A Case Study of the Camp Fire – Fire Progression Timeline

After siege of blazes, experts say California must improve wildfire evacuation plans.

This publication is downloadable and available free of charge from:
https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.TN.2135

The Camp Fire. November 8, 2018, Butte County, California. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada, so much like our own inter-mountain Jefferson County, Colorado. Over 18,000 destroyed structures, 700 damaged structures, 85 fatalities. The numbers only tell part of the story.

map of California, Butte CountyFollowing the fire event, this in-depth case study was completed in an effort to better understand Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fire behaviour; how it spreads, why it behaves like it does, how to be better prepared to evacuate populations, and how to structure response to a WUI fire event.

This report also includes a tool to assess a community’s local wildfire hazard and readiness for wildfire. It covers questions such as :
    • Do you have an evacuation plan?
    • What is the capacity of evacuation routes and are they lined with overgrown vegetation?
    • Are there safe assembly areas if evacuation isn’t possible?
    • What percent of the communities enrolled in opt-in warning systems?
    • Do you have a way to relay warnings if there is a loss of power, phone or internet?
It’s a long read, it even takes a long time to download, but it does provide some really good guidelines for planners and leaders, as well as residents.
Download this publication at https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.TN.2135

What Would You Take If You Had 5 Minutes…

Your phone just rang, it’s a Reverse-911. You need to evacuate, there’s a wildfire threatening your neighborhood and you need to leave NOW. What would you grab in the minutes left before you get in your vehicle and leave your home behind?

The Washington Post, in their Climate & Environment section, ran a gripping story about some folks who fled the Dixie Fire, which destroyed Greenville, California, this past August. Read the full story here.

WaPo typically allows non-subscribers to view up to 3 articles a month. If you can’t read the article right now, here’s a sampling of some of the residents of Greenville were able to save. I encourage you to go back next month and read the full story.

Along with the ashes of her two deceased dogs and several trinkets , Stephanie made sure to grab the book she was reading.
Along with the ashes of her two deceased dogs and several trinkets , Stephanie made sure to grab the book she was reading.
This teen grabbed her Divergent book series and her Pokémon cards, her photo album, which, she says, helps her to remember the good times.
This teen grabbed her Divergent book series and her Pokémon cards, and her photo album, which, she says, helps her to remember the good times.
Joshua saved his great-grandmother's sewing table, which meant a lot to his mom, and a large water bottle.
Joshua saved his great-grandmother’s sewing table, which meant a lot to his mom, and a large water bottle.
Teresa escaped the flames with her dog and the rosary which she always wears around her neck.
Teresa escaped the flames with her dog and the rosary which she always wears around her neck.
Karen was able to grab this quilt, which still keeps her warm.
Karen was able to grab this quilt, which still keeps her warm.
This teen says he mostly wanted to help his family pack, but he remembered to grab his favorite pair of shoes.
This teen says he mostly wanted to help his family pack, but he remembered to grab his favorite pair of shoes.
Jeff grabbed this hat he received as a volunteer for the Forest Fire Lookout Association.
Jeff grabbed this hat he received as a volunteer for the Forest Fire Lookout Association.

Mary rescued the Maidu baby basket in which she and her children rested as infants.
Mary rescued the Maidu baby basket in which she and her children rested as infants.

The Colorado Wildfire Risk Public Viewer

A normal human trait is to avoid looking for trouble before it happens. Unfortunately, engaging in this type of behaviour can lead to unfortunate and even deadly circumstances, especially where wildfire is concerned.

Hence we at C.A.R.E. are presenting the Colorado Wildfire Risk Public Viewer.  https://co-pub.coloradoforestatlas.org/#/

This viewer is a joint venture between the Colorado Forest Service and Colorado State University. It’s designed to increase wildfire awareness, provide a comprehensive view of local wildfire risk and local fire history, and educate about wildfire prevention and mitigation.

Sometimes this is all it takes — seeing your home in relation to real wildfire risk and to encourage you to get busy with the mitigation chores that you’ve been putting off all summer long.

Remember, this viewer contains no guarantees and makes no warranties. Use it to remind  yourself that, as much as we love the land, we have to be aware of the possible risks of living within the woodland-urban interface.

