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Sunday, September 30, 2007

[EDIS] lake wind advisory now in effect - GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA-

[EDIS] Lake wind advisory now in effect until 5 am pdt Monday

- GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA -


THE LAKE WIND ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM PDT MONDAY. A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TONIGHT AND PASS INTO NORTHWEST NEVADA MONDAY MORNING. AHEAD OF THE FRONT SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WITH 30 TO 40 MPH GUSTS WILL CAUSE ROUGH CHOP ON LAKE TAHOE AND PYRAMID LAKE. SMALL BOATS WILL BE PRONE TO CAPSIZING AND SHOULD REMAIN OFF LAKE WATERS THROUGH TONIGHT. CHECK OUR WEBSITE AT WEATHER.GOV/RENO OR LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR UPDATES ON THIS SITUATION.

Area: GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA-WESTERN NEVADA BASIN AND RANGE INCLUDING PYRAMID LAKE-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF... SOUTH LAKE TAHOE... TAHOE CITY... TRUCKEE... MARKLEEVILLE... GLENBROOK... INCLINE VILLAGE... FERNLEY... FALLON... LOVELOCK... SILVER SPRINGS... NIXON... IMLAY

Affected Counties or parts of: Modoc, Plumas, Placer, Mono, Lassen, El Dorado, Nevada, Sierra, Alpine

Sent: 2007-09-30T14:38:41-07:00

From: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RENO NV

This is news in London - Great Bear save in Donner Summit area

Bear rescued from California bridge: Pictures

Story at The Telegraph - UK
By Emma Henry and agencies
Last Updated: 1:28pm BST 30/09/2007

A 250-pound bear stranded under a busy bridge near Lake Tahoe in California was saved by an army of rescuers, a tranquiliser dart and a nylon net bought at an Army surplus store.

Bear rescued from bridge in California

The bear was walking across the 80ft high bridge on Highway 40 near Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada when the closeness of two oncoming cars spooked it, causing it to jump over the railing.

Bear rescued from bridge in California

At one point it was dangling over the edge, but it managed to grab on to a ledge and pull itself onto a concrete girder beneath the bridge.

Bear rescued from bridge in California

Officials initially decided nothing could be done, but when they returned the next morning and found the bear still stranded on the bridge, they decided to take action.

Volunteers strung the net beneath the bridge and an animal control officer shot the bear with a tranquiliser dart.

Bear rescued from bridge in California

Once the bear was unconscious, volunteers used a pole to push it into the net, then lowered the bear onto the floor of the ravine as more than 100 spectators cheered.

Bear rescued from bridge in California

The groggy bear was steered away from the crowds and back into the wilderness.

Bear rescued from bridge in California

Dave Baker of the Truckee BEAR League said: "I've been on a lot of bear rescues and this is the most intense bear call that I've been on."

Wallspring Prescribed Fire - Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park

Wallspring Prescribed FireWallspring Prescribed Fire map
INCIDENT UPDATED

Summary

Fire crews plan to begin ignitions on the Wallspring Prescribed Fire in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park on September 29, weather and air quality conditions permitting. The 175-acre unit is located south of the Giant Forest Museum between the Moro Rock Road and the Generals Highway. Hand-held drip torches will be used to ignite the burn over approximately three days. A test burn and black lining (burning along the outer edge of the prescribed fire unit) will begin Saturday with full operations beginning on Sunday. Throughout the project, fire managers will work closely with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to manage smoke production and reduce local impacts. Giant sequoias are fire adapted and thrive in naturally cycling fire. Fire opens the cones, and releases the tiny seeds to the nutrient rich ash and mineral soil below-ideal conditions for this tree's germination. Fire thins competing vegetation and trees and opens the canopy for this sun-loving species. The Moro Rock Trail between the Giant Forest Museum and the Moro Rock parking area will be closed for the prescribed fire until further notice. The Moro Rock and Crescent Meadow Road is currently closed because of a repaving project. Fire management would like to complete this prescribed fire while the closure in effect. This will aid firefighter and visitor safety by eliminating traffic on this narrow, winding road during the project. The Generals Highway will remain open during the burn with potential delays. Please use caution while driving in the area since firefighters, equipment, and/or smoke may be present on the roads. Park residents and visitors in the area who are sensitive to smoke or have pre-existing respiratory problems should limit their outdoor activities and keep windows closed during the burn.

Basic Info

Tree top Sequoia fire not out near Springville

(1) A fire at the top of a giant sequoia near Springville continued to burn Friday despite a U.S. Forest Service helicopter dropping water on it.

Burning debris from the tree ignited a quarter-acre blaze in the area that crews from the Sequoia National Forest's Tule River and Hot Springs ranger districts were able to control and extinguish, spokeswoman Denise Alonzo said.

Alonzo said an experienced tree climber was being called in to climb to the top of a neighboring tree to spray water into the top of the burning giant sequoia.

The fire in the giant sequoia was reported by a resident of the private Sequoia Crest subdivision.

Even though it was on private land, forest service crews responded. The area is surrounded by the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Award for a multiagency team that helped firefighters battle the deadly Esperanza fire

October 1, 2007

UARC employees honored for wildfire monitoring effort

By Tim Stephens



This Altair Unmanned Aerial System provided valuable real-time fire information. Photo courtesy of NASA.

The NASA Ames Research Center has honored six UCSC employees at the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) as part of a Group Achievement Award for a multiagency team that helped firefighters battle the deadly Esperanza fire in Southern California last year.

The Wildfire Research and Applications Partnership (WRAP), which includes UARC Earth Sciences researchers, used the Altair Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to provide valuable real-time fire information to the Esperanza Fire Incident Command Center. Those honored in the NASA award include Jeff Meyers, technical area manager of the UARC Earth Sciences research team; Ted Hildum, staff scientist; Bob Billings, senior field engineer; Kent Dunwoody, senior field engineer; Eric Fraim, remote sensing data analyst; and Haiping Su, staff scientist.

The operation during the Esperanza firestorm in October 2006 was the first time that an umanned aerial system operating in national airspace was used to provide real-time fire condition information. Acting in response to an emergency request from the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, the multi-agency WRAP team was deployed to southern California. The team provided valuable information about the fire perimeter, hot spots, and fire behavior to the Esperanza Fire Incident Command Center within 24 hours of the governor's request.

During the mission, real-time data was gathered by sensors aboard the unmanned aerial system, telemetered to ground-based computers, hosted on GoogleEarth, and delivered to the command center for the fire. It was particularly important to map the fire's quickly changing behavior and detect hot spots that had jumped fire lines. Four firefighters died in the Esperanza Fire, which burned more than 40,000 acres in Riverside County.

