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Fire update last evening May 28

No major progress to report, though the fire has grown to ~7000 acres.


The briefing was particularly informative when the fire behaviour analyst began to explain the anticipated path of the fire, and the specific near term challenges.  I strongly urge you to take a look at Eric Johnson's presentation on the USFS FB page.  I will not attempt to further summarize it here as it is relatively brief and very informative.  I believe we will be getting those regularly now and I'd like to see them get uploaded to FB as quickly as possible.  


As you know, FB is an interactive medium, so the quality of the presentation can deteriorate quickly depending on how people choose to engage.  At the briefing the communications officer noted that the FB page had a dramatic increase in the number of hits, and they are responding by devoting more resources to the page.  Initially, questions posed on the site weren't answered for upwards of three hours.  Now apparently they are responding within 30 minutes.  Again, that is the USFS FB page here: 

https://www.facebook.com/Blue2Fire and you can always find that link below my signature line in these emails.

I continue to pursue information specifically related to our impacted communities, and particularly those in GO (evacuate) status.  As informative as the above presentation is, I asked that they specifically comment on how they arrived at GO status for those specific communities, and more particularly why they remain in GO status.  Certainly not second guessing the decisions.  Just looking for a more fulsome explanation of the specific fire behaviour that led to the initial risk rating and is contributing to a continuation of that risk rating.  I do think the presentation gives some insight into that, I'd just like to see the dots connected more specifically for each community currently at GO risk assessment. 

The other take away was the continued emphasis on the extremely dry fuel and dry air.  The 100%  ignition success rate when an ember floats several feet or yards beyond the existing fire line I thought underscored the magnitude of what is being dealt with.  It also, again IMO, underscored the value of this window of mild winds. 

I did speak with Arron Griewahn, our Directer of Emergency Services.  He confirmed that communication with Incident Management Team Three remained robust and that they continue to work through planning for contingencies.  He confirmed that the primary responsibility for the fire fighting effort, including active protection of lives and structures beyond the federal forest, remained with team three and will continue to be their responsibility until the fire is fully suppressed.  By establishing a working relationship with team three, OES is able to continue to be primary response for any emergencies beyond the fire affected areas while also being in a position to offer immediate support to team three to fight the Blue fire should that become necessary. 

Consistent with that, Team Three described efforts they are currently making to protect structures in and around Villa Madonna where they are actually placing sprinklers around at risk structures.  Part of their suppression effort is devoted to going into all the at risk communities to assess how to best protect existing structures, and deploy those protections if the fire requires it.     

Once again, the fire has grown an additional thousand acres to ~7200.  I did not detect any inordinate concern regarding that growth, and my impression was it was acceptable growth at this stage of their fire suppression efforts.  

There has been no change to the existing ready, set, go status, but they continue to evaluate that and assured me they will increase or decrease those rating as soon as conditions warrant.  Again, I've requested those affected communities, particularly those at risk level GO, receive additional information regarding their status, why it was arrived at and why it remains.

I will be at tomorrow's 11am briefing, and if there is a significant change announced regarding progress with the fire I'll post that immediately.  Otherwise I'll simply give an updated report later in the day (evening).  Again I urge you to make use of the FB page referenced above, and contained below my sig line.

Pierre




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