Saturday, July 12, 2008

News From the Fires Coming in Slow

A burned out vehicle sits near the remains of a residence where the body of a Concow fire victim was found Friday morning. The property is near the Junction of Hogs Ranch and High Winds roads. The victims name has not been released. (Greg Welter/Staff Photo) ~ Oroville Mercury Record

The news coming out of the fires has been slow this morning. We know there's lots of action, but the websites that normally post the updates from the briefings haven't updated yet. I have a scanner site up and am listening to some of the radio traffic from the Butte County fires and a lot of it sounds more like "roll calls" than anything else. A lot of the news media are reporting about the man's body that was found yesterday and not a whole lot else. Very little information has been released about the fatality. I don't foresee any identification of the man until after the autopsy has been performed and any family has been notified.

The weather this morning is much cooler than it has been this past week. There's still a lot of smoke in the air down here in the valley, but it's not as thick as it was the other day. We've even got a nice breeze. Nice for us, but I'm guessing that these breezes down here are not so good up in the canyons where the firefighters are working so hard. A lot of the stories in the news about the fires talk about the exhaustion that the firefighters are suffering from. These fires have been raging for 3 weeks now and there are some who've been on the move from one fire to another for the whole 3 weeks with just a few days off here and there. The governor has called up 2,000 more National Guard troops to help and there are firefighters from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico either already on the fire lines or on their way to help. This is the worst series of fires in California's history.

Since the Cal Fire page hasn't updated since 9pm last night, I guess I'll copy and paste that update here and then update again later when (and if) they post a new one.
Statewide Fire Overview - Lightning Series

Current Situation: Over fourteen hundred fires have been contained due to the endless efforts of firefighters from California, as well as from throughout the nation. Additional firefighting resources (personnel and equipment) are expected to arrive shortly from Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand. A Red Flag Warning remains in effect through Sunday at 11:00 a.m. for gusty northeast winds and poor overnight humidity recovery in western Siskiyou County. The priority of firefighting is for the protection of life, property and natural resources.
Download the latest fact sheet. (Updated 7/11 at 9 p.m.)
Download the latest statewide map.

Statewide Fire Statistics

  • Total Fires at Peak: 1,781
  • Total Fires Contained: 1,459
  • Total Active Fires: 322
  • Total Acres Burned: 793,483
These numbers are total fires and acres that have occurred from state, local and federal firefighting agencies beginning June 20, 2008.

CAL FIRE Statistics
  • Total Fires at Peak: 1,005
  • Fires Contained: 814
  • Active Fires: 55
  • Acres Burned: 239,418
These numbers are total fires and acres that have occurred ONLY in CAL FIRE jurisdiction since June 20, 2008.
The number of contained and active fires will not equal the total due to some fires merging together.

Statewide Resources Committed
  • Personnel Committed: 20,274
  • Fire Engines: 1,503
  • Hand Crews: 467
  • Dozers: 291
  • Water Tenders: 423
  • Helicopters: 142
Highway closures: State highways, county and local roads are closed throughout California due to wildfire activities. Closures and delays remain in place for State Highways 1 (Big Sur Area), 32, 70 and 299. Travelers are advised to seek current information from local law enforcement.

Evacuations: Areas of Butte, Monterey, Shasta and Trinity counties are under evacuation orders at this time. Precautionary evacuation orders currently exist in areas in Butte, Kern, Mendocino, Monterey, Plumas, Santa Barbara, Shasta and Trinity counties. Residents are advised to monitor their local fire situation, check with local law enforcement agencies for information, and be prepared to evacuate when necessary.

Threatened : 12,924 residences, 135 commercial, 2,460 outbuildings.
Destroyed : 100 residences, 1 commercial, 126 outbuildings.
Now, I'm going to repeat the request I made yesterday. If there is any particular fire you are looking for information on, please leave a comment and let me know which one it is and I will do my best to find something for you. I will try to come back later and give updated information as soon as I can find it.

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