This page is an archive of what the Santa Cruz Mountain community gathered by way of information about the Loma Fire in late September and early October of 2016.
It will be updated as time and new information allow.
This page contains the best information we have on the Loma Fire (in the santa cruz mountains) and where to get assistance.
Refresh regularly to get updates... this page is being hand edited by the 95033talk moderators. Send all updates to email@example.com so we can add things as needed.
Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016: The Loma Fire is declared 100% contained by Cal Fire.
There will still be hot spots and smoldering stuff in there for weeks (possibly months) but Cal Fire now says the fire is fully enclosed and does not expect it to escape again.
URGENT INFO: Red Cross volunteers (Case workers and health professionals) will be at 30000 Loma Chiquita Road, Los Gatos from 9:30 a.m - 4:30 pm, Wednesday Oct 5 and Thursday, Oct 6.
Bulk Distribution (Relief Supplies) ~ Red Cross volunteers will be handing out relief supplies items such as water, snacks, coolers, gloves, goggles, buckets, trash bags, dust masks, etc.
Casework (Resource & Referrals) ~ Red Cross caseworkers will be meeting one-on-one with impacted families to assess their disaster-caused needs and provide qualified residents with immediate disaster assistance, as well as recovery planning and referrals to other agencies, which may be able to provide additional assistance. Please bring proof of your residence address, if possible.
Cal Fire Supplied Fire Info
Cal Fire is has final info on their fire info page on the web.
NOTE: something learned from this fire: As the fire winds down, the containment number stays at around 95% as Cal Fire and others do certain kinds of work within the containment lines. This includes grading and drainage fixes, road repairs, and so on. If the fire isn't listed as fully contained, certain laws and requirements don't come into play, so the work can be done quickly, as part of the fire suppression effort. But if the work is done after the fire is listed as fully contained, those laws kick in, and the work gets delayed. Thus, though the fire is only listed as 95% contained, it's a firm containment line around the perimeter. (This info paraphrased from an email from a Santa Clara County Firesafe Council member.)
There have also been occasional flare ups of the fire inside the perimeter a few times, with trees in flames well above ground level. Residents are urged to call 911 if they see anything like that and Cal Fire will immediately come out and put them out. (From a community meeting on 10/8.)
There are also reports of thefts and visitors to the area who are not residents. Residents are urged to call 911 and report suspicious activity. The sheriff says they have deputies in the area regularly and they will respond as quickly as they can. (From a community meeting on 10/8.)
Last formal estimate from Cal Fire on full containment: 10/8/16 - obviously this wasn't met.
All Evacuation Orders lifted for Santa Clara County 10/4/16 at 9am. Press release
Evacuation Lifted for Summit Road from Loma Prieta Road to Highway 152 on 10/2/16 at noon. Press release
Evacuation Lifted for Croy Road and Sveadal on 10/1/16 at noon. Press release. Safety Message.
Cal Fire specifically requests that NO DONATIONS be brought to the firefighters working the Loma Fire. Their base camp is fully self supporting, and while they appreciate the support and the thought, they do not have storage or manpower to work with donations. This press release says a bit more, and offers alternative places to donate if you feel the need.
CDF Public information phone number: (408) 779-0930
How To Help Victims:
There is some confusion out there about organizations raising money related to the Loma Fire. Some of this was caused by the Cal Fire press release at about unauthorized solicitations for donations. Please note that it specifically talked about individuals requesting cash for operations related to base camp. It does not talk about organizations raising money:
CAL FIRE has received information regarding individuals who are soliciting donations throughout the communities affected by the Loma Fire. They are reportedly requesting cash for operations related to base camp at Christmas Hill Park and firefighting efforts associated with the fire.
The organizations listed below are legitimate and will route all donations to individuals impacted by the fire.
The communities of Casa Loma and Loma Chiquita were at the center of, and were impacted the most by, the Loma Fire. The recovery effort will be long and arduous, especially for those who lost their homes and belongings.
Three organizations in the area are joining forces to help. The Casa Loma Volunteer Fire Association, the Loma Chiquita Escape Route Committee and the Loma Prieta Community Foundation will join forces to raise money to help meet community needs that will come up as a result of the fire, and to thank those involved in fighting it.
