Date   
CAL FIRE NEWS ≠ CAL FIRE

Kim Noyes
 

On July 8, 2019, the official Twitter account for CAL FIRE tweeted the below message in regards to Robert O'Conner's CAL FIRE NEWS Twitter account and associated blog. This was triggered by confusion some people were having with whether Robert's account was actually associated with CAL FIRE. Added to that confusion was Robert's bat-shit crazy personality and outlandish conspiracy theorism and anti-establishment perspective which bleeds into some of his online activity. Understandably, some people would be confused seeing non-objective commentary on what they believed was an official government information outlet.

CAL FIRE Tweet:
"Recently, we have been getting a lot of questions based off of the account, CAL FIRE NEWS, which is not a CAL FIRE verified news source. To receive official, verified CAL FIRE information please follow us here and the unit accounts listed below."

Image

If you visit the actual Tweet above HERE, you will notice a firestorm response from Robert O'Conner who comes unglued and loses his shit over CAL FIRE quite reasonably and without commentary about CAL FIRE NEWS merely clarifying the lack of connection between the two.

Remembering past problems California Disasters has had with Robert O'Conner I looked back in the archives and found this post from August 31, 2014, on California Disasters back when it was still on Yahoo Groups:
"ADMIN READ: California Fire News Spam on Yahoo Groups


Yesterday, Robert O'Connor who is the force behind the Cal Fire News, sent out a mass fundraising campaign emailing to the various Yahoo Groups he is on, to wit, the California region fire and scanner groups. These emailings also went directly to individuals including myself, as well.

I don't typically get into these things here but I have had problems with this man in the past on multiple occasions over different matters. His latest course of action stinks of high hypocrisy given his bossy, self-righteous, and condescending shit fit with me in the past over my posting links to my blog on the very exact same Yahoo Groups. However, in my case, I was not asking for money and my blog is not monetized, but rather my content directly related to the groups in question.

Adding to presumptuous of this is the mysterious stoppage of new posts on Mr. O'Connor's blog seven weeks ago today and yet he is asking for five grand these seven weeks later with nary any new content.

This man was banned from this group yeas ago because during the Tea Fire in Montecito he was directly lifting content from California Disasters verbatim and posting it on California Fire News without any attribution whatsoever.

As if this wasn't bad enough this guy abhors and reviles law enforcement of all types in all situations while apparently sympathizing with all types of protestors and anarchists and rioters. Given the rank liberalness of BayScan he is allowed to run amok there and dissenting voices are moderated which is why I do not do that group the honor of ever sharing anything.

Needless to say, I will not be contributing a cent to this man's $5000 Fundly fundraiser and I do not recommend anybody do so either.

Kim Patrick Noyes ~
California Disaster Owner"

The email message to which I refer above looked like this:






I'm trying to raise $5,000



$220 Raised   /   3 Supporters   /   0 Days Left



Make a Donation




Hi californiadisasters,

My campaign: "Please Help Support CAL FIRE News" is underway and in order to reach my goal I need your contribution. 

How your donation will help: "I'm raising money for a cause I really care about, but I need your help to reach my goal! Please become a supporter of NEW MEDIA

Making a donation is super easy! Simply visit my campaign page and click donate. Any amount makes a difference!

- Robert O.





View the Campaign



You are receiving this email because your friend Robert O'Connor started a fundraising campaign on Fundly and wants you to get involved.


I share this here and now as a warning to those of you on the Internet following various sources of information related to wildfires and disasters so that you are better informed regarding this source of information and the level of support you wish to give it. I make no recommendations but merely give you information for which you may make your own choices.

Kim Noyes
Owner/Moderator

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California sends firefighters into Mexico to battle wildfire near border

Kim Noyes
 


California sends firefighters into Mexico to battle wildfire near border

Posted on August 16, 2019 
CAL FIRE engines cross border into MexicoCAL FIRE engines cross the border into Mexico to assist firefighters in the suppression of a wildfire west of Tecate, Mexico. CAL FIRE photo.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has mobilized a strike team of fire engines to cross the international border in order to help firefighters in Mexico. They will be assisting in the suppression of the Border 8 Fire that has burned 1,500 acres very close to the border just west of Tecate, Mexico 23 miles southeast of San Diego.

The fire is a threat to cross the border in an area of the United States with steep topography and limited access. Keeping it from crossing the border would be the preferred option, rather than having to suppress a much larger fire in difficult terrain on the U.S. side.

The fire has been spreading to the east, generally toward the city of Tecate which has a population of 102,000 in its metropolitan area.

Air tankers have been dropping retardant in a few selected locations north of the border off and on since the fire started August 14, including S2T and C-130 aircraft from bases at Ramona and Hemet, California.

Photo from Otay Mountain showing the Border Fire at 5:44 p.m. PDT August 14, 2019, and the approximate location of the international border (white line).

CAL FIRE may decide to activate the unstaffed air tanker base at Brown Field Municipal Airport which is 1.6 miles north of the border and about 16 miles west of this fire. It is 31 miles south of the Ramona air tanker base and has a 7,972-foot runway which according to information from the USFS “provides ample length to meet safe takeoff requirements for the size and weight of a Next Generation Air Tanker with a full payload”. The runway at Ramona is too short to handle many of the large air tankers. The tanker base at Hemet, which also has a relatively short runway, is 80 miles north of the fire.

The fire can be seen via cameras here and here.



