Emergency and disaster management week in review for May 2, 2106
A weekly recap of handpicked emergency and disaster management news, along with analysis and interpretation from our team of experts.
The wildfire in Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada continues to rage on, forcing the evacuation of more than 88,000 as the blaze spreads south. Some evacuees had to be airlifted to safety, and more airlifts are being planned for today. The fire has burned 1,600 structures, and outlying buildings at the city's airport, but the main terminal was untouched. More than 250 firefighters, helicopters and air tankers are battling the fire, which has now consumed over 245,000 acres or 386 square miles of land, which is more than the square mileage of New York City.
— Michel Gosselin (@MGBlastroid) May 4, 2016
No deaths or injuries have been reported from the fire, however two teens were killed during evacuations when their SUV collided with a logging truck which resulted in a fire. The highway, only one two roads that leave the area, was closed for a short time until the fire was put out. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire and no rain is forecast in the immediate future.
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) published its National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for the U.S. yesterday, which forecasted wildfire danger in different regions of the U.S. through the end of August. Current wildfire danger is elevated in parts of the East, but, according to the NIFC, that danger will dissipate and wildfire danger increases in Hawaii and parts of California as the summer progresses.
The National Governors Association (NGA) announced that five states will join forces in a cybersecurity policy academy that will work to create comprehensive new strategies to bolster national cybersecurity. The five states -- Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada and Oregon -- will aim to develop in-depth cybersecurity measures that can protect against the ever-changing cybersecurity threats of 2016 and beyond.
A freight train derailed in northeastern D.C. yesterday near the elevated Rhode Island Avenue station. Hazardous material leaked during the incident, as hundred gallons of sodium hydroxide spilled from a ruptured tank car. The derailment disrupted a commuter rail and long-distance Amtrak passenger trains, but no injuries were reported.
The Tulsa International Airport staged a full-scale disaster drill on Wednesday to test airport and airfield emergency response. About 30 different agencies and organizations -- law enforcement agencies, rescue and firefighting agencies, medical personnel and hospital organizations, principal airport tenants -- participated in the drill, which simulated a crash between a Boeing 777 and a private plane on the airfield.