People can donate in multiple ways:
For monetary donations:
Donate to the Casa Loma Volunteer Fire Association:
Donate to the Loma Prieta Community Foundation:
- Checks to: LPCF, Loma Fire Fund, 23800 Summit Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033
- Online at www.lpcf.org
For In-kind donations:
The moderators of the 95033Talk group, working together with members of the Casa Loma Volunteer Fire Association, will coordinate receipt and disbursement of in-kind donations. Please send them an email with details of what you can provide at firstname.lastname@example.org
All donations are fully tax deductible. Rest assured that all funds will flow directly to people impacted by this fire.
Please contact email@example.com with questions. Thank you for your support and your assistance.
The Casa Loma Volunteer Fire Association is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization. Tax ID 94-2698123
The Loma Prieta Community Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization. Tax ID 77-0001115
Advice On Returning Home After Evacuation and Fire:
Request to All: Please don't come up to take pictures. As one local resident wrote: In the morning yesterday (Tue 9/27) local residents could get past the two checkpoints on Mt Bache, Loma Prieta Way. However, in the afternoon yesterday - my sons were blocked from coming up on their way home for LGHS. I went down to talk with the CHP officer there. He said - Cal Fire told him to stop people from coming up because they were getting in the way! In fact a couple of cars got doused with fire retardant. I was able to get him to let my sons get by. I understand how "exciting" it is to get closer, take pictures, maybe "get a thrill". But please stay way out of the way of the Cal Fire efforts! You are making it harder for those of us who live up here. Please do not come up unless you are "official" or live up here! Taking more pictures is not needed.
Scott Green, 3:47pm, 9/29:
Most of the west side of the fire is cold, a few smoldering spots, but really no concern.
There are still some very steep and difficult access areas of the fire. Today's activity has been mostly on the northeast side. Aircraft are airborne and working the fire. Bulldozers continue to construct fireline and some of it looks like mini highways, looking really good!
It would not surprise me if we see the percentage of containment increase on the next CAL FIRE report.
I am told the damage assessment teams are at work assessing the number of damaged/destroyed homes. I am sure that number will increase as well unfortunately.
The weather has been cooling down and bringing us higher relative humidities. This is especially good as it slows down the fire activity. It also makes it a little more tolerable for the crews on the line.
Burning/firing operations may continue, so if you see plumes of smoke, don't panic. There are a lot of crews on the line each day. You also may see aircraft overhead during such operation. Just because you see this, it does not mean that there was a blow up or spot fire, again, don't panic.
Some are speculating as to the cause. Please know that there are several investigators assigned to determine the cause and they will have many people to interview. Let the investigation take its course and when they conclude, it will be released. A fire of this size will not be forgotten and the media will also be asking for a cause. CAL FIRE is pretty good with issuing a press release on a cause.
Just a reminder about the community meeting tonight at 7:00pm in the Forum at Loma Prieta School. Hope to see some of you there.
Scott Green, 10pm, 9/28:
I just got back from the Loma Fire. I drove most of the South side. Still a lot burning down in the canyon, a lot of smoke in there. Fixed wing (air tankers) operations were hampered today due to the smoke.
I drove up to the Loma Towers. All burned up around the towers. Enjoyed the nice sunset while talking to one of the engine crews.
Today there was a lot of helicopter activity. They were working areas where equipment had little or no access. This raised some concern that the fire was getting out of control. This was not the case, just another fire suppression tactic. We will most likely see aircraft working the fire over the next couple of days.
Many were concerned about the large plume of smoke this afternoon. This was a firing operation in an effort to burn fuel within the fire to assist in containment. Using fire to fight fire is a very common practice. In fact, I have personally set fire instead of pulling a hose and using water. We would just set fire on the other side and the fire would draw itself together and once the fuel is all burned up, it goes out. Very effective when the right conditions exist.
Today the temperature was a little cooler and the relative humidity also increased. There is a low pressure system coming in, providing some cooler temperatures and higher humidities. We may see some marine influence as well.
