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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wildland Firefighter Foundation News: Australia Fire Relief Fund

Wildland Firefighter Foundation / News

Australia Fire Relief Fund
Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Australia
Bodie Shaw, Deputy Director of the NIFC BIA (National Interagency Fire Center Bureau of Indian Affairs) is on exchange with the Australian state fire authorities this year. He has contacted The Wildland Firefighter Foundation after witnessing the devastating fire in Australia. In his 20 some years fighting Wildland fires he has never seen fire activity like he has witnessed recently. (Photos) He said towns have been burned over, many children have perished as well as firefighters. He is asking for our humanitarian help.

Australian firefighters have come to the U.S. during our fire seasons to protect our public lands and homes and it is our time to reach out and help the Australians in their time of catastrophic need. We are now accepting donations for this very purpose. Please use our regular online donation form, but be sure to mention "Australia" in the Comments section.

Lompoc Man Sustains Major Injuries in 101 Crash

HWY101Crash-02282008

Traffic Congestion Resulted Friday Morning from Rescue Attempts

Saturday, February 28, 2009

By Drew Mackie (Contact)

A 36-year-old Lompoc man sustained major injuries after his truck swerved off the southbound lanes of Highway 101 and hit a telephone pole Friday morning around 6 a.m. According to a press release from CHP spokesperson Officer James Richards, Vaughn M. Smith was traveling at a “high rate of speed” when his truck began to drift into the center median. He overcorrected and swerved across the freeway and into the pole, whereupon the vehicle then rolled over the embankment and onto the railroad tracks beneath the highway.

A Santa Barbara County Fire crew used the Jaws of Life to extricate Smith from his truck. Richards described Smith’s injuries as including a fractured C-5 vertebra, a fractured left femur, and a broken left forearm.

Richards also noted that the rescue process caused the railroad to halt service for approximately 40 minutes. The right lane of the 101 leading up to the crash site was also closed for a period this morning and consequently slowed traffic.

Source: Santa Barbara Independent

Rio Linda plane crash kills two, including reserve deputy

By Robert Faturechi and Bill Lindelof
Published: Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009 - 11:45 am
Last Modified: Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009 - 2:11 pm

A Sacramento County Sheriff's reserve deputy is one of the two people who died Saturday in the crash of a small plane at Roy Hayer Memorial Speedway behind the Rio Linda Airport, according to department officials.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire arrived on the scene around 9 a.m., shortly after the crash.

Both occupants of the plane were declared dead on the scene. The cause of the crash, now being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration, is not yet clear, said fire department Capt. Christian Pebbles.

Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said one of the dead was Dave Michaud, an on-call reserve deputy.

"He was a hardcore aviation guy who actually was in the military as an aviator," McGinness said.

McGinness said he met on Saturday with Michaud's widow -- a detective with the department.

"He did a stint with a commercial airline as a flight engineer. He was on reserve status for the sheriff's department, and worked periodically.

"He was a great guy," McGinness said. "It is a tragedy for the department. His passing is a big loss."

Michaud, who was 53, was a sociable person who enjoyed both flying and law enforcement, the sheriff said. He was once a patrol officer with the department before stepping down as a full-time deputy more than a decade ago.

"Frankly, I think he had two passions and he followed aviation more than law enforcement ultimately," McGinness said. "He had this airplane that he'd rebuilt and went out this morning with a mechanic to take it for a test ride after the mechanic had done some extensive work."

The plane was a 1960 Mooney, a small single-engine craft.

Robin Cable, 55, who lives near the airport, said that he looked out his window and saw thick, dark smoke rising about a quarter of a mile into the air. "It thought it was either a house fire or a car on fire," Cable said.

In Rio Linda Saturday, Sheriff's Capt. Scott Jones said that the crash site was a "horrific scene." He said Michaud, the pilot, was a full-time deputy from 1984 to 1996.

" ... Unfortunately it seems another in a string of tragedies the department has encountered over the years," Jones said. "We are like a large family."

In 2005, deputies Joseph Kievernagel, 36, and Kevin Blount, 29, died when their helicopter crashed near Lake Natoma. A third deputy, Eric Henrikson, sustained serious injuries.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Heads up: Mayor resigns for sharing racist email

Los Alamitos, CA - The mayor of a small Southern California city says he will resign after being criticized for sharing an e-mail picture depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."

Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose issued a statement Thursday saying he is sorry and will step down as mayor at Monday's City Council meeting.

White House lawn planted with watermelonsGrose came under fire for sending the picture to what he called "a small group of friends." One of the recipients, a local businesswoman and city volunteer, publicly scolded the mayor for his actions.

Grose says he accepts that the e-mail was in poor taste and has affected his ability to lead the city. Grose said he didn't mean to offend anyone and claimed he was unaware of the racial stereotype linking black people with eating watermelons.

Located in Orange County, Los Alamitos is a 2 1/4-square-mile city of around 12,000 people

Source: vosizneias.com - Link

Carmel Valley Fire District - $600,000 problem

Carmel Valley Fire Uncovers $600K Problem

CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. -- Two Salinas rural fire chiefs announced Thursday evening that they found a $600,000 problem affecting the Carmel Valley Fire District.
The two fire chiefs, who are now heading the administration at the Carmel Valley Fire District, gave a description at a board meeting on how the financial troubles came about.
The district plans to explore a variety of options to get back on track, including stopping all purchases, reducing overtime and selling six of the district's vehicles.
The board will meet with county officials Monday to hammer out an official strategy.

Source: KSBW - Link

Man wrecks car, steals ambulance

A Hoopa man who drove his car over an embankment on State Route 299 allegedly stole an ambulance when emergency workers came to help him, then led police on an hour-long chase Thursday night.

Derick Gates, 20, drove a 2003 Honda Accord over the bank and collided with several trees near the Boise Creek Campground just west of Willow Creek at around 8:15 p.m., according to a California Highway Patrol report. When emergency personnel showed up, Gates refused treatment, the CHP said.

While waiting for a CHP unit, Gates allegedly hopped into the ambulance and sped eastbound. A Humboldt County Sheriff's Office deputy who was nearby pursued the ambulance, the CHP reported.

Gates then turned onto State Route 96 and drove into Hoopa, the CHP reported, then along several other roads as a CHP officer joined the chase. Gates then turned back toward Willow Creek. A CHP officer managed to deflate the right tires of the ambulance using a spike strip, but Gates allegedly kept driving, back west on Route 299.

The ambulance broke down near Titlow Hill Road, the CHP reported, and Gates was taken into custody at 9:30 p.m.

Gates was taken to Mad River Community Hospital, where he reportedly refused treatment and struggled with officers, who then carried him into the emergency room.

