Twitter Buttons

Monday, June 5, 2017


Monday, June 5, 2017
Firefighter Kelly Wong
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is saddened to announce the on duty passing of Firefighter Kelly Wong.
Firefighter Wong, 29, fell from an LAFD aerial ladder while participating in a training exercise Downtown on the morning of Saturday, June 3. Fellow firefighters and paramedics rendered immediate medical attention and transported him in critical condition to a local trauma center. 
Despite the heroic efforts of doctors and nurses at the hospital, Firefighter Wong succumbed to his injuries early Monday morning.
He was a two year veteran of the LAFD and was assigned to Fire Station 92 in Rancho Park at the time of his passing. He was scheduled to transfer to Fire Station 9 serving Downtown and Skid Row on June 12 and was working at that station at the time of the accident.
Firefighter Wong graduated from the LAFD Recruit Academy on Terminal Island in August 2015, earning accolades as the top academic performer in his class. 
“I join the men and women of the LAFD in mourning Firefighter Wong's sudden passing,” said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas. “It is always a tragedy to lose one of our own, especially an accomplished individual who was still at the beginning of what was certainly going to be a promising career."
A brief procession from LA County USC Hospital to the Coroner’s office is scheduled to being at 10:00 AM.
Firefighter Wong is survived by his wife Danielle, his infant son Colton, his mother Ann, his mother-in-law and father-in-law Barbara and Michael Quinlan and his sisters-in-law Nicole and Stephanie.
The LAFD, in conjunction with state safety agencies, are conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this tragedy. Additional information regarding memorial services for Firefighter Wong will be released in the coming days.

The LAFD will not be holding a press conference. Fire Chief Terrazas will make himself available to media who attend the short procession.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

CA-CZU Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Prescribed Fire

Henry Cowell State Park – Fuel Reduction Prescribed Fire 

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit

FELTON –  The California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and CAL FIRE are planning to ignite a 9 acre prescribed burn near the observation platform at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Wednesday, May 31st.

 The project is being conducted in accordance with a Smoke Management Permit issued by the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District to minimize the smoke impacts on surrounding communities. 

 This burn is being conducted to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire and to maintain rare Ponderosa Pine Sandhills Parkland habitat, which relies on fire to maintain a healthy ecosystem. It is the continuation of a prescribed burn conducted in the same area last year.

 The Henry Cowell Observation Platform Prescribed Burn also affords important training opportunities to wildland firefighters for the approaching fire season. Drivers on Graham Hill Road and nearby residents should expect to see smoke on the 31st and it should be no cause for alarm.

 The Henry Cowell area has been the scene of numerous human caused fires over the past 5 years. The expansion of this project, in addition to environmental enhancement, provides additional fire protection for nearby residential areas.

 As the state enters the dry season when wildfires are regularly encountered, CAL FIRE recommends the public take extra care when working with fire and to be alert and report any fires that they observe escaping control. So far, this month, the San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit has responded to seven wildland fires in the unit. 

For more information about how you can protect your home and property from wildfire, visit

CONTACT: Sarah Collamer
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2017

Monday, May 8, 2017

Suspected arsonist arrested in series of Highway 18 fires

One of three spot fires just below the Crestline Bride set by an alleged arsonist on Monday evening, May 1. (Photo courtesy of San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department)

Sunday, May 07, 2017
By Douglas W. Motley

A 27-year-old Cedar Glen man was taken into custody late Monday in connection with three arson fires that broke out around 8:07 p.m. Monday, May 1. The three spot fires, reportedly ignited by a flare gun, burned approximately seven acres of dense brush alongside Highway 18 just below the Crestline Bridge.
According to a news release from the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station, multiple witnesses reported a male subject, later identified as Benjamin Andrew Baptiste, attempting to start a fire just below the Highway 138 cut off below Crestline. Numerous 911 calls from motorists were received reporting Baptiste was armed with a firearm and carrying an axe. Baptiste also was reported to be throwing rocks at a passing vehicle.
Baptiste reportedly ran down the highway, fled over the side and headed down toward Lower Bonnie Canyon, below the highway, where he lit an additional fire in dense brush below the highway. Highway 18 was closed to all traffic from the Cliffhanger to Sierra Way for several hours while law enforcement officers scoured the area for the suspected arsonist’s whereabouts.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Sheriff’s Department, CHP, San Bernardino Police Department, Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service, along with K9s from the Sheriff’s Department and Montclair Police Department, participated in the search. A perimeter was established as Sheriff’s and CHP helicopters used FLIR thermal imaging systems to search for the suspect in the dense brush.
Baptiste was subsequently located on the side of the highway near Mormon Road around 10:22 p.m. and taken into custody without incident. He was treated by paramedics for multiple lacerations from the brush and burns to his hands and arms and then transported to the Sheriff’s West Valley Detention Center, where he was booked on multiple counts of arson.
According to scanner reports, progress on containing the blazes was slow due to difficulty in accessing the rugged terrain where the fires were burning. At least a dozen fire engines from Cal Fire, U.S. Forest Service and County Fire, assisted by a hand crew from Glen Helen, worked throughout the night and early morning hours to gain control of flare-ups that kept occurring in perimeter areas.
The Sheriff’s Department is requesting that anyone who may have witnessed the suspect or who have any other information regarding the investigation to contact Deputy Brian Butts at the Twin Peaks Sheriff ‘s Station at (909) 336-0600.

