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Friday, October 31, 2008

CA-LPF- Chalk wildland fire 16,269 acres, 100%

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildland Fire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Saturday September 27th, 2008 aprox 07:30 PM
Location 22 mi southwest of King City, CA
Incident Commander Mark Nunez

Current Situation

Total Personnel 106
Size 16,269 acres
Percent Contained 100%
Estimated Containment Date Thursday October 30th, 2008 aprox 06:00 PM
Fuels Involved

4 Chaparral (6 Feet) Large volume of dead and down material in fire fuel bed from sudden oak death and previous fires. Oak woodland and pockets of timber.

Fire Behavior

Interior burning of unburned fuel, creeping and smoldering.

Significant Events

Mop up and rehab continued

Outlook

Planned Actions

Patrol, mop-up and rehab. With predictated rain crews will not be on the line. Rehab will continue once rains are finished and conditions are safe.

Growth Potential

Low

Terrain Difficulty

Extreme

Remarks

Incident Commander has declared the incident contained as of 10/30/2008 at 1800 hrs. Cone Peak Road remains closed until further notice per Monterey Ranger District Office. Highway 1 and other roads affected by the fire will continue to have rolling rocks and debris. Be cautious while driving and on these roads. Highway 1 may be closed periodically due to rock slides caused by predicated rain. Contact Cal Trans or look up road conditions on the Cal Trans web site.

Weather

Current Wind Conditions 15-20(G)30 mph SW
Current Temperature 55 degrees
Current Humidity 70-100 %

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fire Engine Totalled, Driver Sought in Truckee Crash

TRUCKEE, CA - Authorities were searching for the driver of a pickup truck that turned in front of a California State Park fire engine Thursday, causing the engine to swerve and overturn, a Truckee police spokesman said.

The incident happened around 7:40 a.m. Thursday on Highway 89 North near Prosser Dam Road, Truckee police Sgt. Dan Johnston said.

Johnston said the engine was traveling northbound when the pickup turned left from Alder Drive directly into the path of the fire truck. The engine swerved to avoid a collision and slid sideways into a ditch before overturning.

The pickup sped away and was last seen heading northbound on Highway 89 North.

No one inside the engine was hurt, but the truck itself is likely a complete loss, Johnston said.

Police were looking for a late 80s or early 90s gun metal gray Chevrolet with a white cab-high camper shell. The pickup was pulling a flatbed trailer with short rails on the side and had a small amount of white covered material on the trailer.

Anyone with information about the crash was asked to call the Truckee Police Department at 530-550-2320.

Source: News10/KXTV , Story by Jason Kobely

Flash Flood Watch ~ Shasta, Tehema, and Butte Counties

Statement as of 5:54 PM PDT on October 30, 2008


... Flash Flood Watch in effect from Saturday afternoon through late Saturday night for the interior northern California burn areas for possible debris flows...

The National Weather Service in Sacramento has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for possible debris flows for the burn areas of Shasta... Tehama and Butte counties in northern California.

* From Saturday afternoon through late Saturday night

A series of storms will move through the region through the weekend. Rainfall from these storms could pose some problems for some of the burn areas from the wildfires this past Summer. Of particular concern is the potential for debris flows and the potential to
impact some of the roadways and streams.

The greatest threat of debris flows will occur from Saturday afternoon through Saturday night when the combination of intensity and rainfall amounts are expected to be the greatest over the burn areas.

Some of burn areas of concern include but are not limited to the following locations:

In Shasta County...
the Moon fire complex which includes Platenia... Igo... Ono.
The Motion fire complex which includes Keswick in particular Bensons Road and the Whiskey Creek area along Highway 299.
Hat Creek Park area North East of Burney along Highway 299 and the lightning caused fire near Shingletown.

In eastern Tehama County...
The Smokey complex which burned adjacent to Highway 32 in the mountainous areas west of the intersection of state routes 32 and 36.

In Butte County...
The lightning caused fires in Butte County which burned adjacent to State Route 70 northeast of Lake Oroville.
Humbolt fire including portions of little Chico creek... Butte Creek... Centerville Road and other local roads within the burn area.

Residents and persons driving near the burn areas need to be alert of the potential for debris flows that could slide over adjacent roadways and impact not only travel but the safety of those
traveling on those particular roads. Should movement of any soils be observed dont wait for a warning to be issued move to higher ground immediately.

Special Weather Statement

Statement as of 4:30 PM PDT on October 30, 2008


... Cool and unsettled winter type weather to continue through early next week...

A deep trough of low pressure will remain off the West Coast... sending a series of systems across northern California through early next week. These systems will bring periods of rain... higher elevation snow... and gusty winds to the region.

The first system is already beginning to lift across the region... spreading showers and isolated thunderstorms across northern California this evening. The rain will become more widespread through the overnight hours... with gusty winds developing as well. South to southwest winds gusty up to 35 mph will be possible... especially over the highest elevation. Snow levels will stay above 8000 feet with this first system... with only light accumulations expected over the highest peaks. Showers will taper off tomorrow afternoon and evening... giving the region
a brief break in precipitation.

The next and stronger system will move into northern California on Saturday and Saturday night... bringing a better chance of a soaking rain to the region. There may be some higher rainfall rates... which may lead to some concerns for mud and debris flows along the recent burn scars.

Snow levels will fall with this system from above 8000 feet on Saturday morning to around 6500 feet by Saturday night... with moderate to heavy snow accumulations possible. Therefore... a Winter Storm Watch has been issued for elevations above 8000 feet. For more information in relation to this watch... please refer to sfowswsto (or wwus46 ksto).

All in all... precipitation totals will likely range between one and a half and two and a half inches in the valley... with three to six inches of precipitation possible in the surrounding mountains by Sunday. Another system will move across northern California on Monday... continuing the threat of rain into early next week.

Motorists should be prepared for slippery driving conditions from this afternoon through the weekend due to the combination of rainfall and the accumulation of oils on area roadways. Winter
weather conditions are expected in the mountains this weekend... and motorists should be prepared for winter type driving.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or your local media outlet or visit our website at http://weather.Gov/Sacramento for the latest updates on the changing weather conditions through this weekend.

CA-SCU- Ledeit - Prescribed burn - Slop over - 350-acres

Mt. Hamilton vegetation fire

Update: 18:00hrs - What does not get put out by rain tonight will get picked up tomorrow, Staging at Sweetwater station. Fire near Smith Creek station.

Cal Fire crews on Thursday evening battled a 350-acre grass fire at Ledeit Ranch on Mount Hamilton Road after winds sent what was supposed to be initially a control burn out of control.

