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Sunday, October 31, 2010

CAL FIRE: Warns citizens of telephone solicitation scam

Cal Fire is warning the public of a recent donation scam involving the department. 
Residents who receive calls from a person requesting monetary donations for training California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters should keep their wallets closed, according to fire officials.

Cal Fire said this week that a resident of Santa Clara County received a call from a person requesting a monetary donation to pay for the training of Cal Fire firefighters.

Cal Fire said it does not solicit donations and that the training of Cal Fire's firefighters is funded trough the department's budget.

"Residents need to know that Cal Fire never solicits funds in order to provide services to the communities we serve," Josh White, Cal Fire deputy chief of law enforcement, said in a news release.

"We hope that by getting the word out early no one will give their money to these criminals and that if residents do get a call from a scammer, they will be prepared to gather pertinent information so we can put a stop to this."

If you receive a phone call soliciting funds for Cal Fire, the agency said to call 408-778-0930.

Friday, October 29, 2010

SLO New Fire Chief Charlie Hines coming from city of Yakima, Washington

Charlie Hines
Charlie Hines
Photo Courtesy: City of Yakima

San Luis Obispo's new fire chief is coming from Washington state according to KIMA-TV, a news station out of Yakima.

That news agency reports that Charlie Hines will serve as San Luis Obispo's new fire chief. According to the City of Yakima, Hines has more than 30 years of experience in the fire service. He has served as Yakima Fire Chief since 2007.

Hines is no stranger to California, though. The City of Yakima says Hines has spent most of his career in our state. He was a firefighter in Long Beach, La Habra and with the California Division of Forestry.

San Luis Obispo City Manager Katie Lichtig is set to make the official announcement on Hines at 3:00p.m. Friday, at Fire Station 1 in San Luis Obispo.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Dave Romero spoke to KIMA-TV. The station tweeted Friday morning, "Chief Hines is in San Luis Obispo to be there for the official announcement this afternoon. 'He'll be a great fit here,' say Mayor Romero."

The fire chief position has been vacant since mid-August, when Chief John Callahan passed away unexpectedly. Callahan collapsed during a city softball league at Santa Rosa Park. Doctors say he died of a massive heart attack. He was 61-years-old.

Source: http://KSBY.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SMFD: Sacramento County Arson suspect arrested



Samuel Jones was arrested in connection to a series or arson fires throughout Sacramento County.

Metro Fires Arson Unit with the help of Cal Fire investigators and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department arrested Samuel Jones a 24 year old male for a series of fires that had occurred in the South Woods Park area of Sacramento County.

The fires occurred over the past three months in the early morning hours and consisted of vehicles in driveways of occupied dwellings.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident and is currently in the Sacramento County jail being charged with 3 counts of arson to property.

Jones is a suspect in additional arson investigations that are pending.

Friday, October 22, 2010

CA-TCU: Private land SRA burn hour restrictions lifted today

 Burning is only allowed on permissive burn days and burn permits are required.

San Andreas, CA-- Cal Fire has announced that the burn hour restrictions on private lands within the Tuolumne-Calaveras unit will be lifted this Friday, October 22nd.

This includes the counties of Calaveras, Tuolumne, and those eastern portions of San Joaquin and Stanislaus that are within the State Responsibility Area. Lifting the burn hour restrictions also applies to lands within the Direct Protection Area of the Stanislaus National Forest.

Burning is only allowed on permissive burn days and burn permits are required. It is also the landowner's responsibility to check with the local Air Pollution Control District for permissive day information by calling the local APCD office.

More Information:
In Calaveras County the burn day number is (209)-754-6600 and in Tuolumne County the number is (209) 533-5598.

LACFD: AGUA DULCE, PLANE DOWN w/ FIRE IN HORSE CORRAL 2 DEAD

Two Dead After Small Plane Crashes Into California Horse Corral

AGUA DULCE, Calif. -- A small plane crashed and burst into flames Thursday in a horse corral in northern Los Angeles County, killing at least two people and three horses, a fire official said.

The single-engine Cirrus SR22, which may have departed from a local airport, went down at about 12:10 p.m. behind a barn in Agua Dulce, county fire Inspector Matt Levesque said. The plane caught fire but was quickly doused, he said.

Fire Inspector Don Kunitomi said two people were confirmed dead but it was not known if anyone else was aboard due to the state of the wreck. Fire officials earlier reported four people dead.

Three horses in the corral were killed and a fourth was injured, Levesque said.

The crash site was about a mile west of the Agua Dulce Airpark, but it was not immediately clear whether the plane had taken off from the runway there, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The cause of the crash was under investigation. The skies were overcast at the time of the crash, Gregor said.

The plane was registered to a Calabasas company, Gregor said. He would not provide the name until the FAA confirms the owners were notified.

The high-desert area about 30 miles north of Los Angeles is flanked by forest and the urban communities of Santa Clarita and Palmdale. It is near Vasquez Rocks, a local rock formation often used as a filming location for movies and TV shows.

Source: FOX NEWS - Link

CA-RRU: CAL FIRE Investigators Seek Publics Help For Beaumont #Arson Fire

Fire Investigators are seeking the publics help in reporting any suspicious activity on September 30, 2010 in a housing development northeast of Oak Valley Parkway and Palm Avenue in Beaumont, where an arson-caused vehicle fire occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Any person with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Riverside County Fire Departments Arson Hotline toll-free at (800) 633-2836.

Contact: Jopdy Hagemann
Public Affairs - 951-940-6985

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sacramento Fire engine stolen, CHP recovers it 20 miles away

Man suspected of stealing fire engine arrested -- 20 miles from station


A 38-year-old man was arrested for reportedly stealing a fire engine Wednesday afternoon from a south Sacramento fire station, fire officials said.andre-newsome.jpg

California Highway Patrol officers booked Andre Marcellos Newsome into Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of motor vehicle theft and purchase or receipt of stolen vehicle, according to online jail records.

Newsome had allegedly taken the engine because he needed a ride home to Fresno, CHP Officer Eric Aston said.

"He said he figured a fire engine was as good as any other vehicle he could take," Aston said.

Newsome was discharged Wednesday afternoon from Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, where he had been receiving treatment for "some psychological disorder," Aston said. As he walked by the fire station at East Parkway and Franklin Boulevard, he saw Fire Engine 57 parked outside.

