Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hawaii: NIFC - 2011 Hawai’i Wildland Fire Potential Seasonal Outlook

  In Hawaii fire activity is already occurring. There has been some relief from the drought, but it is not expected to last. 
Hawai’i Fire Potential Outlook Map - NIFC
  Some areas have already exceeded the 90th percentile for ERC. The west sides of the islands seem to be the most susceptible to wind which exacerbates fire conditions. KBDI values are in excess of 500 in several locations across the islands.
 For Hawaii much of the vegetation is drought-stressed. The fuelbed contains much more dead fuel than typical and measured live fuel moisture is below average. The islands of Kaua'i and O'ahu will experience normal to above normal fire potential. The remainder of the state will be above normal.

Tags:  Hawaii #WildFire Potential Outlook
Source: NIFC - http://gacc.nifc.gov Predictive seasonal outlooks .pdf - Link

NIFC 2011 California Wildfire Seasonal Assessment

 California Preliminary Seasonal Assessment
NIFC 2011 California  Preliminary #Wildfire Seasonal Assessment Map
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This preliminary outlook is a product of the National Seasonal Assessment Workshop held virtually during the week of April 18th, 2011. The inter-agency workshop brought together subject matter experts from climatology, fire weather meteorology, fuels, fire behavior, and fire danger. The outlook is based on past developments, current conditions, trends, and predictions for the months May through August.
Objectives of the Executive Summary are to:
• Provide a prognosis of 2011 wild-land fire potential in California, based on fuel conditions and available climate forecasts.
• Highlight concerns and key implications for management.
• Provide supporting documentation regarding weather and fuels information.
• Provide the framework for comprehensive final North Ops and South Ops outlooks to be completed in June.
This executive summary should aid California wildland fire managers in 2011 fire season preparedness, and add preliminary insight. More detailed fire season outlooks, for both North and South Ops, will be available in June. Those documents will give increased detail regarding all aspects of the coming fire season, and will have higher confidence levels. In addition to this outlook, the GACC Predictive Service Units at Riverside and Redding will continue to issue detailed monthly assessments of fire weather and fire danger.

California Average Precipitation / Mountain Snowpack

 2011 FIRE SEASON OVERVIEW:
North
Fire season for the majority of Northern California is expected to begin in typical May to June time frames. However, elevations at or above 5,500-6,000 feet had an April 1st snowpack ranging from 125-170% of normal (see Figure 2). For that higher terrain, significant activity could be delayed until the start of August.
Factors pertinent to the 2011 Northern California fire season include:
• No existing drought areas remain in California
• The height and continuity of annual grass crops ranges from generally normal, to locally above normal.
• For high terrain, significant fire activity will likely begin two to four weeks later than average dates.
• Given expected fuels conditions, it is not likely that a lightning event will produce multiple large fires prior to July 1 at low-mid elevations, or prior to August 1 at high elevations.
Temperatures and precipitation are forecast to trend from near normal in May to a little warmer and drier than normal in August.
• Above 5,500-6,000 feet, significant fire activity will likely begin two to four weeks later than average dates.
• Given fuels and weather conditions, it is not likely that lightning events will produce multiple large fires prior to July 1 at low or mid elevations, or prior to August 1 high elevations.
• Temperatures and precipitation are forecast to trend from near normal in May to a little warmer and drier than normal in August.
• Drought stress, insects, and disease affect vegetation across the GACC to some degree.
• Annual grass crop ranges from normal to locally above normal.
South
• Below Normal risk for large fires over the central coast and the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada Range.
• Normal large fire potential elsewhere over the region.
• Delayed start to fire season across lower elevations with an even later start in mountain areas above 6,000 feet.
• Slightly below normal temperatures near the coast and near normal temperatures expected over the interior portions of the state.
• Near normal precipitation expected.
• No clear signal with regards to summer monsoon activity over the district.
South:
There will be a below normal large fire potential over many high elevation sections of the district where heavier fuels are present. Large timber (as defined by 1,000 hour fuels having trunk diameter of 7 inches or greater) currently possess a large amount of moisture from the heavy precipitation of the past winter. It appears unlikely that these heavy fuels will dry to the point of receptivity during the outlook period. However, large fire potential will increase in lighter fuel types by late summer when the hottest weather arrives and fuel moisture reaches a seasonal minimum. Many long-term models indicate the current La Niña condition over the Eastern Pacific will continue to decrease this spring, reaching a near neutral sea-surface anomaly by this summer. Other models indicate a La Niña may re-emerge later this year. Either way, the affect of sea surface temperatures appears to be a non-factor in determining the weather patterns late this summer and into fall. Therefore, outside the aforementioned areas in the higher elevation regions of the Sierras and portions of the central coast, expect a near average fire season this year.
NIFC-California Drought Monitor Map
Statewide Fuels Discussion:
In the South, precipitation in South Ops during the past winter was above average in most areas. The early winter and early spring rains have brought an above normal crop of seasonal grasses to the foothills and desert areas. The December rains resulted in an early emergence of herbaceous annual and perennial fuels. NDVI departure from average greenness data showed 135-150% average greenness for Central and Southern California. Live fuel moisture values in the lower elevations are running above average across the inland areas, but across the coastal regions, especially north of Point Conception, conditions are wetter than average. The latest snow pack surveys measured 165% of April 1 snow water equivalent in the Sierras. The expected weather conditions along with the antecedent fuel conditions suggest a normal fire season with the exception the Central Coast and the central Sierras which are expected to have a below average large fire potential. A big factor will be the weather in the next six-ten weeks. This could change overall live fuel moistures and grass curing rates across the South Ops area and may result in a later or more normal start to the fire season.
In the North, Northern California is emerging from several years of drought; vegetation remains drought-stressed. Winter conditions have resulted in windthrow, broken tops, and freeze-damaged vegetation adding to the fuel load, contributing to fire behavior potential and reducing fireline production rates. Green-up has already occurred at elevations to about 2,000 feet. Curing is beginning to occur in grasses at the lower elevations. There is abundant grass and brush at the lower elevations; at higher elevations (to about 6,000 feet) where snow melt has occurred herbaceous vegetation is also abundant. Spread of insects and diseases and non-native species, changing land use, fragmentation, and urbanization all affect fuels and contribute to fire potential in Northern California. Any drought-stressed or otherwise unhealthy vegetation will succumb to fire easier than healthy vegetation. Expect "normal" curing of herbaceous fuels. An abundant grass crop at the lower elevations will provide the opportunity for large fires starting about mid-May. There is good fuel continuity. Brush has substantial leader growth and is leafing out. Greenup and flowering are currently occurring, predominantly at the lower elevations. By August 1, energy release component (ERC) and 1000-hour fuel moisture should be approaching the 80th percentile at elevations below 6,000 feet. As snow melts, we are seeing areas that are inaccessible due to blow-outs and other damage to the transportation system - this will result in additional response times for ground-based resources.
California does not intend to issue a Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory this year.

