Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Pre-Planning and Pre-Staging Critical Elements in Wildfires
EDM Friday Briefing: Pre-Planning and Pre-Staging Critical Elements in Wildfires

EDM Friday Briefing: Pre-Planning and Pre-Staging Critical Elements in Wildfires


Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 26, 2020: Arizona fire departments are pre-planning and pre-staging in areas at high risk for wildfires; the death toll from the strong earthquake in Mexico on Tuesday has risen to 10; a shallow earthquake rattled New Zealand's South Island; tensions mount between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam nears completion; three people are dead after being swept into the Pacific Ocean by a large wave; a shooting outside of Madison Square Park has left one person dead and another wounded; a shallow earthquake struck central California and caused a landslide; and CalFire states that the forward progress of a wildfire that broke out in Stanislaus County late Wednesday has been stopped, although the fire is still active.

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1) Arizona has evaluated locations across the state for their level of wildfire risk. Pre-planning and pre-staging are critical preparedness and response measures that are undertaken by fire departments once risk levels have been assessed and planned for accordingly. As the threat of wildfires remains high across many locations in the state, these measures have included staging extra equipment close to high-risk areas for a more rapid response, the use of patrols to quickly spot fires, and the pre-positioning of crews close to high-risk areas in order to provide a more rapid initial attack once a wildfire has been spotted.


2) The death toll from the strong 7.4 earthquake that struck Mexico on Tuesday has now risen to 10 people. An area near a popular tourist resort, Huatulco, in the country's southern state of Oaxaca, was hardest-hit, but shaking was felt all the way to Mexico City. According to local officials, at least 5,000 homes were damaged and some homes were completely destroyed, with a total of 117 municipalities suffering damage in Oaxaca.

3) A shallow earthquake rattled New Zealand's South Island on Thursday, but was felt all the way north in Auckland. There were no reports of infrastructure damage or injuries from the 5.9 earthquake, whose shaking was reportedly felt by thousands of people. A multitude of smaller tremblors followed the larger earthquake, which was centered in Milford Sound in the popular tourist area of Fiordland.

4) Tensions are mounting as an agreement about dam control and flows continues over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile that is set to be opened. The dam, a critical piece of infrastructure that is now 70 percent complete and will provide much-needed electricity for Ethiopia's 100 million people, has been a source of contention between Ethiopia and the downstream nations of Sudan and Egypt for the last 10 years. Egypt wants an agreement in place to ensure they have minimum flows and a system to resolve disputes before the $4.6bn dam is officially operational.

5) Three people are dead in California following a beach accident along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), just north of Malibu. The incident occurred in a rocky area near Deer Creek Beach, when a large wave swept three people who were fishing from the rocks out into the Pacific Ocean. First responders from the Ventura County Fire Department searched the area and quickly found the victims, who were a husband, a wife, and a grandmother. Rescuers tried to revive the victims, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

6) A shooting outside New York City's Madison Square Park left one person dead and another wounded. Both victims, a 19-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man, were shot in the torso and taken to Bellevue Hospital, where the woman died from her injuries. The man is listed in stable condition. The suspect, who fled the scene and is believed to be driving a grey Nissan, has not yet been apprehended.

7) A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck central California Wednesday morning, south of the town of Lone Pine. The earthquake struck in the Owens Valley at a shallow depth of three miles and sparked a landslide about 40 miles away in Mt. Whitney, prompting the closure of Whitney Portal. The aqueduct for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which  supplies water to the City of Los Angeles, is also situated in the Owens Valley near the location where the quake occurred. Engineers began examining dams and waterways for damages immediately following the earthquake.

8) A wildfire broke out in Stanislaus County, California, on Wednesday night and quickly spread to nearly 200 acres by morning. CalFire said the Diablo Fire, which began in the Patterson area of Del Puerto Canyon and Diablo Grande, was about 50 percent contained by Thursday morning due to a rapid and aggressive initial attack. As of Friday morning, CalFire reported that although the wildfire was active, the blaze had minimal growth and was now 90 percent contained.


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.