Posts tagged with "Wildfire"

Tree illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

USDA Forest Service Reflects on 2020

Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, the USDA Forest Service today announced it surpassed goals and set records in 2020.

“2020 was a challenging year, with record wildland fire activity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the Forest Service, we have risen above these challenges and set our minds, hands and hearts to carrying out our mission to meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen.

The Forest Service relied on its strong science, innovation and partnerships to overcome this year’s challenges as the agency found new solutions to serve the public during a time of unprecedented need.

Creating healthy, productive forests and supporting rural economies

In 2020, the Forest Service provided jobs and stability for local economies through a year of historic timber production, selling more than 3.2 billion board feet of timber, the second-highest level in 20 years. The agency also improved forest conditions and reduced wildfire risk on over 2.65 million acres, removing hazardous fuels like dead and downed trees, and combating disease, insect and invasive species infestations.

The Forest Service undertook a suite of regulatory reforms to meet the goals of the Secretarial Memorandum to the Chief of the Forest Service modernize and align agency directives with new legislative authorities and reduce regulatory burdens. By the end of December 2020, the Forest Service will have nearly completed all guidance to implement new legislative authorities in the 2018 Farm Bill. In addition, Forest officials quickly began implementing President Trump’s Great American Outdoors Act to increase access to national forests and grasslands and make progress towards reducing the agency’s $5 billion infrastructure backlog.

Managing wildfire, and providing for health and safety

The Forest Service was successful in prioritizing early suppression of wildfire ignitions while facing a record-breaking fire year, with the most acres burned on national forests since 1910. The agency’s modeling research on how COVID-19 may spread between firefighters or in communities during response efforts led to new interagency safety protocols to better support fire camp management.  The protocols not only successfully minimized the spread of COVID-19 among the agency’s 10,000 firefighters, but early learning suggests the safety measures resulted in additional health benefits to fire crews, reducing ailments common in fire camps, which translated to a healthier and more resilient firefighting workforce available to protect lives, homes, and communities threatened by wildfire.

Sharing stewardship responsibilities and being better neighbors

The Forest Service made significant strides toward Shared Stewardship this year, working more closely than ever with Tribes, States, and local partners to make sure the right work happens in the right place at the right time. So far, 44 states and territories are now involved in a Stewardship Agreement. The agreements allow the Forest Service to employ the latest tools and share decision making on the highest priorities to improve forest conditions across broad landscapes. These new agreements have resulted in increasing resiliency of forests, protection of communities and reduction of wildfire risks. They have also produced jobs and stabilize economies.

Increasing access and improving recreation experiences

This year, Americans sought out their public lands in tremendous numbers, finding relief in the Great Outdoors, showing us once again how public lands unite our nation. In response, the Forest Service generated solutions to ensure visitors had every opportunity to safely use and enjoy their national forests and grasslands during the pandemic. The Forest Service welcomed record-breaking numbers of visitors, many of whom were first time users, with 95% expressing satisfaction with their experiences.

“Next year, we will continue to build on these successes to improve conditions on America’s national forests and grasslands to ensure they are healthier, more resilient and more productive,” added Chief Christiansen. We will keep building on the partnerships that make these successes possible and commit to increasing access to better connect people to their natural resources, so these national treasures endure for generations to come.”

For more information about the Forest Service visit www.fs.usda.gov

Kaelen Felix illustrates wildfire article for 360 MAGAZINE.

Wildfires Rage Across California

By Elle Grant

What should have been a pleasant Labor Day weekend, a last stretch of summer, has quite literally gone up in flames. Multiple wildfires now burn with increasing force across the state and show no signs of stopping. Three fires have consumed California’s attention this holiday weekend, the Creek Fire, the Valley Fire, and the El Dorado Fire.

The El Dorado fire started during a gender-reveal party, reports say. A “smoke generating pyrotechnic device” used at the party caused the El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County, Cal Fire said in a press release. The fire started Saturday at 10:23 a.m. at the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa and spread from the park north on to the park’s ridge. It has since grown to past 7,000 acres as of Monday morning. No charges have yet been made in this particular case and the fire is reportedly only 5% contained.