May through August Forecast:
South: The La Niña that has been occurring since last summer peaked in strength several months ago and is now expected to dissipate by early summer. The atmosphere however will be slow to respond to these large scale oceanic temperature changes, therefore the remainder of the spring into early summer will likely still be influenced by La Niña. This means temperatures should average a little below normal across the coastal areas through at least July with near normal temperatures expected over the interior portions of the state. Precipitation is forecast to average near normal over the area this summer. It is important though to keep in mind that summer time precipitation is acquired through convective activity associated with the Southwest Monsoon. This means most of the precipitation that occurs is usually spotty and mainly confined to the mountain and desert areas. At this time it is uncertain how far the Monsoon will migrate westward which will have a significant role in the amount of thunderstorm activity the area receives. Normally the area experiences at least three to four lightning episodes a summer with each episode lasting four or five days on average. Forecast Confidence = 80%
North: Review of October 2010 to April 2011: A La Nina pattern that developed in the summer of 2010 reached peak strength in January of 2011. It has been on a gradual decline since, though its effects on California weather have been more typical since mid February. October, December, and March were the wettest months compared to long-term averages, while January was the driest, due to mid-winter high pressure dominating for over a month. A large majority of Northern California currently has season-to-date precipitation ranging from 100-150% of normal (Figure 1). Due to this abundant rain and/or mountain snowfall, drought has ended in California. Mean temperatures were mostly within + 2 degrees F of normal for most of the Area (Figure 3).
Weather/Climate Forecast for May through August of 2011:
May - Northern California is expected to see temperatures within 2 degrees of normal and near-normal precipitation. Snowpack will continue to recede, but will still be well above average over high terrain.
June - Temperature anomalies forecast to range from -1 to +2 degrees F, with precipitation most likely to favor the lower side of normal.
July - Temperature anomalies forecast to range from 0 to +3 degrees F, with precipitation at or below normal (which climatologically means very little).
August - Temperature anomalies forecast to range from +1 to +4 degrees F, with precipitation continuing near to below normal.
Lightning events are the biggest “wild card” in Northern California fire seasons. At this time, it is expected to be a near-average type of lightning year. This approximates out to 2-4 limited events on a sub-GACC to GACC-wide scale. There is a 20-30% chance of a large and/or critical dry lightning event of GACC-wide impact before year's end. It would be most likely to occur in late July or August, as fuels would probably not support reaching a siege-type event any earlier.
Drought caveat - While large-scale drought is not a factor in California as of mid-spring 2011, it could again become so by late fire season IF the weather becomes persistently hotter and drier than the modest warm anomalies contained in this forecast.
Forecast Confidence = Temperatures 65%, Precipitation and Lightning events 55%

Team Members involved in the workshop:
Tom Rolinski – Fire Weather Meteorologist, USDA Forest Service, Predictive Services in Riverside, California.
Rob Krohn – Fire Weather Meteorologist, USDA Forest Service, Predictive Services in Riverside, California.
Bruce Risher – Intelligence Coordinator, USDA Forest Service, Predictive Services in Riverside, California.
Tim Chavez – Fire Behavior Analyst, CAL FIRE, Riverside Ranger Unit.
John Snook – Fire Weather Meteorologist, USDA Forest Service, Predictive Services in Redding, California.
Basil Newmerzhycky - Fire Weather Meteorologist, USDA Forest Service, Predictive Services in Redding, California.
Marva Willey – Intelligence Coordinator, USDA Forest Service, Predictive Services in Redding, California.
Vince Cohee - Coordinator, USDA Forest Service, Predictive Services in Riverside, California.
Bryan Schieber – Battalion Chief, CAL FIRE, California Northern Region in Redding, California
Jan Rea – Fire Management Specialist, Stanislaus National Forest, California


NIFC 2011 Preliminary Seasonal Assessment Link: http://gacc.nifc.gov/oncc/predictive/outlooks/seasonal_outlook.pdf

CA-SQF-COVE - Wildland Fire - @ 1122 acres. 98%. cont. FINAL

Cove Fire SQF, KRN, BLM
Cove Fire Update #7 5-29 1200hrs -
Incident transitioned to a type 4 Incident Management Organization and back to the Sequoia NF
Fire has burned 1,122 acres and is 98% contained
Incident will begin rehab for the fire. This will be the last report for this incident unless conditions change.Cove Fire Update #6 5-28 1800hrs -
 Cove Inc. CA-SQF-1246 Kern County, Mountain Mesa, Lake Isabella, Kern Co.
Incident transitioned from Unified Command at 0600 hrs today.

Fire has burned 1,122 acres and is 85% contained

Sequoia Forest will continue suppression efforts on the forest lands where needed and the state lands are in patrol status.

Resources are continuing the demob process.

All CALFIRE resources have been released

Remaining resources continue to mop up in the riparian area.

Weather from Weldon, mostly cloudy with reports of light rain, temp

50.0 °F, RH 56%, Wind 17.4 mph from SW, Gust 17.4 mph
 Cove Fire Update #5 

All evacuations have been lifted and Highway 178 is now open to normal traffic.
The fire is holding at 1,356 acres and is 65% contained. Cove Fire Update #5
Cove Inc. CA-SQF1234 Community of Mountain Mesa
Incident remains in Unified Command (Sequoia NF, BLM and CALFIRE)
Fire started on Federal DPA and burned onto State DPA
Fire has burned approximately 1,316 ACRES and is 45% contained
Evacuation Center was closed late last night
Fire is still active in the N/E corner of the Incident adjacent to riparian area
There has not been any recorded fire history in the N/E corner of Incident (riparian area) since the early 1900’s
Due to safety concerns and hazards, crews will work within the riparian areas during day operations only
Gusty winds are expected to continue throughout the next operational period Values at risk are the riparian areas which is habitat to the Willow Fly Catcher and the communities of Weldon and South LakeCove Fire Update #4
Crews remained on the fire last night which did not appear to grow in size and remains at approximately 1350 acres with containment now at 40%. The main part of the fire is in the Riparian Wildlife area where heavy vegetation growth and marsh like ground cover is the predominant fuel type which is hazardous to firefighting and is being monitored carefully. Highway 178 is now fully open please drive carefully as firefighters continue to work near the roadway and large fire equipment is travelling in the area.

The expected weather today will be cooler with a reduced wind speed which will help with firefighting activities. Fire crews working at the west end and central part of the fire will continue to mop up inside the fire line and around homes.
“Over the winter a lot of work was done by all three Agencies to put together a Type III Incident Management Organization. This has proved very successful on our first fire of the season and will benefit the community by having the right people at the right time and will also save money by not having to bring in outside personnel in the early stages” Said David Brinsfield Fire Management Officer from the Bureau of Land Management.

