AMU Emergency Management Original Public Safety

EDM Friday Briefing: USFS Fireshed Registry Manages WUI Wildfire Risk

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 9, 2021: Updated tsunami maps are now available for multiple California counties; a magnitude 6.0 earthquake caused a rockslide that shut down Highway 395 in California; a recall was issued for nearly nine million pounds (4,500 tons) of Tyson ready-to eat chicken due to potential Listeria contamination; exhibiting extreme fire behavior, the Bootleg Fire has exploded to over 16,800 acres; repairs of the initial crack are now complete on the I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River; Tropical Storm Elsa is poised to impact the northeastern United States with heavy rainfall and gusty winds; a ransomware attack on the supply chain software company Kaseya impacts thousands of customers in at least 17 countries; and the USFS Fireshed Registry helps manage wildfire risk within the WUI.

1. New tsunami hazard maps for multiple counties in California were released on Thursday. The maps were created using new technology and knowledge gained from previous major tsunamis, such as in Japan in 2011. It is the first time since 2009 that updated maps have been released, and the maps are to help residents identify their vulnerability and know how to escape if a tsunami threat exists.

2. A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near the California-Nevada border on Thursday afternoon. The quake struck at a shallow depth of about 4.6 miles south of Lake Tahoe, in Antelope Valley, California. The earthquake caused a rockslide, which shut down a section of Highway 395. It was followed by multiple aftershocks, but there were no other reported injuries or damages.

3. Nearly nine million pounds of Tyson Foods, Inc., ready-to-eat chicken products have been recalled due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Several illnesses of listeriosis have been reported, including one death. The frozen, fully cooked chicken products were produced between December 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021. They were shipped nationwide to retailers and institutions, including schools, hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, and Department of Defense locations.

4. The Bootleg Fire burning in Klamath County, Oregon, has exploded to 16,814 acres with only 1% containment. The blaze is exhibiting extreme fire behavior, and Level 3 and 2 evacuation orders are currently in place. Multiple agencies have supplied personnel and equipment under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), and the fire is being managed under a unified command.

5. Workers have completed repairs on the initial fracture of the Hernando DeSoto bridge spanning the Mississippi River from Tennessee to Arkansas. The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced that their goal is to open the I-40 bridge – shut down since early May – by the end of July. Some weld connections still need inspection, and repairs to at least nine welds are required, along with the removal of temporary anchors and bracing, before the bridge can be reopened.

6. Tropical Storm Elsa became better organized early Friday morning and will move near Long Island and southern and coastal New England by late morning or early afternoon. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast calls for the storm to create heavy rainfall, which could result in flash and urban flooding throughout the region. Gusty winds of up to 50 mph are also likely in the area, which could result in downed trees and power lines.

7. A global supply chain ransomware attack impacted at least 50 direct Kaseya customers. The hack leveraged a vulnerability in the virtual storage appliance (VSA) software for managed service providers, which also impacted at least 800-1,500 downline businesses in at least 17 countries. According to reports, the attack was perpetrated by an automated, fake and malicious software update that exploited a software vulnerability.

8. The United States Forest Service (USFS) Fireshed Registry helps manage wildfire risk. Just like watersheds, firesheds are delineated geographical areas that identify past, present and future trends of wildfire exposure within the wildland urban interface (WUI). The registry also addresses forest and fuel management by tracking forest changes at local, regional, and national levels. This strategy provides information for communication across multiple agencies at all levels to best coordinate wildfire and firefighting resources and priorities.

Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.

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