- Created on Monday, 20 August 2012 15:09
- Written by Brad Alexander
Red Bluff, California - In the small Interstate 5 community of Red Bluff, hundreds of firefighters are preparing their gear and vehicle resources in anticipation to take the call to combat the growing Ponderosa Fire. These firefighters are part of a massive multiple agency response to this quickly growing fire, that currently burned more than 15,000 acres.
At this time the fire is burning just southwest of Shingletown and Viola and spreading within Tehama and Shasta Counties, threatening approximately 3,000 residences in the area.
The Ponderosa Fire was caused by dry-lightning conditions on August 18 around 11:30 a.m. More than 120 fire engines, 33 fire crews, 47 bulldozers and more than 1,400 personnel are currently staged or actively combating flames. Smoke clouds from this fire and others burning in Colusa, Plumas and Lake Counties are visible from as far south as Sacramento and Elk Grove.
Firefighters at the Tehama fairgrounds say the first priority is life and property saving measures within the fire’s perimeter and the nearby communities.
Responding agencies include, but are not limited to: California Emergency Management Agency, Tehama County, Kings County, Shasta County, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, CalTrans and Sierra Pacific Industries.
California Emergency Management Agency fire resources have been tasked from as far away as Hanford, in Kings County. The leader of the Kings County strike team, Battalion Chief Sal Gutierrez, said the team consists of staff and resources from Tulare City/County, Kern County and Bakersfield City.
For a full size map of the fire, click here.
Yesterday, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. secured financial aid from the federal government through a Fire Management Assistance Grant. This specific funding provided by FEMA allows a 75 percent federal cost-share reimbursement, through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund, to California for costs incurred in firefighting activities. The other 25 percent of firefighting costs is left to the local jurisdiction. For more information on the fire, click here.
Words by Brad Alexander, Media Outreach Coordinator. Images by Justin Short, Multimedia Specialist.