FIRES OF 2006
compiled by Dee Finney
THE WORLD IS ON FIRE
An orange glow and smoke
fills sky behind homes in the Coral Trace subdvision off of SR 442 in
Edgewater, Fla., Monday, May 15, 2006. An 800-acre blaze started in a
rural area along I-95, then breached the highway and threatened a
residential area, according to the state Division of Forestry. (AP
Photo/Barbara V. Perez, Pool)
Photo Credit: AP
Authorities evacuated about 1,400 homes in east-central Florida on Monday
after a brush fire jumped across a highway and threatened a residential area.
The 800-acre blaze started in a rural area along Interstate 95, then moved
across the pavement, posing a threat to homes and forcing officials to close a
12-mile stretch of the highway.
The fire is blowing east. It's blowing directly
over the road, and parts of the median are on fire," state trooper Kim
Parts of the highway have been closed
intermittently for weeks because thick smoke from brush fires has mixed with
morning fog and obscured the road, causing dozens of accidents.
Four people have died in car wrecks attributed
to the smoke.
Wildfires have burned more than 101,600 acres
in Florida since Jan. 1, according to the state Division of Forestry.
Written by Associated Press
Courtesy of © 2006, YellowBrix, Inc
Brush fires a threat and a challenge
Our position: Firefighters are prepared but need residents' help to prevent
Posted May 7, 2006
It has been eight years since the brush fires of 1998 terrorized Central
Florida, ravaging as much as a half-million acres in the region.
Those horrific weeks exposed shortcomings state and local governments had in
their fire-fighting resources.
Now, despite a few showers here and there, the region is the midst of a
weeks-long dry spell. In fact, the National Weather Service in Melbourne is
reporting that since January the Orlando area has had about 7 inches less rain
than what is considered normal. The lack of rain has caused memories of the
'98 brush fires to surface and governments to reassess their fire-fighting
This season is nothing like the one eight years ago that drew firefighters
from around the country to help battle those ferocious blazes, and Central
Florida fire departments have added staff and equipment and made other
improvements since then. Still, the potential for problems is high,
particularly with so many trees fallen and dried out after previous summer
storms serving as highly flammable fuel.
In Lake County just last week, about three dozen Tavares Middle School
students were sent home to escape smoke from a brush fire that burned more
than 1,000 acres nearby. A recent Brevard County blaze has scorched more than
5,000 acres, and in Volusia County wildfires burned within a few feet of homes
and businesses in Deltona and Daytona Beach a few weeks ago.
Outlying areas in Lake where woods abut populated communities -- such as the
area between Astor and Altoona -- face significant risks. They are so remote
that the firefighter response time is about 15 minutes. That's enough time for
a fire to result in devastating losses. Lake County Fire-Rescue is trying to
secure property for a station closer to the area. The county should do all it
can to speed up the process so adequate protection can be extended to those
residents and properties.
The department has taken other crucial steps to become better prepared for
brush fires, such as monitoring the drought index and then staffing extra
firefighters to help when the danger level is high.
The department also works more closely with the state Division of Forestry,
which takes the lead in doing controlled burns -- a controversial,
misunderstood yet useful land-management practice. Setting brush fires under
controlled circumstances eliminates excessive scrub that could otherwise flash
up and burn out of control.
Lake firefighters are appropriately on alert. But property owners must be
equally alert, sharing responsibility for preventing brush fires and
minimizing the damage they cause by doing simple things such as removing dead
plant material, disposing of cigarette butts properly and teaching children
the dangers of arson.
May 14, 2006 2:49 pm US/Eastern
Brush Fires Burn As Fire Danger Continues
(CBS4 News) MIAMI
Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day across
much of Florida; perfect for Mothers’ day, but more bad news for state
forestry officials who are battling one of the worst brush fire seasons in
years. Sunday remained great weather for brushfires, and from South Florida
to Orlando, firefighters remained on the lookout for flames.
State authorities say a wildfire has spread to the entire 29-thousand-acre
Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area in southwest Palm Beach County. That
fire sent a smoky haze across three counties Saturday, but a wind shift
Sunday spared densely populated areas the smell of stale smoke.
The state Division of Forestry says the fire has more than doubled in size
since it ignited Tuesday, likely by an all-terrain vehicle.
About 95 percent of the fire has been contained, and no structures were in
A cold front pushing across South Florida will bring a good chance of rain
during the first half of this week.
Five fires burned in Palm Beach and Broward counties yesterday, and small
fire were reported in parts of Miami-Dade county.
Meanwhile, an 80-acre blaze was burning in Bonita Springs in southwest
Florida, but no structures were damaged.
(© 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Rain brings no reprieve from wildfires
About 50 wildfires still active
A firefighter watches a grass fire burn Tuesday near Sun City,
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) -- A quarter-inch of rain
brought little relief to firefighters battling about 50 wildfires in parched
central Florida on Tuesday, and smoke from the blazes was blamed for auto
accidents that killed four people.
Three homes and several outdoor structures have been destroyed so far in
the fires that started April 21, but no homes were in immediate danger
"That rain is going to be dried up -- we didn't get much," said
Timber Weller, a specialist with the Florida Division of Forestry. "By
the end of today, most of that water will have evaporated between the sun and
Thick black smoke mixed with morning fog has caused dozens of car
accidents. Two people died and 19 passengers on a bus were injured in four
crashes on Monday.
Parts of Interstate 95 and the BeachLine Expressway, which runs from
Orlando to the Atlantic coast, will be closed to morning traffic until further
notice, officials said.
"Obviously the people need to be real careful, careful about starting
fires, be careful about not throwing used cigarettes out," President Bush
said Tuesday during a visit to the state. "They need to be mindful that
these are dangerous conditions."
The fires have charred about 9,000 acres.
Copyright 2006 The Associated
Press. All rights reserved.
Firefighters battling hot spots
Chipper mill still smoldering
NORTH PORT -- Tuesday's rain did nothing to help the fire still burning at
the Venice Land Clearing chipper mill on Joe Jeff Street.
"After getting three-quarters of an inch of rain, you can kick the
surface and its dry as a bone," said Rick Christman of the Florida Division
The fire, which started Saturday morning, is still smoldering, according to
North Port Fire Capt. Tom Gamber. Firefighters from North Port and the Nokomis
Volunteer Fire Department have been at the chipper mill since Saturday.
Christman and North Port Deputy Chief Howard Bearse said it's looking good,
but are being very cautious, and say the fire may still not be under control.
"We are making very good penetration," Bearse said. "But we
still do not know what we will find as we dig."
Christman said there still could be a pocket glowing embers.
"It's hard to say without getting right into it," he said.
Bearse said he tried to get a temperature reading using the department's
thermal imager, but the readings were sporadic.
"I'm getting only steam readings of about 150 degrees, but it's not
constant and jumps all over the place," Bearse said.
Bearse said he could not comment on how much longer firefighters will be
stationed at the mill.
The chipper mill is not allowed to take new material in, but they are allowed
to continue existing operations on other parts of the property, fire officials
The Red Cross has been bringing food and drink to the firefighters and mill
employees who are helping with the firefighting efforts.
Christman said these kinds of fires happen at many mulch fields. However,
Christman said he would like to see these companies put in more safety
"Sprinkler systems really work well," Christman said. "Putting
these on top of the piles can reduce the chance of spontaneous combustion."
Water is being pumped form a 25-acre lake owned by Henry Jakimer, a longtime
North Porter. He has been trying to get commissioners to understand a fire could
threaten the entire neighborhood.