There were at least two other firing operations planned for this evening, but they lost the prescription window in which they would have had a clean burn. Once the relative humidity gets to a certain point, the firing operation will not be successful. So they will most likely wait until Thursday when it warms up and the humidity is lower. So if you see plumes of smoke throughout the day, don't worry. They could try to burn some smaller areas tonight though.
The current weather forecast is in our favor by not having conditions that would cause the fire to really increase its behavior. But anything can change, its not over yet so don't get complacent. But so far the weather forecast is favorable.
In my 23 years in the fire service, I have been to many fires like this throughout the state. This fire could have been, and should have been, much worse given the current drought conditions and the hot and dry weather we had on Monday. The crews have been doing a fantastic job and our aircraft had just plastered the hillsides and homes with retardant. The destroyed home count could have been much higher.
I know most of is on this list is on the west side of the fire. You will be happy to know that most of the west side of the fire is now cold, no fire! Huge improvement today!
Scott Green, 5pm, 9/28:
- The crews on the Loma Fire will be starting a firing operation. This is where they set fire to burn fuel between the control line and the main fire. It may put up some plumes of smoke. Dozers are used to construct theses lines. There is a lot of unburned fuel within the fireline. At times, this fuel will burn and also send off huge plumes of smoke. Also, as the fire advances and makes its runs, when the fire reaches heavy and thick fuel, this will also create large plumes of smoke. Most of the day we did not have the towering plume, that does not mean that there will not be anymore.
2:30pm - 9/28:
- Sheriff is notifying residents in the lower Mt. Bache, Highland, and Spanish Ranch areas that evacuations are lifted. However the fire is still active, and all residents are asked to keep a close eye on the situation.
Scott Green, 12:08pm, 9/28:
- There are a lot of helicopters assigned to the Loma Fire for todays operation. They are doing some heavy water drops in areas that can't be accessed with ground equipment. They are flying to the west of the fire for water supply. Nothing to be alarmed about. Fire is looking good from my vantage point.
Scott Green, 10:25am, 9/28:
- When we have a large fire like we have now, it causes stress, panic, nervousness, anxiety and probably some more factors I have not mentioned.
There have been some emails containing rumors and speculation. When this happens, it just intensifies what I mentioned above. It is best for all that this not happen.
There are some factors that are not in our control like the reverse 911 system. Some people received these calls and in no way shape or form were they in any type of danger from the Loma Fire. While this technology can be great, it is subject to human error such as those who are drawing "the box" for evacuation. This certainly will need to be an item on any post action review. So in the meantime, I would suggest not relying on technology 100%, but rather revert to common sense. If you have smoke blowing your way, you have ash falling on you, then action my be required on your part. Part of living in the mountains is self sustainment, we rely on our knowledge/experience or others who may have more. Don't rely on reverse 911, law enforcement coming to your door etc. In my opinion, I don't think the reverse 911 system is perfected. The last 72 hours has proven that. It will not be fixed for this fire, maybe even not for the next one. As an incident grows, it is often difficult to have sufficient resources readily available.
Last night some wind shift emails were posted. That caused panic. We have had and still have southwest winds. What the means is it is pushing the fire to the north east. A lot of people have those home weather stations, depending how they are mounted, they can get false wind direction due to wind reflecting off buildings, trees, etc. There is a meteorologist always producing spot weather forecast for the location of the fire. This data is used to establish the objectives and assist with predicted the anticipated fire behavior.
I realize that everyone wants updated information, but the most correct and accurate information can take some time to gather. People report information at what they are seeing, but that has even proven to be incorrect. Monday night when I was dispatching a fire in Scotts Valley, it was reported that the fire appeared to be contained. This was being reported by a neighbor, then posted by a friend on this forum. This was not accurate information because units were just arriving at scene and trying to determine best access. Units were on that fire all night, so the info that it appeared to be contained was not accurate.
As for the Loma Fire, there were reports that the fire spotted across the line. This fire has had spotting happening since it started. It is very dry and spotting often occurs on fires of this size. This is something not to immediately panic about. Its part of wildland fires and spot fire happen often. We have the best wildland firefighters in the world here working. If the fire spots, they jump on it, they have a lot of resources here now.
