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Sunday, April 29, 2012

CZU: Vegetation Fire in Corralitos 1 acre, 100%

 CAL FIRE/Santa Cruz County Fire Dept.
Vegetation Fire in Corralitos



CONTACT: Jonathan Cox
Fire Captain
(650) 245-1727
RELEASE 
    DATE: April 28, 2012



Corralitos – At approximately 2:41 pm this afternoon, CAL FIRE/Santa Cruz County Fire
Department and neighboring agencies responded to a vegetation fire in the Eureka Canyon area of Corralitos.


The fire burned one acre of dense vegetation in extremely steep terrain and was controlled by
6:33 pm. An unattended control burn on private property with inadequate clearance caused the
fire.


68 firefighters from agencies throughout the region worked cooperatively to extinguish the fire.


This included CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Fire Department Company
41-Corralitos, Santa Cruz County Fire Department Company 36-Loma Prieta, Aptos-La Selva
Fire District, Watsonville Fire Department, Central Fire District and CAL FIRE San BenitoMonterey.


CAL FIRE reminds everyone of the dangers associated with open burning, especially as
conditions become warmer and drier. Open burning will close on April 30, 2012 in all State
Responsibility Areas of Santa Cruz County. Failure to follow burning regulations can result in
citation and liability of complete suppression response.
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

CAL FIRE CZU: Close of Open Burn Season

CAL FIRE Continues Open Burning on Limited Basis in Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County


Felton - CAL FIRE in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District
announces the Close of the Open Burn Season within the State Responsibility Areas of Santa Cruz
County on April 30, 2012.

Hazard reduction burning will be allowed after the 30th but only if burn piles are kept within posted
guidelines and require a Hazard Reduction Permit from the regional Air Pollution Control District. It is
expected that a Burn Ban will be imposed soon after the 30th as fire conditions warrant or when Fire
Season is declared for the summer. At that point, burning with the exception of campfires, will require a
special permit.

Posted guidelines for small debris piles are published at www.santacruzcountyfire.org. It is your
responsibility to follow all of the burn regulations and guidelines posted on that page. Failure to follow
burning regulations can result in citation and liability of complete suppression costs.
For updated burn day status information in Santa Cruz County contact Monterey Bay Unified Air
Pollution Control at 1-800-225-2876. In San Mateo County contact Bay Area Air Quality Management
District at 1-800-792-0787.

With the exception of campfires all other burning operations in the State Responsibility Areas of San
Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties related to Agriculture, land management, fire training, and other
industrial-type burning may proceed if a CAL FIRE official inspects the burn site and issues a special
permit. Check with your local Fire Department prior to burning to determine whether a permit is
required. CAL FIRE reminds everyone that it is their individual responsibility to use fire safely and to
prevent fires that destroy lives, property and our wildland. Be Fire Safe!

Anyone with questions about this declaration is urged to contact the nearest CAL FIRE facility.


CAL FIRE NEWS RELEASE 2012 California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

OCFA: Video as Manhole Explosion Hits Firefighters

Explosion Blows LAFD Firefighters Off Their Feet, Caught On Camera



Who knew a manhole could be so dangerous? In the shocking video above, an explosion from a manhole blows a Orange County fire captin and a fellow firefighter off their feet.

“I consider myself very, very lucky,” said OCFA Captain David Wolf. “The next thing I remember I was in the dirt, a kind of flower bed, across from the sidewalk."

The close call happened Sunday night when the firefighters responded to a smoking manhole in Yorba Linda. After an electrical equipment vault exploded, Wolf was reportedly thrown 10 feet in the air.

Wolf said he was looking down at a small fire in the vault and, "The next thing I know is that when my firemen was kind of dragging me. I found out later it was my firemen. I didn’t know, but somebody had picked me up from the back of my coat and dragged me,” he said.

After Wolf watched the video of the accident, he responded, "Thank the man upstairs, He had a better plan for me."
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LAFD: Two Firefighters Injured Ambulance vs Garbage Truck

LOS ANGELES — Two firefighters were seriously hurt when their ambulance collided with a garbage truck in Los Angeles Monday.

It was unclear what caused the crash or why the trash truck was in the intersection, Fire Department spokesman Matt Spence told the Los Angeles Times.