According to Deputy Chief Don Adams, VLC representatives originally said
there was no fire, just "steam" coming from the 30-foot piles. The
chipper plant was already in operation when firefighters arrived. VLC operator
Steve Dean cooperated with firefighters by operating the heavy equipment on site
to remove debris from the piles.
Dean was unavailable for comment.
According to Sarasota County Property Appraiser's records, Dean's company VLC
bought the property on Jan. 31, 2006 from Thomas Ritzmann of CINTOM Properties
Inc. for $500,000.
Last May, the city Code Enforcement Board imposed a $500-per-day fine against
the owner for continuing violations of the city's zoning code.
In February, the owner paid about $120,000 in fines and asked the city for
permission to remain open. The fire department administration warned
commissioners the facility would still be a hazard.
Commissioners decided earlier this year to file a lawsuit against the owner
to have the business restored to its original 17-year old plan.
"This is such a shame," Lockhart said. "The neighbors kept
saying this would happen. The city needed to act faster on this one. This is a
threat to the neighborhood."
The Division of Forestry said the Department of Environmental Protection,
which also had several concerns about the site when it inspected the facility in
August, 2005, including mulch piles about 45 feet high, was notified Saturday.
Adams said the piles were so robust, a small pine tree was growing from one
of them. Firefighters drove a truck on one of the piles and placed a sprinkler
system on it to saturate the area.
Adams believes last week's rain water might have enhanced decomposing
vegetation and created a fire deep inside the mulch piles.
The chipper remains closed to the public.
North Port Editor Elaine Allen-Emrich
contributed to this story.
You can e-mail George McGinn
BY GEORGE McGINN
Evacuated Residents Allowed Back in Fla.
The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 16, 2006; 3:34 PM
EDGEWATER, Fla. -- Firefighters were able to build containment lines around
a brush fire overnight, allowing residents to return Tuesday to 1,400 homes
that were evacuated a day earlier.
Crews were concentrating on problem areas around Interstate 95, which
remained closed Tuesday morning, said Timber Weller, a spokesman for the
Florida Division of Forestry.
"They're continuing to widen the lines and spray out the hotspots,
especially focusing around 95, so hopefully we can get that stretch opened
up," he said.
Residents were allowed to return home after midnight, Weller said.
The fire started in a rural area along I-95 in Volusia County, south of
Daytona Beach, then breached the highway and threatened houses as it burned
about 800 acres. It was about 5 miles south of another brush fire that had
forced about 1,000 residents in New Smyrna Beach to evacuate their homes last
Parts of I-95 have been closed intermittently for weeks because thick smoke
from several fires in east-central Florida mixed with morning fog.
Wildfires have burned more than 101,600 acres in Florida since Jan. 1,
according to the state Division of Forestry. That total already far exceeds the
acreage burned in Florida in each of the past four years.
A state of emergency that Gov. Jeb Bush declared May 8 remained in effect,
and Bush said Tuesday that the federal government had approved a request for
A dry spring has made the state particularly vulnerable for wildfire,
Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson said. "Let's not forget we have
thousands of tons of debris on the ground from eight different hurricanes.
That's causing us major problems," he said.
Brin's Fire, top, burns near Sedona,
Ariz., on Sunday, June 18, 2006.
Authorities evacuated five sub-divisions in Sedona and also about
400 homes and businesses in nearby Oak Creek Canyon. Brin's
Fire has burned over 3,000 acres so far.
12:16 a.m. ET, 6/19/06
Subject: The Brins fire in Sedona
18, 2006 7:51 PM
of you have heard of the wild fire that has been raging 5 miles north of
Sedona since noon today - some of you have not.
just want to send some pictures and update you a little about what's going
wind is coming from the west, which means that the fire is spreading away
from us right now. It started close to Brins Mesa which is a hiking trail up
from Soldier's Pass where we live. It's kind of a ravine that has the
behind it and the Mogollon Rim to the east so we though it might contain
itself. There is a pass through the rim that leads into
and late afternoon it was decided that the canyon should be evacuated. A
fire in the canyon is a disaster but I don't know how bad it is. No info
anywhere, just from people we meet or call. Nothing on TV nor radio.....
very odd. Have heard one message on the news where they gave us a hot line #
to call for info which I tried but it didn't work.
is evacuated and also north of Uptown. We are probably safe with this wind
so pray that it won't change tonight. Would hate to be evacuated in the
middle of the night.....
is no way that fire engines or fighters can get out there but 4 flying wet
units (water dumping helicopters) is working full time. I guess they can do
nothing tonight. I just went out for another check and it seems like the
really thick clouds has evened out. Keep your fingers crossed it will work
out with ease and grace.
pictures for you.
TOM HOOD: AP
From Times Wire Reports
June 22, 2006
Oak Creek-area fire grows to 3,000 acres
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.19.2006
SEDONA - Fire crews were positioned Monday to try to protect homes from a
growing wildfire that had burned to within a mile of some of the buildings
in northern Arizona's scenic Oak Creek Canyon.
The fire was estimated early today at 1,000 acres, but new mapping later
placed it at 3,000 acres, said Brienne Untalan, a spokeswoman for the fire
The fire was burning on high mountain plateaus above Oak Creek Canyon,
forcing the evacuation of about 400 homes and businesses in the canyon and
another roughly 100 homes in five Sedona subdivisions.
The weather forecast for Monday for the area called for high temperatures
approaching 100 degrees, with winds of around 10 to 20 mph, with higher
Crews manning fire engines spread out throughout the canyon to defend
homes, fire officials said. There were no reports as of early Monday of
any homes being damaged or destroyed but the potential remained.
"It's going to be quite a fight not to lose them," said Kristy
Bryner, a fire information officer.
Four airplanes and four helicopters were used to dumped retardant and
water on the fire Sunday. About 160 people fought the blaze as of late
A Type 1 incident management team is scheduled to take over the fire
Tuesday. A Type 1 crew is reserved for the most complex and serious fires.
Oak Creek Canyon, more than 90 miles north of Phoenix, contains a mix of
homes, including upscale houses and mobile home parks, said Brenda Grey, a
spokeswoman for Coconino County. She said it also contains hotels, resorts
and stores that are scattered throughout the canyon.
Helge Zipprich, who lives in a mobile home in Oak Creek Canyon, said he
and his three sons were in Sedona at the time of the evacuation so they
didn't have time to get anything from their home. They arrived late Sunday
at an evacuation shelter in Sedona with only the clothes on their backs.
Zipprich said the worst part was not knowing what's happening. "If
the fire does spread and gets my home I wouldn't know," he said.
The fast-moving fire ignited Sunday afternoon in a wooded area and quickly
led to the evacuations in the Sedona subdivisions, including Cibola Hills,
Rim Shadows, Painted Cliff, Shadow Rock Circle and Casa Contenta.
"There is no immediate or urgent threat to those subdivisions,"
said Cathie Schmidlin, another fire information officer.
New wildfire near Sedona
Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor and Anne Ryman
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 18, 2006
A 1,000-acre forest fire burning just north of Sedona has caused the
evacuation of Oak Creek Canyon as well as about 100 homes.
The Sedona Fire District ordered homes evacuated north of Casa
Contenta, which is on Soldiers Pass Road, and north of Navahopi Road
The Village of Oak Creek has not been evacuated.
As of late afternoon, the fire was moving northeast away from Sedona
and toward Oak Creek Canyon.
"At this time, nothing is being threatened, but we
are beginning to get embers in the area so as a precautionary measure we're
evacuating the area," said Henry Provencio, a spokesman for the
Coconino National Forest.
An evacuation center has been set up at West Sedona Elementary School and a
recorded hotline is available at 928-204-8975.