The engine, which was usually parked inside the apparatus room, was moved in front of the station on the driveway so a city maintenance crew could work on modifications to the room, said Capt. Jonathan Burgess, Sacramento Fire Department spokesman.

When the city crew left, the fire engine was still there, Burgess said.

Firefighters, who were inside the station, did not know the engine was taken until CHP officers called the fire department to say it was found some 20 miles away, CHP Sgt. Sean Duryee said.

A passer-by spotted the fire engine - with its lights and sirens on - on Franklin Boulevard near Twin Cities Road shortly before 4 p.m., CHP officials said. The witness allegedly saw Newsome climb out of the driver's side of the engine.

"(The witness) thought that was kind of odd," Aston said.

Newsome told authorities he decided to abandon the fire engine because he couldn't figure out how to turn off the lights and sirens, which he had apparently turned on some time during his drive south, Aston said.

Newsome was also having trouble with the brakes, the officer said.

"He wasn't able to operate the vehicle very well," Aston said.

Fire officials said fire engines are difficult to operate without training or familiarity. They said all the equipment appeared to be on the vehicle, but one of the rear tires sustained significant damage because the engine was being driven with the emergency break engaged.

The engine was towed to the Meadowview Corporation Facility for inspection and needed repairs.

Other agencies that helped recover the engine included the California Department of Fish and Game, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and the Consumes Community Services District Fire Department.


Photo of Andre Newsome courtesy of Sacramento County Sheriff's Department
Story By Chelsea Phua - cphua@sacbee.com
Read more: http://blogs.sacbee.com/crime/archives/2010/10/man-suspected-o-8.html#ixzz131AFt9ld

USDA / USFS Announces New Leadership in California

Regional Forester Randy Moore is proud to welcome Jeanne Wade Evans, Daniel Jiron and Ronald Ketter, all of whom will serve as deputy regional foresters for the national forests of California.

Jeanne Wade Evans, supervisor at the San Bernardino National Forest since October 2005, will move to the regional level to oversee fire and aviation management as well as state and private forestry. Prior to her assignments in California, she held three positions in the Forest Service Washington Office, including policy specialist for fire management (hazardous fuels), deputy director for forest and rangelands, and natural resource specialist for rangeland stewardship.  Wade Evans also served as a district ranger and range conservationist for the Coronado National Forest in Arizona.  She earned a bachelor's degree in environmental resources and agriculture from Arizona State University in 1977.

Wade Evans replaces Jim Peña who left in August to become associate deputy chief of the National Forest System in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Jiron, supervisor of  Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico since December 2006, arrives to serve as deputy regional forester of resources. Previously, Jiron served as national press officer in Washington, D.C., director of communications and legislative affairs for the Intermountain Region (Ogden, Utah) and as district ranger for the Salt Lake Ranger District in Utah and South Park Ranger District in Colorado.

He also served as an aide to U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.  He earned a bachelor's degree from Colorado State University in 1986 and a master's degree from Regis University-Jesuit in 1997. 

Jiron replaces Beth Pendleton who left in August to become regional forester for national forests in Alaska.##Ronald Ketter, the new deputy regional forester for operations, comes by way of the Forest Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he was assistant director of strategic planning, budget and accountability. 

Ketter's Forest Service experience includes director of strategic planning and performance accountability, assistant budget director and budget branch chief, all at the Washington headquarters.  His extensive experience also includes holding positions as research analyst, environmental policy consultant and senior budget and legislative analyst with the Office of Management and Budget as well as program evaluator with the U.S. General Accounting Office.  Ketter has also taught budget, research and evaluation methods as an assistant professor at the university level.  He has had temporary assignments as acting director of strategic planning, budget and accountability in 2009 and as deputy station director for the Rocky Mountain Research Station in 2008.  He earned a bachelor's degree in Public Policy in 1981 from Emporia State University, a master's degree in public affairs in 1986 from University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate in political science in 1996 from Binghamton University.  He also earned a certificate in executive leadership skills in 2008 from American University.

Ketter replaces Angela Coleman who left in July to become associate deputy chief of research and development at the Forest Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The 18 national forests in California are collectively known as Region 5 of the National Forest System. Region 5 also includes responsibility and oversight of state and private forestry in Hawaii and U.S. territories in the Pacific.

Source:
USFS - VALLEJO, California
Oct. 20, 2010
- US Forest Service Press Release

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 ShakeOut drill: "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" 10:21 AM on October 21

Are You Ready to ShakeOut?
The 2010 ShakeOut is scheduled for 10:21 AM on October 21,
and as of October 18 has over 7.1 million participants.

Drop, Cover, and Hold On!With 38 million people living and working in California, a major earthquake could
cause unprecedented devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will
determine what our lives will be like afterward. With earthquakes an inevitable
part of California’s future, we must act quickly to ensure that disasters do not
become catastrophes.
The Great Southern California ShakeOut in November 2008 involved nearly 5.5
million Californians through a broad-based outreach program, media partnerships,
and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. In early 2009 the decision was
made to hold the drill statewide annually on the third Thursday of October. With
this in mind, the Earthquake Country Alliance organized the 2009 Great California
ShakeOut, a statewide earthquake drill at 10:15 AM on October 15, with over 6.9
million participants. 

A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based
earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science
research about why people get prepared. The result is a “teachable moment” on
par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in
getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is
needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice
what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.
Not just any drill will accomplish this; it needs to be big. It must inspire
communities to come together. It must involve children at school and parents at
work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc.,
to make it their own event.

The 2010 ShakeOut drill will be the largest preparedness event in U.S. history. To
participate, go to www.ShakeOut.org/register and pledge your family, school,
business, government agency or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered
participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a
dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. All organizers ask is that
participants register (so they can be counted and receive communications), and at
the minimum practice "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" at the specified time. It is only a
commitment of a few minutes for something that can save your life. It all begins
with registering, which is free and open to everyone.
For more information or to register, visit www.ShakeOut.org.
(In Spanish at www.ShakeOut.org/espanol).

CA-RRU: Riverside County CAL FIRE Arson Investigators busy this year

2010 Proves a Busy Year for Riverside County CAL FIRE Peace Officers

In recent weeks, five arrests for fire-related incidents were made throughout Riverside County by CAL FIRE investigators; bringing the total to 18 so far this year.