The firefighters were hospitalized with serious injuries.

LAPD officials said the ambulance was responding to a Code 3, which is an emergency call requiring a response unit with lights and sirens.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

YNP: Yosemite / Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire


 After a mild Sierra Nevada winter. Yosemite fire managers are planning the first prescribed fire for the 2012 season. Defensible space is the essential topic, and this project adds a significant wildland interface protection component to the community of Wawona.

Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire

May, 2012
Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire Map
Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire Project Map
Fire Managers are preparing the Wawona Northwest fire unit as the first prescribed fire for the 2012 season for mid-May.  This project has been planned since the 2007, Jack fire, a lightning caused fire.   Although precipitation is predicted this week, fuel moisture samples indicate the 846 acre fire unit will be in prescription within the next two to three weeks. Firefighters have begun clearing the existing fire lines from winter debris, and they will continue to take fuel moisture samples in preparation of the fire project.  Surface fuels, pine needles, are drying-out, but remain damp under the top layer.  An exact date will be provided as preparations are completed and fuels are receptive to ignition.   

The primary objective for prescribed fire is for the direct fire protection to the community of Wawona.  This project will take advantage of the Jack Fire perimeter and reduce hazardous fuel loading in the Wawona Wildland Urban Interface area.  Burning this segment will form a barrier to the community of Wawona from the spread of unwanted wildfire approaching from Turner Ridge to the north and partially from the South Fork Merced River drainage to the northwest.   This project ties together multiple and previous historical research natural and prescribed fires, and mechanical thinning around the community.  

Another objective for this project is to conduct ecosystem restoration by applying fire to this fire adapted landscape. Prior to the exclusion of fire over 100 years ago, fire was a natural process that played an integral role in shaping the landscape of Yosemite.  Densities of shade tolerant tree species, such as white fir and incense cedar, and forest litter and duff have accumulated to unnatural and unaccepted levels in the absence of fire.  Through the application of fire, a more natural and resilient vegetation composition can be achieved that would likely support a surface fire, but less likely to support crown fire.  

Community members and visitors will see equipment and crews moving into the area as they prepare the fire perimeter for fire ignition and operations.  Adequate fire resources are available from the US Forest Service and other agencies.  Other pre-fire planning efforts include taking fuel moistures and moving remote automated weather equipment into the fire area.  

Smoke will be present during the prescribed fire, particularly during the early morning hours.  Fire managers are working with the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) to time the project for a favorable weather pattern that will facilitate good air quality, and disperse smoke into the atmosphere away from smoke sensitive areas.  A burn permit will be issued to the park by the County APCD. Air quality measuring devices are being moved into adjacent nearby smoke sensitive areas.  It is suggested that community members who are sensitive to smoke, plan to leave the area during active ignition.  It is projected to take three to five days to complete the project.

This fire segment is identified in the 2004 Yosemite Fire Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement and in the Multi-year Strategic Fuels Management Plan.  The goals and objectives for this project conform to the park’s General Management Plan and Vegetation Management Plan.

More information will be provided as the project is finalized.



Additional Information:



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TRIAL BY FIRE: Features Former CDF firefighter Brooke Linman


 SCARS ARE LIKE TATTOOS – BUT WITH BETTER STORIES.





With heart and grace, Trial by Fire: Lives Re-Forged honors the courage and strength of burn survivors as they reclaim their lives – and dreams – after the devastation of fire. The film follows the journeys of ordinary people who rise above their injuries and discover unexpected insights along the way – a transformed worldview, deeper interpersonal connections and a strong commitment to make a difference.

A firefighter endures a 1500 degree firestorm; a teenage athlete engulfed in flames triumphs against all odds; an oil refinery worker survives a seemingly un-survivable explosion; a model refuses to be defined by her scars; a family is united through tragedy; and a 12-year-old sprint car driver pulled from a flaming wreck tries to convince her parents to let her back on the track. These powerful stories are framed and given context by American war hero and charismatic motivational speaker, J.R. Martinez.

