Senior Apartments in Milton Ablaze | 1

INCIDENT SUMMARY

East Pierce Firefighters were dispatched to the Alder Ridge Apartments located at 2800 Alder Street in Milton, Washington around 1828 hours this Tuesday evening (December 26th)  for a fire that broke out in this senior living community.  The fire was escalated rapidly to a 2nd alarm response.

Credit: East Pierce FD

EVACUATIONS

Seniors were all evacuated from the building around 1907 hours PST.  No injuries were reported.  There is approximately 150 displaced elderly residents from this Senior Assisted Living Facility.

FIRE TACTICS

Firefighters were in an offense fire attack as they were evacuating elderly residents from various apartments units.  Fire crews were reportedly going defensive as of 1938 hours and pulling out of the fire building.

Firefighters were making good progress on various area of the fire around 1957 hours PST.  Command advised crews to go offensive to attack and check the attic for any fire. around 1959 hours PST.  

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog – 12/26/2017 @ 2004 PST

Old Iconic Building Burning in Auburn, Washington | 1

AUBURN, WASHINGTON

Around 1530 hours PST, a fire broke out at the Old Heritage building located at 100 South Main Street in Auburn, Washington which is at the intersection of Auburn Way South and Main Street.   

The fire started on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, originally reported as flames from a dryer.  It would escalate from a first alarm to a third alarm very quickly.

Credit: King County Medic 1

RESOURCES

A large number of fire Resources from both King and Pierce Counties were promptly dispatched to the incident with personnel represented from Valley Regional FD, KCFD #44, East Pierce, Puget Sound Fire, South King Fire, Renton Fire, Tukwila Fire and Burien Fire.  Additional EMS units were dispatched from King County Medic One. 

FIRE TACTICS

When firefighters first arrived, they found heavy fire in the attic. They took offensive strategy due to the ceiling starting to collapse.  One person who was non-ambulatory was rescued and treated on-scene for smoke inhalation.  They were not transported.

Credit: Puget Sound Fire

ALARM COMPANIES

Here are the units deployed and which alarm they have been assigned to:

First Alarm | B31  CH32  E31  E32  E33  E38  L74  PIO32  B74  

Second Alarm | E61  E65  E71  E73  M6  MSO1  PCL113  R74 23PIO  23REHAB

Third Alarm | E62  E72  L11  L29  PCE118  Q75  E13  E17

Credit: Puget Sound Fire

EVACUATIONS

Neighbors in businesses and apartments have been evacuated for their safety and for fire crews.

Elderly residents were evacuated from their homes and buses were provided for them on 28th, which was the NW corner of their building.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media is using the hashtags #MainFire #AuburnFire #heritagebldgfire for this incident.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog – 12/26/2017 @ 1920 Hours PST

#ThomasFire Holds Fire Resources Over into Christmas Holiday | 20

INCIDENT SUMMARY

The Thomas Fire is long from being over as it still holds fire resources from their families and loved ones into the Christmas Holiday – a first ever for most of the firefighters attached to this incident. 

The fire originally ignited on Monday, December 4th about three weeks to this day, as a 500-acre brush fire which started around the Thomas Aquinas College, north of Santa Paula, California.  The fire quickly exploded into a firestorm destroying hundreds of structures, livelihoods and killing one life – a firefighter in the line-of-duty.

RESOURCES

There are currently 1,586 fire personnel that are still working on the fire line, in support roles and in management along with the aid of 116 fire engines, 61 crews, 26 helicopters, 19 bulldozers and 31 water tenders. 

The IMT unit is being managed by a CAL FIRE IMT Team 4 and 3.

From Adversity to Kindness

City of Anaheim FD’s E9 is providing SAR activities. Taken on December 24, 2017 @ 1500 hours PST. (Credit: Anaheim FD Via Inciweb)

Incident Cooperators as those agencies and organizations that work hand-in-hand together on a single fire incident.  Listed below are those currently still working in conjunction with fire suppression efforts and supporting all fire, law enforcement, human services and infrastructure activities:  

CAL FIRE, VCFD, VCSO, SBCoFD, SBCoSO, City of Ventura PD, City of Ventura FD, USFS/Los Padres NF, CAL OES, Red Cross, Souther CA Edison, CHP, CA DOC, SoCaGas, Crimson Pipeline, Wildfire Defense Systems, CA Resources Group, Santa Paula PD, Santa Paula FD, Ventura Co OES, Santa Barbara OEM.