Evacuations have been ordered for the communities across the area. More than 500 personnel have been deployed to the fire, along with 60 engines and four helicopters. Weather in California is expected to remain hot and dry with a relative humidity of 20%, San Bernardino National Forest said in its evening update on the fire. Winds will also continue at three to five miles per hour with gust up to 10 miles per hour, resulting in “active fire behavior throughout the night.” Such weather will continue to fan the wildfire flames and continue its spread. Temperatures during the day were well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, hampering the efforts of firefighters to stop the flames. While communities have been evacuated, currently no known homes or lives have been taken by the fires.

Governor Gavin Newsom of California has declared a state of emergency in response to the situation, specifically in regard to fires in the High Sierras, trapping campers visiting for the long weekend. It took an incredibly arduous rescue operation by military helicopters to evacuate them from the Mammoth Pool Reservoir area, authorities said. The lack of cellphone reception in the area made rescue efforts even more difficult. While lives were saved, twenty were injured, with two in serious condition from burns including a fourteen-year-old girl.

Residents across the state are preparing to make evacuations from their homes due to the various fires. “It looks like it’s 8:30 at night,” said Carrie Lightfoot said of the darkness from the fire. Ms. Lightfoot is a resident of Bass Lake, an area significantly threatened by the potential spread of the Creek Fire. “You can taste the smoke,” she said. “You can see red coming up the mountain. It just looks like the end of the world.” Other witnesses relayed similar harrowing visuals, including driving through flames to escape and describing their experiences in evacuation helicopters.

As aforementioned, a state of emergency has been declared in California and the California National Guard have been mobilized. The story on current wildfires raging through California continues to develop.

Plexus Worldwide Donation Helps Australia

Plexus Worldwide® Donates $15,000 to Assist Survivors and First Responders of Australian Bushfires

Scottsdale, Arizona – Plexus Worldwide (Plexus®), a leading direct-selling health and wellness company focused on health and happiness, is donating $15,000 to The Salvation Army to help deliver crucial support to families and first responders impacted by the Australian bushfires.

The Salvation Army provides front line relief and recovery assistance to families, firefighters and volunteers impacted by the fires. To support the nonprofit’s efforts, Plexus launched the Stronger Together! social media campaign to raise awareness, pledging $1 for every social share.

During the 10-day campaign, the public shared Plexus’ Stronger Together! Facebook, LinkedIn, IG posts and video 15,000 times, equating to a $15,000 donation to The Salvation Army. In addition to the social media campaign, the company, in partnership with The Salvation Army, created a donation page that also raised close to $5,000 from generous donors.

“When we launched Plexus in Australia last year, I had the opportunity to tour the country and meet many of our Ambassadors,” said Tarl Robinson, Founder and CEO of Plexus. “Plexus is a family and hearing their stories and watching their heart-wrenching social media posts on the impact of these fires only emboldens our desire to help the communities that mean so much for our Plexus families.”

“These bushfires have directly impacted Plexus employees and sales representatives in Australia, who have witnessed the destruction as well as the toll these fires are having on communities,” said Alec Clark Alec Clark, Founder and President. “For many years, Plexus has supported The Salvation Army in time of crisis so we know how even a small donation can make a big difference to families at this crucial time.”

Plexus is also providing an easy way for the public to contribute directly to The Salvation Army’s efforts in Australia by including a link in Facebook posts to a donation page .

“Our ‘One Plexus’ philosophy emphasizes how we work collectively as a team to support one another,” said Christopher Pair, President of International and Operations. “This campaign is just one more example of our company, its Ambassadors and it’s employees coming together to help one another.”

Donations help fund the Salvation Army Emergency Services teams and provide immediate emotional, spiritual and material support where and when it is needed.

Plexus & The Salvation Army Australian Bushfire Donation Page

About Plexus Worldwide

Plexus Worldwide, LLC, offers health and wellness products that enable people to improve their lives and well-being. With hundreds of thousands of independent business owners (“Ambassadors”) worldwide, Plexus is among the world’s 30 largest direct sales companies. The combination of Plexus products and opportunities help individuals to meet their health-wellness and financial goals. For more information, visit www.plexusworldwide.com

Tzu Chi USA Spreads Love After California Wildfires

The Camp Fire, which began on November 8, is now the deadliest wildfire in California history with 44 fatalities.It razed through more than 117,000 acres in Northern California and destroyed over 7,000 buildings. The Woolsey Fire, too, has burned through more than 93,000 acres and destroyed at least 435 structures in Los Angeles County.