The Brins Fire was spotted around 1 p.m. on top the Brins Mesa about a mile
north of Sedona. The Brins Mesa Trail is popular among hikers because of its
sweeping views of the red rock formations such as Coffee Pot and Chimney
At least 90 firefighters are on the scene along with two helicopters and
four air tankers, and a Type 2 team is en route. No injuries have been
reported, and no homes have been lost.
Gary Johnson, public information officer for the Sedona Fire District,
estimates the fire is at least a mile from homes.
"The reason we're concerned is because there is old growth out there,
and it could work its way toward town," he said. The fire's cause is
Subdivisions that were ordered evacuated include Cibola Hills, Rim Shadows,
Painted Cliff, Shadow Rock Circle and Casa Contenta.
In the upscale Casa Contenta subdivision, where luxury homes are tucked in
among trees, residents packed up belongings and kept an eye on the fire from
their driveways and balconies.
Beverly Coffey loaded paintings into a sport-utility vehicle. She paused in
her driveway to watch the plume of brownish-white smoke.
Her voice cracked and tears welled up in her eyes as she prepared to
evacuate. "It's just the fear that you're going to come home, and it
won't be here. It's your home," she said.
Conditions in Sedona and the surrounding area have been extremely dry.
Sections of Highway 89-A have been closed through the northeast section of
Earlier this month, crews contained an 836-acre wildfire near the Village of
Oak Creek, which destroyed five buildings and forced the evacuation of 200
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org
Highway Is Firebreak for Blaze Near Sedona
Distant smoke is seen as police volunteers direct residents
back into a Sedona, Ariz., subdivision Wednesday, June 21, 2006.
About 400 residents from the area were evacuated Sunday after the
Brins fire started. Residents of two subdivisions were allowed
back to their homes Wednesday but homes and businesses in Oak
Creek Canyon remained off-limits. (AP Photo/Tom Hood)
Firefighters near Sedona burned some fuel from the path of a wildfire
that moved into a scenic northern Arizona canyon, threatening hundreds
of home there, but still faced a battle to keep it from moving any
Firefighters were using Highway 89A, which runs through the center of
Oak Creek Canyon, as a firebreak to halt the advance of the 2,585-acre
"We've kind of drawn some lines in the sand and we're going to be
working hard to solidify them," said Sedona Fire District Chief
Firefighters Work to Protect Park
© 2006 The Associated Press
SEDONA, Ariz. — A 2,585-acre fire approached
a popular state park in northern Arizona, and Colorado's governor
banned open burning and fireworks as a wildfire there grew to nearly
Hundreds of firefighters struggled Wednesday to
prevent flames from jumping a highway in Arizona's scenic Oak Creek
Canyon and threatening an area of evacuated homes and resorts. The
blaze was only 7 percent contained in the steep, rugged terrain.
Flames had neared the two-lane highway that runs
through the middle of the canyon, but crews were able to burn away fuel in its
path, officials said. The fire also approached the area of Slide Rock State
Park, a popular recreation spot that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors a
The blaze started Sunday in a camp used by transients
and spread quickly, forcing the evacuation of about 460 homes and businesses
in the canyon more than 90 miles north of Phoenix. The Forest Service is
offering a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to a conviction of
those responsible for the fire.
Mike Yeager has a home in the lushly forested canyon,
whose walls are tinted crimson by iron oxide.
"It makes me so mad. I just want to spit," he
said. "These people started a fire in the most beautiful place in the
Gov. Janet Napolitano declared a state of emergency
Monday to activate the state's 211 phone system, which provides people with
information about natural disasters and other emergencies.
Oak Creek Canyon "is the jewel of Arizona,"
said Napolitano, who toured the area by air. "We want to do everything we
can do to save this area."
In southern Colorado, a wildfire grew to 11,800 acres
as Gov. Bill Owens banned open burning and fireworks on state-owned land _ and
urged local officials to do the same. Thunderstorms ignited several fires
across the state.
No homes were destroyed by the blaze, but about 300
were evacuated as helicopters dropped water on smoldering ground within two
miles of a rural subdivision east of Fort Garland.
Officials said the fire was 30 percent contained by
Wednesday afternoon, with crews allowing it to burn itself out in uninhabited
Owens toured fire lines near Fort Garland and likened
the statewide danger to the disastrous fire year of 2002, when 235 homes were
"The current hot, dry conditions increase the
potential for a major fire every day," Owens said.
Debbie Pettigrew decided not to evacuate but backed a
trailer up to her house in case she had to pack family heirlooms and leave in
a hurry. She said her family's roots run deep in the area and some of her
furniture dates to the covered-wagon era.
"It's not just trees that are burning, it's
history," Pettigrew said.
In New Mexico, heat, wind and rugged terrain slowed
efforts to control fires that have burned nearly 70,000 acres of forest.
The largest blaze, burning across about 33,250 acres in
southwestern New Mexico, continued to threaten cabins in the Willow Creek
area, fire officials warned.
In California, firefighters battled a blaze of more
than 13,000 acres that had stopped short of a critical ridgeline in Los Padres
National Forest. No homes were threatened as the fire burned away from the
small town of New Cuyama, about 45 miles east of Santa Maria.
Wildfires have charred more than 3.1 million acres
nationwide so far this year, well ahead of the average of about 900,000 acres
by this time, the National Interagency Fire Center reported. Huge grass fires
that swept Texas and Oklahoma this spring account for much of the increase.
Associated Press Writer Colleen Slevin in Colorado
contributed to this report.
Wildfire Strands Grand Canyon Tourists
58,300-Acre Blaze Forces Road Closure, Marooning
Hundreds Of Visitors And Workers
FREDONIA, Ariz., June 27, 2006
A 49,700-acre wildfire north of Grand Canyon
National Park in Arizona jumped the only highway leading to the remote
North Rim, closing the road and marooning hundreds of tourists and
workers. The fire was burning about 30 miles from the park, but
officials said no one was in any danger.
The tourists were led out to safety late Tuesday, reports CBS News
correspondent Sandra Hughes
In all, 42 large fires are burning in nine states, claiming more than
3.5 million acres so far this year — twice last year's acreage and
almost three times as much as the 10-year average, reports Hughes
Eight states are under severe draught warning.
Experts say blame Mother Nature. "We had a very wet 2005 that
created a lot of grass and brush and those fuels have carried over to
this year," Rick Ochoa of the National Interagency Fire Center told
In Nevada, lightning bolts sparked another half-dozen new wildfires that
were burning around Reno and Carson City early Tuesday, worsening the
damage from blazes that already have consumed about 50,000 acres of
More than two dozen fires remained active, many out of control, reaching
from the heavily timbered western front of the Sierra Nevada near Reno
to the sage- and grass-filled rangeland near Elko, 300 miles east.
As many as 300 homes and businesses east of Carson City in the Mound
House area were threatened by a pair of brush fires covering an
estimated 1,500 acres that forced the temporary closure of part of U.S.
Nevada officials earlier ordered evacuations in two rural communities
near Elko and flames burned within a quarter mile of homes 15 miles
northwest of Reno, but no injuries were reported and no homes faced
immediate threat. Some residents also voluntarily evacuated from the
rural valleys on the northern outskirts of Reno, where some of the new
lightning fires that began Monday were burning an estimated 2,000 acres.
Nevada's biggest fire has grown to 40,000 acres about 20 miles west of
Elko near Carlin, where the University of Nevada Fire Science Academy is
located along I-80.
"We do a lot of real-life fire training, but we never expected
this," said Denise Baclawski, the academy's executive director.
