Saturday, August 29, 2015

ARES/RACES Wildland Fire SITREP - August 29, 2015

From Monte Simpson [AF7PQ]
WA State RACES Officer (SRO):
ARES/RACES Wildland Fire 

Situation Report (SITREP) - August 29, 2015
    There have been no statewide ARS mobilizations that I’ve been notified of or seen on WebEOC today.
     Early this evening a fire mobilization was approved for Columbia County. Unfortunately, Columbia County does not have ARS support so I hope they will use adjacent county help if it is needed.
     We still haven’t received information about what is happening in Okanogan County so that’s status quo.  The public safety Telecommunications Emergency Response Taskforce has secured it’s two teams that had been in Okanogan County.

    In regards to Region 7, the following information was posted on the ARRL website: 
(ARRL) Amateur Repeaters Fall Victim to Washington Wildfire    08/28/2015
    Two Central Washington repeaters, owned and operated by the Lake Chelan Amateur Radio Club, have been destroyed by one of the wildfires raging in that state. The co-located machines, one on 2 meters and one on 6 meters, were sited on Slide Ridge near Manson, Washington, in Chelan County. On August 27, the First Creek Fire completely leveled the building housing the repeaters. Scorched antennas and support structures are still standing but are likely beyond repair. The club’s Roger Odorizzi, W7CH, said the repeaters had been offline for several days.

    “We knew the fire had wiped out the power going to our site, but we hoped for the best, that our mountaintop building was possibly spared,” he said. “Now we have confirmation this was not the outcome.” Odorizzi said the area remains closed, and the club likely will not have access to it “for a long time.”
    The club’s Ken Rau, K7YR, said the loss, in addition to the building, included the two repeaters, duplexers and antennas. The repeaters provided coverage in North Central Washington. Rau told ARRL that it’s unlikely that the building housing the repeaters would be replaced. It once housed radio and TV broadcast translators, most no longer in use. Topography is also a factor. “This is a mountain site — 4900 feet above mean sea level — with power lines that were installed on a very steep slope.”
    Rau said a lot of fire remains in the area and predicted that access to the repeater site probably would be limited for several weeks and that the site could remain off limits until first snowfall.
    The First Creek Fire covers more than 6000 acres and has been threatening hundreds of homes, destroying a dozen houses along with seven “other structures,” according to the National Interagency Fire Center. It is only 25 percent contained. (From: ARRL News08/28/2015 | Amateur Repeaters Fall Victim to Washington Wildfire)

    Chelan and Douglas Counties do not have ARES/RACES support and I’d like to thank the Lake Chelan ARC for support the Emergency Managers in those two counties.
    Thanks to W7CH and K7YR for this great report.

     The Ferry County EC Sam Jenkins, WA7EC, filed this report late last night:
   “The level 3 Evac area has now been moved to the Pendry Road, just about 1/2 mile South of Republic, which now covers
         everything from Pendry road South into the Colville Reservation.
    We have moved our SAR/CERT/ARES Base back to the airport, which was where we began on the 13th of Aug.
    We are now 6.5 miles North West of the current Level 3 line.
    We will be watching for the smoke as the fire continues its march toward Republic. 
    We will bug out to the North if we need to when the fire reaches within 2 miles of us, 
         unless the burning embers begin to fall on us."

    We have lost another of our important Ham operators this afternoon when she left her home for safer areas.
    I am hoping that the City of Republic might make a request on their own so we can coordinate support sooner than too late.

    Our OES, Edison Shaw N7GCW has come from his mountain top today and we began selecting safe positions in our area for ARES mobile relay stations to help with the Gaps in communications throughout the county.
    Tomorrow about 0900 we will run a 2 meter net from the OES to see how many check ins are still out there.

    Stevens County EC Dave Klimas, WD7K, provided this Facebook link last night. His wife Bert, KE7MAK, is keeping this Facebook page up to date.
    Hat’s off to Bert for this fine work.

    I am grateful to Bob Wiese, W7UWC, the Region 9 RACES Regional Coordinator for the hard work he’s doing to keep in touch with the ROs in his area and staying up to date.
    Bob is keeping me apprised of happenings in Region 9 so I can keep the ESF2 pod at the State EOC up to date.
    If you have information about the fires in EWA and particularly how communications is helping or impacted, please send me an email.
     The hard work and effort each of you are doing for the people of the State of Washington is very much appreciated. Thank you hardly seems enough.
     Monte, AF7PQ  WA State RACES Officer (SRO)
    ARRL Sections - Western Washington

Posted by PSRG FUN BLOG at 8/29/2015 09:37:00 PM