Gates was booked into Humboldt County Jail on suspicion of evading a police officer, stealing an emergency vehicle and driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Source: Eureka Times standard - Link

Friday, February 27, 2009

EDIS: CHP - AMBER ALERT - SANTA BARBARA - BLUE CHEVROLET IMPALA - HFA

Update: New Born Baby Julian has been found. According to the Santa Barbara Police Department, the suspect Leianna Patricia Arzate was found and arrested in Santa Maria at around 3:30 p.m. Police say the baby was found safe and unharmed.
Victim: New born child abduction - 1 month old W/ Hair and Eyes
Suspect: 33 year old Hispanic Female - 5' -1" tall 135lbs Brown/Brown wearing pink "Betty Boop scrubs"
Vehicle: Blue Chevrolet Impala w/ Chrome wheels - 5TYW619
-----------------------------------------------------
Surveillance Video Courtesy Santa Barbara Police Department
ON FEBRUARY 27, 2009, AT 01:39 PM, JULIAN WAS ABDUCTED FROM SANTA BARBARA, CA. JULIAN IS A 1 MONTH OLD HISPANIC, MALE, 1 FEET 8 INCHES TALL, 7 POUND, JUVENILE WITH HAIR, AND EYES, LAST SEEN WEARING WHITE BLANKET WITH PINK DOTS. OTHER VICTIM INFORMATION INCLUDES: NEW BORN. SUSPECT IS LEIANNA PATRICIA ARZATE, A 33 YEAR OLD, HISPANIC, FEMALE, 5 FEET 1 INCHES TALL, WEIGHING 135 POUNDS, WITH BROWN HAIR, BLUE EYES, LAST SEEN WEARING A PINK HOSPITAL SCRUBS WITH "BETTY BOOP" PATTERN OR TIGHT LIGHT COLORED SHIRT. OTHER SUSPECT INFORMATION INCLUDES: TATTOO OF A PARROT ON BICEP. THE SUSPECT WAS LAST SEEN DRIVING A BLUE CHEVROLET IMPALA, WITH A CA LICENSE PLATE OF 5TYW619. OTHER VEHICLE INFORMATION INCLUDES: CHROME WHEELS. IF SEEN CONTACT SANTA BARBARA POLICE DEPT. AT (805) 897-2355. CHP ENTAC/DHW

Area: STATEWIDE

Affected Counties or parts of: Yuba, San Diego, Marin, Trinity, Mendocino, Riverside, Calaveras, Madera, Sonoma, San Francisco, Shasta, Sacramento, Inyo, Monterey, Butte, Fresno, Sutter, San Benito, Lake, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Lassen, El Dorado, Alpine, Tuolumne, Tulare, Glenn, San Bernardino, Imperial, Modoc, Plumas, Santa Cruz, Yolo, Mono, Del Norte, Napa, Amador, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, San Joaquin, Humboldt, Mariposa, Merced, Santa Barbara, Solano, Kings, Colusa, Orange, Tehama, Alameda, Nevada, Sierra, Stanislaus, San Mateo, Placer, Siskiyou, Kern, Los Angeles

Sent: 2009-02-27T14:44:19-08:00

Original Sender: ENTA

Injured San Francisco Firefighter improving and on the road to recovery.

Christopher Posey Mora sf fireUltimate Firefighter that almost gave the ultimate sacrifice improving and on the road to recovery.

Injured California Firefighter Making Progress

The nightclub Fat City in San Francisco's South of Market district was packed with about 500 people Thursday night for a fundraiser for injured San Francisco Firefighter Christopher Posey Mora and his family.

Three weeks ago, Posey-Mora was critically hurt while battling a house fire in the Portola neighborhood on February 5th. He was inside the house when the roof collapsed and his mask got knocked off. Posey Mora inhaled extremely hot gases into his lungs and suffered other burns.

At first, his family and friends didn't think he would survive. But now, they say he is improving every day. Fellow firefighter Damian Orduna said, "He doesn't have the tube. He's breathing on his own. He's talking. He walked. It's amazing."

Posey Mora's partner, Sonia Posey, said, "Without God, prayers and love, I would never have come through this. I'm humbled and overwhelmed with appreciation."

The organizer of the fundraiser said that the live music, the venue and the food all were donated. Darlene Dumpit said she hoped to raise $6,000 for Posey Mora and his family. "It's been amazing. I'm really surprised at the outpouring of generosity that everybody has offered," she said.

San Francisco fire investigators say the fire in the unoccupied home was deliberately set. So far, there have been no arrests.

The firefighters union is offering a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Firefighter Damian Orduna said, "It's a crime, perpetrated.. basically sets us up to get hurt. Nobody gets hurt in a situation like that but us."

Source: KTVU.com - Link
Related video: KTVU Video - Link - SAN FRANCISCO: Club Hosts Benefit For Injured SF Firefighter

Hero trucker avoids fire disaster in Ripon

burned-truck A semi-truck and trailer loaded with chemicals caught fire Thursday morning in Ripon. There were no injuries. (Bart Ah You/The Modesto Bee) (More photos at the link.)






After blaze breaks out in trailer, driver moves rig away from other vehicles

By Leslie Albrecht
lalbrecht@modbee.com

last updated: February 26, 2009 09:46:40 PM

RIPON -- Police are calling a truck driver who kept his cool as his big rig was engulfed in flames a hero.

Randal Taylor, 49, of Salt Lake City was asleep in his truck at Flying J Truck Plaza on Jack Tone Road just before 4 a.m. Thursday when a fire broke out inside the vehicle's trailer. The truck was carrying chemicals, including 908 pounds of sodium hydroxide and 612 pounds of an industrial-strength bleach, according to Chief Dennis Bitters of the Ripon Fire Department.

Taylor's truck was surrounded by dozens of other trucks parked in an area where drivers rest between shifts. Instead of fleeing his vehicle, Taylor drove the truck out of the lot and onto Santos Avenue, Ripon Police Chief Richard Bull said.

"The driver used courage and he used great common sense and reasoning to try to keep this from becoming a major disaster," Bull said. "We sure commend him for it."

As Taylor drove away, flames shot from the trailer in all directions, witnesses said. Clouds of black smoke billowed out of the trailer.

The fire destroyed the trailer, leaving only the metal framing. No injuries were reported. Residents in nearby houses were told to stay indoors as firefighters battled the blaze.

Workers from a hazardous materials team from the Bay Area worked in the afternoon to remove the chemicals. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at lalbrecht@modbee.com or 578-2378.

Source: Modesto Bee

SUV crashes, catches fire on 5 Fwy

DOWNEY - A sport utility vehicle veered off the side of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway in Downey this morning, crashed into some brush and caught fire, leaving several lanes blocked before the morning commute, but no one was hurt, authorities said.

The accident on the northbound Santa Ana Freeway just north of Paramount Boulevard was reported about 3:50 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

"The SUV went into brush on the right shoulder, then caught on fire," CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos said, adding that fire spread to some brush.