"All night long we had staff members work to protect the
Northwest of Reno, a 1,500-acre wildfire in the Sierra just across the
Nevada-California line was estimated to be 50 percent contained early
Tuesday and some of those 250 firefighters were being transferred
About 90 miles north along U.S. Highway 395 near Susanville, Calif., a
100-acre fire forced evacuations of as many as 100 homes before
residents began returning Monday night.
Near Sedona, Ariz., fire officials predicted that a 4,200-acre fire that
forced hundreds to evacuate would be contained Wednesday. Owners of the
roughly 400 homes and scattered businesses still evacuated were expected
be allowed to return Tuesday night.
Elsewhere, a 3,200-acre blaze a mile west of the northern New Mexico
town of Gallina calmed. Crews were still fighting the fire, though
evacuees from 120 homes in three subdivisions were allowed to return
As of Monday, wildfires around the United States had blackened 3.3
million acres this year, compared with 1.2 million acres on average at
this point in the fire season, the National
Interagency Fire Center
reported. However, much of this year's
acreage resulted from huge grass fires in Texas and Oklahoma this
spring, not from forest fires.
©MMVI CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The
Associated Press contributed to this report.
PRESCOTT, Ariz. A lightning-caused wildfire is burning this evening near
Crown King north of Phoenix. The fire is in the Prescott National Forest on
the Bradshaw Mountains.
So far, it's burned between 150 and 200 acres.
Two air tankers have been dumping retardant on the path of the Tiger
Fire. The planes returned to Williams Gateway to restock and are heading
back to the fire.
Tall, orange flames can be seen leaping into the air.
Lots of gray smoke is floating over the area.
The fire is burning in steep terrain. Getting fire crews to the fire is
not easy. Channel 5 says hand crews will be arriving tomorrow to battle the
As far as structures, the fire is burning away from some nearby summer
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Wildfire burns 5,000 acres near Moses Lake
MOSES LAKE, WA (AP) — A fire that has burned an estimated 5,000 acres
near Moses Lake was threatening several homes, a power transmission line, a
power substation and a fish hatchery, authorities said today.
No evacuation orders were immediately issued, and no injuries were
reported. There was no word on what caused the Rocky Ford fire, burning
roughly 4 miles northwest of Moses Lake in Grant County.
Washington State Patrol’s Fire Protection Bureau sent crews to help
local firefighters. Douglas, Chelan and Spokane counties also sent
firefighters, engines and water tenders.
The extra crews were dispatched as part of a state fire services
mobilization plan. Such plans are used to provide additional personnel and
equipment from around the state when wildfires exceed the capacity of local
Elsewhere in Eastern Washington, a wildfire near Ephrata blackened more
than 5,000 acres and destroyed a mobile home.
It took firefighters 13 hours Wednesday to contain the fire in rough
terrain. Fire managers said it was started by embers from a trash burn
Firefighters contained a 175-acre fire south of U.S. Highway 12 on the
eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains on Wednesday.
The Trout fire started Tuesday evening east of Rimrock Lake and roared
through grass, brush and timber in steep terrain on state and federal land
about 40 miles west of Yakima. Two helicopters dropped water on the fire
No evacuations were ordered, although residents in the Rimrock Lake
Retreat were obviously concerned, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Bette
Cooney of the Naches Ranger District.
Several dozen cabins and permanent residences sit along the Tieton River,
but the fire burned uphill, south of the river and away from any structures,
Firefighters cleared fire lines east and west of the burn, and
containment was declared late Wednesday, but officials remained concerned
about the danger posed by fireworks with the approach of the Fourth of July.
“We did have a wet season and an early (rain) season, which prompted
voracious growth with some of our grasses,” said Doug Jenkins, a Wenatchee
National Forest spokesman in Naches. “We’re really concerned about
Nearly three dozen firefighters from nine agencies battled a stubborn
112-acre brush fire that started about half a mile north of U.S. 12
northwest of Yakima, advancing within 100 feet of several homes near Gleed,
northwest of Yakima, early Wednesday afternoon.
A brush fire officials were calling arson blackened about 45 acres near
Wapato, south of Yakima. Both the Gleed and Wapato fires were under control
by Wednesday evening.
Wildfire Scorches Hilly Back Country Near
Published: 6/30/2006 1:19:27 AM
A wildfire blackened scores of acres in a rural area north of Escondido
today, burning toward some back-country homes but causing no structural
damage, although one firefighter was injured, authorities said.
The blaze began spreading in a hilly area off Old Castle Road and
Champagne Boulevard in the Hidden Meadows area about 3 p.m., according to
the California Department of Forestry.
Within two hours, the burn area had grown to roughly 100 acres, department
public information officer Audrey Hagen said.
Attacking the flames at 5 p.m. were some 300 firefighters from three
agencies, equipped with four air tankers, four helicopters, 45 engines and
The blaze was about 35 percent contained as of 8 p.m., and had stopped
spreading, authorities said.
The blaze moved in the general direction of a few scattered neighborhoods
but posed no imminent danger to them.
"There's no evacuation order," Hagen said in the early evening.
Crews expected to have the fire surrounded by around midnight and fully
extinguished sometime tomorrow, Hagen said.
Officials were unsure what sparked the blaze, Hagen said.
optimism to massive wildfire fight in Nevada
RENO, Nev. For the first time in five days, firefighters battling more
than 215 square miles of wildfires in Nevada have reason for optimism.
That's thanks in part to better weather and reinforcements from across the
With scattered showers, lower temperatures and higher humidity, fire crews
are holding their own against a 79-thousand-acre fire in eastern Nevada
that earlier in the week closed 20 miles of Interstate 80 from Carlin to
Elko. That fire is now estimated to be 60 percent contained.
Fire officials say the threats to homes in Elko and Carlin is greatly
In the western part of the state, the 58-hundred-acre Linehan fire that
threatened up to 300 homes at one point and forced evacuations around
Carson City is now 90 percent contained.
The 32-hundred-acre Virginia fire, which closed U-S Highway 95-A
between Fernley and Silver Springs for several hours yesterday, is 80
Mopping up also is under way on the ten-thousand-acre Elburz Fire ten
miles northeast of Elko, while the Sneekee Fire, 35 miles southwest of
Elko, is 80 percent contained at about ten-thousand acres.
Three consecutive days of temperatures in the 90s, low humidity and dry
lightning eased last night and today as a wet West Coast system pushed
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized funding to cover
up to 75 percent of the costs of fighting the fires.
No injuries have been reported and no structures have burned in any of
Copyright 2006 Associated Press.
California fire threatens Old West movie set
July 12, 2006
(YUCCA VALLEY, Calif.) - At least 30 homes have gone up in smoke
near a historic town that was the backdrop for old Hollywood Westerns.
As many as a thousand people have fled from a wildfire racing across
26-thousand acres of Southern California desert. Fire officials say the
fire has already burned up less historic outbuildings. The Pioneertown
streetscape is where Gene Autry and Roy Rogers fought the bad guys.
Firefighters are making better progress against another California
wildfire. Officials say the blaze southeast of San Francisco has been
about 40 percent contained by the thousand firefighters on the job
Montana firefighters are trying to control a blaze
west of Billings that has destroyed at least four structures, including
Battalion Chief Doug Lannon says portions of the wildfire have been
contained, but fire officials won't know exactly how much until later
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Fires Rage Over 27,000 Acres Near Joshua Tree National Park...
A wildfire continued burning in Yucca Valley this morning, with no
indication when the blaze would be contained.
The fire, which has consumed more than 27,000 acres, has burned for
four days and destroyed more than 30 homes and outbuildings in and around
Pioneertown, the Old West outpost and former movie set outside Joshua Tree
National Park in San Bernardino County, fire officials said.