Cove Fire Update #3
SOUTH LAKE –CA, Friday May 27th 2011 at approximately 12:34 the Kern County Fire Department received several calls for a grass fire north of Hwy 178 in the area of Joughin Ranch, west of Kissack Cove.
The Cove fire is currently at 1352 acres and at 25% containment. Fire crews will remain on the fire overnight fighting the active fire and mopping up the inactive edge.
The evacuation center previously set up at the Senior Center on Lake Isabella Blvd in Lake Isabella is now closed.
If anyone has any information regarding this fire please call the Forest Service Fire Information Number at (559) 294-4894
No injuries have been reported.
For further general assistance regarding fire information please call 211.

Cove Fire Update #2
SOUTH LAKE –CA, Friday May 27th 2011 at approximately 12:34 the Kern County Fire Department received several calls for a grass fire north of Hwy 178 in the area of Joughin Ranch, west of Kissack Cove.
As of 8:00 P.M. tonight evacuations have been lifted and Highway 178 will be re-opened to 1 lane for the foreseeable future from Poplar at the west end to Entrada at the east end. CHP will be escorting traffic the closure is due too safety concerns with firefighters who continue to work adjacent to the roadway. Please be careful when driving through the area as there will be a lot of firefighting vehicles on the roadway. All through traffic is advised to take Sierra Highway through Kernville to Hwy 155 and back to Hwy 178 at Lake Isabella.
The fire is currently being held at approximately 1356 acres and is in the Riparian Wildlife area.
For further fire/evacuation center information please call 211.
An evacuation center has been set up at the Senior Center on Lake Isabella Blvd in Lake Isabella.
No injuries have been reported.

Cove Fire Update #1
SOUTH LAKE –CA, Friday May 27th 2011 at approximately 12:34 the Kern County Fire Department received several calls for a grass fire north of Hwy 178 in the area of Joughin Ranch, west of Kissack Cove. Extreme weather behavior with high winds caused the fire to grow quickly. Approximately 200 firefighters from KCFD, USFS Sequioa and BLM arrived to fight the fire.
Upon arrival fire crews were faced with a grass fire being driven by strong winds eastwards. Due to the winds no helicopters were able to drop water on the fire. Fire crews from all departments began an aggressive attack of the fire as it began to move towards homes in the immediate area. Approximately 100 structures were threatened. The Incident Commander ordered the evacuation of approximately 400 homes. Due to excessive smoke in the area and with emergency vehicles using the roadway Highway 178 is closed from Poplar at the west end and Vista Grande at the east end.
For further fire/evacuation center information please call 211.
An evacuation center has been set up at the Senior Center on Lake Isabella Blvd in Lake Isabella.
No injuries have been reported.
Assisting Agencies include KCSO, KC Animal Control, Red Cross, Cal Trans and CHP.

Update: 1356 acres (838 FRA, 518 SRA)
• Fire has moved into the riparian area in the south fork of the Kern River. Heavy fuels require significant mop-up • Containment & control efforts are hampered by strong winds • 1 outbuilding destroyed • Voluntary evacuations remain in place for portions of the subdivisions of Mountain Mesa and South Lake • Hwy 178 from Sierra to Poplar is closed with traffic being diverted around Lake Isabella via Sierra Way

 Cove Fire Incident Overview

At 12:30 yesterday (Friday, May 27th) firefighters responded to a fire near Kissack Cove, east of the town of Lake Isabella. Upon initial attack firefighters from the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Kern County Fire Department found the wildfire burning in grasses and being driven by extremely high winds. The winds were so extreme the two initial attack helicopters had to be grounded for safety precautions. The fire quickly grew to 200+ acres and continued in an easterly direction north of Highway 178. Firefighters worked diligently to stop the forward movement of the fire in difficult windy conditions - stop the easterly moving head and keep the fire north of highway 178.

Two small fires spotted across Highway 178 to the south and were quickly extinguished by firefighters on the scene.

Evacuations were put in place for residents north and south of Highway 179 from Kissack Cove to Weldon. Approximately 400 homes were threatened and 2,000 to 4,000 residents were affected by the evacuations. Heavy smoke was due to the fire burning into cottonwoods and damp ground fuels.

Air tankers, engines, patrols, structure protection engines, water tenders,fire fighting handcrews, and fire overhead continue to fight this fire.

Kern County Sheriff Department officers evacuated Southfork Elementary School as a precaution. The students were safely transported to Southfork Middle School a few miles away.

Cal Trans and California Highway Patrol quickly set up three road blocks for firefighter and public safety. The three roadblocks were 1) Highway 178 and Poplar Street in Mt. Mesa, 2) Highway 178 and Vista Grande in Weldon and 3) Highway 178 and Entrada in Southlake.

As of 2000 this evening (May 27th) California Highway Patrol will be escorting vehicles through the road blocks.

The fire was last reported to be 1,356 acres. Cal-Fire arrived on scene shortly into the incident.

Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Friday May 27th, 2011 approx. 12:30 PM
Location East of Kissack Cove off Highway 178
Incident Commander Yearwood/heffner
Incident Contact: Cindy Thill Phone: 760 417 0608
Current Situation
Total Personnel 200
Size 1,356 acres

Fuels Involved Grasses and cottonwood
Fire Behavior Wind driven -grass fire - heavy smoke due to wet ground fuels

Significant Events
Helicopters were grounded on initial attack due to extremely high winds. Partial damage to one structure - roof over patio was burned - house was saved. No injuries at this time.

Outlook/Planned Actions

Three road closures were put into effect. 1)Highway 178 at Vista Grande in Weldon, 2) Highway 178 at Entrada in Southlake and 3) Highway 178 and Poplar Street in Mountain Mesa. At 2000 tonight (May 27th) CHP will be escorting traffic through.
Growth Potential Unknown
Terrain Difficulty Low to moderate
Remarks Southfork Elementary School was evacuated, as a precaution. The students were transported to Southfork Middle School.
Current Weather Wind Conditions 30 mph E, Temperature 70 degrees
Lake Isabella Webcam: Link
Inciweb Cove Fire209: Link

Thursday, May 26, 2011

CA-MVU- VICENTE - #Wildland Fire - 5 acres

San Diego County: Wildland Fire near San Vicente Reservoir

Update: 1220hrs 5 acres and holding. Fire is holding on the ridge for now. Still trying to make access to both flanks. .Tanker 75 released back to Ramona Tanker 70 on load and hold at Ramona. IA: AA-330 one end 2 acres in grass continue the response.
Access will from the Lakeside side of the reservoir.
Location: Lakeside, CA area.

Placer County: Roseville Galleria Fire Update

 Employee Who Shut Off Mall Sprinklers Identified - Claims Filed By Insurance Company Names Galleria Employee.
KCRA 3 Sacramento has confirmed the identity of the Roseville Galleria mall employee who shut off the fire-protection sprinklers during last year's fire.