Los Angeles County firefighters quickly doused the fire, he said, adding that no one was injured by the crash or the blaze.

All northbound lanes except for the No. 1 lane were shut down while Caltrans crews cleared the debris from the area, he said. All lanes were reopened shortly after 7 a.m., the CHP reported.

The cause of crash was under investigation.

Source: Contra Costa Times - Link

Escondido council breaks firefighters' pay impasse

ESCONDIDO: The City Council voted 3-2 yesterday to break an impasse over pay with the Escondido Firefighters Association and imposed the city's offer on the union.

The impasse was over additional pay for advanced training and education, which would have cost the city $21,000 this year.

Union representatives told the council that firefighters already had agreed to sacrifice part of their benefits to help the city close its $7.4 million budget gap. The concessions included suspending the city's contribution to their 401(k) plans and pay raises for firefighters who advance on their pay scale.

Those concessions already have been made by the California Teamster Local 911, which represents maintenance and operation workers, and the Escondido City Employees Association. The employees association also agreed to a 5 percent pay cut, which was not required of any other union.

Yesterday, a council majority – Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler and Councilmen Dick Daniels and Sam Abed – said they could not give the firefighters what they wanted because it would be unfair to other unions that already had agreed to suspend additional pay for advanced training and education.

The other two council members – Olga Diaz and Marie Waldron – wanted to give the firefighters the training and education pay. –A.L.

Source: http://www3.signonsandiego.com - Link

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marine accused of setting 4,000-acre fire in SoCal

The Associated Press

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.—A Camp Pendleton Marine has been charged with recklessly setting a 4,000-acre wildfire that threatened homes in and around the San Diego County base last October.

In a prepared statement Wednesday, base officials say Lance Cpl. Nason G. Lamb faces military charges of reckless endangerment, setting fire to and damaging property and making a false official statement.

Authorities contend Lamb started a fire during a training exercise. A hearing will determine if he should be court-martialed.

Base officials and officers with his unit, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, did not immediately respond to a message seeking contact information for Lamb.

Investigators say two fires in the area on Oct. 13 threatened homes on the base and in nearby Fallbrook and Oceanside. No damage or injuries were reported.

The other fire remains under investigation.

Source: Mercury News - Link

Chico: Firefighters, police cash in on overtime

CHICO — The addition of overtime earnings put firefighters and police officers in the position of the city's top earners in 2008.

According to salary information recently requested by the Enterprise-Record, 121 city employees made $100,000 or more last year with the addition of overtime earnings. Of those, 54 are firefighters, many of whom more than doubled their regular pay through overtime earnings. An additional 35 were in the police department.

The E-R's online searchable database at www.chicoer.com/salaries also added this week the 2007 and 2008 figures for Butte County employees.

The top wage earner in the city last year was City Attorney Lori Barker, who took in $194,654.98. She was followed by Fire Capt. John Probst, who earned $193,385.50 by working 1,567 overtime hours and earning $83,800.18 in overtime; Fire Division Chief Steve Simpson, who filled in as interim fire chief last year and earned an additional $20,390.32 in "special pay," at $188,262.89; City Manager Dave Burkland at $188,191.97; and Fire Capt. David Main, who worked 1,401.50 overtime hours and took in $75,252.63 in overtime pay, at $185,126.42.

The majority of the top fire earners also earned "special pay" for their work on special teams, where they receive additional compensation for the extra risk. Historically, many of the top overtime earners in the Fire Department earn a portion of it while helping out with other fires around the state or filling in for those out fighting. Area firefighters were also called to serve in last summer's Humboldt Fire and Butte Lightning Complex.

The city is reimbursed its costs and an administrative fee for the out-of-city and emergency fires. The Enterprise-Record requests salary figures each year, beginning with the 2006 calendar year after the California Supreme Court ruled salaries of government employees are public records.

Source: Chicoer - link

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nancy Lull is named BLM district manager for Northern California

The Bureau of Land Management has selected Nancy Lull of Baker City, Oregon, as the district manager for the newly formed Northern California District.

Lull, a 20-year BLM career employee, will be headquartered in Redding, California, and will oversee BLM field offices in Arcata, Redding, Alturas, Susanville and Cedarville.

The five offices manage over 3.2 million acres of public land, including the Headwaters Forest Reserve; the King Range National Conservation Area; the Sacramento River Bend; Klamath and Trinity wild and scenic rivers; the northern segment of California Coastal National Monument; portions of the historic Emigrant and California National Historic Trails; Bizz Johnson Rail Trail and Eagle Lake. The current five field office managers will remain in place under this new district structure.

Lull, a Boise State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, started her federal career as a staff assistant and worked her way up through increasingly responsible positions including volunteer program coordinator, public affairs specialist, program analyst, associate district manager, deputy group manager, assistant field manager, and field manager. During her BLM career she has served in the Boise District Office; Office of Fire and Aviation; Office of Wildland Fire Coordination in Washington, D.C.; California Desert District Office; Kemmerer Field Office, Wyoming; and Baker City Field Office, Oregon.

“We are truly grateful to have someone of Nancy’s caliber as the Northern California district manager,” said California State Director Mike Pool. “She brings an incredible amount of land management experience and knowledge and will be an excellent fit for our Northern California District,” Pool said. He said the newly formed district is part of a national reorganization designed to streamline and standardize BLM’s management functions.

Lull, 49, who reports for work on May 1, says she is honored to be chosen for the position and looks forward to the many challenges the federal land agency faces.

Source: BLM

Kathy Hardy is named BLM district manager for Central California

The Bureau of Land Management has selected Kathy Hardy of El Dorado Hills, California, as the district manager for the newly formed Central California District.

Hardy will be headquartered in Sacramento and will oversee BLM field offices in Ukiah, Folsom, Bakersfield, Bishop, and Hollister.

The five offices manage over 2.1 million acres of public land, including the Carrizo Plain National Monument; the central California segment of the California Coastal National Monument; the American, Merced and Tuolumne wild and scenic rivers; Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area; Cosumnes River and Pine Hill Preserves; and the Alabama Hills. The current five field office managers will remain in place under this new district structure.

Hardy graduated from the University of Virginia in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. She began her federal career that same year at Sierra National Forest in Oakhurst, California. She has served twenty-eight years with the U.S. Forest Service at increasingly responsible positions in a variety of assignments in California, Colorado, and Wyoming. She is currently the deputy forest supervisor for the Stanislaus National Forest. This is her first position with BLM.

“We are truly grateful to have someone of Kathy’s caliber as the Central California District manager,” said California State Director Mike Pool. “She brings an incredible amount of land management experience and knowledge and will be an excellent fit for our Central California District,” Pool said. He said the newly formed district is part of a national reorganization designed to streamline and standardize BLM’s management functions.

