Sunday, January 30, 2011

CA-MVU/CNF: San Diego - Pine Valley Prescribed Controlled Burn - Brush Clearing

What: A three day controlled burn will be conducted south of Pine Valley
When: Starting Monday January 31 continuing until February 2
Where: San Diego in the Cleavland National Forest, near Corte Madera Road, just south of Interstate 8 near Pine Valley, said Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler.
Air Quality: The brush clearing operation will be closely monitored, Flames and smoke from the three-day-long operation fire will be visible starting Monday morning and if stagnant air or heavy winds develop, the fuel reduction project will be rescheduled.
More Information: Cal Fire at (619) 922-4528.
Google Approximate Location Map:

View CA-MVU Controlled Burn (Brush) in a larger map

Saturday, January 29, 2011

ENF: Sly Park / Eldorado Hot Shot Station Prescribed Burn

PRESCRIBED BURN Incident Overview

Depending on weather condition this weekend,  The Placerville Ranger District of the Eldorado National Forest is planning to burn approximately 45 acres in the area of Sly Park Road near Cedar Trail Sierra Springs Engine Station Eldorado Hot Shot Station.

When: Depending on weather conditions, ignitions are scheduled to occur sometime during the weeks of January 31 – February 11, 2011.
Closures: For public safety, Cedar Trail will be closed for 1 day during active ignitions. Exact date will be posted at the trail the day before it closes.
Where: Location on Sly Park Road in the area of Sly Park Road near Cedar Trail Sierra Springs Engine Station, Eldorado Hot Shot Station., The legal locations are as follows: Township 10 North, Range 12 East, Sections 13, 24 Township 10 North, Range 13 East, Sections 18, 19
Why: The objective of this prescribed burn is to reduce the existing fire hazard. Ignition of the project is dependent on favorable weather conditions. 
Smoke: All attempts will be made to minimize smoke impacts to surrounding communities.

For questions about this project, call the Placerville Ranger District at (530) 644-2324

MVU: Marine Corps Controlled Training Burns Today

Wildland Fire training controlled burns.
Where: San Diego, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Saturday afternoon and evening as military fire-rescue crews conduct several controlled burns.
What: Routine training fires on the base's airfield are scheduled to begin about 4 p.m. and last roughly four hours, officials said.
The blazes are not expected to cause any visibility problems for motorists around the northern San Diego Marine Corps installation.

InciWeb Incidents - California: Sly Park Prescribe Burn (Prescribed Fire)

InciWeb Incidents - California: Sly Park Prescribe Burn (Prescribed Fire)

Link to InciWeb Incidents for California

Sly Park Prescribe Burn (Prescribed Fire)

Posted: 28 Jan 2011 08:19 AM PST

Depending on weather condition this weekend, we are hoping to burn approx. 40 acres around the Eldorado Hot Shot and ENF Fire Engine Stations and Cedar Trail starting Jan 31 and ending sometime on Feb. 1st. If we get precipitation this weekend we will have to postpone the burn until a later date (but sometime during the next two weeks Jan 31-Feb 11). PRESCRIBED BURN The Placerville Ranger District of the Eldorado National Forest is planning to burn approximatly 45 acres in the area of Sly Park RoadnearCedar TrailSierra Springs Engine StationEldorado Hot Shot Station Depending on weather conditions, ignitions are scheduled to occur sometime during the weeks of January 31 - February 11, 2011 For public safety, Cedar Trail will be closed for 1 day during active ignitions. Exact date will be posted at the trail the day before it closes. The legal locations are as follows:Township 10 North, Range 12 East, Sections 13, 24Township 10 North, Range 13 East, Sections 18, 19The objective of...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stanislaus County: #AmberAlert - Car Found In Delta-Mendota Canal

AMBER ALERT UPDATE: Child's Body Has Been Found, story at:

Authorities pulled a kidnapping suspect's car from the bottom of a frigid Central California canal Friday, but the bodies of the suspect and the missing 4-year-old boy were not inside. 

The badly damaged Toyota Corolla recovered from the Delta-Mendota canal along with two other vehicles just before 6 p.m. was empty, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said.

The car belongs to 27-year-old Jose Rodriguez, who is suspected of kidnapping Juliani Cardenas, his ex-girlfriend's son, from the arms of the boy's grandmother in Patterson on Jan. 18. Juliani's mother, Tabitha Cardenas, reportedly ended her relationship with Rodriguez several months ago, and he is the father of her unborn child.

Update: Vehicle sought in child abduction has been located at bottom of a canal in Patterson. Whereabouts of Suspect and victim Juliani unknown at this time.

Patterson, Ca 1130hrs - Underwater Cameras confirmed this morning the Toyota Corolla that a man used to carry away a 4-year-old boy he kidnapped from Patterson last week is underwater. It was not immediately known if any bodies were in the vehicle. Car will be recovered in next dive cycle, in about 4 hours (3:15 PST) when water level and currents will be reduced.

Stanislaus County Sheriff offered his condolences, does not expect any good outcome other than closure. 

Stanislaus County Sheriff Press Conference @1140: NO bodies have been located, License Plate is confirmed, Car is located south of siphon
Location Map:

View Patterson kidnap case in a larger map

LTBMU: Lake Tahoe Prescribed Fire Operations Continue

U.S. Forest Service to conduct prescribed fire operations near Sawmill Pond

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — U.S. Forest Service fuels management crews will be conducting prescribed fire operations on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe in the Echo View Drive area Friday. The project is approximately one-third of an acre.

Residents and travelers can expect to see smoke from prescribed fire project areas.

State and local fire management agencies may also be conducting prescribed fire work during this period.

This and other prescribed fire projects are designed to reduce wildfire risks to communities and critical resources. Smoke management is part of every prescribed fire burn plan, and efforts will be taken to reduce actual or potential smoke impacts on community areas.

For more information, visit
 Contact(s): Public Affairs, Cheva Heck (530) 543-2608, or Lisa Herron (530) 543-2815

To view maps that describe current prescribed fire project locations, visit the Current Prescribed Fire Activity 2010 web page found at

Take a few moments to visit an excellent web site and learn about Prescribed Fire vs. Wildfire at:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SRVFPD: Releses Citizen Cardiac Responder iPhone GPS Application

In the spirit of "Gov 2.0" the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) announced the release of an innovative new location-aware iPhone application today, January 25, 2011.

