Situational Awareness Software Used by California Firefighters

Managing resources on the scene of an emergency has been a challenge for first responders and emergency managers for decades, and that hasn’t changed. But there are tools to help, and one that is being used on the California wildfire front as well as the pandemic response is the Tablet Command (TC)

The TC was developed by two firefighters in 2007 and has evolved over the years to the challenges of today.

Right now, it’s in use in the fight against Northern California wildfires in San Mateo, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Joaquin counties to manage strike team resources. The teams build an incident in the TC, enter all the resources being used and create a timestamp activity record. The TC essentially creates an activity log of what is happening on the fire line.

California Residents with Hoses Target Fires as Crews Urge Them to Stop

California residents have organized to put out flames themselves in a large swath of land burning south of San Francisco, defending their homes despite orders to evacuate and pleas by officials to get out of danger.

They are going in despite California’s firefighting agency repeatedly warning people that it’s not safe and actually illegal to go into evacuated areas, and they can hinder official efforts to stop the flames. The former head of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the effort near a cluster of wildfires around the city of Santa Cruz is larger and more organized than he recalls in previous blazes.

California Firefighters Beat Back Flames as Weather Cooperates

(TNS) - Firefighters, aided by calming weather and additional crews on the front lines, made significant progress Tuesday on three major Bay Area infernos that were sparked by lightning last week.

Some residents of Napa and Sonoma counties were allowed to return home following two days of favorable conditions that allowed firefighters to increase containment of the massive LNU Lightning Complex fires to 27%.

The LNU has burned 356,326 acres and is among a swarm of storm-triggered blazes that have charred more than 1.25 million acres statewide since Aug. 15, according to Daniel Berlant, a Cal Fire assistant deputy director.

Is California’s Annual Wildfire Nightmare Getting Worse?

(TNS) - Nearly three years after a swarm of Wine Country wildfires devastated California, another explosion of flames is making clear that the state’s efforts to fight the crisis may be no match for the worsening conditions fueling it.

Flames leveled entire Santa Rosa neighborhoods in 2017, then destroyed almost all of the Butte County town of Paradise 13 months later. Each of those fires set records for destruction.

In the past week, the extent and complexity of the blazes have stretched California’s firefighting resources to the limit. Over a few days, fires ignited by lightning in an intense heat wave torched an area more than twice the size of Los Angeles, forcing 119,000 people to flee in the middle of a pandemic.

California Fires Blanket San Francisco with Smoke; Thousands Evacuated

Thousands of people were under orders to evacuate in regions surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area on Aug. 19 as nearly 40 wildfires blazed across the state amid a blistering heat wave now in its second week.

Smoke blanketed the city of San Francisco.

Police and firefighters went door-to-door before dawn Wednesday in a frantic scramble to warn residents to evacuate as fire encroached on Vacaville, a city of about 100,000 that lies between San Francisco and Sacramento. Fire officials said at least 50 structures were destroyed and 50 were damaged and that four people were injured.

Heatwaves Raising California’s Wildfire Risk

The current heatwave broiling Californians like no event in decades is also elevating the risk for another potential disaster in the weeks ahead: wildfires.

While heat and dry conditions have contributed to the Lake and Ranch fires burning now in Los Angeles County, fear of larger blazes looms in the weeks ahead. As a result of climate change, California sees more than twice as many fall days with “fire weather” as it did a generation ago. The current heatwave raises the odds of “wildfires later in 2020, that’s for sure,” says Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Officials: Vehicle Malfunction Sparked Southern California Wildfire

A wildfire in mountains east of Los Angeles that has forced thousands of people from their homes was sparked by a malfunctioning diesel vehicle, fire officials said Monday.

The vehicle spewed burning carbon from its exhaust system, igniting several fires Friday on Oak Glen Road in Cherry Valley, and authorities were asking anyone who may have seen such a vehicle at the time to contact investigators, according to a statement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze in Riverside County, among several wildfires across California, had consumed nearly 42 square miles of dry brush and chaparral since it broke out Friday evening, fire officials said.

Damage Analysis of 2017-2018 California Wildfires Keys on Mitigation

New findings point to need for home improvements that resist embers, the cause of up to 90 percent of wildfire ignitions

Researchers identified key factors influencing the survivability of structures during a wildfire after surveying the devastation in Paradise, Calif. following the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest and most costly on record in the state, and data from six other California wildfire events in 2017-2018,


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