KCRA 3 has obtained insurance claims filed against Placer County that identify the employee as a maintenance worker named John McCormick.
Placer County's Risk Management Deputy CEO Maryellen Peters said the McCormick was named in the city's After Action Report released about six months ago. However, his identity was not made public. 
The claims state that damages to the businesses inside the Galleria were made worse by the sprinkler shut down.
Peters said her department has advised the Placer County Board of Supervisors to reject all of the claims filed by insurance companies, totally about $23 million.
Peters said the county is not responsible for the fire or its persistence.
Source: http://www.kcra.com article Link

Kern County: Rash of small wildfires investigated

Under Investigation: Multiple Fires Torch Kern County

Multiple fires burnined in Kern County on Wednesday. At least one person was injured. All fires are under investigation by the Kern County Fire Department.

According to fire officials numerous blazes broke out on Wednesday, including the Rudolph Fire in Tehachapi along Cummings Valley Road at 7:21 a.m., burning one acre; the Lokern Fire 10 miles west of Lost Hills at 11:53 a.m., burning 37 acres; the Highline Fire in Tehachapi along Highline Road at 12 p.m. burning 3.5 acres; the Valley Fire in Lebec along Digier Road at 12:33 p.m. burning 3 acres; the Round Fire on Round Mtn Rd. at 12:59 p.m. burning 2 acres; the Willow Fire in Tehachapi along Tehachapi-Willow/Cameron at 2:12 p.m. burning 1 acre; the Quantico Fire on Quantico/Potomac at 4:08 p.m. burning 19 acres and an outbuilding and injuring one person and 3 dogs. Also the Reward Fire in McFarland at 4:52 p.m. burning 2 acres; and the Reynolds Fire along Weedpatch Highway/Reynolds at 4:32 p.m. burning 1 acre and an outbuilding

Incident Time: 12:00:00 AM

Incident Date: 05-25-2011

Incident Location: Kern County

Incident Type: Vegetation/Structure

Assisting Agencies: BFD, Cal Fire, CHP

Cause: Fire officials said the fires are not suspected to be related and the determination of cause is
under investigation.

We encourage anyone with any information to call 1-877-FIRE-TIP.
If you have any questions, please contact the KCFD Public Information Officer at (661) 330-0133.Source: http://www.kerncountyfire.org/incidents.php?id=513

CA-INF- Buttermilk - Inyo County Wildland Fire - 200 acres 100%

Buttermilk CA-INF-00421

Update: 5-26 0800 - Fire has burned 200 acres of brush / grass and is 100 % contained (FRA) remaining assigned resources will committed for a few dayss
Buttermilk Mountain area, North of Hwy 168 and Southwest of Bishop, CA Inyo Co.
Fire is in Single Command (INF) and is 100% FRA DPAUpdate: 5-26 0800 - Buttermilk Mountain area, North of Hwy 168 and Southwest of Bishop, CA Inyo Co.
Fire has burned 250 acres of brush and is 50 % contained (FRA)
No active fire overnight. Ground resources made good progress in line construction
Major concerns is completion of line construction mopping up hot spots prior to winds surfacing late this afternoon Current Temp 50°F Humidity: 22% Wind: Calm Gust 7 mph.
Update: 5-25 1800 - Fire has burned 100-150 acres of grass and was wind driven. ROS with fire spotting

Ground resources are making good progress in line construction.

Location: N/W of Hwy 168 near Bishop, Inyo County.
Incident began on private property (DWP) within Federal DPA (Inyo NF)

Fire is burning away from the Community of Starlight and no threat to structures.
Weather: 82 °F Partly cloudy RH 24% Wind 15.0 mph from WSW Gust 22.0 mph

Containment: No estimated containment as yet, Firefighters are cautiously optimistic in containment some time later this evening.

Evacuations: Preparing for some possible evacuations as there is a significant increase in population

due to Community event "Mule Days" www.bishopweather.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CA-CDD-Trona Incident - #Wildland Fire - 217 acres and is 100 % contained

 News and Notes: 05/221300 Trona CA- CDD-008184 Fire burned 217 acres and is 100 % contained.


Location:  Trona Rd, Golden Valley Wilderness San Bernardino CO.

Fuels: Tall grass(2.5 feet) mixture with brush.

Santa Barbara: Tea Fire Rebuilding Deadline Looms

 City of Santa Barbara: Tea Fire Reconstruction Deadline

The City of Santa Barbara announced a pending deadline for reconstructing nonconforming structures that were damaged in the Tea Fire which occurred November 13, 2008. 

The definition of a nonconforming building is the following: A building, structure, or portion thereof which does not conform to the regulations of the ordinance and which lawfully existed at the time the regulations with which it does not conform became effective. (SBMC 28.04.495)

Please be advised that the City has an ordinance that allows for the reconstruction of damaged nonconforming structures which have been damaged or partially destroyed by fire, flood, wind, earthquake or other calamity or act of God or the public enemy without a zoning modification as long as certain conditions are met.

These conditions are described in Santa Barbara Municipal Code section 28.87.038.B. A building permit for the reconstruction, restoration, or rebuilding of damaged non-conforming structures must be issued within three (3) years of the occurrence of the damage or destruction: November 13, 2011.

If you intend on rebuilding an existing nonconforming structure on your site, your project must have design review approval (if required) and a building permit must be submitted, approved and issued by November 13, 2011 in order to avoid the requirement for a zoning modification.

The deadline only applies to the reconstruction of damaged nonconforming structures. The deadline does not apply to any proposal to reconstruct an existing conforming structure on your property, propose a new conforming structure on your property, nor does it preclude you from proposing a project that requires zoning modifications.

If you have any questions about the content of this letter, please contact Renee Brooke, Zoning and Enforcement Supervisor at (805) 564-5564 for Zoning questions, Jaime Limon, Design Review Supervisor, (805) 564-5507 for Design Review questions, or Chris Hansen, Plan Check Supervisor, (805)564-5566 for Building and Safety questions.

Source: City of Santa Barbara Press release Link

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cal EMA News Blog

Cal EMA News Blog


Cal EMA and FEMA Sign Agreement Triggering Flow of Federal Disaster Assistance Funds

Posted: 24 May 2011 02:31 PM PDT

*The following news release was issued by Cal EMA and FEMA on Tuesday, May 24, 2011.*

Oakland, Calif. – The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have signed an agreement that now makes federal Public Assistance (PA) funds available to supplement recovery efforts in Del Norte and Santa Cruz counties including Yurok Tribal facilities located in Del Norte.  Both counties are recovering from extensive damages from the Tsunami wave action on March11, 2011.

The agreement, which is signed by FEMA's Regional Director and the Governor after every Major Disaster Declaration, outlines the Federal programs that are included in the declaration, the understandings between FEMA and the State and the commitments of the State, including the promise to follow all federal requirements.  It also identifies the Governor's Authorized Representative.

President Barack Obama signed a Major Disaster Declaration on April 18 that authorizes the use of FEMA's Public Assistance program to provide grant dollars to eligible state, local and tribal governments and certain private-nonprofits for repairs on a cost share basis.