More than eight injuries to firefighters and residents have been
reported. More than 2,500 firefighters were battling the blaze.
Fed by winds as fierce as 40 mph, the fire has been renamed the
Sawtooth Complex fire. It was caused by a lightning strike about 8:30 a.m.
More than 1,000 people have evacuated. An aid center was established at
Yucca Valley High School.
and more than 3,000 buildings remained threatened by the blaze, according
to state fire officials.
"It's a challenging fire at this point," said Glenn Barley,
spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in
San Bernardino County. "We really don't know when we can get it under
More than 1,200 firefighters were battling the wildfire, focusing on
saving lives and structures.
Pioneertown remained closed to residents this afternoon. Located about 120
miles east of Los Angeles, it was built in 1946 as a permanent set for
western movies. Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Russell Hayden all made films
using the stores and desert as a flinty background. It was generally
undamaged by the fire.
The last movie was filmed in 1995, according to the Pioneertown website.
The buildings, however, have become a tourist draw and are home to a few
hundred hardy souls.
Many of the homeowners gathered near roadblocks, anxiously waiting for
word on when they could return.
Earlier, flames crept down Morongo Canyon, approaching just a half-mile
from homes, as residents poured into Navajo Trail, a dirt road that leads
from Highway 62.
The valley sky was filled with grayish white smoke, visible from some 50
miles away, as helicopters buzzed overhead dumping water.
Tammy Murrow, 33, moved her two small children from their Yucca Valley
home on Navajo Trail last night and waited worriedly for news of possible
evacuation. She had transported photos, birth certificates and the kids'
Game Boys to a relative's home in Palm Desert.
"I'm stressing," Murrow said. "I stayed up all last night
'cause I was so freaked out by the fire and the winds."
She said the nearby mountain was completely ablaze Tuesday night, and the
Sheriff's Department knocked on her door at 3 a.m. to warn her of the
"It's horrible," Murrow said. "I don't know how they're
going to stop it. I never saw fire like this ever.
"It makes me rethink living here. I'm scared to death now."
Nearby, plasterer David Hessen, 43, stood atop his roof, hosing it down.
Hessen had been spraying the roof since before dawn, when the sheriff's
"I've been at this since last night in case ashes fall on my
roof," said Hessen, who moved to Yucca Valley from Lake Forest four
years ago. "I'm from the city. I love it out here. It's really great
When asked what it would take to make him leave, Hessen pointed to the
house next door: "When this house burns down, I'll go."
Linda Herzel waited to return to her home in one of Pioneertown's historic
buildings along Mane Street. When she left it was in tact, but she fears
what she will find; anything from smoke damage to a pile of rubble.
"I feel sorry for the new people who have moved here," Herzel
said. "They came here for a new life and now this has happened."
Times staff writer Susannah Rosenblatt contributed to this report.
Wildfires pull Utah crew to Wyoming
West ablaze: Vast
acreage also burning in Idaho and Nevada>
By Ben Neary
The Associated Press
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Firefighters tried to fend off a wildfire
threatening hundreds of houses just south of Casper on Wednesday
as a forecast of high winds raised fears that the flames could
''We haven't lost any homes, but it's real close,'' said
State Forester Bill Crapser.
He said officials were concerned that strong winds could
drive flames toward houses on the north face and top of Casper
Mountain, about five miles south of Wyoming's second-largest
city. The lightning-sparked fire has already burned nearly
10,000 acres, since Monday. Gov. Dave Freudenthal declared a
state of emergency Tuesday.
About 200 firefighters were assigned to the fire and that
number was expected to increase, Crapser said.
''The weather looks like it's going to be unfavorable today,
with high winds, low relative humidity,'' he said.
Fire managers from the Muirs Eastern Great Basin National
Incident Management Team, including about 20 people from Utah,
arrived in Wyoming Wednesday morning, said U.S. Forest Service
spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollack. The team, trained to manage
complex, large-scale fires took over command around 6 a.m.,
The help of Utah fire crews has been requested but Pollack
said officials in Wyoming are uncertain how many will arrive and
where they will come from.
An estimated 300 homes in the heavily forested area were
ordered evacuated Monday and Tuesday. About half the
firefighters will be assigned to protect houses while the rest
cleared fire breaks to stop the flames' advance, Crapser said.
Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise,
Idaho, said all available equipment and crews are fully engaged
on more than 40 large wildfires across the West. Resources are
being shifted from fire suppression to protecting high-value
''We're focusing on protecting community infrastructure,
historical resources and precious watersheds,'' said Rose Davis,
a Forest Service spokeswoman. ''We need to look at where we can
be the most effective with what we have, knowing these fires
could keep burning for another month or so.''
Idaho led the nation with 12 large wildfires Tuesday,
including several on the fringes of rural mountain communities.
The state Department of Environmental Quality issued what it
said was its first ''red'' air quality alert for the populous
Boise Valley after drifting smoke from wildfires sent ozone
pollution to unhealthy levels.
Elsewhere, firefighters were battling a lightning-sparked
wildfire that had doubled in size to 40,000 acres in Elko
County, Nev., by Wednesday. Crews said they feared the 62
square-mile fire would be aided by dry weather and windy
conditions. It was estimated at 40 percent contained.
Army troops also were being sent to two fires that have
blackened more than 140 square miles in northern Washington
Nationwide, more than 6.3 million acres have burned this
year, well above the 10-year average of less than 4 million
acres burned by this time of year, according to the NIFC.
Tribune reporter Michael N. Westley contributed to this
In this photo provided by the National Wildland Fire Prevention Team, a
firefighter, right, and another person watch a wildfire on Casper Mountain,
Wyo., Monday, Aug. 14, 2006. Continued hot, dry weather threatened to cause even
more problems Tuesday as firefighters struggled to contain a wildfire bearing
down on hundreds of evacuated homes on Casper Mountain. (AP Photo/Courtesy of
the National Wildland Fire Prevention Team, John Bear) (John
Bear - AP)
Wyoming Wildfire Threatens Homes
By BEN NEARY
The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 16, 2006; 11:14 PM
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- More firefighters and equipment arrived Wednesday in
attempts to fend off a wildfire threatening hundreds of houses near
The fire expanded rapidly in shifting winds and headed
toward a subdivision of about 50 homes, said State Forester Bill
"We haven't lost any homes, but it's real close," Crasper said.
fire was burning on Casper Mountain, about five miles south of
Wyoming's second-largest city. The lightning-sparked blaze had already
burned nearly 10,000 acres, or 15 square miles, since Monday. Gov.
Dave Freudenthal declared a state of emergency Tuesday.
A top-level federal fire management team took control Wednesday
An estimated 300 homes in the heavily forested area were ordered
evacuated Monday and Tuesday. More evacuation orders were likely,
The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise reported 20 new large
fires Wednesday for a total of 57, covering 680 square miles in the
West. Besides 15 large fires in Idaho, there were nine in Montana,
seven in California and six each in Nevada and Oregon.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued what it said
was its first "red" air quality alert for the populous Boise Valley
after drifting smoke from wildfires sent ozone pollution to unhealthy
Elsewhere, firefighters were battling a lightning-sparked wildfire
that had doubled in size to 40,000 acres, or 62 square miles, in Elko
County, Nev. Army troops were assigned to two fires that have
blackened more than 140 square miles in northern Washington state.
Nationwide, more than 6.3 million acres have burned this year, well
above the 10-year average of less than 4 million acres burned by this
time of year, according to the NIFC.
