Friday, July 31, 2009

USFS: USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan: FY 2007–2012

USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan: FY 2007–2012

Forest Service Mission Statement:
Sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and
grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

Forest Service Values:
The Forest Service—
• Cares for the Nation’s forest and grassland ecosystems.
• Values the varied skills and contributions of a diverse workforce.
• Strives for accountability by every employee for the efficient
management of the capital resources he or she uses.
• Is responsive to national and local interests.
• Is focused on the needs of future generations.

See the whole plan at: .PDF file -
Wildfires Today - United States Wildland Fire News today: "USFS Strategic Plan: FY 2007–2012

News and Notes: California Fire Situation 07-31-09

Type I IMT - National Rotation
* 2 hr: California
* 8 hr: Southern
* 24 hr: Southwest

Type II IMT - Regional Rotation
* 2 hr: NC
* 8 hr: SC

Type I IMT - Regional Rotation
* 2 hr McGowan
* 8 hr: Molumby
* 24 hr: Pincha Tulley

Type II IMT - Local Rotation
* 2 hr: Swarztlander
* 8 hr: Molhoek

Southern California Area (PL 2)
New fires: 18
New large fires: 0
Uncontained large fires: 1
Type 2 IMTs committed: 1
Knight, Stanislaus NF. IMT2 (Johnson). Ten miles north of Twain Harte, CA. Timber and brush. Active fire behavior. Residences threatened.

Southern California GACC - OSCC - News and Notes:
07/30/09 1000 - Wildcat CA-YNP-2968 Fire is 300 acres 0% MMA burning on the north side of the Toulumne River between Return Creek and Register Creek. Fire behavior was moderate to high intensity and experienced short uphill runs in brush and timber with windy conditions. Incident is a wildland fire that is managed for resource benefits

07/30/09 1000 - Knight, CA-STF-002207, Incident is Unified Command (Johnson-USFS / Millar-CALFIRE). The fire is 1643 acres with 10% containment and is located south of the Middle Fork of Stanislaus River, Tuolumne County. Anticipate completion of constructed contingency lines today. A significant firing operation is being planned to start once all the line construction is completed. The projected final acreage is about 6132 acres. Total personnel assigned 1,016

Northern California GACC - ONCC - News and Notes:
07/30/09 1800 - Lightning has resulted in several starts today. The activity continues through this evening.
7/29/09 1725 - New starts across the GACC today, approximately 20 fires have been reported following 2 days of lightning activity. Lightning remains in the forecast for the next two days. Fire danger indicies continue to climb above the 90th percentiles toward record levels, indicating an increase in control issues and demand for resurces to staff incidents.

National Fire Activity
Initial attack activity: Moderate (206 new fires)
New large fires: 9 (*)
Large fires contained: 4
Uncontained large fires : ** 20
Area Command Teams committed: 0
NIMOs committed: 0
Type 1 IMTs committed: 0
Type 2 IMTs committed: 8
Nationally, there are 63 large fires being managed with minimal or no resource
commitment that are not shown on today’s report.
** Uncontained large fires do not include confine/contain and
resource benefit incidents. **
Link to Geographic Area daily reports.

Knight Fire - Fireground Scanner Frequencies

Knight Fire - Stanislaus National Forest - Tuolumne County
GPS: 38 06.188, 120 14.707
Tac 1 166.0875
Tac 2 168.250
Tac 3 169.750
Tac 4 164.1375
Tac 5 166.725
Knight-1 168.100
Knight-2 162.9625
Forest Net 168.750
Air to Ground 168.6375
Air Guard 168.625
Air Runway 128.475
Air Command 168.100
Helicopter Ops 163.100

Yosemite Fires – Update #25 – July 30, 2009

A new fire has been found in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River.

The Wildcat fire is burning on the north side of the river, between Pate Valley and Glen Aulin.
It is burning in Red Fir, Jeffery Pine and brush on very steep terrain.
Active fire behavior with rapid rates of spread, including short duration torching and crowning of fuels was observed by Yosemite fire mangers during a Helicopter 551 reconnaissance flight over the fire area.
One four person Yosemite fire crew was flown into the area last night and will hike to the fire zone to observe fire behavior and determine fire resource needs.
Other resources have been ordered. This fire is located in one of the most remote, steep and rugged wilderness areas of the Park. Due to the steepness of the canyon, the potential for rock and timber roll-out and other significant safety concerns, the primary strategy will be indirect action until the fire finds its way to more open and accessible terrain.
Trail closures are in affect: The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne from Glen Aulin to Pate Valley. Further trail closures are beig considered.
The immediate course of action and strategy will be to keep the fire on the north side of the Tuolumne River. Further actions will be determined by fire managers with additional reconnaissance and on the ground evaluation by fire crews.
All responses are being considered for this wilderness wildfire. Values to be protected include the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, the Tuolumne River, trail systems and bridges, wildlife habitat and other wilderness and cultural resources.

A smoke column was visible from this fire from many locations within the Park and the immediate region. Air quality could be diminished over the next few days due to strong up and down canyon winds moving smoke.

Yosemite fire crews are staffing all fires
Weather forecasters have predicted more thunderstorms and lightning pushing into the foothills tonight with but with less activity through the rest of the week. Cooler temperatures are also predicted and with more air movement by the weekend.

Wilderness Fire Unit; lightning caused fires:
Wildcat (37 56.208 x 119 29.418, 6300’ to 8400’ elevation, Tuolumne Co.) The 300 acre fire is burning in Jeffery Pine, Red Fir and brush. It is making runs to the north rim of the canyon. It has good potential for further growth.

Grouse (37 41.445 x 119 41.017; 6500’, Mariposa Co.). Started May 30. It is approximately 3,047 acres and 98 percent contained. Yosemite fire crews will continue to patrol this fire as some interior smoldering continues and periodic light smoke is visible.