Initial sizeup: 10:00hrs., a 150-acre prescribed burn, began burning at the ranch. But around noon, the winds unexpectedly kicked up to 30 mph and accelerated the flames, said Cal Fire Batallion Chief Ken McGeever.

McGeever said the flames quickly grew to 350 acres. "There is still a high risk of fire danger with any fire until we get a significant amount of rain," McGeever said.

CA-MOR- Tilden IC - 2 wildland fires 10 acres 90%

CA-MOR- Tilden IC - 2 wildland fires 10 acres 90%

Update: 14:20 - Forward spread has been stopped, Some resources being released, and re assigned to new incident on Mount Hamilton. Strong lightning storm with isolated rain in area now.

Location:
Grizzly Peak road, Orinda. Tilden Park - Loma Linda area,Casa Loma off of Cannon - TMB Alco p-590 c-6
IC: Moraga Orinda Fire Department, ALCO, Cal Fire SCU
Initial Sizeup: 12:30hrs- Control burn escape, with two slop overs in the 10 acre range.
Notes; Aircraft having weather related logistics problems with inclement weather and cloud cover closing in on Hollister area and the incident area.
Resources: Full wildland response, with two additional out of unit engines and dozers. Prev-1624
Air: two tankers 82,78, air attack, 404 and 902, which is one of Cal Fire's reserves.
Comms: COM SCU local Tone 1- 151.445 , TAC-White 2 ,

CA-ENF- CAT ANDERSON - PRESCRIBED BURN -

Prescribed Burn In Progress - Smoke

The Cat Anderson Prescribed Burn north of Highway 88 is in progress this week. As of Thursday morning several hundred acres had been treated under controlled conditions. Normally, the wind blows from the southwest and pushes the smoke into the forest and away from the valley. Wednesday night the wind shifted and pushed the smoke to the west into the valley. The wind has shifted back and the storm that is due in this afternoon or evening should clear the smoke. We have the project fully staffed, and the burn is progressing well and is within it's containment lines. Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem and the prescribed burn allows us to introduce it back into the forest after a 100 years of fire suppression under carefully controlled conditions.

Note: Fuels Projects for Fall/Winter 2008

Approximately 9,000 acres of national forest lands are scheduled to be prescribed burned this fall and winter, in both pile and understory fire application. Pile burning begins after the rains have thoroughly dampened the forest floor and will continue throughout the winter months. The timing of the actual ignition of a prescribed burn project depends on weather conditions, moisture in the fuels we intend to burn, our ability to control the fires, and permission from the local air pollution control district.

  • Cat - Anderson Prescribed Burn (Amador Ranger District/Leek Springs-Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River area):The Cat – Anderson burn on the Amador district will continue to reintroduce fire into the forest. Prescribed fire helps reduce heavy fuel loads while simultaneously opening the forest structure and maintaining the health of the forest. It improves and regenerates wildlife habitat, enhances native plant communities, and is a critical part of the ecological process of western forests.
  • Henry's Prescribed Burn (Placerville Ranger District/Grizzly Flat area): The Henrys burn will link numerous hazardous fuels projects already completed and in progress that have occurred in and around the community of Grizzly Flats. The Henrys burn will treat fuels below the Grizzly Flats community in the north fork of the Consumes River.
  • Van Vleck Meadow Restoration project (Pacific Ranger District): The Van Vleck Meadow Restoration project on the Pacific District has progressed with the removal of encroaching conifers that are filling in the meadows and will follow up with prescribed fire to clean up and rejuvenate the meadow systems.
  • Pile Burning (Multiple locations)

Every prescribed burn is designed to minimize smoke drifting into residential areas. Any one with respiratory illness or thinks the smoke might adversely affect them should contact the nearest Eldorado National Forest Ranger Station to be placed on a “sensitive persons” pre-burn notification list. Smoke may continue to be present for days after the fires are started due to the large scale of the projects and will be visible from the Highway 88 and 50. Persons driving in the vicinity of the burns may encounter reduced highway visibility.

Prescribed Burn Location Maps by District

Funeral today for retired ALCO firefighter Luster Knight

SAN LEANDRO — Retired Alameda County firefighter Luster Knight died Friday after a 10-month battle with cancer. He was 59.

Knight was a longtime San Leandro resident who remained active as a volunteer after his retirement in September 2007. His career fighting fires spanned 41 years.

For more than 20 years, he coordinated the Firefighter Turkey Drive and Holiday Toy Drive in collaboration with the Davis Street Family Resource Center. He served as a Recreation and Parks Department commissioner for the city of San Leandro for the past 10 years and was a member of the Leadership San Leandro Steering Committee for the past eight years.

Knight checked into the hospital in January with health problems.

He was diagnosed a month later with lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy treatments. He was given a clean bill of health last month, but he wasn't feeling well and returned to the hospital. Doctors then learned the lymphoma was spreading to his brain, according to Alameda County Fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles. Knight died Friday at the Kaiser Permanente hospital in Hayward.

Knight grew up in Greenville, Miss., and moved to California at age 16. He joined the Job Corps, which led to a job fighting fires for the Department of Forestry, setting him on a four-decade-long career path.

He is survived by two sisters, Carolyn K. Brown of Louisville, Ky., and Charlean K. Robinson; a brother, Thomas Knight, and his mother, Louise Knight, all of Greenville, Miss.

Knight never married and has no children, "but he adopted the entire community," Knowles said.

The Alameda County Fire Department invites the community to a funeral service for Knight at 10 a.m. Thursday at Neighborhood Church, 20600 John Drive, Castro Valley. Attendees are encouraged to arrive by 9:30 a.m.

Donations to Knight's family can be sent to the Alameda County Firefighters Association, 413 13th St., Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612. Make checks payable to the A.C.F.F.A.

Source: Insidebayarea.com/Dailyreview

Update from Daily review - Link:

Under gray skies, drums and bagpipes played Thursday for retired Alameda County firefighter Luster Knight, whose flagged-draped casket was lowered from a fire engine by pallbearers as nearly 200 firefighters in dress uniforms snapped to attention and saluted.

Knight, 59, succumbed to cancer Oct. 24, a year after retiring from the Alameda County Fire Department. He was honored at a funeral service at Neighborhood Church, attended by family and friends; members of the Alameda County, Hayward and Oakland fire departments, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, and other local agencies.

Also in attendance were state Sen. Ellen Corbett, Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, County Supervisors Alice Lai-Bitker and Gail Steele, and San Leandro City Council members Surlene Grant, Joyce Starosciak, Diana Souza, Jim Prola and Michael Gregory.

