
Around 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 18, a California State Park ranger discovered a small extinguished fire next to the carriage house.
Several fire investigators from CAL FIRE-Office of the State Fire Marshal were dispatched to investigate what appeared to be a suspicious fire.
 Fire investigators found debris on a small metal hand cart had caught fire with several exploded butane and propane canisters nearby. The cart was located outside the carriage house at the time of the fire and did cause damage to the paint of the exterior wall, but the structure itself remained undamaged.
 While the fire is suspicious, CAL FIRE- Office of the State Fire Marshal, along with California State Parks and the California Highway Patrol, has not determined an exact cause. 
 The Mansion was closed during the time of the fire and investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area to come forward. 
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Anyone with information about the fire is urged to contact the CAL FIRE Arson Hotline at 1-800-468-4408. Callers can remain anonymous.



















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Monday, January 19, 2015

LAFD: Christmas Tree Sparks Van Nuys Apartment Fire #CAFire


Christmas Tree Sparks Van Nuys Apartment Fire

The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical, involving the family's still-decorated Christmas tree, which fervidly fueled the blaze.

This video done by the NIST shows a VERY DRY Christmas tree on fire in a room. It takes a little over 30 seconds for the room to flashover.

VAN NUYS - A woman escaped with only minor injury, and her toddler son was unharmed, when fire - involving a Christmas tree - swept through their San Fernando Valley apartment Sunday afternoon.

The Los Angeles Fire Department received the first of several 9-1-1 calls at 3:48 PM on January 18, 2015 reporting fire in the Haskell Village Apartments at 6825 Haskell Avenue in Van Nuys. Firefighters arrived quickly to discover flames showing from the 3rd floor balcony of a three story 21,540 square-foot building of 2 occupied floors over parking

Thirty-seven firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Dean Zipperman skilfully confined flames to the one apartment, extinguishing the blaze in just 16 minutes. During their comprehensive search of the smoke charged premises, Firefighters discovered and rescued an uninjured pet cat from the burning apartment. 

LAFD Paramedics briefly treated the injured woman for heat and smoke exposure, before transporting her and her son to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. Neither had sustained burn injury. 

Functional smoke alarms were found inside the burning apartment, but their role in alerting the woman could not be immediately determined. The building-wide fire alarm system had been manually activated prior to the LAFD's arrival. The 30 year-old building did not feature optional fire sprinklers

Firefighter efforts proved successful in limiting fire damage to $25,000 ($15,000 structure & $10,000 contents) within the one unit, sparing the building's 27 other apartments from harm.

The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical, involving the family's still-decorated Christmas tree, which fervidly fueled the blaze.

The fire comes more than three weeks after Christmas, and despite a month long Citywide campaign by the Fire Department and City's Bureau of Sanitation to have residents remove the hazardous trees from their homes. The campaign took a greater sense of urgency following a January 6 fire in North Hollywood that destroyed a residence and hospitalized three Los Angeles Firefighters

Dispatched Units: T90 E290 RA90 RA890 E239 E39 T39 EM14 BC10 E81 RA88 AR2 RA39

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San Luis Obispo County Small Plane Crash No Injuries #ACDown


Small Plane Crash-Lands in San Luis Obispo County


A small plane crash landed on a private property near Gifford Ranch Road, south of Highway 166 in San Luis Obispo County, California, on January 16.


The authorities said the pilot reported engine troubles and informed San Luis Obispo Airport authorities that he would try to make an emergency landing at Highway 166. However, the communication was then disrupted and the plane was found in an upside down position in a riverbed near the highway.

There were 2 people aboard the plane at the time of incident; both of them remained uninjured. They were identified as the pilot John Charles Butler, 76, of Phoenix, Arizona and his passenger Pamela Butler Zirion, 67, of San Luis Obispo.

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Oregon: Must See - Man Pinned In Chevy Between Two Semi Trucks...


Man Pinned Between Two Semi Trucks...

The man reportedly got stuck when two semi trucks flattened his Chevy Silverado. He survived, and only needed two Band-Aids.

The image shows Kaleb Whitby, 27 in what used to be his four-door pickup truck, wedged tightly between two semis.

The huge pile-up occurred in eastern Oregon involving 100 people and 26 cars.
The incident left 12 people injured Saturday.

Heavy winds and fog, combined with icy road conditions on the stretch of Interstate 84.
The crash occurred shortly before 5 a.m. east of Baker City, about 130 miles northwest of Boise, Idaho.