“The signing of the Federal-State Agreement is an important step in the recovery process," said State Coordinating Officer and Acting Cal EMA Secretary Mike Dayton.  "The federal and state reimbursements now available will help eligible entities in the declared counties save millions of dollars."

Under FEMA's PA program supplemental funding is made available to local, state, tribal governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to help them recover from disasters.  Eligible applicants are reimbursed for extraordinary costs incurred during the response/recovery efforts and costs related to permanently restoring damaged infrastructure such as roads bridges, parks and other public facilities.

“In a spirit of collaboration, FEMA will remain with our partners at Cal EMA every step of the way as these communities recover," said Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman.

###


Monday, May 23, 2011

RRU: Fully involved residential structure fire(3 story cabin) with vegetation threat

Three-Story Cabin Fire in Pine Cove

The fire was reported at 8:57 a.m. near Highway 243 and Pine Cove Road, according to Cal Fire. Seven engine companies responded.

Updated 9:50 a.m. Firefighters were making "good progress on containment" of a residential structure fire reported at 8:57 a.m. near Highway 243 and Pine Cove Road, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County spokeswoman Jody Hagemann.
"Resources will be committed approximately three hours," Hagemann said in a statement. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was being investigated.

First posted 9:48 a.m. A three-story cabin in Pine Cove was reported on fire Monday morning and "well-involved" with power lines down in the area, a Cal Fire-Riverside County spokeswoman said.
The fire was reported at 8:57 a.m. near Highway 243 and Pine Cove Road, according to Cal Fire. Seven engine companies responded.

The first firefighters responding to the residential structure fire found the cabin well-involved, said Jody Hagemann of Cal Fire-Riverside County.

No injuries were reported as of 9:40 a.m. and Hagemann said she was waiting for updates.
Crews from Cal Fire, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District and Southern California Edison responded, Hagemann said.
Sourcse:  http://banning-beaumont.patch.com - Article Link
Riverside County Incident page: CARRU-46981

Incident Name: Pine Cove (CONTAINED) Incident Number: CARRU-46981
Date Reported: 05/23/2011 Time Reported: 8:57 AM
Incident Type: Residential Structure Fire
Incident Location: 24291 Hy 243 X Pinc Cove Rd (TB 814-A5) City: Pine Cove
Size/Type of Fuel/etc.: 3-Story Cabin Cause: Under Investigation
Loss: $0 (STR): $0 (Contents): $0 Vehicle(s): $0
Save: $0 (STR): $0 (Contents): $0 Cost to Date: $0
Injuries:
Fatalities: 0 Critical: 0 Moderate: 0 Minor: 0 Non-Injury: 0
Transported Ground AMB: 0 Air AMB: 0
Containment Time: Control Time:
Resources Assigned
Engines: 7 Breathing Supp.: 1 Helicopters: 0
Truck Co: 0 Squad: 0 Air Attack: 0
Firefighters: 24 RVC Medics: 0 Air Tankers: 0
Overhead Personnel: 2 AMB's: 0 Fire Crews: 0
Haz. Mat: No Co. Health: No County OES: No Fire Prev.: No Water Tenders: 0
Electrical Co: Yes Gas Co: No Water Co: No Bulldozers: 0
Red Cross: No Chaplain: No Displaced Persons: No Adult: 0 Child: 0
Misc. Equip: 05/23/2011 1021 Sheriff's Office: No CHP: Yes Office: Indio
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE/Riverside, California Highway Patrol – Indio, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, Riverside County Fire Dept, Southern California Edison, USFS – San Bernardino
Supplemental
Comments: Update 10:45a.m. : Fire was contained at 10:21 a.m. Update 9:50 a.n.: Firefighters making good progress on containment. Resources will be committed approximately three hours. No injuries. CAL FIRE/Riverside County Firefighters are on scene of a structure fire in the Pine Cove area. The first arriving engine company reported a three-story cabin well-involved. Powerlines are down. Updates will be posted as information becomes available. Follow CALFIRERRU on "Twitter"
Problems:
Evacuations: No Evacuation Comments:
Information Center: 951-940-6985 OR:
Prepared By: Jody Hagemann Prepared Date/Time: 05/23/2011 1044

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Center for Disease Control: Guidance in the event of a Zombie outbreak

 Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

The following was originally posted on CDC Public Health Matters Blog May 16th, 2011 by Ali S. Khan.
Image of zombie
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident EvilExternal Web Site Icon.), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.
Photo: A couple dressed as zombies - Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsson from the movie Grease walking in the annual Toronto Zombie Walk.
A couple dressed as zombies - Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsson from the movie Grease walking in the annual Toronto Zombie Walk.
In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schoolman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. The Zombie Survival Guide identifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum. Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASA Venus probe (as in Night of the Living Dead), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles and rabies. The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”
Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!
Better Safe than Sorry
Photo: Some of the supplies for your emergency kit.
Some of the supplies for your emergency kit.
So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.
  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)
Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.
    Photo: Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away.
    Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away.
  1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information. Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away
  2. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
  3. Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
  4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.
Never Fear – CDC is Ready
Photo: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared
Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work). To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit:
http://emergency.cdc.gov/cdc/orgs_progs.asp
To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit:
http://emergency.cdc.gov/
To download a badge like the one above that you can add to your social networking profile, blog, website, or email signature visit:
http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies.asp

City's Proposed Budget Cuts Could Eliminate Fire Station's Only Engine

Cities across the Golden State are pinching pennies in an effort to balance the budget. Indio needs to cut $6 million from its budget.

City Manager Dan Martinez asked each department head to propose 12% cuts to their department. Indio Police Chief Brad Ramos said he didn't want to, but would have to get rid of 6 officers.At Wednesday afternoon's budget meeting, Fire Chief Mike Marlow said he'd have to do away with the lone fire engine at the city's north fire station.

Michael Cohen, a retired fire fighter and member of the City's Citizen Finance Advisory Commission responded by saying, "Optimal response time is 3-4 minutes, if they get rid of the fire truck it'll be 11-13 1/2 minutes or longer.

On top of the response times, Cohen and thousands of others who live in north Indio gated and planned communities pay an extra $400 a year on top of their indio property tax. The tax is called a Mello Roos tax. "If a paramedic is needed, and the stations paramedic is gone, it will be an eleven to thirteen and a half minute response time. After 6 minutes you're brain dead," said Cohen.

The mello-roos tax money is supposed to provide fire, medical and police services for new communities. Under the proposal, they'd have to keep paying the tax but wouldn't get the services.

Cohen sent a strong message to the council, "If you own a home in the area, get your valuables and get out. Because it's going to burn to the ground."

Council member Michael Wilson lives in north Indio and is against the cuts to police and fire. "For a big part of the north Indio community, it is an age restricted community. They look at that fire station and truck as their only life line of services."}The budget proposals aren't final and will likely change. Other cuts will happen in Public Works, Administration, Human Services among others.