Harden (37 53.624 x 119 42.221; 7800’, Tuolumne Co) Started June 8. It is north of White Wolf, west of Harden Lake. It is 1,661 acres, with 95 percent containment. Fire crews are in the mop stage with this fire.

Regional fires: Reporting this fire in cooperation with the Stanislaus National Forest.
Knight (38.18 x -120.254, Stanislaus NF, Tuolumne Co.) Today this fire is at 1,332 acres with more potential for growth. It is near the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River and approximately 27 miles northwest of the Yosemite Big Oak Flat gate (Hwy 120). It is producing a smoke column visible for many miles including Yosemite. To obtain more information:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

[EDIS] Severe thunderstorm warning - Lassen County




Affected Counties or parts of: Lassen

Sent: 2009-07-29T20:27:51-07:00

Original Sender:

National (FIRE) Preparedness Level Upgraded to PL3

*National (FIRE) Preparedness Level Upgraded to PL3 *
Fire activity and incident management team commitment has increased in several geographic areas requiring significant commitment of smokejumpers, T1 IHCs, and other tactical resources. Due to the elevated level of fire activity and national mobilization of tactical resources the National Preparedness Level is being raised to 3. *National Interagency Coordination Center*

National Preparedness Level 2

(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
This report will be updated daily.

July 29, 2009

Moderate fire activity was reported. Four new large fires developed: one each in California, Utah, Texas, and Colorado.


Hot, dry, and unstable conditions will continue across the West Coast today. Thunderstorms are possible across northern California and southern Oregon. Wet and dry thunderstorms will continue across the southern Sierra Nevada and the southern Great Basin. Southern Texas will be dry and windy. The Alaska interior will be hot and dry with winds over the eastern interior.

Source: National Interagency Coordination Center

Weekly statistics 7/29/09

Number of new large fires


States currently reporting large fires:

Number of active large fires


Alaska (2)
California (2)
Colorado (1)
Idaho (1)
Montana (1)
North Carolina (1)
Oregon (2)
Nevada (1)
Texas (3)
Utah (1)
Washington (1)

Acres from active fires


Fires contained since 7/28/09


Year-to-date large fires contained


Year-to-date statistics

2009 (1/1/09 - 7/29/09)

Fires: 56,356

Acres: 3,376,579

2008 (1/1/08 - 7/29/08)

Fires: 54,244

Acres: 3,536,009

2007 (1/1/07 - 7/29/07)

Fires: 56,754

Acres: 4,632,448

2006 (1/1/06 - 7/29/06)

Fires: 69,966

Acres: 5,302,848

2005 (1/1/05 - 7/29/05)

Fires: 37,429

Acres: 4,338,531

2004 (1/1/04 - 7/29/04)

Fires: 47,032

Acres: 5,412,203

2003 (1/1/03 - 7/29/03)

Fires: 35,060

Acres: 1,750,334

2002 (1/1/02 - 7/29/02)

Fires: 51,669

Acres: 3,836,714

2001 (1/1/01 - 7/29/01)

Fires: 49,383

Acres: 1,498,837

2000 (1/1/00 - 7/29/00)

Fires: 59,664

Acres: 3,231,204

10-year average

1999 - 2008

Fires: 51,887

Acres: 3,766,088

Current Wildland Fires

Fires: 2
Acres: 370,384
New fires: 0
Fires contained: 0

Railbelt Complex (Fairbanks Area, Alaska Department of Forestry): 337,884 acres at an unknown percent contained. This complex of two fires is 12 miles southwest of Nenana. Numerous structures are threatened.
Information: Call 907-832-1835, 907-832-1097 or visit the incident website.
Rock Slough (Upper Yukon Zone, Bureau of Land Management): 32,500 acres at an unknown percent contained. This fire is 47 miles northeast of Fort Yukon.

Fires: 2
Acres: 1,143
New fires: 1
Fires contained: 0
Knight (Stanislaus National Forest): 750 acres at zero percent contained. This fire is 10 miles north of Twain Harte. Structures are threatened and evacuations are in effect.
Information: Call 209-532-3671 or visit the incident web site.
NEW Ash (Merced-Mariposa Unit, Cal Fire): 393 acres at an unknown percent contained. This fire is five miles south of O'Neals. Moderate fire activity was reported.

Fires: 1
Acres: 250
New fires: 1
Fires contained: 0
NEW Spring Creek (White River Field Office, Bureau of Land Management): 250 acres at zero percent contained. This incident is ten miles southeast of Rangely.

Fires: 1
Acres: 150
New fires: 0
Fires contained: 0
Good Luck (Salmon Challis National Forest): 150 acres at 60 percent contained. This incident is 25 miles southwest of Salmon. Structures are threatened.

Fires: 1
Acres: 589
New fires: 0
Fires contained: 0
Rescue (Helena National Forest): 589 acres at 60 percent contained. This incident is 22 miles northeast of Helena.

Fires: 1
Acres: 519
New fires: 0
Fires contained: 0
Independence (Elko District, Bureau of Land Management): 519 acres at 98 percent contained. This incident is 20 miles northeast of Wells.

North Carolina
Fires: 1
Acres: 2,660
New fires: 0
Fires contained: 0
Carolina Bay (National Forests in North Carolina): 2,660 acres at 60 percent contained. This incident is eight miles south of Havelock. Structures are threatened.

Fires: 2
Acres: 4,161
New fires: 0
Fires contained: 0
Cougar Creek (Malheur National Forest): 744 acres at 35 percent contained. This fire is 10 miles south of John Day. Moderate fire activity was reported.
McGinnis Creek (John Day Unit, Oregon DOF): 3,417 acres at 60 percent contained. This incident is ten miles southwest of Kimberly. Structures remain threatened.

Fires: 3
Acres: 11,492
New fires: 1
Fires contained: 0
2009 Summer Wildfire Response (Texas Forest Service): 6,956 acres at zero percent contained. These fires are located throughout the state. Reported acreage is a cumulative total.
NEW Owl Creek (Texas Forest Service): 3,000 acres at 50 percent contained. This incident is seven miles southeast of Gatesville. Active fire behavior was reported.
Beaver Lake (Texas Forest Service): 1,536 acres at 70 percent contained. This incident is two miles northeast of Juno.