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South Ops News & Notes Update (8/16/2019-7:10PM)

Kim Noyes
 

Glossary of Terms:
DPA = Direct Protection Area
FRA = Federal Responsibility Area

Date
Time
News and Notes
08/16/2019 1910

State

Gaines, Vegetation Fire, Mariposa County, Update
Mt Gaines Rd x Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley
State DPA, SRA, Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit

  • 1300 (+800) acres grass, 5% contained (+5% containment)
  • Rapid rate of spread
  • Structures threatened
  • Powerlines in the area
  • Evacuation advisory Bear Valley, Pendola Garden Rd x Hwy 49
  • Federal air resources assigned
08/16/2019 1634

Gaines, Vegetation Fire, Mariposa County, Update
Mt Gaines Rd x Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley
State DPA, SRA, Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit

  • 500 (+400) acres grass, 0% contained (+0% containment)
  • Rapid rate of spread
  • Structures threatened
  • Powerlines in the area
  • Federal air resources assigned
  • VLAT assigned
08/16/2019 1428

Gaines, Vegetation Fire, Mariposa County, New
Mt Gaines Rd x Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley
State DPA, SRA, Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit
Start: 1303

  • 100 acres grass, 0% contained
  • Rapid rate of spread
  • 103 degrees, 16% RH, winds NW at 1 mph
  • Structures threatened
  • Powerlines in the area
  • Federal air and ground resources assigned
  • Incident Location
08/16/2019 0820

State

Hunter, Vegetation Fire, Mariposa County, Final
Bear Valley Rd x Cotton Creek Rd, 12 miles east of Snelling
State DPA, SRA, Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit

  • 423 (+23) acres grass, 100% contained (+40% containment)
  • Minimal fire behavior
  • Mop up and patrol
Source: https://gacc.nifc.gov/oscc/news.php

Applications now open to apply for PG&E wildfire assistance funds for 2017 Fires

Kim Noyes
 

Applications now open to apply for PG&E wildfire assistance funds for 2017 Fires

The Mendocino Voice > Fire & Emergency > Applications now open to apply for PG&E wildfire assistance funds for 2017 Fires

MENDOCINO Co., 8/15/19 -- Survivors of the Northern California fires of 2017 and the Tubbs Fire can apply for up to $5,000, and potentially more, from PG&E via the Wildfire Assistance Fund.

The funds are "intended to help those who are either uninsured or need assistance with alternative living expenses or other urgent needs," who were displaced during previous fires and having expenses not covered by FEMA. The awards will be independently administered through local community organizations and agencies. The deadline to apply is November 15, and applications can be submitted at this link.

Here's the full press release from PG&E:

PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program Accepting Applications for Aid

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Beginning today, August 15, 2019, those displaced by the 2017 Northern California wildfires and 2018 Camp fire can apply for aid through an independently administered Wildfire Assistance Program funded by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). PG&E’s $105 million fund, approved by the judge in PG&E’s Chapter 11 cases, is intended to help those who are either uninsured or need assistance with alternative living expenses or other urgent needs. The court-approved independent administrator is set to file the eligibility criteria as required by the court and will open the application process. 

“Our goal is to get the money to those who most need it as quickly as possible. We will prioritize wildfire victims who have urgent needs, including those who are currently without adequate shelter,” said Cathy Yanni, plan administrator. Yanni is partnering with local agencies and community organizations to administer the fund.


“We appreciate the diligent work of the fund administrator in quickly establishing a way to distribute these funds and ensuring the program supports those with the most immediate needs. PG&E is focused on helping those impacted by the devastating wildfires in recent years and strengthening our energy system to prevent utility-caused catastrophic fires. We feel strongly that helping these communities now is the right thing to do,” said Bill Johnson, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation.

Applicants can request a “Basic Unmet Needs” payment of $5,000 per household for victims who establish basic eligibility requirements and self-certify that they have at least $5,000 of unmet needs that have not been compensated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Payments are to support needs such as water, food, prescriptions, medical supplies and equipment, infant formula and diapers, personal hygiene items, and transportation fuels beyond what FEMA covered in the days immediately following the declared disasters.

Those who receive basic payments may also qualify for a “Supplemental Unmet Needs” payment. These funds will be available only after “Basic Unmet Needs” payments have been issued. Supplemental payments will be available to individuals and families who currently face extreme or extraordinary circumstances as compared to others who were impacted by the 2017 and 2018 wildfires.


To qualify for the payments, applicants’ primary residence must have been within the boundary of the 2017 Northern California wildfires or the 2018 Camp fire. Applicants also must establish proof of identity and certify that they are not requesting payments for an expense already paid for by FEMA.

Applicants can find more information and apply for assistance at https://www.norcalwildfireassistanceprogram.com/. The deadline to file for aid is November 15, 2019.

The $105 million being provided by PG&E was made available from the company’s cash reserves. PG&E will not seek cost recovery from its customers.



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The Faults That Ruptured in Twin California Quakes Are Very, Very Weird, Geologists Say.

Kim Noyes
 

The Faults That Ruptured in Twin California Quakes Are Very, Very Weird, Geologists Say.

An onlooker views newly ruptured ground after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck on July 6, 2019, near Ridgecrest, California.
An onlooker views newly ruptured ground after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck on July 6, 2019, near Ridgecrest, California.
(Image: © Mario Tama/Getty Images)

On July Fourth, the most powerful earthquake to hit Southern California in nearly 20 years struck a remote part of the Mojave Desert. A day later, an even larger temblor rocked the same area.

Though earthquakes beget earthquakes, there's generally thought to be just a 5% chance that one quake will be followed by an even more powerful one, according to geoscientists. But that wasn't the only unusual feature of this earthquake duo in SoCal. Turns out, the earthquakes ripped Earth in weird ways.

In particular, the temblors occurred on perpendicular faults in a zone known to be pretty complicated. [Northridge Earthquake: 20th Anniversary in Photos]

Buried faults

The magnitude-6.4 temblor struck the sparsely populated SoCal area at 10:33 a.m. local time on July 4, about 122 miles (196 kilometers) north-northeast of Los Angeles and just 11 miles (18 km) east-northeast of Ridgecrest. That quake was followed by several aftershocks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Scientists warned that a powerful aftershock of the same magnitude or greater was a possibility. Just a day later, at 8:19 p.m. local time, a quake of magnitude 7.1 — which is 11 times more powerful than the July Fourth event — struck about 6.8 miles (11 km) northwest of its predecessor.

The network of cracks in Earth's crust where the quakes occurred sits within the North American plate, which bumps up against the northwesterly moving Pacific plate. [In Photos: The Great San Francisco Earthquake]

"The earthquakes of the 4th and 5th occurred in what we call a fault zone," Glenn Biasi, a geophysicist with the USGS in Pasadena, California, told Live Science in an email, "where many individual faults are active. Many are short, and because they are buried, we probably do not know them all." He added, "This area does not fit the textbook picture of sides of a plate sliding past one another," and instead the relatively short faults criss-cross each other on more than one plane. (In fact, the 6.4-magnitude quake began at a depth of 6.6 miles, or 10.7 km, while the epicenter of the bigger quake was much deeper, some 10.6 miles, or 17 km, beneath the surface.)

