Sunday, June 30, 2013

#YarnellHillFire Yarnell Hill Fire 8,400 acres Fire Looks Colder Some Rain Over Incident [New Perimeter Map Added] #AzFire

Yarnell Hill Wildfire Incident Information
AZ-A1S-Yarnell Hill
Approximate Location:  34.225 latitude, -112.791 longitude

Yarnell Hill Wildfire Perimeter, Hotspot and Location Map 7-1-13 p.m.
Yarnell Hill Wildfire Perimeter, Hotspot and Location Map 7-1-13 late p.m.
Yarnell Hill Wildfire Perimeter, Hotspot and Location Map 7-1-13 p.m.
Yarnell Hill Wildfire Perimeter, Hotspot and Location Map 7-1-13
LODD's Update: Nineteen firefighters who were battling a fire near Yarnell in Yavapai County were overrun by flames and deployed their shelters. They were later found dead in and around the shelters.

Eighteen of the dead in Arizona were from the Prescott Fire Department's elite Granite Mountain Hotshots team. Some resources were pulled from the line this afternoon following the tragedy involving the Granite Mtn Hotshots.

 Officials lost radio contact with the crew at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, said Steve Skurja, assistant spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. A helicopter crew spotted the bodies, he told The Times.
He said all of the firefighters had deployed their fire shelters -- an emergency measure when there is no escape.
“The fire was very aggressive. It just overtook them,” Skurja said.
Yarnell Hill Wildfire Perimeter , Hotspot and Location Map 6-30-2013
Yarnell Hill Wildfire Perimeter , Hotspot and Location Map 6-30-13

Yarnell Hill Wildfire Image from Inciweb
Update 7-1-13 1300hrs:  8,374 acres Fuels Involved: Chaparral and grass Fire Behavior: Uphill runs with 15-20 ft flame lengths, extreme fire behavior with wind and slope alignment. Short and mid-range spotting. Movement is north and east at 1/2 mile/hour. 

Update 7-1-13 0800hrs:  8000 acres.The wildfire that sparked just southwest of Prescott after an apparent lightning strike grew from four acres to more than 6,000 acres Sunday, forcing the evacuation of several communities. It continued on its path Monday, surpassing 8,000 acres.
Reichling said of the 500 structures in Yarnell, including homes, business and sheds, half of them have been destroyed in the fire. No structures in Peeples Valley have been affected as of yet.
As of 8 a.m. on Monday there were 18 engines, 18 fire crews, 8 support water tenders, 2 crash/rescue vehicles, 2 structure protection vehicles, and 4 dozers. On order are more 20-person hotshot crews, type 2 hand crews and other firefighting personnel and equipment.
A Type 1 Incident Command Team will assume responsibility for the fire at or before 6 p.m. Monday.
Reichling said there were four planes working the fire. Fire crews are expected to be on scene for at least a week.

Update 2300hrs:  Nineteen firefighters who were battling a fire near Yarnell in Yavapai County were overrun by flames and deployed their shelters. They were later found dead in and around the shelters. Eighteen of the dead in Arizona were from the Prescott Fire Department's elite Granite Mountain Hotshots teamOne member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots survived, Prescott Fire spokesman Wade Ward said.
That crew member was reportedly working in another location and was serving as a lookout for the Granite Mountain team.
The crew killed in the massive blaze had worked other wildfires in recent weeks in New Mexico and Arizona. The unit was established in 2002.

Update 1800hrs: 1300 acres, 250 homes reported lost, significant wind shift with very gusty wind conditions, low RH and high temps in the last few hours. growing fire in Yarnell forced about 600 residents from their homes and is at nearly 1000 acres with zero containment.

Update 1600hrs: Prescott Fire Department has confirmed 19 firefighters have died while battling the Yarnell Hill fire Sunday night
They're part of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hot Shots.

Evacuations: The towns of Yarnell and Peeples Valley are being evacuated. A reverse 911 call has been sent and the Sheriff's Office is going door-to-door to alert residents.  A reverse 911 call has been sent and the Sheriff's Office is going door-to-door to alert residents. 
A large animal shelter is being set up at the Hidden Springs Ranch on Hwy 89 SW of Hayes Ranch Road. A people and small animal shelter is being opened at Yavapai College at 1100 E. Sheldon in Prescott. Yavapai County
Road Closures: heriff's Office has established three road block areas: junction of Hwy 89 and Hayes Ranch Road; Hayes Ranch Road and Sickles Ranch Road; and Buckhorn Road and Frontier Road. 