Thomas Fire 12/16/2017

Credit: USFS via Inciweb

CURRENT FIRE STATUS

The Thomas Fire destroyed 1,063 structures and damaging 280.  It has consumed 281,620 acres and is now considered to be an 86 containment status.

Here is the current fire status as firefighters work to gain and work to contain and suppress this fire until it is completely out.  Each area is listed as their areas of primary focus:

Cooperators on the Thomas Fire

Incident Cooperators assisting on the wildfire. Posted on December 14, 2017. (Credit: Inciweb)

Cherry Creek Road:  Additional 1/2 mile of containment line has been added to the area.  On December 18, crews initiated a firing operation north of the main fire and west of this roadway, say Fire Officials.

Thomas Fire 12/16/2017

Firefighters on the Thomas Fire. (Credit: Inciweb)

 

Bear Heaven:  Hot spots still remain in the area.  Water drops are in effect due to steep, rugged terrain and limited access.  Firefighters are working to gain additional containment and work on fire suppression efforts.

Ventura to Santa Barbara:  Fire line has been contained and secured.  No forward progression is expected due to shorter days and lack of recorded winds.  Firefighters are making progress in increased containment protecting infrastructure and nearby communities. 

Mop-up operations are also being conducted, as well as active patrol for any flare-ups or new fire starts.

Thomas Fire

The Thomas Fire on December 17, 2017. (Credit: Inciweb)

Wildlife:  Due to displacement of wildlife from the fire, residents and visitors are being strongly discouraged from feeding or being near these WILD animals for your safety and theirs.  If you see any wildlife, you are asked to call 9-1-1 and visit this website for more information.  (https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/living-with-wildlife).

 

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/25/2017 – 1000 hours PST

Fire Damages Factoria Structure

UPDATE – 0911 hours PST

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON | A fire broke out at an apartment complex located in the 12800 block of SE 40th in the Factoria area of Bellevue, Washington early Christmas morning.   Access into the fire scene was difficult due to snow and ice.  The fire occurred in between 0400 – 0430 hours PST.

(Written permission has been granted to republish this feed.  Credit:  Snoco_Radio (@Stringing Photog)

A cause is unknown at the time of this post.

Bellevue Fire stated about 5-6 patients were evaluated with 4 being transported to nearby hospital(s).  Many were injured in the fall, when they were jumping out of windows.

Six units were heavily damaged and not inhabitable.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog

 

Fire Damages Factoria Structure

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON | A fire broke out at an apartment complex located in the 12800 block of SE 40th in the Factoria area of Bellevue, Washington early Christmas morning.   Some residents jumping out of windows as the fierce fire consumed parts of the structure were reported on this snowy morning in the wee hours on Monday (around 0400-0430 hours PST).

A cause is unknown at the time of this post.

Four patients were transported to area hospitals related to evacuating from the building. No word on their conditions are known at this time.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog

 

Fire Terminology | How Well Do You Know It? | Apparatus

Fire terminology is used throughout the Fire Service and we thought we’d get you all up to speed with each word and their definition.  See that we are missing one on the list? Please let us know! 

How well do you know your Fire Terminology?

# # #

APPARATUS

A term usually used by firefighters describing a department vehicle
(i.e. fire engine).

# # #

A

Aerial Fuels:   Live and dead vegetation in the forest canopy or above surface fuels, including tree branches, twigs, cones, snags, moss and high brush.

Air Attack:  An Air Attack or AA is a light command aircraft (usually an airplane or helicopter) that directs all air resources over a fire which is normally a pilot or a Battalion Chief.

Air Tanker:  An air tanker is a fixed-wing aircraft equipped to drop fire retardants and suppressant from the air over the fire ground.

Air tanker on the Thomas Fire in December 2017 (Credit: VCFD_PIO)

Alpha Type 1 Engine:  A vehicle with a 1000 GPM and a 400 gallon tank, staffed with 4 personnel.

B

Bambi Bucket:  A collapsible bucket slung underneath a helicopter. Used to dip water from a variety of sources for fire suppression.