What I can say now, all those to the west of the fire, that would be Loma Prieta Ave, Mt. Bache, Highland, Spanish Ranch, Radonich, and towards the School and Loma Prieta/ CTE, you are currently safe. Relax and take a deep breath. If there is a dramatic shift, we will know about it. For those east of the fire, the next couple of days is going to be critical.
Past Fire News:
- Please avoid the areas involved in the fire if at all possible. Don't go sightseeing. Emergency equipment will be on the roads all night, and we've already had one reported car accident in the area, which only gums up the works.
- Incident command says 5% containment at about 6:25pm (source: Eric Murray monitoring the radio)
- Incident command reported the fire at 850 acres at about 6:45pm (source: Eric Murray monitoring the radio)
- Cal Fire dispatch answered maybe a hundred or more 911 calls. They had 3 fires going at once. "Anyone near the top of Loma Prieta Way should be ok, may look and feel scary, but keep an eye out as the wind could shift. There is a lot of very tinder dry brush up there. Crews will be there all night, we have 100's of personnel traveling to the fire now and will be arriving through the night. An army id being built. Aircraft be on it first thing in the morning." As of 6:44pm Monday, 9/26/16 (source, Scott Green Cal Fire)
- IC estimates at least 1000 acres and Uvas canyon is under evacuation at about 7:20pm 9/26/16. (source: Eric Murray monitoring the radio)
- 1100 acres, 5% containment, 8:21pm - source: Mike Lyon (monitoring the radio, I think)
- Fire is now at about 1100 acres and still running. Only 5% contained, which is nothing for 1100 acres. Fire is making a run towards the Loma repeater site where some of our communication equipment is located. Crews putting together a firing operation. Fire not currently heading towards Mt. Bache/Loma Prieta Ave. But that does not mean we are in the clear, keep a heads up and be ready to go if needed. If the winds change, it will be a threat. source - Scott Green, 8:32pm
- Fire Map Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/26/loma-fire-map-santa-cruz-mountains/
- Fire is burning on both sides of Loma Chiquita Rd. Building lines with dozers tonight. Fire will continue to burn aggressively, putting up lots of flames and smoke. Fire is burning to south-east, away from Mt. Bache/Loma Prieta Way. (Scott Green, 9:27pm)
- 1:02am 9/27, Scott Green: I just drove up to the Loma Fire. While it is making its runs, it is mostly heading away from Mt. Bache/Loma Prieta Way. That does not mean we are in the clear. Any wind shift and increase in wind activity could change that. There is currently no smoke/wind heading towards Highland way, which is great. Fire is burning out around Loma Prieta peak and on both sides of Loma Chiquita Rd. It is burning in steep inaccessible areas. While monitoring the radio, I heard one home was destroyed, one damaged and several outbuildings destroyed and/or damaged. That is not an official count and damage assessment intel is still being gathered. Mt. Bache and Loma Prieta Way is still closed. There is a lot of equipment and personnel coming in for day shift for Tuesday. There are many fire engines out protecting as many structures as they can, there are a lot of them!
- 1:42am, 9/27: Fire activity is picking up, but fire is moving to the south. Structure protection is priority and getting more engines in place.
- Map from Santa Clara FireSafe Council, 9/27 morning: https://groups.io/g/95033talk/wiki/FireSafe-Council-Incident-Map--9-27-Morning
- New Fire map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1h6SlHbdj4s6D_iFxT6kULTFTXRw
- Large Animal Evacuation Info (Chris Smith, 95033Talk): I just talked to Butch McAndrews, the coordinator for Santa Clara County Large Animal Evacuation. They are going into the remote areas now (and have been all morning) evacuating animals that had to be left behind (horses, donkeys, etc...). He personally has been up Casa Loma and all animals that they can find have been evacuated to the Santa Clara Horsemen's grounds on McKean Road. He stressed that animals that have been self-evacuated (those evacuated by the owners) are NOT eligible to be housed at the Santa Clara Horsemen's facility. The Santa Clara Horsemen's grounds are reserved for those animals that the Evacuation Unit has evacuated. Self-evacuated animals will be received at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville and the Santa Cruz County Horsemen's Association show grounds on Graham Hill Road.
