#LARain Continues to Drown California | Update 1


Drought to Flooding

Someone lied when they said, “It never rains in California” just received another six – nine inches of rain on Friday evening (around 1900 hours) prompting massive flooding, many traffic accidents, drivers getting stuck in the mud and running into the river.

Sink Hole Swallows Cars, Fire Truck

One video circulating the internet of two cars being swallowed into a sinkhole in Wrightwood.  Another shows where a fire truck sitting on the edge a sinkhole begins to skid sideways then topples on its right side down into the crater.

Water Rescues, Hard Road Closures

Swiftwater rescue teams were dispatched to rescue several drivers.  Police Officers were responding to calls to areas where heavy traffic was located, conducting hard closures and waiting for CAL Trans and County Public Works to arrive to completely shutdown the area to traffic.

FACT:  Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down & 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away. Be safe,turn around &don’t drown.

(Source: FEMA Region 9)


For those whom may not know what an Incident Cooperator is, here is the definition.  Incident Cooperators are those from an Agency, non-governmental, non-profits or anyone who assists with the Incident to help those in need, protect and serve, provide services or supplies, etc.  We think you get the picture.

Listed below are those such Partners.  We are adding those as info is being received throughout the the CA Storm event.


  • EOC activated by CA Governor
  • Working on coordinating recovery, sand bagging resources, Oroville Spillway shore-up
  • Checking on infrastructure lost in N Central and Central CA
  • Working with CAL Trans on closures and reconstructing roadways (emergencies)
  • S Cal OES Region EOC activated

Photo Credit: CAL OES

Photo Credit: South CAL OES EOC


Studio City

  • Sinkhole created, eats two cars.  Watch this video for stunning images.  http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/02/17/large-sinkhole-swallows-2-cars-in-studio-city/#.WKfYAZK2E8w.twitter


  • Incident Management teams (IMT) on-scene
  • Helping with assistance
  • Has provisions for 25,000 people:  Food, Water for five days
  • Supplies also include:  cots, blankets, other supplies


How YOU Can Help (Donate)

  • Red Cross volunteers are ready to help as heavy rains move in. To help, text “CAFLOODS” to 90099 to donate $10.

Photo Credit: American Red Cross


  • District 3:  Hard closures
  • District 7:  Pumped water off of I-15 @ Sheldon by using generators.
  • District 8: At sinkhole where Fire truck fell into sink hole.

Photo Credit: CAL Trans


  • Emergency Text Messages (News/Alerts)  Text NOTIFYLA to 888-777 or NotifyLA.org

Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles



  • Antelope Valley:  Accepting ALS patients from diverted RR Hospital
  • Ridgecrest Regional Hospital:  Only accepting BLS patients; currently on divert


  • Sante Fe / Ranchero Roads
  • Summit Valley / Ranchero Roads


Santa Clara

  • The 2 patients and 2 dogs that were rescued from Santa Clara River by Air Squad 9 were transferred to Ventura City Fire Dept for evaluation.


LA County

  • Two Flood Advisories in effect. LA County through 12:30 AM and a new advisory for SBA/VTU Counties through 2:30 AM. (NWS Los Angeles)

Ventura County

  • Moderate to locally heavy showers developing across Santa Barbara much of Ventura County. Could be a few thunderstorms overnight. (NWS Los Angeles)


Follow Us!

  • Twitter – @nwfireblog
  • Facebook – The NW Fire Blog

We are working to get add’l details.  Follow us on our Twitter page @nwfireblog for updates!

Incident Hashtags

  • #CAStorm
  • #LARain

Looking Through The Eyes of Social Media

  • Woodbridge @ Laurel Canyon:   Woman’s car fell into large sinkhole, LAFD firefighters rescued her.  (Twitter user)
  • 10 Freeway closed in South LA for standing water in lanes. (Media @ 1930)
  • Mud flow breached barriers in Iron Canyon earlier today. Never drive through rushing water/flooded roads. (Co Public Works @ 1930)
  • My Neighbor is Building an Ark, So Far He’s Got Two Chihuahuas and a Frightened Squirrel. (Twitter user/Humor)


(c) 2017 The #NWFireBlog – Updated 0145 PST




UPDATE 2 |Hurricane #Patricia Downgraded


Great News!

Hurricane #Patricia is weakening slowly and therefore has been downgraded from a Category 5 to a 4, but sill remains extremely dangerous as a major Hurricane over Mexico with min pressure of 946 mb and max sustained at 130 mph with higher gusts of winds.

