- Created on Monday, 20 August 2012 15:07
- Written by Jordan Scott
Sacramento, California - It’s getting hot in here!
It has been a long time coming, but conditions have once again come together to create the perfect recipe for disaster. Following two years of relatively mild fire concerns, Mother Nature has decided that we had it a little too easy for a little too long.
So she halted the rain, dried out the brush, kicked up the breeze, and even threw in long stretches of abnormally high temperatures to get the wildfires hopping up and down the state once again.
Fortunately, California is ready!
Over the last several weeks, thousands of California firefighters have been working around the clock to contain an outbreak of wildfires that have threatened lives, homes, and businesses and led to the temporary evacuations of several thousand people as the fires are brought under control.
Cal EMA is currently coordinating with state and local agencies to respond to 8 large wildfires, with many of them burning in Northern California. For the latest updates on all fire incidents, please visit CALFIRE’s Fire Incident Page.
Here are some of the latest information on two of the major fires currently being handled by state and local fire personnel:
Ponderosa Fire (Tehama/Shasta Counties)
- 15,000 acres burned – 5% contained
- 3,000 residences are currently threatened – 7 have been destroyed
- 1,409 state fire personnel are currently assigned to this incident
- Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for Shingletown, Lake McCumber and Viola
- American Red Cross has established an evacuation center at Big League Dreams Sports Complex, on Abernathy and Old Oregon Trail, Redding.
- Large-animal shelter located at the Tehama County Fairgrounds
- Additional animal shelters are located at: Asher Veterinary Clinic, Hill Top Road, Redding; Shasta County Animal Shelter, Radio Road, Redding; Haven Humane Society, Redding.
- Shasta County submitted a local emergency proclamation on 08/19/12, declaring a local emergency.
- Tehama County submitted a local emergency proclamation on 08/19/12, declaring a local emergency.
- 30 local and state strike teams/task forces deployed (150 engines, 414 firefighters)
Chips Fire (Plumas County)
- 47,040 acres burned (26,000 in Plumas National Forest; 16,000 in Lassen National Forest) – 32% contained
- 900 residential structures are threatened
- 1,022 state fire personnel are currently assisgned
- Evacuation Center has been opened at the Chester Memorial Hall at 225 Gay Ave., in Chester
- Plumas County submitted a local emergency proclamation on 8/16/12, declaring a local emergency
- The California Air Resources Board has provided air monitors to Butte and Plumas Counties to track smoke levels
- The California National Guard currently has water dropping and fire suppression helicopters standing by to provide additional support if needed.
- 13 state and local strike teams/task forces deployed (65 engines, 264 firefighters)
Firefighting Resources Deployed (All fires)
- State and Local Strike Teams – 61
- Strike Team Engines – 301
- Strike Team Firefighters – 1037
For the second time in a week, California has also successfully petitioned the Federal Government to provide financial assistance in the battle against one of the larger fires currently burning – the Ponderosa Fire in Tehama and Shasta Counties. Since it began on August 18, this fast-moving fire has already burned more than 15,000 acres, destroyed 7 homes, and continues to threaten 3,000 more.
By securing a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the financial burden in fighting such a fire is significantly relieved with FEMA reimbursing up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund.
As current fires continue to burn and new fires pop up, we are reminded once again of the critical need to prepare for such events. While California has the world’s best emergency responders working around the clock to protect our communities, there is no substitute for personal preparedness. We must all take the time to understand our risks and do what it takes to prepare ourselves, our families, and our property from the dangers of wildfire. For information on how you can get prepared, please visit the following sites: