AVMA Situation Report – Southern California Wildfires Date: 10/28/03 Location: Southern California Report The VMAT have not been activated at this time. For the latest information about the fire visit: http://www.incidentcontrol.com/grandprix/index.html Humane Society of the United States Update Filed by: Robert Reder, HSUS West Coast Regional Office (WCRO) San Diego Area HSUS WCRO Regional Director, staff and volunteers have been supporting local humane and animal control organizations. At this time, county animal control reports that the fire is not a threat to populated areas and, because Santa Ana winds have subsided, they are optimistic that the immediate emergency has passed. At this time approximately 600-700 horses have been evacuated to two locations. Most of which are owned and attended to by their owners and local veterinarians. WCRO arranged for additional horse evacuation teams from the City of Norco, should that need arise. There have been few, approximately 50, companion animals evacuated, again being cared for by local volunteers. Local stores have been generous in providing pet supplies as well as hay for horses. Local donations and volunteers supporting the fire response and animal needs have been sufficient to meet the current situation. San Bernardino Area Significant damage has been done in several areas and many people and animals have been evacuated into Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley and the City of San Bernardino. Also, WCRO arranged for a PetsMart store credit for the City of San Bernardino who currently have over 600 animals in their care. Close cooperation between humane organizations and government officials enable urgently needed supplies to enter the most seriously impacted areas. Local staff have been working around the clock to care for animals in the Victorville Fair Grounds. Action Planned The HSUS team in San Diego will be focused on surveying the next potential needs - those of hundreds of victims evacuated to shelters and their animals. The HSUS National Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) members are being dispatched to the San Bernardino area to help with additional evacuations, to relieve local staff and volunteers, and to bring in additional equipment and supplies. American Red Cross Update The American Red Cross has initiated a Level V Disaster Relief Operation in Southern California to respond to the wildfires. The operation has been designated as DR 616-04, So. California Wildfires 10-03, with a headquarters established at the old Norton Air Force Base Post Exchange in San Bernardino, CA. Impact Assessment • Governor Gray Davis declared a state of emergency for San Bernardino, Ventura, San Diego and Los Angeles Counties. On October 27, President Bush declared the region a major disaster area, which will expedite federal assistance. • The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reports over 500,000 acres have burned from the following fires: Cedar, Grand Prix, Simi Incident, Verdale, Old, Piru, Paradise, Mountain and Roblar 2. • Media reports conflict, but over 1,300 homes are estimated to be destroyed by the wildfires. • Approximately 40-50,000 residents are reported to have fled their homes. • Sixteen deaths are blamed on the fires – primarily in San Diego County and San Bernardino County. • Air traffic has been disrupted with several flights being cancelled or delayed out of Los Angeles and San Diego airports. Also, wildfire forced the evacuation of a Federal Aviation Administration control center near San Diego that coordinates many flights arriving and departing Southern California. • Power outages have been reported and some reports indicate that more than 83,000 customers have been impacted. Shelter Information: • 21 shelters/evacuation centers have sheltered approximately 6,400 residents combined. • 16 in-state Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) are providing Mass Care support to evacuees, as well as the firefighters who are relentlessly trying to contain the fires. • A headquarters is being established at the old Norton Air Force Base Exchange in San Bernardino. • The Disaster Field Supply Center (DFSC) in San Pedro was activated to provide cots, blankets, comfort kits and other shelter support items to the responding chapters. • National resources are already en route: a Communications Response Vehicles (CRV), Disaster Services Technology Integration Project (DS- TIP) servers and national Client Assistance Cards. • Disaster Information Resource Center (DIRC): Chapters in California are publicizing the 866-GET-INFO number. The call center in Falls Church, Virginia will be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to callers inquiring about evacuation information, shelter locations, disaster preparedness and response activities, post-disaster assistance, recovery information and welfare inquiries. • From October 27-28, 7 AM to 7 AM, 1,623 calls have been received.