On September 20, 2010, CAL FIRE Investigators arrested two juvenile males, ages 15 and 16 years in La Quinta. The youths were transported to Riverside County Juvenile Hall in Indio where they were booked on drug-related charges and arson to property. The Riverside County Juvenile Court is handling the case.

The same day, Warren Perry was arrested for setting fire to an occupied home and vehicle in Moreno Valley. Perry, 58, was transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside and booked on charges of recklessly starting a fire and arson to property.

CAL FIRE Investigators made another arrest on October 12, 2010. 21-year old Juan Antonio Godinez was arrested and transported to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. Godinez was booked and charged with arson, residential burglary and attempt to steal a vehicle in Perris on September 6, 2010.

Finally, CAL FIRE Investigators arrested Troy Lynn Proctor, 47, on October 15, 2010 and booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on charges of residential burglary and arson to an inhabited home that occurred in Moreno Valley on July 4, 2010. The recent arrests of Perry, Godinez and Proctor are considered serious arson cases and now being handled by the Riverside County District Attorneys Office.

Matthew Ellen Kehoe was arrested on September 27, 2010 by CAL FIRE Investigators for setting fire to a dumpster, which damaged an adjacent building in Banning. The Riverside County District Attorneys Office charged Kehoe with one count of PC 451 (d) (arson to property) and he was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

Anyone witnessing suspicious fire activity is urged to contact the Riverside County Fire Department Arson Hotline at 1-800-633-2836.

More info:

Jody Hagemann
Public Affairs Bureau
(951) 940-6985

CA-NEU: Residential Burning with permits resumes

Cal Fire's Nevada, Yuba and Placer counties unit announce reduce burning restrictions in some areas of Northern California. As of monday, permitted residential burning is allowed to resume.

“Burn permits will be required due to the potential for fire danger to fluctuate in the coming weeks,” said Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Chief Brad Harris.

“Residents must always use caution when burning, follow all guidelines and maintain control of their fire at all times.”

Cal Fire officials will coordinate with local Air Pollution Control Districts on the daily burn day status. Residents must obtain a valid burn permit and burn only on permissive burn days.

Keep in mind – violations of any burning permit terms are a violation of state law. If a fire escapes a homeowner's control they can be issued a citation and be held liable for suppression costs and damages.


“Burn permits will be required due to the potential for fire danger to fluctuate in the coming weeks,” said CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Chief Brad Harris. “Residents must always use caution when burning, follow all guidelines and maintain control of their fire at all times.”

CAL FIRE officials will coordinate with local Air Pollution Control Districts on the daily burn day status. Residents must obtain a valid burn permit and burn only on permissive burn days. The subsequent requirements, listed on the burn permit, must be followed:

* Maximum pile size 4 foot in diameter.

* Clear all flammable material and vegetation within 10-feet of the outer edge of the pile.

* Keep a water supply close to the burning site.

* An adult should be in attendance with a shovel until the fire is put out.

* No burning shall be undertaken unless weather conditions (particularly wind) are such that burning can be considered safe.


Burn permits can be obtained at all Cal Fire facilities. Residents can confirm burn day status by calling (530) 274-7928.
 
Placer County: (800) 998-2876
Nevada County: (530) 274-7928
Truckee area: (530) 582-1027
Yuba County: (530)741-6299

Friday, October 15, 2010

CA-ANF-Station Fire - Forest Service taking heat for lost "window of opportunity"

Station fire's lost 'window of opportunity' recounted
Former Forest Service commander Will Spyrison appears before the House panel looking into the service's handling of the Station fire. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times / October 12, 2010)
Ex-Forest Service chief tells congressional panel he tried to get timely help in fighting the massive blaze.

Under intense questioning by House members, the former U.S. Forest Service commander who led the initial attack on last year's Station fire conceded Tuesday that a "window of opportunity" to contain the flames was lost when aircraft arrived two hours late on the critical second morning of the blaze.

Members of the bipartisan congressional panel spent much of the four-hour-plus session in Pasadena grilling the now-retired commander and current Forest Service officials about the response to the fire, sometimes expressing frustration that they were not getting the full story.

"I have a feeling we're not being told what happened," Rep. Brad Sherman (D- Sherman Oaks) said after posing numerous questions about why the Forest Service did not fill an order for air tankers that would have hit the fire at 7 a.m. on Aug. 27, 2009, when it was still small.


The fire, which broke out a day earlier, became the largest in Los Angeles County history, blackening 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest and destroying more than 200 homes, commercial buildings and other structures. Two county firefighters were killed trying to defend their Mt. Gleason camp.

Will Spyrison, the then-division chief who oversaw the operation on the second morning, said before a standing-room-only, often boisterous audience Tuesday that he made several calls for the air tankers between about 12:30 and 3:25 a.m. and was never told that they would not arrive until two hours after he needed them.

"I knew if I didn't have the aircraft at 7 o'clock in the morning, there's a very short window of time … between 7 and 9 a.m. was that window of opportunity to make a difference," said Spyrison, whose account had not been made public before.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D- Burbank), who organized the panel, asked Spyrison if a 7 a.m. arrival of the tankers "could have made a critical difference in whether this fire got out of control."

"Yes," Spyrison said, "if it was possible to have them there at 7 o'clock in the morning."

He then retreated a bit, saying, "You could play the what-if game" and "it's hard to say" that the tankers would have helped knocked down the blaze before the sun heated the hillsides.

But he later said, "I went back and tried to confirm that aircraft because I knew the sense of urgency.... I needed it there by 7 to be able to, you know, make an effective attack."

Rep. Howard P. McKeon (R- Santa Clarita) asked, "Did you ever receive an answer back?"

"No," Spyrison said. "I asked several times for confirmation."

Spyrison also said he did not know that a separate Martin Mars tanker had been in the air the evening before and was available to dump more than 6,000 gallons of water and gel on the fire but was turned away and directed to unload at another location.

"It would have helped," he said.

Two former Forest Service officials said that the agency let Spyrison down.

"There was a void in overall command and control," said former Angeles National Forest Fire Chief Don Feser.

"Spyrison did a remarkably good job [despite] severe constraints," said William Derr, a retired investigator for the Forest Service's California region.