Fires: 1
Acres: 350
New fires: 1
Fires contained: 0
NEW Cedar Bench Complex (Dixie National Forest): 350 acres at 10 percent contained. This complex consists of two fires. The incident is located nine miles north of St. George. Fire behavior was active.

Fires: 1
Acres: 955
New fires: 0
Fires contained: 0
Johnson Lake Complex (Colville Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs): 955 acres at 90 percent contained. This complex is six miles northeast of Nespelem.

Outlook: USFS National Forests in California

Regional Fire Situation and Outlook

National Forests in California
July 22, 2009

A high pressure system continues to dominate the weather pattern in California resulting in high temperatures and low humidity, especially in the inland areas of the state. These hot and dry conditions are resulting in increased fire danger. On July 23, 2009 forecasts indicate that wide spread lightning is likely to begin in the eastern Sierra Nevada . The thunderstorms may continue through the weekend and are likely to result in increased initial attack in the area. Coastal areas are expected to remain cooler than inland portions of the state and should experience a light marine layer in the mornings through the next seven days.
Forest Service Initial Attack Resources:

Availability of Forest Service initial attack resources fluctuates on a daily basis due to staffing schedules, vehicle maintenance, and firefighter commitment to ongoing incidents. The numbers reported below reflect a “snapshot” of Forest Service resource availability in California as of 10:00 am on the day this report is disseminated.

* Engines: 154
* Hotshot Crews: 13
* Type 2 Initial Attack hand crews: 6
* Type 2 hand crews: 13
* Helicopters: 22

Out of Region Support:

During the past week, Region 5 has dispatched more than 75 overhead/management firefighters, 3 Helicopters, 1 Air Attack Aircraft, 4 Hotshot Crews, and one engine outside of California to assist with wildfire management operations in Alaska, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada.

Current Significant Incidents:

Backbone Fire, Six Rivers National Forest , Shasta-Trinity National Forest , Klamath National Forest

The Backbone Fire is currently 6,324 acres and is 85% contained. The fire is burning on the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests approximately 36 miles northeast of Willow Creek in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Due to the complexity of the fire situation the Atlanta based National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) assumed command of the fire under Incident Commander George Custer Wednesday July 8th. The fire is burning within the footprint of the1999 Megram Fire. Forest Service officials are working closely with the Hoopa Tribe and keeping tribal members and fire service personnel updated on the Backbone Fire. Protection of cultural sites within the fire area is a priority. Full containment is projected to occur July 24, 2009.
Resources Currently Assigned:

* 4 Type 1 Hand Crews
* 2 Type 2 Hand Crews
* 7 Helicopters
* 2 Engines
* 9 Water Tenders
* 368 Total personnel

Backbone Fire Rappel Incident, Willow Creek , California

Firefighters are mourning the loss of their comrade Thomas (TJ) Marovich, Jr., 20, who incurred fatal injuries after an approximately 200 foot fall on Tuesday. The accident occurred during routine rappel training out of a Bell 212 helicopter, at the Backbone Helibase in Willow Creek.

Backbone fire personnel are deeply saddened by the accident and are having a small memorial as a tribute to Marovich's life at 9:30 am today at the Backbone Fire Incident Command Post. Firefighters and local residents have been invited and are expected to attend.

Critical Incident Stress Debrief teams will be on hand to counsel those closest to the victim and the accident to make sure they have an opportunity to work through their grief.

The Forest Service mobilized a serious accident investigation team who is working with the National Transportation Safety Board. The investigation team will be in-briefed at 6pm this afternoon.
Tennant Fire, Klamath National Forest

The Tennant Fire is currently 4,168 acres and is 70% contained. The fire started on July 19, 2009 and is burning approximately seven miles south of Macdoel , California . The fire is primarily burning east of State Highway 97. Highway 97 is a major travel route for commerce, recreation, and commuters and is being monitored for smoke impacts. Old State Highway 97 has reopened to the public but with reduced speed through the fire area. Firefighters continue to make good progress strengthening and holding fire containment lines. Full containment is projected to occur July 25, 2009.
Resources Currently Assigned

* 13 Type 1 Hand Crews
* 7 Type 2 Hand Crews
* 5 Helicopters
* 72 Engines
* 27 Dozers
* 10 Water Tenders
* 883 Total Personnel

Forks Fire, Sequoia National Forest

The Forks Fire is currently 3,268 acres and is 85% contained. A total of 26 lightning fires were ignited on the Inyo National Forest on Saturday, July 18, 2009. The Forks Fire started at 2:54 p.m. near Intake II, a small lake alongside State Route 168, 12 miles west of Bishop. The mandatory evacuation of the Bishop Creek Canyon Recreation Area and the communities of Aspendell and South Fork as well as the voluntary evacuations for the community of Starlite have been lifted. Highway 168 will be re-opened to the public at 5:00 pm today. Forest roads accessing the fire area will remained closed to the public. Fill containment is projected to occur July 24, 2009.
Resources Currently Assigned:

* 15 Type 1 Hand Crews
* 3 Helicopters
* 25 Engines
* 1 Water Tender
* 558 Total Personnel

YTD fires and acres:
National Forest System lands:
* Fires: 678
* Acres: 11,941
All Jurisdictions:
* Fires: 3,840
* Acres: 28,805

Knight FireWildfireStanislaus National ForestActive6001 day ago
LionWildland FireSequoia National ForestActive1,1702 days ago
Tennant FireWildfireKlamath National ForestActive3,2254 days ago
BackboneWildland FireSix Rivers National ForestActive6,3245 days ago
Forks FireWildfireInyo National ForestActive3,2686 days ago

- Great Bookmarks -

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CA-SCU- Pacheco - Pacheco Pass Wildland Fire - 100 acres 50%

