Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Fires/Wildfires’ Category

Strong Santa Ana winds will keep fire weather threats elevated to critical through Sunday. Winds decrease a little next week, but remain gusty in favored locations for fire weather threats to continue through midweek. Wintry weather is spreading north with snow moving into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast this weekend.

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A huge swath of Southern California is now in flames.

CBS News

“….as of very late Thursday night, six large fires had burned  220 square miles, 190,000 residents were evacuated, 23,000 homes were threatened, 500 were confirmed destroyed and there were 5,700 firefighters on the lines…..”

Rye Fire: more info… Updated: December 07, 2017 6:42 pm
County: Los Angeles County
Location: along Rye Canyon Loop, west Valencia
Acres Burned – Containment: 7,000 acres – 25% contained
Evacuation Info: 12/7/17 AM – See the latest Incident Update for more information on this fire.
Creek Fire: more info… Updated: December 07, 2017 8:28 pm
County: Los Angeles County
Location: Kagel Canyon Rd, north of Lake View terrace
Acres Burned – Containment: 15,323 acres – 20% contained
Evacuation Info: Evacuation MapSee the latest Re-population Update for more information.

12/7/17 AM – See the latest Incident Update for more information on this fire.

Thomas Fire: more info… Updated: December 07, 2017 6:33 pm
County: Ventura County
Location: Hwy 150 and Hwy 126, north of Santa Paula
Acres Burned – Containment: 115,000 acres – 5% contained
Evacuation Info: Evacuation Map12/7/17 AM – See the latest Incident Update for more information on this fire.
Lilac Fire: more info… Updated: December 07, 2017 7:39 pm
County: San Diego County
Location: Old Hwy 395 at Dulin Road, Bonsall
Acres Burned – Containment: 4,100 acres
Evacuation Info: Mandatory Evacuations in the area of W. Lilac Rd. & Sullivan Middle School. South of Burma Rd. East of Wilshire North of N. River Rd. West of S. Mission Ave
New evacuation orders: South of Renche Rd., West of I-15 Freeway, East of Green Canyon Rd. & S. Mission Rd., North of Hwy 76
Wvacuation Warnings are in effect: North of Pala Rd. South of Reche Rd. West of I-15 Freeway East of Green Canyon Rd. & W. Mission Rd.
Evacuation shelters have been set up: Fallbrook High School, and Pala CasinoEast Valley Community Center located at 2245 E. Valley Parkway, Escondidio & Stagecoach Community Park located at 3420 Camino De Los Coches, Carlsbad
Liberty Fire: more info… Updated: December 07, 2017 4:46 pm
County: Riverside County
Location: Los Alamos Rd & Liberty Rd, city of Murrieta
Acres Burned – Containment: 300 acres – 5% contained

Skirball Fire: more info… Updated: December 07, 2017 3:20 pm
County: Los Angeles County
Location: N Sepulveda Blvd at I-405
Acres Burned – Containment: 475 acres – 20% contained
Evacuation Info: Live map of evacuations for the Skirball Fire



Wildfires have torched more than 65,000 acres in Southern California


“…..In Ventura, a city of more than 100,000 on the Pacific coast, more than a quarter of its residents (38,000 people), had been told to evacuate…..”



12/5/1876: A fire at the Brooklyn Theater in New York kills nearly 300 people and injures hundreds more

History Channel

“….Sometime near the start of the performance, a gas light ignited some extra scenery stored in the fly space behind the stage. It wasn’t until midway through the play that stagehands noticed the quickly spreading flames. Unfortunately, there were no fire hoses or water buckets at hand and the fire spread, unbeknownst to the cast and audience…..”


A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning homes and forcing thousands to evacuate.

LA Times


12/1/1958: A fire at a grade school in Chicago kills 90 students

History Channel

  • Before December 1958, the building did not have any sprinklers and there were no regular preparatory drills conducted.


A blaze roared through an apartment building on the blue-collar edge of Beijing, killing at least 19 people, many of whom were apparently migrant workers from the Chinese countryside.

NY Times

“…..The fire broke out Saturday evening in a two-story structure in the Daxing District, about 11 miles south of the Chinese capital’s prosperous downtown. Around 6 p.m., the flames began consuming the building, and thick smoke spilled into the air. Firefighters spent three hours battling the fire……..

Eight people were injured, and a “suspect” was being detained……”

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



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