Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: NIFC-Predictive Services Releases Wildfire Outlook
EDM Wednesday Briefing: NIFC-Predictive Services Releases Wildfire Outlook

EDM Wednesday Briefing: NIFC-Predictive Services Releases Wildfire Outlook

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 8, 2020: Mandatory evacuations were ordered for residents in Oakley as a wildfire swiftly moved toward their neighborhood; heavy rainfall led to widespread flooding and mudslides that have killed at least 58 in Japan; a large wildfire ignited on the Saddle Mountain in eastern Washington State; Tropical Storm Cristina is expected to intensify into a strong hurricane by Thursday; the Streeter Fire erupted in Colorado and prompted the evacuation of a mine; a community health program launched in North Carolina is projected to reduce non-life-threatening emergency room visits; the NIFC-Predictive Services has released its outlook for the 2020 fire season through October; and the 2020 hurricane season outlook has been updated due to a warmer than normal Atlantic Ocean.

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1) The Oakley Police Department issued a mandatory evacuation for residents on Tuesday after a wildfire moved swiftly toward the neighborhood. The wildfire ignited in dry brush in Contra Costa County, California, and quickly began threatening residents in the area. Firefighters were being assisted by water-dropping helicopters, and evacuating residents were urged to only take essential items and leave immediately.

2) Heavy rainfall of 8-24 inches caused widespread flooding in Japan, killing at least 58 people. The flooding began in the southern region of the country and has moved north, swelling rivers and triggering mudslides, both of which have destroyed homes and roads. According to reports, at least 14 people are still missing in the southern region, where search and rescue missions continue.

3) A wildfire erupted on Saddle Mountain in Eastern Washington on Monday and grew rapidly. More than 200 firefighters are already battling the blaze, which began from an unknown cause, on the western end of the mountain. The wildfire, which has already scorched 5,760 acres, is under the command of a SE Washington Interagency Incident Management Team.

4) A low-pressure system in the Eastern Pacific Ocean developed into Tropical Storm Cristina late Monday night. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the system has powerful thunderstorms that are fueling its intensification, which is forecast to continue as negative factors inhibiting its strengthening are dissipating. Cristina is forecast to become a hurricane by sometime Thursday afternoon, but its current track shows it will remain over water without making landfall.

5) The Streeter Fire erupted in Moffat County, Colorado, on Tuesday afternoon and prompted the evacuation of the ColoWyo mine. According to fire officials, the wildfire is burning between the towns of Meeker and Craig and has already consumed 1,088 acres. Containment has been hampered by windy conditions, hot temperatures and difficult, rugged terrain.

6) A new community health program in one North Carolina county has been designed to help reduce unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Caldwell County Emergency Management Services has deployed a program to assist paramedics with non-emergency response and treatment with the inclusion of telehealth. The system is designed to reduce the number of 911 calls and trips to the emergency room for non-life-threatening emergencies.

7) The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) Predictive Services has issued its wildfire potential outlook for July through October and is calling for an Above Normal significant large fire risk that is pushing to the north and west. According to the outlook, the risk will expand into the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies in August and September, with Southern California looking at a higher risk in the fall due to drier conditions from La Niña.

8) Experts at Colorado State have updated the 2020 hurricane season forecast due to the Atlantic Ocean remaining warmer than normal and the possible development of La Niña. The forecast increases the number of named storms by one, from 19 to 20. Nine of the storms have become hurricanes, four of which are slated to become major hurricanes. Five named storms have already occurred, leaving a total of 15 storms still predicted to be named for the 2020 hurricane season.

 

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.