Santa Clara County Fire - No current structure threat
Road Closures: Possible Traffic controls on Highway 152 check CHP CAD - LinkPacheco Pass Wildland Fire header
Photo credit: reader
Update: 1630 - AA canceled holding 106, 406.
Update: 1600 - 100 acres, LNU just dispatched ST 9142 C 9142C to cover SCU (req. E7) SCU 2730, (ECHO7)
U1457 is ST Leader-Engines 1457 1475 1478 1461 1467
Update: 1530 - 60 acres, request a second copter w/crew.
Update: 1520 - 50-60 acres - ROS slowed down. 50% contained.
Update: 1510hrs -Copter 106 overhead, heavy spotting out in front. WB 152 Closed, EB 2 way control by SO

IA: 30+ Acres, slow to moderate ROS. Long narrow fire.
Location: Pacheco Pass, Calif-Highway 152 East of Bloomfield Ave. Near a Vineyard
Resources: 15 fire engines and 2 bulldozers, 2 helicopters, 2 air tankers.

LODD Update: Thomas “T.J.” Marovich Jr - Funeral service Thursday in Hayward

Thomas “T.J.” Marovich Jr., 20
Honoring Our Fallen

A U.S. Forest Service firefighter who died July 21 after falling about 200 feet from a helicopter during a routine rappelling exercise in Willow Creek while he was assigned to fight the Backbone Fire will be laid to rest Thursday in Hayward.

A funeral service for Thomas “T.J.” Marovich Jr., 20, is at 10:30 a.m. at St. Clement’s Catholic Church.

Procession: Following the service, there will be a walking procession of more than 500 family members, friends and firefighters along Mission Boulevard from the church to the burial site at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Flyover: The U.S. Forest Service helicopter that Marovich was assigned to will perform a fly-over.

Memorial Fund: In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Marovich may be sent to the Thomas D. Marovich Jr. Memorial Fund, 32124 Trevor Ave., Hayward, CA., 94544-7761. Donations will be used to annually send five members of the Fremont Fire Explorers to the California Fire Explorer Fire Academy. Marovich attended this camp when he was an Explorer with the Fremont Fire Department and also participated in the Fire Academy as an instructor.

Marovich, who worked for Modoc National Forest, was among about 500 firefighters battling the Backbone Fire near Willow Creek in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, which was started by lightning on July 1.

Marovich, a second-year wildland firefighting apprentice, was working with the Chester Helitack Crew from Lassen National Forest at the fire, a Forest Service spokeswoman has said.

He had moved to Adin, a tiny town along Highway 299 in Lassen County, four years ago from Hayward in the San Francisco Bay area.

Monday, July 27, 2009

CA-MMU- Ash Wildland Fire(Brush/Timber) 200 acres 50%

Vehicle fire into the vegetation - Possible ongoing Structure threats, be prepared to leave if your in the area.

Update: 7-28 0835hrs -CAL-Fire has revised the number of acres burned down to 200 (from 700). They said lots of smoke and difficult terrain gave them the inaccurate estimate Monday night. The fire is completely surrounded and is 50% contained.
Update: 1935hrs - Structure threat in Ash Spring Road area@ 700 acres. Lines being tied in. Airdrops to reinforce structure protection.
Update: 1840hrs - Fire @ 400 acres with a moderate ROS. Structure threat is mitigated, fire is slowing.
Update: 1735hrs - AA now calling it 150-200 ac with spotting and torching. Heaviest fire on Right flank.

IA: 1720hrs - Vehicle fire w/extension AA at scene reporting 75-100 acres rapid ROS
Location: 23245 Ash Spring Rd, O'Neals, Madera County,CA
IC Sizeup:
Full wildland response, all aircraft -75-100 ac, rapid ROS
Additional order of 4 crews and 1 STEN
Area map:
Comms: COM 151.31 Freq:151.31
Resources: Ground: 12+ eng, 4 WT, 3 doz, 6 crews
Air: 1 AA, 3 AT, 2 helo
OH: 3 BC, 1 DC, 2 Prev
MA from FKU, SNF

Update: CA-STF-Knight Wildland Fire(heavy fuels) 650+ acres activity increasing

Knight Fire header
Photo from mounted camera in Sonora, 7-27-09 PM Tuolumne County
Screenshot from towercam live view. Cam Credit: Link
30 residences remain threatened
Stanislaus National Forest - Knight Fire - Mount Elizabeth and Pilot Peak Fire Lookouts reported the Knight Fire on 7/26/09 (yesterday) at 3:36 p.m. The fire is currently estimated has now expanded to approximately 650 acres moving both up and down The Stanislaus River Canyon.
Yesterday's normal upcanyon afternoon winds fanned the fire, and the fire is now well established in the rugged canyon terrain, burning in heavy fuels including brush and timber.
Update: 2030hrs - Quick Look
  • -600 acres at 0% contained
  • -30 residences threatened
  • -Projected movement is east and west in the river canyon
  • -Fuels are timber and brush in steep and inaccessible terrain
  • -Today's witnessed activity was: Crown Fires, all flanks burning actively with multiple spot fires
  • -Transitioned to A. Johnsons type II team today
  • -No critical resource needs were posted
Resources at scene: 25 BLM; 5 local gov't; 174 Cal Fire; 329 USFS; 25 private (all tenders and dozers); 8 NPS
Update: 1900hrs - Stanislaus National Forest ask u to avoid Southfork Rd. in Twain Harte - used to move fire equip. via 4N01 to Mt. Knight

View CA-STF-Knight -Wildland Fire in a larger map
GPS Location: 38.18 latitude, -120.254 longitude
Previous related Cal Fire News post: CA-STF-Knight -Wildland Fire - 275 to 300 acres 0% going to be getting bigger


This should serve as a reminder to all boat owners governmental and civilian - Shipboard Fires Kill!
All boat owners please take the time to conduct your own Safety Stand down.
Inspect and preform needed maintenance on fuel, electrical and life safety systems on your boat regardless if it's a Cutter, Yacht or even a Dinghy.

Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen

Coast Guard Safety Stand Down

Over the past few weeks an alarming number of shipboard fires have occurred aboard several of our cutters. Most of these fires were the result of performing maintenance and repairs; all were preventable. Although the crew's response in each case was excellent and injuries were limited to minor cases of heat stress, we cannot allow this trend to continue. Safety must remain a top priority for every Guardian.

In light of these events, the Office of Naval Engineering, the Office of Cutter Forces and the Office of Afloat Safety released a Surface Forces message directing an immediate safety stand down for all cutters. This time shall be used to review shipboard policies and local fire response memorandums, inspect fire detection and flooding alarm systems and conduct all-hands fire prevention training. In addition, Commanding Officers of cutters undergoing dockside or drydock repairs shall ensure all fire watch personnel qualifications are up-to-date and that an adequate number of property-equipped watches are assigned to monitor hot work. A safety stand down message will follow.

Whether at sea, on shore, or at home, we must remain vigilant for our safety as well as that of our shipmates. I described in an earlier post how I nearly died in a shipyard fire when I was an Ensign. It was a preventable occurrence. Like the mishaps we have seen in recent weeks it involved hotwork (welding) conducted without the proper safety precautions. I was lucky. Luck is no substitute for adherence to universally accepted safety practices. Trust me on this one.

Source: USCG commandants corner -

Sunday, July 26, 2009

CA-STF-Knight -Wildland Fire - 275 to 300 acres 0% going to be getting bigger

CA-STF-Knight -Wildland Fire - Stanislaus National Forest - Brush and Timber
Knight Fire Header
Photo credit:
Reader Photo taken on Pennsylvania Gulch Road in Murphys Yesterday Afternoon

Mount Knight...
The fire is burning in the Middle Fork Stanislaus River Canyon and potentially threatens the small, remotely located summer cabin subdivision of Mount Knight. In some places, the fire's perimeter is within 1/4 mile of the subdivision. Although no official evacuation order is in place at this time for the subdivision, the Forest is working closely with Tuolumne County Emergency officials and and the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department, and has developed a contingency plan with decision points in the event that an evacuation becomes necessary. Most Mount Knight residents have already elected to voluntarily leave the subdivision at this point in time, due the proximity of fire activity.
Photo from mounted camera in Sonora, 7-26-09 PM Tuolumne County
Screenshot from towercam live view. Cam Credit: Link

Update: 7-27 1200hrs - According to Pat Kaunert of the Stanislaus National Forest the Knight Fire has already been classified as a "campaign" fire which means it will last for at least several burn periods or days. Officials are estimating the 275 acre fire will last through the week.
Air Quality Alert: Smokey Conditions Will Persist in Sonora, Due to the size, intensity and location of the Knight Fire smokey conditions will continue to deteriorate air quality in the Mother Lode area, individuals with asthma, emphysema or heart disease should avoid outside air as much as possible.
Update: 7-27 1100hrs - Yesterday's normal upcanyon afternoon winds fanned the fire, and the fire is now well established in the rugged canyon terrain, burning in heavy fuels including brush and timber, conditions continue to be very dry with today's expected temperature to be 95-100 degrees, and humidity to be about 11-15%, with 2-8 mph upcanyon winds gusting to 12 mph over peaks and ridges.
The Forest ordered a type 2 Incident Management Team late yesterday afternoon, with expected arrival at 1000 hours today (7/27). Additionally, the following firefighting resources have been ordered with expected arrival today: fifteen Type 1 (twenty person) hand crews; six dozers; ten engines; two water tenders; six air tankers; 5 helicopters; and additional overhead and support personnel. Once filled, these orders will bring the total personnel figure to about 550+ firefighters dedicated to the incident.
7-27 1000hrs - BDF is sending a strike team.
Update: 7-27 0910hrs - Sacramento CDF just released: 275 to 300 acres.
Successful during the night getting Dozer line around the Mt Knight sub-division and they will continue to fire out around the housing division. Because of step terrain and rocky slopes this will be a Air/Crew show until it moves out of the canyon. CDF Command Team #7 (McClelland) on call this week for Southern Ops Area. There is discussion of a unified command due to SRA threat.
Update: 7-27 0800hrs - Per South OPS GACC(link): Knight- CA-STF-002207 Fire is 275 acres, 0% containment. Evacuation of Mount Knight started yesterday. Dozer line construction along the ridge of the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River continued in support of firing operations to protect the community (approximately 30 homes).
Update: 7-27 0600hrs -275+ acres, . According to USFS's Pat Kaunert overnight they were actively fighting the fire overnight and setting backfires. They are working on building a dozer line around the Mt. Knight subdivision to protect it. Firefighters reported intense overnight burning in this heavy fuel laden area. Today the resources on the fire will rise significantly approximately 500 personnel on the fire.
Update: 2341hrs - Scoop on the Hotlist(Link) - Was told it was going to be Allen Johnson's team. This fire is going to be getting bigger. Very difficult location and no real good places to tie it into. There are about 50 home threatened in the Mt. Knight area. Fire is on FED DPA but I'm hearing the possibility of Unified Command with SRA just on the other side of the river. Fire started mid-slope and had active crowning and spotting and expecting similar behavior with similar weather tomorrow. Expect heavy resource commitment. Be safe all.
Update: 1930hrs - Per South OPS GACC(link): Knight- CA-STF-002207 Fire is approximately 150-200+ acres of brush, grass, down timber heavy slash near Mount Knight area of Tuolumne County, north/east of Columbia and north of Twain Harte. Los Padres HS, Arrowhead HS, Kern Valley HS, Springville HS and American River HS along with 3 Strike Teams of Type 1 Handcrews (CALFIRE) have been mobilized to fire.
Update: 1925hrs -Stanislaus National Forest "Knight" fire header is visible from San Joaquin valley west side, Air assests wrapping up for the night soon....
Update: 1910hrs - per AA 17, 230 Ac. 0 containment, - AT's laid down a lot of extended line on the flanks
Update: 1815hrs -Per Knight Air Attack: 200 acres, retardant halfway down right flank
Multiple spots, but they seem to all be burning into the main fire Main fire is about to hit a clear cut 2 type 1 tankers and 2 S2's still en route
Tuolumne County Hotshot reunion: American River Hotshots, Los Padres Hotshots, Springville RHC and Kern Valley IHC en route.
Update: 1735hrs -Heavy Heli-tanker en-route from Mariposa. Relief air attack was ordered for 1830hrs, AA-230 replaced by AA-17 from Grass Valley.
Update: 1715hrs -Fire is now visible by Satellite - Link
Update: 1700hrs -AA-230 just ordered 3 add. ATs (2 heavies and an add Type 3) ,T-88 enroute
Sheriffs office enroute for possible evacuations. Mount Knight summer cabin subdivision, no evacuations had been called yet. home to 50 to 75 campers during the summer season.
Update: 1655hrs - 1 additional type 2 copter and 1 add type 3 air tanker ordered. Also Tuolumne County engine ST dispatched. 4 additional dozers plus 5 additional type 1 crews.
Update: 1640hrs -Ice Cap. 100-150 acres crowning.
Update: 1630hrs - Per AA 100 acres, Crowning and spotting ahead.T-81 from Hollister inbound.
Update: 1615hrs - Long trip for first due resources (15 to 20 minutes) Aircraft are overhead.