The efforts of the WRAP team members on the Esperanza Fire Emergency UAS Mission led to an improved understanding of critical fire information by the fire management services, showcased a first-time use of UAS capabilities on a disaster event, and opened the doors to future uses of sensors, UAS platforms, and real-time decision-support systems for national emergencies.

The Airborne Sensor Facility at NASA Ames is managed by UCSC through the UARC

South San Francisco - 3 Alarm Structure Fire

South San Francisco has a 3rd alarm house fire at Pine and Cypress, Near
101 at Grand
Sizeup: exposure problems Battalion 17 made it a 2nd
alarm on arrival.
Comms: Control 21 - 154.100 for dispatch

CA-LNU- London IC - Structure --> Vegetation

NEIL SHEPARD'S BARN in the hills above Glen Ellen after the fire Saturday afternoon
Credit: Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune Photo from Sonoma News

Sizeup: Sonoma 15:45 First in E1469 Large column, fully involved barn surrounded on 3 sides by
vineyard, extension into the grass, continue the assignment.

Full wildland response
Air Attack 140
Tanker 85
Tanker 86
Copter 104
DT1441
DT1440
2 Delta crews enroute

Comms:
151.34 - LNU East
151.46 - LNU West

Update:
from Sonoma News
Saturday blaze levels Neil Shepard's barn
Cause of fire yet to be determined

A mysterious fire Saturday afternoon at Jack London Ranch Vineyards in Glen Ellen destroyed Neil Shepard's barn and everything in it including a new $45,000 Ford tractor, three wagons, harnesses, the wheel shop, vineyard equipment and mnay tool
According to Kevin Colburn of CalFire, the blaze was reported at 3:40 p.m. and was not contained until an hour later, at 4:37 p.m. The cause of the fire remains unknown at this time.

Shepard was in his house, located about a 100 yards away from the barn when he said he heard what sounded like a big explosion. "I went running down there and when I got in there it looked like the fire was up in the rafters above the shop," Shepard said. "I don't know what the source of the fire was, my welding outfit with acetylene bottles and my forge with two propane tanks weren't on fire. It's a mystery what happened." He added that, luckily, a nearby gas tank and diesel tank did not ignite.

Shepard said he received second-degree burns on 10 percent of his body including his arms, shoulders and neck.
He said he didn't realize until later that he had been hit on the head with some burning material that singed his hair. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he was treated and released; however, he has to have further treatment for what doctors said was not smoke inhalation but a condition known as "super-heated air," which causes internal blistering.

Shepard's famous Clydesdale horses, that he has used to pull the now-destroyed antique wagons at events all over the North Bay, were not in danger since they were not near the equipment barn. He said he did manage to keep his vehicle from burning. "The only thing that I saved was my truck and horse trailer."

Damages have not yet been tallied, but Shepard said just what was in the barn was worth between $150,000 and $200,000.

He added that the fire also spread to some Redwood trees next to the barn and a part of the vineyard located only about 15 feet away from the structure.
Besides CalFire, engines responding to the fire included Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Bennett Valley and Santa Rosa. The Glen Ellen Fire Protection District is handling the investigation and had inspectors on the scene Monday afternoon trying to determine the cause.

Shepard is the son of Milo Shepard, the grandnephew of Jack London.

San Jose Water Co. logging plan denied by California Forestry

Map of proposed San Jose Water land ownership - logging area

High-tech effort blocks San Jose Water Co.'s logging plan
A plan by the San Jose Water Co. to log 1,000 acres along Highway 17 has capsized, overcome by neighbors armed with high-tech cameras, mapping software and other Silicon Valley tools.

The plan, which over the past two years became the most contentious logging battle in Santa Clara County history, failed to win the approval of officials from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Details were not available Friday evening because the agency had not yet released its official action letter.

But neighbors opposing the plan said Rich Sampson, a top official in the forestry agency's Felton office, confirmed to them Friday over the phone that his agency turned down the project. Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, D-Los Altos, released a letter saying the plan "has been denied" and noting his "desire to see the area preserved as open space."

While other logging battles feature environmentalists sitting in trees, this one featured Silicon Valley computer programmers sitting at their monitors, studying every acre of the plan. The tech-savvy opponents used Google Earth and other tools to rally support, even drawing former Vice President Al Gore to their cause last year.

The investor-owned water company, which provides drinking water to 1 million people, said it wants to log to reduce fire risk on 1,002 acres of watershed lands it owns between Lexington Reservoir and Summit Road. The area has not been logged in a century.

John Tang, a spokesman for San Jose Water, said Friday that the company may file an appeal to the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. He also said it has not ruled out reworking logging plans and returning with a new proposal.

"We are very surprised and disappointed by the decision. We thought we were on the right track," Tang said.

Tang noted that under the plan, the area would have been divided into nine units, each about 100 acres. Redwood and Douglas fir trees in each unit would be logged once every 18 years, starting with the lands nearest Summit Road.

Opponents argued that the logging actually would increase fire risk because the water company and its contractor, Big Creek Lumber of Davenport, planned to remove too many large trees. They also claimed it increased landslide risks, and that the logging operation would disrupt their homes in small mountain communities such as Chemeketa Park and Aldercroft Heights.

"This was a bad idea," said Kevin Flynn, a Cisco Systems manager who lives in Chemeketa Park along Highway 17. "It never should have gotten this far."

The key issue was acreage. San Jose Water applied to the state for a "non-industrial timber management plan" that would have allowed logging

on an ongoing basis over a 15-year period.

State law sets 2,500 acres as the maximum amount of forest land containing commercially viable trees that any landowner can own while remaining eligible for that kind of logging permit.

San Jose Water claimed there were 2,002 acres of commercially viable trees over the 6,000 or so acres it owns in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

But opponents said there were 2,754 acres - 254 too many.

The opponents enlisted the help of Kenneth Adelman, a Santa Cruz County resident who made millions when he founded TGV Software in the 1980s and later sold it to Cisco Systems. Adelman owns a helicopter and, in 2002, gained national attention when he flew along the California coast, taking more than 12,000 digital photos. Barbra Streisand sued him for invasion of privacy when her home turned up in his photo set, but he won the case.

Last year, Adelman flew Google engineer Rebecca Moore, a Summit Road-area resident who opposed the plan, above the San Jose Water property. They took more than 700 photos, which she then merged with Google Earth software.