Basic Information
The Yarnell Hill fire started on 6/28 and is now 800-1000 acres. 

Hall's Type 2 team assumed command of the fire at 1000 hrs today. A type 1 incident management team has been ordered. Firefighters are working to secure the eastern flank of the fire and protect any homes at risk from the evacuated areas. 

Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Friday June 28th, 2013 approx. 05:36 PM 
Location 1.5 miles west of Yarnell, AZ. 
Incident Commander Hall 
Current Situation Total Personnel 250 Size 800 acres
Fuels Involved - Chaparral and grass 
Fire Behavior - Uphill runs with 15-20 ft flame lengths, extreme fire behavior with wind and slope alignment. Short and mid-range spotting. Movement is north and east at 1/2 mile/hour. Significant Events The towns of Yarnell and Peeples Valley are being evacuated at this time. 
Outlook Planned Actions - Establish structure protection in Yarnell area. Continue direct attack along eastern flank of fire. 
Growth Potential - High 
Terrain Difficulty 
Resources: Type 2 incident management team, 16 engines, 8 support water tenders, 2 crash/rescue vehicles, 2 structure protection vehicles, 1 dozer, 1 hotshot crew (+4 on order), 7 type 2 handcrews, 1 camp crew, 4 type 2IA on order, 1VLAT (+1 on order), 1 air attack 4 SEATs, 6 helicopters, misc. overhead 
Current Weather - Wind Conditions 26-41 mph NE Temperature 95 degrees Humidity 17%

#LODD 19 Arizona Wildland Firefighters Killed In The Line Of Duty [Prescott Granite Mountain Hot Shots] #AzFire #RIP

Texted photo shows Granite Mountain Hotshot crew before they died. Source: - The Denver Post 
Update: In this photo shot by firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots watch a growing wildfire that later swept over and killed the crew of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., Sunday, June 30, 2013. Ashcraft texted the photo to his wife, Juliann, but died later that day battling the out-of-control blaze. The 29-year-old father of four added the message, "This is my lunch spot...too bad lunch was an MRE." ((AP Photo/Courtesy of Juliann Ashcraft))
Prescott Granite Mountain Hot Shots. 
With shock and regret that we advise you that 19 Firefighters have died in the Line of Duty.
Ashcraft, Andrew - Age: 29
Caldwell, Robert - Age: 23
Carter, Travis - Age: 31
Deford, Dustin - Age: 24
MacKenzie, Christopher - Age: 30
Marsh, Eric - Age: 43
McKee, Grant - Age: 21
Misner, Sean - Age: 26
Norris, Scott - Age: 28
Parker, Wade - Age: 22
Percin, John - Age: 24
Rose, Anthony - Age: 23
Steed, Jesse - Age: 36
Thurston, Joe - Age: 32
Turbyfill, Travis - Age: 27
Warneke, William - Age: 25
Whitted, Clayton - Age: 28
Woyjeck, Kevin - Age: 21
Zuppiger, Garret - Age: 27

UPDATE: #YarnellHillFire 19 Firefighters including 18 Granite Mountain HotShots Killed, 250 homes reported lost, "Half of town leveled" 1300+ acres. #AzFire

Prescott Fire Department has confirmed 19 firefighters have died while battling the Yarnell Hill fire Sunday night
They're part of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hot Shots.

 second worst loss of firefighters in American  history.  - 

The Yarnell Hill fire, about 35 miles southwest of Prescott, has burned about 1,300 acres and forced the evacuation of 50 homes. 

The fire started Friday and has not yet burned down any structures,
 but Sunday night firefighters pushed the blaze back away from communities, hoping to keep the blaze from overtaking any homes. 