Blow-up:   A sudden increase in fire intensity or rate of spread strong enough to  prevent direct control or to upset control plans. Blow-ups are often accompanied by violent convection and may  have other characteristics of a fire storm.”

C

Command Staff:  The Command Staff consists of the Information Officer, Safety Officer and Liasion Officer.  They report directly to the Incident Command and may have Assistants.

D

Drip Torch:  Hand-held device for igniting fires by dripping flaming liquid fuel on the materials to be burned; consists of a fuel fount, burner arm, and igniter.  Fuel used is generally a mixture of diesel and gasoline.”

The Drip Torch “tool” (Credit: Dept of Interior Wildfire)

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog

#ThomasFire Containment Rises | 19

(Credit: CAL FIRE)

This post is dedicated to CAL FIRE Engineer Cory Iverson who died in the line-of-duty while engaging fire suppression efforts on the Thomas Fire.  A Celebration of Life was held today.

Our Hearts, Thoughts and Prayers go out to the Iverson Family, his Fire Family, Friends, Loved Ones and all those who Firefighter Iverson touched and impacted everyday. – Ed.

INCIDENT SUMMARY | A 500-acre brush fire broke out near the Thomas Aquinas College in Ojai (Ventura County) California on Monday, December 4, 2017.

The fire ignited from an unknown cause which is still under investigation, would become the State’s biggest wildfire in all of their recorded Fire history.

According to the USFS, 65%  of the fire is still burning on federal lands, which is about 140,862 acres on National Forest System lands.  It had crossed over into the Los Padres National Forest and is now located in both the Santa Barbara and Ojai Ranger Districts.

CURRENT FIRE STATUS | 273,400 acres.  78% containment status.

Fire Fact:  There were many Agencies that worked together not only in fire suppression but also supporting both Fire and Law Enforcement personnel, such as the CAL Trans Department in working to keep highways clear and safe.

Credit: CALTrans District 7

The front country fire perimeter is secure and firefighters will continuing to build upon previous secured established containment lines near communities and other infrastructure.  Mop-up operations are in effect along the fire perimeter, as well as active patrol.   Fire resources, including firefighters and fire suppression aircraft will remain assigned to this incident for any possible flare-ups or new fire starts.

Credit: Information Officer Erin McKenzie/Los Padres NF

RESOURCES | There are 2,512 fire personnel with the aid of 116 fire engines, 61 fire crews, 26 helicopters, 19 bulldozers and 31 water tenders.  The IMT has transitioned over into a CA IMT Type 3.

Fire Fact:  For most (resources) assigned to this fire incident,  this will be their first wildfire assignment over Christmas.

COMMAND STAFF | Incident Command is in Unified Command consisting of the Los Padres NF, CAL FIRE, VC_FD PIO, USFS and Ventura County Sheriffs Office.

Fire Fact:  There are many faces behind the support of a large fire incident, such as SCE crews who work tirelessly to clean up fire-damaged equipment, including poles, wires and insulators. 

Credit: SCE

INCIDENT COOPERATORS | Agencies and organizations that were an integral par of this incident were the Montecito Fire Protection District, Red Cross, CAL FIRE, CA DOC, CA DOT, CHP, CA OES, PGE, SBCoFD, SBCSO, Santa Paula FD, Santa Paula SO, So Cal Edison, So CA Gas Co, USDA Forest Service, Los Padres NF, Ventura City PD, VCFD and VCSO.  This also includes the hundreds of firefighters that responded 11 U.S. States with fire apparatus and strike teams, additional resources.

Fire Fact:  An USAF Reaper drone which was unarmed and non-weaponized helped provide situational awareness to firefighters during the fire incident.

Credit: VCFD_PIO

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT |  1,063 structures destroyed.  280 structures damaged.

Fire Fact:  This wildfire affected more than just those directly involved but will also impact the lives and livelihoods of those for months, if not years.  

FIRE HISTORY |  The Thomas Fire is now the largest wildfire in all of California’s fire history with the Cedar Fire coming in second with 273,246 acres and the destruction of 2,2820 structures in October of 2003.   The Rush Fire moves down to third place with burning 271,911 acres with no deaths or destruction of property, however, it did burn up 43,666 acres in nearby State of Nevada in August of 2012.

Credit: VCFD_PIO

FIRE IMAGES | Courtesy of CAL Fire and VCFD_PIO

Fire Fact:  The Thomas Fire which began as the largest wildfire appeared to be the most photographed up close and personal. 