- Update from Scott Green, 12:58pm, from the western edge of the Loma Fire: Since I was here last night at around 11:30pm, the fire spotted over Loma Prieta Way, towards Mt. Bache. * The fire was backing towards Loma Prieta Way/Mt.Bache. * They are constructing a dozer line (as well as other areas, but was watching this one) on the western side of the fire tying it in to Loma Prieta Way where the road turns into dirt. * I have been watching the fire make its runs and the behavior for the last couple of hours. * The fire continues to burn towards the southeast. The winds seem to be remaining stable and consistent. * Yesterday's & last night's crews have been making their way off the fire line as a shift for the next 24 hours have been arriving. * Aircraft continue to work from the air protecting homes off Summit/Mt.Madonna Rd. * Fire still burning in very steep terrain that is very hard to access. * For those that are west of the fire, I feel very comfortable with it today. Unless of course winds change dramatically. * Don't become complacent, keep your ears and eyes open. If smoke starts blowing your way, this should be a heads up that something is changing!
- 2:33pm (from 95033Talk) - Fire keeps trying to jump that ridge. That is very steep terrain and very dry brush. It is burning very well! They are trying to get line built where they can and will use aircraft as long as they can today. The crews will be working very hard today, tonight and tomorrow. Then we will see what kind of progress is being made. Crews are working very hard! It is hot up there and when one gets close to the fire, it is very hot!
- Looters Warning: Now that this fire has been well publicized, we need to be on the look out for looters. Every Time there is a large incident, looters come. Watch for strange and suspicious vehicles and people. Take note of what you see and report it. Keep your homes, vehicles, garages and sheds locked up.
- 9/28/16 - 6:45pm - 2,865 acres - 22% contained (from http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/1457)
Fact Sheets & Maps:
- Mon, 9/26
- None available - fire started this afternoon
- Tue, 9/27
- Wed, 9/28
- Thu 9/29
- Fri, 9/30
- Sat, 10/1
- Sun, 10/2
- Mon, 10/3
- Tue 10/4
- End Of Incident
Cal Fire Radio Frequencies:
- Calfire CMD1: 151.355 Mhz
- SCU Morgan Hill: 151.445 Mhz
- Air OPs: 151.295 Mhz
- Rumor says Highland is closed. Cal Fire dispatcher says it shouldn't be, and that anyone needing to get through there should mention your destination road.
- Etheric Networks Loma tower is down. So, some people have no access to the interwebs. Cruzio is working on backup generator.
- A note on the Calfire stats: (from Jeff Powell): Cal Fire's current documents state that only one house was destroyed, but we've all heard about others. That's perfectly understandable. The final damage assessment can wait. Right now they are trying to minimize the losses, not total them up. Once the fire is contained and mop up starts - and possibly before - they can get better counts of lost structures, and I expect those numbers to rise. Remember that houses up in the area of the fire are often well off the road, and even if they were marked on the before, the signs are probably gone now that the fire's burned through. They'll find them, though, and they'll show up in the final tally. So, like the total acreage burned changes as the maps get remade and the containment lines get cut over time, the number of structures damaged will change too, and go up.
Evacuations are in place for:
Please see Cal Fire incident report at top of this page.
One correction to the Cal Fire incident report (local info):
- All correct except the part about Summit Road. Summit Road is open at San Jose Soquel. So is Highland. Fact is that there is a road named Summit Road that is far east of the Summit Store. The road that is along the county line changes names from west to east psychotically as follows: Loma Prieta Ave (above/behind the Summit Store, which is on Summit Road), Loma Prieta Way (begins at Mt. Bache), Loma Prieta Ave (again), Summit Road (approximately at Loma Prieta Road), Mt. Madonna Road (here and there), Summit Road. (Thanks to Patty C for clarifying this). The Summit Road that is closed and in the evacuation area are the multiple Summit Roads that are way east, after Loma Prieta Ave.
Mandatory Closures (from CDF): Please see the incident report
- Sheriff may stop at Highland Rd. Anyone needing to get through there should mention destination and provide proof of residency.
- Summit Road closed at Loma Chiquita. Confirmed by a resident Saturday morning, 10/2/16.