Hardy, who reports for work on May 1, says she is honored to be chosen for the position and looks forward to the many challenges the federal land agency faces.

Source: BLM

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flood Alert: Interstate 5 closed North of Redding


URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SACRAMENTO HAS ISSUED AN * URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY FOR... SHASTA COUNTY IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA... * UNTIL 1100 PM PST * AT 500 PM PST HEAVY RAIN HAD CLOSED PORTIONS OF INTERSTATE 5 DUE TO FLOODING AND MUDSLIDES. * HEAVY RAIN CONTINUES IN THE MOUNTAINS NORTH OF REDDING. ADDITIONAL FLOOD RELATED PROBLEMS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO IMPACT THE REGION THROUGH TONIGHT. * INTERSTATE 5 IS CLOSED 10 MILES NORTH OF REDDING. FLOOD RELATED PROBLEMS MAY CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS AFTER THE RAIN STOPS. * OTHER ROADWAYS IN THE REGION MAY ALSO EXPERIENCE FLOOD RELATED PROBLEMS TONIGHT.

New York lawmakers ask Obama to rehire 9/11 health czar

by Associated Press Monday February 23, 2009, 4:21 PM

NEW YORK — New York lawmakers and Sept. 11 health advocates urged President Obama on Monday to rehire a World Trade Center health czar who was let go last year by the Bush administration.

John Howard's six-year term as director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health expired last July and he was not asked to stay on.

Since 2006, Howard had become the government's point person for post-Sept. 11 illness. He often found himself at odds with the Bush administration in his advocacy for a federal program to monitor and treat thousands who said they were sickened by exposure to toxic trade center dust.

Sept. 11 health advocates had said his departure could jeopardize future funding.

"The Bush administration made a good decision in appointing Dr. Howard and a typically bad move in letting him go," U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney said Monday at a news conference at ground zero.

The White House didn't immediately comment Monday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named an acting director to take over for Howard, while Howard took another job at the CDC.

An e-mail to Howard wasn't immediately returned Monday.

The government last year halted its plan for a national monitoring program, saying it was too costly. Several members of New York's congressional delegation reintroduced a bill to create the program earlier this month.

Source: AP - Link

Amber alert: Abduction - Full size green van - 4 year old HFJ

UPDATE: *** CANCEL AMBER ALERT - CHILD SAFELY LOCATED *** *** CANCEL AMBER ALERT - CHILD SAFELY LOCATED ***
UPDATE: Amber alert - Kidnapping - Extreme Southern California Mexico border area
Southern California authorities have issued an Amber Alert for a girl who was taken from her home in 30000 block of Desert Moon Drive, Thousand Palms by two women posing as social workers.
Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Herlinda Valenzuela says deputies responded to a child abduction call around 9:45 a.m. Monday.
Valenzuela says two women knocked on the door of the home where 4-year-old Monica Ruby Morales was staying and identified themselves as social workers.
They then drove her away in a green minivan.
Valenzuela says it is believed the women are headed to Mexico, where Monica's mother is believed to have been deported about three weeks ago. Monica has short brown hair and was last seen in a yellow shirt with a white print on the front, blue pants and yellow sandals.

Description: ON FEBRUARY 23, 2009, AT 0930 HOURS , MONICA RUBY MORALES WAS ABDUCTED FROM THOUSAND PALMS, RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA. MONICA RUBY MORALES IS A 4 YEAR OLD, HISPANIC, FEMALE JUVENILE, WITH SHORT BROWN HAIR, AND BROWN EYES.
SHE WAS LAST SEEN WEARING A YELLOW SHIRT WITH A WHITE PRINT ON THE FRONT, BLUE PANTS AND YELLOW SANDALS.
Suspects: THE FIRST SUSPECT IS,A 30 YEAR OLD, HISPANIC, FEMALE, 5 FEET 5 INCHES TALL, WEIGHING 150 POUNDS, WITH BROWN HAIR,LAST SEEN WEARING A WHITE T-SHIRT AND JEANS. THE SECOND SUSPECT IS, A 30 YEAR OLD, HISPANIC, FEMALE, 5 FT. 5 IN. TALL, WEIGHING 170 POUNDS, WITH BROWN HAIR, LAST SEEN WEARING A PINK T-SHIRT AND JEANS.
Vehicle: THE SUSPECTS WERE LAST SEEN DRIVING A FULL SIZE GREEN VAN, UNKOWN PLATE.
THE CHANGEABLE MESSAGE SIGNS ARE NOT BEING ACTIVATED DUE TO THE LACK OF DESCRIPTION OF THE SUSPECT VEHICLE.
Contact: IF SEEN CONTACT RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT AT (760) 836-3218. CHP ENTAC/JEL

Area: STATEWIDE

Affected Counties or parts of: Yuba, San Diego, Marin, Trinity, Mendocino, Riverside, Calaveras, Madera, Sonoma, San Francisco, Shasta, Sacramento, Inyo, Monterey, Butte, Fresno, Sutter, San Benito, Lake, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Lassen, El Dorado, Alpine, Tuolumne, Tulare, Glenn, San Bernardino, Imperial, Modoc, Plumas, Santa Cruz, Yolo, Mono, Del Norte, Napa, Amador, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, San Joaquin, Humboldt, Mariposa, Merced, Santa Barbara, Solano, Kings, Colusa, Orange, Tehama, Alameda, Nevada, Sierra, Stanislaus, San Mateo, Placer, Siskiyou, Kern, Los Angeles

Australia: Wildfire evacuations again, death toll now 210

Firefighters in Victoria were battling three major fires on Monday
More than 100 people flee new Australian bushfires

CANBERRA (Reuters) - More than 100 people evacuated their homes in southern Australia's Victoria state on Monday when new bushfires threatened communities, two weeks after the nation's worst fire disaster killed more than 200 people.

Authorities raised the death toll from the February 7 firestorm by one to 210. Those fires destroyed several small communities and about 1,800 houses, leaving about 7,000 Victorians homeless.

Police said a person died in hospital over the weekend from injuries suffered in the February 7 fires.

Firefighters in Victoria were battling three major fires on Monday. Authorities warned several communities could be at risk due to strong winds, dry conditions and rising temperatures.

More than 100 people from Warburton, east of the Victorian capital Melbourne, set up camp at a nearby sports ground to wait for the fire danger to pass, with officials warning people to put their emergency plans into action.

Under a "stay or go" bushfire policy, people were urged to either leave their homes early and possibly stay away for several days, or be prepared to stay and defend their homes until the fire danger passes.

"If you see flames, it is too late to leave," Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environment said on Monday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the national and state governments would pick up the cost of demolishing and clearing rubble from about 2,000 houses and businesses destroyed by the fires on February 7, which has come to be known as "Black Saturday."

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the government would also introduce new telecommunications laws to parliament to allow state authorities to set up early warning systems using telephone and text messages.

Many survivors of the February 7 bushfires complained they were given no warning of the deadly firestorms, which were driven by hot winds and record high summer temperatures in Victoria.

Australians observed a day of mourning on Sunday, with thousands attending solemn ceremonies across the country.

Source: Reuters - Link

Aircraft down - Salinas - Two injured- Yellow Citabria

2 men hurt in Salinas River small plane crash

The Associated Press

SALINAS, Calif.—Two men are hospitalized in serious condition after their single-engine plane apparently struck a power line and crashed into the Salinas River.

Firefighters say the 29-year-old pilot and his 40-year-old passenger were aboard a yellow Citabria plane that crashed Sunday afternoon shortly after takeoff from Salinas Municipal Airport.

Fire Division Chief Kevin Kamnikar says Salinas Rural Fire District responders trudged across lettuce fields and through river muck to get to the victims.

The injured men, whose names are being withheld, are in a San Jose hospital and they are expected to survive.

Source: Mercury News - Link

SAR: El Dorado County - Back countrry skier

SAR search rescue - Missing Person

Update: Avalanche Victim found dead - A missing Lake Tahoe skier was found dead Monday morning at the scene of a fresh avalanche, authorities said.The body of Christopher Trethaway, 39, was discovered near Cascade Lake, said Lt. Les Lovell of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.Trethaway had apparently gone skiing alone in the backcountry Sunday and failed to return.

On Sunday, 2-22-09, at about 6:30 p.m., the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a
call regarding a possible missing person. According to the information, South Lake Tahoe local
Christopher Trethaway, 39 years of age, had apparently gone backcountry skiing on the previousday and has not been heard from since.

His car has been located at the Bayview Trailhead near Emerald Bay and all indications are that he went backcountry skiing alone in the Maggie’s Peaks area.

With limited light and stormy conditions, a “Hasty Team” search of the immediate area was
conducted by Search and Rescue personnel, but yielded no new information. Avalanche
conditions are extreme in this area due to the underlying icy snow pack and recent warmer wet
weather. The search was suspended until early this morning when ground teams re-deployed and hopefully conditions will improve allowing air support.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind anyone using the backcountry,
especially this time of year, of the importance of telling someone where you intend to go, how
long you plan to stay, and how many persons are in your party.
Respectfully,
Lt. Les Lovell, L84
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office
Lake Tahoe Operations
(530) 573-3026

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hazmat: Magic Dust at Disneyland - Mickey Mouse investigation


IA: 7:30 a.m., Disneyland employees noticed a suspicious powder on many of the ticket booths near the entrance to the park and called authorities.
Final sizeup: 9:45 a.m., Pixie Dust - The park reopened after the substance was determined to be fine-grained sand(Pixie Dust?).
Some guests entered the park when it opened at 8 a.m., but the booths were later shut down while police investigated. The booths reopened at 9:5 a.m.

Mickey is mad: The Police Department is "not done with this," said Martinez, who added that officers were working with Disneyland officials to review the park's security cameras. He said "hundreds and hundreds" of park visitors waited more than two hours while a hazardous materials team determined the substance was no more than finely ground sand. The booths opened about 9:45 a.m.

Investigation: "We don't know if it was a prank or an intentional act to disrupt the activities" of the park, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim Police Department. Anaheim police are working with Disneyland officials to determine who spread a "fine, light-colored sand" across the counters of several ticket booths, leaving hundreds of visitors waiting this morning while emergency crews confirmed the substance was benign.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video.

Donald Duck facing layoff: Walt Disney Co. last week announced organizational changes that the company said would result in future layoffs. Martinez said he did not know if today's incident was related to that announcement.

Hint: Look for a wind storm? or Street cleaner?

Earthquake 3.2 M - Northern California, Point Arena


Magnitude 3.2 - NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

2009 February 22 19:16:35 UTC

Earthquake Details

Magnitude3.2
Date-Time
Location39.019°N, 123.655°W
Depth4.4 km (2.7 miles)
RegionNORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 12 km (8 miles) NNE (16°) from Point Arena, CA
  • 22 km (14 miles) SSE (154°) from Navarro Head, CA
  • 34 km (21 miles) SSE (159°) from Mendocino, CA
  • 41 km (26 miles) WSW (250°) from Ukiah, CA
  • 175 km (109 miles) NW (322°) from San Francisco City Hall, CA
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 0.7 km (0.4 miles); depth +/- 1 km (0.6 miles)
ParametersNST= 21, Nph= 21, Dmin=10.4 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Gp=223°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Source
Event IDnc40232137

Magnitude 3.2 - NORTHERN CALIFORNIA


Earthquake Details

Magnitude3.2
Date-Time
Location39.019°N, 123.655°W
Depth4.4 km (2.7 miles)
RegionNORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 12 km (8 miles) NNE (16°) from Point Arena, CA
  • 22 km (14 miles) SSE (154°) from Navarro Head, CA
  • 34 km (21 miles) SSE (159°) from Mendocino, CA
  • 41 km (26 miles) WSW (250°) from Ukiah, CA
  • 175 km (109 miles) NW (322°) from San Francisco City Hall, CA
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 0.7 km (0.4 miles); depth +/- 1 km (0.6 miles)
ParametersNST= 21, Nph= 21, Dmin=10.4 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Gp=223°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Source
Event IDnc40232137

Earthquake 3.1 M - Offshore California, Santa Maria


Magnitude 3.3 - OFFSHORE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

2009 February 22 18:13:47 UTC

Earthquake Details

Magnitude3.3
Date-Time
Location34.722°N, 121.269°W
Depth8 km (5.0 miles)
RegionOFFSHORE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 58 km (36 miles) WSW (250°) from Pt. Sal, CA
  • 59 km (37 miles) WNW (286°) from Pt. Arguello, CA
  • 69 km (43 miles) WSW (247°) from Guadalupe, CA
  • 74 km (46 miles) W (277°) from Lompoc, CA
  • 80 km (50 miles) WSW (252°) from Santa Maria, CA
  • 287 km (178 miles) WNW (286°) from Los Angeles Civic Center, CA
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 2 km (1.2 miles); depth +/- 1.6 km (1.0 miles)
ParametersNST= 53, Nph= 53, Dmin=62 km, Rmss=0.28 sec, Gp=248°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Source
Event IDnc40232134

Earthquake 4.3 M - Offshore Oregon, Yachats, OR


Earthquake Details

Magnitude4.3
Date-Time
Location44.287°N, 129.511°W
Depth10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
RegionOFF THE COAST OF OREGON
Distances
  • 430 km (267 miles) W (272°) from Yachats, OR
  • 430 km (267 miles) WNW (286°) from Barview, OR
  • 430 km (267 miles) WNW (289°) from Bandon, OR
  • 511 km (318 miles) W (275°) from Eugene, OR
  • 558 km (347 miles) WSW (258°) from Portland, OR
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 27.7 km (17.2 miles); depth fixed by location program
ParametersNST= 37, Nph= 37, Dmin=447.3 km, Rmss=1.04 sec, Gp=266°,
M-type=body magnitude (Mb), Version=Q
Source
  • USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event IDus2009djak

LACFD: 1 dead, 17 injured in Inglewood apartment fire

One person died and 11 others were injured in a fire at a seniors-only apartment building Saturday,The resident of the unit where the fire started died, the person was in a wheelchair. His or her name was withheld until their family could be notified.