Once these fires started, Tzu Chi USA’s Northwest Regional Office volunteers quickly mobilized. On November 9 & 10, they distributed emergency supplies including 550 blankets to residents sheltered at the Neighborhood Church of Chico to offer residents physical comfort as the flames continue. Some slept in their own vehicles and others were forced to sleep on the lawn.

In Southern California, too, Tzu Chi volunteers assessed the situation at shelters across Los Angeles (including at the Palisades Charter High School, Taft High School, Pierce College, and Canoga Park High School) to see what they could do to help.

There is still a concern for the region’s safety, as fierce winds lingering in the region are anticipated to start two major wildfires west of Los Angeles, including one that has already killed two in Malibu. Starting Tuesday, November 13, these winds may escalate to hurricane-like force. Residents of this region are still at risk of critical danger, and Tzu Chi USA’s headquarters has already completed its first assessment and is ready for its next steps.

Until further aid may be given, Tzu Chi volunteers from across the country will head a street fundraising campaign this weekend across the US to raise funds for those who’ve suffered severe losses through California’s fires. Volunteers from Tzu Chi’s Northwestern Regional office will also continue to distribute blankets to help residents stay warm.

Still, our volunteers will need your help. Contributions can help provide someone with a warm blanket, a hot meal, or a cash card to let a family decide what they need most to move forward. Help us combat the California Wildfires and instead ignite compassion at www.tzuchi.us/donate/disaster-relief

Jeremy Zucker’s Glisten EP

Multi-talented singer, songwriter and producer, Jeremy Zucker’s new EP, glisten, is out now—listen here.

glisten features Zucker’s recently released tracks, “all the kids are depressed” and “better off” with rising artist Chelsea Cutler. See the full tracklist below.

Of the EP, Jeremy says, “I wrote this EP during my senior year of college while I was doing my best to balance the pressures of school, music and a decent social life. glisten is a collection of the thoughts, feelings and memories that kept me sane these past ten months.”

Before entrancing listeners across the world, 21-year-old singer, songwriter and producer Jeremy Zucker had been quietly carving out his distinct sound from a bedroom in suburban New Jersey. A self-described “social introvert,” Zucker cites Jon Bellion, blackbear, EDEN, Bon Iver and Wet among his strongest influences. In the summer of 2015, Zucker released his first official EP titled Beach Island. The project saw a small amount of success, and from there Zucker steadily began to build a dedicated fan base.

Later that year, he released a stream of singles that would eventually be packaged together as an EP titled Breathe. The project’s breakout single “Bout It” quickly garnered millions of streams as it organically spread across Soundcloud and Spotify, drawing the attention of curators and fans across the world. In 2016, Zucker released his third EP, Motions, which features “Heavy,” a song that was later remixed by the recording artist blackbear who reached out to Jeremy after stumbling across his music on Soundcloud. The remix, “Make Daddy Proud,” was released on blackbear’s latest LP Digital Druglord. In 2017, Zucker was signed with Republic Records and released his third EP, idle. The EP features his breakout hit, “talk is overrated” (feat. blackbear), which has over 15 million Spotify streams to date. Further music is set for release this spring.

LISTEN TO GLISTEN EP HERE

GLISTEN TRACKLIST

01. “all kids are depressed”

02. “better off” with Chelsea Cutler

03. “glisten”

04. “wildfire”

VISIT × MENDOCINO COUNTY

Mendocino County Open for Business: Get your Glass up Here

MENDOCINO LAKE COMPLEX WILDFIRE CONTAINED; ALL MAJOR HIGHWAYS & TOURISM 

FACILITIES OPEN; MUSHROOM SEASON SPROUTS UP NOVEMBER 3-12



Just in time for fall fungi season, Mendocino County Tourism Commission reports containment of the Mendocino Lake Complex wildfire which was located east of Highway 101 in Redwood and Potter Valleys. A vibrant wine region, these two of the county’s 10 AVAs are now in recovery following losses suffered as the result of an October 8, 2017 blaze which consumed 37,000+ acres. Given the incident’s remote location, Mendocino’s legendary 90 miles of Pacific coastline, Anderson Valley wine region and key tourism areas of Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Little River and Point Arena Lighthouse remain untouched.

