Sunday 29 August 2010
Fire Behavior and Fire Status
Continuing favorable weather and minimal fire spread are allowing crews to complete containment and mop-up today. It is expected that the firefighting resources that have been assisting under the state Mobilization Act will be released by late afternoon.
Tucannon Road reopened Saturday evening at 6:00, after having been closed because of hazards created by large, unstable trees and the likelihood of unsecured power lines in the area. Traffic control and the coordination of the Patit Road detour route were handled by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from state troopers and the Washington State Department of Transportation. Additional traffic restrictions are not expected, though motorists on Tucannon Road should drive cautiously and anticipate firefighting personnel and equipment for the remainder of the day.
Private and public fire suppression resources from Columbia County, the region, and throughout Washington are being released throughout the day. They will be either returned to protect their home communities or, in some cases, potentially sent to other fires where their services would be needed.
At the peak of the incident, approximately 175 personnel were assigned. The incident management team’s first priority is always the safety of the public and the responders, followed by effectiveness in the mission. But close on the heels of those objectives is the need to be cost-effective. In support of that effort, the team seeks to utilize only the number of resources that are essential to accomplish the mission, taking into account the best estimate of the fire’s behavior and the impacts on community. This strategy leads the management team to coordinate a demobilization process that minimizes the impact on, ultimately, the citizens and businesses whose tax dollars support responses to major incidents.
The Hubbard Fire has used brush engines, dozers, hand crews, and tree fallers. These resources come from private organizations, local agencies, and from agencies statewide through the state mobilization process. The Incident Management Team consists of public safety employees from diverse disciplines and agencies. Examples include fire departments, law enforcement, forestry, and city public works agencies from Washington and Oregon. The system that provides both suppression crews and management personnel ensures that the best qualified are assigned to major incidents. Whether associated with public agencies or private contractors, qualification standards ensure that responders can work safely and effectively together.
Incident Management Team members unanimously agree that local businesses and community members have consistently been exceptionally generous and very accommodating of the team’s needs. Team members always want to avoid unnecessary disruptions to the community, and are grateful for the extended business hours, acquisition of extra supplies, flexibility in contractural arrangements, and consistent willingness to work in an overall team effort to support the firefighters. IMT Logistics Section Chief Steve Guptill (Assistant Chief, Monroe [Washington] Fire Department) asked that the Dayton community be thanked for, “a complete open door and willingness to lend a hand. They’ve been awesome to work with throughout this entire assignment.” Chief Guptill’s comments reflect the gratitude of the entire team.
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Public Information Officer Steve Turcott