The Hurricane is said to have made landfall around 0615 local time.

No injuries or specific damage reports have been received yet.

Hurricane #Patricia as of 0325 UTC or 2025 PDT on 10/23/15 [Courtesy of NOAA GOES East Imagery Sattelite]

Hurricane #Patricia as of 0325 UTC or 2025 PDT on 10/23/15 [Courtesy of NOAA GOES East Imagery satellite]


A Public  Advisory  given by NWS website at 0300 UTC or 2200 CDT state the Hurricane is moving 20 mph NNE.  It is now located 85 miles NNW of Manzanillo and 50 miles SE of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.




Hurricane Warning:  San Blas to Punta San Telmo.

Tropical Storm Warning:  East of Punta San Telmo to Lzaro Cardenas and N of San Blas to El Roblito.


The following States are on alert or have been impacted:

  • Aguacalentes
  • Colima
  • Durango
  • Mexico State
  • Guanajuato
  • Guerrero
  • Michogcan
  • Nayarit
  • Zactecas
  • Jalisco*

*  34 Municipalities in Jalisco have declared a state of emergency


The Weather Service expect #Patricia will become a tropical storm tomorrow and a tropical depression in the afternoon.

(Source: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPEP5+shtml/240242.shtml)


Rainfall from Hurricane #Patricia is still expected to fall to accumulations of 8-12″ with  a max total of 20″ in isolated areas.  Heavy rainfall is due to impact Mexican States: Nayant, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero through Saturday.

With this amount of rainfall, this could produce life-threatening flooding and mud slides.


They are asking the Amateur Radio communities to keep 14,120 kHz and 21,120 kHz clear for possible emergency traffic. Emergency net has been established on 7060.

(Source:  http://www.arrl.org/news/radio-amateurs-in-mexico-prepare-as-powerful-hurricane-patricia-nears-landfall)

Hurricane #Patricia. [Courtesy of NWS]

Hurricane #Patricia. [Courtesy of NWS]


We will be providing  Updates gleaned from Social Media and on the internet.

If you feel we may have missed something, please let us know.  You can reach us on Twitter @nwfireblog or drop us a line at nwfireblog@comcast.net.

Storm Updates – Facebook Page “Hurricane Patricia”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HurricanePatricia – Moderator:  Peter Corless.  The Page lists updates regarding the weather, Embassy info for UK residents, Preparations and personal commentaries by its members. 26 members to date.

Travel within Mexico

@fema : U.S. citizens traveling in Mexico, you can follow these for more information on Hurricane #Patricia. If you’re a US citizen traveling in Mexico, you can follow  @usembassyMEX, @travelgov @statedept .

Safe and Well Reporting

American Red Cross has a Safe and Well website you can register to let loved ones know you are safe and well or you can search friends and family on this website.  Here is the link –> http://www.redcross.org/find-help/contact-family/register-safe-listing

Message Board for the La Manzanilla Community



We will continue to monitor the weather, status of the Hurricane and all other weather related damage assessment, injuries, etc.


The Mexican people are in our thoughts and prayers as this Hurricane is directly impacting them. First Responders, be safe out there. We are thinking of you all.

(c) 2015 The #NWFireBlog

Social Media:  @nwfireblog / Twitter — The NW Fire Blog / Facebook


“Heroes Amongst Us” Book Project Has Been Officially Launched

Oso, Washington – On March 22, 2014 around 1037 Hours, a major part of land slid down a hillside covering a small country town and its communities, a major highway and into a nearby river.  41 people lost their lives.  Several are still considered missing. Lives were destroyed. Businesses are suffering catastrophic losses from the Highway being closed.  Economic slowdowns have been felt.  Heroes were created instantly.

The devastated community pulled together with the help of local residents, first responders and those from around the country whom became Unsung Heroes the moment they stepped on scene.  These are the stories we are looking to share on this project and create this book as a Tribute to those whom we will never forget from the Oso and surrounding communities.

oso 5

The mudslide disaster is the most destructive and deadliest event in all of Washington State, with Mt. St. Helens coming in second.

L.R. [Lisa] Swenson, the Public Safety Writer and Creator of this Fire Blog will be taking on this book project as a Tribute to all involved.  Her background includes involvement in both Volunteer SAR, Fire Rehab, as a Published Author of “Seattle Mourn”, Public Safety Writer and Blogger.  She was one of the first non-main stream media outlets to cover the live incident as it began unfolding from day one and many days thereafter.