Susanne Jänecke, a geoscientist at Utah State University, described these fault systems as "hanging shoe organizers," where the sides, and tops and bottoms of the organizer would represent the various faults.

Right-angle ruptures

Here's where things get interesting: The 7.1-magnitude earthquake rattled a fault within the Little Lake fault zone — cracks in this spot near Ridgecrest tend to run in the northwest-southeast direction.

"The earthquake on Thursday [July 4] was more complex. And part of that smaller event happened on an unmapped fault that trends NE-SW. This is very interesting geologically, said Michele Cooke, a geoscientist at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. "We don't have a lot of earthquakes in our record that show simultaneous slip on two perpendicular faults."

Even so, Cooke said many recent earthquakes have been a little messy, rupturing in a more complicated way than just an even slip on a single plane of faults. "Many of us are wondering if these complications are actually the norm and that our instruments 10+ years ago were not sensitive enough to pick up these complications," Cooke told Live Science in an email.

Such complex rupturing is dangerous.

"This increases the challenge for seismic hazard forecasting because complex ruptures happen across multiple faults and impact wider regions," Cooke added.

These two earthquakes could also be just another sign that more seismological action is starting to occur not along the infamous San Andreas Fault but rather in the so-called Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ). "I'm not yet convinced of this, but I do think that this recent (geologically speaking) cluster of earthquakes in the ECSZ is very interesting," wrote Cooke, referring to 1992 and 1999 earthquakes within the zone.

So what's next? Is there more stress that needs to be released along these complicated faults, or should Californians rest easy?

"Without a doubt the earthquakes released stress on the fault. The more challenging question is whether these earthquakes loaded up nearby faults and whether 'enough' of the stress has been released," Cooke said.


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California wildfires down 90 percent this year

Kim Noyes
 

California wildfires down 90 percent this year

An average recent year sees nearly ten times the acreage burned


fire in butte county ragesThe Camp Fire in 2018. Photo by AP Photo/Noah Berger

After back to back years of apocalyptic Northern California wildfires, 2019 has thus far proved surprisingly mild.

According to Cal Fire’s current year statistics—updated earlier this week—the state fire agency has recorded 3,198 fires since January 1, burning a total of 23,748 acres.

The five-year average over the same period is 3,753 fires and 254,395 acres, meaning that so far this year the state’s fire acreage is down 90 percent.

And compared to just last year the difference is even more stark; this time in 2018, burnt acreage was up to nearly 619,000, making this year’s total to date just 3.83 percent of 2018’s carnage.

The 2019 figure increases considerably if US Forest Service statistics are factored in—up to 47,476 acres for the year so far. But that’s still (pardon the term) a drop in the bucket.

Cal Fire does caution that “these are preliminary numbers [...] and will likely change as dispatched wildfires may end up being other types of fires or false alarms. These numbers are subject to change until the final fire season reports are completed and tabulated.”

Even so, 2019 is so far notable for its lack of notability. Earlier this year the National Interagency Fire Center warned that “above normal significant fire potential is expected across the mountains and forests surrounding the Bay Area and in the Sacramento Valley,” but that has not yet manifested.

As of Thursday, Cal Fire is responding to just four burns across the entire state. So what’s the deal?

Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, state fire captain Scott McLean speculated that years of rain have helped fortify vegetation and that recent anti-fire measures have left fewer fire hazard areas.

The Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit based in New York City, notes that the US in general is seeing fewer wildfires this year, with 3.2 million acres burned nationally, compared to 4.8 million this time in 2018.

Verisk Wildfire Risk Analytics (which provides fire data to insurance companies) notes that California still leads the nation in the number of properties deemed “at risk” from wildfires, with over 2 million, compared to just 715,300 in second place Texas.

Although the concept of a “fire season” is a misnomer—wildfires can happen at any time in California—risk is usually more pronounced in late August, September, and October. So earlier worries about 2019’s wildfire potential could still prove well-founded.

But so far, no news seems to be good news.

Source: https://sf.curbed.com/2019/8/15/20807024/california-wildfires-down-90-percent-calfire-2019-statistics

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New wildfires coming to Northern California, warns fire agency

Kim Noyes
 

New wildfires coming to Northern California, warns fire agency

National Interagency Fire Center warns that explosive grass growth has primed the Bay Area for burns

Town Of Paradise Wiped Out By The Camp Wildfire Continues Long Struggle To RebuildThe town of Paradise in February, still devastated by 2018’s wildfires. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A new wave of wildfires will most likely hit Northern California in 2019, potentially worse than the devastating 2017 and 2018 firestorms, thanks in part to tremendous growth in native grasses that will dry out (“cure”) in the coming months and create a trove of combustible materials throughout the summer.

That’s the assessment of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), a Boise-based organization that combines eight different anti-fire apparatuses.

The NIFC released its latest National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlookthis week, predicting danger ahead for the Bay Area and all of Northern California.

Some of the agency’s potentially dire conclusions include:

  • The Bay Area should expect significant increased fire danger this summer: “Above Normal significant fire potential is expected across the mountains and forests surrounding the Bay Area and in the Sacramento Valley and surrounding foothills June through August. The above normal fire potential will expand north to the Oregon state line in August.”
  • All of the recent rain will help put off fire risk at higher elevations: “Unlike most years, there could be a delayed start to the season in the higher, timbered elevation s due to preexisting weather conditions and slower than average snowpack melting rates.”
  • However, that will contribute to greater risk in the long run due to extra vegetation growth: “Temperatures were cooler than average in early April, but warmer and drier than average weather in place since the middle of April has allowed led to robust growth of fine fuels and brush at elevations below 3,000 ft. [...] This will allow an already heavier than average fine fuel crop to increase.”
  • Unusual snowfalls have also generated new fire hazards in Northern California: “In February [there was] a significant heavy snow event in the northern Sacramento Valley. The event caused extensive damage to plants and trees of all sizes, leading to a large amount of dead and down fuels that will enhance the potential of significant wildfires starting in June.”

