Saturday, July 23, 2016

IAFF News: Firefighters union abandons plans to endorse Clinton for president

Firefighters union abandons plans to endorse Clinton for president: NY Times

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a 'Grassroots' organizational event at Broward State College in Davie, Florida, October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Association of Fire Fighters, a politically powerful labor union, has abandoned its initial plans to endorse Democrat Hillary Clinton for U.S. president, the New York Times reported on Friday.
Citing union sources, the Times said the Clinton campaign was told on Monday by IAFF President Harold Schaitberger that there was not enough support on the union's board or its rank-and-file members for an endorsement of the Democratic front-runner.
Support from labor unions is an important source of strength for Democratic candidates and their endorsements are eagerly sought by campaigns.
In June, IAFF President Harold Schaitberger, with the assent of the board, told the Clinton campaign that the union was strongly leaning toward endorsing Clinton, pending a formal board vote, the Times said.
Clinton's standing in opinion polls has declined in recent weeks, hurt by a controversy over her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
In September, members of the union's board expressed an interest in the possibility that Vice President Joe Biden may join the race to pick the Democratic nominee for the November 2016 election.
Union officials have cited Biden's decades-long record of leadership on labor and other issues important to firefighters, the Times said.
The firefighters' union claims only about 300,000 members, fewer than some other prominent unions with an excess of a million members, but it has a history of exerting outsize political influence, thanks in part to the esteem in which the public holds firefighters, the Times said.
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
For more on the 2016 presidential race, see the Reuters blog, “Tales from the Trail” ( .
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham) ‪#‎IAFF‬ ‪#‎USfire‬

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Foresthill Drone Operator Arrested For Flying Hobby Drone During Trailhead Fire

CAL FIRE arrests hobby drone operator for interfering with  Foresthill firefight

 CAL FIRE law enforcement officers arrested a Placer County man Friday who allegedly interfered with firefighting operations recently on the Trailhead Fire by flying a drone over the fire, forcing CAL FIRE to ground aircraft rather than risk a collision.

 Information posted on social media helped lead law enforcement officers to Eric Wamser, 57, of Foresthill. He was arrested Friday afternoon, booked into the Placer County jail in Auburn and charged with interfering with firefighting operations, Penal Code Section 148.2.

 This is the first arrest by CAL FIRE law enforcement of a drone operator for allegedly interfering with firefighting. Over the past two years, fire officials have seen increasing numbers of hobby drones flying over wildfires and interfering with aerial firefighting operations. 
 Airtankers and firefighting helicopters fly at low elevation to drop fire retardant and water, and when hobby drones fly in the same air space, fire officials are forced to pull back aircraft to prevent a collision.
 Hobby drones should never be flown in or around fire areas. “When a hobby drone flies in the path of our aircraft, we have no choice but to pull back our airtankers and helicopters until the drone is removed,” said Chief Dave Teter, CAL FIRE deputy director of fire protection. “For hobby drone operators, it’s pretty simple: when you fly, we can’t! No hobby drones over fire zones.” 
 Wamser’s alleged actions delayed aerial firefighting on a fire burning in the steep canyon along the Middle Fork of the American River near Todd Valley. The Trailhead Fire started June 28 and is now 98 percent contained.
 It burned more than 5,600 acres and forced hundreds of residents of Placer and El Dorado counties to evacuate. 
 Wamser allegedly flew his hobby drone over the fire during the evening of June 28 to take video and photos. “The Trailhead Fire was burning in such a remote area that our aircraft were critical to stopping the fire,” said Chief George Morris III, CAL FIRE’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit chief. “Every minute we couldn’t fly our aircraft because of this drone, the fire was able to grow and do more damage.” CAL FIRE asks the public to never fly drones near wildfires.

 Remember: If You Fly, We Can't! For more information visit and download the free app by the FAA “B4UFLY”


First Drone Operator to be arrested in CA for flying drone during fire

 Eric Wamser faces one misdemeanor charge of interfering with firefighting efforts

Eric Wamser faces one misdemeanor charge of interfering with firefighting efforts 

Eric Wamser, 57, of Foresthill was arrested Friday for allegedly flying his unmanned hobby aircraft over the Trailhead Fire. The incident reportedly forced firefighters to ground aircraft rather than risk a collision, according to a statement from Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant.

"Our firefighting aircraft have to make their approach and they're flying very low to the ground, in many cases they're just above the tree line,” - Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

Just above the tree line outside his Foresthill home was where 57-year-old Eric Wamser said he decided to fly his hobby drone the night the fire erupted.

A decision he said he deeply regrets.

“We immediately pulled back the aircraft for probably a good 30 minutes until that drone was out of the area,” Berlant said.

KCRA 3 stopped by Wamser’s home, but he didn't want to appear on camera. He did want to go on the record to say that he’s embarrassed about the mistake he made that night.

Wamser claims he wanted to see how close the flames were, so he sent the drone up directly over his home for about two minutes.

“Don’t use a hobby drone just to get a better vantage point. If you feel unsafe you should leave the area,” Berlant said.

  ”The message is simple: 'If you fly, we can't.'"

Drones have become a growing hazard and operators are usually hard to catch, Cal Fire said.

In fact, Wamser is the first person to be arrested in California.

“In this case, the video was posted on social media and that aided our efforts,” Berlant said.

Posting the video to his Facebook page is also something Wamser said he wishes he could take back.

The video has since been taken down and will be used as evidence by the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Wamser faces one misdemeanor charge of interfering with firefighting efforts and he said he's learned his lesson.

“We hope this is a lesson for all hobby drone operators," Berlant said. "Whether it's intentional or a mistake, don't do it. Don't fly a drone even if you're a mile away you can be in the approach for an aircraft to access the fire.”

Cal Fire is still investigating two other drone incidents that impeded efforts on the Trailhead Fire on the El Dorado County side. They have not yet tracked down those operators.


CAL FIRE Hobby drone webpage:
CAL FIRE Drone Safety Graphic:
Video PSA:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fire Jobs: City of Berkeley Fire Department Hiring Firefighter - Paramedic

 The City of Berkeley Fire Department is accepting applications for the position of Firefighter - Paramedic. 

Candidates are encouraged to apply online, and may attach copies of relevant documentation. Complete application packets (including CPAT card, licenses/certifications, etc.) must be received by Monday, August 1, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Position Title:
Firefighter - Paramedic
Berkeley , CA
Posting Date:
Closing Date:
Last Updated:

Annual Salary $92,252 to $116,213 (which includes 6.25% FRALS and 4% EMT pay differentials) Additional 12.5% when assigned to Ambulance Transport.

Knowledge of:

Basic principles and practices of fire suppression and prevention;
Basic principles and practices of emergency medical care at the basic and advanced life support levels ; and
Safety practices and precautions pertaining to the work.
Ability to:

Follow oral and written directions;
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those encountered in the course of the work;
Maintain accurate records and prepare clear and concise reports, and other written materials; and
Remain calm, make sound decisions, and respond appropriately in emergency situations.
Graduation from high school or GED equivalent; must have a valid California Paramedic License, National Registry Paramedic Certification Card, or be actively participating in a Paramedic Field Internship Program; and must possess a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) Card of Completion issued no earlier than one (1) year from the recruitment filing deadline.

Must be able to travel to various locations within and outside the City of Berkeley to meet the program needs and to fulfill job responsibilities. When driving on City business, the incumbent is required to maintain a valid California Class C or higher driver's license as well as a satisfactory driving record, and must obtain Firefighter Endorsement prior to the completion of the Fire Academy.

Must be willing to maintain facial hair in such a way as to ensure proper fitting and operation of self-contained breathing apparatus. Must be willing to work shifts as structured in the Fire Department. Must possess strength and stamina sufficient to lift and carry equipment and patients weighing up to 150 pounds.

By date of appointment, must possess a valid California Paramedic License, complete the Alameda County Paramedic Accreditation core courses, and reside within forty (40) air miles from Berkeley City limits.

To apply please visit the City's website at

Applications and all other related materials must be submitted online.

Applicants who meet all the requirements and have successfully submitted a complete application packet by the deadline, 8/1/16, will be invited to participate in a written test scheduled for 08/20/16 and 8/24/2016. If you have taken the written test through the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center (FCTC), your results can be accepted and you are not required to participate in the written test.

Candidates who have passed the written examination will be placed on an eligibility list and invited to the first round of interviews, scheduled for the weeks of 9/19/16 and 9/26/16.

Following the first round of interviews, a select number of candidates will participate in the second round interview with the Chiefs, which includes a Paramedic skills assessment.

A final group will be scheduled for the last round of interviews with the Command Staff. Following completion of the final interviews, selected candidates will be required to undergo a background check and medical screening.

Yosemite National Park implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions until further notice.

Yosemite Institutes Fire Restrictions

Yosemite National Park is experiencing high fire danger, along with continued hot and dry weather patterns. Due to current and predicted fire conditions and fire behavior, the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions until further notice.

By order of the Superintendent Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2.13(c):

You may not build, maintain, attend to or use a campfire or cooking fire (including charcoal fires) within Yosemite National Park, except in designated areas below 6,000 feet in elevation. Portable stoves using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, or propane are permitted, as are alcohol stoves (with and without a shutoff valve) including alcohol tablet/cube stoves. “Sierra” (twig) stoves are not permitted.

No smoking below 6,000 feet, except within an enclosed vehicle, a campground or picnic area where wood and charcoal fires are allowed or in a designated smoking area. All public buildings, public areas of concession buildings (including restrooms), other areas as posted and within 25 feet of any non-single family residential building remain closed to smoking at all times.
Campfires and cooking fires may still be used in designated campgrounds, picnic areas and residential areas in developed portions of the park in accordance with park regulations.

