Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Fires/Wildfires’ Category

Portugal began three days of national mourning Tuesday over its 41 wildfire deaths amid widespread public anger, with pressure growing on the government to explain why officials failed to prevent the tragedy that came just four months after 64 others died in another fast-moving blaze.


US Forest Service in the California Wildfire Response


US Forest Service Actively Involved in California Wildfire Response

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Release No. 0134.17

Forest Service Press Office
(202) 205-1135

US Forest Service Actively Involved in California Wildfire Response

Alongside its local, State and Federal partners, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service remains actively involved in response to wildfires in California. While these fires are not on National Forest System lands, the Forest Service provides additional firefighting personnel, incident management teams, and equipment resources to support the State of California and other federal agencies whose resources are challenged by the size, numbers, and severity of these fatal fires.

“The people of California are not in this alone. This is a unified effort that involves the dedication of the whole firefighting community,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke. “The Forest Service has boots on the ground and is providing other critical resources in California, as well as other parts of the American West, and we will remain as long as necessary.”

While Cal Fire is leading overall operations, as of Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 the Forest Service has committed over 1,500 firefighters to the effort. Forest Service firefighting resources currently supporting state and local fires include: 12 Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crews specially trained in wildfire suppression tactics; 103 Type 2 crews; 285 engines; 5 dozers; 1 water tender; 55 support vehicles; 23 fixed wing aircraft (includes air tankers, water scoopers, lead planes and air attack); and 8 helicopters (Type 1 and Type 2).

Additionally, over $6.6 million worth of supplies and equipment have so far been mobilized by agency cache warehouses for such items as: water handling equipment, hoses, nozzles, fittings, foam, folding portable water tanks, batteries, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), etc. Additional crews, equipment and aircraft are on order.

Currently, the Forest Service also has 15 large air tankers committed, 2 DC-10 very large Air tankers, 2 C-130s with air tanker modules, 34 helicopters and 3 scooper aircraft for water drops.

Firefighters are working to keep dozens of new fires small and of shorter duration, limiting damage and reducing costs and exposure to firefighters and the public.

The public is encouraged to continue following the guidance of local officials and stay informed. Information about wildfires is available on an interagency website, Inciweb:

“The U.S. Forest Service has an enduring history of supporting wildfire response and we continue to work with cooperators, partners, communities and the American public to reduce the risk of wildfire in the nation.” Chief Tooke said. “Our commitment to our local, State and Federal partners in California is steadfast, and we are dedicated in our mission of caring for the land and serving people.”


An oil rig storage platform exploded into flames on Sunday night in Lake Pontchartrain with 7 reported injured and taken to hospital.

NY Times


FEMA SitRep: California Wildfires (10/12/17)


Current Situation 18 large fires burning (FMAGs issued for 10) across 150k acres of state and private land.

Impacts: • 24 confirmed fatalities (CalOES law enforcement) • Approximately 106k people under Mandatory Evacuations • 36,513 (+3,100) homes threatened; 94 (+44) damaged / 1,313 (+168) destroyed •

Within existing fire perimeters: Population 26,270, 2 mobile home parks, 12 schools, 10 emergency medical services, 10 fire stations, 5 NSS shelters, 13 nursing homes, 3 cell towers •

50k customers without power and 36k without gas

(FEMA Reg IX) State/Local Response: • Governor declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, Butte, Lake, Solano, Mendocino, Nevada, Orange, and Yuba counties • CA EOC at Partial Activation • 59 Red Cross and independent shelters open with 5,117 (+2.8k) occupants (ESF-6 as of 3:30 a.m. EDT) FEMA Response: • DR-4344-CA and 10 FMAGs approved • Region IX IMAT-1 & LNO deployed to CA EOC • Staging Area established at Travis AFB

California: The cluster of wildfires has killed 23 people and 285 more are still missing



Northern California’s wildfires: Up to 2,000 structures detroyed and at least 17 people killed.

LA Times


fires supercharged by powerful winds ripped through Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties Monday, killing at least 10, injuring dozens more, destroying more than 1,500 homes and businesses



10/8/1871: Flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, igniting a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages.

History Channel

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announces that wildland fire suppression costs for the fiscal year have exceeded $2 billion, making 2017 the most expensive year on record. 


“…..At the peak of Western fire season, there were three times as many uncontained large fires on the landscape as compared to the five-year average, and almost three times as many personnel assigned to fires.  More than 27,000 people supported firefighting activities during peak Western fire season.  The Forest Service has been at Preparedness Level 5, the highest level, for 35 days as of September 14, 2017.  Approximately 2.2 million acres of National Forest system lands have burned in that time…..”


KUALA LUMPUR: Police suspect a short circuit to be the cause of the fire at the religious school in Jalan Datuk Keramat that killed at least 24 people.

The Star


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