Credit: VCFD_PIO

SOURCES | Ventura Co FD PIO, Inciweb, CAL Fire, USFS

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/23/2017 – 2045 hours PST

#ThomasFire Becomes Biggest Fire in California History | 18

INCIDENT SUMMARY | A 500-acre original brush fire broke out near the Thomas Aquinas College in Ojai (Ventura County) California on Monday, December 4, 2017.  The fire ignited from an unknown cause which is still under investigation, would become the State’s biggest wildfires in all of their recorded Fire history.

Sixty-three percent of the fire is burning on federal lands, which is about 140,862 acres on National Forest System lands.  It had crossed over into the Los Padres National Forest and is now located in both the Santa Barbara and Ojai Ranger Districts.

Thomas Fire, Branch II FIring Operation

CURRENT FIRE STATUS | 273,400 acres.  65% containment status.

CAL FIRE states:  Crews are mopping the Camino Cielo to strengthen the fireline there. To the north of Camino Cielo, crews will patrol the fire line in the Zaca fire area, and monitor fire spread where line construction has not been possible due to very rough terrain. The firing operation from the past few days will be mopped up and patrolled.

North of the community of Fillmore fire behavior has been was minimal where it has backed into the Sespe drainage. Fire spread east of Rose Valley to Bear Haven will be monitored by air. Fire spread has been minimal in this area for the last week, with IR information corroborating that intel. To the north, the fire is slowly moving through the Sespe Wilderness and Bear Haven area, where it is being closely monitored. Carpinteria, the Ojai Valley area, and Highway 126 between Highway 150 and Fillmore are all in patrol status and will transition to unstaffed.

Thomas Fire burn operation December 19, 2017

RESOURCES | Fire personnel has been reduced to the highest peak of 8,094 fire personnel down to its current number of 2,841.  Many strike teams have been released from the fire and returned to their home bases.   The highest number of 876 engines, 161 crews, 35 helicopters, 72 dozers, 58 water tenders have been reduced to  171 fire engines, 63 fire crews, 26 helicopters, 21 dozers and 38 water tenders.

Thomas Fire burn operation December 19, 2017

The CAL FIRE IMT – 4 is to transition to a CAL IMT Team 3 as of 1800 hours this evening.

COMMAND STAFF | Incident Command is in Unified Command consisting of the Los Padres NF, CAL FIRE, VC_FD PIO, USFS and Ventura County Sheriffs Office.

INCIDENT COOPERATORS | Agencies and organizations that were an integral par of this incident were the Montecito Fire Protection District, Red Cross, CAL FIRE, CA DOC, CA DOT, CHP, CA OES, PGE, SBCoFD, SBCSO, Santa Paula FD, Santa Paula SO, So Cal Edison, So CA Gas Co, USDA Forest Service, Los Padres NF, Ventura City PD, VCFD and VCSO.  This also includes the hundreds of firefighters that responded 11 U.S. States with fire apparatus and strike teams, additional resources.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT |  1,063 structures destroyed.  280 structures damaged.

FIRE WEATHER  | CAL FIRE: “The dry cold front moved through the area on December 20 and was replaced by weak offshore flow. Winds gusting to 50 miles per hour tested firelines in the south, with no notable fire activity in the Montecito area, Camino Cielo or Fillmore. A persistent offshore flow will bring low relative humidity and above average temperatures to the fire area for several days. Fire behavior will increase over the next few days with the lowering relative humidity.

Thomas Fire 12/16/2017

The fire area has not received any rainfall over .10 inches since February. Live fuel conditions are far below critical levels. ERCs have dipped with the recent humidity recovery but will begin to increase with continued offshore flow.”

FIRE HISTORY | The Thomas Fire  is now considered the largest wildfire killing one firefighters and destroying 1,063 structures and damaging 280 .  This wildfire has now bypassed previously number one ranked Cedar Fire which burned 273, 246 acres in October of 2003.  This fire also destroyed 2,820 structures and killed 15 people.   The now third ranked biggest wildfire, Rush Fire ignited in August 2012,  destroying 271,911 acres. It did not cause any loss of structures or deaths, however it did burn 43,666 acres in nearby State of Nevada.