The next meeting about the budget will be June 1st. City council members must pass a balanced budget by July 1.

Source: KESQ.com - Article Link

NTSB GO TEAM INVESTIGATING POINT MUGU NAS AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT

Picture of Omega Air N707A burning at Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Port Hueneme, CA
Credit: Screenshot from http://abclocal.go.com
NTSB ADVISORY:

National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, DC 20594
May 19, 2011


NTSB INVESTIGATING AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT AT POINT MUGU NAVAL AIR STATION

WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched a go-team to yesterday's accident involving a Boeing 707-321B (N707AR) that experienced an engine fire during takeoff at Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Port Hueneme, CA.

The aircraft is registered and operated by Omega Air Inc., an air refueling contractor that uses
specially-equipped and converted civilian airplanes to serve as air refueling platforms for the military.

NTSB Aviation Investigator Howard Plagens has been designated as Investigator-in-Charge and is leading the
Safety Board's four-member team. Representatives from the FAA, Boeing, Pratt and Whitney and the US Navy Air Safety Center are participating in the investigation.

The three crewmembers on board the accident aircraft were not injured. Plane was carrying about 150,000 pounds of fuel.
Omega Air Boeing 707-321B (N707AR)
experienced an engine fire during takeoff at Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Port Hueneme, CA.

NTSB Media Contact: Terry N. Williams (williat@ntsb.gov) (202) 314-6100
More Pictures: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/gallery?section=news/local/ventura_county&id=8139200&photo=1

YNP: Yosemite National Park Pile Burning Update

Pile burning postponed, due to very damp fuels, in Foresta. Fifty piles were completed in the Foresta area Monday, May 17, 2011.

Wawona Area Pile Burning



Pile burning began in the Bill’s Hill area of Wawona May 17, 2011. Firefighters were able to burn approximately 50 piles in rain, with good consumption, and little smoke impacts to the community.

Burning will be conducted on permissive burn days with favorable weather to disperse and minimize smoke. Although, people with smoke sensitive respiratory conditions are advised to take precautions to minimize smoke impacts and use caution when exerting themselves in smoky areas.

Pile burning is an effective method of removing accumulated burnable vegetation from the forest floor. When combined with other treatments, mechanical thinning or prescribed fire, piles are a relatively fast and an inexpensive method to restore fire dependent forest systems and to eliminate hazardous fuels near communities. Pile burning helps create “firebreaks” that fire managers can utilize for future prescribed fire projects or to defend against unwanted wild fire. The cool temperatures and continuing winter like conditions, predicted for this week, will make the Wawona area project easier to manage with minimal staffing and which further reduces costs.

For additional information:
Gary Wuchner
Fire Education and Information Manager
Yosemite National Park
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
(209) 372-0480
(209) 742-8990 (cell)
gary_wuchner@nps.gov

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ventura County: Pt. Magu NAS Refueling Aircraft Down on Takeoff

 Three crew members escaped burning Boeing 707 military contract fuel-tanker that crashed about 5:30 p.m.on takeoff at Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station in Ventura County.
This aircraft is a Boeing 707-300
a contract civilian airframe tanker flown by Omega Aircraft Refueling

Live television news pictures showed a large fire still burning at 6:10 p.m.

Three crew members on board were able to escape after the crash and survived.

The Ventura County Fire Department has sent more than a dozen units to the scene.

The cause of the crash isn't known.

The U.S. military operates a number of the aircraft for use as air-to-air refuelers. The military refers to the aircraft as KC-135s. This aircraft is a Boeing 707-300 a contract civilian airframe tanker flown by Omega Aircraft Refueling

Omega website: http://www.omegaairrefueling.com/vms/

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cal EMA News Blog

Cal EMA News Blog


Disaster Management Workshop and Emergency Vehicle Road Rally

Posted: 17 May 2011 10:58 AM PDT

Carnegie Mellon University's Silicon Valley Campus To Host
Disaster Management Workshop and Emergency Vehicle Road Rally  
Outstanding Research Supports New Technology To Improve Mobile Disaster Communication 

CALIFORNIA—Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley in conjunction with the California Fire Chiefs Association, Communications Section and the California Emergency Management Agency will host the second annual disaster management workshop and vehicle road rally to showcase new technologies for improving mobile emergency communication May 22-23  in Mountain View, Calif.  The event is co-sponsored by the NASA Ames Research Center and will be held at the NASA Ames Research Park, where CMU's Silicon Valley campus is located.

"The workshop is designed to explore and unveil new technologies and processes for improving disaster communication worldwide,'' said Martin Griss, director of Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley.  "Recent events, such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks, hurricanes and power outages have shown us that abrupt interruptions  to our businesses and daily lives are not far away.''

“The California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) is excited to sponsor and support this year’s combined CMU Disaster Management Initiative Workshop and California Mobile Command Center Rally.  CalEMA has always been at the forefront of disaster management and response, and our collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University truly integrates a full range of resources to serve the greater good," said CalEMA Acting Secretary Michael Dayton.

Steve Jordan, CEO of the National Disaster Resiliency Center, emphasizes communications as being the most critical component in disaster response and recovery efforts. States Jordan,"The NDRC looks forward to partnering with CMU SV and the DMI in developing solutions to this important issue."

More than one million people were displaced worldwide last year  as a result of natural disasters and ill-equipped disaster management plans, according to recent global disaster management reports.

Carnegie Mellon researchers will join a cache of firefighters, rescue workers, police, military experts and other emergency service operators to showcase and study the best practices for building resilient mobile disaster communication plans and systems. Because 85 percent of the world now communicates with cellphones or from other mobile devices and platforms, disaster managers are increasingly using social media to convey  important  emergency messages.

An array of sophisticated self-powered satellite systems will be on display to show the importance of communication capabilities in remote areas where traditional communication infrastructure is unavailable. Specially-designed rescue and emergency vehicles also will be on display during the two-day event.  Steve Ray, Distinguished Research Fellow at CMU, will be running a Plugfest designed to measure the degree of interoperability among the emergency communications vehicles and with emergency operations centers.  Results of the information exchange attempts will be recorded to provide a baseline set of measurements, answering the question of "What can be done right now and where do we go next?"

Jeannie Stamberger, associate director of the Disaster Management Initiative (DMI) at CMU's Silicon Valley campus, will discuss her work with various field agencies and first responders that spans several continents.

From data-mining to mapping and translation, Stamberger's team met the urgent needs of the Japan earthquake and tsunamis victims earlier this year.  The DMI team's work during the 9.0 Japan quake helped bridge the gap between unstructured social media and structured data.

"We're also going to explore the importance of amateur radio emergency communicators during our workshop,''said Griss, who directs both CMU's CyLab Mobility Research Center and the Disaster Management Initiative to study the business, organizational and technical issues related to mobility in managing systems found in cell phones, home appliances, building infrastructures and disaster scenarios.