Adelia Barber, a doctoral student in ecology at the University of California-Santa Cruz, then analyzed each photo, circling areas of redwoods and Douglas fir trees so the software could measure the exact area of each. At a minimum, the company has 2,754 acres of commercial timber, she concluded, but it could have as many as 3,428 acres if surrounding areas where small saplings could grow are included.

State forestry officials agreed with Barber.

But Tang noted the water company could sell some of its lands to get the forested total under 2,500 acres, making it eligible again for the ongoing permit.

"We haven't ruled out anything at this point," he said. "We remain committed to protecting the environment, reducing the fire hazard and protecting the water supply."

Sacramento ceremony set for fallen today in Capitol Park.

Honors for firemen
Sacramento ceremony set for fallen
Stacia Glenn, Staff Writer

It's been a tragic year for the state's firefighting family.

Fifteen firefighters, including five from the U.S. Forest Service who battled the Esperanza blaze, have died in the line of duty over the last year.

Their names, and those of 14 others who died in previous years, will be added to the California Firefighters Memorial in Sacramento today.

"We want to honor what firefighters do every single day," said Carroll Wills, spokesman for the California Professional Firefighters. "They put their gear on and answer the alarm knowing it could be the last alarm they answer. That dedication, commitment and courage deserve to be recognized."

This is the first year in firefighters' memories where separate blazes have claimed multiple lives. The Esperanza Fire was the first, followed by a blaze that killed two Contra Costa County firemen - Capt. Matt Burton, 35, and Engineer Scott Desmond, 37 - who were trying to save an elderly couple from their burning home in June.

During the Esperanza Fire, the crew of Engine 57 was overtaken by 100-foot flames on Oct. 26, as they defended a home in Twin Pines.

Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, 43, of Idyllwild; Jason McKay, 27, of Apple Valley; Jess McLean,27, of Beaumont; and Daniel Hoover-Najera, 20, of San Jacinto died while standing their ground in front of the house.

Pablo Cerda, 23, of Fountain Valley died Oct. 31 after he was taken off life support.

There will be 29 names added today to the memorial in Capitol Park. Hundreds of uniformed firefighters are expected to attend the ceremony, which will include a reading of the fallen firefighters' names, a speech by Sen. Barbara Boxer, a presentation of flags to their families and a ringing of the "last alarm."

The memorial was unveiled in 2002 and 855 names were added, listing all those who died in the line of duty since California became a state. The first name etched in the marble was James Welsh of San Francisco, who died in 1851.

"This is the one spot in California where the people of California can come see the meaning of sacrifice," said Lou Paulson, president of the California Professional Firefighters and a Contra Costa County firefighter. "This is the one spot where we as firefighters can come to remember our losses, our brothers and sisters we've worked with and come to know and love."

There are more than 1,000 names on the memorial.

The five firefighters who died battling the Esperanza Fire will also be honored at National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend on Oct. 6 and 7 in Emmitsburg, Md.

American flags on all federal buildings will be lowered to half staff on Oct. 7 to honor the fallen firefighters.

Christopher A. Johnson is remembered with love.

Wearing his father's hat, 2 1/2-year-old Christopher Johnson Jr. salutes his mother,
Rebecca Johnson, as they follow his father's casket Friday in Fresno

Admiration for firefighter flows
Christopher A. Johnson is remembered with love.

By Jim Steinberg / Story at The Fresno Bee

Family and fire department colleagues praised Christopher A. Johnson, 32, during his funeral service Friday as a firefighter-plus, a man who lived to save and enhance others' lives.

Johnson died Sept. 20 of leukemia, presumed under state law to be a job-related death.

All firefighters quench flames as part of their mission, but they do rescues, paramedic work and more, Johnson's colleagues said in Peoples Church. They said that Johnson taught and inspired others to do all this by his example.

The funeral attracted hundreds of firefighters from the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection and other agencies from across the state.

The engines of 55 firetrucks and associated vehicles roared low in the church parking lot, idling beside fire chiefs' cars, their red lights flashing as mourners celebrated Johnson's life.

Bagpipes and drums droned sorrow and respect as mourners filed into, then out of the church. After the service, fellow firefighters carried Johnson's flag-draped casket, climbed a graduated black wood platform, then placed the casket on his station's red E-82 fire engine.

Firefighters guided his son, Christopher Jr., known affectionately as C.J., who wore his father's outsized "cover," or hat, before the engine bearing Johnson's body departed for Sanger Cemetery.

Inside the church during the service, men who had worked, lived and rescued with Johnson took turns saying what made this man special.

His father, Fred Alexander Johnson, riveted the congregation with a roaring, heartfelt celebration of Johnson's life. He recalled his young boy's love of firetrucks and bliss at looking into the fireplace. The elder Johnson said his son had achieved his dreams by becoming a firefighter and was planning to add new skills.

"He has moved on," Fred Johnson said. "He will always be my champion. God bless you, son. I love you. I love you."

Johnson's widow, Rebecca, wrote her thoughts to him, and they were distributed as part of the funeral program. She invoked the 91st Psalm, concerning trust in God, including "for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."

Kim Penington, retired from Cal Fire, called Johnson "a leader, a fixer, a father." He called Rebecca "Becky" Johnson and C.J. "the sparks of his life."

Penington remembered father and son together in the fire station southeast of Fresno. He recalled Johnson's concern every time there was news from the war in Iraq that another American helicopter had gone down. Penington has a son and daughter stationed there, and he remembered Johnson's care after each downed chopper to make sure Penington's children were all right.

He conferred the greatest compliment for any firefighter: "Anybody in this room," he told the hundreds in the church, "would want Chris for backup."

During the service, Johnson's fellow firefighters marched solemnly in the firefighters' equivalent of soldiers bearing rifles port arms, diagonally across their chests. They carried fire axes, hooks and other tools in place of weapons.

A devout Christian, Johnson was praised by the Rev. Edward Thomas, who had married the Johnson couple.

"Where do we go now?" Thomas thundered. "We are going to the throne of God for everlasting consolation."

Mourners scattered across the congregation answered his plea that they raise their hands to God in glory, rejoicing at Johnson's destination, which they, too, can reach. Thomas told them, "Say, 'I'm going to the throne. I'm going to see Jesus.' "

The congregation said, "Amen."

After the funeral, fire Capt. Scott McLean of Cal Fire's Butte County station explained why Johnson's life and death were so important to firefighters and to everyone in the state: "Because he died for you. He committed his life to the citizens of California. This is steeped in honor. Tradition is imbedded, and it's in our souls."

Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit Station photos spark concern

Station photos spark concern

Published: September 28, 2007

By ALISHA WYMAN

The Union Democrat

Fire officials at two Cal Fire stations in the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit reported suspicious men taking photos of their stations earlier this week.