IA: 1610hrs -STF -Large building colume is visible from Columbia. Fire in river drainage, good smoke column showing.

View CA-STF-Knight -Wildland Fire in a larger map
Location: Knight mountain area Stanislaus river drainage, Mount Knight area of Tuolumne County, north/east of Columbia and north of Twain Harte.
Probably 20 to 25 structures in area.
Resources: CAL FIRE and U.S.F.S. Large ground and aircraft resource request's
Fuels: Timber with a dense brush understory.
Weather: Link to current weather-
Scanner feeds: 411net -
RRl feeds -
Webcams: Towercam live view:
Dodge Ridge Ski Resort summit webcam:
Note: The Creek Fire in '94 was in the same drainage, terrain, fuels, and aspect; just 10 miles west. The weather was simmilar too and so was the start went 2500 acres over night

SAR: Spring Valley for a 9-year-old boy - missing overnight

SPRING VALLEY, Calif. -- A search was under way in Spring Valley for a 9-year-old boy who has been missing overnight, a sheriff's representative said.

Leandre Othel Weir was last seen by his grandmother about 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan Caldwell of the Sheriff's Department said.

Weir, who answers to "Lee" and "Andre," may be with his 19-year-old sister, Rejanae Roberts, Caldwell said.

She said about 25 volunteers were searching for the boy Sunday afternoon. A command post was set up in the parking lot of the Albertsons market at 531 Sweetwater Road.

Weir was described as black, about 4 feet tall and 92 pounds, with a light scar on his right cheek; he was wearing a white T-shirt with an image of a monkey on it.

Source: Link

CA-MMU- 49 Fire - Vegetation Fire - New start ordering additional resources

MMU- 49 Fire -Mariposa County (Coulterville)-Brush Fire Update: 1315 hrs - IC releasing some of the aircraft. Update: 1245 hrs - holding at 50-75 acres, Head of fire slowed for now Update: 1235 hrs - Copters 512, 520 and 404 enroute to the fire. Update: 1200hrs - 20 acres, Initial response augmented with 1 additional S/T closest type 3 engines, two additional tankers, 2 additional crews and two tenders. IA: 10 acres running uphill with torching-Additional resources ordered 2 tankers,2 crews,& 4 Engines, potential for 200 acres, no immediate structure threat. Location: -Highway 49 x Schilling Road. Comms: CDF CMD 2, and CDF Tac 8

SAR: JOY - 4-pound prosthetic leg found in Sacramento river

After a long search Wednesday, 30-year-old Todd Thompson of Cottonwood, assisted by two Shasta County sheriff's deputies, his mother and two family friends, finally found a 4-pound prosthetic leg that he lost last week when he fell off a Sea-Doo he was riding south of the Bonnyview boat ramp.

The titanium and aluminum prosthetic leg is valued at around $17,000, Thompson said.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office boating safety unit later learned of Thompson's loss, and deputies Cliff Schrader and Lou Berman invited Thompson; his mother, Vicky Thompson-Gregory; and two close family friends, Kim Guhy and Jim Huber, to ride along with them in their patrol boat to look for the leg.

But after a two-hour search, Thompson said their quest seemed hopeless and they decided to head back.

"It was not even close to looking for a needle in a haystack," he said.

As they did one more pass over the area, however, Thompson's mom spied the leg lying at the bottom of the river in about 4 feet of water, its inner lining flapping in the current.

Whole story at: - Link

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Earthquake - 3.5 M - Anza, Idyllwild, CA

California Integrated Seismic Net

Version #C: This report supersedes any earlier reports of this event.
This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

A minor earthquake occurred at 9:54:03 PM (PDT) on Saturday, July 25, 2009.
The magnitude 3.5 event occurred 9 km (6 miles) NNW of Anza, CA.
The hypocentral depth is 14 km ( 8 miles).
Magnitude 3.5 - local magnitude (ML)
Time Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 9:54:03 PM (PDT)
Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 4:54:03 (UTC)
Distance from Anza, CA - 9 km (6 miles) NNW (330 degrees)
Idyllwild, CA - 13 km (8 miles) S (184 degrees)
Valle Vista, CA - 21 km (13 miles) SE (131 degrees)
Palm Springs, CA - 28 km (17 miles) SW (219 degrees)
San Diego, CA - 102 km (64 miles) NNE (23 degrees)
Coordinates 33 deg. 37.7 min. N (33.629N), 116 deg. 43.4 min. W (116.724W)
Depth 13.7 km (8.5 miles)
Location Quality Good
Location Quality Parameters Nst=120, Nph=120, Dmin=7 km, Rmss=0.32 sec, Erho=0.2 km, Erzz=0.6 km, Gp=39.6 degrees
Event ID# ci14491232
Additional Information 2-degree map
Google Earth KML (Requires Google Earth.)
Did you feel it?
ShakeMap shaking intensity maps
24-hour Aftershock Forecast Map
SCSN Moment Tensor Solution

Celebration of life - 15 1/2 year old Taylor Messina

Today was a celebration of life for Taylor Messina.