IA: Automatic Fire alarm sounding, The fire at seven-story was reported at 12:28 p.m., said Los Angeles County fire Inspector Daryl Jacobs. About 25 firefighters had the fire out within nine minutes arriving, he said.
Location: Regency Towers, a 104-unit seniors-only apartment building at 151 N. Locust St. Inglewood
Resources: About 25 Los Angeles County fire firefighters doused the blaze within 10 minutes.
Deaths/Injuries: One person died and 11 others were injured - One dead - The resident of the unit where the fire started died, the person was in a wheelchair. His or her name was withheld until their family could be notified. Seven other people, including four police officers, breathed some smoke and went to hospitals to be checked out. Nine of the injured were Inglewood police officers, some of whom were off-duty at the time, who helped with evacuations.
Cause: The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Note: Red Cross personnel took 30 residents to nearby Inglewood Meadows Recreation Center, where they are providing temporary housing and assisting evacuees with emergency needs.
Photo: CBS2

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Earthquake 3.2 M - Bay Area, Sunol, East Bay Hills


Earthquake Details

Magnitude3.2
Date-Time
Location37.626°N, 121.943°W
Depth11.5 km (7.1 miles)
RegionSAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 5 km (3 miles) WNW (299°) from Sunol, CA
  • 7 km (5 miles) SW (226°) from Pleasanton, CA
  • 10 km (6 miles) ENE (67°) from Union City, CA
  • 10 km (6 miles) NNE (21°) from Fremont, CA
  • 31 km (20 miles) SE (127°) from Oakland, CA
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
ParametersNST= 93, Nph= 93, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.2 sec, Gp= 22°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Source
Event IDnc40232081

LODD: Oaklahoma Firefighter dies at wildland arson fire

Fire Officials announced that a 45-year-old firefighter, working on a wildfire near Mannford, Oaklahoma collapsed around 10 p.m. Friday while fighting the Wildland blaze and has died.

The thousand acre wildland fire is now contained.

Fire Investigators have determined it was arson fire, because of multiple starts, the 3 fires were set within a mile of each other, just moments apart.

Crews fought the flames from the air and ground.The fire started at 10:30 that morning, and most of it was out by 10pm.

Damages: Two barns were destroyed, but all the homes were saved.
Resources: Crews used a Blackhawk helicopter, that was hooked up with a water drop bucket, to help fight the flames.

Source: Wildfires Today - LODD: Oaklahoma Firefighter dies at wildland arson fire

Earthquake: 3.2M - Central California, Pinnacles, CA


Earthquake Details

Magnitude3.2
Date-Time
Location36.431°N, 120.954°W
Depth8.4 km (5.2 miles)
RegionCENTRAL CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 20 km (13 miles) SE (124°) from Pinnacles, CA
  • 25 km (16 miles) W (274°) from New Idria, CA
  • 29 km (18 miles) ENE (65°) from Greenfield, CA
  • 29 km (18 miles) NNE (32°) from King City, CA
  • 61 km (38 miles) SE (139°) from Hollister, CA
  • 131 km (82 miles) SE (140°) from San Jose City Hall, CA
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.5 km (0.3 miles)
ParametersNST=146, Nph=146, Dmin=14 km, Rmss=0.15 sec, Gp= 61°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Source
Event IDnc40232076

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cal Fire Furloughs: FCO Fire Station 85

Cal Fire Not Exempt from Furloughs
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By Ashley Ritchie and Winston Whitehurst
Cal Fire Station 85 in Fresno County, the furloughed firefighters are busy at work, despite the state's mandatory day off. "When it was set up, it was based on office personnel that work an eight-hour day," Chris Christopherson, Cal Fire, said.
But with a schedule of 48 hours on, 48 hours off, the state's furlough plan is just not possible for first responders. "Obviously furloughing emergency response and public safety is not maybe necessarily the best way, but I know that we are trying to do our part as a state agency," Captain Sean Hernandez, Cal Fire, said.
So in order for Cal Fire to take the 9.3% pay cut created by the furloughs, firefighters must take those two days a month and apply them to their vacation time. The problem is it could actually end up costing the state more. "That time that's banked, and if someone retires within the next couple of years, that's vacation hours that they didn't use.
So then there's an added cost to the state, to the taxpayers because the employees are having to be cashed out for that time they didn't use because of the furlough process," Christopherson said.
And with rumors flying around about even more cuts to public safety, the firefighters at Station 85 are feeling the heat. "People are very concerned about what's going to happen as far as, is it going to continue to get worse.
Is the 9.3 going to become 12%, 15%?" Hernandez said. But until they get orders to close their doors, Cal Fire officials say they'll continue to provide protection to the people of Fresno County and fight fire through the furloughs.
All Cal Fire offices that are not fire stations are closing their doors two days a month because of the furloughs. That means on those days, you cannot get things like burn permits or fire report information.
On another note, the California Highway Patrol is exempt from the furloughs.
Source: KMPH Fox26 - Link

Hero saves driver during tragic traffic accident

Former firefighter and Action News photographer save driver from burning wreck that killed six others

Friday, February 19, 2009
Reported by: Stacy Daniel

A fiery accident near Los Alamos leaves six people dead and a 19-year-old woman in the hospital.

The crash happened around 6:30 p.m. Thursday on Highway 101.

Investigators say the seven people in the vehicle were traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles. All but one were foreign national students who were going to school in the U.S.

A retired firefighter saw the accident happen, he stopped his car and let his instincts take over. Soon, others joined in on the effort to help.

Imagine driving down the highway and you see the car in front of you veer off the road and into a tree. It happened to John Duthie Thursday night.

Duthie said, "It literally unfolded right before my eyes. I had to stop the truck so I didn't get hit."

Duthie, a former firefighter, instantly pulled of the highway to help.

"The roof of the car, it was pretty much ripped off and smashed away," Duthie said. "So she, I got her out the roof, slid down the windshield onto the hood and got her away from the car, back up to the truck I dropped the tailgate down I laid her in the back of the truck. This was all in seconds."

By then, someone else had stopped to help. Action News photographer Juan Espinosa was on his way home from work.