In a culture that prizes physical beauty over strength of character, “TRIAL BY FIRE: Lives Re-Forged” challenges us to go beyond the superficial and redefine our concept of true beauty. This film is a celebration of courage, a campaign to help save lives and a movement to make the world a more respectful and welcoming place

Trial By Fire Resources:
Website - 
http://TrialByFireDoc.org
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/TrialByFireDoc
Twitter - @TrialByFireDoc
Related info: UC Davis Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center.
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

CAL FIRE: Investigates Fire in the Sky and Sonic Boom

CAL FIRE was sent out today to investigate reports of fire in the sky, As very loud and wide ranging sonic boom was heard over Central California and the Sierra's.
911 reports in the two states of California and Nevada reported seeing a fireball streak across the sky at the same time.

Where: The ground shaking explosion was heard by residents in El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne and San Joaquin counties. Dan Ruby of the Fleischmann Planetarium at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the reports indicate the meteor broke up above Earth somewhere over the Sierra southwest of Reno.
The explosion rattled windows and shook houses from Reno to Winnemucca in Nevada, and from the Sacramento to Bakersfield areas in California. Some people in the two states reported seeing a fireball streak across the sky at the same time.
Who: Numerous 911 callers reported seeing a meteor over the Sierra sky at approximately 7:45 a.m. some callers further reported resultant smoke plumes.
CAL Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant said they received several calls about the lengthy sonic boom and sent spotter crews out to investigate. One caller in Camino reported seeing a column of smoke after he saw the meteor.
What: National Weather Service's Craig Shoemaker said the boom was due to "a meteor that originated from a debris cloud from the Thatcher Comet."
Comet  Thatcher Yearly Attack on Earth: The Lyrid Meteor Shower: 
Debris from the Thatcher Comet are called Lyrid meteors. According to NASA, every year in late April, Earth passes through a stream of Lyrid meteors, which has been happening for at least 2,600 years.
Dust from Thatcher's Comet hit the Earth's atmosphere at 110,000 mph and disintegrate in a flurry of meteors; most years the meteor shower creates about 15 to 20 Lyrids per hour, according to NASA.
More: Slamming into the atmosphere at nearly 110,000 miles per hour, 15 to 20 meteors per hour could shower the night sky and produce some fireballs. The annual skywatching event peaks on April 21st, 2012.The Science and history of Thatchers Comet at NASA  Link
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Florida Gulf Of Mexico - Aircraft Down - Radar Track

Radar Track and Fight Data For Cessna 421(N48DL)

After Pilot became unresponsive the Cessna 421 flew in circles in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico for over 3 hours and 1,219 miles more than twice the planned route reaching altitude of 33, 000 feet before plunging into the sea.

Live Flight Tracking Screenshot Radar Track of the Cessna 421
(N48DL)
Live Flight Tracking Screenshot of Cessna Flight Data 



Flight Track Log - N48DL Twin piston Cessna 421


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Off-duty battalion chief credited with saving woman from burning Long Beach home

LONG BEACH - An off-duty fire battalion chief rescued a woman in her 70s from a burning home in Long Beach, his department reported Thursday.

The fire in the 800 block of Rancho Drive broke out just before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to a Long Beach Fire Department statement, which gave this account of what happened next:

As firefighters were responding to the scene, the off-duty chief, having noticed smoke pouring from a neighbor's house, entered a back door as another neighbor used a hose to try to douse flames from outside.

As he found the kitchen on fire, the battalion chief heard a faint voice from deeper inside the house, followed it and found the woman slumped over a chair. He pulled her to safety, then went back in to check for more occupants; there were none.

Firefighters arrived and put out the blaze. The woman rescued by the chief was taken to a hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. The chief's name was not released.

Source: Press Telegram Long Beach - Link
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Man burning illegal fire threatens county firefighters

Firefighters called sheriff's department for assistance; man was arrested after he fought with deputy over control of his baton
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — A Wonder Valley man was arrested Monday after he fought with a sheriff's deputy over control of his baton and was combative with county firefighters who had responded to his home for an illegal fire.

Robert Robertson, 46, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer and booked into West Valley Detention Center, in Rancho Cucamonga, on $1 million bail, according to a sheriff's department press statement.

Firefighters responded to the home in the 6700 block of Sandpit Ranch Road, in Wonder Valley for an illegal burn and Robertson refused to put out the fire, according to the statement.

Robertson threatened fire personnel with garden tools, and became extremely hostile with firefighters so they requested assistance from the sheriff's department.

