Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Type II IMT to Manage July Complex Wildfires
EDM Friday Briefing: Type II IMT to Manage July Complex Wildfires

EDM Friday Briefing: Type II IMT to Manage July Complex Wildfires


Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 24, 2020: A rapid response by firefighters in Pocatello prevents a wildfire from spreading to nearby homes and businesses; Tropical Storm Hanna has formed in the Gulf of Mexico; a crowd of people caught two boys that jumped out of a burning apartment in the south of France; Hurricane Douglas is a powerful Category 4 storm churning towards Hawaii in the Central Pacific Ocean; a swift-moving wildfire in southern Greece forced the evacuation of multiple villages; Tuesday's 7.8 temblor that struck Alaska damaged the docks of a small fishing community, interrupting critical services; emergency management officials caution residents below the Catalina Mountains about possible debris flows from the Bighorn Fire; and a Type II IMT will now coordinate the response to all fires in the July Complex in Northern California.

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1) A fire that broke out on Thursday morning along Interstate 15 in Pocatello, Idaho, spread rapidly and quickly threatened nearby homes, businesses, and structures. The swift-moving blaze was only able to scorch six acres, thanks to a fierce and rapid response by local firefighters, which also prevented evacuations and the closure of I-15. Although fire officials believe the cause of the fire was accidental, the incident is under investigation.

2) Tropical Storm Hanna formed off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday night. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has already issued Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches for parts of Texas, with flood advisories for coastal areas of Louisiana. The storm is expected to continue to strengthen, with a projected landfall in Texas sometime on Saturday.

3) A crowd of people that gathered outside an apartment building that was on fire in southeastern France was able to save the lives of two Grenoble children. The apartment caught fire and trapped the two boys — age three and 10 — inside. The oldest boy dangled his brother over the balcony, and both he and his older brother were caught by the crowd of people below. However, two men suffered broken arms in the incident.

4) Hurricane Douglas is a powerful Category 4 storm churning in the Central Pacific Ocean and is located about 1,000 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii. Maximum sustained winds are at about 130 mph with higher gusts, and the storm is moving to the west-northwest at about 18 mph. Although the storm is forecast to begin weakening Friday, residents of the Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of the storm, as hurricane watches may be issued as early as Friday afternoon.

5) A wildfire in Greece forced evacuations in the southern town of Corinth as firefighters raced to save homes. Three planes and six helicopters are assisting over 270 firefighters in their fight against a blaze that erupted Wednesday and forced at least seven villages to evacuate. At least 10 homes have been destroyed by the blaze, which broke out in the seaside town of Kechries and moved inland.

6) The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck near the Alaskan Peninsula late Tuesday night prompted a tsunami warning and caused damage to the small fishing community of Sand Point. The temblor caused significant damage to both city docks, forcing their closure, and damaged the road to the harbor. As part of the community's critical infrastructure, the docks land the M/V Tustemena ferry and freight boats, which bring fresh food to island residents.

7) Recent rainfall in the Tucson area triggered a small debris flow in the Cañada de Oro Wash from the Catalina Mountains. According to emergency management officials, the burn scar from the recent Bighorn Fire consists of a charred, barren landscape that is unable to absorb water and poses a danger to area residents for future debris and mud flows, even during light rains.  The Bighorn wildfire was ignited by lightning on June 5 and scorched nearly 120,000 acres before firefighters were able to recently contain the blaze.

8) Lightning storms — and the erratic conditions accompanying them — are igniting wildfires and causing them to spread rapidly in Northern California. Fire officials have discovered a total of 11 active fires in the Modoc National Forest as of Thursday, three of which have grown exponentially amid difficult access and challenging conditions. Due to the number of wildfires and the predicted continuing fire weather, the fires are being grouped together and have been named the July Complex. The grouping will allow management of the July Complex by a Type II Incident Management Team (IMT) in order to better coordinate resources and attack strategies.


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.