In February, the Forest Service reported that it had identified an additional 18 million dead trees throughout the state over the past 18 months.

“Over 147 million trees have died across 9.7 million acres of federal, state, local and private lands in California since the drought began in 2010,” according to Cal Fire, noting that, although the drought is over, inadequate rains from previous years can continue to affect tree populations.

Cal Fire’s latest Community Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation report, also released in February, warns that “climate change, an epidemic of dead and dying trees, and the proliferation of new homes in the wildland urban interface magnify the threat and place substantially more people and property at risk than in preceding decades.

“More than 25 million acres of California wildlands are classified as under very high or extreme fire threat, extending that risk over half the state,” the report adds.

Low-income households, people with disabilities, people over the age of 65 and children less than five years old, Californians who speak little or no English, and residents without cars—potentially critical to escaping an evacuation zone, particularly in rural areas—are all particularly at risk from wildfires, says Cal Fire.

Presently, the state fire agency reports only five active wildfires across the state, all of them fully contained as of May 1.


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Upcoming Event: 2013 Rim Fire Anniversary - Sat, 08/17/2019 #cal-reminder

CaliforniaDisasters@groups.io Calendar <CaliforniaDisasters@...>
 

Reminder: 2013 Rim Fire Anniversary

When: Saturday, 17 August 2019

Where:Sierra Nevada Foothills - Mariposa & Tuolumne Counties

View Event

Organizer: Kim Patrick Noyes

Description: The Rim Fire was a massive wildfire that started in a remote canyon in Stanislaus National Forest, in California. This portion of the central Sierra Nevada spans Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. The fire started on August 17, 2013, during the 2013 California wildfire season, and grew to be (at the time) the third-largest wildfire in California's history, having burned 257,314 acres (402.053 sq mi; 1,041.31 km2). As of 2018, the Rim Fire was California's fifth-largest modern wildfire. As of 2011, the Rim Fire is the largest wildfire on record in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Rim Fire was fully contained on Thursday, October 24, 2013 after a nine-week firefighting battle. Due to a lack of winter rains, some logs smoldered in the interior portion of the fire throughout the winter. More than a year passed before it was declared out on November 4, 2014.

The fire was caused by a hunter's illegal fire that got out of control, and it was named for its proximity to the Rim of the World vista point, a scenic overlook on Highway 120 leading up to Yosemite. A total of eleven residences, three commercial structures, and 98 outbuildings were destroyed in the fire. During suppression efforts, which cost more than $127 million (2013 USD), a total of ten injuries from the wildfire were reported, but there were no fatalities.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rim_Fire

2013 Rim Fire Anniversary - Sat, 08/17/2019 #cal-notice

CaliforniaDisasters@groups.io Calendar <noreply@...>
 

2013 Rim Fire Anniversary

When:
Saturday, 17 August 2019

Where:
Sierra Nevada Foothills - Mariposa & Tuolumne Counties

Description:
The Rim Fire was a massive wildfire that started in a remote canyon in Stanislaus National Forest, in California. This portion of the central Sierra Nevada spans Tuolumne and Mariposa counties. The fire started on August 17, 2013, during the 2013 California wildfire season, and grew to be (at the time) the third-largest wildfire in California's history, having burned 257,314 acres (402.053 sq mi; 1,041.31 km2). As of 2018, the Rim Fire was California's fifth-largest modern wildfire. As of 2011, the Rim Fire is the largest wildfire on record in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Rim Fire was fully contained on Thursday, October 24, 2013 after a nine-week firefighting battle. Due to a lack of winter rains, some logs smoldered in the interior portion of the fire throughout the winter. More than a year passed before it was declared out on November 4, 2014.

The fire was caused by a hunter's illegal fire that got out of control, and it was named for its proximity to the Rim of the World vista point, a scenic overlook on Highway 120 leading up to Yosemite. A total of eleven residences, three commercial structures, and 98 outbuildings were destroyed in the fire. During suppression efforts, which cost more than $127 million (2013 USD), a total of ten injuries from the wildfire were reported, but there were no fatalities.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rim_Fire

On This Date In California Weather History (August 17)

Kim Noyes
 

2012: A massive thunderstorm dropped 5.36" of rain on Yucaipa Ridge.
Runoff caused several mudslides down the hill in Forest Falls, one was 5' deep.

2001:
A funnel cloud was observed in Dulzura (San Diego Co).

1997: Tropical storm Ignacio produced 18' waves in Orange County from this day to 8.19.

1992: Tropical air brought hot and muggy weather with high heat index values to the Southern California region for a week, peaking on 8/16 and on this day.
On 8/16 it was 99° in L.A. with a heat index of 110°.
Temperatures in the valleys and Inland Empire ranged from 100-110°.
The heat caused problems for the Miramar Air Show, where 60 people suffered heat-related illnesses and two died.

1984: Severe thunderstorm struck Apple Valley with estimated winds just shy of 100 mph.
At the airport, four private planes were completely destroyed. 

1983: Portions of California City were flooded after heavy rain fell in the Tehachapi Mountains and caused Cache Creek to swell.
Water was the height of car windows and some houses flooded.

1983: Strong thunderstorms pummeled the San Bernardino area with very heavy rainfall.
2.50” was recorded in San Bernardino.
Road flooding and several roof collapses resulted.
I-10 was closed in several places, stranding thousands of motorists.
Three women were killed when flood waters swept away their vehicles.

1977: Hurricane Doreen tracked north northwestward along the west coast of Baja California, dissipating over the coastal waters west of San Diego.
Most areas received at least 2" of rainfall with up to 8' in the mountains from 8.15 to 8.17.
This occurred during the El Niño of 1977-78.
4.9" fell at Mt. Laguna, 4.5" at Borrego Palm Canyon, four inches at Palomar Mountain and Lake Henshaw, 3.26" at Borrego Springs (2.53" in 6 hours on this day, a 100 year event), and more than 2" in Palm Springs and in Riverside.
4.5" fell at the Salton Sea in just a few hours.
4 died and $25 million in damage in Southern California resulted.
Debris flows and flooding from Henderson Canyon into the Borrego Springs De Anza neighborhood damaged 100 homes.
Mud flows grew to 5' deep.
Flooded roads resulted in desert areas.
Severe flooding also occurred in California's Imperial Valley.
Floods and crop damage was incurred at the Salton Sea.
2.13" of rain fell in San Diego on this day and on 8.17, the wettest 24-hour period on record for August.
Severe flooding occurs in Yuma County, and around Bullhead City.
Rainfall in Yuma totals 2.96". Severe flooding also occurred in California's Imperial Valley.

