Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Wildfires Raging Out of Control in California

EDM Friday Briefing: Wildfires Raging Out of Control in California


Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 27, 2018: California's Governor has declared an emergency in two counties as wildfires burn uncontrolled, the CDC reports that a widespread salmonella outbreak is linked to backyard chickens, thousands remained evacuated for the Cranston Fire which was likely started by an arsonist, wet weather continues to inundated the northeastern US prompting flooding and closures, including amusement parks, the Carr Fire killed one person as it rapidly expanded Thursday and forced thousands to flee, Greek investigators believe the forest fire that killed at least 83 was set by an arsonist, a state trooper was shot and killed in Phoenix and two other officers were injured, and an Air China flight bound for Beijing returned to Paris after receiving a terrorist threat.

  1. California Governor, Jerry Brown, declared a state of emergency for two counties, Riverside and Shasta, on Thursday, as wildfires continue to burn out of control. Low humidity, hot temperatures, and erratic winds have helped fuel the fires burning at both ends of the state. The emergency declaration will allow the state's Office of Emergency Services to extend aid to the counties in their efforts to contain the wildfires.  
  2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that more than 200 cases of salmonella infection across the United States has been linked to contact with backyard chickens. There have been 212 reported cases, across 44 states, 34 of which required hospitalization, with 26 percent of the cases being children under the age of 5 years old. Health experts caution that anyone handling chickens or ducks, which carry these germs and microbes as part of their normal system flora, should thoroughly wash their hands immediately afterwards.  
  3.  Thousands remained evacuated on Thursday in Southern California as the Cranston Fire, believed to have been started by arson, burned in the San Jacinto Mountains east of Los Angeles. The blaze, which erupted Wednesday and forced the evacuation of Idyllwild, other nearby communities, and youth camps, has already burned five homes, and is threatening another 600 homes. The wildfire, which is burning through timber, brush, and chaparral in rough terrain and amid critical fire weather, has already consumed 7,500 acres, is only 5 percent contained, and multiple evacuations are underway and in effect
  4. https://twitter.com/wildfiretoday/status/1022819085221076992

  5. More wet weather has inundated the northeastern United States, causing widespread flooding and flash floods that have closed roads, bridges, and even amusement parks across the region. Hersheypark and Knoebel's were both forced to close again on Wednesday and Thursday as persistent rains caused creeks and rivers to overflow their banks, flooding the two parks. The National Weather Service noted that the flooding in Hershey, Pennsylvania, one of the state's hardest hit areas from the persistent rainfall, was historic, as the Swatara Creek climbed to its second-highest level in 43 years.  
  6. The Carr Fire, burning in Shasta County, California, has claimed the life of a private bulldozer operator and injured 3 firefighters, along with an unknown number of civilians. The blaze rapidly expanded on Thursday due to extreme fire behavior and unfavorable weather conditions, and has now consumed more than 28,760 acres. The wildfire has destroyed 15 structures, damaged another five, is only 6 percent contained and has forced thousands to evacuate in Redding, Shasta, Keswick, and throughout the area.  
  7. Greek investigators have indicated that current information and imagery of the forest fire that killed at least 83 people in a resort town outside of Athens, was likely the work of an arsonist. Satellite imagery analysis and ground inspections suggest that fire broke out in multiple places over a very short time, indicating arson. The blaze, which began north of Athens, near Rafina, was fueled by erratic, gale force winds, and people had little notice to evacuate ahead of the fire, resulting in the majority of the deaths.  
  8. A state trooper still in training was shot and killed along Interstate 10 outside of Phoenix, and two other troopers were injured after the suspect grabbed one trooper's gun and fired two shots. One shot struck Tyler Edenhofer, killing him, while the other trooper was shot through the shoulder and a third officer was injured during the fight. The incident occurred when troopers responded to the call of a person throwing rocks at vehicles on I-10. They encountered the suspect, who had a history of mental illness, and a struggle ensued, and the suspect was able to grab the gun of the training officer and shoot the troopers.  
  9. An Air China flight that departed Paris for Beijing Thursday, made a precautionary return to Paris after allegedly receiving a terrorist threat. Air China Flight CA876, returned and landed safely in Paris to ensure the safety of its crew and passengers, but China state news agency, Xinhua, quickly stated that the terrorist threat was considered false. The carrier noted that the aircraft was set to resume its flight to Beijing as soon as the safety of the airplane and the passengers was ensured.  

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.