Espinosa said, "I saw this guy helping this girl out, so I helped him and then we got her back to the truck."

Espinosa and Duthie headed back to the burning vehicle to check for additional survivors. By then, the flames made approaching the vehicle impossible.

Espinosa said, "It was really hot, so we couldn't even get close to the car."

So, they focused their attention on the one person they knew they could help, the driver, 19-year-old Jeanne Ostrowski.

Duthie said, "The miracle was one survived. It wasn't a total loss."

Once emergency responders arrived, Espinosa grabbed his camera and captured some of these images.

Both men say they are glad they were there to help, but the graphic images of that night are not likely to fade from their memories anytime soon.

There is some good news. Marian Medical Center has upgraded the driver's condition to fair.

The names of the six people in the car will not be released until all family members have been notified.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Reported by: Sarah Spotten

Five of the six people killed in a fiery crash near Los Alamos Thursday night were foreign national students attending schools in the Bay Area, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The six who were killed range in age from 18 to 30. Four died inside the vehicle, while the other two were ejected. They have not yet been identified pending notification of their next of kin.

The accident happened at around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, when the single Toyota SUV crossed into the median and overcorrected, crossed the southbound lanes, rolled over and slammed into a tree before bursting into flames, the CHP says.

The 19-year-old driver, Jeanne Ostrowski of San Francisco, survived the crash with major injuries. Marian Medical Center lists her in fair condition Friday afternoon.

According to the CHP, alcohol does not appear to be a factor, and it is unknown at this time whether the passengers were wearing seatbelts. The investigation into the cause of the crash is still continuing.

Source: KSBY - Link

California late on last years strike team wildland fire bills

State owes fire department $213K

The Petaluma Fire Department has received more than $80,000 from the state for providing assistance to five wild land fires in other California counties in 2008, but has not yet received the additional $213,000 that it is owed.

The department has received three payments, which cover the costs of strike team members for fires in Humboldt, Lake and Napa counties. A payment of $26,000 was received on Oct. 8, followed by payments of $28,000 on Jan. 12 and $27,000 on Jan. 26.

But funds have not been received for strike-team services during fires in Butte and Orange counties.

“This delay is due to the state budget problems,” said Fire Chief Larry Anderson. “It isn’t affecting our day-to-day operations in Petaluma, and we would be able to send a strike team to another location if needed.

“I would do it in a heartbeat. But we wouldn’t be able to send two teams, because we would be stretched too thin.”

The Petaluma Fire Department has not been told when to expect the remaining money, which pays the overtime salaries of strike team members, and their expenses, including fuel, food and apparatus.

Anderson explained that the fire department still is within its budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, although the expenses have been higher than anticipated due to the participation of the strike teams.

Within Sonoma County, fire agencies supply personnel to other agencies, and don’t charge anything for their services, he said.

Several fire agencies in Sonoma County provided strike team members to help battle the flurry of wild land fires in the state in 2008, and several of these agencies have not yet been fully compensated.

Source: http://www.petaluma360.com - Link

State News: Governator signs budget bill

Governor Schwarzenegger signs state budget package

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a package of bills designed to close California's $42 billion budget shortfall for the next year-and-a-half.

The Republican governor signed the bills Friday during a brief event that was closed to reporters. He made no public comments.

During a news conference a day earlier, Schwarzenegger praised lawmakers for taking a courageous stand in agreeing to a compromise. The plan includes $15 billion in spending cuts, $12.8 billion in temporary tax increases and $11 billion in borrowing.

The package of 34 bills passed both houses of the Legislature with the minimum number of Republican votes needed to reach the required two-thirds majority. It is intended to close the deficit for the rest of this fiscal year and pass a balanced, $96.3 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Source: KSBY - Link

Related story at Sacramento Bee

Schwarzenegger slashes budgets for constitutional officers

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger formally ended months of political fighting Friday by signing a new state budget - but not before taking another shot at constitutional officers.

Among $1.3 billion in vetoes, Schwarzenegger sliced budgets of the attorney general, controller, treasurer, secretary of state and Board of Equalization by 10 percent to compensate for savings that would have occurred from furloughing employees.

Schwarzenegger chopped even more from the budget of Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2010, slicing his budget by two thirds - from $2.78 million to $1.04 million, saying he did so "to ensure that sufficient resources are reserved for key programs within state government. In these tough times, we cannot continue to fund the Office of the Lieutenant Governor at the level provided in recent years."

The unusual scope of the reduction, however, which will force Garamendi to lay off much of his relatively small staff, may have been payback for his sharp criticism of the budget deal that Schwarzenegger had worked out with Democratic legislative leaders. Garamendi's complaints about the deal's spending cuts have been widely seen as currying favor with unions and other pro-spending groups as he seeks the Democratic nomination for governor next year.

Schwarzenegger did not, however, inflict the same budgetary punishment on Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a Republican candidate for governor, who has been sharply critical of the budget deal's $12-plus billion in new taxes.

The budget cut did not temper Garamendi's criticism. He said the spending cuts "further harm the vulnerable and the ability of the state to thrive in the years ahead" and called the package of spending cuts and new taxes "temporary and insufficient," adding, "the borrowing continues and the budget problem will reemerge in just a few months."

Schwarzenegger has ordered the twice-month furlough of state employees to save money. Constitutional officers have balked at order, arguing that the governor does not have authority over them.

Constitutional officers say they have achieved adequate savings without furloughing workers.

Schwarzenegger has filed suit in an attempt to clarify his authority in the matter.

Constitutional officers also are elected officials and oversee their own budgets.

The Legislature's budget was not targeted by Schwarzenegger's vetoes. A funding formula for the Senate and Assembly was adopted in 1990 as part of a ballot measure, Proposition 140, which imposed term limits.

Source: Sac Bee - Link
Photo credit: Sacramento Bee

Australia: Wildfire threat rising again, death toll now 209

Australian fire authorities have announced a high fire alert -Red flag conditions starting this weekend.

Critical fire weather forecast for Southwest Australia starting this weekend, expected to bring High temperature, low humidity and strong winds.

Black Saturday Bushfire toll is now 209 souls lost.

Earthquake 3.7 M - Central California, Trona, CA


Earthquake Details

Magnitude3.7
Date-Time
Location35.985°N, 117.307°W
Depth0.4 km (~0.2 mile) (poorly constrained)
RegionCENTRAL CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 25 km (16 miles) NNE (13°) from Trona, CA
  • 25 km (16 miles) NNE (16°) from Searles Valley, CA
  • 29 km (18 miles) SW (224°) from Telescope Peak, CA
  • 52 km (32 miles) NE (39°) from Ridgecrest, CA
  • 189 km (117 miles) W (264°) from Las Vegas, NV
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.7 km (0.4 miles)
ParametersNph=039, Dmin=11 km, Rmss=0.18 sec, Gp= 50°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=M
Source
Event IDci10377693

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Aircraft down: San Onofre - U.S. Border Patrol helicopter

LOS ANGELES, California- A U.S. Border Patrol helicopter went down Thursday night near the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The McDonald Douglas 600N "made a forced landing under unknown circumstances into shallow water," just south of the Orange County-San Diego County line, said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

Three people on board were able to exit the helicopter on their own and were taken to a hospital with unknown injuries.