1977: Wettest August day on record for Bakersfield with 1.03" of rain recorded.
Only two calendar days have had at least 1" of rain fallen in Bakersfield in the month of August.

1969: King City had a high temperature of 107° F.

1967: Thunderstorms hit the lower desert, also on 8.16, produced 2.5" of rain in 90 minutes at Cathedral City and 0.75" at Indio.

1963: A heavy thunderstorm hit the tiny town of Rice (east of Joshua Tree NM).
The flash flood washed out roads and railroads.

1959: A heavy thunderstorm dropped 1.5" in Needles and 1" at the Needles airport.
One died and 3 were missing in disastrous flooding.
Bridges, highways and railroads were washed out across a wide area.
Cars were swept away.
Waves up to 22' were observed coming down Sacramento Wash.
This was considered the greatest runoff of record from any desert watershed in San Bernardino County history.

1955: Flash flooding blocked the Union Pacific railroad between Las Vegas, NV, and Los Angeles in 3 places.
Floodwater swept from Cima down towards the railroad bed and undermined it East Chase.
A railroad bridge at West Chase was knocked out.
At Ivanpah the tracks were covered with debris.

1918: An exceptionally cold period for summer enveloped Southern California.
It was 45° F in Santa Ana, the lowest temperature on record for August.
This also occurred on 8.21.1959.

1917: This day was the final day of a 43-day hot spell to hit Death Valley (since 7.6) with temperatures 120° F or higher.

1910: A fire in Igo (Shasta Co.) destroyed Leiter’s Store; Gus Leschinsky’s hotel, saloon and lodging house; 2 barns; an unoccupied blacksmith shop and the home of Mrs. Parsons.
Total damages were estimated at $20,000.

1901: Susanville recorded 1.23" of precipitation.

Source: NWS San Francisco/Monterey, Hanford, Reno, Las Vegas, & San Diego as well as the Redding Record-Searchlight

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Upcoming Event: 2012 Ponderosa Fire Anniversary - Sun, 08/18/2019 #cal-reminder

CaliforniaDisasters@groups.io Calendar <CaliforniaDisasters@...>
 

Reminder: 2012 Ponderosa Fire Anniversary

When: Sunday, 18 August 2019

Where:Tehama County

View Event

Organizer: Kim Patrick Noyes

Description: The Ponderosa Fire was a devastating fire during the 2012 California wildfire season. While the fire only burned 27,676 acres (11,200 ha) it destroyed 133 structures (52 residences & 81 outbuildings) making it the most destructive fire of the year. At the height of the fire, on August 24, over 2,300 firefighters were involved with the effort which included 254 fire engines, 46 bulldozers and 54 water tenders.

The Ponderosa Fire started at around 11:30 AM PDT, on August 18, 2012.[3] The fire was ignited by lightning which sparked an area on Red Bluff, near Manton.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponderosa_Fire

Emergency Manager’s Weekly Report 8-16-19

Steve Detwiler
 

Good Morning Everyone,

 

The August 16th edition of the Emergency Manager’s Weekly Report is now available on our website at: http://www.emergencymanagersweeklyreport.com/ 

 

Steve Detwiler

EM Weekly Report Editor

On This Date In California Weather History (August 18)

Kim Noyes
 

2017: A persistent low pressure system off the Southern California Coast produced enough instability for thunderstorms to develop over the Southern Sierra Nevada each afternoon between August 17 and August 23. 
On the afternoon of the 18th, some slow moving thunderstorms produced heavy rainfall over Yosemite National Park which resulted in flash flooding in Yosemite Valley. 
A slow moving thunderstorm produced 1.27 inches of rainfall in one hour at Yosemite Valley.
Pea sized hail was also reported.
Park Service video showed flash flooding in Yosemite Valley from heavy rainfall.     

2014: The Junction wildfire started on August 18, 2014 and was contained on August 25, 2014.
The fire was located 1 mile northwest of Oakhurst in Madera County.
It burned 612 acres.
There were 47 structures destroyed and 6 damaged.
Many of the structures were outbuildings, motor homes and storage containers.
There were no fatalities.
The cost of containment was $4.9 million. 

2014: The Way fire began on August 18, 2014 and was contained on August 27, 2014.
The fire was located 3 miles Northwest of Wofford Heights in Kern County. The fire burned 4,045 acres.
The cause is under investigation.
There were 12 structures lost and no fatalities.
Cost of containment was $6.9 million. 

2013: The Shirley wildfire occurred in the Sequoia NF and the ignition occured on 8/18/13 due to lightning strikes.
The location was Democrat and Alta Sierra (Kern County). 
The size was 794 acres and containment was reached on 8/22/13. 
The cost to containment was $1.9 Million.

2013: A monsoonal thunderstorm produced a flash flood on Highway 58 near Boron.  The local CHP reported rock and flood debris. 

2013: The Tenant wildfire was in the Sequoia NF and the ignition date was 8/18 caused by lightning. 
The location was near Democrat (Kern County) and the size was 411 acres.  Containment was reached on 8/22 and the cost to containment was $950,000. 

2013: Heavy thunderstorms developed in the high desert on this day.
Radar estimated rainfall west of Victorville at 7"!
Floodwaters damaged and closed several highways west of Phelan and in Apple Valley, and filled the El Mirage Dry Lake.
A landspout tornado was observed near Helendale.

2001: The  arson-caused Creek  Fire  started on this date 2 miles north of Coulterville (Mariposa Co.) and  burned 11,500  acres.  There  were  no  fatalities  but  11  injuries  and  8  structures  were  lost (4residences  and  4  out-buildings).    At  one  point  at  least  400  people  were  forced  to  evacuate  due  to  the  fire  and  it  threatened  at  least 3000 structures.

