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National Fire News

Texas county faces long list of gaps identified after recent chemical fires

More monitoring and manpower is needed for Harris County to better respond to chemical fires like the three that struck the region earlier this year, worrying residents and shutting the Houston Ship Channel, according to a study evaluating the county’s response to the fires. The most critical response gap identified involved staffing in the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, where another 16 hazardous materials technicians —at a cost of $1.
- PUB DATE: 7/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

As Washington burns, experts work to perfect fire danger forecasts

Firefighters are tackling three blazes in central Washington near Yakima and forecasts show conditions to fight them are going to get worse. The Pipeline Fire and Left Hand Fire are both between Yakima and Ellensburg. The Kusshi Creek Fire is south near the Yakama Reservation. The Left Hand Fire has forced six homes to evacuate and hundreds more are on notice.
- PUB DATE: 7/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCPQ-TV FOX 13 Seattle

Mapping Los Angeles' Homeless Encampment Fires: Residents Can See Their Neighborhood

Fires that start in Los Angeles' homeless encampments pose a serious safety threat because they often spread to nearby apartments, homes, businesses and other buildings. The map above, illustrating fires that started at homeless encampments in 2018, shows just how widespread the problem is in Los Angeles County.
- PUB DATE: 7/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles

Firefighting planes and their crews spotlighted at EAA AirVenture convention in Wisconsin

PHOTOS: Flying Apache attack helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan prepared Tim Cherwin for his current job. The foe might be different but sometimes it's just as dangerous battling forest fires in a twin-engine turboprop plane. War zones and forest fires in the western United States — which Cherwin has fought from the air for the past five years — offer similar challenges: mountainous terrain, low altitude flying, extreme heat, rapidly changing weather conditions and endangered lives.
- PUB DATE: 7/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Pennsylvania's Fought Mill fire remembered 40 years later

It was a monster of a fire that threatened a number of nearby structures and endangered the lives of scores of firefighters when flames consumed the R.S. Fought and Sons Feed Mill at Walnut and Railroad streets forty years ago. “The flames were going a hundred feet into the air,” Gene Cahn remembered during a recent interview at the borough’s firehouse.
- PUB DATE: 7/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Idaho fire department repurposes retired ambulance to save lives

The town’s fire department is changing up how it responds to emergencies. With the addition of an ambulance called “Aid 1” — also known as a QRU or quick response unit — the Twin Falls Fire Department is working toward implementing a tiered response approach similar to those used in larger cities, according to Fire Chief Les Kenworthy.
- PUB DATE: 7/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Times-News

VIDEO: 2-alarm fire engulfs house in Maryland; 5 firefighters injured

Anne Arundel County fire officials battled a two-alarm house fire in Lothian late Thursday night. The State Fire Marshal's Office said 80 firefighters were called just after 8:30 p.m. to the 5500 block of Greenock Road. Video showed a large two-story, single-family home completely engulfed in flames.
- PUB DATE: 7/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WBAL-TV NBC 11 Baltimore

Ohio city council will weigh-in on controversial decision to reduce fire battalion chiefs

A story we've been watching closely all week is the fight between Youngstown's firefighter's union and the administration. The union has accused city leaders of swapping one safety issue for another. The fire chief stands behind his proposal. However, the issue was placed before the city's safety committee on Thursday and has now been forwarded on to council as a whole to weigh-in.
- PUB DATE: 7/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WFMJ-TV NBC/CW 21 Youngstown

‘I Lost Count At 60’: Neighbors, Firefighters Clean Up Used Needles In Minneapolis As Problem Grows

VIDEO: Health department workers say finding syringes on the ground is becoming a frequent problem in Minneapolis. While leaders work on long-term solutions, the Minneapolis Fire Department and outreach workers are picking up the slack. In a parking lot off 27th and Bloomington Avenue, across from Minneapolis Fire Station 5, it takes less than a minute to stumble upon a stray needle.
- PUB DATE: 7/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCCO-TV CBS 4 Minneapolis

Listen to IAFC's 3rd iChiefs Podcast, 'The 100-Day Plan: Succeeding as a New Fire Chief'

Your first 100 days as fire chief are a critical time to make a positive impression and to lay a meaningful foundation for the future. Having a 100-day plan before you take over is the first step to being successful. Fire Chiefs John Butler, Fairfax County (Virginia) Fire Chief John Butler and Al Yancey, Jr.
- PUB DATE: 7/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IAFC.org