The audience of more than 200, made up largely of people who lost their homes or saw them damaged in the fire, jeered or laughed derisively when Forest Service administrators said that, more than a year later, they still could not identify the person who decided not to process Spyrison's order through a regional center that marshals aircraft from several agencies but instead opted to "leave it open" until later in the morning on Day 2.

Sherman pressed Tom Harbour, the Forest Service's head of fire and aviation, on who was responsible.

Harbour said, "We have not been able to validate the exact person that received that call. Nor have we been able to validate why the breakdown."

His voice tinged with sarcasm, Sherman said, "What you have here is somebody, but we don't know who it was, telephoned somebody, but we don't know who it was, and the tankers weren't sent. Nor was an effort made to find tankers in the area that could be sent."

Harbour and other Forest Service officials repeatedly denied that cost concerns prevented them from turning immediately to state and local agencies for crews and equipment, including aircraft, to bolster the assault on the fire. The Times reported Monday that an internal review conducted for the U.S. Agriculture Department, which runs the Forest Service, found that financial worries delayed the arrival of "critical resources" at the fire.

"I do not believe that's the case at all," said Angeles National Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron, who is being transferred to the same job at the San Bernardino National Forest.

Schiff called for the House inquiry after The Times reported last year that Forest Service officials misjudged the threat presented by the fire, rolled back their attack at the end of the first day and failed to promptly fill the aircraft orders. Also on the panel, which convened at the U.S. Court of Appeals Building, were Reps. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) and Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park).

"There obviously were very serious problems," Dreier said of the initial firefight. Chu questioned whether the battle might have been hobbled by a lack of firefighting experience on the part of forest supervisors.

To loud applause, L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich suggested that the county Fire Department become the lead agency for fires in the Angeles National Forest.

Duncan Baird, a retired Pasadena Fire Department battalion chief, said he and other Big Tujunga Canyon residents lost their homes because, later in the fight, the Forest Service and county Fire Department decided not to defend the area as part of a strategy to avoid directly attacking the blaze in the backcountry. "It seems that our enclave of homes may have therefore been sacrificed," he said.

Baird said he agreed with John Tripp, the county Fire Department's chief deputy, that the fire eventually became too fierce to confront safely, but he said retardant dumps in the first days of the blaze could have slowed the flames.

Schiff said a record of Tuesday's hearing will be sent to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, which is conducting a probe of the fire. The Agriculture Department's inspector general is investigating why the Forest Service withheld telephone dispatch recordings from a federal review team and the public.

Article Source: By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times- Link

San Bernardino NF: Teen charged w/ Arson in Miller Canyon Fire

Southern California Teen arrested for allegedly starting wildfire that spread to San Bernardino National Forest

A 17-year-old male teenager, whose identity was withheld because of his age, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of starting the Aug. 17 fire near Miller Canyon, at the edge of Lake Silverwood that eventually spread into the adjacent San Bernardino National Forest and burned roughly 66 acres. said Deputy Doug Brimmer of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Some area campgrounds were damaged, but there were no structures lost or injuries reported, he said.

Arson investigators later determined the fire was “unlawfully set,” Brimmer said.

It appears it may have been set unintentionally, he said. The teenager was released to his parents with charges pending related to the cause of the fire.

LACFD: Shelter-Turned-Search Dog Pearl ASPCA Dog of the Year - CA-TF2

ASPCA Dog of the Year
A 4-year-old black Labrador retriever named Pearl was surrendered by her owner to a local animal shelter and joined the thousands of animals without a home.
LACFD CA-TF2 SAR Dog
"Pearl"

Luckily, Pearl was discovered by volunteers from the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) based in Ojai, Calif., and quickly completed her training and certification as a search dog.

In July 2008, she met her handler and life companion, Ron Horetski of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
On July 14, 2010, Horetski and Pearl were deployed as part of the Los Angeles County Task Force 2 (CA-TF2) team to save victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

The CA-TF2 team spent over two weeks in Haiti; Horetski and Pearl, along with six other SDF canine disaster search teams, spent hours each day searching for victims trapped alive under the rubble.

Pearl and the other SDF teams dug through concrete and debris—as far as four stories below the surface—and helped bring 12 people to safety.

Ukiah Fire Department Explorers Cow mountain work project

On Sun Oct 3, 2010 the UFD Explorers and an Engine crew from Cal Fire Ukiah Station preformed a work project on N. Cow Mtn at the Willow Creek Recreation Area near the Rifle Range.

Explorers Background: Fire Explorers are young men and women ages 14-18 with an interest in the fire and emergency service fields. Explorers train to the same level as firefighters. They also ride along on fire engines and ambulances performing duties under the supervision of fire department staff. Fire Explorers also perform community service and raise money to attend an Explorer Academy once a year.

Project Background: At some point, someone or some group had installed a foot bridge at the Willow Creek Recreation Area of BLM’s N. Cow Mtn. This foot bridge allowed access from the parking area across Willow Creek to both the Valley View trail and the Mayacmas trail. The Valley View trail, as the name implies has great views of the Ukiah Valley, the Mayacmas trail has a seasonal waterfall on Willow Creek. Over the years over the years vegetation has encroached on the bridge allowing silt to accumulate around the foot bridge. The Bridge effectively became a dam causing the seasonal creek to flood the trailhead making the area impassable. Additionally people had been using the parking area as a target range, the area had become littered with trash, shotgun shells, TV’s and other appliances. 


The Project: In an attempt to alleviate the above problems the Fire Explorers organized a work project with the Ukiah BLM field office. Due to the Explorers being under 18, Cal Fire-Ukiah Station Engine 1165 agreed to attend and perform chain saw work for the project.  The Crew of 14 people rehabbed about 300’ of heavily over grown and silted creek bed, cleared another 300’ of trail, and picked up two pickup truck beds worth of trash. The crew put in 56 man hours worth of work. In addition to the benefits to the public by making the area accessible during wet months, Explorers got to train in the use of hand tools similar to wildland firefighting, working together and physical activity. Cal Fire was able to get chain saw training hours for their seasonal firefighters. Explorers intend to keep an eye on this location and perform additional repairs as needed.