Sunday night firefighters pushed the blaze back away from communities, hoping to keep the blaze from overtaking any homes.Interagency Hotshot Crews (IHC) are diverse teams of career and temporary agency employees who uphold a tradition of excellence and have solid reputations as multi-skilled professional firefighters. Crews are available for each fire season and are employed by the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, various Native American tribes, and the states of Alaska and Utah. Their physical fitness standards, training requirements, operation procedures are consistent nationwide, as outlined in the Standards for Interagency Hotshot Crew Operations.
The Granite Mountain Hotshots are local government, not your typical federal hotshots. They are a unit made up of career firefighters and seasonal members of the City of Prescott Fire Department. The Chief in Prescott, Dan Fraijo, who was appointed Chief earlier this year, began his career with the Phoenix FD years ago and worked his way through the ranks up to division chief. 

Chief Fraijo said one member of the crew had survived because the firefighter was not with the other members when they were caught in the fire, which was caused by lightning. 

The 19 firefighters were found in an area that also had 19 fire shelters* deployed. Some of the firefighters were inside their shelters, used as a last resort to withstand the fire if it overtakes them-as it did. 

Some of the crew members were found outside the shelters. Current details indicate that 18 of the firefighters killed were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots team. It's unknown which fire crew the 19th firefighter belonged to. Earlier yesterday, the firefighters had not been heard from as the wildfire headed into town. Around 1800, command was unable to establish communications with them, although they had been seen from a helicopter

Their core values of "duty, integrity, and respect" have earned Hotshot crews an excellent reputation throughout the United States and Canada as elite teams of professional wildland firefighters.

Arizona: #YarnellHillFire Burnover / Entrapment, 20 Firefighters involved in a very serious incident #AzFire

Update: It's with shock and regret that we advise you that 19 Firefighters have died in the Line of Duty. The Prescott Fire Department is stating that 19 firefighters have died while operating at the Yarnell Hill fire tonight night.

Update: Last reports are that they have been located and multiple EMS helicopters have been requested.

We've been advised that Wickenburg (AZ) Community Hospital (NW of Downtown Phoenix) is expecting to treat numerous Firefighters who were trapped and injured operating at the fast-moving Yarnell Hill Fire (SW of Prescott).

 Fire crews were sent into the fire to find an estimated 19 Firefighters who were unaccounted for this evening. . 

The hospital was put on alert to expect several injured firefighters but did not know their conditions or the extent of their injuries. 

One report is that right now are that about 20 of the more than 250 firefighters operating at the nearly 2,000-acre fire were involved in a "very serious incident within an situation."

 The Yarnell Hill Fire was zero-percent contained as of last report.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hathaway Fire 95%. There has been no increase in fire size since June 20 Crews will continue to monitor the uncontained line. [Final]


Approximate Location 34.008 latitude, -116.825 longitude

Incident Overview

The Hathaway Fire started just before noon on Sunday, June 9 east of Hathaway Canyon on the northern portion of the Morongo Indian Reservation. It is burning in very steep, rugged terrain in the San Gorgonio Wilderness, in an area with significant tree mortality as a result of the 1999-2004 drought and bark beetle infestation. The east edge of the Hathaway Fire burned into the western portion of the 2006 Millard Fire.

The fire containment is now at 95%. There has been no increase in fire size since June 20. Crews will continue to monitor the uncontained line in the northeast portion of the fire. Here the burn borders a rocky area and there is no projected growth. The full containment date of the fire is undetermined at this time.

Firefighters used Minimal Impact Suppression Tactics in the San Gorgonio Wilderness to manage this wildland fire, with the goal of creating the least impact to natural and cultural resources.

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team has finalized their assessment and they recommend that the burn area be surveyed for invasive weed species that may be introduced following fire suppression activities. They also recommend adding signs to warn people of the possibility of unstable slopes in the burn area. They also recommend a temporary closure of the burn area for safety.

The incident is currently being managed by a Type 4 organization with ICT4 (Uriel Ortega). The Incident Command Post is at the Mill Creek Ranger Station, Mentone CA.

Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Sunday June 09th, 2013 approx. 11:57 AM
Location Snow Peak, Raywood Flats, South Fork Whitewater River, San Gorgonio Wilderness
Incident Commander OrtegaCurrent Situation
Size 3,825 acres
Percent Contained 95%
Estimated Containment Date Tuesday December 31st, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved - Heavy chaparral and timber impacted by drought and bug kill
Fire Behavior - There has been no increase in fire size since June 20.
Significant Events - One outbuilding was destroyed at Snowpeak Communication Site. There was no damage to the communication equipment. There were twelve minor injuries to firefighters.Outlook /  Planned Actions - Crews will continue to patrol and monitor the uncontained line in the northeast portion of the fire, utilizing the White Water Drainage with its sparse fuels as a natural fuel break. The full containment date is undetermined at this time.
Terrain Difficulty - Extreme; steep/rugged
Remarks: This fire burned in a remote area that is very steep and difficult to access. Slopes are over 80% in the South fork of the Whitewater River.


CA-BEU-Freeman Vegetation Fire (Monterey County) 105 acres - 100% contained.

FREEMAN FIREFreeman Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: June 29, 2013 6:30 pm FINAL
Date/Time Started: June 29, 2013 2:09 pm
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit
County: Monterey County
Location: off Hwy 198, 10 miles east of King City
Acres Burned - Containment:
Estimated Containment 105 acres - 100% contained


Colorado: Woman Arrested sifting Through Remains Of Home Burned In Wildfire

Colorado woman who lost her home in Colorado's most destructive wildfire was arrested on a traffic warrant as she sifted through charred remains of her uninsured home.

 McCormack's home was one of more than 500 that were destroyed in the Black Forest Fire earlier this month.

Marsha McCormack sits near the remains of her burned home in Colorado Springs on Wednesday. McCormack was arrested and handcuffed on June 21 as she sifted through the charred remains of her uninsured trailer. A license plate device tipped authorities that she was wanted on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court on a traffic-related charge. / Jerilee Bennett/The Colorado Springs Gazette
 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A woman who lost her home in Colorado's most destructive wildfire was arrested on a warrant for a traffic violation as she sifted through the charred remains of her uninsured trailer. 

 Marsha McCormack, 59, was arrested June 21 after a license plate reader tipped authorities that she was wanted on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court. McCormack, whose home was burned in the Black Forest Fire, told the Colorado Springs Gazette. 

 She was taken by squad car to the county jail only to be taken to a hospital later because of chest pains. She was then returned to the jail for processing and finally released to her neighbors, who paid $446 to cover bail and a court fee. 

 The whole process took about nine hours, said McCormack, who is staying in a borrowed motor home outside the house of a fellow church member. Lt. Jeff Kramer, a spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, said deputies were following standard procedure when they arrested McCormack. "It was a misdemeanor warrant," he said. "She was handcuffed because she was arrested and being transported to jail in a police car."

McCormack said the ticket stemmed from a traffic stop in California many years ago when police found she didn't have insurance and suspended her license. Sometime within the last year, she was stopped in Colorado for running a stop sign and was issued a summons for not having a license. She said she missed the court date because she had to go to California to deal with a family emergency. 


Friday, June 28, 2013



Update 2235:  IC calling knockdown. Extensive mop up, crews will be working all night..
Update 2130: SROS 10 Acres

Location:  Castaic/31910 Green Hill Dr
Reported Date/time: *
IA: *
ROS: *
ROC: 3-5 acres per P149
Structure Threats: *
Special Hazards: Very Rugged Steep Terrain
Concerns: Steep terrain, Type 3 and hand crew access only
Resources: dditional ANF units on scene or responding. AA-51 BC-32 CRW-5 DOZ-3 DV-1 DV-3 ENG-10 ENG-19 ENG-31 ENG-310 ENG-32 ENG-336 PAT-31 PAT-34 WT-10 WT-234
Anf resources Div1, E336, E32 ,crew 5, aa51.
Cooperating Agencies: *
Weather Info: *
Special Conditions: *
Other Comments: *
Radio Frequencies: Com Plan [A-B12, C-V2, PTac-V9D, STac-V7D, A/G-LAC A/G, C/D-U15D]Live Audio: Blue 12 , all LACO freq.
Maps: *
Agency Website: *
Online Scanner: *
Live Video: *
Web Cams: *

El Dorado County: Sheriff Suspends U.S. Forest Service Authority To Enforce State Laws After Citizen Complaints #CaLaw

El Dorado County sheriff curtails Forest Service officers' authority to enforce state laws
Complaints about the conduct of U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers have led El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini to suspend their authority to enforce state laws in the county effective next month.

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tim Becker said he could not elaborate on the specific complaints, saying that the sheriff was handling them as he would a personnel matter.

He said the sheriff had received multiple complaints from citizens regarding the actions ofU.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers in El Dorado County.

"He has been addressing these issues for many months with the USFS administration and feels that the issues have not been resolved to meet the standards that he requires of Sheriff's Office personnel," Becker said.

The California Penal Code states that officers of the U.S. Forest Service "have no authority to enforce California statutes without the written consent of the sheriff or chief of police in whose jurisdiction they are assigned."

In granting authority to Forest Service officers, Becker said, the sheriff was backing them, but he didn't have the authority to discipline them when their conduct failed to meet his standards.

"If they were Sheriff's Office employees, he could take personnel action," Becker said.

In a June 17 letter to Scott Harris, regional special agent in charge at the Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Region offices in Vallejo, D'Agostini said he was terminating the cooperative law enforcement agreement between the Sheriff's Department and the Forest Service effective July 22.

Harris said the letter was the first indication he had had of the sheriff's issues with Forest Service law enforcement personnel. These are not rangers, but "uniformed patrol officers with a badge and a gun," he said.

Six officers, supervised by a patrol captain, are assigned to the Eldorado National Forest along with two crime investigators, special agents who handle long-term investigations, Harris said.

In the forest, they enforce laws regarding fire, timber and other forest products, fish and wildlife, protection of property and disorderly conduct. The federal laws they enforce typically pertain to property crimes and protection of natural resources, while the state and local laws deal with crimes against people, Harris said.

The sheriff's action does not affect the officers' authority to enforce federal laws.

Harris said he met with D'Agostini on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

"We had a very good meeting. We were able to address issues that have arisen," Harris said, adding that he plans to look into the sheriff's concerns.

While expressing disappointment that D'Agostini declined to reverse his decision, Harris said, "I respect his position."

With termination of the agreement, he said, Forest Service officers will no longer be authorized to issue citations for Vehicle Code violations, such as speeding, driving without headlights after dark or having expired registration, on forest lands or adjoining property.

It also will affect the ability of Forest Service personnel to enforce firearms laws, such as the prohibition of modifications that can turn firearms into assault rifles.

"We have enforced that," Harris said.

And if, in enforcing federal law, Forest Service officers encounter individuals with outstanding warrants for state offenses, the officers will no longer be able to arrest them on those warrants, but will instead notify the Sheriff's Department.

Becker said sheriff's deputies and Forest Service officers have had a good professional relationship.

"On the line level, we work well together one on one," he said.

Harris said he expects the two agencies to continue to cooperate with one another.

"The key thing is we've committed to share investigative information and they've committed to do the same," Harris said. "That was a concern for us."

Making sure that each agency knows what the other is doing in the forest, he said, is important for the safety of Forest Service and sheriff's personnel as well as the public.

"The sheriff did say that down the road he would be willing to revisit the authority issue," Harris said.



Timber Cove firefighter behind a series of arson fires on the Sonoma Coast and in San Mateo County was sentenced to a year in jail

Former Sonoma County firefighter sentenced for arson fires
A former Timber Cove firefighter behind a series of arson fires on the Sonoma Coast and in San Mateo County was sentenced to a year in jail in each jurisdiction this week.
San Mateo Judge Jonathan Karesh sentenced Nathaniel Schmidt, 20 of Cazadero, on Friday, one day after a Sonoma County Judge Julie Conger handed down her sentence, which includes five years of probation.
The sentences will be served consecutively, starting in Sonoma County. Under state law, he will spend about six months behind bars in each county.
“This young man created substantial danger and diverted the resources and personnel of many emergency agencies, not to mention the potential for harm to the responders and others,” Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said in a written statement.
Schmidt, who remains free until his July turn-in date, was a volunteer in the Timber Cove Fire Protection District when he came under suspicion in four wildland fires dating back to July 3, 2011.
Prosecutors said he was first on the scene at each of the blazes and later confessed to setting them. Firefighters had to call in an air tanker to extinguish one of the fires.
Schmidt also was charged with filing false emergency reports around the same time. Prosecutors said he used the alias “Don Dinero” and claimed to be an off-duty San Francisco firefighter, making up reports about divers in distress and crashed cars that drew responses from rescue teams and a helicopter.
During the investigation, authorities learned Schmidt was behind another arson fire on the peninsula on July 11, 2011.
Schmidt was part of a controlled burn exercise with CalFire near the San Andreas Dam west of Highway 280 when it occurred, San Mateo District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe said.
He had been instructed by a supervisor to walk a fire line and watch for hot spots but reported back 30 minutes later that the blaze was out of control, Wagstaffe said.
About a quarter-acre of grass burned before it was controlled. Inspectors concluded it was “hot set” by someone.
Sonoma County authorities found out about the fire a year later. Schmidt told investigators he set it “just for excitement,” Wagstaffe said.
He faced more than 10 years in prison in the Sonoma County cases alone. He pleaded no contest to one count of felony arson, two counts of recklessly causing a fire, also felonies, and four misdemeanor counts of filing false reports.
Prosecutors agreed to drop one felony count.
In Sonoma County, Conger cited his youth, family support and developmental issues in handing down the lighter sentence. She ordered him to pay $3,400 in restitution to the Timber Cove Fire Protection District.
In addition, he could be liable for covering costs in San Mateo County.

