2002 Redwater Fire Disaster-Sturgeon County by mudoc123


									Utilizing External Personnel
During Fires/Disasters

                Presentation by Bart Clark, C.M.P.
                    Manager, Protective Services
                      Sturgeon County Fire Chief
About Sturgeon County
 located just north of Edmonton
 encompasses 911square miles
 mix of oil & gas, farming, country
 Approx. 19,000 rural residents
About Sturgeon County
 2500 Oil & Gas locations
 Over 80 rural residential subdivisions
 Sturgeon County has co-terminus
  boundaries with 15 other municipalities
 On-Call (part-time) Fire departments
  located in Bon Accord, Calahoo,
  Gibbons, Legal, Morinville, Namao, and
Fire Services
 Fulltime Fire Chief and Deputy Fire
 200 part-time firefighters in seven fire
 8 pumper trucks, 5 water tankers, 3
  mini-pumper 4 x 4 fast attack units, 3
  quad wildland units
Sturgeon County Case Study
   Wednesday, May 29th at approximately
    10:30 a.m., our 9-1-1Call Answer Centre
    received a report of a wildland fire north of
    Township Road 570 on Range Road 224.
   6 Redwater firefighters, 1 pumper, and 1
    tanker dispatched to fire location.
   Redwater Fire Chief reports back that we had
    a very large out of control forest fire.
First in fire unit
Calls for Assistance Made
 Calls for assistance sent out to Bon Accord,
    Calahoo, Fort Saskatchewan, Gibbons,
    Namao, Radway, Strathcona County,
    Thorhild Fire Departments and to Sturgeon
    County Fire Chief.
   County Peace Officers dispatched to secure
    roadways, site security.(identified in MEP)
   Command Post established at SW corner of
    Township Road 572 and Range Road 221.
May 29 @ 1030 hours
   Swirling winds out of NW blowing @ 60-75
    KPH. Wind gusts to 85 KPH.
   RH 21%, Temp. @ +26C
   Redwater Fire Department dispatched 1-3200
    gal Tanker, 1-1000 Gal Pumper, and crew of
    6 firefighters to scene.
   Fire Command System established. Level 1
    & 2 staging locations established. Fire
    Sectors assigned to incoming fire crews.
Emergency Operations Centre
   Complex Fire-Incident Command Commenced
   1700 hours-Sturgeon County establishes their
    Emergency Operations Centre. EOC in effect until June 5.
   Fire spotting in multiple directions, sparks traveling
    500 meters and resulting in fires. “Out of Control”
   2,000 acres involved.
   82 homes are located within a 6-km radius.
   Residents within 750 meters of the fire area have
    been evacuated.
   1815 hours-2 homes lost to fire.
Events-May 29th
   Reception Centre for evacuees
   Evacuees booked into motels.(staff coordinated)
   Command requests air support from Alberta Forestry in Lac La
   No choppers available at this time. All air support being utilized
    for northern Alberta fires.
   Fire breaks are unable to hold fire. Fire “Out of Control”
   One private wildland contractor hired with a skidder and a 4-
    man crew of type 3 firefighters.(identified in MEP)
   Town of Gibbons and Redwater assisting. Fire size increasing.
   Roadblocks established
Events-May 30th
   4 skidders on site, 150 firefighters, 2 mini-pumpers, 4
    tankers, 8 pumpers 1 private chopper from B.C.
    hired, 4 dozers on site, quads. (identified in MEP)
   2 more homes lost to fire this day.
   Lac La Biche Forestry unable to supply firefighters or
    air support at this time. (identified in MEP)
   Contact made with Parks Canada ( part of
    Federal/Provincial protocol)
   Elk Island National Park-2 water trucks and
    specialized wildland fire staff have been dispatched.
Local Resources “Stretched”
   County volunteer firefighters are tiring out.
   Many fires occurring throughout county. As many as
    7 other fires happening at same time. All neighboring
    fire departments are overwhelmed with fire calls.
   Multiple agencies involved in helping. Over 200
    external personnel on site during the busiest times.
   Local industries-Agrium, Williams, and Degussa
    offered assistance in form of equipment & staff.
    (Identified in MEP)
   Salvation Army Mobile kitchen on site.
Local Resources were
Positive Results Using
External Personnel
   Incident Command System Controlled the Chaos
   Parks Canada staff provided valuable expertise as Sector
    Commanders, Operations & Logistics Commanders.
   First 6 hours of the fire, the command post received over 400
    telephone calls, and over 1000 radio transmissions, plus face-
    to-face discussions with every agency that arrived to assist.
   Resources overwhelmed as other emergencies continued to
    occur: for example, during one 2-hour period, we responded to 2
    wildland fires, 2 injury accidents, plus 1 structure fire in other
    parts of the County.
   All external personnel under supervision at all times
Using External Personnel
   SUPERVISE all external personnel, whether they are digging
    out fire, hauling water, working in rehab, staffing security points,
    making meals.
   Only hire pre-approved external personnel, use pre-authorized
    rate schedules, sign off all daily logs.
   Utilize experienced staff to supervise sectors.
   Armed forces personnel from the Edmonton Garrison, and Dept.
    of National Defence were supervised by a District Fire Chief.
   The Salvation Army supervised the Rehab Sector.
   Road Block/checkpoints supervised by County Peace Officers.
   An on-site Financial Officer must sign off all daily logs.
   Daily cost accounting is essential, Record everything!
   Keep accurate time slips, records of all purchases, clerk on site.
Risk Management of External
   Radios, telephones, fire kits for extra firefighters, wildland fast
    attack units.(identified in MEP) Provide on-site training, PPE.