Knight's career spanned 41 years, beginning in 1966 as a volunteer with the Camp Parks Job Corps Center and ending with his retirement from the county fire department in September 2007.

A San Leandro resident, Knight earned a reputation as being a community volunteer and an energetic fundraiser for children's causes.

"We don't take anything with us but our good deeds," Wafaa Aborashed said during the funeral procession. "Luster has a bag full of good deeds."

Aborashed is executive director of the Healthy San Leandro Environmental Collaborative, which works to educate and organize residents whose health and environment are affected by pollution. Aborashed speculated that the lymphoma that took Knight's life may have been caused by the many hazardous materials firefighters are exposed in the course of their careers.

She said Knight volunteered with her organization and helped to locate ground contamination in San Leandro, and that she knew Knight as someone who was always trying to find ways to help the poor.

Each holiday season for the past 20 years, Knight helped round up toys and turkeys for the Firefighter Turkey Drive and Holiday Toy Drive, said Rose Padilla, director of the Davis Street Family Resource Center. Over the past 10 years, Knight took charge of the event, raising money and organizing firefighters to box toys and food, she said.

About 1,500 boxes are given out to local families each holiday season, Padilla said.

"Luster was funny. He was that gentle giant who just loved life," she said. "We were his family -- the fire department and the community."

Retired Alameda County Fire Chief Bill McCammon said he fought plenty of fires alongside Knight over the years, and described him as an excellent firefighter.

"The thing I remember most about him was that he greeted everyone with a smile," he said.

Current Chief Sheldon Gilbert said Knight would enter a room full of firefighters with his "trademark smile and chuckle" and leave the room having collected $20 donations to be put to use helping local children.

During the funeral service, Chaplain Larry Vold said Knight grew up in rural Mississippi and visited his hometown of Greenville each year, where his mother and siblings still live. Whenever Knight returned home, he would look for things he could fix or improve, Vold explained.

Knight will be buried in Greenville.

In San Leandro, Knight served as a Recreation and Parks commissioner and was a member of the Leadership San Leandro Steering Committee -- in addition to his volunteer work with the Davis Street Family Resource Center and the Healthy San Leandro Environmental Collaborative.

He is survived by his mother, Louise Knight, of Greenville, Miss.; his sisters Carolyn K. Knight of Louisville, Ky., and Charlean K. Robinson of Greenville, Miss.; his brother Thomas Knight of Greenville, Miss.; as well as a large extended family.

Donations to Knight's family can be sent to the Alameda County Firefighters Association, 413 13th St., Suite 300, Oakland, CA 94612. Make checks payable to the ACFFA.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Riverside Fire Department - Scratch and Sniff unit unreliable

Editor - How much will the latest false arrest cost the county?
Time for the scent transfer unit "STU-100" to land on the junk heap?

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Riverside Fire Department sued by man acquitted for arson

A Riverside man who was jailed for two years as a suspect in 40 arson fires has sued Riverside Fire Department officials and a dog handler who linked him to the crimes by using a controversial device intended to pick up human scent at crime scenes. Michael Espalin is now asking for damages in a federal lawsuit he filed in Santa Ana.

The only evidence brought against him at his criminal trial was a bloodhound named Dakota--whose handler said the dog found Espalin's scent at the fires days and weeks after they were set in 2004. According to the lawsuit, there was no physical evidence or eyewitness linking Espalin to any of the fires.

According to the LA Times, Espalin is at least the sixth person in Southern California cleared since 1996 after being linked to a crime by the “scent transfer unit STU-100”-- a machine that supposedly transfers human scent from an object at a crime scene to a 5- by 9-inch gauze pad. The pad is then put to a bloodhound's nose, and the dog theoretically follows the scent to the suspect. The machine and the dogs used with it have led to false arrests in several high-profile cases including an Irvine man whose murder conviction was thrown out by a judge who said the machine was scientifically unreliable. In addition, a Long Beach man arrested as a serial rapist was cleared by DNA tests. And a Buena Park man sent to prison for a carjacking was freed when DNA from the crime scene was matched to a man already in custody for another carjacking.

Unable to post $500,000 bail, Espalin spent two years in county jail awaiting trial.

More than $2.3 million has been paid out in lawsuits stemming from some of the cases.

Source: http://www.californiacriminaldefenselawyerblog.com/2008/10/riverside_fire_department_sued_1.html

Wildfires in Sierra Nevada, Becoming Larger and More Severe

Recent Research Concludes That Forest Wildfires in Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascades are Becoming Larger and More Severe

VALLEJO, Calif., Oct. 27, 2008—Recent research published in October 2008 in the journal Ecosystems, “Quantitative evidence for increasing forest fire severity in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Mountains, California and Nevada, USA,” has concluded that forest wildfires in a large area of California and western Nevada are not only getting larger and more frequent, but they are burning more severely.

A team led by U.S. Forest Service Regional Ecologist Hugh Safford and Remote Sensing Specialist Jay Miller found that low–and–middle–elevations forests in an approximately 50,000 km2 area of California and western Nevada experienced a notable increase in the area of wildfire burning at “high severity” (i.e., at an intensity that leads to complete or nearly complete mortality of forest stands) between 1984 and 2006. The average size of high severity patches also increased by almost 100 percent over the same time period. Furthermore, mean and maximum fire size, and area burned annually have all risen substantially since the beginning of the 1980s, and are now at or above values from the decades preceding the 1940s, when fire suppression became national policy. All of these trends are occurring in concert with a regional rise in temperature and annual precipitation, but also in the face of massive and increasingly more expensive efforts to control wildfires. A close examination of the climate–fire relationship suggests that escalating fire size, burned area and severity are linked to changing climate, but another major factor appears to be increases in forest fuels, due to long-term fire suppression.

Before the arrival of Euroamericans, most low–and–middle–elevation forests in the Sierra Nevada were characterized by frequent, low to moderate severity fire. Although the number of acres that burn today are much less than during presettlement times due to fire suppression, fire behavior is becoming more extreme and ecosystem impacts are inevitable. Through their growing tendency to kill larger patches of canopy trees, contemporary fires are contributing to increasing levels of forest fragmentation. With continuing increases in the percentage of high severity fire and high severity patch size, post-fire erosion, stream sedimentation, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration and natural forest regeneration processes will also be increasingly impacted, and human safety is also a rising concern.

For interviews with either Dr. Safford or Mr. Miller, please contact John Heil at (707) 562-9004.

Cal Fire arrests El Dorado Hills man in arson fires

Cal Fire officials have arrested a 25-year-old El Dorado Hills man for allegedly setting seven fires earlier this month.