This follows four similar incidents elsewhere in Northern California over the past few months.

Homeland Security issued a bulletin to fire personnel a few months ago, warning fire stations to be aware of such incidents, said Dennis Townsend, chief of fire prevention and law enforcement for the unit.

At the time, Townsend and others from the unit weren't too concerned due to the rural nature of the Mother Lode.

"We didn't think anyone would come up and engage in that type of activity in our county," he said.

But Monday, a firefighter at the Green Springs station looked out the window and saw two men taking photos of the station.

When the station captain confronted them, they said they were students from Flagstaff, Ariz., on their way to Yosemite. The subjects left in a white sedan.

The two men appeared to be in their 40s, spoke broken English, and were possibly of Middle Eastern descent, Townsend said. The captain got the license plate, but the car turned out to be rented.

Later, firefighters at the unit's West Point station spotted subjects photographing an open engine bay.

When the captain walked outside, the subjects fled in a white SUV. They too appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, Townsend said.

"I don't want it to sound like it reflects on any nationality," he said. "What we deal with is the nature of the incident."

Stations reported similar incidents in Campbell, Yuba City, Fresno and Sacramento between late July and early September.

It's not unusual to have people photographing stations, but they usually request permission to do so, Townsend said. That the men in question did so covertly caused department officials some concern.

"Having two incidents in one day, it causes me to think that there's a potential for our security in our department and our stations to be compromised," he said.

Townsend passed on the information to Cal Fire law enforcement officials in Sacramento.

The department has also alerted unit stations to be on the lookout for suspicious activity, and to attempt to get license plates and vehicle descriptions should they see anyone taking photos.

But so far, there isn't any reason for fear or alarm, he said.

"They may be harmless, certainly, but whatever purpose they have might be a threat to our own security," he said.

CA - Shasta-Trinity National Forest - lifting fire restrictions


Shasta-Trinity to lift fire restrictions
9/27/2007
Shasta-Trinity National Forest will lift fire restrictions at midnight on Thursday.

Beginning Sept. 28, forest visitors may once again have open campfires outside of developed campgrounds, providing they are in possession of a valid California campfire permit.

“The cooler fall temperatures, longer nights and higher humidity have reduced the threat of extreme fire danger experienced during the hot and dry summer months,” said Forest Supervisor Sharon Heywood.

Heywood cautions forest visitors to continue to be careful with campfires, as the forest vegetation remains relatively dry in many areas. Historically, the forest has experienced wildfires as a result of campfires not completely extinguished.

California campfire permits can be obtained prior to visiting the forest. These permits are available to visitors at no charge from any national forest, Bureau of Land Management or CalFire office.

Terms of the California campfire permit include:

  • Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five feet in all directions to prevent escape of the fire.
  • Have a shovel available at the campfire site for preparing and extinguishing campfires.
  • Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.
  • Extinguish the campfire with water, using the drown, stir and check method.

The California Department of Forestry’s dooryard/residential burning suspension remains in effect.

For more information, phone Fuels Management/Fire Prevention Officer Julie Titus at 530-926-9666.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Yosemite West - Prescribed Burn - October 3, 2007

Map of Yosemite West area Prescribed Burn boundary
Yosemite West Prescribed Burn
—PW 17 (B, C &E)
Wednesday, October 3, 2005
The National Park Service plans to conduct a prescribed burn in the
Yosemite West area to reduce hazard fuels, protect structures from the threat
of unwanted wildland fire and promote ecosystem health.
Besides being used to thin forests and reduce unnatural fuel loads in areas that are in close
proximity to public and private structures and use areas, prescribed fire
is used to simulate the effects of a natural lightning-caused fire.

Weather
and air quality conditions permitting,
This burn is scheduled to start on Wednesday, October 3, 2007 and will continue for 5-7 days.
This burn will consist of three units, B, C & E, located west of the Wawona Road, (Hwy. 41), and south of Henness Ridge.
These units are comprised primarily of ponderosa pine, and other mixed-conifers. Together these burn units total approximately 900 acres.
Park staff will monitor smoke on a consistent basis. However, due to the topography of the area smoke will be noticeable within the Yosemite West area, as well as down canyon following the Merced River corridor, affecting El Portal and Mariposa areas.

Take extra care while driving near the burn area, by observing all warning signs posted along the roadway and using your headlights when smoke is on the road. Expect reduced lanes and traffic control pilot vehicle escort and on Wednesday and Thursday with minimal travel
delays on Hwy 41.

Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions to minimize smoke impacts to health. People with respiratory problems should use caution when exerting themselves in smoky areas.

For information or concerns, please call the Fire Information Line at 209-375-9577 or our Prescribed Fire Office at 209-375-9574.

Mariposa County Air Quality District (APCD): Phone: (209) 966-2220 Fax: (209)966-8248

Fire Information - National Fire News

National Preparedness Level 2

(On a scale from 1 to 5)

Current hours for the National Fire Information Center are
(MST) 7:30 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday
208-387-5050
This report will be updated Monday - Friday.

September 28, 2007

Wildland fire activity across the country was minimal yesterday.

Weather Discussion: Much cooler temperatures are expected today behind a cold front moving across the Great Basin and into the Rockies. Gusty winds will develop in many places across the West associated with this storm system. Widespread rain and mountain snow will accompany the cold front. The Northeast and Florida will continue to see scattered showers, while the remainder of the East will remain dry.

Click here for the print version.

Source: National Interagency Coordination Center


Daily statistics 9/28/07
Number of new large fires 0 States currently reporting large fires:
Number of active large fires 0
Acres from active fires 0
Number of Wildland Fire Use (WFU) fires 0
Number of Wildland Fire Use (WFU) acres 0
Fires contained on 9/27/07 1
Year-to-date large fires contained 789
Year-to-date statistics
2007 (1/1/07 - 9/28/07) Fires: 72,138 Acres: 8,162,690
2006 (1/1/06 - 9/28/06) Fires: 83,286 Acres: 9,035,489
2005 (1/1/05 - 9/28/05) Fires: 53,030 Acres: 8,159,092
2004 (1/1/04 - 9/28/04) Fires: 60,805 Acres: 7,736,470
2003 (1/1/03 - 9/28/03) Fires: 49,108 Acres: 3,161,837
2002 (1/1/02 - 9/28/02) Fires: 67,235 Acres: 6,572,577
2001 (1/1/01 - 9/28/01) Fires: 62,927 Acres: 3,230,846
2000 (1/1/00 - 9/28/00) Fires: 80,031 Acres: 6,859,440
5-year average
2003 - 2007 Fires: 63,673 Acres: 7,251,107
10-year average
1997- 2006 Fires: 67,555 Acres: 5,975,369
Current Wildland Fires
Montana Fires: 0 Acres: 0 New fires: 0 Fires contained: 1
Fivemile Creek (Miles City Field Office, Bureau of Land Management): This fire was contained at 1,370 acres.