A deputy arrived at the home at 10:30 a.m. and while attempting to detain the suspect, Robertson started to fight with the deputy.

The deputy tried to gain compliance from Robertson, but Robertson attacked the deputy and the two men began to fight over the deputy's baton, according to the sheriff's statement. As they continued to fight aggressively on the ground, fire personnel tried to distract Robertson.

Firefighters distracted Robertson long enough that the deputy could push him aside. The deputy tried to use his Taser, but it was ineffective.

Th deputy eventually subdued Robertson and placed him in handcuffs in the back of his patrol car.

Robertson is scheduled to be arraigned on his charges at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Joshua Tree Superior Court, according to the statement.

The deputy was transported by ambulance to High Desert Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and released later Monday evening.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

LTBMU: Prescribed fire operations continue Kingsbury Grade


U.S. Forest Service
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU)

Prescribed Fire Information

Date Sent:  April 17, 2012

Contact:  Public Affairs, Cheva Heck (530) 543-2609 or Lisa Herron (530) 543-2815


Prescribed fire operations continue this week on Kingsbury Grade
U.S. Forest Service fuels management crews continue prescribed fire operations on Kingsbury Grade near Andria Drive the week of April 16, 2012.  Operations may continue through the end of the week, weather and conditions permitting.
Residents and visitors can expect to see smoke from this prescribed fire project area.  The Forest Service strives to minimize the impacts of smoke on local communities.  Smoke-sensitive residents should consider staying indoors and keeping doors, windows and outside vents closed.  To directly receive prescribed fire updates, send an email topa_ltbmu@fs.fed.us.
Forest Service staff will post road signs around areas affected by prescribed fire, and update the local fire information line at (530) 543-2600, #6.  Other federal, state and local fire management agencies may also be conducting prescribed fire work during this period.
For more information, visit our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/ltbmu.  To learn more about the efforts to reduce catastrophic wildfire risks in the Tahoe Basin read the Lake Tahoe Basin Multi-jurisdictional Fuel Reduction Plan found athttp://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsm9_045864.pdf.
Take a few moments to visit an excellent web site and learn about Prescribed Fire vs. Wildfire at:http://www.smokeybear.com/prescribed-fires.asp


Lisa Herron
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Forest Service
Lake Tahoe Basin Mgmt. Unit
35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe CA 96150

  
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT HONORS FALLEN HEROES


County of Los Angeles

Fire Department


 MEDIA ADVISORY
CAPTAIN MARK SAVAGE

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE (323) 881-2413

Date:  April 17, 2012
FIRE CHIEF DARYL L. OSBY
1320 N. Eastern Avenue
Los AngelesCA   90063


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                Contact:  LACoFD Public Affairs
                                                                                                    (323) 881-2413

LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT
HONORS FALLEN HEROES
                                                    

WHO:              Zev Yaroslavsky, Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Don Knabe, Los Angeles County Supervisor 4th  District;  Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby, Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Firefighters Memorial Committee.

WHAT:            A remembrance service honoring all fallen members of the Department, including the addition of Fire Captain Carrie Henger-Neff, a groundbreaking female firefighter, to the Memorial Wall.

WHEN:            Wednesday, April 18, 2012 – 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:         LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT HEADQUARTERS
FIREFIGHTERS MEMORIAL WALL
1320 North Eastern Ave Los Angles, CA  90063

Zev Yaroslavsky, Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and Don Knabe, Los Angeles County Supervisor 4th District will join Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby in paying tribute to Los Angeles County firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

 This year’s ceremony will mark the addition of Fire Captain Carrie Henger-Neff, a pioneering female firefighter who was instrumental in creating the Department’s search and rescue canine program, to the Memorial Wall. 

Ceremony highlights will include a remembrance of Henger-Neff, reading of Memorial Wall names, laying of memorial wreaths, and a helicopter flyover.

Ample parking for reporters will be available at the Cecil R. Gehr Training Center, located adjacent to the Memorial. 
Our Vision The Los Angeles County Fire Department will be an exemplary organization acclaimed for our national reputation, our regional strength, and our hometown attentiveness as we provide fire protection and life safety services.