Note: Explorers are 100% volunteer, one UFD full time and one volunteer firefighter also volunteered their time. The Cal Fire Crew was able to participate as part of there on duty time.
Are you interested in becoming an Explorer with the Ukiah Fire Dept? - Young men and women between the ages of 14-18 can call (707) 463-6276 or come by the station at 300 Seminary Ave for more information.

Here is a web page with more detailed info http://www.exploringnorcal.com/
Here is the YouTube link to the Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5sZ5hdKrxI
Here is a link to pictures of the day http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o211/code3fire19/UFD%20Explorers%20Cow%20Mtn%20Work%20Project/

Thursday, October 14, 2010

CSFA News: Medal of Valor ceremony Friday, October 15, Sacramento

                             

#California #Heroes – including Station Fire fallen Los Angeles County firefighters Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones to be honored at Valor Awards ceremony in Sacramento 

Contacts: Mike Esparza, CSFA Valor PIO – (951) 538-3293 or Gary Giacomo, CSFA Staff – (916) 410-1394
Sacramento -- On Friday, October 15, 2010, California State Firefighters’ Association (CSFA) will recognize firefighters, peace officers and civilians from throughout the state who have exhibited great courage in order to save the life of another. CSFA will present these heroes with the prestigious CSFA Medal of Valor at a dinner banquet at the Capitol Plaza Holiday Inn, 300 J Street in Sacramento. Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries (R – Lake Elsinore), a former firefighter, will act as Master of Ceremonies.  Attending dignitaries, include California State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover, Matthew Bettenhausen, Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency, and police and fire chiefs.
Los Angeles County firefighters, Captain Ted Hall and Engineer Arnie Quinones, will be honored posthumously. The two died in the devastating 2009 Station Fire, while protecting fire camp personnel from the approaching fire storm.
About CSFA
Headquartered in Sacramento,  California State Firefighters’ Association, founded in 1922, is California’s oldest statewide fire service trade association representing all facets of the California fire service with a variety of benefits and legislative advocacy.  For more information visit www.csfa.net/valor.
EVENT SYNOPSIS
PROGRAM: Opening ceremony (featuring firefighter honor guard and bagpiper), welcoming remarks, dinner and presentation of awards. Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries will read a brief description of each heroic incident before the presentation of the Valor Medal (see next page for a list of recipients by geographic area).
VISUALS: Uniformed firefighters and police officers, firefighter honor guard and bagpiper, antique steamer fire engine and trained Dalmatian dog.
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, 2010.
WHERE: Capitol Plaza Holiday Inn, 300 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

2010 CSFA Medal of Valor Award Recipients
(Ordered by geographic location of incident)

CENTRAL VALLEY:
David Braga, civilian
Merced
Rescued a 2-year-old from a burning building

Officer Matthew Suehowicz
Sacramento Police Department
Officer Richard Kawasaki
Sacramento Police Department
Rescued trapped accident victim out of burning vehicle

David Ruhkala, civilian
Rocklin
Rescued a mauling victim from a pit bull

INLAND EMPIRE:
Officer Dawson Smith
Officer Brett Stenneth
Riverside Police Department 
Entered a burning house to rescue a barricaded suspect overcome by smoke.
Sergeant Robert Casas
Sergeant James Porter
Deputy Shaunna Ables
Deputy Adam Grimwold
Deputy Scott Andrews
San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department
Dale Sandoval
San Bernardino Fire Department (Off Duty Fire Mechanic)
First Sergeant Billy Davidson
United States Marine Corps
Rescued 2 trapped accident victims out of burning vehicles

LOS ANGELES/VENTURA COUNTY AREA:
Firefighter Guillermo Garay
Engineer Graham Dunbar
Oxnard Fire Department
Rescued trapped accident victim seconds before Metrolink train hit the vehicle.
Captain Tedmund Hall (posthumous)
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Oakhills
Arnaldo Quinones (posthumous)
Firefighter/Specialist
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Palmdale
Died in the Line of Duty protecting fire camp personnel from approaching fire storm

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA:
Tom Allman
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department
Ukiah
Rescued trapped accident victim out of burning vehicle
Dustin Hammons, civilian
Del Norte County
Pulled elderly woman from burning motor home
Officer Rodney Richards
California Highway Patrol, Mt Shasta office
Officer Jason Smith
California Highway Patrol, Mt Shasta office
Perry Nitz, civilian
Redding
Edward Workman, civilian
Wynndel, BC, Canada
Rescued trapped accident victim out of burning vehicle

ORANGE COUNTY:
Steven King
Firefighter Orange County Fire Authority
Rescued elderly woman from a house fire (while off duty)

SAN DIEGO AREA:
Officer Salvador Gutierrez
California Highway Patrol, Oceanside office
Rescued trapped accident victim out of burning vehicle
Officer Chad Sakamoto
Police Officer, National City Police Department
Rescued a driver from a burning vehicle

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA:
Samuel Armerding
Police Officer, Oakland Police Department
Rescued unconscious accident victim out of a burning vehicle

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sacramento: 10-16 California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony and Procession

 

Hundreds of uniformed firefighters from throughout California will gather at the State Capitol in Sacramento to pay tribute to California firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our state safe.

31 Fallen FFs To Be Honored October 16th at CA FFs Memorial

The California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony and Firefighter Procession on Saturday, October 16, 2010 will honor 31 individuals whose names will be added to the California Firefighters Memorial. The total includes nine of those that died in the past year, as well as 22 others from earlier years brought to the California Fire Foundation's attention in 2010. The Memorial in Capitol Park - which honors more than 1,100 fallen California firefighters - was unveiled in April, 2002. A uniformed firefighters procession will begin at 11:15am staging at the Capitol South Steps, with the ceremony scheduled to begin at 11:30am.
The annual Memorial Ceremony honors firefighters who died in the line of duty, either from traumatic injuries in the field or from job-related causes.
Among those to be honored at the solemn gathering will be LA County fire captain Ted Hall and firefighter Arnie Quinones, who lost their lives in the devastating 2009 Station Fire, while struggling to save 50 people in their inmate fire camp and Beverly Hills deputy chief Fred Tarquinio, who helped to develop the electronic siren and radio headphones for fire engines, before job-related spinal cancer ended his life.
WHAT: California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony and Procession
WHEN: Saturday, October 16, 2010
Uniformed Procession: 11:15am
Ceremony Begins: 11:30am
WHERE: California Firefighters Memorial, Capitol Park, State Capitol, Sacramento
PROGRAM: Lou Paulson, President, California Professional Firefighters
Harold A. Schaitberger, General President, International Association of Fire Fighters
Garrett Coryell, Engineer, Riverside Fire Department
Sheldon Gilbert, President, California Fire Chiefs Association
Pipes and Drums of California Professional Firefighters
CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF NAMES THAT WILL BE ADDED TO THE WALL
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE 2010 MEMORIAL VIDEO INTRO
Source: California Fire Foundation - Link

