California's Camp Fire Becomes The Deadliest Wildfire In State History

Fire investigators in Northern California say they found the human remains of 6 more individuals, bringing the death toll to at least 48 people who have died in the wildfire that burned through the town of Paradise with shocking speed, making the Camp Fire the deadliest wildfire in state history.

Fire crews are working to fight that blaze, along with another large wildfire in Southern California, where at least two deaths have been reported.

Camp Fire Victim: PG&E Told Her it Needed to Fix Sparking Transmission Line Day Before Deadly Blaze

(TNS) - The day before firefighter radio transmissions revealed a malfunctioning PG&E power line may have triggered the state’s most destructive wildfire, a business owner in this tiny town near the Camp Fire’s origin said she received an email from the utility alerting her that workers had to fix a sparking problem on a nearby power line.

In the email received Wednesday, the company said they’d be coming out to work on one of their nearby towers that “were having problems with sparks,” said Betsy Ann Cowley, owner of Pulga, a former abandoned railroad town turned retreat popular with techies.

“This needs to become a class action lawsuit,” the former Oakland resident said.

California Wildfire Threats Could Lead Pacific Gas & Electric to Cut Power to Parts of Nine Counties

(TNS) - Gusty northern winds, dry vegetation and low humidity across the Bay Area have created prime circumstances for wildfires, prompting a red flag warning Wednesday and possible power shutoffs for Northern California residents.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento issued the red flag warning to take effect from Wednesday night to Friday morning in the North Bay mountains and East Bay hills. Those areas are expecting wind gusts up to 45 mph, and any fires that spark could spread rapidly. The biggest threats exist in the hills of eastern Napa County and areas around Atlas Peak, Mount Diablo and Mount Hamilton, officials said.

Uber and Lyft Slowing Traffic in San Francisco, Says Report

The experience of moving through San Francisco in a car has gone from slow to crawl.

Congestion in the Bay Area flagship city has grown increasingly worse, and a new report by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority placed a sizable portion of that blame on ride-hailing services like Lyft or Uber.

“It appears that TNCs (transportation network companies) contributed approximately 50 percent of the overall increases in congestion in San Francisco between 2010 and 2016,” the report reads.

Power Customers in California File Claims in Pre-Emptive Wildfire Outage

A Northern California utility received 146 demands for reimbursement from customers who say Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s controversial decision to cut power to prevent wildfires hurt them economically.

The utility said Wednesday in a report to California regulators that it won’t pay any claims. PG&E shut power to 60,000 Northern California customers from Oct. 14 to Oct. 16 after it determined that forecast sustained winds of 25 mph gusting to 45 mph threatened to bring down power lines and start wildfires. It was the first time PG&E cut power to prevent wildfires.

Cyber ‘Intrusion Campaigns’ Increasingly Target Utilities

Cyberattacks increasingly target and succeed inside energy and utility companies’ IT networks, rather than their critical infrastructure, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Vectra.

In the past, the energy and utility industry’s cyber efforts have focused on preventing disruption of power availability via industrial control networks.

But the Department of Homeland Security issued a technical alert in March warning the industry of a “multi-stage intrusion campaign” originating in Russia targeting IT networks in the U.S. energy sector.

More Evidence Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Investments Can Pay Off

For Iowa City, Dubuque Street is an important corridor, providing an artery for roughly 25,000 vehicles to travel each day between the city and Interstate 80, which runs along the northern edge of town.

But historically the road has been prone to flooding from the nearby Iowa River, which snakes alongside it to the west, as well as flash floods caused by heavy rains. In 1993, floodwaters swamped the street for 54 days. Flooding in 2008 caused a month-long closure.

Resiliency Helps Communities Recover after Mass Casualty Incidents

Mass casualty incidents and the ensuing chaos are complicated to manage. There needs to be a definite correlation between what resources are available and the seriousness of the injuries.

Policies and management systems like the Incident Command System certainly help to facilitate the overall coordination of a mass casualty incident. After every incident, there is usually an investigation and an after-action report that details the lessons learned. Emergency managers use this vital information to strengthen their emergency plans. As a result, many plans have improved greatly over the years.

Pages