Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Evacuation Orders Lifted for Veyo West Fire
EDM Wednesday Briefing: Evacuation Orders Lifted for Veyo West Fire

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Evacuation Orders Lifted for Veyo West Fire


Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 15, 2020: Evacuation orders have been lifted for the destructive Veyo West Fire in Utah; the death of Naya Rivera was ruled an accidental drowning by Ventura County officials; heavy rainfall helped firefighters achieve 60 percent containment for the Elephant Butte Fire in Colorado; the NWS has issued heat advisories as a record-setting heat wave moves across the southern states; the death toll tops 70 in devastating floods that prompted the Japanese government to authorize ¥2.2 billion in relief funds; FEMA is now accepting applications for federal disaster-declared counties in Michigan after flooding and dam failures that occurred in May; incident meteorologists are deployed to help save lives during large fire incidents which often create their own weather patterns; and with the peak of hurricanes still ahead, emergency management officials urge family preparedness.

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1) In Utah on Monday, several more wildfires started from various and unknown causes. They joined the blazes that are still burning and have already scorched thousands of acres, as fire danger remains high across the state. Two of the five new fires prompted evacuations that have since been lifted, the Goshen Canyon Fire and the destructive Veyo West Fire, which was at zero containment as of Tuesday.

2) The body of Naya Rivera, former "Glee" star, was found Monday in Lake Piru near Los Angeles. An autopsy confirmed accidental drowning as the cause of death, with a confirmation of Rivera's identity by dental records. Rivera was discovered to be missing last Wednesday after renting a pontoon boat with her four-year-old son, who was later found asleep on board the boat, where an adult life jacket was also found.

3) All evacuation orders have been lifted for the Elephant Butte Fire, which began in Evergreen, Colorado, on Monday afternoon. Heavy rainfall Tuesday helped stop the fire's progress, and firefighters were able to gain 60 percent containment. There were no injuries or damaged structures, but more than 1,000 homes received evacuation orders on Monday as the wildfire threatened multiple neighborhoods.

4) A record-setting heat wave that began on the West Coast over the weekend made its way into the southern states, including Texas on Tuesday, setting record high temperatures. San Antonio hit a new record high of 107 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature the city has ever seen in July. The record heat was expected to continue in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Oklahoma and Tennessee on Wednesday, locations for which the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Heat Advisory.

5) The death toll in Japan from damages caused by torrential rainfall and flooding on Kyushu has topped 70. On Monday, government officials made ¥2.2 billion available to assist local municipalities, residents, small businesses, and agriculture in the wake of the widespread devastation. The money will be used for food, water, and supplies essential to sustaining life for those affected by the widespread flooding and mudslides.

6) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now accepting applications for disaster-declared counties in Michigan. The federal declaration includes Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland, and Saginaw counties, and FEMA registration can be made online or by phone. A stalled weather front prompted severe weather that also dumped torrential rainfall across the area, causing widespread flooding and two dam failures from May 16-22, 2020.

7) Wildfire season is in full swing, and fires are burning in several western states. Many of these wildfires have consumed thousands of acres. Large fires can create their own weather, including their own wind patterns, because wind is directly associated with temperature changes, pyrocumulus clouds, fire tornadoes and even firestorms. In the case of large fires, such as the Paradise and Kincade Fires, an incident meteorologist — who is also a trained firefighter — is deployed to the field to help forecast critical fire weather. Those forecasts help to protect both firefighters and infrastructure.


8) There have already been five named storms for the 2020 hurricane season, but the season's peak period, September, is still ahead. Current forecasts predict a more active than normal season, and emergency management officials are cautioning residents to remain prepared. The 2020 season has been an unusual one, setting a record for the most named storms so early in the season. Since the season has the potential to be an active one according to NOAA, an emergency kit and plan are essential for all families. For help developing a family emergency kit and plan, visit Ready.gov. Also, be sure to sign up for local alerts and warnings through your local emergency management agency.


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.