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

From the Inbox: Creating Liberty takes manpower - Human Statue of #Liberty

This INCREDIBLE picture of was taken in 1918.
It is 18,000 men preparing for war in a training camp at Camp Dodge, in Iowa.
Lady liberty human statue - 1918
FACTS: 
Base to Shoulder: 150 feet 
Right Arm: 340 feet 
Widest part of arm holding torch: 12 1/2 f eet 
Right thumb: 35 feet 
Thickest part of body: 29 feet 
Left hand length: 30 feet 
Face: 60 feet 
Nose: 21 feet 
Longest spike of head piece: 70 feet 
Torch and flame combined: 980 feet 
Number of men in flame of torch: 12,000
Number of men in torch: 2,800 
Number of men in right arm: 1,200 
Number of men in body, head and balance of figure only: 2,000 
Total men: 18,000

Appropriated from: LACoFD SmokeShowing (Yahoo Groups) A email list for Retired Firemen of Los Angeles County Fire Department groups.yahoo.com/group/smokeshowing

Monday, October 11, 2010

BTU NEWS: DHS TO FUND 11 BUTTE COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS

Butte County Fire Department is set to receive a big funding boost from the Department of Homeland Security.

Cal Fire/Butte County will receive a $2.1 million Homeland Security grant and be able to add 11 positions  to its firehouse staffs if Butte County supervisors authorize a $535,000 expenditure to train and equip them

CHICO- Butte County Supervisors will consider taking action at a regular meeting on Tuesday.
The grant covers a 24-month period beginning no later than Dec. 22, and will provide for the hiring of six firefighter II positions and five apparatus engineers, the crew members that drive the fire engines.

  Cal-Fire’s Butte unit Chief George Morris says the more than 2 million dollar grant award would cover 11 positions over two years, if the funding is accepted by the Board of Supervisors. The grant would pay for salaries and benefits. Morris says the grant would require the county not layoff any firefighters over the next 2 years.

CA-NEU- BRIDGE IC - WILDLAND FIRE - 56 acres 100%

Bridge #WildFire Incident Information:
Last Updated: October 12, 2010 8:30 am
Date/Time Started: October 11, 2010 3:50 pm
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Nevada Yuba Placer Unit/Placer County Fire
County: Placer County
Location: Baseline and Walerga Road, west of Roseville.
Acres Burned: Containment 56 acres - 100% contained.
 IA: Fire started in Roseville near Baseline and Walerga roads around 4:00p.m., Initial attack involved rapid ROS in fine grass fuels fanned by very strong winds, with multiple structure threats requiring PCSO evacuations.
Mopup: Fire was under control by 1700hrs with no structure loss, some fence-line burned. full containment expected 0800 Tuesday.

CA-LODD: Firefighter Jim Saunders, Sac Metro FD funeral details

Line of Duty Death: Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighter James Saunders
Updates : For condolences or participation in Funeral Event, please click here

SAUNDERS, James C.
James (Jim) Carlyle Saunders passed away Thursday, October 7, 2010 at the age of 52. He died at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Citrus Heights, California from injuries sustained while fighting a grass fire near Haggin Oaks Golf Course. 
Jim was born July 1, 1958 in Arcadia, California. In 1974, Jim enlisted with the US Navy as a Boatswain's Mate. He served with honor until 1975. On July 1, 1988, Jim was hired as a full-time Firefighter with the American River Fire Protection District. Prior to that, he worked as a Firefighter for Sloughhouse Fire Department and was a Captain for Jackson Volunteer Fire Department. He later promoted to Assistant Chief with the Jackson Volunteer Fire Department. Jim worked at Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Fire Station 101, located at 3000 Fulton Avenue, in the Sacramento community of Arden-Arcade. Jim proudly served his community for 22 years. From 2002 to 2005, Firefighter Saunders held a Deputy Director position for the California State Firefighters' Association. He also had a long affiliation with the American Legion and took that one step further by holding a position on the Board of Directors for the American Legion Post 108 Ambulance Service, serving Amador County. 
Jim's last act as a community servant was to donate his organs, which will benefit three people. His family and his Metro Fire family are very proud of him. Jim is survived by his wife, Holly Jo Saunders; son Erik Hackett; daughter Rachel Hackett-Hernandez (son-in-law Karl Andrew Joseph Hernandez II); grandchildren James, Lucius and Ewan; parents Abe and Alice Saunders; three sisters Colleen Saunders, Kathleen Saunders and Diane Saunders; many nieces and nephews and countless friends.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at Sacramento State University located at 6000 J Street at Hornet Stadium. This will be a traditional line of duty death fire service funeral including a ringing of the bell for the last alarm, a fly-over, and a procession of fire apparatus from the funeral to the reception. Reception will immediately follow the funeral, it will be held at Cal Expo - Expo Center Building 4 & 5 located at 1600 Exposition Boulevard -- enter through Cal Expo main gate. Interment will be private. 
Metro Fire will continue to update the website, www.sacmetrofire.ca.gov, with details about the services. In lieu of flowers and gifts donations can be made to the Firefighters Burn Institute at hotu ffburn.org. 
Memorial donations can also be sent to the Sacramento Area Firefighters Widows and Orphans fund by visiting www.saffwidowsandorphans.org. Thank you to the fire service family all over Sacramento for assisting the family with a traditional service for an honorable and admirable man

Read more: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sacbee/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=145860623#ixzz124hadDNV

CAL FIRE: Chief Walters monthly Chief's Message announces his retirement

Chief Walters' Monthly Message

October is a month of awareness, observance and remembrance. As we see and feel the change of seasons, it is a time for reflection. In doing so, I have recently reached a decision that I want to share. I will be retiring from CAL FIRE at the end of the year.