Wildland Fire Toolbox

Reminder: LODD Fresno Funeral today

The Chris Johnson Funeral will be held at Peoples Church in Fresno California, Cedar and Herndon area at 1100 on Friday September 28th 2007 there will be grave side services following at Sanger Cemetery then a wake at Sanger High School.



View Larger Map


For Those Interested in helping Chris Johnson 's family:

The Chris Johnson Memorial Fund
Central Valley Community Bank (any branch)
Account #3220692

Or mail to:

In Care Of Chris Johnson Memorial Fund
CAL Fire/Fresno County Fire Protection District
210 S. Academy Sanger California, 93657

For Funeral Expenses:
CDF Firefighters Benevolent Foundation (tax id# 20-5686356)
"In Care Of Chris Johnson"
1731 J Street Sacramento California 95814

Stay safe and keep Chris's family in your thoughts and prayers

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ireland: LODD - Two Irish firefighters have been killed and another injured

Two Irish firefighters have been killed and another injured while dealing with a fire in Bray, Co Wicklow.

The blaze, at a disused factory on Lower Dargle Road, started at 10.30am this morning.

The men, 46-year-old Brian Murray and 26-year-old Mark O'Shaugnessy, lost their lives when the roof of the building collapsed.

The National Retained Firefighters Association book of condolences can be signed online at
Book of Condolences

Lick Fire: BURNING TRASH IGNITED HUGE BLAZE, PROSECUTORS SAY

Charge: Teacher started Lick fire

It seemed harmless enough: burning a pile of paper plates inside a metal drum. And so Margaret Pavese stepped back inside her rural cabin, prosecutors said, not realizing she had unwittingly sparked what would become one of the biggest wildfires in the history of Santa Clara County.

Wednesday, prosecutors said the 50-year-old San Juan Bautista schoolteacher had been formally charged in the blaze and detailed for the first time how the tiny flames on her hillside property sprawled into a 47,760-acre wildfire that raged out of control for more than a week.

Three hours after she lit the fire, prosecutors said, she heard what sounded like running water and rushed outside, only to find the flames leaping from the barrel. She sprayed them with a garden hose, but to no avail. Without a phone and unable to find her car keys to get help, she grabbed the closest thing she could - a shotgun.

She fired three rounds into the air, hoping to alert her husband who was out chopping firewood, prosecutors said. Hearing the blasts, he returned to help her, picking up a garden hose of his own, but by then the blaze had already grown too big.

"I don't think anyone was going to fight this fire with a garden hose," said Frank Carrubba, Santa Clara County supervising deputy district attorney.

The blaze, which whipped through the steep canyons and rugged ridgelines of South County before moving into Henry W. Coe State Park, eventually cost the state $13 million to battle.

It's a price that Pavese may have to help bear if she is found to be responsible for starting the fire. A judge ultimately would decide how much she would pay, based on her income.

"She may have to pay the Department of Revenue for the rest of her life," Carrubba said.

Pavese, charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of failing to exercise reasonable care in the disposal of flammable materials to prevent causing an uncontrolled fire, also faces six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. She did not return calls Wednesday.

Carrubba said Pavese wet the area around the corroded, 55-gallon metal burn barrel, then loaded the paper plates inside it about 10:30 a.m. on Labor Day. She covered it with a piece of corrugated roofing and placed a rock on top, he said, then went inside her cabin.

Flames soon ignited grass that had been growing inside the barrel, Carrubba said, and the fire escaped and advanced up the hill into the heavy, thick terrain away from the cabin, at the end of Blue Ridge Road north of Henry W. Coe State Park.

Within hours, Pavese told Cal Fire investigators what had happened.

Carrubba said Pavese had failed to take proper care in several ways: Although she wet the area surrounding the barrel, she failed to clear it of any flammable liquid or vegetation, he said. She also used corrugated roofing instead of the required quarter-inch mesh to cover the barrel. And she didn't have a burn permit, he said. All such permits had been suspended in July because of dry conditions in the summer.

At one point, more than 1,800 firefighters were battling the Lick fire, named for its proximity to the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton. Nearly all of the fire was within the 88,000-acre Henry W. Coe State Park, an expansive landscape of oak woodlands and steep, dry chaparral.

Although the fire scorched thousands of acres, Assistant District Attorney David Howe said Pavese won't face felony arson charges because she did not intend to start the wildfire.

"She was and is extremely distraught over this," Carrubba said.

Inciweb: Grouse Wildland Fire - 1,022 acres - 67%

Grouse Wildland Fire

INCIDENT UPDATED

Summary

The lightning caused Grouse Fire is holding at 1,022 acres and is 67% contained. This backcountry fire is located in the Golden Trout Wilderness near Grasshopper Flat along the Kern River in the Sequoia National Forest. Thanks to fire suppression efforts and sparse vegetation on the east side of the fire, chances of it spreading toward the Kern River, have been significantly reduced allowing the Forest Service to reopen Trail 33E01. This popular trail runs from Willow Meadow to the wilderness boundary near the Kern Canyon Guard Station in neighboring Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. The northern boundary of the fire is in steep, rocky terrain and will not be lined by a fire break. Firefighters have constructed hand line on the south and west flanks to secure the fire's perimeter. Due to the possibility of the fire spreading toward other nearby backcountry trails the following trails continue to be closed for public safety until the fire can be declared out or is deemed safe for travel. TEMPORARY TRAIL CLOSURES: Trail 32E06 from its junction with Trail 32E02 near Round Meadow to Trail 32E05, Trail 32E05 from Lion Meadows to the wilderness boundary near Coyote Peaks. The fire is currently unstaffed and is being monitored regularly by aircraft in the area. Visitors to the Golden Trout Wilderness should check with the Sequoia National Forest before traveling in the backcountry areas. For the latest information, please call the Springville Ranger Station at (559) 539-2607.

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildland Fire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin 08/27/2007 at 00 hrs.
Location 52 miles NE Porterville in Golden Trout Wilderness
Incident Commander Paul Gibbs

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1
Size 1,022 acres
Percent Contained 67%
Fuels Involved

Fire is in a transition zone from brush to timber in the Upper Kern Canyon.