Scenic coastal Highway 1 and Mendocino County’s “Inspiration Highway” 101 are 100 percent fully operational and all tourism hotels and attractions remain unaffected, including 450+ hotel properties and 90+ wine tasting venues. Key visitor sites including the cities of Ukiah and Willits as well as the nearby attractions of the City of 10,000 Buddhas, Ridgewood Ranch (home of Seabiscuit), the Skunk Train, Vichy and Orr Hot Springs and the ancient redwood forests of Montgomery Woods State Reserve remain untouched.   

According to Mendocino County Air Quality Management District, the regional Air Quality Index is rated “Good” – the highest ranking available. In addition, fresh offshore winds and seasonal weather have tamped down ash residue. www.co.mendocino.ca.us/aqmd/advisories.html#advisory.

November marks Mendocino County’s famed mushroom season, with the 19th Annual Mushroom, Wine & Beer Fest running through November 3-12, 2017. The Northern Californian region is a magnet for fungi foragers and enthusiasts who fervently track the annual crop of coveted candy cap, chanterelle and porcini mushrooms. Mendocino is home to some 3,000 mushroom varieties, 500 which are edible. www.visitmendocino.com/event/mushroom-wine-and-beer-festival; 866.466.3636

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Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center to Rebuild After Wildfire Closes Facility

~1,000 Summer Session Campers & 1,800 Retreat Center Guests Displaced Through May 2018


Santa Barbara County, California—On Saturday, July 8, 2017, the Whittier wildfire began in Santa Barbara County and burned through nearby St. Vincent de Paul Circle V (Vee) Ranch Camp & Retreat Center at 2550 Highway 154 across from Cachuma Lake. The facility was founded in 1945 and has been located on 30 acres leased in the Los Padres National Forest since 1990.
 
David Fields, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles, operators of Circle V Ranch Camp announced, “We are so very grateful that all 88 campers and 36 staff members present on July 8th were evacuated safely during the wildfire. However, the Craft Lodge and Health Lodge cabins burned to the ground, and our water treatment facility and pipes were seriously damaged requiring months of repairs estimated at more than $200,000. With no water, all remaining summer camp sessions had to be cancelled. The timing could not be worse since the wildfire has deprived almost 1,000 campers ages 7-16 of this positive, uplifting six day/five night experience in nature creating memories for a lifetime.”

Additionally, dozens of groups planning to stay at the Camp’s Retreat Center from September 2017 through May 2018 have been cancelled resulting in the displacement of more than 1,800 guests.
Fields emphasized, “We are cleaning up and rebuilding Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in June 2018. We thank all our guardian angels who have been so supportive throughout this incredibly challenging time. We appreciate all donations to help with this effort at our secure, online site http://svdpla.org/donate/rebuild-camp/

 

More About St. Vincent de Paul Circle V Ranch Camp

Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center was founded in 1945 by St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles and has been located on its current site on 30 acres in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County since 1990. Each Circle V Ranch Camp summer session is six days and five nights of traditional supervised fun for boys and girls ages 7 to 13 and campers in leadership training from ages 14-17. Campers enjoy activities including archery, arts & crafts, hiking, swimming in the pool, learning about nature, reading skills, painting, photography, playing baseball, basketball, ping pong, foosball, soccer, miniature golf and of course, campfires, skits and singing. There is no TV, radio or internet access to affect the experience. Campers stay in wood cabins or traditional canvas tents. Three nutritious daily meals served family-style in the Dining Lodge are not only for food but also for camaraderie and fellowship.
In summer 2016, the camp hosted more than 1,000 children for this time-honored experience. The Circle V Ranch Camp fee for six days/ five nights including lodging, all meals, activities, recreation and supervised fun is $450 per child. “Camperships” (scholarship funds made by individuals and groups’ donations) are available for qualified campers. During autumn, winter and spring, Circle V is available for rental to other non-profit groups and organizations. For more information, visit  www.CircleVRanchCamp.org

Donations to help rebuild the camp and provide “camperships” for future summer sessions can be made online at http://svdpla.org/donate/rebuild-camp/