Friday, April 21, 2017

CA-CZU Ice Cream Grade – Empire Grade Fuel Reduction

CAL FIRE NEWS RELEASE California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit

Ice Cream Grade – Empire Grade Fuel Reduction

FELTON – The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit, in cooperation with the City of Santa Cruz Water Department and several private property owners is nearing completion of the first phase of hazardous fuel reduction along Ice Cream Grade and Empire Grade Roads in the Bonny Doon area of northern Santa Cruz County.

accumulations of brush and small diameter trees weakened after 5 years of extreme drought, were removed to lessen fire intensity and rate of spread in the event of a wildfire. This work was conducted on a mix of City Watershed lands and privately owned parcels and will improve emergency ingress/egress, help to protect homes in the area and improve our ability to defend the Laguna Creek watershed from a high intensity wildfire.

The Laguna Creek watershed is an 
important source of water for the City of Santa Cruz.
The project is being implemented under CAL FIRE’s Vegetation Management Program and was funded, in part, by the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fee. Additional work is planned to occur along each of the roadways as funding and crew availability allows.

The project is located near the 2008 Martin Fire which serves as a reminder of the damaging wildfires our area is prone to each fire season. CAL FIRE urges residents to take precautions now to make their homes more defendable by removing excessive underbrush and thinning trees before the onset of fire season.

The work completed along Ice Cream Grade and Empire Grade Roads is similar to what residents should strive for on their own property, especially near homes and along access routes such as driveways. 

For more information about how you can protect your home and property from wildfire,
visit and download the new Ready For Wildfire App.

More Information Contact: Andrew Hubbs 831-335-6794
RELEASE DATE: April 21, 2017 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cal Fire is on the scene of a grass fire burning 1,500 to 2,000 acres at Highway 33 and Lost Hills Road in Coalinga that is threatening about 40 structures, Fresno County fire spokesman Jeremiah Wittwer said.

The first report came in around 3:42 p.m. stating 4 to 5 acres were on fire, said Capt. Tim Gehret. The Jayne fire has since grown due to 15 to 20 mph winds, he said.

Several fire teams have been called to the area, including three air tankers.

Read more here:

Friday, April 7, 2017

CAL FIRE NEWS RELEASE: San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit Soquel Demonstration State Forest Remains Closed

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
San Mateo-Santa Cruz UnitSoquel Demonstration State Forest Remains Closed
Soquel – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) was officially closed to all public use, including hiking and cycling on January 11, 2017 to protect the public safety.  With the latest storm, the rainfall for the season measured at SDSF is 88.5 inches, the highest in recorded history. 
SDSF infrastructure has suffered major damage due to multiple landslides and road failures.  This damage makes effective emergency response impossible. When SDSF is open for public use, the emergency response for major rescues averages about one per month with an additional one or two responses for less major rescues. With the current lack of access, it would be impossible to perform any rescue at SDSF and therefore must remain closed until access is restored.  Entering SDSF during the closure is a misdemeanor under the authority of Title 14, Section 1439, California Code of Regulations.  Law enforcement officers will continue to patrol the forest and will issue citations to violators.
SDSF staff is putting in place the required permits, contracts and funding to begin work as soon as the there is a dry period which could be as soon as next week.  The repairs are expected to take 4 to 5 weeks.  The forest will be reopened after repairs are completed.  A notice announcing the reopening will be sent out as well as posted on the CAL FIRE Soquel Demonstration State Forest Facebook page, web page and CZU Twitter account.
During the week of Sea Otter Classic in neighboring Monterey County, SDSF has always seen a large influx of users coming to visit with people from all over the world who are in the area.  Please help us spread the word at the Sea Otter, bike shops, social media and word of mouth that SDSF is still closed and will likely be reopened in late-May or early-June. For information updates follow us on:

·         CAL FIRE Soquel Demonstration State Forest Facebook page @CALFIRESoquel
·         CAL FIRE CZU on Twitter @CALFIRECZU

CONTACT: Angela Bernheisel (831) 475-8643 
RELEASE DATE: April 7, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017


INCREDIBLE VIDEO: part of SB I-15 is washed away; fire engine tumbles off the side; fortunately no one hurt

SB I-15 is washed away; fire engine tumbles off the side
San Bernardino County Fire engine, Devore station, ME2, only very minor injuries. Photo credit: Caltrans
Repairs will get underway Saturday night on I-15 in the Cajon Pass after a 200-foot portion of the southbound freeway collapsed Friday. During the repair process, southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane from SR-138 to Cleghorn Rd.