Taylor is the daughter of Warren and Crystal Messina.

Warren Messina as many of you know is a pilot for Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Warren is one of those guys that has a joke up his sleeve, or a positive comment that just makes your day better. He is one of the finest members of LAcoFD and his little girl lost her
battle with cancer while being treated at Ceder Sinai last week. At the church in Newbury park today there had to be 700 people Celebrating Taylors Life!
As was stated by so many her smile could light up a room full of people.

God Bless and God Rest Taylor Messina
You may leave a message to Family and Friends at -->
Taylor - TayBug page at

CA-BDF/BDU - Highway 38 - Wildland Vegetation Fire

New Vegetation Start
Update: 1300 hrs - Fire is 10-15 acres, Rapid ROS in heavy fuels. Requesting structure protection - per IC.
Location: Highway 38, 1 mile South of Bryant St. Burning towards Crafton Hills.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on the Death of Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas

Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on the Death of Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our own. Agent Robert Rosas was gunned down while protecting our nation’s Southwest border. This act of violence will not stand—nor will any act of violence against the Border Patrol. I have directed that the full resources of the Department assist in the investigation to find and bring to justice those responsible for this inexcusable crime.

“My thoughts and condolences are with Agent Rosas’ family and his fellow agents at this difficult time. I want to commend those in the law enforcement and first responder community in Southern California for so quickly responding to the scene and attempting to save Agent Rosas’ life. His death is a vivid reminder that we are engaged in a serious effort to secure our border and that thousands of Border Patrol agents and other DHS employees risk their lives every single day to protect and defend our nation.”

Release Date: July 24, 2009
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Six Rivers Takes Over The Backbone Fire

Six Rivers Takes Over the Backbone Fire

WILLOW CREEK, Calif. - The Backbone Fire is 90% contained and has remained at 6,324 acres for several days. As a result, the National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) has transitioned with a local Type 3 organization from the Six Rivers National Forest. This fire organization will continue to monitor any heat that remains in the interior, while continuing suppression repair activities around the perimeter.

Since the fire personnel assigned is downsizing, the camp located at Veterans Park in Willow Creek, California will officially close at noon today, Friday, July 24, 2009.

This will be the last daily update from the Backbone Fire, but periodic updates regarding suppression repair activities and closure status for trails and the Big Rock River Access can still be found at

Information inquiries can be made at the Lower-Trinity Ranger Station by calling: 530-629-2118.

Incident: Backbone Wildland Fire
Release No. FS-07 24 09 (1) July 24, 2009
Fire Information: 530-629-2816

LODD: Honoring Our Fallen: CA-SRF-Backbone Helibase

Honoring Our Fallen

Update: A U.S. Forest Service firefighter who died July 21 after falling about 200 feet from a helicopter during a routine rappelling exercise in Willow Creek while he was assigned to fight the Backbone Fire will be laid to rest Thursday in Hayward.

A funeral service for Thomas “T.J.” Marovich Jr., 20, is at 10:30 a.m. at St. Clement’s Catholic Church.

Following the service, there will be a walking procession of more than 500 family members, friends and firefighters along Mission Boulevard from the church to the burial site at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

WILLOW CREEK, Calif. - Firefighters will be escorting the body of Thomas (TJ) Marovich Jr., on Friday July 24, 2009 to the Eureka/Arcata airport, where he then will be flown home to the Bay area and transported to Hayward. Marovich incurred fatal injuries this past Tuesday during a routine rappel training exercise while assigned to the Backbone fire.

The procession will begin at 1:15 pm from the Bayshore Mall in Eureka, CA. The procession will be turning left onto Broadway merging onto Highway 101 to the Arcata/ Eureka airport located in Mckinleyville, CA.

The California Highway Patrol, fire engines from the Six Rivers, Modoc and Lassen National Forests, as well as CalFire, will take part in the escort. Other official Forest Service, State and local emergency service vehicles are taking part. Out of honor to our fallen firefighter, the public is asked to observe a moment of silence as the procession goes by.

Note to Media: The Honor Guard will be at the airport
Fire Information: 530-629-2816


A U.S. Border Patrol Agent has been shot and killed near Campo, California according to a CalFire spokesman, Nick Schuler.

The shooting happened about 9:30 p.m. near SR-94 and Shockey Truck Trail.

No further detaails. Sheriff's deputies are assisting the Border Patrol with the investigation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Great reading: New Blog --> Plumas Rappellers a US Forest Service helicopter rappel crew

If you got guts, determination, and enough stamina try to follow the Plumas Rappellers Blog as they travel California fighting wildland fires.

The Plumas Rappellers are a 16 person US Forest Service helicopter rappel crew located in Quincy, California. Primary mission is initial attack of wildland fires in Northern California. Additional missions include large fire support, aerial ignition, search & rescue, medical evacuation, and disaster relief.

Unofficial Crew 512 information, crew status, and goings on. Views expressed on this blog are those of current and past crewmembers and do not reflect any OFFICIAL POSITION of the Plumas Rappel Crew, Plumas National Forest or USDA Forest Service.

Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement Regarding the Death of U.S. Forest Service Firefighter

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of U.S. Forest Service Firefighter Thomas Marovich of Hayward:
“Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our deep sadness over the passing of U.S. Forest Service Firefighter Thomas Marovich. Thomas selflessly dedicated his life to protecting our communities and saving lives and we are forever indebted to his service. Our hearts go out to Thomas’ family, friends and fellow firefighters as they mourn this terrible loss.”