"Providing actionable, real-time information during a sudden cardiac arrest emergency, including mapping the victim and rescuer locations, along with the nearest AED locations, is the quintessential use of GPS technology on a mobile phone today." 

Nearly 300,000 people die each year in the United States from cardiac arrest. Survival rates nationally for SCA are less than eight percent and brain death begins in just four to six minutes.

 Even the best emergency medical services (EMS) in the country can have response times that exceed seven minutes. Bystander CPR and the early use of an AED are two extremely critical links in the cardiac chain of survival. This application strengthens these links and ultimately strengthens the entire chain.

The new app empowers everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Application users who have indicated they are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can now be notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR.

If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the application, using sophisticated GPS technology, will alert citizens in the vicinity of the need for CPR. The application also directs these citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

"The creation and deployment of a smartphone application that notifies trained bystanders of nearby cardiac arrest events completely redefines the traditional meaning of a witnessed arrest by expanding awareness over a much broader area," said Richard Price, Fire Chief for the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.

"The District will share tools to allow other public safety agencies to deploy the Fire Department application at no cost in their community," added Chief Price. "Although pioneered here, the value of this application is far too important to society to not ambitiously share it with other communities around the globe."

SRVFPD has been publicly testing a limited version of the application for the past six months with more than 22,000 iPhone users. The District has sent over 600,000 push notifications during this assessment period.

The new application was publically unveiled today at a press conference featuring Fire Chief Richard Price, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) President Jack Parow, Workday Co-Founder and CEO Dave Duffield along with CEO Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media.

The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District provides all-risk fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the communities of Alamo, Blackhawk, the Town of Danville, Diablo, the City of San Ramon, the southern area of Morgan Territory and the Tassajara Valley, in Northern California (Contra Costa County). The District's service area encompasses approximately 155 square miles and serves a population of 170,000.

The iPhone application at iTunes: Link
More information:  Link
SRVFPD Website: Link

USFS: LTBMU Conducting Precribed Burns Today Near Truckee

U.S. Forest Service fuels management crews will be conducting prescribed fire operations in the North Upper Truckee area today and possibly through Friday depending on weather conditions. Crews are looking to accomplish approximately 2 acres each day.
Residents and visitors can expect to see smoke from prescribed fire project areas.  Smoke management is part of every prescribed fire burn plan, and efforts will be taken to reduce actual or potential smoke impacts on community areas. 
This and other prescribed fire projects are designed to reduce wildfire risks to communities and critical resources. 
State and local fire management agencies may also be conducting prescribed fire work during this period. 
More information: at http://www/fs/usda/gov/ltbmu
Maps that describe current prescribed fire projects: visit the Current Prescribed Fire Activity 2010 web page at

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stanislaus County: Active Delta-Mendota Canal Search For Amber Alert Vehicle



Update: 01-26-11 1330 hrs- One more car has been pulled, 2 more objects have been located further South. Search Operations concluded for now.

Update: 01-26-11 1120 hrs- Recovery Crews have found another car in the Delta Mendota south of Sperry Ave. 

Update: 01-26-11 1000 hrs- The search for 4 year old Juliani Cardenas continues in the Delta Mendota Canal near Patterson Wednesday morning. Divers have located 10 vehicles in the canal after a week of searching on the west side of Patterson, but not the silver Toyota Corolla believed to have been driven by suspect Jose Rodriguez. "The fact that all of the leads right now point still to this canal, that this car possibly went into the canal," said Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department spokesman Deputy Raj Singh.

Live Video during recovery operations: News10 Link

Update: 01-25-11 0900 hrs-  Dive Crews have pulled up 6th vehicle from Delta-Mendota canal, it is not connected to case.

Update: 01-25-11 0900 hrs- Reports are in that another car has been found in the canal near Rogers Road. Divers are preparing to enter the water soon. Merced County search team is searching the Delta-Medota Canal about two miles south of the siphon at DP Creek, A second search team from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Dept. is about 11 miles south at canal near Anderson Road in Crows Landing.

Update: 01-24-11 0930hrs- Dogs were on scene at the canal yesterday, searching the water for a possible scent victim.

Update: 01-22-11 1330hrs- Statewide Amber Alert for a missing boy has been reduced to a local alert and a canal search for him has been called off for now, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department. 

Update: 01-22-11 1300hrs- Scanner sounded like two dive teams going back to the hanger...

 Update: 01-22-11 1130hrs- 5th vehicle found a Nissan truck., Sheriff reiterates that all evidence leads here, Sonar continuing to next downstream gate.

Update: 01-22-11 0830hrs- Stanislaus County authorities returning this morning to Delta Mendota State Water Project Canal continuing search for a missing 4-year-old kidnap victim and his abductor.

Update: 01-21-11 1830hrs- Divers have recovered forth car in the canal near Patterson. it was not the Toyota Corolla being sought in the kidnapping of 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas of Patterson.

Update: 01-21-11 1500hrs- Divers pulled a red Ford Mustang from the Delta-Mendota Canal this afternoon. It was the third vehicle dredged from the canal where authorities have focused their search for a missing 4-year-old Patterson boy and his kidnapper. Investigators believe the kidnapper's car may be in the canal.
"This is getting frustrating. It's like riding a roller coaster," Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said. "As always, we remain hopeful that we're going to be able to find Jiuliani and bring him home safely."

Update: 01-21-11 1300hrs- Merced County dive team getting ready to re-enter Delta-Mendota Canal to examine an object to which ground crews had hooked a tow line. They weren't certain if the tow line was hooked onto a car that sonar had spotted this morning.
Meanwhile, water project crews were preparing to halt for a short time the water flow into the canal so cut down the current and make it easier for recovery crews to get at the car.

Update: 01-21-11 1100hrs Sheriff team using sonar to probe a canal near Patterson, searchers late this morning spotted a car near a siphoning system. Crews were trying to slow the flow of water to enable divers to access the vehicle, which authorities are trying to recover to see if it was used to take away a kidnapped 4-year-old Patterson boy.
Authorities said it would take a couple of hours to lower the water level enough to enable the recovery of the vehicle, which was trapped near siphoning equipment in the Delta-Mendota Canal.