Fire Behavior

No smoke has been seen in over a week.

Significant Events

none

Outlook

Planned Actions

Monitoring

Growth Potential

Low

Terrain Difficulty

Extreme

Remarks

Not expecting to take any additional suppression action.

Winter snow will put the fire out.

Weather

Current Wind Conditions 3-5 mph SE
Current Temperature 65 degrees
Current Humidity 21 %

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lick Fire - Charges filed

San Juan Bautista woman charged with starting Lick Fire in
Henry Coe park

By Leslie Griffy
Story at Mercury News

A San Juan Bautista teacher could have to pay some of the $13 million cost of fighting a 47,760-acre fire sparked in early this month near Henry W. Coe State Park, the Santa Clara District Attorney's office said today.

Margaret Pavese, 50, allegedly started the wildfire that charred about one-third of the state's second largest park when she torched trash in an illegal burn barrel on her property east of Morgan Hill.

The blaze quickly touched off a fire in the nearby dry grasses and burned out of control for more than a week, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials.

Pavese met with fire investigators a few days after the blaze started, Cal Fire investigator Eric Wood said. When the Mercury News contacted property owners in the area about the fire, someone at the Pavese home in San Juan Bautista hung up after the reporter identified himself.

Messages left today for Pavese were not immediately returned.

She faces six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. A judge could also require her to pick up a portion of the bill for fighting the fire, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Frank Carrubba said.

While the fire burned many thousands of acres, Assistant District Attorney David Howe said that Pavese wouldn't face felony arson charges because she did not intend to start the wildfire.

She is being charged with one count of misdemeanor failure to exercise reasonable care in the disposal of flammable materials to prevent causing an uncontrolled fire.

CA-ENF/TCU - Hermit Spring -- Vegetation Fire

CA-ENF/TCU - -- Vegetation Fire
Full wildland response - Copter404 on scene working bucket
IC - BC 4412 -ENF
Sizeup:1/2 acre limited access
Location: Access Winton Rd. -> forest road 7N28
COMMS: CDF tac 8
Google Map Approximate area

View Larger Map

Fremont Firefighters Flippin’ Flapjacks

Fremont Fire Department, Station 9
Third Annual Fremont Firefighters Flippin’ Flapjacks
Pancake breakfast

39609 Stevenson Place, Fremont, CA 94536
(510) 693-3839

Third Annual Fremont Firefighters Flippin’ Flapjacks

Come join in the festivities with fellow residents and businesses as they watch the firefighters flip those flapjacks!
After enjoying a well-rounded pancake breakfast visit the interactive exhibits and informational booths for both children and adults.

Saturday October 13, 2007
8 A.M. to 12 Noon.
Fremont Fire Station # 9
39609 Stevenson Place, Fremont

A $5 donation, $3 for children 10 years or younger, is requested. Tickets can be purchased at the door or . . . For more information call …693-3839….

All proceeds support the Fremont Fire Department Rehab Unit volunteers, who provide assistance to department personnel on all major incidents; Fremont Fire Department Explorer Post 173, which provides internship for high school and college students within the Fire department and the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation which promotes burn prevention and assists burn survivors improve their quality of life.

Map directions

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sonora - Aftermath Of A Fire

Aftermath Of A Fire

Story at mymotherlode.com

Monday, September 24, 2007 - 05:30 PM
Shaw Flat Rd. residence and outbuilding destroyed by fire (9/21/07).

Sonora, CA -- It was Friday evening at 7:34 when the alarm was sounded signaling a structure fire on Shaws Flat Rd.

Cal Fire Incident Commander Steve Herzog stated the fire started in an outbuilding and quickly spread to the residence destroying both structures.


Shaws Flat Rd. residence and outbuilding destroyed by fire (9/21/07).

Responding to the blaze: Cal Fire, Sonora Fire Department, Columbia City, Columbia College Air Unit, Tuolumne City and the Tuolumne County Fire Department.

No injuries to residents or firefighters were reported. Cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com

VALLEJO FIRE - Urban Interface - Four-alarm grass fire raises suspicions of arson

Story at Times-Herald
By J.M. BROWN staff writer

A four-alarm grass fire ripped through upper Hanns Memorial Park on Monday, charring three acres and damaging roofs on two homes.

Seven of the city's eight engines responded to the 5:45 p.m. blaze, which started about halfway between the Skyline Drive and Oakwood Avenue entrances to the park.

The cause may have been arson, fire department spokesman Bill Tweedy said at the scene. The park is full of dry vegetation surrounding the Blue Rock Springs Creek, "but nothing down there would just automatically start a fire," he said. "Something has to ignite the dry brush."

Sparks from flames that engulfed trees on the east edge of the park jumped to the shake roof of a home in the 100 block of Creekside Drive, Tweedy said. Firefighters from the city's ladder truck doused six hot spots on the roof.

It took about 45 minutes to control the fire., Tweedy said.

Plumes of smoke could be seen from several miles away.

Robert Marasigan, whose roof was damaged, said he was using his computer when he heard what he thought was heavy wind coming from outside. "There was this hustle and bustle sound," said Marasigan, whose family has owned the house for 20 years.

When he looked out a window facing the park, he said, he saw flames
eating away at a nearby tree. After calling 9-1-1, he said, he returned to the window and saw the tree engulfed.

Marasigan said he stood outside as firefighters put out the flames on his roof and the roof of the house next door.

No injuries were reported.

Authorities ask anyone with information about the fire to call police at 648-4321 or the fire prevention division at 648-4565.

LATHROP — Dust explosion at the Diamond Pet Food facility

Blast at Lathrop pet food plant badly burns 3 workers
By Cheryl Winkelman, STAFF WRITER Story at Inside Bay Area


Diamond Pet Foods in Lathrop, Calif. was rocked with an explosion Sunday evening September 23,...

LATHROP — An explosion at the Diamond Pet Food facility early Sunday morning burned three employees seriously enough for them to be flown to the University of California, Davis, Regional Burn Center, fire officials said.

Further information about their condition was not available. Lathrop-Manteca Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Gene Neely would not release the names of the injured.

Neely said employees were welding in the tower of the facility, at 250 Roth Road, when an explosion occurred about 1:30 a.m.

The exact cause is still under investigation, but Neely said, "We believe that the welding operations in connection with the dust from the dog food caused the explosion in the tower."

The fire also caused minor structural damage to the tower's tin siding, Neely said.

James Monty, chief of the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District, said the biggest job was not putting out the fire but staying on the scene to make sure no other blazes erupted.

On Monday morning fire crews were at the site to conduct safety checks.