Because handheld devices are so ubiquitous, the demand for the growth and adoption of new technologies to manage data and streamline disaster emergency communications will be an ongoing  goal of this 2011 workshop and rally, according to Griss.

For additional information about the DMI workshop and road rally, please see www.cmu.edu/silicon-valley/dmi/workshop2011/program-details.html

Contact:
Chriss Swaney
, 412-268-5776, Swaney@andrew.cmu.edu
Sylvia Leong , 650-335-2808, Sylvia.leong@sv.cmu.edu


2011 Golden Guardian Statewide Exercise Media Events

Posted: 13 May 2011 10:00 AM PDT

TUESDAY, May 17, 2011

WHAT:  2011 Golden Guardian Kickoff Press Conference with the Capitol Region American Red Cross (ARC) and launch of Ready When the Time Comescorporate readiness campaign.

WHO:

  • Cal EMA Acting Secretary, Mike Dayton
  • Congressman, Dan Lungren
  • American Red Cross, Capitol Region Chapter CEO, Dawn Lindblom
  • Ready When the Times Comes Corporate Sponsor
  • Grainger
  • PG&E

WHEN:       11:00 A.M., Tuesday, May  17, 2011

WHERE:      Cal EMA State Operations Center (SOC), front steps, 3650 Schriever Ave, Mather, CA  95655

WHY: On Tuesday May 17th, Cal EMA Acting Secretary Mike Dayton will participate in a press conference to kickoff the three day Golden Guardian Exercise, the largest statewide disaster drill. The theme of the 2011 exercise will be catastrophic flooding in the Inland Region of California.  Joining him with the overall message of disaster preparedness will be Congressman Dan Lungren and ARC Capital Region CEO Dawn Lindblom, who will be launching the corporate readiness campaign, Ready When the Time Comes.

WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2011

Media Event (Twitchell Island, Isleton, CA)

WHAT:  2011 Golden Guardian Media & Executive Briefing at Twitchell Island

WHO:

  • Cal EMA Acting Secretary, Mike Dayton
  • Department of Water Resources (DWR), Michael Miller
  • DWR Incident Command Teams

WHEN:  11:30 A.M., Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WHERE:  DWR Flood Fight Warehouse at Twitchell Island, Isleton, CA

Please Note:  The site does not have a physical address.  However, the Owl Harbor Marina is next to the briefing site.  The address for the Owl Harbor Marina is:  1550 Twitchell Island Road, Isleton, CA 95641

On Wednesday, May 18th, Cal EMA Acting Secretary will participate in an executive/media briefing with Department of Water Resources staff.  Flood fighting resources and activities will be discussed.  In addition, media will be able to observe DWR Incident Command teams as they simulate flood activity and response at Twitchell Island.



CALEMA: ,2011 Golden Guardian Statewide Exercise Media Events

2011 Golden Guardian Statewide Exercise Media Events

TUESDAY, May 17, 2011
WHAT:  2011 Golden Guardian Kickoff Press Conference with the Capitol Region American Red Cross (ARC) and launch of Ready When the Time Comescorporate readiness campaign.
WHO:
  • Cal EMA Acting Secretary, Mike Dayton
  • Congressman, Dan Lungren
  • American Red Cross, Capitol Region Chapter CEO, Dawn Lindblom
  • Ready When the Times Comes Corporate Sponsor
  • Grainger
  • PG&E
WHEN:       11:00 A.M., Tuesday, May  17, 2011
WHERE:      Cal EMA State Operations Center (SOC), front steps, 3650 Schriever Ave, Mather, CA  95655
WHY: On Tuesday May 17th, Cal EMA Acting Secretary Mike Dayton will participate in a press conference to kickoff the three day Golden Guardian Exercise, the largest statewide disaster drill. The theme of the 2011 exercise will be catastrophic flooding in the Inland Region of California.  Joining him with the overall message of disaster preparedness will be Congressman Dan Lungren and ARC Capital Region CEO Dawn Lindblom, who will be launching the corporate readiness campaign, Ready When the Time Comes.

WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2011

Media Event (Twitchell Island, Isleton, CA)
WHAT:  2011 Golden Guardian Media & Executive Briefing at Twitchell Island
WHO:
  • Cal EMA Acting Secretary, Mike Dayton
  • Department of Water Resources (DWR), Michael Miller
  • DWR Incident Command Teams
WHEN:  11:30 A.M., Wednesday, May 18, 2011
WHERE:  DWR Flood Fight Warehouse at Twitchell Island, Isleton, CA
Please Note:  The site does not have a physical address.  However, the Owl Harbor Marina is next to the briefing site.  The address for the Owl Harbor Marina is:  1550 Twitchell Island Road, Isleton, CA 95641
On Wednesday, May 18th, Cal EMA Acting Secretary will participate in an executive/media briefing with Department of Water Resources staff.  Flood fighting resources and activities will be discussed.  In addition, media will be able to observe DWR Incident Command teams as they simulate flood activity and response at Twitchell Island.

2nd annual Disaster Management Workshop / Mobile Command Center Rally

Carnegie Mellon's Silicon Valley Campus To Host
Disaster Management Workshop and Emergency Vehicle Rally 

New Technologies and Processes To Improve Communications During Disasters Will Be Explored


PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Silicon Valley campus, in conjunction with the California Fire Chiefs Association and the California Emergency Management Association, will host the second annual Disaster Management Initiative Workshop and Mobile Command Center Rally to showcase new technologies for improving mobile emergency communications May 22-23 in Mountain View, Calif.  The event is co-sponsored by the NASA Ames Research Center and will be held at the NASA Research Park, the site of CMU's Silicon Valley campus.

"The workshop is designed to explore and unveil new technologies and processes for improving disaster communication worldwide," said Martin Griss, director of Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley. "Recent events, such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks, hurricanes and power outages have shown us that abrupt interruptions to our businesses and daily lives are not far away."

Carnegie Mellon researchers will join a cadre of firefighters, rescue workers, police, military experts and other emergency service operators to showcase and study the best practices for building resilient mobile disaster communications plans and systems. Because 85 percent of the world now communicates with cellphones or from other mobile devices and platforms, disaster managers are increasingly using social media to convey important emergency messages.

More than one million people were displaced worldwide last year as a result of natural disasters and ill-equipped disaster management plans, according to recent global disaster management reports.

An array of sophisticated self-powered satellite systems will be on display to show the importance of communications capabilities in remote areas where traditional communications infrastructure is unavailable. Specially designed rescue and emergency vehicles also will be on display during the two-day event.

Steve Ray, a distinguished fellow at CMU, will be running a "Plugfest" designed to measure the degree of interoperability among the emergency communications vehicles and with emergency operation centers. Results of the information exchange work will be recorded to provide a baseline set of measurements, answering the question: "What can be done right now, and where do we go next?"

Jeannie Stamberger, associate director of the DMI at CMU's Silicon Valley campus, will discuss her work with various field agencies and first responders that spans several continents.