Update: 01-20-11 1600hrs- Stanislaus County SAR Dive operation suspended, Sheriff has been unable to locate the car in canal. un-able to search near siphon 4,000cfs, 2 other stolen vehicles found. It is impossible to lower water level. Zero visibility precludes robot use.

Update: 01-20-11 1130hrs- Stanislaus County, Delta Mendota Canal area of Rains Rd. / Zacharias Rd. is approximately 2 blocks from kidnap site.

Updated: 01-20-11 0700hrs- Search continues in Canal this morning, at least 2 vehicles and large piece of debris pulled out so far. A dive team from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department is preparing to enter the Delta Mendota Canal

Updated: 01-19-11- 1600hrs- Search Focus on Delta-Mendota Canal about 2 miles from scene of kidnapping. A dive team from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department is preparing to enter the Delta Mendota Canal after receiving information a car matching the description of one driven by the suspect in a Patterson abduction was seen going into the water Tuesday. After caller reports car going into canal the day before. Tire tracks found, and unrelated stolen Honda recovered.

STANISLAUS COUNTY, CA - An Amber Alert issued for 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas, who was abducted from Patterson late Tuesday afternoon, has been expanded to a statewide search.

The boy was taken forcibly from his grandmother by the child's mother's ex-boyfriend Jose Esteban Rodriguez on the 300 block of Barros Street in Patterson at 4:12 p.m., according to Chief Tori Hughes with the Stanislaus County Sheriff Department.

Location Map:

View Patterson kidnap case in a larger map

Picture showing reported tire tracks going into Delta Mendota Canal
Screen-shot from News10 video

Amber Alert in Progress - January 18, 2011




Victim Information:

Height:3-FEET, 6-INCHES
Weight:40 POUNDS
Additional:Additional Pictures of Victim
None at this time

Suspect Information:

Age/Sex: 27-YEARS-OLD / MALE
Height: 5-FEET, 9-INCHES
Weight: 180 POUNDS
Additional:None at this time

Suspect Vehicle Information:

Make: TOYOTA Photo Not Available
Year: 2003
License Number: 6HBW445
License State: California

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


 WHO: 54 members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, including heroes of the 2009 Station Fire, along with five other public safety professionals and three private citizens.

Dignitaries: Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich
Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman
Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca

WHAT: Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman will formally recognize 54 Los Angeles County firefighters for displaying exceptional bravery, courage, and dedication to save others by placing their own lives at risk during 14 emergency incidents dating back to 2004. Five other public safety professionals and three private citizens will also be honored for acts of bravery.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena

CONTACT: Please direct all inquires to the Public Affairs Team at (323) 881-2411.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

QFPD LODD: Captain William Hopman, 53, Quincy Fire Protection District

It is with deep regret that we advise you that Captain William (Bill) Floyd Hopman, 53, of the Quincy Fire Protection District in California passed away at home January 11, 2011, several hours after fighting a residential structure fire on January 10 in the evening. 

The fire was reported at 2108 hours, and was confined to the attic with damage to the second and first floors. Captain Hopman performed fire attack, extinguishment, and overhaul, and all Quincy companies and personnel were back at the stations and in service by 2255 hours. 

Captain Hopman helped clean up, and returned home. He died in the Kine of Duty that night from an apparent heart attack and was found unresponsive at 0719 hours the next day.

A celebration of Bill's life is planned for 1:00PM Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at his hangar at the Quincy Gansner Field Airport off Highway 70 in Quincy.

All fire personnel wishing to participate are welcome. For more information on participating, please contact Plumas Eureka FD Captain Chad Castagnetti at 530-258-9313, or Plumas Eureka FD Asst. Chief Tom Forster at 530-836-1086. Quincy FD Fire Chief Robbie Cassou is also available for questions at 530-283-0870. As always our sincere condolences.

San Bernardino City Fire: 3 People Die in Early Morning Electrical Accident

San Bernardino City Fire Press Release
3 People Die in Early Morning Electrical Accident

Incident Date: 1/14/11
Location: 5400 Block of N. Acacia
Time of the call: 0546
First Unit on the scene: Medic Engine 225
Number of Units: 3 Engines, 1 Ladder Truck, 1 Chief Officer
Number of Firefighters: 14
Fatalities: 3 Citizens

Additional Information:
* Fire Crews dispatched to a report of 3 persons electrocuted at a residence in the 5400 Block of Acacia
* Arriving Firefighters advised by 17 y/o female resident that her parents and brother were injured and collapsed in the back yard
* Firefighters discovered 3 persons laying on ground in back yard in contact with an actively arcing high voltage power-line
* Scene deemed unsafe to perform a rescue while victims in contact with arcing power-line
* Firefighters secured remaining family members and secured the scene until power company arrival
* All victims unfortunately seccumb to their injuries sustained

San Bernardino City Firefighters urge all citizens to treat any downed utility lines as if they are dangerous and energized. Please keep your distance and dial 911.

Distributed By: PIO Jason Serrano 909-384-5207
Contact: Captain Mike Bilheimer, PIO Assigned - Contact # 951-532-9872

Camp Pendleton LODD: 1 Marine Killed 3 injured in sinking of Amtrac

Camp Pendleton amphibious assault vehicle accident

One Marine was killed when the amphibious assault vehicle he was riding in became submerged under water in the Del Mar boat basin during a training exercise here today.

Marine was one of six in a training crew inside the vehicle when it flipped or capsized about noon (3 p.m. ET) at the Del Mar Boat Basin at Camp Pendleton, officials said.

The incident happened at approximately 11:30 a.m. just north of Oceanside Harbor.

The Dead Marine was recovered at approximately 2:15 p.m. and transported by Mercy Air to Scripps La Jolla where he was pronounced dead at 2:47 p.m.

It has was reported that six Marines were in the vehicle during the incident. Five Marines were pulled out earlier and three of them were rushed to hospitals. Their conditions were reported as released or about to be released healthy.

Marines routinely train in amphibious assault vehicles at the Del Mar facility, officials said. Each vehicle usually is occupied by a crew of three plus an instructor.

According to a spokesperson with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, search and rescue crews had pumped oxygen into the vehicle to increase the chances of the Marine's survival.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to recover the Marine in time,” said Maj. Daniel J. Thomas.

“To the family, our condolences go to them, on behalf of the Assault Amphibian Battalion and obviously all the Marines here at Camp Pendleton,” Thomas said.