CA-BDU-#MillFire: GPS flight has mapped the fire at 534 acres - 75%. Firefighters continue to cut containment line and mop up hot spots. #CaFire


All  lifted, some roads closed to residents only.

Evacuations are in effect for the area of Olive Tree Lane and Cabrini Place, according to a spokeserson for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.At least 100 homes have been evacuated

 Another #MillFire image off Bryant.
Kristina Hernandez ‏@TheFactsKris

Update CAL FIRE 6-29 1800
Name: Mills Fire
County: San Bernardino
Location: south of Highway 38 & Bryant Street, northwest of Yucaipa
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit/ City of Redlands/San Bernardino Sheriff
Containment 534 acres - 75%
Sunday evening 6/30
Acres Burned - Containment 534 acres - 75% contained
Date Started: June 28, 2013 2:30 pm
Last update: June 29, 2013 6:00 pm
Update 6-29 1430: GPS flight has mapped the fire at 534 acres. Firefighters continue to cut containment line and mop up hot spots.
Update 6-29 0830: 350 acres, 20% contained
Update 1830:  350 acres 5% contained.1 Home suffred damage with master bedroom and attic were burned, but neighborhood was spared.
Update 1700: Fire is moving south south east towards the Yuciapa Regional Park
Update 1630: Fire approaching homes on Lakeview, Officials said homes are being evacuated north of Carter Street and west of Bryant Street in .
Update 1545: Fire is spotting out ahead of itself. Per IC..."Due to Life threat and imminent structure threat, place a NO divert on all aircraft" Large header still visible from Riverside. Appears to have a good S/SW wind on it blowing it up canyon.
Per OPS, fire just jumped a drainage is going to make a hard run towards "Grape". Redlands B706 is enroute to that area.

Location: Mill Creek Rd between Redlands and Yucaipa. fire is south of Mill Creek Rd/38 and west of Bryant. Structures on Olive Tree and Cribari being impacted now.
Reported Date/time: June 28, 2013 2:30 pm 
IA: BDU B3511 is now IC 50 acres, Potential for 100-200
ROS: *
ROC: *
Structure Threats: Yes, imeadiate
Concerns: *
Resources: IC also requesting 10 additional engines, any type, immediate need to the fire.
Fire Fighters: *
Engine Companies: *
Fire Crews: *
Bulldozers: *
Water Tenders: *
Helicopters: *
Air Attack: *
Air Tankers: *
Truck Companies: *
Overhead Personnel:
Medics: *
Ambulance Air: 0 Ground: *
Specialized Equipment: *
OES: *
Cooperating Agencies: *
Weather Info: *
Special Conditions: *
Other Comments: *
Radio Frequencies:  CMD 1, tone 5, CDF T5
Maps: *
Agency Website: *

US DOJ Finds LASD Engaged In Stops, Searches, Seizures, And Excessive Force In Violation Of The Constitution.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department engaged in systematic stops, searches, and seizures and excessive force in violation of the Constitution and federal law

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Friday, June 28, 2013
Justice Department Releases Findings on the Antelope Valley Stations of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
The County of Los Angeles Agrees to Negotiate Broad Changes to Policing and Section 8 Enforcement in the Antelope Valley