"We're focusing on protecting community infrastructure, historical
resources and precious watersheds," said Rose Davis, a Forest Service
spokeswoman at the NIFC. "We need to look at where we can be the most
effective with what we have, knowing these fires could keep burning
for another month or so."
On the Net:
National Interagency Fire Center:
Idaho Has The Most Wildfires In The Country
August 16, 2006
As of Wednesday night, Idaho has the distinction of
having the most wildfires in the country.
Fifteen are burning throughout the state.
In Eastern Idaho almost eighty thousand acres are consumed with flames, smoke
The Crystal Fire is burning at more than 60-thousand acres just west of
Another thirteen and half thousand acres are burning near the Utah state line
near Holbrook and the Basin Fire is scorching through 46-hundred acres in Arbon
It may have woke you up Monday morning, or kept you from sleeping Sunday night.
But this lightning storm was more than that, it was the biggest fire starter of
All the lightning was followed by low humidity and gusty winds helping three of
the biggest fire gain both strength and ground.
All three of these fire were started by lightning and they're threatening homes,
fields and the livelihood of those living in the area.
Idaho's forces are stretched thin, there are two hundred thirty firefighters
just on the three biggest fires.
We've called people in from out of state to help," said Joanna Wilson with the
Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center.
With dry conditions and more winds on the way it looks like it's going to be a
Folks living in the Arbon Valley are being warned they might want to consider
evacuating their homes or at least prepare for that eventually.
We're just talking a few ranch homes. If you are in the line of fire, you'll
want to disc a fire line around your property and keep the area around your
house lean and green.
Meaning, water your lawns and keep brush to a minimum.
Fires burning near the Central Mountains have gotten so bad, whitewater rafters
on the Salmon River were told to watch for burning logs and falling rocks
dislodged from the fires burning along the Canyon Rims.
Soldiers deployed to help on
wildfires in Northcentral Washington
8/15/2006 1:48 PM ET
WINTHROP, Wash. (AP) — Soldiers from Fort Lewis were receiving
additional training Tuesday before being sent to the front lines of
two fires that have blackened more than 140 square miles in north
central Washington state.
The 550 U.S. Army troops from Task Force Blaze,
commanded by Lt. Colonel Ricky Love, arrived in the area late Monday
and were to receive an additional two days of training before joining
line operations on Thursday, the U.S. Forest Service said.
The Tripod Complex of fires between Winthrop
and Conconully grew to nearly 90,000 acres Monday.
The troops received basic fire training at Fort
Lewis and will be assigned to 20-person crews to mop-up, build fire
lines and patrol for hotspots.
"We appreciate the military's approval of this
request, considering their other current taskings," said Karyn Wood, a
spokeswoman at the National Interagency Fire Center at Boise. "Adding
25 fresh crews to the mix of resources will really help us make
progress on the Tripod Complex."
A shortage of local firefighting crews and
unfavorable weather forecasts prompted the fire center in Boise to
request help last week. Soldiers are expected be deployed for about
two months, said Army Maj. Cathy Wilkinson, a 1st Corps plans and
By Tuesday morning, crews had dug lines around
25% of the Tripod and Spur Peak fires, which officials said had not
merged, as they originally estimated earlier this month.
The fires are in the Okanogan and Wenatchee
National Forest, with the northeast corner spread in the Loomis State
Mike Ferris, spokesman for the Pacific
Northwest Incident Management Team, said the south part of the fire
that had been threatening Winthrop was secure.
There are more than 2,330 firefighters assigned
to the blazes caused by July lightning strikes.
In central Washington, the Flick Creek fire
near Stehekin on Lake Chelan was 50% trailed Tuesday at about 4,350
acres, or about 6.7 square miles. Almost two dozen firefighters were
on the scene.
Crews were managing the 4,523-acre Tinpan fire
along the Entiat River trail as a wildland-use fire, meaning it will
be allowed to burn naturally unless it threatens to run outside preset
The fire has burned 40 miles northwest of the
town of Entiat in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. About 170 personnel
were assigned to the fire.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
8/14/2006 5:07 PM ET
Lake George Fire Now 1,600 Acres, Additional
by Cheryl McDermott
The Lake George fire grew by about 600 acres to
an estimated 1,600 acres Sunday, pushing deeper into the Mt.
Washington Wilderness. According to a news release from the Central
Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center, the lightning-caused fire that
began August 7 approximately 13 miles west of Sisters in the Mt.
Washington Wilderness is now about 10 percent contained.
Projected fire movement suggests
continued active surface spread to west with flanking spread
to the south and east. Forecasted wind shift to the
northwest in the afternoon with increasing wind speeds will
support rapid spread to the east with short duration and
frequent torching, or the burning of a tree's crown,
possible. Down wind spotting, where small fires caused by
wind-carried burning material form beyond the main fire
edge, is possible up to ½ mile.
On Sunday, crews made progress in
building and wet-mopping the north flank fire-line. Work
continued to extend and plumb the dozer contingency line to
Dugout Lake and progress was made in efforts to establish a
second dozer line outside of the wilderness.
Due to a shift in wind
direction from a cold front moving into the area this
afternoon, the east side of the fire will be tested for
several hours. Crews will be on increased alert to changing
weather patterns and fire conditions. Crews will continue
to mop up and improve existing lines and make efforts to
extend new line into areas of lava rock.
Portions of the Washington Wilderness Area and the Pacific
Crest Trail in the Mt. Washington Wilderness between Hwy 242
and Big Lake are closed, with the exception of
portion of the 2060 road which remains open to allow access
to Black Butte Ranch for residents.
Two new areas north of the fire around
Meadow and Link Lakes were closed Sunday to allow for safe
access to water sources for suppression aircraft.
The Black Crater and Lake George Fires
are being managed by Pacific Northwest Incident Management
Team 3 (PNW3) under a joint delegation from the Deschutes
National Forest and Oregon Department of Forestry.
Currently PNW3 consists of 554 personnel with eight
helicopters, two fixed wing-retardant aircraft, 12 engines,
eight dozers and seven water tenders.
wildfires scorch southern California
GORMAN, Calif. To the north and east of Los Angeles,
wildfires are burning thousands of acres in southern
A freeway had to be closed for a time
after flames made their way through the brush on a
hillside along the northern edge of L-A County. More
than 44-hundred homes were without electricity for a
time, after flames damaged a power substation and some
Fire officials say less than a quarter of the blaze is
contained. But no homes are threatened. The cause of
the fire is under investigation.
The second wildfire, in Riverside County, is about
three-quarters contained. Fireworks are blamed for
starting that blaze.
And across the border, Nevada officials say they've
fully contained a wildfire west of Reno.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All
Battle continues against North Coast wildfires
DENNY, Calif. Firefighters
are still battling several
North Coast wildfires this
weekend, and the blazes have
been burning since lightning
sparked them last month.
Helicopters dropped fire
retardant along ridge tops
in Trinity County, while
crews cut breaks through
forests in Siskiyou County
to stop wildfire from
More than 35,000 acres have
burned across four Northern
California counties since
July. Fire crews are worried
that quickly changing
weather expected this week
could pose new difficulties.
Little relief for
firefighters is expected,
with warmer temperatures and
higher winds forecast for
Associated Press. All rights
Monday, August 28, 2006 - Sunday, August 27, 2006
Wildfire near Colfax 100
by Nick Eaton
Fire chiefs from across Whitman County and
Washington lauded the cooperation among agencies
that quickly brought a 4,000-acre fire from a
serious threat to smoldering fields. The fire is
completely contained and 95-percent
extinguished, officials said at the Sunday
“I can’t take credit as an incident
commander,” said Glenn Brautaset, the Mt. Vernon
Fire chief who took over Thursday night. “It’s
all about teamwork – like a football team or a
He said the area’s strong community spirit
made the job easier than usual.