Aerial images showed the helicopter sitting on the edge of the surf, just north of the nuclear plant.

Source: CNN - link

Former Bennett Valley volunteer fire captain sentenced

A former fire captain and Rohnert Park police officer accused of secretly taping teens having sex is going to jail.

SANTA ROSA - A Sonoma County judge sentenced 34-year-old Matthew David Phillips to 2 years and 8 months in prison Thursday. Phillips pleaded no contest in September to six felony charges, including three counts of surreptitiously filming people engaged in sexual activity.

Phillips, a former Bennett Valley volunteer fire captain, was accused of taping teenage boys having sex with their girlfriends. Authorities say the girls were unaware they were being filmed.

The boys were in a training program Phillips coordinated for teens interested in pursuing a career in firefighting.

Phillips will have to register as a sex offender after his release.

Injured RRU Firefighters released from hospital

Firefighters hurt in Desert Hot Springs blaze released from the hospital

Two firefighters who were injured in a Desert Hot Springs house fire were released from a hospital this morning and went back to work, a Cal Fire spokeswoman said.

The firefighters were injured in a fire that was reported at 10:13 p.m. Wednesday at a home at 17555 Bubbling Wells Road, said Cal Fire spokeswoman Cheri Patterson.

While firefighters were battling the flames, an exterior wall of the home partially collapsed on two firefighters, Patterson said.

They were hospitalized for treatment of a minor hip injury and moderate head injury and were released early this morning, according to Patterson.

Three adults and three children were displaced by the blaze, but were uninjured, Patterson said.

A workshop near the home was destroyed. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

News Source: PE.com - Link
Incident report: - CARRU-15193

1 Defendant Sentenced In Corral Canyon Fire, 4 more to go

A man who helped set the Corral Canyon fire that destroyed 53 Malibu homes and injured six firefighters in November 2007 was sentenced today to five years probation and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.

Brian David Franks, 28, was also banned from returning to the Corral Canyon area while he is on probation. Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Leslie Dunn also required Franks to perform brush-clearance work as part of his community service hours.

Franks pleaded no contest Oct. 1 to a felony charge of recklessly causing a fire. As part of his plea deal, Franks agreed to be available to testify against the other four defendants in the case.

Brian Alan Anderson, 23, and William Thomas Coppnck, 24, were ordered last month to stand trial on one count each of recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury and recklessly causing a fire to an inhabited structure.

The criminal complaint includes the allegation that the crimes were committed "during and within an area of a state of emergency."

Co-defendants Eric Matthew Ullman, 19, and Dean Allen Lavorante, 20, are due back in court later this month, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for them to stand trial on the same charges.

Authorities allege that the men went to a cave and notorious party spot on state park land overlooking Malibu to drink alcohol with girls and have a campfire when the area was under a red flag warning because of high winds and low humidity.

The Nov. 24, 2007, wildfire consumed 53 homes and severely damaged 23 others.

Franks was due to be sentenced last month, but the hearing was delayed because of a flier that was circulated around Malibu that provided the wrong court date. Dunn agreed to postpone the hearing so Malibu residents could speak at Franks' sentencing.

Several residents spoke during today's hearing, describing the devastation the fire caused in their neighborhoods.

Source: CBS2 - Link

San Diego firefighters win Gay Sexual Harassment suit

The verdict will mean no government employee will be forced to attend "Gay Parade" again.

San Diego's fire chief, Tracy Jarman, is an open lesbian who called the July 21 parade a "fun event" in which "all employees are encouraged to participate."

They reported hearing statements such as, "show me your hose," "you can put out my fire," "you're making me hot," "give me mouth-to-mouth," and "blow my hose." When they refused to respond to the crowd, some in the crowd turned hostile and started shouting, "F--- you firemen" and others began "flipping them off."

SAN DIEGO -- Four San Diego firefighters suffered harassment when they were assigned to ride in a gay pride parade, and the city did not do enough to prevent their harm, a jury decided Tuesday.

In a retrial of their civil lawsuit, Capt. John Ghiotto and firefighters Jason Hewitt, Alex Kane and Chad Allison were awarded a combined $34,300. Ghiotto will receive the lion's share -- $14,200 for past and future lost earnings and an extra $5,000 for emotional distress.

The other plaintiffs were each awarded $5,000 for emotional distress -- with Allison given an extra $100 in medical expenses.

"The amounts were a little low," plaintiffs' attorney Charles LiMandri said outside the courtroom.

But the verdict will mean no government employee will be subjected to similar treatment again, he said.

"That was the main thing," LiMandri said. "That's what we've been fighting for for one and a half years and two trials."

Jurors were unable to reach a decision in the first trial.

LiMandri told jurors that Ghiotto, Allison, Kane and Hewitt were subjected to crude comments, vulgar actions and simulated sex acts during the 2007 Pride Parade and had unwanted sexual material delivered to their station after the event.

The lawyer said his clients also witnessed a man groping another man along the parade route when children were present, creating an offensive work environment.

Deputy City Attorney Don Shanahan countered that the plaintiffs never told supervisors they were subjected to sexual harassment.

Shanahan said the plaintiffs met with the fire department's top three officers, but weren't satisfied even when the Chief Tracy Jarman apologized and promised to change the department's policy and use only volunteers in the parade.

He said the department bent over backwards.

Ghiotto, after the verdicts were announced, said the city did nothing for them.

"There was wrongdoing that day," the captain said. "We all agreed on it. We felt that unless we stood up for ourselves, it would happen again."

Juror Nancy Chiquete called the verdict a "difficult decision."

The "intensity of the situation" at the parade made the difference for the jurors, she said.

"People saw things that wouldn't normally be acceptable," Chiquete said.

The verdict forms called for the jurors to answer eight questions for each defendant and then fix damages.

Among the questions were whether harassment was severe or pervasive, whether a reasonable person would call the work environment hostile or abusive, and whether the failure of the city to take reasonable steps to prevent the harassment a substantial factor in causing harm to the defendants.

With at least nine votes, the jurors answered yes to all the questions for each defendant.

Shanahan said the city will appeal the verdict and fight any attempt by LiMandri to have the city pay the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees.

Judge Timothy B. Taylor denied motions by the city for a new trial and to ignore the jury's findings and issue his own verdict.

Source: 10news.com - Link

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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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