1997: Tropical storm Ignacio produced 18' waves in Orange County from 8.17 to 8.19.

1983: Bakersfield received an inch of rain, with an additional 0.08" falling in the early morning hours of August 19th.
This was the greatest rainfall in 24 hours in Bakersfield in the month of August.
This also brought the monthly rainfall for August 1983 to 1.18", making it the wettest August on record here.

1983: This was the final day of a three-day visit from the remnants of Hurricane Ismael.
Rain fell over the entire region, but was especially intense in the Coachella Valley and along desert slopes of the mountains.
Over the three-day period, 3.51" of rain fell on Palm Springs and 5.85" were reported at Deep Canyon Lab (south of Palm Springs).
The resulting flash floods isolated 50,000 people in Palm Springs. Thunderstorms also knocked out power to 80,000 people in the Inland Empire and spawned a tornado in L.A.
Damages from the storm exceeded $19 million.  

1977: Hurricane Doreen paralleled the west coast of Baja before dissipating west of San Diego. Severe flooding occurs in Yuma County, AZ, and around Bullhead City, AZ.
Rainfall in Yuma totals 2.96".
Severe flooding also occurred in California's Imperial Valley.

1975: Mount Hamilton (East Bay) received .75" of rain -- a record for the month.

1950: It was 104° for a high in the town of Tehachapi.

1946: The high temperature at Reno, NV, was 99° F.

1945: What is believed to be a decaying tropical storm hit the region on this day and on 8.19.
Especially hard hit was the eastern Coachella Valley, resulting in extensive damage at Oasis.
Water was 18' deep in Mecca.

1918: The high temperature in Death Valley, CA was 119° F.
This ended a record streak of 43 consecutive days with the high temperature 120 degrees or hotter.  

1906: A tropical storm came up into the Gulf of California and the southwestern United States, giving the mountains and deserts heavy rainfall on this day and on 8.19.
Needles received 5.66" of rain, twice the normal seasonal rainfall.
This occurred during the El Niño of 1905-06.

Source: NWS San Francisco/Monterey, Hanford, Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, & San Diego

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O.C. gets grant for fire-spotting plane

Kim Noyes
 

Supervisors accept $4.5 million from state to fund pilot program for monitoring blazes.


A FIREFIGHTING helicopter flies above an Anaheim fire in 2017. A fixed-wing aircraft trial program will give firefighters access to real-time data on wildfires. (Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times)

By Daniel Langhorne

The Orange County Board of Supervisors accepted a $4.5-million state grant Tuesday that will fund a 150-day trial program for a fixed-wing aircraft that will monitor area wildfires, providing incident commanders with real-time information on fire conditions.

The Orange County Fire Authority will oversee operation of the dual-prop plane, which will be flown by a contractor, Courtney Aviation.

Firefighters will have access to video and images shot by the aircraft’s infrared cameras within five minutes of its arrival over a site.

“This new tool will immediately tell us the direction of the fire, so we can safely and rapidly evacuate residents, as well as position fire crews in precise locations to better protect life, property and infrastructure during a wildfire,” Orange County Fire Chief Brian Fennessy said in a written statement.

Images obtained by the aircraft will inform the data-based computer models developed by the WIFIRE Lab at UC San Diego.

California firefighters have benefited from the so-called Firemap’s real-time projections of wildfire behavior based on past and current weather conditions, weather forecasts, satellite detection and information about vegetation and landscapes.

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) requested the $4.5-million grant for the program as part of the 2019-20 state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“These state funds will help to protect our communities from fire devastation,” Petrie-Norris said in a prepared statement. “I’m excited that our hard work to secure these funds has been successful at this critical time. If a wildfire breaks out, this pilot program will potentially save lives and infrastructure.”

Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett of the Orange County Board of Supervisors thanked Petrie-Norris for her work to secure funding for the aircraft, which will also provide mutual aid to Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura and San Diego counties.

“This is going to have a huge impact for our county of Orange,” Bartlett said. “The first-responder intelligence pilot program is going to bring state-of-the-art, military-style technology and intelligence to Orange County so we can advance our response and deployment efficiency.”

Supervisor Don Wagner, who represents several foothill communities that face a heightened threat from wildfires, said the county often lacks funding to pay for equipment, helicopters and overtime pay for firefighters.

“Fighting fires can be very expensive,” Wagner said. “All of those things end up being costly, and, to the extent we can, we try to get more through the grant process.”

California Democrats and Republicans have displayed bipartisan support for providing firefighters with the equipment they need to protect the public.

“Fire doesn’t know any political lines, it doesn’t know any geographic lines, and it doesn’t know racial or ethnic lines,” Wagner said. “It’s a problem that’s common to all of us and it’s one that has no partisan edge to it.”

The Orange County Fire Authority board is scheduled to take action on the contract with Courtney Aviation on Thursday.

Langhorne writes for Times Community News.


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CAL FIRE prepares for peak wildfire season, firefighters added across the state [VIDEO]

Kim Noyes
 


CAL FIRE prepares for peak wildfire season, firefighters added across the state

Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:27PM

Watch Video HERE

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There's no such thing as fire season in California in the 21st century.

"CAL FIRE's fire season is really a year-round fire season," said CAL FIRE public information officer, Seth Brown.

CAL FIRE crews battle fires all year long, but the season peaks in late summer and fall, when temperatures climb and vegetation has had a chance to dry out.

More than 1.6 million acres burned across the state last year and two of the biggest, the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire complex, didn't start until November.

This year has started off a lot less destructive.

Firefighters across the state have seen more than 50,000 acres burn so far, but that's about one-tenth the acreage burned by this time last year.

The Gaines Fire last week is a good example of why. It grew to 1300 acres very quickly Friday, but it's stalled since then and firefighters have gained containment.

"There were no major weather patterns in the area, which kept the winds down, but also the fuel moistures began to rise a little bit. That helps firefighters. That decreases fire activity," Brown said.

Firefighters say a wet winter kept grass and brush from fully drying out, but that's about to change.