Marovich, 20, died July 21 as a result of injuries sustained while performing routine rappel proficiency skill training at the Backbone Helibase in Willow Creek. Marovich was a second-year apprentice with the U.S. Forest Service at the Modoc National Forest and was working with the Chester Helitack Crew from the Lassen National Forest which was assigned to the Backbone Fire at the time of the accident.

In honor of Firefighter Marovich, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

SAR: 17-year-old boy missing Los Olivos boy found dead

Update: Body of missing 17-year-old boy found - Thursday, July 23, 2009

17-year-old Los Olivos boy missing since Wednesday has been found dead, according to Drew Sugars with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Search and rescue crews located the body of the missing teen Thursday. He has not been identified.

The teen's brother reported him missing Wednesday when he did not return from a bicycle ride near the Figueroa Mountain area.

No other details are immediately available.

17-year-old boy missing near Los Olivos

Who: The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department is looking for a 17-year-old boy who went missing early yesterday.

Where: Mt. Figueroa area near Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County

When: Subject was last seen around 7:00 a.m. Wednesday on his bicycle. His brother reported him missing when he did not return, and by 2:30 p.m. sheriff's deputies were looking for the boy with ground crews and a helicopter.
The search was called off when it got too dark, but resumed Thursday at 6:30 a.m.

Notes: The boy's bicycle has been found, but the 17-year-old remains missing.

If you have any information, please call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department at (805) 681-4100.

Ground Zero Vet News: Tehama County deputy coroner an apparent suicide

Tehama County deputy coroner an apparent suicide

A Tehama County coroner’s deputy, who was called to Ground Zero to help identify bodies in the rubble from the 9-11 terrorist attacks, was found dead in his home Wednesday night after SWAT team members responded to a report of a shot fired.

Kurt Lampe was found dead from what Sheriff Clay Parker believes was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Parker said today.

Parker initially declined to discuss the case, and agreed to release information to the Record Searchlight only when editors cited the California Public Records Act.

Parker said Lampe is a 15-year veteran of the corner’s office.

Parker said the suicide followed a domestic disturbance report late last week by Lampe’s girlfriend.

Deputies went to his house at the time, but she was gone, Parker said.

Lampe told deputies that nothing much had happened, Parker said.

On Monday, deputies interviewed the girlfriend who said there was a potentially abusive situation, Parker said.

Lampe was placed on administrative leave, and the woman was granted an emergency temporary restraining order that evening, Parker said.

Lampe allegedly violated that order twice, when he made two calls to the woman on Tuesday and Wednesday, Parker said.

While Lampe had her on the phone the second time, she heard a shot fired, Parker said.

The SWAT Team tried unsuccessfully to reach Lampe on the phone, then went to his house, where they waited outside for several hours, Parker said. He said Lampe was dead when they entered the house.

Parker said he believes the gun blast heard over the telephone was the fatal shot.

Lampe and fellow deputy coroner Chris Sharp took four trips and spent more than nine weeks at Ground Zero in the year that followed the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, as part of a nationwide federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Rescue Team.

“We weren’t unprepared for this,” Lampe said in an interview with the Record Searchlight commemorating the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

He said seeing the enormity of World Trade Center rubble was something that would stay with him for the rest of his life.

“I stood there looking at that and I just couldn’t believe it. It was so massive,” Lampe said. “You can’t begin to take in the scope of the size of it.”

Before moving the Tehama County, Lampe and Sharp were morticians at the Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Lampe for 14 years and Sharp for three.

Source; Record Searchlight - Link

LODD: CAL FIRE units will fly flags at half staff

Firefighter Thomas Marovich, 20

CAL FIRE units will fly flags at half staff in honor of USFS Firefighter Thomas (TJ) Marovich Jr, killed in the Line of Duty while training on the Backbone Fire.
Thomas Marovich, 20, was a 2nd year apprentice at the Modoc NF.

Firefighter Thomas Marovich, 20, had been taking part in required weekly rappelling training, in which people slide down a rope from a hovering helicopter when he fell about 200 feet to the ground, said Forest Service spokeswoman Robin Cole. FF. Marovich was a second year apprentice firefighter on the Modoc National Forest, she said. He was working with the Chester Helitack Crew from the Lassen National Forest that had been assigned to the Backbone Fire in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

The training was a routine part of the ongoing battle to contain the Backbone Fire, a Forest Service spokesman said. The training is conducted at least every 14 days, he said. The death is being investigated by a Forest Service accident investigation team and the National Transportation Safety Board. Sparked by lightning on July 1, the Backbone Fire has charred 6,324 acres and was 80 percent contained as of today, Cole said. More than 500 firefighters are still working the fire, which is expected to be fully contained Friday.

Backbone fire personnel are deeply saddened by the accident and are having a small memorial as a tribute to Marovich’s life at 9:30 am today at the Backbone Fire Incident Command Post. Firefighters and local residents have been invited and are expected to attend.

Critical Incident Stress Debrief teams will be on hand to counsel those closest to the victim and the accident to make sure they have an opportunity to work through their grief.

The Forest Service mobilized a serious accident investigation team who is working with the National Transportation Safety Board. The investigation team will be in-briefed at 6pm this afternoon.

Our sincere condolences to all involved.

Support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation

Wildland Firefighter Foundation

Wildland Firefighter Foundation

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation would not exist without your support. You help us send money to wildland firefighter families when a death or injury occurs, a bronze statue for families of the fallen, Christmas sponsorships, and many other assistance efforts. WFF provides the channel for your donations to reach those in need during difficult times. This Foundation exists solely out of the goodness of the hearts of all of you.

Visit: or on Facebook

Twitter Buttons

****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.

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer." --Abraham Lincoln

View blog top tags

Subscribe via email to California Fire News - Keep track of Cal Fire News

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner