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Southern California Fire Journal.Com

Monday, May 30, 2011

San Ardo, Monterey County, Cal Fire

Units are still working the flanks and hot spots of a 500 acre wildfire in San Ardo CA. Strong winds hampered firefighting efforts and blew flames dangerous close to structures along Cattleman Drive, Red Head Canyon and Pancho Rico Rd. Three airtankers, three helicopters and numerous engines from Cal Fire and the United States Forest Service responded to the incident. No structures appeared to have been lost or damaged. The fire may have been sparked by a power line problem.

Photos Jeff Zimmerman, Zimmerman Media LLC

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wind Driven Wildfires Start CA Wildfire Season

The winds have been giving rise to a series of vegetation fires across the southland in Bakersfield, Kern and Los Angeles County. Eventhough temperatures have been relatively mild for this time of year the wind has helped to spread a series of small grass fires into structures. More wind is predeicted for South Western CA on Saturday.

Kern County and the Untied States forest Service are curently battling a 200 acres wildfire near Lake Isabella in Kern County known as the Cove fire, the fire is burning near Highway 178 and a populated campground. Some evacuations have taken place.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Severe Weather Outbreak, Oklahoma

Several tornadoes were reported on the ground causing property damage and killing 2 people in Oklahoma today at 3:30 PST. Large debris piles and numerous injuries have been reported as the storms intensify from kansas, Texas, Oklahoma up toward Joplin MO. Many poeple are reported missing in Joplin as death toll rises to 122.

Major Emergency Structure Fire, LAFD Chatsworth

LAFD Engine 107 has a greater alarm commercial building fire at 9654 Cozycroft X of Superior in Chatsworth CA. Fire is in 100x300 foot commercial building, fire is through the roof, LAFD going defensive operation. Ladder pipes and heavy handlines being deployed. LAFD BC 17 is the IC, LAFD channel 9, EPN Channel 1. Cozycroft IC.

Follow Up:Firefighter Injured Battling Flames in Chatsworth

On Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM, 16 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 8 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1Hazardous Materials Team, 1 LAFD Helicopter, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 118Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 9654 Cozycroft Avenue in Chatsworth.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find fire through the roof above a pair of centrally located units housing a one business in a single-story eight-unit 160' x 300' industrial building.

Forcing entry through rolling steel doors of the wholesale gift firm involved in fire, scores of firefighters worked in unison to swiftly salvage key business records and computer equipment from the office, as their colleagues nearby held advancing flames at bay.

The offensive attack on the fire, accompanied by strategic vertical ventilation, continued unabated for more than 20 minutes, until the roof became untenable and portions of the structure began to give way.

Defensive operations prevented flames from spreading beyond the one business, as large hosestreams were brought to bear against the blaze. The well-coordinated firefighting effort prevented the fire from causing direct damage to a gymnastic club to the south or a metalworking firm to the north.

The flames were brought under full control in just 63 minutes.

During the assault on the flames, one Los Angeles Firefighter sustained painful and potentially debilitating 2nd-degree burns to as much as nine-percent of his body, including hands and chest. He was taken in fair condition by LAFD ambulance to West Hills Hospital, home of the Grossman Burn Center, where he was treated in the Emergency Room and released to remain off-duty.

No other injuries were reported.

Fire loss to Bey-Berk International a timepiece wholesaler, is still being tabulated.

The cause of this midnight blaze remains under active investigation

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wild April Weather

Fire and rain: Fed scientists point to wild April

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer – Mon May 9, 6:54 pm ET

WASHINGTON – April was a historic month for wild weather in the United States, and it wasn't just the killer tornado outbreak that set records, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

April included an odd mix of downpours, droughts and wildfires. Six Midwestern states — Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia — set records for the wettest April since 1895. Kentucky, for example, got nearly a foot of rain, which was more than three times its normal for the month, NOAA reported.
Yet the U.S. also had the most acres burned by wildfire for April since 2000. Nearly 95 percent of Texas has a drought categorized as severe or worse, exacerbated by the fifth driest April on record for the Lone Star state.

