'Departments are strapped, we need help:' State faces shortage of volunteer firefighters


 
08 August 2017

published by http://komonews.com


USA - PUYALLUP, Wash. - The high fire danger and smoky air are combining for a dangerous shortage of volunteer firefighters.

The emergencies are out numbering the available crews and volunteer departments are being pushed to the limit.

Crews with Riverside Fire in Puyallup said their numbers are dangerously low.

"To be honest, volunteer departments are strapped and we need the help," said volunteer fire fighter Caleb Carr.

There should be 45-50 volunteers to handle the new increase in calls, but they only have 28.

The challenge right now is all of these hot and dry days have combined for a high fire danger, plus all of the smoke and haze have created health concerns.

"It's pretty tough on the elderly community," said battalion chief Daniel Hugo of Riverside Fire District. "It's tough on us because we're running more respiratory emergencies and we have less staffing to run the fires that may pop up as well."

Increased calls to every fire department in the state fight brush fires in are causing a real concern.

"This is universally across the entire state," said Carr. "Not only that, but we have a couple of firefighters right now who are being dispatched all over the country to fight wildfires."

It has caused the urgent call for volunteers at most every volunteer department in the state.

A physical test is required and a commitment of four 12-hour shifts a month.

"It's been one heck of a wild ride," said Steven Roberts who has been a volunteer for more than a decade to go with his day job in the auto industry. "I've leaned a lot. I've met some fantastic people and gotten some incredible life experiences out of it. I wouldn't trade it for the world."

Carr is a Microsoft international team member by day.

" I talk with my colleagues at Redmond all the time at Microsoft, 'come down, be a volunteer fire fighter.' You pull 24 hours, you go home and you do something good for the community,' " he said.
Many of the fire departments said their volunteer training academies are coming up in eight weeks.

Click here for more information on becoming a volunteer firefighter.

An international team of climate researchers from the US, South Korea and the UK has developed a new wildfire and drought prediction model for southwestern North America. Extending far beyond the current seasonal forecast, this study published in the journal Scientific Reports could benefit the economies with a variety of applications in agriculture, water management and forestry.

Over the past 15 years, California and neighboring regions have experienced heightened conditions and an increase in numbers with considerable impacts on human livelihoods, agriculture, and terrestrial ecosystems. This new research shows that in addition to a discernible contribution from natural forcings and human-induced global warming, the large-scale difference between Atlantic and Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks.

"Our results document that a combination of processes is at work. Through an ensemble modeling approach, we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe," says co-author Axel Timmermann, Director of the newly founded IBS Center for Climate Physics, within the Institute for Basics Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at Pusan National University in South Korea. "By prescribing the effects of man-made climate change and observed global ocean temperatures, our model can reproduce the observed shifts in weather patterns and wildfire occurrences."



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-atlanticpacific-ocean-temperature-difference-fuels.html#jCp
An international team of climate researchers from the US, South Korea and the UK has developed a new wildfire and drought prediction model for southwestern North America. Extending far beyond the current seasonal forecast, this study published in the journal Scientific Reports could benefit the economies with a variety of applications in agriculture, water management and forestry.
 

Over the past 15 years, California and neighboring regions have experienced heightened conditions and an increase in numbers with considerable impacts on human livelihoods, agriculture, and terrestrial ecosystems. This new research shows that in addition to a discernible contribution from natural forcings and human-induced global warming, the large-scale difference between Atlantic and Pacific ocean temperatures plays a fundamental role in causing droughts, and enhancing wildfire risks.

"Our results document that a combination of processes is at work. Through an ensemble modeling approach, we were able to show that without anthropogenic effects, the droughts in the southwestern United States would have been less severe," says co-author Axel Timmermann, Director of the newly founded IBS Center for Climate Physics, within the Institute for Basics Science (IBS), and Distinguished Professor at Pusan National University in South Korea. "By prescribing the effects of man-made climate change and observed global ocean temperatures, our model can reproduce the observed shifts in weather patterns and wildfire occurrences."



Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-atlanticpacific-ocean-temperature-difference-fuels.html#jCp