The Justice Department Civil Rights Division and Los Angeles County today announced that they have reached  preliminary agreements to make broad changes to policing in the Antelope Valley and to the enforcement of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (commonly known as Section 8).  Together with statements of intent outlining these changes, the division today released a letter detailing its findings that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s (LASD) Lancaster and Palmdale stations, both of which are located in the Antelope Valley, engaged in a pattern or practice of stops, searches, and seizures and excessive force in violation of the Constitution and federal law.  In addition, the Justice Department found a pattern or practice of discrimination against African Americans in its enforcement of the Housing Choice Voucher Program in violation of the Fair Housing Act.  The investigation, launched on Aug. 19, 2011, was brought under to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the federal Fair Housing Act. 

The findings announced today are based on a comprehensive investigation of LASD’s Antelope Valley stations.  This investigation included an in-depth review of documents and data provided by LASD and the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA), as well as extensive community engagement.  The division reviewed tens of thousands of pages of documents, including written policies and procedures, training materials, arrest reports and civilian complaints.  The division also conducted interviews of Antelope Valley deputies and unit commanders, local government officials and hundreds of community members.  The investigation also included statistical analyses of the Antelope Valley stations’ search and seizure data of pedestrian and vehicle contacts for the entire calendar year of 2011.  Sheriff Leroy Baca and HACoLA Executive Director Sean Rogan were cooperative throughout the investigation and immediately began working with the Justice Department to negotiate a remedy to the problems revealed by the investigation.
The division’s investigation into the Anetelope Valley stations findings include:

·          African Americans, and to a lesser extent Latinos, are more likely to be stopped and/or searched than whites, even when controlling for factors other than race, such as crime rates;

·          The widespread use of unlawful backseat detentions violating the Fourth Amendment and LASD policy; 

·          A pattern of unreasonable force, including a pattern of the use of force against handcuffed individuals; 

·          A pattern of intimidation and harassment of African-American housing choice voucher holders by LASD deputies, often in conjunction with HACoLA investigators. 

·          Inadequate implementation of accountability measures to intervene on unconstitutional conduct has allowed these problems to occur.

“We are encouraged by the response of Los Angeles County to our findings.  While our investigation showed significant problems in LASD’s Antelope Valley stations, we are confident that we will be able to reach an agreement that will provide meaningful and sustainable reform,” said Roy L. Austin Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “We look forward to continuing our positive partnership with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and HACoLA and believe this work will help restore the community’s confidence in fair, equitable, and effective law enforcement.”

The proposed changes set out in the statement of intent include:

·          Revision of LASD’s policies, directives, training, and practices so that stops, searches, and seizures by Antelope Valley deputies are consistently conducted in accordance with the law.

·          A commitment to further strengthening and uniformly implementing protocols regarding HACoLA’s investigation of housing choice voucher holders’ compliance with program rules, including LASD deputy participation in those investigations.

·          Provision of training that will focus on how bias may occur in law enforcement activity, and on the effects of bias on subjects of law enforcement activity.  Training will also educate LASD and HACoLA personnel on federal and constitutional obligations, including the requirements of the Fair Housing Act.

·          Revision of LASD’s use of force policies, training curricula, and any relevant directives, bulletins, or defensive tactics manuals to provide clear guidance about the reasonable use of force.

·          Continued and increased positive community engagement by LASD in the Antelope Valley, including participating in local community meetings, making itself available for community feedback, developing the Community Advisory Committees (CAC), and working with the community on the development of diversion programs.   

In addition to its investigation of LASD, the Civil Rights Division conducted an investigation under the Fair Housing Act of the HACoLA, and the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster, to determine whether there has been a systematic effort by these entities to discriminate against African Americans.  As a result of the Department's findings, the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights has authorized the filing of a complaint in federal district court against the County of Los Angeles, HACoLA, LASD, and the Cities of Lancaster and Palmdale for alleged violations of federal law.  Through the ongoing negotiations, all of the parties seek to avoid contested litigation and resolve the matter in a comprehensive agreement to be entered as an order of the court.
The findings letter will be available on the Civil Rights Division’s Web site   The division welcomes comments or concerns via email .  


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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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