The man reportedly got stuck when two semi trucks flattened his Chevy Silverado. He survived, and only needed two Band-Aids.


Source: http://www.breaking911.com/watch-man-in-whats-left-of-his-truck-pinned-between-semis-in-massive-pile-up/
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REDLANDS FIREFIGHTER AND LOVER ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF LOVER'S HUSBAND #CAFire


More than three months after a Robert Limon was shot to death at a Tehachapi rail yard, investigators arrested Limon's wife, Sabrina Limon, 35, and her lover, Jonathan Hearn, 24.

Accused of plotting the crime together, they are both facing first-degree murder charges. They were arrested Tuesday. Hearn is employed as a firefighter in Redlands.

Sabrina Limon has since been released for lack of evidence.

Robert Limon was found dead inside a BNSF railway shop on August 17.

Limon's co-workers said he was a dedicated employee who worked as much as he could to be able to provide for his wife and two kids.

The sheriff's office investigated hundreds of leads thanks to tips from the community.
Source: http://abc7.com/news/ie-firefighter-arrested-with-lover-for-husbands-murder/404470/
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Friday, January 16, 2015

TFFT Lake Tahoe Basin: Widespread Prescribed Fire Operations #CAFire

Widespread prescribed fire operations in Tahoe area to continue

January 16, 2015        

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.  –California State Parks, the Nevada Division of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service will continue prescribed fire operations on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.  Operations may take place near Tahoe City on Highway 28 between Rocky Ridge and Lake Forest, near Emerald Bay at Eagle Point Campground, the Boat Camp and behind Vikingsholm, Fallen Leaf Lake, Ski Run Boulevard near Heavenly, north of Spooner Summit, and Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park near Sand Harbor.  Operations will last through the next several weeks as conditions allow.   

Fall and winter bring cooler temperatures and precipitation, which favor prescribed burning.  Each operation follows a prescribed fire burn plan, which considers temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke.  This information is used to decide when and where to burn.  The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) gives as much advance notice as possible before burning, but some operations may be conducted on short notice.

Smoke from prescribed fire operations is normal and may continue for several days after an ignition depending on the project size.  Agencies coordinate with state and local county air pollution control districts and monitors weather conditions closely prior to prescribed fire ignition.  They wait for favorable conditions that will carry smoke up and out of the Basin.  Crews also conduct test burns before igniting a larger area, to verify how effectively fuels are consumed how smoke will travel.