On Wednesday afternoon, when the fire broke
out, all 14 fire districts from Whitman County
responded as the blaze grew. That joint effort
was just the beginning.
After county officials declared a state of
emergency, firefighters from Spokane, Kennewick,
Snohomish, Orcas Island and others joined the
battle. Colfax High School agreed to house the
crews and serve as a command center for the
fires 1.5 miles to the east.
And Thursday, Whitman County contacted
Christopher Tapfer, WSU’s emergency management
coordinator, for assistance. Tapfer arranged
with WSU Dining Services to provide about 150
meals Friday for the firefighters, WSU spokesman
James Tinney wrote in an e-mail.
Colfax Mayor Norma Becker said residents were
happy to see fire trucks in town from across the
state, and appreciated firefighters’ hard work
to keep the fire away from the city.
“If the wind had changed and came into
Colfax,” she said, “we would have been in a very
Don Henderson, a Colfax City Council member,
offered his feelings to fire officials at the
“All of you have our sincere, heartfelt
thanks,” he said.
Fire Chief Jim Krouse, from Whitman County
District 11, said he was impressed with the
county-wide cooperation, which was coordinated
by Whitcom, the emergency dispatch center for
Whitman and Asotin counties, WSU, Pullman and
“They made everything come together when the
stuff hit the fan,” Krouse said.
He said he has confidence in state strike
teams for any future emergencies.
The team effort was successful because of
standardized training, Brautaset said. And it
helped that the fire service in Washington is a
“tight-knit community,” he said.
Nonetheless, the incident didn’t go off
without any hitches.
Officials said sightseers Wednesday afternoon
got in the way of fire trucks trying to get to
the fires. Colfax Police and Whitman County
Sheriff’s deputies were brought in to disperse
And dusty roads made getting in and out of
the area dangerous for fire crews, residents and
“I’m very thankful,” Colfax Fire Chief Ralph
Walter said. “We had some close calls and some
Brautaset explained that the big smoke
producers weren’t quickly put out because
fighting them was too dangerous at first.
Crews had to be careful putting out a small
dump that contained freon, tires and pesticides,
he said. A train trestle and a grain elevator –
the only two large structures destroyed – were
also among those trouble spots firefighters had
to let burn out.
“We just couldn’t put them into that
environment until we had the right equipment to
dig it out,” Brautaset said about the elevator
Now that the fire is under control, local
crews are focusing on various hot spots, Krouse
said. Wind could still blow embers onto unburnt
material, and some hot spots are sneaky.
“You can get something that’s not smoking
here,” he said, “and then in two or three days
it’s smoking or maybe burning.”
Krouse said the fire probably won’t go out
completely until the first snow.
Spare Homes in Encino Hills Wildfire
On Saturday, August 26, 2006 at 2:05
PM, forty Companies of Los Angeles
Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue
Ambulances, one Arson Unit, five
LAFD Helicopters, one EMS Battalion
Captain, one LAFD Helitender, LAFD
Emergency Air, one LAFD Rehab Air
Tender, four LAFD Brush Patrols,
eleven LAFD Battalion Chief Officer
Command Teams and one LAFD Division
Chief Officer Command Team, as well
as eight Handcrews and two
Helicopters from the Los Angeles
County Fire Department, all under
the direction of LAFD
Assistant Chief Roderick Garcia
responded to a Major Emergency Brush
4501 Encino Avenue in Encino.
Firefighters on the ground and in
the air responded quickly to find
five acres of medium to heavy brush
terrain surrounding the
A mild off-shore breeze at first
pushed the fire in a southwest
direction towards more than a dozen
homes in what proved to be a wind
and terrain driven fire.
More than 250 Los Angeles
Firefighters, nearly a quarter of
the Department's on-duty force, were
ultimately brought to battle flames
in the steep and rugged terrain of
the Santa Monica Mountains
surrounding the 209 acre reservoir.
Seven water-dropping helicopters,
including a high-impact
Erickson Air-Crane Helitanker on
it's first leased deployment of the
local wildfire season, worked with
immense precision to stop the spread
of the fire, as ground crews flanked
A sudden shift in winds allowed some
spot fires to hook at the south side
of the reservoir, but their presence
was short-lived in the face of an
effective aerial assault and the
onslaught of crews separating fuel
from fire with handtools.
It was during this arduous phase of
fire attack in thick chaparral that
one Los Angeles County Fire
Department Handcrew member sustained
multiple bee stings, provoking a
medical reaction and need for
transport to Encino Hospital via
LAFD Ambulance. His injury was not
believed to be life-threatening.
No other injuries were reported.
Firefighters took full advantage of
tactical pre-planning, including the
factors of wind, terrain and
historical fire behavior to
ultimately spare any home from
The fire, which consumed nearly
sixty acres of vegetation, was fully
contained in just three hours and
thirty-two minutes. The cause of the
blaze remains under investigation.
Submitted by Brian Humphrey,
Los Angeles Fire Department
posted by LAFD Media and Public
8/26/2006 11:31:00 PM
Wildfires Burning in Five States
August 27, 2006 2:00 p.m. EST
Nicole King - All Headline News
(AHN) - Wildfires are burning in
five states. Most recently,
evacuations were ordered Saturday for
residents and tourists around the
perimeter of a wildfire in southeast
Officials say the fire is about 10
percent contained and has burned
nearly 110 miles.
A wildfire in Idaho's Sawtooth
National Recreation Area has burned
more than six miles and has threatened
about 70 homes. No evacuations have
been ordered though.
Lightning sparked a fire in
Oregon's southeast corner. So far,
it's burned about 183 miles and is
about 55 percent contained.
In California, a 60-acre fire is
threatening six homes near a reservoir
in the Santa Monica Mountains. The
small brush fire has been contained.
And in Nevada, firefighters are
battling two wildfires. A brush fire
has burned nearly 21 miles north of
Elko and is 85 percent contained after
threatening 300 homes. Another fire
burned nearly 35 miles and is 95
percent contained. Wildfires burned
more than 78 miles in Elko County last
Wildfire burns at Michael Jackson's Neverland
LOS OLIVOS, Calif. A
wildfire the burned 40
acres on Michael
Ranch has been
surrounded the ranch's
amusement park rides and
came within a
quarter-mile of the main
residence after starting
at about 2 p-m today.
Santa Barbara County
Fire spokesman Keith
Cullom says no
structures caught fire
at the 25-hundred acre
Cullom says about 100
firefighters battled the
blaze along with a pair
Jackson is not at the
house. He has been
living in the Middle
Eastern kingdom of
Bahrain since being
acquitted of child
molestation charges last
In March, Jackson
closed the main house at
Neverland and laid off
several of his
Associated Press. All
Aug 25, 2006
SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - A federal
firefighter in Idaho is facing arson
charges linked to least one blaze in an
act that may have been motivated by a
desire to produce some firefighting work,
officials said on Friday.
Levy Miller, 21, is in Lemhi County Jail,
charged with starting an August 13 blaze on
the outskirts of Salmon, an area of thick
natural beauty, officials said. The
half-acre blaze was snuffed out quickly by
Lemhi County Sheriff Sam Slavin said Miller,
who has worked as a firefighter with the
federal Bureau of Land Management for two
years, persuaded a Salmon teen to start the
August 13 fire "to drum up business."
Miller is also a suspect in a series of 2003
fires that broke out in the Salmon-Challis
National Forest near the Idaho-Montana
border. "We're looking potentially at a lot
of dollars in damages," Slavin said.