Kenneth Powell was arrested on suspicion of seven counts of arson, according to a press release.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection made Monday's arrest with assistance from the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office, said Bill Dillard, a criminal investigator with the DA's office.

The seven fires broke out during a two-hour period on Oct. 18 and 19. All were grassland fires except one that was set in a dumpster at Raley's, Dillard said.

The grassland fires were in large, dry fields and many were near multi-million dollar homes. The fires were kept to less than an acre each because of the quick response from fire agencies including Cal Fire and the El Dorado Hills Fire Department, he said.

The investigation was a joint effort between Cal Fire, El Dorado Hills Fire, and the DA's office.

Source Article: The Sacramento Bee, From Sandy Louey

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

RED FLAG WARNINGS: for Southern California

RED FLAG WARNINGS poster - Fire weather
RED FLAG WARNINGS for portions of Southern California remain in effect through Wednesday evening due to low relative humidity. http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sto/cafw/

THE RED FLAG WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT WEDNESDAY. A LONG DURATION OF SINGLE DIGIT HUMIDITY LEVELS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING... MAINLY IN THE FOOTHILLS AND THROUGHOUT THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS...WITH OVERNIGHT HUMIDITY LEVELS ONLY RECOVERING TO BETWEEN 10 AND 20 PERCENT.

Instruction:
A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE OCCURRING. A COMBINATION OF LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...VERY WARM TEMPERATURES... AND CRITICAL FUELS WILL CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL. PLEASE ADVISE THE APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OR FIRE CREWS IN THE FIELD OF THIS RED FLAG WARNING.

RED FLAG WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT WEDNESDAY DUE TO AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF LOW HUMIDITY Actual/Immediate/Severe/Observed
VENTURA COUNTY INTERIOR VALLEYS-VENTURA COUNTY COASTAL VALLEYS-SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS RECREATIONAL AREA-SANTA CLARITA VALLEY-LOS ANGELES COUNTY SAN FERNANDO VALLEY-LOS ANGELES COUNTY SAN GABRIEL VALLEY-
Alert sent at 09:09 PDT on 2008-10-28
RED FLAG WARNINGS IN EFFECT FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING DUE TO AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF LOW HUMIDITY Actual/Future/Severe/Possible
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY MOUNTAINS / LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST-VENTURA COUNTY MOUNTAINS / LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST-LOS ANGELES COUNTY MOUNTAINS / ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST-
Alert sent at 09:09 PDT on 2008-10-28
RED FLAG WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT WEDNESDAY FOR VERY LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES Actual/Immediate/Severe/Observed
SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY VALLEYS-THE INLAND EMPIRE-SAN DIEGO COUNTY INLAND VALLEYS-SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE MOUNTAIN TOP AND FRONT COUNTRY RANGER DISTRICTS OFTHE SAN BERNARDINO NATIONAL FOREST-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE SAN JACINTO RANGER DISTRICT OF THE SAN BERNARDINONATIONAL FOREST-SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE TRABUCO RANGER DISTRICT OF THE CLEVELAND NATIONALFOREST-SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE PALOMAR AND DESCANSO RANGER DISTRICTS OF THECLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST-
Alert sent at 08:44 PDT on 2008-10-28
CHANGE IN THE WEATHER EXPECTED TOWARDS THE END OF THE WEEK Actual/Future/Unknown/Possible
SHASTA LAKE AREA / NORTHERN SHASTA COUNTY-BURNEY BASIN / EASTERN SHASTA COUNTY-NORTHERN SACRAMENTO VALLEY-CENTRAL SACRAMENTO VALLEY-SOUTHERN SACRAMENTO VALLEY-CARQUINEZ STRAIT AND DELTA-NORTHERN SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY-MOUNTAINS SOUTHWESTERN SHASTA COUNTY TO NORTHERN LAKE COUNTY-CLEAR LAKE/SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTY-NORTHEAST FOOTHILLS/SACRAMENTO VALLEY-MOTHERLODE-WESTERN PLUMAS COUNTY/LASSEN PARK-WEST SLOPE NORTHERN SIERRA NEVADA-
Alert sent at 06:47 PDT on 2008-10-28
VERY LOW HUMIDITIES PERSIST OVER THE KERN COUNTY MOUNTAINS Actual/Future/Severe/Possible
KERN COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
Update sent at 03:49 PDT on 2008-10-28
RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT THIS EVENING Actual/Immediate/Severe/Observed
SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY VALLEYS-THE INLAND EMPIRE-SAN DIEGO COUNTY INLAND VALLEYS-SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE MOUNTAIN TOP AND FRONT COUNTRY RANGER DISTRICTS OFTHE SAN BERNARDINO NATIONAL FOREST-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE SAN JACINTO RANGER DISTRICT OF THE SAN BERNARDINONATIONAL FOREST-SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE TRABUCO RANGER DISTRICT OF THE CLEVELAND NATIONALFOREST-SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-INCLUDING THE PALOMAR AND DESCANSO RANGER DISTRICTS OF THECLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST-
Update sent at 02:44 PDT on 2008-10-28

CA-LAC- Azusa - Wildland Fire - 35 acres, 95%

Los Angeles County Fire is working a 2nd alarm brush fire. No evacuations ordered at this time.
Location:Fish Canyon area between Durate and Azusa, Sierra Madre Ave & Todd Rd near the City of Azusa.
Sizeup:02:10hrs - Fire is burning about 3-5 acres inside the riverbed IC advising strong wind gusts up to 10MPH asking for 4 additional patrols, 3 additional Battalion Chief's. 5 closest engine's.
Resources: 120+ personnel - E97 E244 E154 E48 E264 DZT 2, Deputy 3, AC 4, BC 16, BC 2, WT101MRV, P44, P97, E152, E32, E151, Crew 19-2, Copter 11, Copter 14, Copter 19, E86, BC 10, WT32, Info 20, E64,
IC: AC 4 - Azusa IC, Battalion 2 - Azusa Ops
Comms: Com- Blue 6 470.4125

Fire at California Dairies in Tulare County

Update: The blaze that was burning on the fourth and fifth floors of California Dairies' milk evaporation tower is now contained. Mark Nelson, the fire chief for the Visalia Fire Department, said the fire was contained shortly after 1 p.m. at the milk processor on the 2000 block of Plaza Drive in Visalia. The cause of the blaze is believed to be friction from the powdered milk as it moved through the 8-story processing unit.
About 75 workers were evacuated from the plant. There were no injuries reported.
Source: visaliatimesdelta.com

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Fire at California Dairies in Tulare County

There was an explosive fire at a dairy between Goshen and Visalia in Tulare County Monday morning.

