Amateur Radio Emergency Service Volunteers Assist In CA Fire Response:
The ARRL Letter
August 9, 2018
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Amateur Radio Emergency Service Volunteers Assist In California Fire Response:
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers pitched in to
assist where needed to provide or support communication during the
catastrophic fire in California. Volunteers from multiple ARRL Sections
in the state stepped up to help. The fires have claimed several lives,
destroyed more than 1,000 homes, and forced countless residents to
evacuate, including radio amateurs. ARRL Sacramento Valley Section
Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, said that the last
ARES volunteers deployed to support American Red Cross shelter stood
down on August 7. Other shelter communicators deployed earlier remained
on duty for 10 days. Initially, there were four shelters in Redding. On
August 5, the Shasta-Tehama ARES team was able to take its
communications trailer to Trinity County to support a shelter in
Weaverville opened for Carr Fire evacuees, he said.
"This relieved the Sacramento County ARES volunteers who had been up
there for several days," Kruckewitt said, adding that communications at
the shelter were important, as power and cell phone coverage was often
spotty, with power going off for hours at a time. CalFire
http://www.fire.ca.gov/ reported on August 9 that the Carr Fire in
Shasta and Trinity counties covered more than 176,000 acres and was 47%
contained. Evacuations and road closures are in effect. At one point,
more than a dozen ARES volunteers from Shasta, Sacramento, Butte,
Placer, Trinity, and El Dorado counties were working at shelters opened
in the wake of the Carr Fire.
Sacramento Valley ARES member Michael Joseph, KK6ZGB, at the Red Cross
Gold County Region Disaster Operations Center.
Sacramento Valley ARES member Michael Joseph, KK6ZGB, served as the
liaison at the Red Cross Gold County Region Disaster Operations Center
(DOC) in Sacramento, Kruckewitt noted, adding that Joseph had been in
the DOC since the fire started.
Kruckewitt said Winlink was the go-to mode, as fire has damaged several
repeaters and no repeater path exists to the Gold County Region of the
Red Cross in Sacramento.
"One difficulty we ran into this weekend was that the Red Cross needed
[ARES Emergency Coordinator and SEC] contact information for various
counties that also are experiencing fires and having to open shelters,"
he said. Completing that task involved lots of phone calls. "We
encourage all ARES members to get to know their neighboring ARES groups
and...check into their nets."
Joseph reported last weekend that the Mendocino Complex Fire was being
closely monitored, although no additional requests for ARES assistance
were being made. The Ranch Fire in the Mendocino Complex as of August 9
covered some 253,200 acres and was 46% contained. The Mendocino Complex
Fire is being called the largest wildfire in California history,
although the Carr Fire has been more devastating.
ARES teams in other California Sections remained on standby in case
they were needed.
The ARRL Letter
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