Wildfires, Death and Disaster
Wildfire Season 2014
Wildfire season began early in 2014. Most of the fires have been contained but Haigh Fire in Mariposa County is only 75% controlled with one hundred thirty acres burned by June 11. From January 1, 2014 through June 7, 2014 2,118 wildfires have destroyed over 17,159 acres in California. The season has barely begun. 2014 is likely to be a destructive one in California.
Multiple Wildfires Wreak Havoc on the Western United States.
- California (8)
- Idaho (5)
- Montana (6)
- Oregon (5)
- Washington (2)
- Utah (1)
- Wyoming (1
Wildfire season begins during hot, dry summers in the western United States. Experts say that wildfire can break out year round as Climate Change brings about more heat and stormy weather. Wildfires are not always the result of human negligence. However, it is important for campers and hikers to take extra precautions at all times in this area. Many wildfires are started by lightning strikes during particularly violent storms that move across the area. 2013 has been particularly devastating and Yosemite National Park fires are a primary concern. Visitors and tourists from around the world have been evacuated from the park this year and in August the main road to the park has been closed due to the imminent threat to life.
California Wildfires 2013
The Rim Fire, near Yosemite National Park, continues to be the most active and is at present the 13th largest fire in California’s recorded history.
American Fire is located 10 miles northeast of Foresthill. The wildfire covered 24,408 acres. The cause of the blaze is unknown.
Deer Fire is located near Deer Creek, 12 miles east of Los Molinos. 10, 325 acres have been burned with 1 injury.
Gobblers Fire was caused by lightening, in steep inaccessible terrain at the upper end of Lytle Creek near Stockton Flats.
Fish Fire is located in a remote area of the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest. The wildfire was caused by lightning strike.
California 2013 Wildfire Statistics
Between January 1, 2013 through August 17, 2013, 4,715 fires destroyed 94,855 acres of land in California. The five year average for the same time period is 3,328 fires and 136,776. There has clearly been an increase in the number of wildfires during this period of time. On August 26, 2013 California governor Jerry Brown told news reporters that the cost of the Yosemite Fire is $20 million dollars.
Death of Arizona Firefighters
Nineteen members of the Prescott Fire Department's Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed Sunday while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, northwest of Phoenix on July 2, 2013. The dead were listed as Andrew Ashcraft, 29; Robert Caldwell, 23; Travis Carter, 31; Dustin Deford, 24; Christopher MacKenzie, 30; Grant McKee, 21; Sean Misner, 26; Scott Norris, 28; Wade Parker, 22; John Percin, 24; Anthony Rose, 23; Jesse Steed, 36; Joe Thurston, 32; Travis Turbyfill, 27; William Warneke, 25; Clayton Whitted, 28; Kevin Woyjeck, 21; and Garret Zuppiger, 27. Also killed was their superintendent, Eric Marsh, 43.
Prescott lost 20% of Firefighters in Department
The shocking accident took the lives of 20 percent of the Prescott Fire Department and devastated the city as well as family members. One member of the team was working in an area away from the team and survived. Brendan McDonough, 21, was serving as the lookout when the wind suddenly changed direction and overcame the 19 men on June 30 incident demonstrates the volatile nature of fighting wildfires as well as the ever present the danger.
What You Know About Wildfires
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Beaver Creek Fire has burned over 104,000 acres in an area where celebrities Tom Hank, Bruce Willie and others live.
Little Queens Fire
NIFC Member Organizations
Organizations who are part of the NIFC are:
- US Forest Service
- Bureau of Land Management(BLM)
- National Weather Service
- The National Park Service
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- US Fish and Wildlife Service
- The US Fire Administration-FEMA
National Interagency Fire Center
Located in Boise, Idaho, the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), is the nation's support center for wildland firefighting. The NIFC is made up of Eight different agencies and organizations. These organizations work together to interface and share information because the NIFC does not have a single director or manager. Working as the nations logistical support center, member organizations of the NIFC work together to reduce the duplication of services, cut costs, and coordinate national fire planning and operations.
View From Pilot Working With Fire Fighters
Living in Wildfire Prone Areas
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Wildfire Risk Assessment
- Danger to structures
- Danger to human life, including rescue workers and firefighters
- Danger to wildlife
- Financial cost to individuals
- Financial cost to communities
Evacuation: Things to Pack and Do
- birth certificates, insurance papers and a household inventory list (copies). Keep originals in safe deposit box
- Pets: have leashes, pet carriers, food and water ready. Plan ahead where to take pets and all pet needs
- Plan ahead for family members who may be at home in emergency when you are away.
- DO NOT CALL 9-1-1
- Tune in to local radio or television for warnings
- Pack, including Emergency Supplies Kit
- Park car facing out and have keys available for emergency exit
Planning for Emergency Wildfire Evacuation
When living in a high risk area it is extremely important to plan ahead for foreseeable emergencies. Wildfires are unforgiving and may appear without warning. Planning ahead by keeping check lists and exit routes available will make your evacuation happen in safety.
It is extremely important NOT to call 9-1-1 during this emergency. The 9-1-1 line should be left available for those who are already in danger or seriously ill. With proper planning and care most evacuations will safely save the lives of everyone seeking shelter.
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Nasa Pholo Journal
© 2013 Sandra Mireles
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