“From the Moment the event began unfolding, we began covering the live feed of the story.  We knew it was bad but then the images began to show up on Social Media.  It was then that we realized how serious the incident was turning from a minor slide across the roadway to potentially catastrophic in a matter of minutes.

It was as if we were there with the residents, First Responders, amongst the Command Staff going through the motions with them.

This is the only way we know how to honor the men and women who worked so hard through such an overwhelming feat to save so many and stay on task.

All of the training could never have prepared them for this and we Honor them for their amazing actions as Unsung Heroes.” – LR Swenson

We are reaching out to firefighters, first responders, police officers, Command Staff, EOM staff, PIOs, FEMA Task Force Members, Governor, residents who took part in the #ososlide searches, rescues, Command, Press Releases, etc.  We want to tell “your” stories.

oso 2

The book will include but is not limited to real-life accounts of  rescues, saves, events, viewpoints, emotional impacts, photos, etc.

We are also looking for those who would like to become part of our Volunteer “Consultants” team, where we [the author and consultants] work together to make sure all details within the book are fact based.  Together, we will review public records, transcripts and other record information to form a clear picture of the disaster from Day 1 to the end of the incident.

oso 7

As a benefit to our “Consultants” and “Published Story Contributors”, you will be presented with a special gift as a thank you for participating on this project.  We appreciate everyone’s insights, assistance and input.

A portion of the revenue generated from book sales will be donated to one of the Author’s favorite Public Safety Agency/Charity/Non-profit that directly provides services, benefits to the Oso, Darrington and Arlington Communities. In addition, funding will also be used to cover the nominal costs generated by the project and author [both will be nominal].

We are currently searching for a publisher that would be willing to assist us to publish this amazing story and the large army of Unsung Heroes, helping to make available to the general public through all mainstream media outlets: i.e. online book distributors, bookstores, etc.

To become a part of this project, please contact us via email at nwfireblog@comcast.net and provide the following information:

– Your name, rank, agency. contact information [phone, email address, best way to reach you or your agency/team].  Describe your level of involvement, brief [1-3 sentences] encounter on incident. i.e. Member of Urban Task Force, Diver.

– State your interest: Story Contributor [we will interview you and share “your” viewpoint] or Volunteer Consultant [As consultant, you help us keep the book factual and by helping sort through various documents, etc.]

– We want to know why you want to be a part of this Project and what strengths you have to offer.

We know there will be many working parts to this project and we can only say in advance that we are so appreciative of the assistance we have received so far and know those who have stated their interest in this forum.

oso 8

“Heroes Amongst Us” is a Tribute to the men and women who worked so hard to search, rescue and mesh together so well at Command, County, State, Federal levels. Unsung Heroes were created the moment this overwhelming disaster struck.

oso 1

Again, we thank you all  who sacrificed their time away from their jobs, families, friends to give so selflessly, show huge amounts of compassion and sharing your expertise with so many.

(c) 2014 The NW Fire Blog

Twitter:  @nwfireblog

Email:  nwfireblog@comcast.net

Facebook: The NW Fire Blog

Pinterest: The NW Fire Blog


FEMA Offers Assistance to #ososlide Survivors

Release Number:

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Washington.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

  • Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes were destroyed or are unlivable.  Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters.  Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation, child care assistance and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.   (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.  (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.  (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans’ benefits and social security matters.

How to Apply for Individual Assistance:

  • Due to the localized impacts of the disaster, FEMA will work closely with residents, tribal members and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area on a one-on-one basis.
  • Affected individuals and business owners in designated areas can begin the disaster application process by registering online, atwww.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. Online registration is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The toll-free telephone numbers are operating from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name, permanent address, phone number), insurance coverage and any other information to help substantiate losses.

Assistance for the State, Tribes and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis.(Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for recovery and cleanup from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.(Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Public Assistance:

  • Application procedures for tribal and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state and federal/tribal applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at blog.fema.govwww.twitter.com/femawww.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate’s activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema.  The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or application.