Core Values
INTEGRITY     ¨   TEAMWORK   ¨  CARING   ¨   COURAGE   ¨   COMMITMENT  ¨  COMMUNITY

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Monday, April 16, 2012

San Francisco Firefighter Probie Starts Career at 50 - Video


Shaun Mooney San Francisco Firefighter
Shaun Mooney was out of shape when he made the decision to become a firefighter.
His passion drove him.

It took nearly two decades for first-year firefighter Shaun Mooney to achieve his dream job.
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Carlsbad Toddler Alerts Family To Structure Fire

Toddler Alerts Family To Garage Fire
Fire Reported On Circulo Papayo In Carlsbad


The toddler started making a commotion in the bedroom just before 10 p.m. Sunday which brought the father to the room.

The dad looked out the window of the home on Circulo Papayo and saw huge flames coming from the garage, which the toddler’s bedroom sits on top of.

Everyone was able to safely evacuate from the home.

The fire was contained to the garage.

An off-duty San Diego Fire Battalion Chief who lives nearby ran to the home to help. He is credited with saving the home by closing all the doors inside which did not allow the fire to spread.

A Porsche Turbo S which was parked in the garage was destroyed.
Source: Link
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First Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 in California Burns on Freeway

First Lamborghini Aventador on Fire(Video) in Southern California
Lamborghini Aventador on Fire 
A matte black Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 burst into flames on a highway 73 near Aliso Viejo on Saturday. and caused three lanes to close. The fire began in the rear left tire during a test drive where the Lamborghini Aventador spontaneously combusted.
According to witnesses the fire started near the left rear wheel, after the fire brigade extinguished the fire the completely burned down wreck has been transported to Lamborghini Newport Beach where the cause of the fire will be investigated.

This matte black Lamborghini Aventador which was on a test drive with a potential customer when it ignited has the sad honor of being the first Lamborghini Aventador that burned down.

 However its not the first supercar to catch fire, we have seen a range of Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s burned down without clear reason, lets hope its not the beginning of a trend for the Lamborghini Aventador.

The Lamborghini Aventador is known as the fastest and wildest supercar ever built, with the ability to accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hours in just under three seconds with a top speed of 217 mph. 

View the video of the Lamborghini Aventador in flames below.


YouTube source: http://youtu.be/w__otZn4RGQ
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Los Angeles County: Burning Body Found By Passerby

Badly charred burning body of man found on Southern California sidewalk

ALTADENA, Calif. — Authorities are trying to determine the identity and cause of death of a man whose burning body was found on a Southern California sidewalk.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Lillian Peck says a passerby spotted the fire around dawn Sunday on North Windsor Avenue.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Lillian Peck says a passerby spotted the fire around dawn Sunday in Altadena. Upon closer inspection the passerby discovered the flaming object was a human body and called 911.

David Jimeno told KCAL-TV he saw the man lying in a fetal position. He said another witness tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher but the man was already dead.

Sheriff's Lt. Matthew Burson said the man was so badly charred that it could take some time to identify him. Detectives are also investigating a red sedan that was parked near his body.
Source AP 
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Guest Post: Social Media And Public Safety

How Social Media Contribute in Public Safety

The world of social media is a powerful tool to use for public safety and awareness. The communication of agencies using Facebook and Twitter and other social media let society know up to date happenings to be aware of any safety precautions, hazards, fires, floods, outages and more instantly via the internet.

The spectrum of the impact social media has for public safety and prevention is a unique form of customer service to have real time information and get the word out rapidly and efficiently. This two way form of communication from agencies relay messages to the public and visa versa. For example, if a fire has broken out at Lahaina Hotel and the fire fighters of California are at the scene, social media usage would let the public know the happenings and the fire is under control and the occupants are safe and sound.

Updated real time news can instantly be posted by the California Fire Fighters making the public aware of the area to avoid with precautionary measures and detours available instantly. Cities that are using social media as real time news are getting the message out faster than any other source available. More people are using Facebook and Twitter apps on their Smartphone’s and tablets to stay in touch with breaking news receiving a text instantly.

Social Media networks have endless capabilities in public safety awareness. This dynamic resource of information is received by the public instantly. Any type of situation can be relayed with a wide spread of information. The power of using the social media networks in public safety is it has the ability to stop crime before it begins and the proper authorities can be notified of the situation and respond accordingly.

