Thursday, September 24, 2009

News and Notes: California Fire Situation 09-24-09

National Preparedness Level 2 (On a scale from 1 to 5)

National Fire Activity
Initial attack activity: Light (72 new fires)
New large fires: 2 (*)
Large fires contained: 1
Uncontained large fires : ** 8
Area Command Teams committed: 0
NIMOs committed: 1
Type 1 IMTs committed: 1
Type 2 IMTs committed: 2

Nationally, there are 62 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.

Wildland fire activity remains light throughout the states. Two new large fires were reported in Montana and the Pine fire was contained in northern California.


A low pressure trough approaching the Pacific Northwest will weaken strong high pressure in place and shift it further inland, bringing a more moist onshore flow to far
western portions of Washington, Oregon and northern California today and diminishing gusty offshore winds across southern California. Fire potential will be temporarily reduced across the far west as a result, though no rainfall is expected and inland areas will remain very dry and warm with locally breezy conditions. Warmer and drier weather is expected Friday across the west as high pressure rebuilds.

[EDIS] Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 9 pm this evening for the mountains of Santa Monica & Santa Clarita valley Low RH, Hot temps
[EDIS] Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 9 pm this evening for the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Low RH, Hot temps

Southern California

Crafton (BDU- San Bernardino Unit): 536 acres, 60% contained. Potential threat to the community of Mentone. CDF Should have a line around it by evening.

Guiberson (Ventura County Fire Department): 16,400 acres at an unknown percent contained. This fire is three miles southeast of Fillmore. Residences are threatened and evacuations are in effect.
Wiley Ridge RAWS:

Significant Events: The fire has slopped over control lines at Balcom Canyon Road, however firefighters were able to pick up and contain these spots. The fire continues to move to the east, where it has damaged high voltage lines causing power delivery issues and concerns. This problem has resulted in the ISO having to redistribute power at a large expense to Southern California Edison. Should the fire align properly with topography, the potential exists for large runs into the footprint of the Sheckel and Simi fires. Evacuations orders in some areas are currently being modified and in some cases, lifted.

Remarks: CALFIRE Team 10 (Lewin) is in unifed command with Ventura County Fire (Vanden Bosch). The Incident Command Post is located at Arroyo Vista Community Park in the city of Moorpark. An FMAG application has been filed and approved for this incident. Firefighting resources continue to arrive on the incident.

Observed Fire Behavior: Red Flag Warning conditions exist in the fire area until 1800 on 9/24. Extreme rates of spread and long range spotting. Fire behavior is being driven by winds and topography. Weather conditions are predicted to not improve until Sunday 9/27.

Planned Actions: Structure protection in threatened residential areas. Continue direct line construction and perimeter control where feasible. Protect public and private infrastructure and utilities in the fire area. Continue to provide for public and firefighter safety. Protect agricultural assets.

Station (Angeles National Forest): 160,557 acres at 94 percent contained. This fire is four miles north of La Canada. Observed Fire Behavior: Creeping Surface fire / Planned Actions: Patrol & Mop-up. Improve lines. Cont. fire suppression repair. Station Fire is showing zero Heat/Hot spots on Modis and HMS satellites... Information: Call 626-821-6700 or visit the incident website. Costs to Date: $88,020,514

Northern California

CA-KNP- Horse 422 acres WUF, Started 07/19/2009 1600, Est cont. 10-31-09
Total Personnel: 3
Latitude: 36° 23´ 13" Longitude: 118° 38´ 38"
No Structure threat, No Structure damage

Observed Fire Behavior: Active burning on the South flank, mostly the SE and rate of spread approximately 1 chain per hour. Observations made of flame length at 2 foot on the southerly portion of fire. Isolated torching also observed on the west flank around 1300 today, but has now quieted down.

Planned Actions: Monitor fire behavior for resource benefit.

Pine (Sonoma-Lake Napa Unit, Cal Fire): The fire was contained at 300 acres.

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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.

"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

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