Source:  FEMA

2014 The NW Fire Blog

City of Bellevue Creates Citizen Corp Council, Disaster Preparedness

Residents now have an opportunity to help the city and their neighbors prepare for emergencies. The City of Bellevue is recruiting members for a Citizen Corps Council.
Citizen Corps is a national network of volunteers focused on preparedness, loosely coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Cities form their own Citizen Corps councils. Bellevue’s will advise the city’s Office of Emergency Management on public education and outreach, and assist with the adaptation and promotion of the following programs here:

  • Map Your Neighborhood: a state-run program designed to help citizens organize their neighborhood block.
  • Community Emergency Response Teams: a series of classes that teach citizens the skills to save lives during and after a disaster.

Bellevue’s Citizen Corps Council will also work in conjunction with the city’s Eastside Amateur Radio Support (EARS) group, which provides auxiliary communications support to the City of Bellevue during disasters or emergencies.

The council will have 14 members, each  representing one of the city’s neighborhood areas. The council will meet every other month  to give Emergency Management staff input on preparedness outreach. Members will be required to do a minimum of five hours of work per week. This is a great opportunity for individuals who:

  • Are passionate about emergency preparedness and are looking to advance to the next level.
  • Want to take a leadership role in their community.
  • Want to help others sharpen their skills and/or organize their neighborhood block.
  • Are looking to meet others in their neighborhood.

To request an application or recommend a candidate, please email OEMPublicEd@bellevuewa.gov or call Sophia Le at 425-452-6935. Applications are due on April 18.

2014 The NW Fire Blog

9/11 Tragedy: Historical Moment in Time

Twelve years ago to this day was anything but a normal day for all affected by the terrorist actions taken on American soil.  

Two places intentionally crashed into the Twin Towers at the World Center located in New York City’s financial district bringing down both buildings and killing thousands of people.  Several other places crashed into the Pentagon and another was brought down by the passengers on the Flight in PA.

Though it may seem like years ago, many are still being actively affected by the horrific experiences they went through, witnessing the shocking images plastered all over the TV, web and through every single media outlet or being directly/indirectly, by knowing someone who was involved in the tragedy themselves.

This blog is all about those in the FIRE/EMS/FIRST RESPONDER professions and their families, so we are going to break it down by the numbers for you: (some statistics may include civilians in the totals)

  • 2,819:   Total Number of “All” Persons who Perished
  • 343:  Number of Firefighters who Died.*
  • 2:  Number of Paramedics Killed.
  • 23:  Number of New York Police Officers killed.
  • 37:  Number of Port of Authority Police Officers killed.
  • 274:  FDNY retirements from January – June 2001 (Prior to tragedy)
  • 661:  FDNY retirements from January – June 2002
  • 300:  Number of Firefighters on Leave with Respiratory Problems
  • 98:  FDNY vehicles destroyed
  • 1,506,124: Tons of debris removed
  • $105B:  Economic Loss
  • $600M:  Clean-up Costs
  • $970M:  FEMA money for assistance

While we remember those lost in the Public Safety professions, we also ask that you remember “ALL” lives that were lost on this tragic day so long in NYC’s Twin Towers; WA DC’s Pentagon and PA crash site.

Additional stats:

  • 20-percent:  Of Americans who knew someone hurt or injured in the attacks.
  • 1,609:  Lost a spouse or a partner.
  • 658: Were the most employees lost at one single employer, Cantor Fitzgerald.
  • 1,402:  The number of employees in Tower 1.
  • 614:  The number of employees in Tower 2.
  • 60:  The number of WTC companies whom lost employees.
  • 99:  Days fires burned in Lower Manhattan.
  • 246:  Airline Employees Killed.

Some quotes relating to the 9/11 tragedy:

  • “An attack on one, is an attack on all.” – NATO Secretary – General Lord Robertson. 9/12/13
  • “We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.” – Bush.  9/20/13.

Historical Changes since 9/11:

  • Congress passes revised First Responder health benefits bill.
  • Creation of Homeland Security.

So many innocent lives were stolen from the youngest at age two ranging up to the oldest at 85 years of age.  Some of those that were the greatest at being impacted were the children.  Over 3,000 lost a parent.

It still seems unbelievable that such an event could have ever happened on American soil, but mark these words and the evidence left behind – it did occur.  Though it happened long ago, many are still experiencing the ill-well after affects, the nightmares that continue to haunt them, PTSD and some cases, severe depression.  Statistics show an estimated number of 422,000 New Yorkers have PTSD.

Are you one of the ones that is having a difficulty living through each “annual” anniversary? Do you still fear many things are happening out of your control and you want to end it?  Do you still find anxiety taking over in your life?

Reach out today to a friend, relative or someone professionally that can help you.  We care deeply for your health and overall well-being.  Though some of us may never comprehend what you are going through, feeling or struggling with, we feel compelled to offer ways to help you through the tough times in your or another’s life.

Please don’t feel embarrassed or that this may look bad because of your profession or who you are. Everyone reacts differently to traumatic situations they may have been a witness to.  You are not alone and there are many who have gone through it as well, making it easier for you to relate to.   They are great listeners too.

These organizations will keep all information confidential.

  • Safe Call Now – Safe Call Now is a resource for public safety employees to speak confidentially with officers, former law enforcement officers, public safety professionals and/or mental healthcare providers who are familiar with your line of work.  Website:  http://safecallnow.org/.  Phone:  206.459.3020.
  • 9-11 Healing and  Remembrance – Info on relevant, mental health supportive resources; tips for recognizing anniversary related stress.  Offers immediate and confidential to access information 24/hour toll-free hotline.  Website:  www.9-11healingandrembrance.org.  Phone:  866.212.0444.
  • Mental Health America – Coping with Disaster.  Website:  http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/coping-with-disease.  866.505.3911
  • 911 Days of Service – Volunteer opportunities related to the 9-11 tragedy.  Website:  http://911dayofservice.org.
  • American Red Cross September 11 Recovery Program – Mental Health & Wellness Program.  Website:  www.redcross.org/September11/help.  Phone:  877.746.4987.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC – Helping Children Cope and answer questions.  Website:  www.bigsnyc.org.  Phone:  212.686.2042.
  • FDNY Counseling Services Unit – for Firefighters and their Families.  Website:  www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/units/csu/index.shtml.  Phone:  212.570.1693.
  • Friends of Firefighters – Individual, marriage, family counseling through partnerships in NYC.  Website:  www.friendsoffirefighters.org/html./index.html.  Phone:  718.643.0980.
  • NYC Police Foundation – NYPD employees and their families.  Website:  www.nycpoilcefoundation.org.  Phone:  212.751.8770.

“WE WILL NEVER FORGET”.  This is one of our missions in never forgetting the Fallen, whether from 9/11, a L-O-D-D or from a non-job related death.  We will always remember them as our Heroes for their many sacrifices, commitment, dedication and Legacy they leave behind. – R.I.P. To Our Fallen Heroes.


** In Honor of the Fallen, we dedicate this post to them and their families, friends and Public Safety families. WE WILL NEVER FORGET. **

*# is 1/2 of the Fire Departments Total L-O-D-D’s in their 100-year history.


– by LR Swenson / Staff Writer


(c) 2013 The NW Fire Blog

West Fork Fire Complex Update: 6/30/2013 PM

 Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Pete Blume, Incident Commander   


Phoenix National Incident Management Organization- Curtis Heaton, Incident Commander


Joint Information Center:  719-569-4149 or 719-657-3279

Hours of operation: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm


West Zone Email: westforkfire@gmail.com  

East Zone Email: WestForkFire.EastZone@gmail.com


June 30, 2013

8:00 pm                      


 Special Message:  The Red Cross Shelter in Del Norte will close Monday, July 1.  The Salvation Army will provide a continental breakfast from 8 am to 9 am tomorrow for the last of the Red Cross clients.  Visit www.redcross.org/Colorado or contact your local Red Cross office for further information regarding the services they provide.


 Current Situation:

East Zone of the West Fork Complex (Includes Papoose and Eastern Part of West Fork Fires) 


 Papoose Fire:  One of today’s priorities included taking advantage of yesterday’s moisture to secure the fireline in the northwest area of the fire, near Crooked Creek and down to Rio Grande Reservoir.  Firefighters used a combination of dozer lines, hand lines, and water or retardant drops to construct and secure line around structures. 


On the southeast flank, the fire increased in activity late this afternoon in the Trout Creek drainage, Spotting occurred, causing firefighters to focus on structure protection at Spur City and Red Mountain Ranch.  Along Highway 149, firefighters were able to begin mopping up adjacent to structures.  At the time of this release, there have been no known structures lost.


 Eastern Part of West Fork Fire: Increased fire activity, caused by thunderstorms and gusty winds, was experienced near Lake Humphreys and Elk Mountain areas, on the north flank of the fire.  However, firefighters were able to get closer to the fire’s edge and begin direct attack on that piece of fire line with the aid of retardant drops.  Along Highway 160, firefighters continued to clean up the fire’s edge.  Protection has been established around structures east of Highway 149.  At the time of this release, there have been no known structures lost.