 

Jeffco Slash Collection Calendar

Sat Jun. 5 – Sun Jun. 6

SLASH Collection: June 5-6 @ Coal Creek Fire Department Station 2

Sat Jun. 12 – Sun Jun. 13

SLASH Collection: June 12-13 @ Evergreen High School

Sat Jun. 19 – Sun Jun. 20

SLASH Collection: June 19-20 @ Conifer High School

Sat Jun. 26 – Sun Jun. 27

SLASH Collection: June 26-27 @ Blue Mountain Open Space

Sat Jul. 3 – Sun Jul. 4

SLASH Collection: July 3-4 @ Settlers Drive Property

Sat Jul. 10 – Sun Jul. 11

SLASH Collection: July 10-11 @ West Jefferson Middle School

Sat Jul. 17 – Sun Jul. 18

SLASH Collection: July 17-18 @ Jeffco Evergreen Road & Bridge Shop

Sat Jul. 24 – Sun Jul. 25

SLASH Collection: July 24-25 @ Beaver Ranch Park

Sat Jul. 31 – Sun Aug. 1

SLASH Collection: July 31-August 1 @ Golden Gate Grange

Sat Aug. 7 – Sun Aug. 8

SLASH Collection: August 7-8 @ Jeffco Evergreen Road & Bridge Shop

Sat Aug. 14 – Sun Aug. 15

SLASH Collection: August 14-15 @ Jeffco Indian Hills Road & Bridge Shop, 4267 Comanche Road

Sat Aug. 21 – Sun Aug. 22

SLASH Collection: August 21-22 @ Foothills Fire Department – Rainbow Hills Station, 28812 Rainbow Hill Road

Sat Aug. 28 – Sun Aug. 29

SLASH Collection: August 28-29 @ Evergreen Fire District – Station 8, 33377 Forest Estates Road

Sat Sep. 4 – Sun Sep. 5

SLASH Collection: September 4-5 @ Wagon Wheel Open Space, 20340 Spring Gulch Road

Sat Sep. 11 – Sun Sep. 12

SLASH Collection: September 11-12 @ Settlers Drive Property, 8335 Settlers Drive

Sat Sep. 18 – Sun Sep. 19

SLASH Collection: September 18-19 @ Blue Mountain Open Space, 23401 Coal Creek Canyon Rd

Sat Sep. 25 – Sun Sep. 26

SLASH Collection: September 25-26 @ Shaffer’s Crossing Rd & Bridge Shop, 13008 Parker Avenue

Sat Oct. 2 – Sun Oct 3

SLASH Collection: October 2-3 @ Beaver Ranch Park, 11369 South Foxton Road

Sat Oct. 9 – Sun Oct 10

SLASH Collection: October 9-10 @ Beaver Ranch Park, 11369 South Foxton Road

Sat Oct. 16 – Sun Oct 17

SLASH Collection: October 16-17 @ Mount Vernon Country Club, 25158 Aspen Way

Sat Oct. 23 – Sun Oct 24

SLASH Collection: October 23-24 @ South Road & Bridge Shop. 9509 West Ute Avenue

Sat Oct. 30 – Sun Oct 31

SLASH Collection: October 30-31 @ Thunder Valley Park, 701 South Rooney Road

 

 

 

 

Betcha Didn’t Know This!

As we approach our Wildfire Season, thoughts may be turning to “When a wildfire happens and we have to evacuate, how does this all work? Who’s in charge? When will we find out if we have to leave? What should I do if I get an evacuation call, and who will it come from?”

Alan Anderson, our Foothills Fire Protection District Fire Chief, offers this illuminating description of what, who, why, where, when and how…

Your fire district is not “responsible for emergency evacuation routes”. We certainly identify and educate the public on those routes, through social media, community events, and of course in our CWPP(Community Wildfire Protection Plan). However, it is the responsibility of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to facilitate evacuation of our community in the event of an emergency (including wildfires). The responsibility of actually evacuating, lies with each community member and visitor.

The best way that I explain this to community members is using the example that when there is a fire, the fire department is going towards the fire. We are responding to the actual incident and we are responsible for mitigating the hazard (putting the fire out). We do not stop to direct traffic or close roads and point people in the direction of safety. This is all facilitated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. In an actual emergency situation, they will use their deputies, CDOT, Colorado State Patrol, and any other local resource to make this happen.

When we had the Bald Mt. Fire behind Mt. Vernon in September of 2019. We sent all of our apparatus, paid staff, and volunteers into the forest to fight the fire. Myself and Chief Vaughn [sic] created a command post at Ralston Elementary parking lot. This command post was initially created by combining Foothills Fire senior leadership and the senior on duty officer with Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (usually a Commander). We convened at the back of the Sheriff’s car and on a computer, we identified which way the fire was going based on our crews at the fire. Fire then tells the Sheriff’s Dept. what areas of our community to begin either evacuating or pre-evacuating. These areas are determined through defined polygons that Jefferson County has built into their computer system. Residents and visitors are notified through cell phone notifications and notification systems such as CODE RED.

I hope this offers you a better understanding of how it works and who is responsible for various tasks. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with further questions.

With kind regards,

Alan Anderson, Fire Chief, Foothills Fire Protection District

28812 Rainbow Hill Rd, Evergreen, CO 80439

AlanAnderson@FoothillsFire.org

FoothillsFire.org

Office – 303-526-0707, Cell – 720-775-8765