Before conducting prescribed fire operations, agencies may post road signs around affected areas and make email or phone notifications.  The Forest Service updates the local fire information line at 530-543-2600, #6.  To receive prescribed fire notifications, send an email to pa_ltbmu@fs.fed.us.  For more information on prescribed fire and smoke management tips, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/RxFireOps.    
Project Information:
  • Project Name:  Burton Creek State Park
  • Responsible Agency/Contact:  California State Parks, Rich Adams (530) 525-1222
  • Legal Location:  T16N R17E S31
  • Descriptive Location:  Upslope of Hwy 28, between Rocky Ridge and Lake Forest
  • Type of burn:  Hand piles
  • Total Acreage:  50
  • Planned Ignition:  01/20/2015 and continuing as conditions permit
  • Duration of Ignition and Smoke Production:  20 days, intermittent
  • Estimated Direction of Smoke Travel:  Northeast, downslope at night
  • Communities or Smoke Sensitive Areas:  Highway 28 at Burton Creek, Lake Forest, North Tahoe High School, Highlands, Tahoe City
  • Project Name:  Emerald Bay State Park
  • Responsible Agency/Contact:  California State Parks, Rich Adams (530) 525-1222
  • Legal Location:  T13N R17E S21, 22
  • Descriptive Location:  Eagle Point Campground, Boat Camp, and behind Vikingsholm
  • Type of burn:  Hand piles
  • Total Acreage:  43
  • Planned Ignition:  01/20/2015 and continuing as conditions permit
  • Duration of Ignition and Smoke Production:  20 days, intermittent
  • Estimated Direction of Smoke Travel:  Northeast
  • Communities or Smoke Sensitive Areas:  Smoke will be visible from Hwy 89 around Emerald Bay
  • Project Name:  North Canyon Pile Burn
  • Responsible Agency/Contact:  Nevada Division of Forestry, Roland Shaw (775) 684-2741
  • Legal Location:  T15N, R18E, Sec 25,35,36
  • Descriptive Location:  Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, 1 mile north of Spooner Summit, east of SR28
  • Type of burn:  Hand Piles
  • Total Acreage:  30
  • Planned Ignition:  1/20/15 and continuing as conditions permit
  • Duration of Ignition and Smoke Production:  3 days of burn down time
  • Estimated Direction of Smoke Travel:  Northeast
  • Communities or Smoke Sensitive Areas:  Smoke may be visible from SR28, US50 in the Spooner summit area, Tahoe Rim Trail north of Spooner Summit, Washoe Valley, Carson City
  • Project Name:  Slaughterhouse Pile Burn
  • Responsible Agency/Contact:  Nevada Division of Forestry, Roland Shaw (775) 684-2741
  • Legal Location:  T15N, R18E, Sec 34
  • Descriptive Location:  Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, 1.5 miles north of Spooner Summit, west of SR28
  • Type of burn:  Hand Piles
  • Total Acreage:  5
  • Planned Ignition:  1/20/15 and continuing as conditions permit
  • Duration of Ignition and Smoke Production:  3 days of burn down time
  • Estimated Direction of Smoke Travel:  Northeast
  • Communities or Smoke Sensitive Areas:  Smoke may be visible from SR28, US50 in the Spooner summit area, north of Glenbrook
  • Project Name:  Sand Harbor Pile Burn
  • Responsible Agency/Contact:  Nevada Division of Forestry, Roland Shaw (775) 684-2741
  • Legal Location:  T15N, R18E, Sec 2; T16N R18E Sec 35
  • Descriptive Location:  Sand Harbor, Memorial Point
  • Type of burn:  Hand Piles
  • Total Acreage:  20
  • Planned Ignition:  1/20/15 and continuing as conditions permit
  • Duration of Ignition and Smoke Production:  3 days of burn down time
  • Estimated Direction of Smoke Travel:  Northeast/east
  • Communities or Smoke Sensitive Areas:  Smoke may be visible from SR28, north end of Lake Tahoe, Washoe Valley
  • Project Name:  Spooner CTL
  • Responsible Agency/Contact:  U.S. Forest Service, Kyle Jacobson (530) 543-2658
  • Legal Location:  T15N, R18E, Sec 11
  • Descriptive Location:  Hwy 28
  • Type of burn:  Hand/machine piles
  • Total Acreage:  84
  • Planned Ignition:  01/20/2015 and continuing as conditions permit
  • Duration of Ignition and Smoke Production:  10 days of burn down time
  • Estimated Direction of Smoke Travel:  North/Northeast
  • Communities or Smoke Sensitive Areas:  Smoke may be visible from Incline Village, Kings Beach and West Shore communities
  • Project Name:  Heavenly ULM
  • Responsible Agency/Contact:  U.S. Forest Service, Kyle Jacobson (530) 543-2658
  • Legal Location:  T12/13N, R18E, Sec 1, 34
  • Descriptive Location:  Ski Run
  • Type of burn:  Hand Piles
  • Total Acreage:  70.25
  • Planned Ignition:  01/20/2015 and continuing as conditions permit
  • Duration of Ignition and Smoke Production:  10 days of burn down time
  • Estimated Direction of Smoke Travel:  North/Northeast
  • Communities or Smoke Sensitive Areas:  Smoke may be visiblelake wide
  • Project Name:  Meow Units 9, 11, 14 and 15
  • Responsible Agency/Contact:  U.S. Forest Service, Kyle Jacobson (530) 543-2658
  • Legal Location:  T12, 17E, Sec 12, 2 and 35
  • Descriptive Location:  Fallen Leaf Lake
  • Type of burn:  Machine Piles
  • Total Acreage:  121
  • Planned Ignition:  01/20/2015 and continuing as conditions permit
  • Duration of Ignition and Smoke Production:  15 days of burn down time
  • Estimated Direction of Smoke Travel:  North/Northeast
  • Communities or Smoke Sensitive Areas:  Smoke may be visible from South Lake Tahoe, North Lake Tahoe and surrounding communities
Contacts:    California State Parks, Rich Adams 530-525-1222
                   Nevada Division of Forestry,Roland Shaw 775-684-2741               
                   U.S. Forest Service, Lisa Herron 530-543-2815 


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About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team
The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) consists of representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, Cal Fire, Nevada Division of Forestry and related state agencies, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the USDA Forest Service, conservation districts from both states, the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.  Our Mission is to protect lives, property and the environment within the Lake Tahoe Basin from wildfire by implementing prioritized fuels reduction projects and educating the public on becoming a Fire Adapted Community.
For more information, visit www.tahoefft.org

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