Add to a record 305 tornadoes from April 25-28, which killed at least 309 people and the most tornadoes ever for all of April: 875. The death toll and total tornado figures are still being finalized.

Much of the southern and eastern United States were near record hot for April, while northwestern states were cooler than normal. Overall, the month was warmer than normal for the nation, but not record-setting. The odd mix of massive April showers and bone-dry drought can be blamed on the cooling of the central Pacific Ocean, which causes storm tracks to lock in along certain paths, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

"It's very consistent with La Nina; maybe we've had more extremes," Halpert said. "It's a shift of the jet stream, providing all that moisture and shifting it away from the south, so you've seen a lot of drought in Texas."
U.S. scientists also looked for the fingerprints of global warming and La Nina on last month's deadly tornadoes, but couldn't find evidence to blame those oft-cited weather phenomena.

NOAA research meteorologist Martin Hoerling tracked three major factors that go into tornadoes — air instability, wind shear and water vapor — and found no long-term trends that point to either climate change or La Nina. That doesn't mean those factors aren't to blame, but Hoerling couldn't show it, he said.
Climate models say that because of changes in instability and water vapor, severe thunderstorms and maybe tornadoes should increase in the future. But it may take another 30 years for the predicted slow increase to be statistically noticeable, said NOAA research meteorologist and tornado expert Harold Brooks.
But Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, said the preliminary study that Hoerling conducted was flawed and too simplified. He said there is evidence of an increase in instability in the atmosphere happening now.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Severe Weather Outbreak in Missouri,Tornado

Numerous reports of a severe tornado striking a hospital in Joplin Missouri.

JOPLIN, Mo. – A massive tornado blasted its way across southwestern Missouri on Sunday, flattening several blocks of homes and businesses, smashing up cars and leaving an untold number of people dead.

The storm that swept through Joplin left behind piles of brick and wood where homes and schools once stood. Cars were ripped apart and thrown on top of each other. A wrecked helicopter lay on its side in front of a damaged hospital. All that was left on one hillside was bare trees, stripped of their leaves and branches. The devastation was reminiscent of Tuscaloosa, Ala., last month, when a flurry of twisters killed more than 300 people across the South.

Missouri authorities said they could confirm that people had died in Joplin, but the numbers were unknown late Sunday and police said they had stopped the search overnight. Details about the number of fatalities and injuries were difficult to obtain even for emergency management officials, because the tornado knocked out power, landline phones and some cellphone towers, said Greg Hickman, assistant emergency management director in Newton County.

Triage centers and shelters were setup around the city of about 50,000 people about 160 miles south of Kansas City. At Memorial Hall, a downtown entertainment venue, nurses and other emergency workers from area hospitals were treating critically injured patients.

Hundreds of windows were blown out St. John's Regional Medical Center, where a few moments' notice gave staff time to hustle patients into hallways before the tornado struck the multistory building. All were quickly evacuated into the parking lot to be moved to other hospitals in the region.

The same storm system that produced the Joplin tornado spawned twisters along a broad swath of the Midwest, from Oklahoma to Wisconsin. At least one person was killed in Minneapolis.

The storm that hit Joplin spread debris about 60 miles away, with medical records, X-rays, insulation and other items falling to the ground in Greene County, said Larry Woods, assistant director of the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management.

Travel through and around Joplin was difficult, with Interstate 44 shut down and streets clogged with emergency vehicles and the wreckage of buildings.

Emergency management officials rushed heavy equipment to Joplin to help lift debris and clear the way for search and recovery operations. Gov. Jay Nixon activated the National Guard and declared a state of emergency, and President Barack Obama said the Federal Emergency Management Agency was working with state and local agencies.

Obama issued a statement sending condolences to families of those who died in storms in Joplin and across the Midwest.

Jeff Lehr, a reporter for the Joplin Globe, said he was upstairs in his home when the storm hit but was able to make his way to a basement closet.

"There was a loud huffing noise, my windows started popping. I had to get downstairs, glass was flying. I opened a closet and pulled myself into it," he told The Associated Press. "Then you could hear everything go. It tore the roof off my house, everybody's house. I came outside and there was nothing left."