My wife, Janet, has been battling Multiple Sclerosis and a number of other disorders for over 25 years. During September, she experienced a profound decline in her health. I have often advised those who work for me to know their priorities in life and act accordingly. It is time to follow my own advice.

I made it known to those who asked that it was my desire to continue working into the next administration. Like the leaves of autumn, things change.

I debated when to make the announcement. No one wants to be thought of as a lame duck, but I do believe I owe it to those who will take this department into the future to know my plans. I hope it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I intend to remain fully engaged until my last day, so this is not a goodbye message. It is more fair warning to the people of CAL FIRE to buckle down and prepare for a very busy three months.

Chief's signature
Del Walters, Chief
Director

Original article link

Sunday, October 10, 2010

#EDIS #FIRE WEATHER WATCH - NOPS - NORTH SF BAY MOUNTAINS

[EDIS] FIRE WEATHER WATCH 6 pm Monday through 6 am Wednesday for the North and East Bay Hills for gusty offshore winds and low humidity

AFTER A WARM DAY ON MONDAY...GUSTY OFFSHORE WINDS WILL DEVELOP DURING THE EVENING HOURS OF MONDAY IN THE NORTH AND EAST BAY HILLS.
EXPECT POOR RELATIVE HUMIDITY RECOVERY WITH SUSTAINED NORTHEAST WINDS FROM 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH OVERNIGHT MONDAY INTO TUESDAY.
WARM AND DRY WEATHER WILL PERSIST THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON. ALTHOUGH WINDS WILL BE MUCH LIGHTER TUESDAY NIGHT THERE WILL BE LITTLE OR NO RELATIVE HUMIDITY RECOVERY INTO  WEDNESDAY MORNING. ONSHORE WINDS WILL RETURN BY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. ...

FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR THE NORTH BAY HILLS ABOVE 1000 FEET IN NAPA...SONOMA AND MARIN COUNTIES...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN FRANCISCO HAS ISSUED A FIRE WEATHER WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.  *
AFFECTED AREA: FIRE ZONE 507 NORTH BAY MOUNTAINS WHICH INCLUDES THE HILLS ABOVE 1000 FEET IN NAPA...SONOMA AND MARIN COUNTIES. THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE FORECAST IN NAPA COUNTY. *
TIMING: GUSTY OFFSHORE WINDS WILL DEVELOP SHORTLY AFTER SUNSET MONDAY NIGHT IN THE HILLS. THE PERIOD OF STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE THE OVERNIGHT HOURS OF MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING. WARM AND  DRY WEATHER WITH POOR RH RECOVERY WILL PERSIST THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING. 
WIND: NORTH TO NORTHEAST WINDS FROM 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH ABOVE 1500 FEET...STRONGEST WINDS IN NAPA COUNTY. 
HUMIDITY: RH VALUES WILL STAY BETWEEN 15 AND 30 PERCENT FROM MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY.
IMPACTS: THE COMBINATION OF A CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER PATTERN AND DRY FUELS COULD LEAD TO INCREASED FIRE ACTIVITY ACROSS THE REGION SHOULD ANY IGNITIONS OCCUR. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... &&

Instruction:
A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE RED FLAG WARNINGS.

Area: NORTH BAY MOUNTAINS-

Affected Counties or parts of: San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Marin, Monterey, Contra Costa, Napa, San Benito, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Alameda

Sent: 2010-10-10T09:00:30-07:00

Original Sender: KMTR@nwws.oes.ca.gov

From: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

FIRE WEATHER WATCH - NORCAL - EAST BAY HILLS AND DIABLO RANGE

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN FRANCISCO HAS ISSUED A FIRE WEATHER WATCH...
WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING

AFFECTED AREA: FIRE ZONE 511 EAST BAY HILLS AND DIABLO RANGE THIS INCLUDES THE HILLS ABOVE 1000 FEET IN ALAMEDA...CONTRA COSTA AND SANTA CLARA COUNTIES.
TIMING: THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL DEVELOP SHORTLY AFTER SUNSET MONDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUE THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING. WARM AND DRY WEATHER WILL PERSIST THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
WIND: NORTH TO NORTHEAST WINDS FROM 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH ABOVE 1500 FEET. THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED IN THE EAST BAY HILLS OF ALAMEDA AND CONTRA COSTA COUNTY WITH LIGHTER WINDS IN THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY HILLS.
HUMIDITY: HUMIDITY VALUES WILL STAY BETWEEN 15 AND 30 PERCENT FROM MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY.
IMPACTS: THE COMBINATION OF A CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER PATTERN AND DRY FUELS COULD LEAD TO INCREASED FIRE ACTIVITY ACROSS THE REGION SHOULD ANY IGNITIONS OCCUR.
 Instruction:
A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE RED FLAG WARNINGS.

Area: EAST BAY HILLS AND DIABLO RANGE-

Affected Counties or parts of: San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Marin, Monterey, Contra Costa, Napa, San Benito, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Alameda

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Lightning Fires in Yosemite

Over the past week Yosemite took over 1000 lightning strikes with several
new fire starts in various areas of the park. 

Along with the lightning Yosemite had several inches of rainfall, giving the existing fires low
potential for growth. Each day new smokes are detected and put onto a list to be evaluated once the weather clears.

Since October 1st, Yosemite received over 1000 lightning strikes and at least 21 confirmed new fires along with about 2 - 3" of rain across the park (see attached map).

9 of the 21 new fires are near Yosemite's front country in the 'fire suppression unit'. Of those nine, four have been actively suppressed and the rest are not currently showing any smoke or could not be found. 

12 of the 21 new fires are in Yosemite's 'wildland fire unit' (8 in Mariposa County and 3 in Tuolumne County) and are being considered for management under a multiple objectives strategy which includes resource benefits.

Due to the amount of rain received, only a few of those 12 are currently active and visible from park roadways. Those include the South Fork fire about a mile east of Aspen Valley and the Smokey Jack near the S. Fork Tuolumne River bridge on the Tioga Rd. - both
in Tuolumne County; and the Turner fire on Turner Ridge about a mile east
of the Wawona Road at Alder Creek.

Very little fire activity and growth is expected over the next several days until conditions dry out and firefighters will monitor all of the fires over the weekend.