Preliminary speculation is that the fire is a result of a dry milk product that caught on fire due to friction as the powder is processed.

The cause of the blaze is believed to be friction from the powdered milk as it moved through the 8-story processing unit.

About 75 workers were evacuated from the plant. There were no injuries reported.

The sprinklers came on and kept the fire under control until fire crews arrived to put the fire out. The plant was evacuated and workers were allowed to go home as a result of the fire.

Visalia Fire Chief Mark Nelson said, “Based on the explosion, if there was structural damage, it would be very dangerous to the fire crews inside, so they’re being very cautious in their approach as they work through the building to get to the fire.”

The fire took place on the 4th and 5th floors of the California Dairies. There were five workers on the 4th and 5th floor at the time of the fire and all are accounted for. There were no injuries in the fire but the building was badly damaged.

The blaze was a 2-alarm fire with a total of eleven units, and 40 firefighters responding.
Source: cbs47.tv/news/

Monday, October 27, 2008

News: DC-10’s Supertanker contract extended through the end of October

Contract extended for Supertanker

Though the DC-10’s Supertanker’s contract with Cal Fire would have ended Oct. 15, 10 Tanker Air Carrier managing partner Rick Hatton said it’s been extended through the end of October. Santa Ana winds picking up and the dangerously dry conditions are rattling some nerves.
“It’s been a weird season,” Hatton said. “It was very busy early in the summer. We flew more mission in June and July than all of ‘07. But it’s been quiet for August and September. Now there’s this huge fear that all hell could break lose.”
The tanker was used to fight the Porter Ranch fire that engulfed parts of Los Angeles two weeks ago, but the plane has been grounded for the past few days.
Last year, during its first year under contract with Cal Fire, the tanker flew 106 missions in fighting more than a dozen large wildfires.
Hatton said a recently completed second DC-10 is ready to come on line soon, with plans to get contracts in place for next year’s fire season.

News: NASA studies supertanker for U.S.F.S

May pave way for federal contract

October 27, 2008
BROOKE EDWARDS Staff Writer

Source article: VV Dailypress.com

VICTORVILLE • The firefighting DC-10 Supertanker, based at Southern California Logistics Airport, is being studied by NASA in what could pave the way for the plane’s first federal contracts.
The jet’s owner, 10 Tanker Air Carrier, has been trying for some time to get a contract with the U.S. Forest Service that would allow the agency to fight fires on federal land, managing partner Rick Hatton said.
The Forest Service approached NASA for help in determining the best use for the plane.
“They came to see us in Victorville with six or seven people last month,” Hatton said. “We briefed them on the plane and how effective it’s been for the state of California and how effective it could be for the federal agencies.”
NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, about 30 miles northwest of Victorville, will be studying the supertanker to determine its “safe flight envelope.” The team will then recommend operational use regimes, policies and procedures for the aircraft.
The NASA team has spent the past few days in Miami, Hatton said, using an advanced DC-10 flight simulator to perform some preliminary tests.
“We hope to get the NASA team on the DC-10 in a fire environment,” Hatton said, so the company can show NASA what the plane can do.
If not, he said they’ll do mock drops with water in a remote place over the desert, hopefully within the next few weeks.
“The entire team is very excited about helping the Forest Service with this effort,” said Mark Dickerson, project manager for Dryden. “It is a bit different from our typical research projects, but we all enjoy being able to help find new tools to fight wildfires.”
NASA is also studying a Boeing 747 owned by Evergreen International Aviation.
Hatton said his company has hope that the final report will be done in the next few months.

Brooke Edwards may be reached at 955-5358 or at bedwards@vvdailypress.com.

Final arguments in the case against volunteer firefighter

volunteer Esparto firefighter Robert Eason, who was arrested for starting fires between 2005-2006 in the Capay Valley
Volunteer firefighter portrayed as 'wild man arsonist'
By Democrat Staff

WOODLAND - The final arguments in the case against volunteer Esparto firefighter Robert Eason, who was arrested for starting fires between 2005-2006 in the Capay Valley, were heard today.

Yolo County Prosecutor Garrett Hamilton said Eason was caught in a triangle of evidence at the Yolo County Courthouse.

A GPS device tracked Eason driving by every spot a roadside fire he is accused of starting occurred. Hamilton noted that in the 64 days Eason was tracked there wasn't a fire he didn't drive by.

Mosquito coils, which were allegedly used to create the time delayed incendiary devices, were found at his home despite the fact Eason said he didn't own any. Match books, fishing line and mosquito coils were also found in his car.

Hamilton also said that no ignition sources were found at the fire scene, which suggested mosquito coils were used.

"Robert Eason had a darker side, that darker side is Eason as a wild man arsonist," Hamilton said.

Eason's defense attorney Rodney Beede said other evidence wasn't taken into consideration.

He said experts at some of the fires reported finding a firecracker, iron and ash but did not do further tests to pinpoint what the cause.

With GPS trackers, investigators following Eason and people positioned at places of potential fires, Beede said no one saw Eason start fires.

"The sum total of what they got was zero," Beede said.

Beede said the prosecution was using circumstantial evidence to prove Eason guilty. "I thought in America they had to prove guilt, not we had to prove innocence," Beede said.
Jury members have began final deliberations.
Source: http://www.dailydemocrat.com/ci_10829127
------------------------------------------
Officials: Firefighter May Have Set Up To 143 Fires
Volunteer Arrested In Connection With Blazes That Charred Land, Injured Livestock

A volunteer firefighter accused of setting a string of fires in Yolo County last month may be responsible for as many as 143 blazes over several years, authorities said.
Robert Eric Eason, 37, of Guinda was arrested and charged with 12 felony counts of arson and a dozen counts of using an incendiary time-delay device.
Eason has been been a volunteer the Capay Fire Protection District since 1988, and investigators are looking at evidence connected to fires dating back to 1988 to determine if Eason will face additional charges.
"It's just sickening to us," said Tina Rose of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "It's a disgrace. We don't want that reflecting upon all the good firefighters."Investigators said Eason is suspected in a 1,000-acre wildland fire during high winds in Sept. 22 near Zamora that threatened numerous structures and killed a number of sheep on ranches in the area.
Source: http://www.kcra.com/news/10068944/detail.html?subid=22100408&qs=1;bp=t
Anyone with additional information about this case is urged to call the CDF Arson Hotline at 800-468-4408.

New SCBA on the way! IAFF news release

FIRST RESPONDER TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT: News: New SCBA on the way! IAFF news release

Federal Contract Gives IAFF Lead in Developing Lighter Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus

Washington, DC – The Department of Homeland Security has awarded the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) a $2 million contract to develop a new pressure vessel that will make the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) worn by first responders substantially thinner and lighter.

Smaller, lighter SCBA will improve fire fighter safety.

“The IAFF is proud of its record as the leader in the development of projects that provide direct benefits to fire fighter health and safety. With all the recent technological developments and new materials we can work with, it’s time to fast-track the introduction of new, lighter, less stressful, but highly protective equipment,” IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger said.

The cylinders that contain the pressure vessels in existing SCBA account for much of the weight and size of the units. The weight and profile of those cylinders has been associated with increased rates of injury and fatalities for emergency responders.

The IAFF is working with Vulcore Industrial in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to use technology, engineering and new materials to modify the pressure vessel in a way that will reduce the weight and make it smaller and more flexible.

In initial prototype designs, the new pressure vessel offers an approximate 60 percent weight reduction over conventional SCBA cylinders. Prototypes also have a substantially smaller profile, measuring two inches in depth. Pressure vessels on conventional SCBA cylinders measure seven inches in depth.

The design braids new, thin, tubular pressure vessels in the harness assembly, instead of the large cylinders used today sitting on top of the harness assembly, allowing for greater mobility in confined spaces. Unlike conventional cylinders which contain air pressures up to 5000 psi, the new vessels won’t fragment if they’re ruptured. A punctured pressure vessel would simply vent contained air.

Members of Fort Wayne, IN, Local 124 have tested the prototypes in simulated confined space entry.

The IAFF’s contract with DHS spans a 15-month period. The research and development is expected to result in a new, commercially available SCBA.

“The IAFF is confident that a new generation of lighter, low-profile SCBA will be available to the fire service when this important research concludes, and our members will be safer for it,” Schaitberger said.

----------------------------

Government approvals
The DHS contract to the IAFF spans a 15-month period to advance the new technology toward commercialization. This effort includes getting the necessary government approvals for the new pressure vessel, working with the SCBA industry to integrate the new pressure vessel as part of existing SCBA, fulfilling government and NFPA standards certification requirements, and carrying out field testing to prove the benefits of the new technology. The IAFF Project Team, which also includes International Personnel Protection, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, is working with a Technical Advisory Committee, which is providing input for the integration, testing and introduction of the new pressure vessel technology. At the first meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee, several factors were identified that will help with ensuring a smooth transition of the fire service to lower weight, thinner profile SCBA. For example, since only one system can be initially brought through various required approvals and certifications, the advisory group opted for a 45-minute service life rated system.

Amazing new SCBA represent a significant improvement in personal protective equipment.
Photo : Screenshot from ABC 9 video

Harold Schaitberger, general president of the IAFF, has prioritized this effort to ensure his membership has the latest technology to minimize firefighter and other first responder stress during emergencies. "The IAFF has a long history of promoting new development projects that provide direct benefits to fire fighter health and safety," he said. "We feel that the time is right to fast track the introduction of new technology that will allow firefighters to respond lighter with a higher degree of safety by using less stressful, but highly protective equipment. At the end of this project, the IAFF is confident that a new generation of lighter, thinner SCBA will be available to the fire service."

Within the next two years, the new SCBA technology is likely to change the way that the fire service and other first responders look at SCBA and the missions that require air-supplying systems. Not only will the firefighter ensemble look different, with sleeker, lighter SCBA, the improvements for stress reduction and confined space mobility will be dramatically improved. Most importantly, the new technology will represent a paradigm change in the industry the same way that positive-pressure SCBA afforded firefighters substantially higher levels of safety and health compared to previous respirator use.

A Technical Advisory Committee of IAFF members will provide input for the integration, testing and introduction of the new pressure vessel technology. At the first meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee, several factors were identified that will help ensure a smooth transition of a new SCBA to the fire service. The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, DC, represents more than 292,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More information is available at www.iaff.org.


VIDEO:
ABC 9 video

National Fire News Report ~ 10/27/08

National Preparedness Level 1

(On a scale from 1 to 5)

Current hours for the National Fire Information Center are
(MST) 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday
208-387-5050
This report will be updated Monday and Friday
unless significant activity occurs.

October 27, 2008

Large fire activity was reported in Arizona and California. Firefighters expect to contain the Chalk fire in southern California by Wednesday.

Weather: Very warm and dry weather will continue in Southern California through Tuesday. The Southeast states will be cool, dry and breezy today and Tuesday.

Source: National Interagency Coordination Center

Daily statistics 10/27/08

Number of new large fires

0

States currently reporting large fires:

Number of active large fires

1


Arizona (1)
California (1)


Acres from active fires

16,269

Number of Wildland Fire Use (WFU) fires

1

Number of Wildland Fire Use (WFU) acres

3,182

Fires contained since 10/26/08

0

Year-to-date large fires contained

701

Year-to-date statistics

2008 (1/1/08 - 10/27/08)

Fires: 73,352

Acres: 5,034,070

2007 (1/1/07 - 10/27/07)

Fires: 76,731

Acres: 8,695,499

2006 (1/1/06 - 10/27/06)

Fires: 86,391

Acres: 9,400,909

2005 (1/1/05 - 10/27/05)

Fires: 56,589

Acres: 8,256,081

2004 (1/1/04 - 10/27/04)

Fires: 62,852

Acres: 8,042,281

2003 (1/1/03 - 10/27/03)

Fires: 55,533

Acres: 3,337,304

2002 (1/1/02 - 10/27/02)

Fires: 69,274

Acres: 6,707,556

2001 (1/1/01 - 10/27/01)

Fires: 66,290

Acres: 3,779,562

2000 (1/1/00 - 10/27/00)

Fires: 86,418

Acres: 7,025,680

10-year average

1999 - 2008

Fires: 71,521

Acres: 6,546,012

Current Wildland Fires

Arizona

Fires: 0

Acres: 0

New fires: 0

Fires contained: 0

WFU Fires: 1 Acres: 3,182 New WFU: 0
Marteen (Kaibab National Forest): 3,182 acres. This Wildland Fire Use incident is being managed for resource benefit.

California

Fires: 1

Acres: 16,269

New fires: 0

Fires contained: 0

Chalk (Los Padres National Forest): 16,269 acres at 98 percent contained. This fire is located nine miles north of Gorda. Structures are threatened. Evacuations are in effect.
Information: Call 805-961-5770 or visit the incident website.

