Rim Fire Update


ARES / RACES Conclude Rim Fire Activation
(Courtesy of ARRL Letter of 05 September 2013)

Amateur Radio volunteers supporting the Red Cross and local government in
the wake of the gigantic Rim Fire, in and near California’s Yosemite
National Park and the Stanislaus National Forest, have stood down after
16 days on duty. The initial callout on August 19 responded to a
request to assist the Red Cross in setting up an evacuation center in
Groveland, California. Shelter operations relocated the following day to the
Tuolumne County Fairgrounds in Sonora, Tuolumne County ARES Emergency
Coordinator Carl Croci, NI6Z, reported. Also on August 20, the Tuolumne
County Office of Emergency Services requested Amateur Radio assistance to
staff the Sonora Red Cross shelter and the community information
telephone system at the Tuolumne County emergency operations center. Croci and
Tuolumne County RACES Radio Officer Phil Fish, WB6GGY, handled the
callout and soon had volunteers for both locations as well as some on standby.
On September 4, Croci announced
the end of the ARES-RACES activation.

“This morning, I learned the Rim Fire was considered 80 percent
contained,” he said. “The community information phones have been secured. All
evacuations have been lifted, the Red Cross is dismantling the shelter, and
we ham radio operators are trying to get our stations back in
working order.” At one point the Tuolumne County Fairgrounds was
sheltering some 100 evacuees.

Croci said that in the Groveland area, where he lives, residents are
still dealing with morning smoke, which he anticipates will remain for a
while. “Estimates are the fire will not be considered out until the first rain
or snow,” he added.

More than two dozen radio amateurs were involved in the Rim Fire
callout. Croci said the US Forest Service Type One Team told him that the combined
operation conducted by Tuolumne County OES, ARES-RACES, the Tuolumne
chapter of the Red Cross and the cooperation of the people of Tuolumne County
will serve as an example for future operations.”

Croci expressed his thanks to all volunteers, and cited Fish “for
his extraordinary operation and scheduling of personnel during the Rim
Fire and Barbara Fish, KE6RGP, for leading the PIO operation.” Volunteers
from Calaveras County ARES also participated in the activation.

To the south, Fresno County ARES assisted the Central Valley
Red Cross with communications, relaying information from a shelter to
the Red Cross headquarters in Fresno. For a time Mariposa County
ARES staffed a shelter at Greeley Hills community Center, ready to pass
traffic to Red Cross Headquarters. Fresno County EC Dan Pruitt, AE6SX, said
volunteers set up August 26 at the Red Cross office in Fresno, where
they installed a station capable of operating on emergency power.
“We made contact with Mariposa County ARES at the Greeley Hill shelter,”
Pruitt said. “We passed traffic until we were asked to shut down for the
night.” Volunteers returned early the next day. They dismantled the
station on August 27. Pruitt said eight volunteers turned out for that

During the activation, Fresno County ARES used Fldigi and Flmsg — a
forms management editor — on PSK125 to pass traffic from the shelter
and the Red Cross Headquarters. “We found that the faster speed and
wider signal [resulted in] fewer errors.” Pruitt said, adding that the Red
Cross “was very impressed” with their ability to send and receive traffic
in the Incident Command System general message form (ICS-213), filled
out and printed.

As of September 4, the Rim Fire had claimed nearly 236,000 acres
and more than 100 structures, including a few homes. The cost to date of
battling the fire was estimated at more than $77 million.

The Salvation Army in Gragton, WV, Provides Water in Phillippi

Philippi, WV (September 3, 2013) – Yesterday, the small town on
Philippi, located in Barbour County (located in the north central
portion of West Virginia on U.S. Routes 119 and 250) was without water
after damaging storms hit the area. The Salvation Army in Grafton came to
the aid with 66 cases of bottled water.

“With the help of Wal-Mart and other generous donors, The Salvation Army
in Grafton gave out over 2,500 bottles of water to those in
need,” said Lt. Benny Carringer, Pastor/Commanding Officer of The
Salvation Army in Grafton. “We just received word last night that
the water leak was repaired and we are on stand down with our mobile
feeding canteen until further notice.”

“It was a blessing to have volunteers come out during a time of need,”
said Lt. Benny Carringer. “People were just thankful for a
bottle of water.” Because of the overwhelming call of volunteers, we
ask that people to call first before coming out. For more
information, please contact: The Salvation Army Grafton at (304) 265-3565.

Check out _Disaster.SalvationArmyUSA_
(http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/) .org for the latest in news about The
Salvation Army Emergency Disaster
Services and SATERN.

Also check out the Yahoo! Group SATERNSouth for all the latest news,
information, and events of the Southern Territory

Regards and 73

William H. “Bill” Feist III, WB8BZH
Divisional Inter-Agency Disaster Liaison
ALM Division Director
Southern Territory SATERN Director
The Salvation Army

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