The incident resulted in an urgent military-civilian rescue and recovery effort. Lifeguards and a dive team were among the civilian crews aiding military personnel in the emergency, according to Oceanside Police.

The name of the deceased is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin.

The incident is currently under investigation

The training vehicle, which moves Marines between ships and shore, was part of the Amphibious Assault Vehicle Schools Battalion, KNSD said.

Thomas described the vehicle as 32 to 36 tons, introduced in 1972, and made to travel on land and under water. Besides a driver and instructor, they can carry an additional 20 Marines.

“For them this is their initial driver training in the water at the basin controlled environment before they go into the open ocean,” Thomas said of Marine training.

“The vehicle is never operated alone. We always have two vehicles that go out so it can have a chase vehicle with it. So we had two vehicles in the water so that if something does occur, another vehicle can respond. Those procedures were in place and being followed,” Thomas said.

Marines were not placing a hold on training, he said.

“But obviously we’re going to take a look at this and the commander will then make a decision before anything goes back into place to make sure any safety briefing that need to be given are conducted,” Thomas said. “There will be a thorough investigation into this mishap that occurred and based off that, we will have…
reports that come, lessons learned in terms of preventing anything like this from happening,” he said.

The vehicle called an Amtrac or hog is a seafaring tank armed with a .50-caliber machine gun and a grenade launcher, the San Diego Union-Tribune said. After leaving a ship, the vehicles often drop below the surface before they pop above water. They travel about 8 miles per hour on water and 45 miles per hour on land with as many as 24 fully loaded combat Marines into battle.

The vehicles are not the same as the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, which the Marine Corps tested at Del Mar basin, the North County Times said. Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates canceled EFV development in a Pentagon cost-cutting move.

Friday, January 14, 2011

CA-RRU- Haun IC - Menifee-Murrieta 15 acres; 75% #CaFire

#WildlandFire Haun Fire in Menifee-Murrieta, Southwest Riverside County, 15 acres; 25 percent contained. There are no homes threatened or evacuations necessary.
Update: 1-15 1000hrs: *Haun Fire* 15 acres, 75% contained, Full control is expected early this evening.
Update: 1800hrs Haun fire is 15 acres and 25% contained, firefighters will be on scene overnight. Full control expected by afternoon 1-15-11.
Update: 1700hrs 10-12 acres, Winds calming.
Update: 1530hrs: One person was injured when a Calfire engine heading to the fire was involved in a traffic accident at Antelope and Scott roads, Patterson said. The injuries were described as minor to moderate, she said. 1 patient from the passenger vehicle has been transported with minor to moderate injuries. Firefighters were not injured in the accident. Engine was taken out of service.
The crash will be investigated by the California Highway Patrol. It occurred at 3:36 p.m.
Update: 1400hrs 8 to 10 acres. Gusty winds w/ active spotting.

Initial Attack: Initial size-up 2 acres with the potential of 25, Initially Calfire spokeswoman Cheri Patterson described the blaze as a “small spot” along a hillside known as the Menifee Ridge.
Motorists reported driving along Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 reporting seeing smoke coming from the area between Menifee and Murrieta.
The area is off Wright Road and Shauna Charmain, the area is remote and fire crews are apparently having difficulty reaching the location, according to radio communications.
 Location: Wright Rd X Shauna Charmain Lane (TB 898 B4)
CAL FIRE engine involved in accident while responding to Haun Fire.

View CA-RRU HAUN IC LOCATION MAP in a larger map
San Diego: A Cal Fire helicopter drops water on a fire burning in the hills south of Scott Road in Menifee Friday afternoon. Smoke from the wind-driven fire could be seen throughout Murrieta and Temecula.
Photo Credit: SWRNN
Problems: Access due to terrain
Weather: 68°F | °C Current: Clear Wind: N at 4 mph Humidity: 28%
Resources: RRU, MFD, MVU - Riverside County, including the Murrieta Fire Department and Riverside County Fire Department/Cal Fire, Pechanga Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management were also contributing.
Engines: 15
Helicopters: 2
Truck Co: 0 Squad: 0 Air Attack: 0
Firefighters: 146 RVC Medics: 0 Air Tankers: 0
Fire Crews: 6
Water Tenders: 2
Bulldozers: 3
Overhead Personnel: 6 AMB's: 0
More info:
RRU CARRU-4351 - Riverside County Incident Page Link Hotlist Link Link

SBC: 3 Dead in family after powerline falls

San Bernardino City Fire department, find Father, mother, son electrocuted at San Bernardino home after power line falls into backyard

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A mother, father and their son were electrocuted in their backyard in Southern California after one touched a downed power line and the other two attempted rescues, a Fire Department spokesman said.

Firefighters were called to the San Bernardino home early Friday by a 17-year-old girl who said her parents and brother had been electrocuted and were lying in the backyard, fire spokesman Jason Serrano said.

Firefighters saw three bodies in contact with an arcing 12,000-volt electrical line in the backyard but it was too dangerous to free them, Serrano said.

A utility company finally cut the power and coroner's officials were called.
Serrano said it was unclear why the line fell.

However, strong winds were sweeping through parts of Southern California on Friday and the National Weather Service said some gusts could reach 50 mph (80 kph) in the area.

The fallen line set small grass fires in the front and back yards, which were out by the time firefighters arrived, Serrano said.

The victims were identified as Steven Vego, 43; his wife, Sharon, 42, and their son, 21-year-old Jonathan Cole, according to Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
The father heard a "pop," went outside and was trying to douse the backyard fire when he touched the power line, which he may not have noticed, Serrano said.

"The mother went out to assist him and she, too, became a victim," he added.

Their 21-year-old was electrocuted when he tried to pull his parents free.

"It's absolutely a tragic story. Fortunately, the 17-year-old did not run out and do the same thing," Serrano said.
Her 10-year-old brother was in the home and was not harmed, he said.

The dead were lying in the grass in their bedclothes and the power line was about 10 feet (3 metres) from the rear of the home, fire Capt. Mike Bilheimer told the San Bernardino Sun. He said the parents apparently went out a sliding glass door from their bedroom into the yard.

