Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Wildfires, Charlottesville Protests, Wisconsin Shootings, Human Trafficking

EDM Monday Briefing: Wildfires, Charlottesville Protests, Wisconsin Shootings, Human Trafficking

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 14, 2017: Deadly protests in Charlottesville called terrorism by definition, Riverside County, California fights rapidly spreading wildfire, Washington State fire officials order evacuations amidst rural wildfire, residents in India's Sumatra region flee homes as a major earthquake strikes, immigrants are found locked in a hot tractor-trailer in Edinburg, Texas, a shooting at a dragstrip in Wisconsin turns a family fun day deadly, over 170 people are dead following floods and landslides caused by Asia's monsoon rains, and a major wildfire burning north of Athens, Greece enters it second day.

  1. After protests in Charlottesville, Virginia turned deadly on Saturday, U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions has announced that a federal civil rights investigation will be conducted. According to President Trump's national security advisor, the violence over the weekend also meets the definition of terrorism, which is to incite fear by committing an act of violence against people. The original purpose of the gathering was to protest the removal of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park.
  2. A wildfire that sparked Sunday afternoon in Riverside County, California, dubbed the Blaine fire, rapidly consumed more than 1,000 acres and spread at a high rate of speed across the area. The blaze triggered mandatory evacuations that were still in place late Sunday night, while more than 3oo fire fighters and various aircraft battled the wildfire, which caused a thick blanket of smoke to cover the area by nightfall on Sunday. The rapidly moving fire was about 44 percent contained as of late Sunday. 
  3. Fire officials in Washington State ordered the evacuation of residents as a rural wildfire threatened infrastructure, crops, and homes in Adams and Grant counties on Sunday. The cause of the fire, which began Saturday afternoon, is under investigation, but the blaze had already consumed 16 square miles and destroyed one home and one outbuilding before rain helped knock it down. Fire officials warn that an ample supply of fuel, including grass and brush, along with increased winds, could again cause the wildfire to quickly spread.
  4. A major earthquake struck the Sumatra area of India early Sunday, but no tsunami threat was triggered. The quake registered a magnitude of 6.4, was at a depth of about 21 miles, and was centered 45 miles west of Bengkulu. As the shaking began, residents fled their homes, but even though the shaking was strong and felt as far away as Padang, West Sumatra and Singapore, no injuries or major damage was reported. 
  5. In Texas on Sunday, the Edinburg Police Department was alerted to 17 illegal immigrants trapped inside a hot, locked tractor-trailer in a Flying J parking lot. According to reports, the U.S. Border Patrol has opened an investigation into the incident and officials have detained the man and woman who oversaw the trailer. The immigrants involved came from Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Romania, but according to reports, no injuries or casualties were reported.
  6. At a dragstrip in Union Grove, Wisconsin on Sunday, three people were shot and killed during Larry's Fun Fest family event. The man, who is still at-large, allegedly walked directly up to the three individuals and shot them at what appeared to be point blank range. The Kenosha Sheriff's Department said the individual has yet to be identified, but according to reports, at least two of the victims are from Aurora, Illinois.
  7. Monsoons across Asia have triggered widespread flooding and landslides, resulting in the deaths of at least 173 people and the displacement of millions of individuals in northern India, southern Nepal, and Bangladesh. On Monday, Nepalese police were searching for individuals who went missing after torrential rains caused flooding and landslides that toppled power lines, washed away roads, and killed at least 80 people, most of whom drowned after being caught under toppled trees or collapsed houses. In Bangladesh, soldiers were working to rescue individuals stranded on roofs or in trees, and in India, floodwaters damaged key infrastructure, including bridges and power lines, while thousands of homes were washed away. 
  8. A major wildfire burning north of Athens, Greece has entered its second day as fire services struggle to contain the blaze that is being fueled by high winds. The out of control blaze damaged 20 homes, forced residents to flee, and caused the evacuations of holiday campsites on Sunday. More than 150 fire fighters, 50 engines, two planes, and five helicopters are being used to fight the fire, which is located about 28 miles north of the Greek capital of Varnava. 

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.