News of Miller's arrest comes at the height
of the American West's wildfire season, with
large tracts of Idaho, Montana and
Washington State aflame amid worsening
There is a growing list of firefighters
accused of arson in the treasured natural
areas they were pair to protect.
A federal judge last month sentenced former
U.S. Forest Service firefighter Craig
Underwood to four months in prison after he
guilty to starting three fires -- costing
$2.5 million to extinguish -- in the Los
Padres National Forest in California in
Fire managers ay an age-old irony associated
with wildfires in the West is that the
blazes pump millions into moribund local
in the form of jobs, federal firefighting
dollars and the purchase of products and
services by fire personnel.
Terry Edwards, deputy state fire marshal in
Idaho, said "an excuse to get a paycheck"
was often cited by firefighters as the
they set blazes.
(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman)
THE DAY FIRE NEAR LOS ANGELES -
LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST
September 25, 2006
Near Los Angeles, the effort to contain the
Day Fire in Los Padres National Forest is in
its fourth week, the Los Angeles Daily News
reported. In the northern part of the state,
the Bar Complex fire, formed by the merger
of two wildfires in Shasta-Trinity National
Forest is less than half contained after two
months, the San Jose. (CA) Mercury News
Almost 400,000 acres have burned around the
What hit the state was a combination of a
wet spring that allowed grass to grow long
and lush followed by a very dry summer that
dried out the new growth, the Mercury News
"The weather has definitely worked against
us this year," Daniel Berlant, a spokesman
for the state Department of Forestry and
Protection, told the News, "historically our
busiest time is September and October."
International, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Monday, September 25, 2006
ground on Sunday in the
battle against a
wildfire that has burnt
more than 500 square
kilometres (200 square
miles) in the Los Padres
National Forest in
(Los Padres National Forest)
Gentler winds allowed
firefighters to bring in
more than 40 helicopters
and airplanes, including
a DC-10 modified to
carry fire retardant.
the jetliner with
knocking back the edge
of the fire that was
creeping toward the town
The fire had grown to
about 51,028 hectares
(127,569 acres) since it
broke out on September 4
but no homes have been
destroyed nor any
injuries been reported
and the blaze was about
40 per cent contained.
a state of emergency for
Ventura County on Sunday
evening, clearing the
way for assistance from
the governor's emergency
services office and
state funds for
rebuilding and recovery.
Winds fluctuated on
Sunday but were still
tamer than in recent
days, gusting at 65
with 80 kilometres-per-hour
(50 miles-per-hour) on
Saturday and shifting
away from populated
That lowered the risk of
flames spreading and let
more ground crews go to
Another blaze started by
embers from the huge
fire burned about 2,800
hectares (7,000 acres)
in the canyons above
Thomas Aquinas College
in Santa Paula, which
sits between Ojai and
Fillmore, about 120
kilometres (75 miles)
north of Los Angeles.
The campus was evacuated
late on Saturday. (AP)
AERIAL ASSAULT FOCUSED ON DAY WILDFIRE
By Matt Lait, Times Staff Writer
9:26 am. PDT, September 25, 2006
Firefighters today turned to hand
crews, aircraft and bulldozers to battle the
three-week-old Day fire that has consumed more
than 134,000 acres.
After a quiet night, firefighters
were hoping the calm winds would continue today at
the brush fire north of Santa Paula.
The Day fire, which has burned
134,187 acres of the Los Padres National Forest
since Labor Day, continued to threaten residences
but had not
damaged any structures.
The fire is about 41% contained,
officials said this morning and has cost $36.7
Officials on Sunday again called
for the voluntary evacuation of Thomas Aquinas
College near Santa Paula and urged hundreds of
to leave their homes, although many chose to stay.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on
Sunday declared a state of emergency for Ventura
The California Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection has launched a large
aerial assault, involving 27 helicopters, eight
air tankers and a
modified DC-10 capable of dumping 12,000 gallons
of retardant. Officials said the jet helped douse
hot spots that were advancing on Ojai.
It's been very, very effective and
very impressive," forestry agency spokesman Matt
Streck said Sunday. "Each drop looks like it
than half a mile of terrain."
More than 3,500 firefighters have
Officials plan to brief residents
on the fire today at the Santa Paula Community
Center at 6:30 p.m.
WILDFIRE NEARS HOMES IN SOUTHERN
Posted 9/16/2006 5:06
Lockwood Valley, Calif. (AP) - Flames
hopped a road Tuesday, forcing fire bosses to divert
aircraft and strike teams to a mountain hamlet where
homes were in the path of a weeks-old, 143,000-acre
An emergency call for fire
retardant-dropping aircraft and additional strike
teams went out just before noon as flames roared
across Lockwood Valley
Road, which was serving as a firebreak, and moved
toward homes in the remote area.
About 500 residents in the
Lockwood Valley were earlier urged to evacuate the
"They are sending reinforcements,"
said Capt. Barry Parker of the Ventura County Fire
Earlier, the Day Fire jumped
60-foot-wide bulldozer lines in Los Padres
National Forest Monday night and burned another
2,000 to 3,000 acres
of chaparral on the northwestern edge of the fire,
pushing its overall size to 223 square miles.
"It just jumped right over the
thing. It was a shock," said Ed Linquist of the
U.S. Forest Service.
That prompted the Lockwood Valley
evacuation recommendation. It wasn't clear how
many homeowners left the community 70 miles
of Los Angeles.
Crews set backfires along a
roadway about 1.5 miles from the community to
serve as a firebreak. Some 45 fire engines were
stationed in front of
structures to protect homes and scattered ranches
before Tuesday's midday flare-up and call for
It's a tough fire to fight," fire
spokesman Steve Mueller said.
The emergency was an unusual
setback for a blaze that had been moving
relatively slowly Monday with the dying of weekend
Santa Ana winds.
The blaze, ignited on Labor Day by
someone burning debris, was 43% contained.
More than 3,500 firefighters
worked the blaze. Firefighting costs have reached
Copyright 2006 - The Associated
Press. All rights reserved.
Wildfires threaten S. California homes
MOVEMENT OF FLAMES IS SLOW BUT STEADY
Fire crews kept watch on homes as a
wildfire moved slowly and steadily through heavy
brush yesterday in rural Southern California.
Low humidity threatened efforts to contain
one of the largest and longest-burning wildfires
in state history. But the winds were moderate,
with no return of the hot, gusting Santa Anas
that have driven flames the past two weekends.
"We're not out of the woods yet," said Dee
Bechert, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman.
The fire was 43 percent contained after
burning 159,281 acres, or nearly 249 square
miles, of wilderness in Los Padres National
Forest. More than 4,400 firefighters were
working to corral the blaze 70 miles north of
On Wednesday, the flames crept within a
half-mile of Lockwood Valley and other mountain
communities. Firefighters spent the day clearing
brush near houses and positioning equipment and
hoses to fight the slow-moving flames. Crews
aided by water-dropping aircraft cut fire lines.
The blaze has destroyed two barns, three
trailers, a cabin and five vehicles, but
firefighters were able to save 40 homes, an
animal refuge and a Boy Scout camp, Bechert
"It was good day, the lines held for the most
part in the Lockwood Valley area, but we're
still nervous about the red flag warning" for
extreme fire conditions in the area, she said.
Residents of several communities were urged
to leave, but many chose to stay.
The fire has burned since Labor Day and
flared several times, sometimes covering
thousands of acres in hours. It was started by
someone burning debris. Firefighting costs have
topped $53 million.
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES - MAIN