Source: article Link

Monday, January 10, 2011

#CaBudget: Draconian, Dangerous Cuts For Wildland Firefighting

California budget Cuts to wildland firefighting resources

How soon we forget: The Cedar Fire was one of 15 wildfires throughout Southern California during the "2003 Firestorm" Driven by Santa Ana Winds, the Cedar Fire burned 280,278 acres, 2,820 buildings (including 2,232 homes) and had killed 15 people including one firefighter before being contained on November 3, making it the largest fire in recorded California history

Dangerous: Budget Proposal calls for reducing the number of firefighters on CAL FIRE initial attack engine crews from four to three -- putting them back to staffing levels that existed before massive wildfires charred the state in 2003. It also would shift a significant amount of fire fighting responsibility that CalFire now oversees to cities and counties.

Who takes responsibility?:
Currently, fires are fought by three main entities in California. Within municipal areas, city fire departments respond to blazes. Roughly 50 percent of California's land area is federally owned. There, fire crews from the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies have responsibility.
And on most of the land in between, rural areas across roughly 31 million acres known as "state responsibility areas," CalFire is in charge.

The Cuts: Brown's budget proposes that cities and counties take over more fire fighting responsibility in those areas. It says that $250 million could be shifted from the state fire budget to local agencies, and CalFire's service area reduced.
If that money were shifted, it would represent nearly one-third of CalFire's fire fighting budget from the state general fund.

SRA In the SF Bay Area, roughly half of Santa Clara County is in such areas, including all the land east of Highway 101 and most of the land in the southern part of the county, from Lexington Reservoir to the Summit Road. Large portions of rural Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties also are under CalFire jurisdiction and could be affected by the change, which must be approved by state lawmakers.

The reason the state should hand over responsibility for some of its wildland fire fighting is because local governments have in recent decades approved development throughout rural areas of the state, Brown's budget says. And with that building in high-fire-prone areas, counties have created a situation where CalFire responds to more than 50,000 emergency calls a year, many for medical problems that the agency was not originally designed to address.

Details on how much of CalFire's "state responsibility areas" would be shifted to local government won't be known for at least a year, pending a major review by the state Board of Forestry, said Palmer.

Some fire experts reacted warily.

Lou Paulson, president of the California Professional Fighters, a statewide advocacy organization for firefighters, said that cutting staff sizes and piling too much responsibility on cash-strapped cities and counties could eventually harm the system known as "mutual aid" in which fire crews respond from all over the state to major wildfires.

"The devil is in the details. Is there going to be a statewide mutual aid system left?" Paulson said. "If you start shrinking and changing things then nobody is going to participate in the system. The whole mutual aid system is on a precipice."

The state's Natural Resources Secretary, John Laird, sought to put the best face on the proposed cuts.

"This Governor is determined to upright California's budget," Laird said. "Fixing the long-term problem requires sacrifice from each Californian--and certainly the Natural Resources Agency--in the short-term. If California is to achieve a long-term vision for natural resources management that plays a role in restoring the state's economy, the governor's plan is the right path."

Source info: Article Link

Friday, January 7, 2011

USFA Releases Provisional 2010 Firefighter Fatality Statistics

January 7, 2011
USFA Press Office: (301) 447-1853
EMMITSBURG, MD - The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced today there were 85 onduty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2010, a 6 percent decrease from the 90 fatalities reported for 2009.  The 85 fatalities were spread across 31 states.  Illinois experienced the highest number of fatalities (9). In addition to Illinois, only New York (8), Ohio (8), Pennsylvania (7), and Kansas (5) had 5 or more firefighter fatalities.
Acting U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines noted that "When evaluating the trend in onduty firefighter fatalities over more than three decades, the past two years have seemed to reflect a possible change in the firefighting culture of the United States where Everyone Goes Home, including all firefighters."  Gaines then added, "Working closely with our partners, USFA will continue every effort to be sure that when it comes to firefighter health and safety this downward trend in onduty firefighter deaths continues."
Heart attacks and strokes were responsible for the deaths of 51 firefighters (60%) in 2010, nearly the same proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke (58%) in 2009.
Nine onduty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, about half the number that died in association with wildland fires in 2009 and a third of the 26 such fatalities in 2008.
Forty-eight percent of all firefighter fatalities occurred while performing emergency duties.
Eleven firefighters died in 2010 as the result of vehicle crashes, down substantially from 16 deaths in 2009, and for the first time since 1999, none the of the deaths involved aircraft.  Four firefighters in 2010 died in accidents involving firefighters responding in personal vehicles.  Seven firefighter deaths involved fire department apparatus, one of which was a double firefighter fatality incident.
These 2010 firefighter fatality statistics are provisional and may change as the USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify the names of firefighters reported to have died onduty during 2010.  The final number of firefighter fatalities will be reported in USFA’s annual firefighter fatality report, expected to be available by July.
For additional information on firefighter fatalities, including the annual fatality reports from 1986 through 2009 and the Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study 1990-2000, please visit the USFA website.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

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Fire Jobs: County of Sonoma - Materials Handler - Fire Logistics

Job Title: Materials Handler - Fire Logistics EXTRA-HELP
Closing Date/Time: Wed. 01/19/11 11:59 PM Pacific Time
Salary: $17.37 - $21.12 Hourly
Job Type: Extra Help
Location: Santa Rosa, California

Position Information Benefits Supplemental Questions

This recruitment is being conducted to fill five (5) extra-help
(intermittent) vacancies in the Fire and Emergency Services

This employment list may also be used to fill future
extra-help vacancies as they occur during the active status of this

The Materials Handler position in the Fire and Emergency Services
Department assists with the inventorying of fire equipment. This
position will receive, deliver, enter, and retrieve information to
maintain inventory database and clean and store fire equipment
located throughout the County at various volunteer fire company
stations. They will also assemble maps and assist Fire Instructors
with equipment, including video and audio equipment. This is the
working level class in the warehouse series. Under general
supervision, the Materials Handler performs materials handling duties
of all levels of complexity, including receiving, storing, issuing,
shipping, packaging, and delivering supplies, materials and
equipment; takes spot and periodic inventories; collects, sorts,
processes. and delivers interdepartmental mail, U.S. mail, and UPS or
special shipments; utilizes a variety of handling and storage
equipment. The ideal candidate for this position will have knowledge
of the use, programming, and repair of Fire Department radios and
pagers; and also knowledge of communications infrastructure.