From data mining to mapping and translation, Stamberger's team met the urgent needs of the Japan earthquake and tsunami victims earlier this year. The DMI team's work during the 9.0 Japan quake helped bridge the gap between unstructured social media and structured data.

"We're also going to explore the importance of amateur radio emergency communicators during our workshop to study the business, organizational and technical issues related to mobility in managing systems found in cellphones, home appliances, building infrastructures and disaster scenarios," said Griss, co-director of CMU's CyLab Mobility Research Center and the DMI.

Griss said because handheld devices are so ubiquitous, the demand for the growth and adoption of new technologies to manage data and streamline disaster emergency communications will be an ongoing goal of the 2011 workshop and rally.

"The California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) is excited to sponsor and support this year's combined CMU Disaster Management Initiative Workshop and California Mobile Command Center Rally. CalEMA has always been at the forefront of disaster management and response, and our collaboration with Carnegie Mellon truly integrates a full range of resources to serve the greater good," said CalEMA Acting Secretary Michael Dayton.

"Following on last year's very successful first disaster management workshop, I am very pleased to see the expansion of the number of emergency service organizations participating this year," said Robert Dolci, chief of the Protective Services Office at Ames. "Collaborative participation is the key to enhancing emergency management and disaster preparedness."

Steve Jordan, CEO of the National Disaster Resiliency Center (NDRC), says communications is the most critical component in disaster response and recovery efforts. "The NDRC looks forward to partnering with Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley and the Disaster Management Initiative (DMI) in developing solutions to this important issue," Jordan said.

For additional information about the DMI workshop and rally, see www.cmu.edu/silicon-valley/dmi/workshop2011/program-details.html

Contacts: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 / swaney@andrew.cmu.edu
Sylvia Leong / 650-335-2808 / Sylvia.leong@sv.cmu.edu

Friday, May 13, 2011

YNP News: Yosemite National Park Begins Debris Pile Burning

Yosemite News Release: Yosemite National Park Begins Pile Burning
First burn project of 2011 

Yosemite National Park will start debris pile burning Monday, May 16, 2011.
Pile burning locations will initially include Foresta, a small community
surrounded by the park. Future pile burning will occur in the Merced
Grove, as well as multiple areas along the Wawona Road such as, Bills Hill,
Camp Wawona, and the South Entrance.

Piles of debris are typically burned during the spring and fall when the
weather conditions are cooler and there is a higher amount of
precipitation. Burn piles generally consist of down and dead forest
material, such as tree limbs, logs, and brush. A maximum of 200 piles may
be burned in one day. Each 100 piles burned equals roughly 1 acre of dead
and down debris.

Pile burning is beneficial for clearing forest undergrowth and reducing
fuels. It provides an opportunity to clear the roadways from overhanging
vegetation thereby creating a safer environment for motorists, as well as
allowing the sun to reach the road which in turn helps the winter ice melt
faster. In addition, pile burning can create fuel breaks that may be
utilized during future prescribed fires in the area.

Temperatures over the next few weeks will remain cool, with sporadic rain
predicted. Visitors and the surrounding communities should expect minimal
smoke due to the pile burning in the Yosemite area.



Frequently Asked Questions:
"Why do you wait until so late into the spring and why not chip the
material?"

We waited this long for the standing piles to dry out enough to burn and
consume the entire pile. It was an exceptionally wet year and those
piles, even with direct sun exposure, needed an extended drying period.


Why we do not chip and haul or leave in place?.
The key reason the piles are in close proximity to cabins and homes and we
want to eliminate the material rather than chip and leave in-place. Too
many chips on the ground also resists water from permeating through the
chipped vegetation to the ground. Additionally, it is very expensive to
haul it away.

For more information on fire in Yosemite National Park, please visit:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm
More Information:
Yosemite National Park
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
Media Contacts:
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529

MVU: #Navy #Wildland Training @ Camp Pendleton 3 day AirOp's evolution

Navy, Marine Helicopters Were Not Able To Assist Cal Fire In 2007 Wildfires
New San Diego County Agreement Allows Military To Help CAL FIRE In Major Fires

SAN DIEGO -- Navy and Marine helicopters will now be able to help in the event San Diego County is hit with another major wildfire."We just didn't know who to talk to. We hadn't worked with civilian agencies before, but that's what this training is all about," said Capt. J.C. Tiller, a Marine Corps pilot.
Training being held at Camp Pendleton is a three-day evolution to train military pilots in guidelines and protocols with Cal Fire.

"This allows us to plan out ahead of time, and so that in a crisis, we are able to respond," said Capt. Prakash Thomas, the Navy coordinator for the exercise.Using the massive CH-53, the CH-46 and the SH-60 military helicopters, Cal Fire can add to its aerial firefighting assets if disaster thresholds are met without having to wait for clearance."What used to take 24 to 48 hours, now only takes a matter of hours before we call these valuable assets in to help," said Cal Fire Chief Howard Windsor.

The San Diego agreement to allow the military to engage with civilian emergency personnel is believed to be the first of its kind in the country. "The best part about having this agreement in place is that it can be used for an earthquake, tsunami and natural disaster if the situation warrants," Windsor said.

Source: News10 article Link

Thursday, May 12, 2011

CA-BEU-METZ Incident: #Wildland Fire 832 acres - 100% contained

Soledad Grass Fire
Credit: thecalifornian.com

Update: 5-13 Noon - 832 acres - 80% contained. Conditions: Crews continue to put out hot spots and build containment line around the fire. Some burning within the perimeter continues.
Update: 5-13 1000hrs - Some resources being released. Size estimated to be 1100ac.
Update: 700+ acres 80% contained. City of Soledad was never in danger because the fire, which broke out south and east of the city, was consistently pushed further south by the high winds, Soledad police Sergeant Thomas Marchese said.
Update: 2000hrs - 500+ acres 0% containment, near Soledad
Update: 1900hrs - Wind driven fire estimated 250 acres per Copter 106 with potential of a 1000, 1/2 mile south of 146 fire running up Stonewall Canyon possible evacuations soon..., no additional aircraft available...also 2 dozer strike teams on order

IA: 5-12-11 1818hrs - Wind driven grass fire with structure threat east of Soledad.
Incident Command: CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit.
Location: Monterey County, Highway 146 east of Metz road near Soledad, fire burning toward the southeast, no evacuations ordered.
BEU METZ INCIDENT MAP


Fuels: Grass, Brush
Structure Threat: One barn was the only structure destroyed, but some were threatened,
Injuries: None.
Evacuations: Some voluntary evacuations took place.
Cause: 2 12,000v transmission lines touching, sparks landing on dry grass.
Cal Fire Incident Link: Metz
Fire Resources: 17 agencies and support crews
Total Fire Personnel: 202 (194 CAL FIRE)
Engines: 15 CAL FIRE
Fire crews: 8 CAL FIRE
Helicopters: 2 CAL FIRE
Dozers: 4 CAL FIRE
Water tenders: 4 local government

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