Many instances happen where innocent bystanders are at the wrong place at the wrong time witnessing a horrific crime. In turn, they bystanders may text, post a video on Facebook or Twitter so their network of friends and followers will help them and contact the proper authorities. This crucial action can save so many lives against the danger that dilemmas might bring.

Social Media use today is used more than any other form of communication on the planet. Natural disasters can be instantly broadcasted across a wide range of platforms making the public aware and what to do. In California, forest fire outbreaks are extremely dangerous and spread rapidly. The fire fighters are fast to respond on the scene and through social media platforms the public instantly will be aware of what streets, areas and the depth of the fire and what to avoid to keep safe. Children also will be aware where the dangers lie which will save lives and create a safe haven. Through innovative technology, the wide spread use of Smartphone’s, texting, tablets and more are connected with news and updates ideal to impact public safety and awareness in real time.

Kathleen Hubert
Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites. Check out more of her work at lahainahotels.com.
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MOUNT DIABLO: Lightning Hits Tent Campers Inside

A dog named "Spike" owned by Alfred Janske, 59, of Oakland, stands next to a broken water faucet after it was hit by a lightning bolt near the campsite of Janske, and his developmentally disabled brother George Janske, 57, on Mt. Diablo, Calif., on Friday, April 13, 2012. (Doug Duran/Staff)

Lightning bolt burns tent, grazes two campers on Mount Diablo


MOUNT DIABLO -- A lightning bolt ricochet hit two campers huddled in their tent on Mount Diablo on Thursday night, burning holes in the tent and shaking the brothers but not stirring them from their campsite.

The Oakland men told park rangers they each had temporary numbness in part of their body -- one in the leg and one in the shoulder -- and one had a rash consistent with burn symptoms.

Despite torrential rain and the lightning scare, the brothers told a park official they planned to stay on top of the mountain Friday night as well.

While they were lucky to miss a direct hit from the lightning bolt that sheared off a water spigot 40 feet from their tent, then careened into their shelter, that's where the good luck stopped.

Alfred Janske, 59, and his disabled brother George Janske, 57, moved into the campground a week ago. They said they have been without a permanent home since their childhood home in Oakland was foreclosed on in March.

The tent that now shelters them and their three dogs has two holes where the electric current surged to strike two metal objects inside.

"We're camping because we don't have anywhere else to go," said Alfred Janske, an unemployed accountant.

"You ask me about luck. I'm glad we're not hurt. We wouldn't be out here camping if I hadn't lost my job and we weren't evicted from our home that was foreclosed," he said. "As for the lightning, it just happened."

The bolt apparently struck after 10 p.m. not far from the men's tent at the Juniper Campground, the highest and most-exposed campground on the 3,849-foot peak, said Roland Gaebert, park superintendent.

The bolt sheared off a metal water faucet, gouged a hole in a park road and sent a current through the men's tent, he added.

"It was an indirect hit," Gaebert said.

Alfred Janske said he and his brother and their three dogs had been struggling to get to sleep as the heavy wind and rains buffeted their tent.

Janske covered one dog -- a boxer-Australian cattle dog mix named Mindy -- with a blanket to comfort it.

"The lightning was getting closer," he recalled. "Then everything was pure white. There was no sound, but there was a sensation I can't describe in my head. We sat up and said, 'What the hell was that?!' "

The two brothers decided to stay put rather than drive off in their truck. Because no one else was camping out, they had no one to share their story with until Friday morning.

Park rangers making their rounds spotted the severed spigot and twisted and damaged asphalt, and asked the two men Friday what had happened.

The brothers said they were shaken but didn't need medical attention, the park superintendent said. Rangers provided them with a blanket and firewood to help keep them warm inside their lightning-stricken tent.

While lightning is known to strike Mount Diablo, park rangers could not recall any recent instances of a bolt hitting a person, Gaebert said.

Alfred Janske said he doesn't see a deep philosophical meaning behind the close call.

"I do genealogy," he said, "and you read about people who come to America for a better life and all of a sudden they're in the wrong place and they get run over by a streetcar."

Janske said he hopes he can land a job so he and his brother can find a place to live.

California Fire News 2012  -

Twitter links

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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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