CA-LPF- Chalk wildland fire 16,269 acres, 98%

Chalk wildland fire - Los Padres National Forest
ALL WARNINGS AND WATHCES HAVE BEEN LIFTED.
Roads to reopen today Nacimiento Fergusson Road, South Coast Ridge Road and Willow Creek Road south to Highway 1 will reopen on Monday, October 27, 2008 at 12 Noon.

Update:
10-27 1800hrs - Chalk (CA-LPF-2754) 16,269 Acres and 98% contained. Mark Nunez (ICT3) assumed command of the fire this morning. Rolling rocks and debris on Highway 1 south of The Hermitage Road remain a problem. All road closures have been removed today at 1200 hours, except for Cone Peak Road which will remain closed until further notice per the Monterey District Office.

Road Closures: Please exercise caution when traveling on Highway 1 along Twitchell Flats and Limekiln State Park. Due to rolling rocks and debris from the burned hillsides along this area, expect delays from 15 to 20 minutes. Electronic message boards are located at Highway 101 and 46, Highway 46 and Highway 1, Hearst Castle, north of Willow Creek Bridge, Nepenthe in Big Sur and Rio Road and Highway 1 in Carmel.
Roads to reopen today: Nacimiento Fergusson Road, South Coast Ridge Road and Willow Creek Road south to Highway 1 will reopen on Monday, October 27, 2008 at 12Noon.

Chalk wildland fire map - Los Padres National Forest
Credit: Inciweb - http://www.inciweb.org/incident/maps/large/1551/0/

Current Situation
Total Personnel: 385
Size: 16,269 acres
Percent Contained: 98%
Estimated Containment: Date Wednesday October 29th, 2008 aprox 06:00 PM

Basic Information
Incident Type: Wildland Fire
Cause: Under Investigation
Date of Origin: Saturday September 27th, 2008 aprox 07:30 PM
Location: 22 mi southwest of King City, CA
Approximate GPS Location: 35.99 latitude, -121.43 longitude
Incident Commander: Dana D'andrea

Fuels Involved - 4 Chaparral (6 Feet) Large volume of dead and down material in fire fuel bed from sudden oak death and previous fires. Oak woodland and pockets of timber.
Fire Behavior -
Interior burning of unburned fuel, creeping and smoldering.
Significant Events - Rock and debris fall continues on Highway 1 resulting in periodic closures. Drivers are strongly advised to heed Caltrans caution/closure signs or risk damage to their vehicles. Electronic message boards are at the following locations: 101 and Highway 46, Highway 1 and 46, Hearst Castle, north of Willow Creek Bridge, Nepenthe in Big Sur and Rio Road and Highway 1 in Carmel. The Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team 7 will be transitioning to the local Type 3 team beginning tomorrow morning, October 26, 2008 at 6:00 am. Incident Commander will be Mark Nunez.
Outlook and Planned Actions - Crews continue to mop up and improve existing line along the Hermitage Road to Highway 1. They will also continue to mop up around structures and improvements in Limekiln State Park. Crews continue to clean up and remove hose. The Evacuation Watch for Hermitage has been lifted as of 6:00pm Saturday, Oct.25, 2008. The Evacuation Watch for the Harlan Ranch and Morning Glory area was lifted as of 6:00pm on October 23, 2008.
Growth Potential - Low
Terrain Difficulty - Extreme
Remarks - Crews monitored and extinguished hot spots found in the Twin Peaks area and along the coast near the Limekiln State Park area. Rehab work continued on the dozer line above the Hermitage and removal of fire hose and trash will continue today. Please exercise caution when traveling on Highway 1 along Twitchell Flats and Limekiln State Park. Due to rolling rocks and debris from the burned hillsides along this area, expect delays from 15 to 20 minutes. Electronic message boards are located at Highway 101 and 46, Highway 46 and Highway 1, Hearst Castle, north of Willow Creek Bridge, Nepenthe in Big Sur and Rio Road and Highway 1 in Carmel. Nacimiento Fergusson Road, South Coast Ridge Road and Willow Creek Road south to Highway 1 will reopen on Monday, October 27, 2008 at 12Noon.
Weather
Current Wind Conditions 5-10 mph SE
Current Temperature 47-65 degrees
Current Humidity 40-70 %

NV-CCD Petersen - wildland fire - 1,000 acres 0%

Update: October 27, 2008
Fire Name: Peterson - Morning update
Estimating containment tonight at 8:00 p.m.
The fire started yesterday and continues today. Fire activity is minimal, with smoldering pockets of vegetation within the fire line.
A GPS survey updated the official acreage to be 1190 acres.
Currently there are no residential threats.
Fire is 75% contained this morning. Handcrews and engines are constructing fireline and mopping up the fire. Fireline reinforcement continues. No suppression or containment problems are anticipated at his time.
Fire Command: Bureau of Land Management-
Assisting Agencies: US Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, CALFIRE, Reno FD
Resources Assigned: Air Tankers-1, Hand Crews- 7, Engines- 7, Command Staff- 7,
Personnel: 175
Natural & Cultural Resources: Potential threat to endangered moth species and a Wilderness Study area. Deer Winter Range, Sage Grouse, Mountain Quail Habitats were lost or damaged.

Petersen - wild land fire
Cal Fire News/Geomac
Nevada wildland fire is approaching California border, no containment.
A dispatcher for the Sierra Front Fire Interagency Dispatch Center in Minden says no structures are immediately threatened, but engines have been placed around some homes, a business and a ranch as a precaution.
Update: 10-27-08 -09:00hrs - Radio reports that fire has been held at 1,000 acres, extensive mop-up and line reinforcement continues.
Location: Crystal Canyon near Cold Springs, North of Reno, East of Highway 395
Resources: 150 firefighters, several air tankers are attacking the blaze.
California is sending engine and crew strike teams, dozer's and numerous aircraft.
Cause: Under investigation.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CA-SQF-Moses fire - High elevation Fire - 2 acres in size

The Moses Fire Monitored with High-Tech Cameras

Springville, CA., October 22, 2008...Fire Officials are using high quality cameras to monitor the fire. The cameras are placed in strategic locations so fire officials can monitor the smoke and fires growth. Cameras placed on ridge tops have been utilized internally by the Forest Service over the past several years to monitor fire activity. In this case, however, a camera was placed specifically to monitor the Moses Fire and is now available to the public.

The public can view the fire from one of the cameras by going to the Sequoia National Forest web-site www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia and then click on the Jordan Peak link under "LIVE WEB CAMERA" in the box on the right hand side of the web-page.