Working Conditions: The performance of these duties often requires
the exertion of substantial physical effort. Employees in this
position may be required to bend, stoop, reach and remain standing
for extended periods of time. Also, employees in this position must
be willing to work some nights and weekends.

Extra-Help Employment Information:
Extra-help employees relieve or augment permanent staff.
Intermittent, extra-help employees are not in the classified civil
service and do not have property rights to permanently allocated
positions. In addition, they do not receive most regular employee
benefits such as: long-term disability insurance coverage; accrual of
vacation and sick leave; participation in the County retirement
program; or eligibility to take promotional examinations.
Intermittent, extra-help employees are limited in their employment to
a maximum of 1,380 hours within any twelve month consecutive period.
Extra-help employees who meet the eligibility requirements (generally
worked 11 consecutive pay periods with a minimum of 440 hours and are
scheduled at least 40 hours per pay period) may qualify for a County
contribution toward medical coverage.

Please complete the required supplemental questionnaire.
Minimum Qualifications:
Education and Experience: Possession of the knowledge and abilities
listed. Normally, six months experience as a mail clerk or performing
shipping and receiving duties would provide this opportunity.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate
level including special endorsements, as required by the State of
California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the
essential job functions of the position.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Working knowledge of: the procedures and techniques of receiving,
storing, issuing and delivering supplies, material and equipment;
postal regulations; the proper operating procedures of materials
handling equipment including pallet jacks, hoists, carts and
forklifts; of safety rules, regulations and procedures related to
receiving and storage activities and equipment; the clerical and
record keeping procedures related to receiving and storage activities
and equipment.

Ability to: follow oral and written directions; accurately and neatly
complete forms and records; spot discrepancies between items received
and purchase order, packing slip or property record form; perform
routine arithmetic calculations; acquire a working knowledge of the
materials, supplies and equipment handled by the department; deal
courteously with individuals contacted in the course of work; operate
a forklift and other labor saving devices; operate a light vehicle;
perform tasks which require physical strength and agility; read,
write and speak English at the level required by the duties.

Selection Procedure:
Application Instructions:

The information contained in the application and responses to the
supplemental questions will be evaluated and taken into consideration
throughout the employment process. Applicants should list all
employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work
history section of your application and be as thorough as possible
when responding to the supplemental questions. You may include
history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are
applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, please
list each position separately. Failure to comply with these
instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may
result in disqualification.

For more detailed information about examination steps and the hiring
process, you are encouraged to go to
content.aspx?sid=1024&id=1464 and review the Hiring Process Overview.

Please complete the required supplemental questionnaire.

An Application and Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal (pass/not
pass) will be conducted to evaluate each applicant's combination of
educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and
abilities which relate to this position to ensure satisfaction of the
minimum qualifications for this position. Candidates who possess the
minimum qualifications for the position will be placed on an Extra-
help employment list and referred to the department. The department
may contact candidates from the employment list who possess the most
appropriate job-related qualifications for further consideration.

Background Information:
A background investigation may be required prior to employment.
Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are
typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling
such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result
in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy.
Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additionally, a pre-employment medical examination, including a drug
screening, will be required prior to employment.

How to Apply:
Applications are accepted on-line at
Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770),
email, or through the mail. All applications and appropriate
supplemental information as outlined in the job bulletin must be
RECEIVED by the time and date specified on the first page of this job
announcement. Continuous recruitments may close without notice at any
time that a sufficient number of qualified applications have been
received. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not
be accepted.

The County of Sonoma is committed to a policy and actively pursues a
program of equal employment and non-discrimination.

USFA: Fewest on-duty deaths of firefighters since 1977

There were 85 on-duty deaths in 2010, according to preliminary statistics. Of those, 15 are classified as Hometown Heroes.
Last year was record-setting -- the fewest on-duty deaths of firefighters since the USFA started compiling statistics in 1977.

In 2003, federal legislation was adopted that firefighters who died of heart attacks or strokes within 24 hours of a response or training receive that designation.

This is the second year in a row that on-duty deaths showed a decline. In 2009, the country experienced the lowest number in 15 years
Of those who died in 2010, 55 were volunteers, 28 were career, one was a paid full-time wildland and one was a paid-on call.

Heart attacks continue to claim the most firefighters -- 56.4 percent -- while trauma was reported in 23.5 percent of the deaths. Other causes included stroke, burns, heat exhaustion, asphyxiation and crushing.
Two firefighters who died in 2010 had sustained the injury in previous years, records showed. Those two deaths will be added to those years' totals to bring this year's down from 87 to 85.

Twenty-five of those who died were 61 or older, while two were under 21.

The number of on-duty deaths may change in the coming months as officials check with people in each state to ensure that everyone has been counted.

March and July were the deadliest months -- 11 firefighter fatalities each, while there were four in February and August.

On May 22, four firefighter deaths were recorded by the USFA.

Other statistics showed 20 occurred on the scene; 19 other on-duty activity; 16 responding; 16 after; 7 training; 4 on-scene non-fire and one returning.

USFA PDF Attachment: 
Article source: article Link

San Diego: Owners of "#BombHouse" property has filed $500,000 claim

 Attorney for 'bomb house' owner files claim against county
Owners offered to sell house for $500K day before burn

An attorney for the owners of the "bomb house" property near Escondido has demanded at least $500,000 for his clients' loss and distress, according to a claim filed with San Diego County.

In a dramatic operation that captured national attention, authorities burned the single-story residence to the ground on Dec. 9, 2010, to destroy what they said was its huge and highly unstable stockpile of explosives.
They said fire was the only safe way to neutralize the homemade bomb materials found throughout the cluttered house just west of Interstate 15 and north of El Norte Parkway. Authorities said the explosives included the same destructive compounds as those used in recent terrorist plots.

San Diego County officials, who took the lead on the operation because the property is in an unincorporated county pocket, maintain that the materials posed a threat to the surrounding neighborhood.
That may be so. But Steven A. McKinley, the owners' San Diego attorney, said it doesn't get the county off the hook for compensating his clients. He said their loss is at least $500,000, when the home's value, and his clients' distress and inconvenience, are factored in.

