TODAYS FIRE DANGER LEVEL
High fire danger means all fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and camp fires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short distance spotting is common. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning and late evening hours.
Due to the heightened threat of wildfires in the area, homeowners that live in a wooded setting or in areas that are susceptible to wildfires are urged to create a defensible space around your home. Many homeowners are complaisant to wildfire risks and have the mind set that it will not happen here. The large wildfire at Hopewell proves that it can happen here in "Our Backyard"and homeowners do need to to be prepared
For those who are not in an area where a burn ban is in effect and who must burn please follow these tips to safely complete your burn, just remember if you controlled burn escapes you can be held liable for suppresion costs and damages that the fire causes.
In many rural areas, pile burning and burn barrels are viable ways to get rid of vegetation debris – tree branches, brush cuttings, needles, and leaves. And with proper site preparation and forethought, people can burn this sort of debris with reasonable safety.
Taking the time to plan an open burning project, preparing the burn site, and equipping yourself with basic fire suppression tools before lighting the match will dramatically reduce the chance of a burn pile fire getting out of control and becoming a 911 call.
Following are seven simple tips to help ensure you have a safe and effective debris burn.
April 13, 2012
Subject: Fuel conditions/elevated significant fire potential across portions of the Eastern Area
Mid-Atlantic: Below normal precipitation and soil moisture anomalies were in place across portions of the southern and eastern Mid-Atlantic States in early April. These anomalies along with a much warmer than normal start to the spring season dropped pine needle moistures to below normal levels in the pine barren areas and also led to below normal 1-, 10-, and 100-hour fuels. Extreme fire behavior and elevated significant fire potential is likely to remain in place across drier portions of the compact until more frequent, wetting rainfall is received and green-up is complete.
Outlook: While a shift to an overall wetter weather pattern across the Eastern Area is anticipated by mid-April, not all of the areas of concern will receive significant, wetting precipitation and any periods of dry and windy weather will lead to increased fire potential prior to full green-up.
Concerns to Firefighters and the Public:
Anticipate increased potential for peat fires and prolonged mop-up across parts of the Great Lakes.
Anticipate crown fire activity where needle moistures have dropped below 100% in conifer stands.
Anticipate any ignition in flashy fine fuels to burn readily and move rapidly.
Make certain firefighters have good anchor points and keep one foot in the black.
Ensure LCES is in place on every fire before engaging. Lookouts should have a good understanding of the effects of weather changes and topography on fire behavior.
Area of Concern: Portions of the Great Lakes, northern Big Rivers, southern and eastern Mid-Atlantic States, and southern New England.
April 13, 2012
Wildland Fire Crews made significant progress yesterday and last night in constructing secure containment lines on the Hopewell Fire. Crews yesterday were able to lay over 4000 feet of 1 ½ inch water hose line along the containment line in the area of St Peters Road. These hose lines also had smaller side laterals branching off from it every 200 feet to supply water to hand crews conducting the burn out operations. Once the burn out operations were completed, crews returned to mop up, an activity that ensures all hot spots burning near the control line are extinguished. The smoke plume from these operations was visible to many residents, which prompted calls to local 911 call centers.
District 17, April 10, 2012
After 3 days of wildfire control efforts, crews are still contending with completely controlling the Hopewell Fire. Crews working on making a secure control line yesterday were faced with embers igniting fuels outside the containment lines. These embers originated from dead trees just outside the control line. Flying embers, in many cases, have lodged in the dead tree tops hours before becoming visible to fire crew personnel. As a result of the breakouts, the fire has now grown to 619 acres. Fire Crews worked throughout the night patrolling the control line in the area of St Peters Road.
District 17, April 11, 2012
Press Release #2
Fire Crews were out in force again this morning, working on containing the Hopewell Fire which began around noontime on April 9, 2012. Approximately 50 firefighters will be working on improving containment lines around the fire, which has been determined to be 540 acres in size. Crews will be widening, as well as constructing containment lines, to a width of 8-10 feet, removing all burnable materials from that line. Additionally, crews will be felling dead trees which are near the control lines. The bulldozer line in the southeast corner of the fire area will also be further improved.
There will be a make up Moderate Pack test on Sunday April 1st at the Hatfield House in Hibernia Park Chester County. Test will begin around 9:00 Am and will end around 1:00 PM. If you have missed the scheduled pack test for the William Penn Crew or to re take you can just show up. Test will be conducted by Warden Allen Touchton
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
(Source: Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center)
The predictive services (PDF, 623 Kb) of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) indicate the likelihood for significant fire potential in parts of the United States from April to June 2012. The primary factors influencing this outlook are a weakening La Nina, severe drought, and above normal fuel dryness.
Considering this forecast, the Emergency Management and Response—Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EMR-ISAC) examined the strategies, processes, and tools used by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center to assist the wildland fire community in the safe and effective performance of duties. It provides opportunities and resources to foster collaboration among all fire professionals, facilitates their networks, provides access to state-of-the-art learning tools, and links learning to training.
Specifically, this knowledge resource center provides the following support for wildland firefighters:
• Helps the firefighting community use lessons learned to improve operations.
• Strives to increase safe work practices and advance organizational learning.
• Promotes organizational change toward safer, more effective practices.
• Delivers resources to enhance learning from experience and problem solving.
• Offers 132 Uploaded Videos to reinforce learning from incidents and experts.
See the U.S. Fire Administration website for more information regarding wildland firefighting.
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