Officials of the Meta, Mo.-based manufacturer of dog and cat food did not return phone calls.

Butler 2 Fire sparks plans for Highway 18 repairs

(1) Caltrans is planning emergency repairs to Highway 18 to protect the roadway from rockslides and other falling debris.

Geologists inspected the slopes above the highway Friday and Sunday to assess what kind of repairs would be needed after the Butler 2 Fire, Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said.

Officials are concerned that the 14,039-acre fire burned away vegetation that was shoring up the hillsides, and has increased the risk of rock and mudslides in the Arctic Circle, a 4.7-mile section of Highway 18 between Big Bear Dam and Lake View Point.

"There's a lot of debris that has and will come down as a result of this fire," Kasinga said.

Rain could speed the flow of rocks, pinecones and logs down the hill, she said.

Motorists should expect more frequent closures on the highway this winter during heavy rain or snow, she said.

The highway, which saw some minor rock falls on Friday, reopened Sunday night. Caltrans has regular patrols monitoring the area to ensure that the roadway is clear, Kasinga said.

Crews will add drain covers to large drainage pipes to keep debris from getting in and blocking the flow of water. They also will add dirt berms to act as barriers.

The project is expected to cost less than a million dollars and could begin late this week or early next week, Kasinga said.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire and Rescue: Featured Fire Blog


Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire and Rescue Blog:
Nice clean site for Loma Prieta area emergency news.

News LAFD Blog: National Preparedness Month

In A Disaster: Knowledge is Power

During National Preparedness Month, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department ask you to visit these websites...During a disaster, internet and telephone access may be disrupted. Now is the time to print important information and place a copy with your disaster supplies.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Black firefighter served dog food settles suit with L.A.

Associated Press (September 22, 2007)

LOS ANGELES - The City of Los Angeles will pay $1.43 million (euro1 million) to settle claims by a black firefighter who said he suffered harassment and discrimination after co-workers served him spaghetti laced with dog food, officials announced.

The settlement between the city and Tennie Pierce was reached before the firefighter's lawsuit was to go to trial Monday.

Under the terms of the deal, Pierce will receive about $60,000 (euro43,000) in back pay, city clerk Frank Martinez said in a statement. Pierce, who has been on unpaid leave, also agreed to resign from the Fire Department and drop all claims against the city.

The payment is considerably less than a $2.7 million (euro1.9 million) settlement the City Council agreed to pay Pierce last year. That deal was later vetoed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa when photos surfaced on a Web site showing Pierce participating in hazing pranks.

"Today's agreement is the best possible outcome for the taxpayers. It reduces the original settlement by nearly half, while protecting Angelenos from further liability," Villaraigosa said Friday.

Last week, legal experts warned the City Council that Pierce's lawsuit could cost the city more than $7 million (euro5 million) if it goes to trial.

An after-hours call to Pierce's attorney, Genie Harrison, was not immediately returned.

Pierce sued the city in 2005 after fellow firefighters mixed dog food into his spaghetti dinner. He said he suffered retaliation for reporting the incident as well as verbal slurs, insults and derogatory remarks, including taunting by firefighters "barking like dogs (and) asking him how dog food tasted."

Pierce's claim was one of several lawsuits alleging a pattern of harassment and discrimination against women or minorities working for the department.

The cases have cost taxpayers more than $15 million (euro10 million) since 2005, including a record $6.2 million (euro4.4 million) judgment to Brenda Lee, a black lesbian firefighter who said she was taunted and retaliated against for complaining.

Fire Chief William Bamattre was forced to retire last year amid accusations that he'd failed to root out hazing and harassment during a decade on the job. Douglas Barry, who served as interim chief for nine months, became the city's first black fire chief when he was sworn in last week.

If I was a Hemet California tax payer I would ask a lot of questions on this heavy tax proposal...

☺Calif. City Wants Tax Increase To Hire Paramedics For Fire Engines

THE TOWN OF HEMET, CALIFORNIA, IS ASKING THE VOTERS to approve a half-cent sales tax increase that would be spent for improved police and fire operations. The fire department plan would add a paramedic-trained firefighter to each engine, bringing the minimum staffing up to four per unit

read more | digg story

Burlingame Boy arrested in fire - $1 million in damage

A 13-year-old Burlingame boy was arrested Friday night on suspicion of starting a fire that caused $1 million in damage to a building that houses apartments and businesses, police said Saturday.

Burlingame Sgt. Dawn Cutler said the fire broke out at 4:30 p.m., apparently sparked by the boy tossing an unextinguished match into a garbage can. Flames and smoke forced the evacuation of residents from two apartments and several businesses in the two-story building in the 1200 block of Burlingame Avenue.

Police did not disclose what charges the boy was taken into custody for. There were no reported injuries. Police said the boy did not live in either of the apartments in the building.

Officials at Hillcrest Juvenile Hall in San Mateo would not say whether the boy was still in custody at the youth detention center.

The businesses in the building include a children's clothing store, a stamp collection business, a restaurant, an antique and jewelry store and a self-storage business.

Fresno Firefighter Chris Johnson dies at 32 - LODD


Chris Johnson was born on June 19th, 1975 Chris started his employment May 19th,1997 at Squaw Valley (Fresno-Kings) as a seasonal fire fighter. In April of 2004, Chris promoted to Fire Apparatus Engineer. He lost his lengthy battle with leukemia on September 20th, 2007.
His death is considered a Line of Duty Death*.

He is survived by Son, CJ (Chris Jr.) 2-1/2 yrs old, wife Rebecca -28 yrs old. They lived in Sanger, Ca.

Chris Johnson, a firefighter with the Fresno County Fire Protection District-Cal Fire, has died after three years of battling cancer.

Johnson, 32, of Sanger died Thursday at a cancer facility in Southern California where he was being treated for leukemia, and where he had been awaiting a bone marrow transplant, which he never received, said Capt. Mike Bowman, a fire spokesman.

A fire apparatus engineer, Johnson was an 11-year-veteran of the department and was assigned to the Del Rey station, Bowman said.

His body was returned to Fresno on Friday night. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Johnson's survivors include his wife, Rebecca, and a 3-year-old son, C.J.

A Chris Johnson Memorial Fund has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses and other costs for his family during his illness, Bowman said. Donations may be made to any Central Valley Community Bank branch, account number 3220692.

Donations may also be sent to the Fresno County Fire Protection District headquarters at 210 S. Academy Ave., Sanger, CA 93657.

More information is available by calling the fire district at (559) 485-7500, ext. 100.

*FF Johnson's death is covered under California's cancer presumption laws.