"We're going to be looking at fire to potentially get bigger, faster, Brown said. "When the weather becomes hotter and dryer as we see in the spring and early summer, those fuels begin to dry out, but with such a wet winter it just takes longer for them to dry out."

They've added firefighters all over the state to prepare for the peak of peak fire season, including 16 new positions in Fresno County.

Officials say nobody should be letting down their guards right now. They have information on protecting your home and preparing for evacuations on the website readyforwildfire.org and their mobile app.


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South Ops News & Notes Update (8/18/2019-7:30AM)

Kim Noyes
 

Glossary of Terms:
DPA = Direct Protection Area
FRA = Federal Responsibility Area

Date
Time
News and Notes
08/18/2019 0730

State

Gaines, Vegetation Fire, Mariposa County, Update
Mt Gaines Rd x Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley
State DPA, SRA, Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit

  • 1300 (+0) acres grass, 40% contained (+10% containment)
  • Minimal fire behavior with smoldering
  • Extensive mop up in oak woodlands
  • Federal ground resources assigned
08/17/2019 1815

State

Gaines, Vegetation Fire, Mariposa County, Update
Mt Gaines Rd x Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley
State DPA, SRA, Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit

  • 1300 (+0) acres grass, 30% contained (+15% containment)
  • Evacuation advisory will be lifted at 1900
  • Federal ground resources assigned
08/17/2019 0730

State

Gaines, Vegetation Fire, Mariposa County, Update
Mt Gaines Rd x Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley
State DPA, SRA, Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit

  • 1300 (+0) acres grass, 15% contained (+10% containment)
  • Active fire behavior
  • Structures threatened
  • Powerlines in the area
  • Federal air and ground resources assigned
Source: https://gacc.nifc.gov/oscc/news.php

The Latest: Jury to decide PG&E role in wine country fire

Kim Noyes
 

A state jury will get to decide whether Pacific Gas and Electric equipment ignited a deadly wildfire in California wine country nearly two years ago.

Posted: Aug 16, 2019 10:01 PM
Updated: Aug 16, 2019 10:07 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Latest on rulings issued by the judge presiding over PG&E's bankruptcy case (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

A state jury will get to decide whether Pacific Gas and Electric equipment ignited a deadly wildfire in California wine country nearly two years ago.

State fire investigators previously determined that the fire, which killed 22 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes in the Santa Rosa area, was caused by a private electrical system.

Victims of the 2017 fire disagreed and demanded a jury trial.

Meanwhile, PG&E argued that a judge overseeing its bankruptcy case should determine whether it should be held liable for the fire and owes those victims money.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali ruled Friday the state court was a suitable venue for resolving the matter.

If a jury decides the company is responsible for the fire, PG&E could face a far more costly exit from bankruptcy.

___

3:50 p.m.

Pacific Gas and Electric gets to retain control of its multibillion-dollar bankruptcy process after a judge denied requests by two groups of creditors to file their own Chapter 11 exit plan.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali ruled Friday that although the bids were tempting, opening the door for competing restructuring plans would lead to an expensive and lengthy process that will not benefit victims of recent California wildfires.

The San Francisco-based utility filed for bankruptcy in January after it said it could not afford an estimated $30 billion in liabilities from wildfires its equipment may have ignited in 2017 and 2018.

PG&E has until Sept. 26 to submit its reorganization plan.



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Updated Event: 2016 Rey Fire Anniversary - Monday, 19 August 2019 #cal-invite

CaliforniaDisasters@groups.io Calendar <CaliforniaDisasters@...>
 

2016 Rey Fire Anniversary

When:
Monday, 19 August 2019

Where:
Santa Barbara Backcountry - Santa Barbara County

Description:
The Rey Fire was a wildfire that burned in the area southeast of Lake Cachuma in the range above the Santa Ynez River, Santa Barbara County, California in 2016. By the time the fire was contained, it had burned 32,606 acres (131.95 km2).

The fire was first reported at 3:15pm on Thursday August 18, 2016 and by Saturday morning had grown to over 13,224 acres (53.52 km2), nearly quadrupling in size over night. About 300 people were evacuated from their campsites and residences, and on Friday officials let up to 5 groups at a time retrieve personal belongings from their campsites. As of Monday morning, about 1200 firefighters were working on containing the blaze, as well as 11 aircraft. As of Monday morning, the fire has exploded to 23,546 acres and has increased back to 20% containment in 4 days and 14 hours, since it started.

The National Weather Service reported on Saturday that the fire had produced a pyrocloud. This mass of hot air resembles a thunderstorm cloud that can collapse when the air cools down. The wind can manifest as strong gusts at the surface which can exacerbate the fire.

On Sunday night, August 28th, the fire had charred 33,006 acres and was 54% contained, with very little, if not no growth overnight.

The acreage of the fire was decreased from 33,006 to 32,606 acres (131.95 km2) and was at 96% containment on September 1st.

On September 16, the fire was fully contained, having burned 32,606 acres (131.95 km2)

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rey_Fire

On This Date In California Weather History (August 19)

Kim Noyes
 

2013: An upper-level low approached the California coast on the 19th, drawing very warm air into the central California interior from the south. Temperatures climbed to their highest readings of the month, with Fresno reaching 110° F, and Bakersfield hitting 108° F.
Thunderstorms developed over the mountains and deserts, with some drifting into the San Joaquin Valley during the afternoon and evening hours.
Thunderstorms dropped heavy rain (1.90") which caused flash flooding on highway 178 at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon.
Local CHP reported rocks and mudslides blocking Highway 178 at the Mouth of the Kern Canyon. 
The road was shut down for several hours. 
Several vehicles were stuck in the canyon. 
An early afternoon thunderstorm dropped 1/4" hail near Lake Isabella.
An early evening thunderstorm dropped 1/4" hail on Fresno.
Outflow winds from collapsing thunderstorms caused roof damage east-southeast of Lemon Cove, and a 30-foot flag pole was blown over.
Trees and utility lines were downed in Woodlake.
In the Southern Sierra Nevada foothills, 50 mph winds damaged fences in the town of Dunlap, northeast of Squaw Valley, and downed trees and utility lines in Springville. 
High winds also brought down a 30 foot flag pole and caused roof damage 2 miles ESE of Lemon Cove.
A flash flood caused road closures at US 395 and Garlock/Redrock Randsburg Roads. 
Roads were closed in Ridgecrest due to flooding near the Intersection of US 395 and Brown Road. 
State Highway 14 also closed.
Record high maximum and minimum temperatures were also reached.