He said people were walking around the streets outside trying to check on neighbors, but in many cases there were no homes to check.

"There were people wandering the streets, all mud covered," he said. "I'm talking to them, asking if they knew where their family is. Some of them didn't know, and weren't sure where they were. All the street markers were gone."

On social networking sites, people with ties to Joplin and even those without were calling for prayers for the southwest Missouri city. Some people were quick to post that they and their families are OK, or to get the word out that loved ones are missing or homes were destroyed. Others found themselves without access to phones because of overburdened phone lines, but able to text and use social media.

Resident Tom Rogers walked around viewing the damage with his daughter.

"Our house is gone. It's just gone," Rogers told The Joplin Globe. "We heard the tornado sirens for the second time. All of a sudden, everything came crashing down on us. We pulled our heads up and there was nothing. It was gone."

Tornado warnings were posted throughout the evening for other southwestern Missouri counties as the system powered its way east.

In Minneapolis, city spokeswoman Sara Dietrich said the death was confirmed by the Hennepin County medical examiner. She had no other immediate details. Only two of the 29 people injured there were hurt critically.

Though the damage covered several blocks in Minneapolis, it appeared few houses were totally demolished. Much of the damage was to roofs, front porches that had been sheared away, or smaller items such as fences and basketball goals.

In Wisconsin, the mayor of La Crosse declared a state of emergency Sunday after a severe storm hit, tearing roofs from homes and sending emergency responders. No one was seriously injured.

Sunday's storms followed a tornado Saturday night that swept through a small eastern Kansas town, killing one person and destroying at least 20 homes, as severe thunderstorms pelted the region with hail that some residents described as the size of baseballs, authorities said Sunday.

Kansas Division of Emergency Management spokeswoman Sharon Watson identified the victim as Don Chesmore, 53, of Reading. He was in a mobile home that flipped. He was taken to a hospital in Emporia, where he was pronounced dead.

Additional storms were predicted across the southern Plains through Thursday morning.

An advisory from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said warm weather Monday could fuel instability in advance of another weather system. A few tornadoes, some strong, could occur — starting in Oklahoma and southern Kansas in the afternoon and in North Texas in the late afternoon.

More severe weather is coming up from Tennessee as severe thunderstorms continue this evening. Severe weather is expected tomorrow. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured and lost property.

Donations are needed for the American Red Cross as tornados have hit the midwest today and most of April.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Amgen Tour Arrives In Paso Robles

Point Magu Plane Crash

A Boeing 707 has crashed on takeoff at the Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu and three people on board escaped with minor injuries, authorities said.
The plane has 150,000 pounds of fuel that caught on fire. Ventura County firefighters were called to the base about 5:30 p.m. to help put out the flames.
The plane went off the south end of the runway, authorities said.
Details are still sketchy, but a large plume of black smoke could be seen in the area.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ground Breaking Ceremony, Los Padres National Forest

Monterey Ranger District: May 16, 2011

Thanks to the hard work of dedicated employees of the Los Padres National Forest and Federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Monterey Ranger District will have a new district headquarters located in King City CA. The new building will replace a 37 year old wooden structure on Mildred Street that has served the Forest well for over three decades. The new office will be far more efficient for employees, will be LEED certified and will enahnce the esthetics of King City.

Congressman Sam Farr from the 17th District was on hand today to help break ground with Mayor Robert Cullen of King City, Monterey County Supervisor Simon Salinas, District Ranger Sherry Tune, Deputy Forest Supervisor Ken Heffner and of course Smokey Bear.

Other dignitaries included liaisons from the Esselen Tribal Council who provided a short tribal ceremony and asked for a blessing on the land. Children from Santa Lucia Elementary sang folklore songs and entertained guests by a rousing rendition of Smokey the Bear.

The Monterey Ranger District is one of five administrative districts on the Los Padres National Forest,originally established as the Monterey Forest Reserve in 1906.

Today the Monterey Ranger District encompasses 330,000 acres extending from Monterey-San Luis Obispo County line to Carmel River Valley, from the Pacific Ocean to the Salinas River. The area is known for its rugged and scenic vistas from sea level to over 5,000 foot elevation. Eighty seven percent of the land is designated as wilderness.

The District has had very large wildfires through ought history due to steep topography, narrow canyons, heavy fuel loading and difficult access. Over 400,000 acres have been consumed by wildfire, many sparked by dry lightning.

Information and Photos Copyright, Jeff Zimmerman, Zimmerman Media LLC

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Auto Vs Block Wall with Fire, LAFD Eng 65

Central Los Angeles, A vehicle hit a block wall and burst into flames at Avalon and Manchester, LAFD Engine 65 and County Engine 16 responded to the fire. Images Copyright, Jeff Zimmerman, Zimmerman Media LLC.

Police and Fire Closures in Los Angeles

Closing Ranks for Public Safety
By LAPPL Board of Directors on 05/10/2011 @ 04:04 PM

When we preach public safety first, we mean just that. When someone dials 9-1-1, the caller is typically in urgent need of help from police, firefighters or paramedics, if not all three. Our city’s residents expect and deserve a timely public safety response – especially when every minute counts.

The League continually calls attention to the impacts of the city budget crisis on the LAPD. But we’re also growing increasingly concerned about the effects of budget cuts on the Los Angeles Fire Department. When it comes to public safety, the LAPD and LAFD are full partners in protecting and serving the people of Los Angeles.

Every day, the LAFD temporarily closes 22 fire companies and six ambulance teams to save money. This stopgap measure was implemented in 2009 as part of a budget balancing effort. The idea was that the closed companies’ firefighters would report to other companies to fill in for sick or vacationing firefighters. Measures like these leave residents hoping their nearest station won’t be closed on a day they need the help of firefighters or paramedics. But hopeful thinking is not an adequate public-safety strategy.

Now, to eliminate the temporary closings, the City is proposing the permanent closure of 18 fire companies and four ambulances at stations across the city. This wasn’t the solution to the “temporary” closures we wanted or expected. And it isn’t the right one either. Some of our elected leaders are apparently prioritizing other concerns over public safety.

Before Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled his $6.9-billion budget last month, we knew it would require difficult choices to close the budget gap. But we also expected the choices to be prudent.

The proposed closure of the Wilmington-area Truck 38 is a case in point. L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe fired off a letter to the Mayor, taking exception with the plan to close the fire company and two ambulances serving the community of Wilmington. Knabe rightfully acted out of safety concerns for his constituents and because the city and county have “mutual aid and automatic aid” agreements to respond into one another’s jurisdictions to assist with fire suppression.

Now consider the Malibu/Pacific Palisades border, which has some of the country’s densest brush terrain. When a brush fire threatens Malibu residents, LAFD Engine Company 69 is the primary first aid the county receives from the city because of its location on Sunset Boulevard near PCH and Temescal Canyon. Closure of this Company will result in 10-minute response time delays, assuming the next truck is not already out on a call – an unacceptable risk for Southland residents.

And then there are fire calls that impact the LAPD. When a neighborhood needs to be evacuated, for instance, LAPD officers are always on-scene to get residents out of harm’s way. And, of course, officers depend on LAFD to respond as quickly as possible when a crime victim or an officer is wounded. Every minute waiting for help can often mean the difference between life and death.

Information provided by Police and Fire Protective League

Friday, May 6, 2011

Los Angeles County Fire Department Rescue, Over Turned Vehicle

The Los angeles County Fire Department responded to a vehicle accident, 2 vehicles with one over turned on Ave G at the 14 Freeway in the Antelope Valley. Three adults and two children were injured in the accident.

Photos Jeff zimmerman
Zimmmerman Media LLC Copyright

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fire Weather For Wednesday


Monday, May 2, 2011

Wildfires in CA

LACOFD working 5 acre fire on Catlina Island. Just requested 2 strike teams of type 3 engines to South Ops. Will be ST from MVU and RRU or CNF. Will be leaving out of Camp Pendelton on hover craft in a couple of hours.

Working fire Kern County Highway 46 at Bitterwater 100 acres.
Warm and dry with mild offshore winds.