 West Zone of West Fork Complex (Includes Western Part of West Fork and Windy Pass Fires)


Sustained cooler temperatures and higher humidity gave firefighters additional support today on the West Zone of the West Fork Complex.  Moderated winds today gave the Air Attack that had been grounded the past two days due to smoke an opportunity to monitor fire activity.  The West Zone supported suppression of 13 new fires, all caught quickly and kept small.


 Western Part of West Fork Fire: The West Zone of the West Fork fire is the portion of the fire burning south of the continental divide.  Structure protection is still in place for Wolf Creek Ski Area, Borns Lake Cabins, and Bruce Spruce Resort, which is still open, and hose lays and sprinkler systems are in place and operational in the West Fork Campground that is also open. Crews started to backhaul the excess firefighting equipment at Borns Lake, Bruce Spruce and Wolf Creek.


 Windy Pass Fire:  Activity on the Windy Pass Fire today was minimal.  A resource advisor was on the fireline today to assess the landscape and to begin developing a rehabilitation plan.


 Weather: Scattered thunderstorms developed this afternoon across the complex.  Gusty winds and some moisture fell across the fire area.  A potential for ash flow and mudslides still exists.  Thunderstorms are predicted for tomorrow.  Tuesday and Wednesday will be warmer and drier, with a chance of isolated thunderstorms.


 Public Health and Safety:  Smoke monitors are in place in Pagosa Springs, Freemon’s Ranch, and Creede.   The monitors are identified as #78 (Creede), #69 (Freemon’s Ranch) and #65 (Pagosa Springs) and can be accessed through the map located at: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/smoke.pl.


Times displayed are in GMT – subtract 6 hours to get local time (MDT).  For the official Colorado Smoke Outlook, please visit http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx and http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx for further health advisory information.


 Please use caution when traveling along Highways 149 and 160.  Heavy fire traffic can be expected along the highways and within the communities of South Fork, Creede, and Del Norte.  Please do not stop along the roads to take pictures of the fire or firefighters as doing so could impede fire operations.


 Evacuations and Closures:  Residents are reminded to remain vigilant and be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice in the event that fire activity changes.  Visit http://westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/ for a list of areas currently under evacuation or pre-evacuation.  The list will be updated as conditions change.


 For additional information on road and trail closures affecting the San Juan National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices


 Emergency closures in place due to the West Fork Fire Complex currently affect about 50 miles of the Colorado Trail on the Rio Grande National Forest and about 150 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail on both the Rio Grande and San Juan national forests.  These trail sections are closed to all public entry between San Luis Pass north of Creede, Stony Pass east of Silverton and Elwood Pass northeast of Pagosa Springs, as identified within the closure orders.   For more information, contact the Rio Grande National Forest at 719-852-5941.   For additional information on road and trail closures affecting the Rio Grande National Forest go to: West Fork Fire Closures.   


 Fire Information Meetings: None scheduled at this time.

0220 0230

 Media Briefings:  There are no scheduled media briefings.  If media are interested in a briefing or interview, please contact the East Zone Information Office.


Fire Statistics:


Location:  14.5 miles north/northeast of Pagosa Springs, CO    


Start Date: 06/05/2013    


Percent Contained: 4%   


Cause:  Lightning


 Complex Size:  92, 176 acres                                                             

            Windy Pass: 1,416 acres                                                         

            Papoose: 34,272 acres                                                             

            West Fork: 56,488 acres                                                                                             


Total Personnel: 1508


 Resources Include: 9 Type 1 hand crews, 21 Type 2 hand crews, 84 engines, 4 dozers, 12 water tenders, and overhead personnel


 Air Resources:  6 Type 1 helicopters, 4 Type 2 helicopters, 10 Type 3 helicopters, and 2 single engine airtankers (SEATS)


 Places to get information:



Blog:  http://westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/


Website: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3436/


Twitter: @rmt1pio


Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RockyMtn.Type1.IMT.PIOs.


Information Boards:  Information is posted at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Information Center, Freemons Ranch near Creede, the Forest Service office in Creede, and at the Del Norte High School. 