The Moses fire was discovered on October 14th and is burning at an elevation of 8,000 feet in the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Western Divide Ranger District, Giant Sequoia National Monument. The fire poses little threat to any non-Federal lands.

Priscilla Summers, District Ranger, has decided the appropriate management response for the Moses fire is to monitor the fire from a distance rather than place personnel in the steep and rocky terrain on the fire's edge. Forest officials have been coordinating with Park officials from nearby Sequoia National Park. There is a possibility that the fire could expand and reach the Park boundary prior to fall rains and snow.

The Moses fire is currently 2 acres in size and is burning slowly. The fire’s growth is expected to be minimal. Smoke is visible intermittently from Yokohl Valley Drive near the community of Springville and from Road 276 in Frazier Valley.

Source: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/news/releases/2008/moses.html
High Sierra Cam: http://sierrafire.cr.usgs.gov/cgi-bi...=jordan_peak_5

In Memorium: Engine 57 - flags a half staff today

All Cal Fire facilities will fly their flags a half staff today in memory of the crew of Engine 57. A moment of silence will be observed a 12 noon today.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Friends, family of five fallen firefighters to mark second anniversary of their deaths
2nd anniversary reality sets in
By Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell

Today is the second anniversary of the day five area firefighters died in the fierce Esperanza Fire in the San Jacinto Mountains.
For the mothers, fathers, fire captains and others recognizing the day, it is in some ways a more difficult time than the first.

"The first year was so busy with all the functions to go to," said Vivian Najera, aunt of Daniel Hoover-Najera, one of the fallen firefighters. "This year, it seems like the reality has set in that it really happened. Now we have such an empty feeling and miss him even more."

The four members of U.S. Forest Service Engine Crew 57 who died at the scene were Engine Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, 43, of Idyllwild; Hoover-Najera, 20, of San Jacinto; fire engine operator Jess McLean, 27, of Beaumont; and assistant fire engine operator Jason McKay, 27, of Phelan.

The fifth firefighter, Pablo Cerda, 23, of Fountain Valley, died Oct. 31 at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

In the year following their deaths, there were several events commemorating the five men. Parks and other places were dedicated to them in their hometowns.

On the first anniversary, a moment of silence was observed by San Bernardino National Forest employees.

Today, there will again be a moment of silence at noon.

"It is a time when we will honor our fellow firefighters, who will always be a part of our Forest Service family," said San Bernardino National Forest Fire Chief Mike Dietrich.

On Saturday, Cal Fire also dedicated the new interagency Station 24 in Cabazon in memory of the hundreds of firefighters who fought the Esperanza Fire. There will be a plaque naming the five who fell, Dietrich said.

A moment of silence will also be held at the memorial event Najera has organized at Jo'An's Restaurant in Idyllwild.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and will feature four bands.

There will also be a raffle and CDs will be sold to raise money for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, a nonprofit that provides assistance to fallen firefighters' families.

"We don't want to sadden everyone," Najera said. "Our goal is to celebrate their lives because they were very loved."

The family of McLean has chosen to honor his memory with the first Jess McLean Memorial Baseball Tournament. It began Saturday and is to continue today at Noble Creek Park in Beaumont.

Games will be held on the field that was named after McLean. Money raised will also be donated to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

Bonnie McKay, the mother of Jason McKay, will mark the day at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Apple Valley, where her son is buried.

It is a quiet and beautiful place where she has spent many Sundays.

"It seems like it will be even more solemn this time around," she said. "Time has taught us how to deal with it, but it certainly does not heal it."
Source: sbsun.com - Link

Saturday, October 25, 2008

National Fire News Report ~ 10/24/08

National Preparedness Level 1

(On a scale from 1 to 5)

Current hours for the National Fire Information Center are
(MST) 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday
208-387-5050
This report will be updated Monday and Friday
unless significant activity occurs.

October 24, 2008

Large fire activity was reported in Arizona, California, New Jersey, and Utah.

Weather: Southern California will be warm with very low humidity the next few days. Winds will be light. The mid-Atlantic states will be dry today with rain moving in from the west tonight and Saturday.

Source: National Interagency Coordination Center


Daily statistics 10/24/08

Number of new large fires

0

States currently reporting large fires:

Number of active large fires

3


California (3)

Acres from active fires

18,669

Number of Wildland Fire Use (WFU) fires

1

Number of Wildland Fire Use (WFU) acres

1,811

Fires contained since 10/23/08

0

Year-to-date large fires contained

701

Year-to-date statistics

2008 (1/1/08 - 10/24/08)

Fires: 58,950

Acres: 4,482,023

2007 (1/1/07 - 10/24/07)

Fires: 76,285

Acres: 8,248,271

2006 (1/1/06 - 10/24/06)

Fires: 85,998

Acres: 9,394,740

2005 (1/1/05 - 10/24/05)

Fires: 55463

Acres: 8,236,638

2004 (1/1/04 - 10/24/04)

Fires: 62,557

Acres: 7,912,436

2003 (1/1/03 - 10/24/03)

Fires: 54486

Acres: 3,249,446

2002 (1/1/02 - 10/24/02)

Fires: 68,884

Acres: 6,702,951

2001 (1/1/01 - 10/24/01)

Fires: 64,910

Acres: 3,285,991

2000 (1/1/00 - 10/24/00)

Fires: 84,208

Acres: 6,963,018

10-year average

1999 - 2008

Fires: 71,052

Acres: 6,435,131

Current Wildland Fires

Arizona

Fires: 0

Acres: 0

New fires: 0

Fires contained: 0


WFU Fires: 1 Acres: 165 New WFU: 1
Marteen (Kaibab National Forest): This Wildland Fire Use incident is being managed for resource benefit.

California

Fires: 1

Acres: 16,269

New fires: 0

Fires contained: 0

Chalk (Los Padres National Forest): 16,269 acres at 93 percent contained. This fire is located nine miles north of Gorda. Structures are threatened. Evacuations are in effect.
Information: Call 805-961-5770 or visit the incident website.

New Jersey

Fires: 1

Acres: 1,950

New fires: 0

Fires contained: 0

Salders Ditch (New Jersey Forest Fire Service): 1,950 acres at 50 percent contained. This fire is located five miles north of Hammonton.

Utah

Fires: 1

Acres: 450

New fires: 0

Fires contained: 0

Slough 2 (Southeast Area, Utah Department of Forestry): 450 acres at an unknown percent contained. This fire is located 10 miles north of Moab.


Editor's Note: Apologies to all on the "lateness" of this report. The NIFC website states that they'll update on Mondays and Fridays. This week's Friday report wasn't posted until this morning, Saturday morning.

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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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