Provided by Cynthia Shaw, American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region
- Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, 16970 De Witt Avenue, Morgan Hill.
Red Cross shelters provide for immediate emergency needs of those who are impacted by the fire. Impacted residents are welcome to stop by during the day for food (meals, snacks), water, blankets, health and mental health services, information, and other support services, even if they choose to spend the night elsewhere.
- The Red Cross shelter at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Grange Hall has transitioned to standby status as of Thursday morning as the evacuation orders in Santa Cruz County have been lifted.
- The Red Cross shelter at the Levy Family Campus/Jewish Community Center will transition to standby status on Thursday evening as the shelter residents were able to either return home or chose to move to larger Morgan Hill Shelter.
The shelters can be reopened within a couple of hours should the need develop. Any residents affected by the Loma Fire and needing assistance, including assistance with a place to stay, should stop by the Morgan Hill shelter or call 866-272-2237 to speak with a Red Cross caseworker.
Resources for Animals:
The Equine Rescue is supporting evacuation centers for livestock at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds and Santa Cruz County Horsemen's Association ground on Graham Hill Road.
Santa Clara County Horsemen's Association is also supporting an evacuation center for livestock at 20350 McKean Rd in San Jose.
Care for small animals is also available at the Morgan Hill shelter.
Red Cross Information:
Provided by Cynthia Shaw, American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region
American Red Cross is coordinating with Santa Clara and Santa Cruz County officials and local community partners to support the residents impacted by the Loma Fire.
The evacuation centers provide for immediate emergency needs of those who are impacted by the fire, including a safe place to stay, food (meals, snacks), water, showers, health services, emotional support, information, and other support resources. Impacted residents are welcome to stop by during the day for food, water, blankets, health and mental health services, and other support services, even if they choose to spend the night elsewhere.
IN-KIND GOODS DONATIONS
We appreciate the outpouring of support from the community during the Loma Fire. At this time, our shelters have what they need and we ask people not to bring donations to our shelters as we do not have the facilities to sort and store the goods. Although financial donations are still the best the way to help with Red Cross on-going relief efforts, the Red Cross has identified several opportunities for the community to donate goods to affected residents through our following community partners, who will accept, sort, clean, and distribute these specific goods donations at these locations:
- Salvation Army of Gilroy (6701 Camino Arroyo, Gilroy) is accepting in-kind donations of clothing, household goods and toys.
- Salvation Army of Santa Cruz (812 Pacific St, Santa Cruz) is accepting in-kind donations of clothing, bedding, material donations as well as any food donations.
- Second Harvest Food Bank (800 Ohlone Parkway, Watsonville) is accepting any food donations in bulk or smaller items.
- SPCA of Santa Cruz County (685 Chanticleer Ave, Santa Cruz) is accepting pet supplies, carriers, leashes, feeding bowls, and any pet supplies to include food.
We encourage the community to take advantage of these drop-off sites. We are so grateful for all of the community volunteers and organizations that have offered their support and for our financial donors who made it possible for our volunteers to be ready and equipped to respond at a moment's notice.
BE PREPARED - WILDFIRE TIPS
Wildfires spread quickly, igniting brush, trees, and homes. Residents in the surrounding Loma Prieta area are urged to stay vigilant, and prepare for possible evacuation. The Red Cross urges residents to follow all evacuation orders from local enforcement and be prepared. It is recommended that all residents prioritize their personal safety, and do not wait for an evacuation notification if they feel their safety is at risk. Some basic wildfire safety tips are:
People in the path of the fires should download the Red Cross Emergency App for real time access to shelter locations, weather alerts, preparedness information and safety tips. Click here for additional safety information, including what do to before, during and after a wildfire.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT RESOURCES
Disasters like the Loma fire can bring about significant stress. This is especially true if you have experienced a previous disaster. The good news is that many people have experience coping with stressful life events and are naturally resilient—meaning we are designed to “bounce back” from difficult times. In the days following a disaster, it is common for you, your family and friends to experience a variety of reactions. Feelings of exhaustion, worry, and anger can surface, especially if you’ve had to leave your home or have had to contend with the frustrations of having no electricity, or have had to clean up disaster debris. Here are some resources:
RESPONSE UPDATES ONLINE
For updates on the Red Cross response, like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/redcross.siliconvalley/ or https://www.facebook.com/RedCross.CentralCoast/ or follow us on Twitter - @SV_RedCross or @RedCrossCC
Offers Of Assistance (combed from messages on 95033talk):
- Removed due to private information being on here. We will find a better way to post.