Money wasted on archaic / redundant reverse 911 backup to county's system

New $180,000 reverse 911 backup to county's system described as archaic

By Craig Gustafson
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
September 23, 2007


SAN DIEGO – This month, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his staff gave a detailed demonstration of how the city's new $180,000 Reverse 911 system would be able to phone residents quickly in emergencies such as a fire or tsunami.

No longer would health or safety personnel have to go door to door as they did last year for a boil-water order after the discovery of E. coli in tap water in northeastern San Diego. What Sanders didn't say was that county government has purchased a newer, better, faster alert system for roughly the same price that the city can use for free.

Reverse 911 – which can send 30-second phone messages to land lines – is not new for San Diegans. The county bought the system in August 2005 and allows cities to use it for larger-scale emergencies. It was most recently used to notify residents during the Angel fire near Julian last weekend.

The county, however, has bought a brand-new, technologically advanced system that allows public safety officials to call cell phones as well as send text messages and e-mail. It was launched Thursday. The county is using its Reverse 911 system as a backup.

Several public safety officials describe Reverse 911 as archaic. At least one prominent politician is puzzled by the city's decision to buy it when a better system is available for free.

County Supervisor Chairman Ron Roberts, who also chairs the county's Unified Disaster Council, said the city could have found a better use for its money.

“I think it's kind of an extravagance. We will have a system that will be operating that'll be far superior. And I don't see us continuing with that other (Reverse 911) contract,” Roberts said. “If the city thinks they have a reason to, God knows they'd have to explain that.”

San Diego city officials purchased Reverse 911 in September 2006 shortly after the boil-water order. They wanted more control over how to release emergency information and didn't want to go through the sheriff as the county's Reverse 911 system required.

The whole article at Union Tribune

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Firefighter Says He Feels Lucky To Be Alive

Pine Fire Dozer burnover survivor, Craig Brown

SAN DIEGO -- A Cal Fire firefighter burned driving a tractor while fighting the 2,000-acre Pine Fire describes his horrifying ordea
Craig Brown was burned when the flames burned right over the tractor he was in on the front lines of the fire. He told NBC 7/39 that he remembers every moment of the incident like it was yesterday. "I really couldn't see any direction without seeing flame, so I had to make a decision right there," Brown said. "If I was going to live, I figured I had to get out."Brown was able to get out and was flown to the UCSD Burn Center for treatment, where he still is.
A firefighter NBC 7/39 spoke with said that in 32 years of fighting fires, he has never seen a tractor burned so badly. The vehicles are made out of solid steel and are self-contained and air-conditioned, which usually makes them the safest way to fight the flames up close.San Diego County has four fire bulldozers in the county and eight operators for them.
The wave of support for Brown has been immense -- among other things, Cal Fire flew his daughters down to be with him while he is hospitalized.
From his hospital bed, Brown told NBC 7/39 that he can't wait to get back to work."It's true that we're all a big family," Brown said. "It's true. I'm proud to work for them."Brown still has a long road ahead to his recovery, with continuing treatment to his hands and a few burn spots on his face.

Rough windy day for Tracy Fire...

Wind breaks an ankle and a windshield

Print E-mail
Bob Brownne / Tracy Press / Thursday, 20 September 2007
Today was calm, but Wednesday's gusts left one firefighter's ankle broken and a damaged fire engine in its wake.

Today’s winds have calmed down to 8 mph, but Wednesday’s high winds through the Altamont Pass took a toll on the Tracy Fire Department.

Division Chief Germane Friends said a firefighter was injured and a fire engine was damaged after winds played havoc on crews that arrived at an overturned big rig and on the scene of a grass fire.

The firefighter, whose name was not released, was about to step out of a truck as it arrived at the scene of the big rig crash — one of two that afternoon — on Interstate 580, just east of Patterson Pass Road. Friends said the wind, which he estimated at 60 mph or more, grabbed the truck’s door, swung it open and then slammed it shut on the firefighter’s ankle.

Friends said the firefighter, from the Station 94 crew at Schulte and Hansen roads, went to the hospital and will be off duty until his leg heals.

A short time later, the crew from Station 97, based on West Central Avenue, arrived at a grass fire at Interstate 580 and Corral Hollow Road. In that case, the wind also grabbed the fire engine door and swung it around until the rear-view mirror slammed into the truck’s windshield. The impact cracked the glass, which will have to be replaced before the engine can go back into service, Friends said.

These were just two of more than half a dozen wind-related calls to which the department responded. The National Weather Service reported sustained winds at 25 mph at Stockton Metropolitan Airport on Wednesday afternoon, with gusts up to 35 mph. Both the Tracy Fire Department and California Highway Patrol estimated winds as high as 60 mph along Interstate 580.

“The dust blowing in the area, it was so bad it looked like a smoke cloud,” Friends said.

The fire department responded to five reports of car crashes, each involving more than two cars, two reports of phone lines down and a report of a lightning strike at Byron and Mountain House roads.

Friday, September 21, 2007

CAL FIRE News - Bernie Paul - New Siskiyou Unit Chief

New
CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit Chief named


Published: Friday, September 21, 2007 12:25 PM CDT
LINK


YREKA – On Monday, Sept. 17, Bernie Paul was appointed Unit Chief of CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit, a recent press release announced

Chief Paul takes the helm from retiring Unit Chief Alan Stovall.

The release stated that Paul began his career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) in 1974 as a Fire Fighter I in the Butte Unit.


During the 1977 and 1978 fire seasons, he worked in the Fresno Unit as a Firefighter II.

According to the release, Paul obtained permanent status in 1986 as a Heavy Fire Equipment Operator (HFEO) in the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit.

In 1994, he transferred to the Siskiyou Unit as a Fire Captain Specialist and was promoted to Battalion Chief in Fire Prevention in 1997. He promoted in 2001 to the Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention for the Northern Region in Redding. In 2004, he was reassigned as the Assistant Chief of Operations in the Siskiyou Unit. Chief Paul has also served on CAL FIRE’s Incident Command Teams as the Information Officer, Deputy Incident Commander and as the Incident Commander of CAL FIRE’s Team I.



He brings with him logging experience as he has worked in the private sector as the owner/operator of a logging company in Nevada County from 1979 through 1984.

The Chief of CAL FIRE Ruben Grijalva stated “I am looking forward to Chief Paul's leadership and guidance in the Siskiyou Unit.”

Chief Paul stated: “I am proud to serve Siskiyou County and CAL FIRE as the Unit Chief and I'm looking forward to tackling the challenges and duties as Chief.”

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****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.
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