Photos:   http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/WestForkComplex/library/

 Source:  WestForkComplex blog

Reblogged:  6/30/13 2155 PDT


2013  The NW Fire Blog

Photography is Courtesy of Inciweb/West Fork Complex Fire Blog

FEMA Awards Multi-Millions of Dollars to Texas Firefighters

Release date: 
April 3, 2013
Release Number: 

DENTON, Texas – More than $31.2 million was recently awarded to the state of Texas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for reimbursement of costs to fight wildfires in Bastrop, Cass, Coke, Grimes, Jeff Davis, Kimble, King, Knox, Marion, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Presidio, Stephens, Stonewall, Tom Green, Waller and Young counties in 2011.

The FEMA funding covers the costs of ground support labor, equipment, materials, air support and meals and lodging incurred as a result of the Swenson Fire, the Rockhouse Fire, the PK West Fire, the Wildcat Fire, the Oasis Pipeline Fire, the Tejano Canyon Fire, the 101 Ranch Fire, the Bastrop County Fire Complex, the Riley Road Fire and the Bear Creek Fire.

“Texas experienced a record number of wildfires in 2011, which devastated communities across the state,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson. “We are committed to providing the necessary support to partners as the recovery process moves forward.”

FEMA’s contribution, made possible by a Public Assistance grant, represents a 75 percent federal cost share. FEMA awards funding for projects directly to the state of Texas; the state then forwards the grant to the eligible applicant.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. 

Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/femaregion6, and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

Source: FEMA

Republished:  4/6/13 1200 Hours PST

FEMA: Hurricane Sandy (NY) by the Numbers

Release date: 
April 5, 2013
Release Number: 

NEW YORK — New York survivors have until April 13 to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and return their applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Disaster assistance to New York survivors of Hurricane Sandy:

  • Nearly $946 million in FEMA grants approved for individuals and households
    • Nearly $812 million for housing assistance
    • Nearly $134 million for other needs
  • Nearly $1.4 billion in SBA disaster loans approved for homeowners, renters and businesses
  • Nearly $3.3 billion in National Flood Insurance Program payments made to policy holders
  • $817 million approved in FEMA Public Assistance grants to communities and some nonprofit organizations that serve the public
  • 271,181 people have registered for assistance in the 13 designated counties
  • 182,807 housing inspections completed
  • 176,947 visits to Disaster Recovery Centers
  • 5.6 million cubic yards of debris removed
  • More than 500 voluntary agencies involved in recovery
  • 26 languages used to communicate assistance information to survivors

Individuals can register with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. They may also call the FEMA helpline 800-621-3362 (Voice, 7-1-1/Relay) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The helpline is available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week.

To apply for an SBA disaster loan, go to https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA. Survivors may also visit a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (text “DRC” and your Zip Code to 43362 or go to FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers for locations). For assistance, call the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.

Source:  FEMA

Republished:  4/6/13 1155Hours PST

FEMA and the Western WA Red Cross Calling All Youth To Assist with Preparedness

Release date: 
April 5, 2013
Release Number: 

Calling all community and faith-based organizations; youth development leaders; educators; leaders of after-school, extracurricular, weekend, and camp programs; and, emergency management and preparedness professionals interested in youth programs!  FEMA Region X and the American Red Cross (ARC), Western Washington Chapters, will be co-sponsoring free workshops in May on how your organization can easily incorporate emergency readiness into your programs. 

To be a part of this exciting opportunity, register for an Emergency Readiness Workshop at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/readinesswkshp. There are two workshops available to choose from: Wednesday, May 1 from 4-8 pm in Seattle and Saturday, May 11 from 10-2 pm in DuPont. Please register ASAP, as seats are filling quickly!

As committed leaders for youth emergency preparedness, FEMA and ARC developed the Emergency Readiness Workshops focused on engaging youth-serving organizations in emergency preparedness. These workshops are coordinated through multiple partners, including: Washington Emergency Management Division, Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Seattle Office of Emergency Management, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, and Radio Disney AM 1250.

Nearly one million youth call the Puget Sound home, which is a region that is highly susceptible to a wide range of natural hazards and threats. Therefore, this youth outreach effort is essential to building a more resilient community. Research shows that households with children who bring home preparedness materials are significantly more likely to be prepared for an emergency (ready.gov).

“Engaging and preparing our youth is a critical part of Whole Community emergency preparation because youth have a unique ability to influence their peers and families to be more ready and resilient,” said Ken Murphy, FEMA Region X Administrator. “Youth play important roles in disaster preparedness during and after a crisis.”

Source:  FEMA

Republished:  4/6/13 1150 hours PST