- In the meantime, if you would like assistance, please do contact the moderators at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with the appropriate people. Thanks.
What can I do to help (besides offering assistance)?
From Eric Moore:
As a retired fire fighter I would like to chime in. Thank you signs and cookies etc. are all very nice; however what firefighters really want you to do is maintain clearance around your house. This needs to be not just today, when you can see the flames, but forever. You also need to maintain the road and driveway to your house. If the branches are touching the mirrors on your car, a fire engine is going to have a very rough time getting to you. I hear chainsaws around me. Some people are out on a 90 degree day doing work that should have been done in April. If there was no smoke they wouldn’t have bothered.
In the bigger picture, support fuels management! Thinning, fuel breaks, fuels modification, controlled burns, whatever it takes. This fire is burning in an area that has had no realistic fuels management for at least 50 years that I know of, probably much longer. The controlled burn folks will tell you “you can have a little smoke now or a lot of smoke later” Welcome to later!
The overwhelming odds are that this fire started at a road or a structure. If there had been proper clearances, we would be talking about yesterdays fire that was put out by one engine.
From Scott Green:
I have been asked about how to donate drinks/food to firefighters. Many want to help out and do something. While it is much appreciated, those are items are already covered by the logistics team. There is a well managed system in place. Orders are placed a day in advanced pick up and drop off locations are already planned out. When items get left at a station, there is usually no one to handle them. Depending on the food items, they may not be able to be in high temperatures either. Storage may also be an issue. The firefighters are taken care of with food and drinks. This is on the state side, I can't speak for our local Loma Prieta Volunteers, but if they can take them I will let Alex chime in on that. What ever is not used now can be used for future smaller incidents where we don't the logistical support. CAL FIRE builds a miniature city for supplies and logistics, it is really impressive.
So many people want to help and that is very much appreciated!!! Organizations like Red Cross and Animal Evac groups operate on donations. It is always great to donate to those as they go into operation and support those affected by the fire.
I know I really appreciated this when I was on an engine fighting fires all summer long throughout the state. Signs posted along the roads. It is a very personal touch to those out working day and night. Plaster the roads leading into the fire. Chris on Mt. Bache started with some yesterday and I saw one pop up on Highland today.
So what do you say about plastering Summit Rd, Highland, Mt. Bache, Loma Prieta Way with Signs??? Anywhere along Hwy 17 would be great, but would have to be on private property.
What To Think About When Evacuating
From a few people on 95033Talk:
- pack clothes for a week
- pack up everything that would make you go "damn it! should have saved that!" which means stuff that insurance couldn't buy you back even if they wanted to do so. So computers that hold pictures, laptops that hold pictures, pretty much pictures, pictures. Art work that the kids did.
- If you're the sort that keeps all your passwords in a little book, take that.
- Take your passport.
- Shut off your propane tank before you bug out.
- Move BBQ bottles away from the house.
- pets & pet food
- Insurance documents
- birth certificates
- anything you have that will help prove what you might lose in a fire
- If you keep a filing cabinet full of tax and other financial documents and have the time, consider just putting the entire contents in the car if you have space. It's faster than sorting it out.
Advice from an insurance company on what do if evacuated:
- Take photos of all your property.
- Insurance will not cover refrigerators and freezers destroyed by rotten food! Most likely power will be cut off if we are evacuated. Insurance recommends throwing away or taking all food out of refrigerator and freezers: Rotten food in fridge/freezers will destroy the refrigerator and the house will smell terrible!
- Turn off main power shut off to gas to avoid explosions.
- Check with your own insurance company for your own coverage. Example: some will only cover a hotel during the dates of mandatory evacuation.
After the fire
If you were impacted, and have smoke odor, a resource on what to do is this document by the Red Cross. Please see tips on how to deal with the odor on page 8.