   Know -Not all dozer operators & private contractors follow
    orders-Identify the trained operators and prevent the use of
    those poor contractors in future callouts.(identified in MEP)

   Some agencies are very aggressive and try to “help”.-ex. A local
    search and rescue agency tried numerous times (tied up 9-1-1)
    to get permission to come on the fire scene at the Sturgeon
    County 2002 fire disaster .
Examples Utilizing External
 Reception Centre
 Security Posts
 Staging incoming emergency vehicles
 Rehabilitation
 First Aid/Triage
 Food Services
 Maintaining Inventories
External Resources Pre-Identified
All personnel Must be Pre-
   Daily Log
Fees and Charges
   Use the Guide
Multiple Agencies Involved:
   Municipal: Sturgeon County, Thorhild County, Strathcona
   County, Towns of Bon Accord, Gibbons, Legal, Morinville,
   Redwater, Radway, Bruderhiem, City of Edmonton, City of Ft.
   Provincial:-2 MLA’s, Disaster Services, SRD, Alberta Forestry
   Federal: Parks Canada, BC Forestry, National Defence G8
   Team, Edmonton Garrison soldiers, RCMP, Salvation Army;
   Industries:Agrium, Williams Energy, Degussa;
   Contractors & others: dozers, skidders, fixed wing &
   choppers, water haulers, Hildebrants, Nodwells, caterers,
   portable toilets, wash stations, security personnel, media
   personnel, water tank suppliers, fire equipment servicing, fire
   equipment suppliers
Challenges to Encounter:
•Constant pressure to release air support &
demobilize due to cost to municipality.
•Constant pressure from municipality to release
staff-road building, clerks, summer programs.
•Maintaining sustained responses from volunteer
fire departments
•Some Media will attempt to sneak in as citizen
•Be carefull when contracting local citizens as
equipment operators. Clearing fire breaks is a skill.
Remains of Modular Home
Farm Fuel Drums-some exploded
Don’t Place Personnel at Risk
Positive Results are Pre-
   Planning in evacuation of residents saved lives.
   Incident Command System saved property & lives
   MEP listed who was responsible for site security &
    road closures
   Extra ordinary resources should be preplanned.
   Previous disaster training exercises, lessons learned
    from 2001 fires, current Municipal Emergency Plan
   Inter-municipal cooperation, business community
    cooperation & aid need to be developed prior to a
   Risk Management limits Liability. (a 2001 litigation
    against the County ended in the County’s favour after
    seven years in Discovery)
Liability Stats
Only 4 very minor injuries were sustained during the
entire fire. (one minor cut to a hand, one twisted ankle,
one minor burn to hand, & one sore back)

78 PROPERTIES WERE SAVED -estimate value of $50
million. (private residences, farms)

Fire destroyed 4 homes-1 “stick built”, 3 modular.

Homeowners losses estimated at $1.5 million.

The 2002 Sturgeon County municipal fire costs
exceeded $1,089,900.00. The County recovered 90%
due to pre-approved rate structure and resource listing in

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