Where will the West's next deadly wildfire strike? The risks are everywhere

It started when hot autumn winds snapped a power line east of Paradise, California, showering the ground with sparks. Flames shot up in dry grass near the Feather River, fanned into nearby pine trees and raced 8 miles to town. Eighty-five people died and nearly 19,000 buildings were destroyed in the Camp Fire, the state's deadliest wildfire.
- PUB DATE: 7/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: USA Today

Three firefighters injured battling abandoned Illinois home fire, city officials want answers

On Tuesday, an abandoned house on the 1300 block of West Miller Street in Springfield went up in flames. Unfortunately, the house was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived. The damage caused the floors to begin caving in. One firefighter fell through the depleting floors. He was later taken to the hospital for his injuries.
- PUB DATE: 7/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WRSP-TV FOX 55 Springfield

North Carolina State University, DC First Responders Using Virtual Reality to Create New Tech for First Responders

Emerging technologies could allow first responders to call up all sorts of information when responding to an emergency, but there is some uncertainty about what information is useful, how it should be displayed, and how emergency personnel could control which information to access and when. NC State is working with first responders to address these questions.
- PUB DATE: 7/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: North Carolina State University

Prevention and protection: California and its communities search for ways to combat the next catastrophic wildfire

Fire seasons in 2017 and 2018 caused the residents of California to take a long, hard look at themselves, their electricity providers, the way their forests are managed, what their evacuation plans look like, and whether their homes are protected. Communities on the Central Coast face fire yearly, from Lake Nacimiento to the forested hills outside of Santa Barbara.
- PUB DATE: 7/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New Times

New York: IAFF - IAFC fitness-based training program for firefighters hosted at local station

VIDEO: Heart health is a key focus for firefighters. With heavy lifting and gear, the body can take on a lot of stress. In 2018, 64 firefighters were lost in the national line of duty — almost half of those were related to sudden cardiac arrest. That’s one of the reasons why fire departments throughout the area gathered together for a fitness-based training session, hosted by the Gates Fire District.
- PUB DATE: 7/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WROC-TV CBS 8 Rochester

Senate Overwhelmingly Passes 9/11 First Responder Bill

The Senate voted Tuesday to extend funding for first responders suffering health problems as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In a 97-2 vote, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill that would effectively make the victims’ compensation fund for 9/11 first responders and other victims of the attacks permanent.
- PUB DATE: 7/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNBC-TV NBC 4 New York

Californians living in wildfire-prone areas losing homeowners insurance following historic blazes

When Stan Caplan built his retirement home on the ridge of a majestic chaparral-covered hillside in an affluent gated community in Rancho Santa Fe, he wasn’t thinking much about insuring his property against wildfire. Today, the issue has been consuming the 70-year-old Texas transplant. In June, he received a letter in the mail that his homeowner’s insurance was being canceled because of the “increased frequency of catastrophic wildfires in California.
- PUB DATE: 7/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune - Metered Site

Record number of smokejumpers on roster in Alaska

A record that stood for nearly 30 years fell this past week when the roster at the Alaska Smokejumper Base at Fort Wainwright was filled with the names of 206 jumpers at the same time. That’s more than half of the roughly 400 smokejumpers on rosters nationwide this year. The previous record in Alaska was 202 jumpers on the roster at once.
- PUB DATE: 7/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fire Aviation

From the moon to mass production: 10 pieces of modern tech indebted to Apollo, a few of which benefit firefighters

You may have heard that freeze-dried food was invented to feed astronauts on the Apollo missions, and although “astronaut ice cream” was never actually used during the operations, it was developed for NASA in the 1960s. Two other items people commonly believe originated with Apollo 11 are Tang and Teflon, but this is apocryphal — NASA isn’t responsible for your non-stick pans or your fruit drink mix.
- PUB DATE: 7/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Digital Trends

As Virginia county increases funding for fire, emergency services, less will go to volunteers

King William County allocates more than a half-million dollars to volunteer fire organizations each year, but county officials say they have little, if any, oversight. The county has budgeted $1.43 million for fire and emergency services for the fiscal year that started July 1, according to the county’s adopted budget.
- PUB DATE: 7/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Virginia Gazette