2003: Reno, NV had a high temperature of 99° F.

2003: A thunderstorm produced intense rainfall over the northwest portion of the Las Vegas valley with several automated and personal rain gauges recording between 3"-5" of rain in less than an hour.
Many roads became completely impassable with nearly 60 swift water rescues being performed.
Several homes and businesses were severely damaged from flooding including the local chapter of the American Red Cross.
Highway 95 was closed between Rainbow and Jones for several hours after becoming completely submerged.
Total damages were estimated at $2 million. 

2001: The Highway Fire 2 miles east of Dunlap (Fresno Co.) is suspected to have been caused by arson. 
It burned 4,152 acres and forced the evacuation of a large number of residents. 
There were no fatalities, but 8 structures were lost (3 primary and 5 out-buildings). 
Total cost to contain was over $6 million. 

1997: The remnants of tropical storm Ignacio produced record rainfall over portions of northern and central California.
24 hour and 1 hour rainfall records were exceeded at San Francisco, and it was the second wettest August ever recorded in the City.
General rainfall totals ranged from 0.5 to 1.5" in the northern San Francisco Bay Area with 0.5 to 2.27" farther south along the immediate coastal range.
Along the central coast, Three Peaks in the Santa Lucia Mountains of Monterey County had a rain rate of just over 0.9" an hour and a 24 hour total of 2.2".
The greatest hourly rainfall rate at San Francisco Duboce Park was 0.22" between 11 pm and midnight on August 19, which set a record one hour maximum rainfall rate for August.

1997: Tropical Storm Ignacio produced a large southerly swell that had SoCal beaches in its sights starting 8.17 to this day.
The resulting surf at area beaches was extreme with sets to 18 feet along the Orange County coast. 

1997: A gradient wind (non-thunderstorm) with speeds at 40 MPH plus was caused by the old center of Hurricane Ignacio moving over the San Joaquin Valley. 
Arsonist started blazes, named the "Chocktaw Fire," pushed into homes northeast of Bakersfield and two were destroyed with 4 others damaged with 4,000 acres charred.
One firefighter was burned while fighting the fire. 
The damage cost was estimated at $400,000 acres. 
This same wind also was responsible for starting a fire in the Tehachapi Mountains by arcing power lines. 
1,151 acres were burned in the"Comanche  Fire"  located  10  miles  WSW  of  Tehachapi.   
Points 8 miles east to 17 miles south of Bakersfield in the Southern San Joaquin Valley also experienced visibilities to near zero in blowing dust from this event. 
Numerous minor traffic accidents occurred but no injuries or fatalities were reported from California Highway Patrol.   
Damage costs for the blowing dusts were estimated at $100,000.
Crop damage may have occurred but not assessable by the County Ag Commissioner. 

1983: The lowest maximum temperature on record of 74° F in Riverside remarkably occurred on the same day as the highest minimum temperature of 70° F for this day.

1976: Fresno only reached 67° F for a high temperature.
This is not only the coldest high temperature on record for the month of August, but also the earliest in the season that Fresno has had a high temperature in the 60s.

1973: Late in the evening a severe thunderstorm developed over El Centro and produced a downburst with winds near 70 mph.
Damage was extensive with around 100 power poles snapped, roofs ripped from buildings, numerous trees down, and hay bales blown apart.

1967: A violent hail and rain storm caused flash flooding that carried tons of rock and gravel onto U.S. Highway 95, between Las Vegas and Searchlight, NV, forcing the highway to close for four hours.
Winds during the storm, 15 miles north of Searchlight, reached gale force. Hailstones the size of half-dollars fell and rainfall measured close to 1" in 22 minutes. 

1961: Thunderstorms hit Barstow, Redlands and Calimesa.
Roads and highways were eroded.
A few homes in Redlands were sitting in 2'-3' of water.

1959: It was 31° F in Idyllwild, making this the earliest date in the season to reach freezing temperatures.

1945: What is believed to be a decaying tropical storm hit the region on 8.18 and this day.
1.75" of rain fell in Escondido on this day, the greatest daily amount on record for August.

1906: Bakersfield ended a run of 50 consecutive days with highs of 100° F or better.
This is the longest such streak on record here.

1906: A tropical storm came up into the Gulf of California and the southwestern United States, giving the mountains and deserts heavy rainfall on 8.18 and on this day.
Needles received 5.66" of rain, twice the normal of seasonal rainfall with 3.49" falling in 24 hours, the highest one-day rain total there ever.
This occurred during the El Niño of 1905-06.

Source: NWS San Francisco/Monterey, Hanford, Reno, Las Vegas, & San Diego

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PG&E shares plunge 27% after judge allows Tubbs Fire trial

Kim Noyes
 

PG&E shares plunge 27% after judge allows Tubbs Fire trial

Photo of J.D. Morris
Aug. 19, 2019 Updated: Aug. 19, 2019 8:56 a.m.
PG&E stock plunged Monday.
Photo: Michael Short / Special to The Chronicle

PG&E Corp. stock tanked more than 27% Monday as investors appeared to grapple with an unfavorable court ruling that could make the company’s bankruptcy case much more expensive.

Shares were trading at $10.38, down 27.31%, late Monday morning on Wall Street. The plunge came three days after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali said a state court trial can decide whether PG&E is responsible for the 2017 Tubbs Fire, the second most destructive wildfire in California history.

The state previously said the fire was caused by privately owned electric equipment. If a jury finds PG&E did cause the fire, it will make the company’s bankruptcy billions of dollars costlier than it would be otherwise.

“The operative word here is uncertainty,” said Paul Patterson, a utilities analyst for Glenrock Associates, of Montali’s decision. “It’s not a positive event, but what it actually means financially — I don’t know if that can be ascertained at this point. It’s clearly what the company wanted to avoid.”

This story will be updated.

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