Attached is the fires that YNP currently have as "active" though some are likely out.
Yosemite fire location map .pdf Link

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit: Los Angeles Stair Climb 2010

The US Bank Tower, located in downtown Los Angeles, is the tallest building west of the Mississippi. It stands more than 1000 feet tall with 75 stories and a total of 1,500 steps.
CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit: Los Angeles Stair Climb 2010 "Elevators Are For Wimps" is the yearly motto in Los Angeles every September.
The US Bank Tower, located in downtown Los Angeles, is the tallest building west of the Mississippi. It stands more than 1000 feet tall with 75 stories and a total of 1,500 steps. The Ketchum-Downtown YMCA, which is located inside the US Bank Tower, holds an annual charity event to raise money for kids, teens and adults. It is a growing event which raises money for preschools, teachers, school supplies, youth programs, college counseling and senior fitness programs. From Left to Right:
Engineer Jeff Silva ~ FFII Medic Steve Ismerio ~ Captain Josh Janssen ~ FFII Medic Steve Leverette
On September 24, 2010, the San Bernardino Unit (BDU) Fire Personnel listed above returned to Los Angeles for the 2010 Ketchum-Downtown YMCA Annual Stair Climb. This is the fourth consecutive year that our Unit has participated in this event. The first year we participated in the event, we were the only CAL FIRE Team. This year there were nine CAL FIRE Teams and several other Fire Department Teams from all across the State. Most individuals train for months to be able to climb this building; And they only wear workout gear and tennis shoes. A few years ago they (Ketchum-Downtown YMCA) decided to add a "High Rise Heroes" division to honor the Fallen FDNY Firemen. This entails completing the event in full Structure Fire Protective Equipment that the members of FDNY were wearing during their climb up the Twin Towers (9/11/2001). The equipment adds around 60 lbs. to that of your body weight. This year we completed the event in right at 40 minutes.
As you can see, the view from the top is amazing.
The events total dollar amount raised this year was $281,290.00.
Congratulations to all whom participated !

#SAR NEWS: #Chile #Rescue Shaft Reaches 33 Miners Trapped For Months

#SAR NEWS: #Rescue shaft drill has pierced the roof of underground San Jose #mine in #Chile where 33 men have been trapped since August 5

Chilean Mine Rescue Joy
Photo credit: news.com.au
The special drill broke through to their cavern in the collapsed Copper and Gold mine more than 2,000 feet underground, creating a shaft just wide enough for a specially designed escape capsule to pass through. Siren's sounded throughout "Camp Hope," confirming the breakthrough. Rescuers plan to start pulling the men out one by one as early as Tuesday.

Update:  The miners have decided they will not be transported to regional hospital until all the miners have reached safety above ground.

The plan: The miners will be initially examined at a field hospital where they can briefly reunited with up to three close relatives. Then, they'll be flown by helicopter in small groups to the regional hospital in Copiapo, were a wing of 33 fresh beds await to care for them for no fewer than 48 hours. After their physical and mental health is examined will they be allowed to go home.

The "Plan B" drill won a three-way race against two other drills to carve a hole wide enough for an escape capsule to pull the miners out one by one.

While "Plan A" and "Plan C" stalled after repeatedly veering off course, the "Plan B" drill reached the miners at a point 2,047 feet (624 meters) below the surface after pushing through the final 128 feet (39 meters) overnight.

If today's close video examination persuades engineers that the shaft is smooth, strong and uniform enough to let the capsule pass without significant obstacles, then rescuers plan to start pulling the men out one by one as early as Tuesday.


 Sixty-six days after their gold and copper mine collapsed above them a drill broke through to their underground cavern.


But now comes a difficult judgment call: The rescue team must decide whether it's more risky to pull the miners through unreinforced rock, or to insert tons of heavy steel pipe into the curved shaft to protect the miners on their way up.

Steel pipe would prevent stones from falling and potentially jamming the capsule, but it wouldn't save a miner if the unstable mine suffers another major collapse, and might itself provoke a disastrous setback, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said.

"You would have to put though a 600-meter hole a lot of pipes that weigh more than 150 tons," he warned. "And this structure can be set in a position that also could block the movement of the Phoenix (escape capsule). It's not an decision easy to make."

California Fire Foundation lauds increase in Firefighter plate fees

Legislation Bolsters Services for Families of Fallen Firefighters

It's been over 15 years since the California firefighter license plate made its debut on the highways and byways of the Golden State.
Now, families of fallen firefighters will be able to hold on to their keepsake plate, and firefighters will enjoy continuing protection through the services of the California Fire Foundation, a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, founded by the California Professional Firefighters.
SB 88, authored by Mark DeSaulnier (D-Antioch), will raise the cost of issuing a firefighter license plate from $35 to $50 and of renewing registration for these plates from $20 to $35. All proceeds benefit the California Fire Foundation and its victim assistance programs, public education campaigns and its maintenance of the California Firefighter Memorial in Sacramento's Capitol Park.
The increase in fees is the first ever imposed in the 15-year history of the license plate program. The hike brings these fees into line with those of all other specialty license plates in California.
"We are grateful for the support of our firefighter license plate program," said CPF President and California Fire Foundation Chair Lou Paulson. "With the passage of this legislation, the California Fire Foundation can continue to meet the needs of our fire service community in California. It will benefit us all."
The legislation also strikes the previous requirement that forced spouses of fallen firefighters to surrender or request to keep their spouse's firefighter license plate within 60 days. Firefighter license plates will now be automatically transferred to spouses of fallen firefighters or to specified family members for heirloom purposes, if there is no surviving spouse.
The California firefighter license plate program was designed and created by California Professional Firefighters. Using an image from the 1991 box office hit, "Backdraft," the California firefighter license plate has become a key trademark within the fire service, enabling only active and retired firefighters to purchase these plates for display on their automobiles, trucks, trailers and motorcycles.

Source article: California Fire Foundation Link

Fort Ord: Prescribed burn sucessful - 170+ acres

A helicopter uses a helitorch to ignite vegetation  (VERN FISHER/The Herald)
U.S. Army conducted a prescribed burn at Fort Ord on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The fires burned more than 170 acres west of Barloy Canyon Road. The Army prescribed burns have concluded. Prescribed burns clear vegetation, making it easier to remove unexploded ordnance.

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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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