Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Worst Fire Weather of the Season Forecast for Southern California
EDM Monday Briefing: Worst Fire Weather of the Season Forecast for Southern California

EDM Monday Briefing: Worst Fire Weather of the Season Forecast for Southern California

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 26, 2020: The NWS has forecast dangerously high winds for much of Southern California through Tuesday; a winter storm on Sunday in Colorado helped slow the spread of the East Troublesome Fire; winter storm conditions posed unique challenges to firefighters battling Colorado wildfires; the USGS says an earthquake swarm near the Kilauea summit in Hawaii poses no eruption threat; a new report highlights the devastating socioeconomic impacts of nuclear plant closures for the surrounding community; the U.S. Navy identified the two individuals killed in a training plane crash in Alabama on Friday; and the CDC warns consumers of a listeria outbreak potentially linked to Italian-style deli meats.

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1) The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Red Flag Warning, which began late Sunday evening, for much of Southern California. Dangerous Santa Ana winds are expected to bring dry, gusty conditions, with damaging winds of anywhere from 60 to 80 mph in the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Wind gusts of 50 to 65 mph are forecast for area foothills and valleys. With the warning expected to last through Tuesday evening, it will keep the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management on high alert.

2) Snowfall across the East Troublesome Fire helped slow the fire's spread on Sunday. Firefighters were able to check for hotspots around structures and enforce fire lines that were already set. The wildfire has burned nearly 300 square miles (192,560 acres) since it began October 14, and has been driven by high winds amid dry fuels and low humidity levels. The wildfire is only 10% contained, with 424 personnel assigned to the fire. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

3) A winter storm that moved into Colorado from Sunday into Monday has provided some wildfire relief, but also presented other challenges for firefighters, including icy roadways. The snowfall of anywhere from 4 to 12 inches throughout fire areas helped slow the fire's spread, but temperatures in the teens and wind chills below zero threatened firefighting equipment, including water pumps. Officials also had to implement measures to minimize potential damage due to plumbing issues from freezing in Grand County, where evacuation orders remain in place.

4) Heavy snowfall across Northern Colorado on Sunday prompted school closures in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor —among other locations — for Monday. The majority of cancellations applied to in-person and remote learning, along with after-school activities due to the heavy snowfall. Temperatures are expected to remain in the teens on Monday, with wind chills dropping down below zero. Highway officials requested residents be prepared for icy road conditions and extended travel times across the region.

5) From Friday afternoon into Saturday, an earthquake swarm of more than 130 small, shallow earthquakes was recorded near the summit of the Kilauea volcano. The quakes, which registered between 1.7 and 3.5, occurred at shallow depths of 1.2 to 1.8 miles (2-3 km) to the northwest of the summit caldera. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), who constantly monitors area earthquakes and other activity in and around the volcano stated that there was no sign of increased volcanic activity, no hazard existed from the earthquake swarm and no eruption was imminent.

6) A newly released report by the Nuclear Decommissioning Collaborative, "Socioeconomic Impacts from Nuclear Power Plant Closure and Decommissioning," addresses the devastating socioeconomic impacts of nuclear plant closures on their communities. Report findings show that recovery from the closure of plants has been financially challenging, and many communities are struggling significantly from the impact of plant closures. Job losses and the economic impacts of those losses, including public service funding cut in half or more to schools, emergency responders, fire and police departments hits communities hard. They create a ripple effect that takes years to recover from, if the community can even fully recover.

7) The U.S. Navy has identified the two individuals who were piloting a Navy trainer aircraft on Friday that were killed when it crashed into a neighborhood in Alabama. U.S. Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross, 30, a training instructor, was piloting the T-6B Texan II aircraft, along with student aviator U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett, 24, when they took off from Naval Air Station Whiting Field on Friday afternoon. The plane crashed into a house and two cars in Foley, Alabama, just before 5 p.m., igniting a fire and killing both on board the aircraft. No civilians were injured during the incident and an investigation is underway into what may have caused the crash.

8) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning consumers of a listeria outbreak potentially linked to deli meats. The outbreak has sickened at least 10 people across three states, including Florida, Massachusetts, and New York, and includes one person who died in Florida. All of the victims in the outbreak ate Italian-style deli meats, including salami, but the CDC has yet to identify a specific meat source.

 

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.