Credit to David Busse for getting the shot

UPDATE 0930 hrswitter citizen reporting a dam access road has collapsed.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Oroville Dam Update: Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an emergency order tonight

Governor Brown Issues Emergency Order to Help Response to Situation at Oroville Dam

Governor Brown Issues Emergency Order Situation at Oroville Dam

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an emergency order tonight to bolster the state’s response to the situation at the Oroville Dam’s auxiliary spillway and support subsequent local evacuations.

“I’ve been in close contact with emergency personnel managing the situation in Oroville throughout the weekend and it’s clear the circumstances are complex and rapidly changing,” I want to thank local and state law enforcement for leading evacuation efforts and doing their part to keep residents safe. The state is directing all necessary personnel and resources to deal with this very serious situation.” - 
said Governor Brown.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California to its highest level and is coordinating with personnel at the Incident Command Post in Oroville, California and with other local, state and federal emergency response officials to address all emergency management, evacuation and mutual aid needs.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services will host a media availability from the State Operations Center at approximately 11:00 p.m. tonight with officials from the California Highway Patrol, California National Guard, California Department of Water Resources and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). Follow live at:

UPDATED EMERGENCY ALERT #OROVILLESPILLWAY at #OROVILLEDAM, Imminent danger of collapse / Evacuations are in progress.

EMERGENCY ALERT #OROVILLESPILLWAY at the #OROVILLEDAM, Butte County, CA is in imminent danger of collapse and evacuations are in progress.

Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered. This is NOT A Drill. This is NOT A Drill. This in NOT A Drill,” - Butte County Sheriff

Tens of thousands of people have been fleeing California towns downstream from the Oroville Dam after fears of an imminent collapse of its spillway prompted an evacuation order. Authorities are seeking to stem the breach with the help of helicopters.

Earlier today, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services activated the State Operations Center in Sacramento in support of the Oroville Dam auxiliary spillway incident. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the incident command team managing Lake Oroville, counties and cities near Lake Oroville and the surrounding area issued evacuation orders for residents late Sunday afternoon.

Oroville Dam Evacuation Order


02/14/17 13:00: EVACUATIONS DOWNGRADED FROM MANDATORY TO ADVISORY Water is flowing at 100,000 cfps and will continue for foreseeable future or until pressure is sufficiently reduced on the auxillary spillway.

02/13/17 13:00: Water is being released at approximately 100,000 cfs. As you can see, lake level is now around 6 feet below the top of the Emergency spillway.The evacuation of residents in Oroville and surrounding communities in the shadow of the nation’s tallest dam was issued around 4:30 p.m., with California Department of Water Resources officials saying floodwaters could arrive within the hour. By 8 p.m., the crisis had eased, as the water level of Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, had fallen to the point — roughly 900 feet — that no water was passing over the imperiled auxiliary spillway.

02/13/17 2:00: Video:

02/12/17 22:00: Flows over the auxiliary spillway have ceased. 100,000 cfs continue down the main spillway.


Prepare your bug-out bag, children, and pets now if waiting for further instructions downstream.

Shelters in Paradise consolidated. Elks Lodge and Veterans Memorial Hall now CLOSED. Paradise Alliance Church, 6491 Clark Rd. is OPEN.
Tim Taylor has called closure of all schools tomorrow except Chico Unified and Paradise Unified.

02/12/17 16:20:    This is an Evacuation Order.

Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered.

A hazardous situation is developing with the Oroville Dam auxiliary spillway. Operation of the auxiliary spillway has lead to severe erosion that could lead to a failure of the structure. Failure of the auxiliary spillway structure will result in an uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville.
In response to this developing situation, DWR is increasing water releases to 100,000 cubic feet per second.
Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered.
This in NOT A Drill. This in NOT A Drill. This in NOT A Drill.

  EMERGENCY ALERT #OROVILLESPILLWAY at the #OROVILLEDAM, Butte County, CA is in imminent danger of collapse and evacuations are in progress.

EMERGENCY ALERT at the , Butte County, CA
Butte County Scanner link:


evacuation orders issued in Butte, Yuba, Sutter counties; no significant impact expected in Yolo, Sacramento, Placer.
Butte County Oroville Dam Flood Plan
Butte County Oroville Dam Flood Plain
Residents evacuating Oroville can bring small animals to the shelter at the Silver

Nevada County Fairgrounds is open as an evacuation shelter. Accepting animals and RVs.
The Public Information Line for the Oroville Spillway is currently down while call takers evacuate. Line will be back up shortly.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

CALFIRE Firefighter passes from cancer

Firefighter-2 Sara Thomas. Firefighter Thomas served the citizens of California for 15 proud years. Recently at Station 80, Battalion 7. Indio/RVC/CALFIRE.
 She passed from stage 4 cancer at her home with her twin 7 year old daughters.

Twitter links

****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
View blog top tags