Fire Images | Courtesy of Inciweb/USFS

Sources | Ventura Co FD PIO, Inciweb, CAL Fire, USFS

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/22/2017  @ 2359 PST

#ThomasFire | California | 17

INCIDENT SUMMARY | The Thomas Fire that started on December 4, 2017, as a small 500-acre brush fire would explode two weeks as of today an out-of-control firestorm.  It has grown so much that it is now considered to be the third largest wildfire.

A Superscooper aircraft comes in for a water drop below East Camino Cielo in the hills above Montecito. (Credit: SBC Fire Info)

CURRENT FIRE STATUS | 271,000 acres burned.  50% containment status.

Resources will continue fire suppression activities and tactical patrol in Montecito, and improve the fire perimeter. Mop up and strengthening of containment line in the Gibralter Road area will continue.

A Bombardier 415 Superscooper makes a water drop Sunday morning on hot spots along the hillside east of Gibraltar Road. (Credit: SBC Fire Info)

Direct and indirect fireline construction extending to the north of the Camino Cielo will continue, tying into the Zaca fire. The threat to Fillmore has decreased with the completion of line from town to Devil’s Gate. Continued strengthening of control lines will help to further decrease threats.

On the north and east flanks of the fire, the fire continues to progress further into the Matilija and Sespe Wilderness and toward the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Fire suppression repair and Damage Inspection will continue as appropriate based on fire conditions.

Firefighters standing guard and providing structure protection at a home off Gibraltar Road watch as a bucket full of water is dropped from a copter onto a hot spot nearby. (Credit: SBC Fire Info)

FIRE HISTORY | The Thomas Fire is now considered the third largest wildfire but due to become the largest within 3,000 acres.  The largest wildfire was the Cedar Fire at 273, 246 acres in October 2003.  This fire burned 2,820 structures and killed 15 people.   The second largest was the Rush Fire that began in August 2012, that destroyed 271,911 acres but did not cause any loss of structures or deaths, however 43,666 acres burned in Nevada.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT |  1,024 structures destroyed.  250 structures damaged.  18,000 threatened.

RESOURCES | 8,094 fire personnel.  876 engines, 161 crews, 35 helicopters, 72 dozers, 58 water tenders and CAL FIRE IMT-4.

A US Forest Service Hot Shot Crew from Ojai head down a fire break to work off E. Camino Cielo. (Credit: SBC Fire Info)

FIRE WEATHER  | While the weather conditions are improving with an increase in humidity recovery, and decrease in wind speeds, fuels remain critically dry.

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/18/2017  @ 2015 PST

Fire Terminology | How Well Do You Know It? | Command Staff

Fire terminology is used throughout the Fire Service and we thought we’d get you all up to speed with each word and their definition.  See that we are missing one on the list? Please let us know! 

How well do you know your Fire Terminology?

# # #

COMMAND STAFF

The Command Staff consists of the Information Officer, Safety Officer and Liasion Officer.  They report directly to the Incident Command and may have Assistants.

# # #

A

Aerial Fuels:   Live and dead vegetation in the forest canopy or above surface fuels, including tree branches, twigs, cones, snags, moss and high brush.

Air Attack:  An Air Attack or AA is a light command aircraft (usually an airplane or helicopter) that directs all air resources over a fire which is normally a pilot or a Battalion Chief.

Air Tanker:  An air tanker is a fixed-wing aircraft equipped to drop fire retardants and suppressant from the air over the fire ground.

Air tanker on the Thomas Fire in December 2017 (Credit: VCFD_PIO)

Alpha Type 1 Engine:  A vehicle with a 1000 GPM and a 400 gallon tank, staffed with 4 personnel.

B

Bambi Bucket:  A collapsible bucket slung underneath a helicopter. Used to dip water from a variety of sources for fire suppression.

Blow-up:   A sudden increase in fire intensity or rate of spread strong enough to  prevent direct control or to upset control plans. Blow-ups are often accompanied by violent convection and may  have other characteristics of a fire storm.”

D

Drip Torch:  Hand-held device for igniting fires by dripping flaming liquid fuel on the materials to be burned; consists of a fuel fount, burner arm, and igniter.  Fuel used is generally a mixture of diesel and gasoline.”

The Drip Torch “tool” (Credit: Dept of Interior Wildfire)

(c) 2017 NW Fire Blog