Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wildfire news, October 26

California: Ventura County, evacuate or stay?

Ventura County Fire Department in southern California is implementing a procedure they call "Leave Early or Stay and Defend (LEOSAD)". Many jurisdictions are adopting a similar program. In some areas it is called "Shelter in Place", or as Wildfire Today reported concerning a Montana program, here and here, "Prepare, Stay, and Defend".

This is the way it is described by the Ventura County FD:

The first part requires every property owner within the Wildland Urban Interface zone to adequately prepare their property against the threat of a wildfire. This includes weed abatement, the use of fire-resistant building materials and the use of fire-safe landscaping. Many aspects of this portion of the strategy are already required or recommended. The big change in the program comes in the second phase.

After homeowners have made the necessary preparations to their property, we are asking every homeowner to carefully consider their personal answer to the question: Should I leave early, or stay and defend my property?

Their "Wildfire Action Plan" can be downloaded here.

New Jersey: update on Salders Ditch fire

The fire, at 1,950 acres and 70% containment, has not grown for a couple of days but it is still producing a lot of smoke due to the peat soils. On Friday the smoke caused the closure of several schools. Some rain on Saturday eased the problem for a while, but until they can get massive quantities of water pumped into the peat, the next inversion may again result in closed highways and schools. Rain, unless in hurricane-induced quantities, will not put it out.

An article in the Press of Atlantic City says the Wharton State Forest, where the fire is located, does not yet have, what is called in most areas, a fire management plan. This plan, when completed, could allow for prescribed fires which would manage the fuels, making large dangerous wildfires less likely. Some other state owned lands in New Jersey are treated with prescribed fires on a regular, rotating basis.

California: Red Flag Warning

The Red Flag Warning in southern California continues through 8 p.m. Sunday. This is caused by a weak Santa Ana wind that is preventing the normal diurnal (or daily) sea breeze from bringing in cool, moist air--instead, replacing it with hot, very dry air. In some areas, single-digit relative humidities are predicted through Monday.

Here is the forecast for Riverside, California covering the period Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m., to Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m. It shows, top to bottom, temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. Click on it to see a larger version.

No comments:

Post a Comment