Designated Campgrounds and Picnic Areas: Upper Pines, Lower Pines, North Pines, Yellow Pines, Camp 4, Wawona, Bridalveil Creek, Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Tamarack Flat, White Wolf, Yosemite Creek, Porcupine Flat, Tuolumne Meadows, Lembert Dome, Tenaya Lake, Glacier Point, Cascade, El Capitan, Cathedral Beach, Sentinel Beach, Swinging Bridge, Church Bowl, and Lower Yosemite Falls.

There are no administrative exemptions to this order. This designation will remain in place until rescinded.

Fire restrictions reduce the probability of an accidental fire that could threaten visitors and employees during times of high fire danger. Cooperation in complying with these temporary restrictions is greatly appreciated.

For More Information
Fire Information: (209) 372-0480
Yosemite National Park Fire Information website:
Yosemite Wildland Fire Facebook:
Yosemite Fire Twitter:

Nancy Phillipe
Yosemite National Park
Emergency Communications Center Manager
Detailed to Yosemite Fire Information
209-620-6431 Work Cell
209-372-0480 Office Fire Info Landline

Saturday, July 9, 2016

CA-YNP Lakes Fire, Yosemite National Park Wildland Fire Mariposa County [MAP]

Lakes Fire, CA-YNP Lakes Fire, Yosemite National Park

Lakes Fire, Yosemite National Park

Lakes Fire, Yosemite National Park Location Map

Location: Yosemite National park approximate 8000 feet elevation, Mariposa County near the Madera County border,  approximately 0.20 miles off the Chilnualna Lakes Trail
GPS: 37 35.621 x 119 33.571 

07/08/2016 - After receiving reports of smoke in the Chilnualna Lakes area, between Turner Meadow and Buena Vista Peak, fire personnel from Yosemite Crew-1 hiked into the area on June 7, 2016. 

 A confirmed lightning strike tree was observed, which resulted in a 3.2 acre surface fire. The fire was described as smoldering and creeping in brush, timber and duff, with moderate spread potential. The fire is approximately 0.20 miles off the Chilnualna Lakes Trail, but there are no immediate threats to the area, or the hiking trail. At this time, the fire will be in a monitor status and Crew-1 has hiked out of the area.

Wildland Use Fires [WUF]: Each year, lightning strikes may result in multiple fires in Yosemite’s wilderness.  By managing these fires for resource benefit, as opposed to suppressing them, we can ensure a healthier, more diverse and natural forest where future fires will burn with less intensity

 Lightning fires are a natural occurrence and play a vital role in shaping this fire dependent ecosystem. Each year, lightning strikes may result in multiple fires in Yosemite’s wilderness. By managing these fires for resource benefit, as opposed to suppressing them, we can ensure a healthier, more diverse and natural forest where future fires will burn with less intensity.

For More Information
Fire Information: (209) 372-0480
Yosemite National Park Fire Information website:
Yosemite Wildland Fire Facebook:
Yosemite Fire Twitter:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Deer Fire, CA-KRN-24109, Wildland Fire, Kern County

Deer Fire, CA-KRN-24109, Wildland Fire, Kern County

Location: Hwy 223 X Deertrail Rd., 6 Miles East of Arvin
State DPA, SRA
IC: CALFIRE IMT 1 (Gouvea) assigned

07/02/2016 0800: 1800 acres grass, brush, 0% contained

  • Rapid rate of spread
  • 300 Structures immediately threatened
  • Evacuations in progress
  • In 75% tree mortality area
  • Threatening the communities of Oak Rancho, Bear Valley Springs and Hart Flat.
  • Aircraft use day and night operations
  • Transition to Type 1 Team July 2, time TBA

07/01/2016 1910: 500 acres grass, brush, 0% contained
  • Structures are threatened
  • Evacuation in progress
  • Heading towards tree mortality area

Friday, July 1, 2016

‪Curry Fire - CA-FKU- Curry Incident - Fresno County Vegetation Fire- SRA #CurryFire

‪Curry Fire - CA-FKU-Curry - Fresno County - SRA 

Location: Highway 198 & Parkfield Grade 300 acre fire off Curry Mntn Rd & Hwy 198, 7 miles SW of Coalinga (Fresno Co).
Radio Frequencies: FKU Local 1 151.385 
Weather Info:

07/02/16 0900: 2000 acres grass, brush, 10% contained
  • Structure threat mitigated
  • CAL FIRE Type I Incident Management Team 2 assigned
  • Hwy 198 closed east and west bound
  • Threat to critical infrastructure,  gas and oil distribution, grazing land
07/01/16 1900: 1000 acres, immediate structure threats.
07/01/16 1800: 100-200 ROS: Rapid Rate of spread, large plume, immediate structure threats along H-198, large resource orders, 6 Dozers, Aircraft enroute

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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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