Entries by Adam Prell

Chile Wildfire Outbreak “Worst in Country’s History”

Chile Wildfires Displace Thousands For the past three weeks, wildfires have ravaged Central Chile in an event President Michele Bachelet called the “greatest forest disaster in our history”. Strong winds, hot temperatures and a prolonged drought have created chaos in seven separate regions with over a hundred wildfires burning this month.  The fires have scorched hundreds of thousands of […]

Atmospheric River Brings Heavy Snow and Rain to California

California started 2017 off with an extremely active weather pattern. Since January 3rd, an “atmospheric river” has brought heavy rain and snow to much of the state. Ski areas within the Sierra Nevada mountain range are reporting close to record snow totals (Mammoth Mountain 101″ of snowfall, Heavenly 114″ and Squaw Valley 94″). The lower […]

2016 Fire Season in Review

Fire Season in 2016 saw no shortage of headline-filling wildfires across the US and North America.  However, 2016’s final numbers for both total starts and total acres burned actually came in below averages from the last ten years in both categories.  Data reported by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) for the 2016 calendar year showed 62,864 fire […]

Wildfire 101: Dead Fuel Moisture

What is Dead Fuel Moisture? A recent lack of significant rainfall has kept Southern California in extreme drought, which means there is increased potential for significant wildfire due to dangerous levels of dead fuel moisture. As explained by NOAA, fuel moisture is a measure of the amount of water in a potential fuel, and is expressed as a […]

Social Media and Wildfire

Good communication is a key in any emergency situation. The ultimate goal is always to protect lives and property. Part of achieving that goal is keeping all audiences informed during an incident. FEMA’s Basic Guidance for Public Information Officers states that “During an incident or planned event, coordinated and timely communication is critical to effectively […]

Gatlinburg Disaster: 700 Structures Lost, 13 Fatalities

Chimney Tops 2 Fire Update Tough questions were abundant at this morning’s press conference as word fell that a thirteenth victim has been identified in the aftermath of this week’s Chimney Tops 2 fire. Fire and Emergency managers tried to dodge the press’s questions regarding whether they waited too long to evacuate residents in the […]

Gatlinburg Devastated by Latest Southern Appalachian Wildfire

Sevier County Fires Summary High winds, prolonged drought, and multiple fire starts have Sevier County, Tennessee as the latest victim in this fall’s wildfire barrage on the Southern Appalachians. Two alleged arsonists have been taken into custody as a string of new fire ignitions cropped up this weekend during extreme fire conditions. The Sevier County […]

CAL FIRE Transitions Out of Fire Season in NorCal

Fire Season Over for NorCal Since May 1st of this year, CAL FIRE (California’s state fire agency) has been in “fire season” mode.  This designation denotes a state of higher alert in which staffing is increased, burn restrictions are tightened, and wildfire monitoring efforts are intensified. With the recent mild and wet weather, all Northern CAL […]

Major Quake Rattles North Canturbury, New Zealand

New Zealand Earthquake Situation Residents in the North Canterbury region on the South Island of New Zealand were awakened by a major earthquake just after midnight on Monday morning (11/14). The 14-mile-deep quake, which killed two people, triggered a small tsunami, twenty aftershocks, and tens of thousands of landslides across the region. In the two […]

Early November Fire Potential for SoCal, South

Every year, fire season comes to an end in the Western US as winter weather creeps in.  The northern high elevation forests soak in autumn rains and significantly lower temperatures, and the focus of fire potential subsequently shifts to only a few targeted areas.  Because of significant drought this season and persistent high winds, that focus remains […]