"We do not believe an emergency existed within the meaning of those cases which allow a taking without compensation," McKinley said in a Dec. 15 e-mail to Thomas Bunton, a senior deputy county counsel.
That e-mail, and one from McKinley to Bunton on Dec. 8, were included in the county's claims files. A county response attached to McKinley's e-mails was redacted. In the Dec. 8 e-mail, the day before the burn, McKinley said the owners would drop the claim if the county agreed to buy the property for $494,000 and pay other related costs.

Bunton said by phone on Tuesday that the county has not officially responded to the claim or met with the claimants, but plans "a timely response." He said the county would provide an unredacted e-mail response at a later date.

"Our legal position is that we believe that there's no compensation requirement here," Bunton said. "This was exigent circumstances. It was an emergency."
He added that McKinley's statement about his clients' distress and inconvenience probably wouldn't sway the county.

"I think the key is, it's a difficult situation," Bunton said. "Sometimes individuals have to suffer to protect the greater good. And that may be the case here."

McKinley, the claimant's attorney, did not return messages on Tuesday seeking further comment.
Michele Holt, identified by the county as the owner of the home at 1954 Via Scott, has not returned repeated calls seeking comment. It was not immediately known who the other owner or owners were.

McKinley's Dec. 15 e-mail to Bunton continued, saying he does not "believe that the nature of the taking and the surrounding circumstances excuse the constitutional requirement of just compensation for takings in eminent domain. Demand is made that the County immediately compensate our clients for loss of use, property damage and diminution in value, and distress and inconvenience. Said loss is not less than $500,000."

A county spokesman said in December that the county was not obligated to compensate the owner because the "home is being destroyed to protect the public health and safety."

The home's renter, George Jakubec, was jailed Nov. 18, 2010, after a landscaper was injured in an explosion at the house. Jakubec has pleaded not guilty to federal bombmaking and bank robbery charges.
He remains in federal custody without bail.

Source article: - Story Link

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

LODD: Alameda City Fire Captain Scott Carnevale

LODD: Alameda City Fire Captain Scott Carnevale

It is with deepest regret that the Alameda Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 689, and the City of Alameda Fire Department announce the Line of Duty Death of Alameda City Fire Captain Scott Carnevale of occupational cancer.

He was 42 years old.

Brother Carnevale began his career in the Fire Service at the Alameda Naval Air Station Fire Department in 1993.

He joined the Alameda Fire Department in 1997. He was promoted to Apparatus Operator in 2001 and then to Fire Captain in 2007. As a captain, Brother Carnevale was assigned to Fire Station 2, which houses a fire engine, ladder truck and an ambulance, where he worked as the engine company captain.

During his career, Brother Carnevale served as an Executive Board Trustee and Shift Vice President for IAFF Local 689. He organized department-wide participation in the California Professional Firefighter's Exposure Reporting Program within the Alameda Fire Department and also was a member of the Fire Labor Management Team.

Brother Carnevale was surrounded by family at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife of fifteen years, Liz, his 8 year old son, and many family and friends.

Memorial Information

When: Friday, January 14th, 2011, 11:00 a.m.

Where: USS Hornet, 707 W Hornet Avenue; Alameda, CA 94501

Attire: Class A Uniforms

Apparatus and Procession Information

Apparatus will stage on Harbor Bay Parkway at 9:30 a.m.

All those planning to take part in the apparatus procession should RSVP to Jim Colburn at

Honor Guard Information

There will be an honor guard practice on Friday, January 14th at 8 a.m. preceeding the memorial ceremony. Those honor guards planning to participate in the ceremony are asked to attend this practice and RSVP to Ruben at


In lieu of flowers, food and other gifts, the family has requested a donation be made in Scott's name to the Scott Carnevale Memorial Fund for cancer research.

By check:

Scott Carnevale Memorial Fund; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 18 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941

By Paypal (

If you have a PayPal account, log in and click the "Send Money" tab. Enter this email address: Enter your donation and click continue to send a message to the family with your donation.

Please check back frequently for updates: California Fire Foundation - LODD: Alameda City Fire Captain Scott Carnevale:

NTSB SAFETY: General Aviation Aircraft Inspect #ELT mountings


National Transportation Safety Board
Washington, DC 20594

Washington, DC - The National Transportation Safety Board today issued two safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration requiring a detailed inspection of all emergency locator transmitters (ELT) installed on general aviation aircraft to ensure that their mountings maintain their retention capabilities during an accident sequence.

An ELT is designed to broadcast a signal through an externally mounted antenna that contains the aircraft's
registration information and the global positioning system coordinates of the original signal. Also, the "homing
signal" can be detected locally by other aircraft, air-traffic control facilities, or rescue personnel who use a
compatible receiver.

"In this case, the airplane was equipped with a functioning 406 megahertz ELT, which can be a tremendous aid to search and rescue operations," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "But this vital life-saving technology won't do anyone any good if it doesn't stay connected to the antenna."

On August 9, 2010, a de Havilland turbine Otter airplane crashed in mountainous tree-covered terrain approximately 10 miles from Aleknagik, Alaska. Nearly five hours after the crash, volunteer airborne search personnel located the aircraft approximately 19 miles from where the flight originated. The pilot and four passengers, including former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, sustained fatal injuries. The other four passengers were seriously injured.

Aircraft involved in the search and rescue efforts and satellites did not detect any ELT signals. Following the
discovery of the airplane, a pararescuer found the ELT loose on the floor of the airplane. The ELT had activated but had separated from its mounting bracket and antenna.

To view the recommendation letters, click on:
#NTSB Media Contact: Terry N. Williams
(202) 314-6100

World Fire News: Israel - Carmel forest fire memorial turns ugly

Netanyahu heckled by angry mourners at Carmel fire memorial, Yishai hounded out

Those present at the state ceremony honoring the 44 people killed in Israel's largest-ever wildfire let President Shimon Peres address the audience, but began heckling the premier as he took his turn at the podium.

By Haaretz Service and Barak Ravid

Relatives and friends of those killed in the devastating Carmel fire last month refused to let Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak on Wednesday as he stood at the podium of the official state memorial ceremony to deliver a eulogy to the victims.
Those present at the ceremony mourning the 44 people killed in Israel's largest-ever wildfire let President Shimon Peres address the audience, but began heckling the premier and calling him a "liar" as he took his turn on the stage.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Carmel fire memorial
Bodyguards sheltered Netanyahu
Photo by: Channel 2
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being heckled by mourners at the Carmel fire memorial on January 5, 2011/
 Bodyguards briefly sheltered Netanyahu as a few dozen hecklers surged toward him and others stormed out of the event at Beit Oren, a kibbutz at the epicenter of last month's Carmel forest blaze in which the victims, mostly rescue personnel, died. Interior Minister Eli Yishai left the memorial soon after Danny Rosen, the partner of fallen Haifa Police Chief Ahuva Tomer, stood and told Netanyahu that he would not remain at the ceremony unless Yishai stepped out.
In an attempt to calm the atmosphere as the chaos continued, Netanyahu told Rosen: "My heart is with you. I know your pain". But relatives of other victims joined Rosen's demand for Yishai to leave, and eventually Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar stepped on the stage and said that the interior minister had left.
Netanyahu was unable to begin his address for a number of minutes, and stood surrounded on all sides by tight security. Even after he finally began to speak, the angry relatives continued to interrupt him, shouting that he was to blame for the fire that took their loved ones' lives.
Relatives of Carmel fire victims
Photo by: Channel 2
Relatives of Carmel fire victims heckle Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the state memorial on January 5, 2011
Prior to that unexpected incident, Peres was able to deliver his own eulogy to the victims, telling the mourners: "Forty-four pure souls fell during the heavy offensive against this fire… and we so wanted it to end differently."
"The fire that did not rest for a moment turned dozens of our families into bereaved, grieving, pained families," said Peres. "No tribute and no memorial ceremony will ever return to their loved ones."
"Today, as we conclude the 30 days of mourning, stands a shocked nation, one unprepared for such a tragedy. This is the truth, even if it is painful and stings. We were not prepared for the presence of such a big fire. We did not imagine it could happen."
Some relatives have demanded that the state investigate Netanyahu, Yishai, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in particular over negligence during the fire, saying the discussion regarding their conduct does not belong in court but rather in the public domain.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said however, that he did not believe that there was a legal basis that justifies a criminal investigation into the matter. Headded that the discussion regarding the failures to control the fire due to lacking resources could be dealt with in the Knesset, in a parliamentary inquiry committee or a governmental investigation committee, and not in a court of law.
Weinstein added that State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss was examining the various aspects of the disaster and if he found reason to suspect any criminal action in case, he would transfer the information to him for further examination.
The State Control Committee last month decided not to set up an investigation commission to probe deficiencies in the fire services during the massive blaze.
However, the committee's opposition members called for a re-vote at a later date and the committee unanimously issued a call to State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to probe the events.
Such a commission would have been charged with dealing with the state comptroller's report released last week about problems with the fire services before the fire, rather than the deficiencies manifested during the Carmel disaster.
Following the ceremony, the Prime Minister's Bureau issued a statement explaining that it had been "important" to Netanyahu to address the bereaved families. "He knows their pain and their loss, and all of this began of his desire to hold a state memorial ceremony.
The Prime Minister's Bureau added that Netanyahu would continue to work determinedly to improve Israel's emergency services.
 Source article: Link

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Laws: Residential dwellings required to have fire sprinklers installed.

#Video #OCFA - Marble Mountain Side By Side Demonstration

New In-Home Fire Sprinkler Rule Comes to Elk Grove Fire officials say regulation will boost safety despite cost concerns

By Karen Wilkinson
When firefighters responded to a garage fire caused by a deep fryer in Galt earlier this month, sprinklers had doused the flames, no one was hurt and there was minimal damage.

While such scenes aren't always typical, according to Cosumnes Fire Department officials, they may soon become more common due to new fire sprinkler regulations taking effect Jan. 1.

Starting next year, all new residential dwellings in Elk Grove and the state of California will be required to have fire sprinklers installed. Attached buildings like garages are also included in the new rules, which affect single-family and two-family houses and townhouses.

California is the third state to adopt the code, which has sparked controversy because it imposes increased costs on builders and homeowners at a time when the construction industry is already hurting.

The National Association of Home Builders in a policy statement opposes mandatory sprinklers, citing their "high cost and unsubstantiated need," and developer lobbying has helped stall passage of similar requirements in other states.

But local firefighters and building officials said the new policy's safety benefits far outweigh its potential costs.

"Sprinklers are like living with a firefighter 24/7," said Cosumnes Fire Department marshal George Apple. "It doesn't eliminate the need for us, but sprinklers allow people to get out safely."

Apple said the average fire survival rate is 80 percent when a home uses a combination of fire sprinklers and smoke detectors, compared with 50 percent for smoke detectors alone. Sprinklers keep temperatures from rising as much as they would without the safety measure, and keep smoke levels down, Apple said -- differences that can be a matter of life and death. 

While Hollywood movies often show sprinklers activating en masse and flooding homes and businesses, in most cases, only those nearest the flames will go off, Apple said. Unlike smoke detectors, the sprinklers are not susceptible to false alarms, he said.

A Youtube video created by the Orange County Fire Department simulates the effects of a fire in two identical apartments -- one with sprinklers, one without. The room without sprinklers is engulfed in flames and destroyed, while in the other, sprinkles extinguish the fire within minutes, with minimal damage.

Though the Elk Grove City Council heard no official opposition when it formally adopted the state code in October, chief building official Rick Renfro said the rule will likely increase costs for plumbers, who will have to obtain a special license from the state to install home fire sprinklers, on top of their plumber's license.

Renfro said he anticipates a last-minute rush of single-family dwelling permit applications before Dec. 31 -- the deadline to apply and build under 2010 codes.

"It's hard because there are dollars tied to it, but it's pretty much going to take care of 90 to 95 percent of fires if installed properly," Renfro said. "The builders have accepted the fact that it's reality and not going to change." 

Apple said the cost to install the sprinklers -- roughly $1.50 per square foot, or $3,000 for a 2,000 square-foot home -- can seem pricey, but will be balanced by savings in homeowners' insurance and damages.

Two years ago, around Christmas-time in Wilton, an unattended candle burned through the plastic table it had been sitting on, Apple said. The homeowner had a live tree, with gifts beneath and other holiday decorations in the room. She also had fire sprinklers, which activated and left the holiday d├ęcor undamaged.

"Without sprinklers, the house would have been a complete loss," Apple said.

Source: Article 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.

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

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