Resource deprived. We hear zone commanders telling their firefighters at morning briefings that the SQF Fire is a resource deprived fire. “Do not depend on getting more today; plan your day with the resources you have.” In other words, Incident Command would like to be ordering more resources but with the amount of fires burning they just aren’t available.
Firefighting resources include at any given time during a fire like the SQF Complex: engines, water tenders, helicopters, air tankers, support and spotter aircraft, boots on the ground like hand crews often dropped into hotspots at the most dangerous parts of the fire, support personnel, dozers, trucks, vehicles to transport all the teams of emergency services; it’s nearly impossible to list everything unless you are the finance officer at Incident Command and are in charge of paying for this firefighting army.
So what does resource deprived mean to the firefighters waging the backbreaking work trying to contain an out of control monster. It means cabins and summer homes lost on the SQFComplex (148 so far at places like Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest, Cedar Slope) and forest infrastructure and facilities also lost to the fire like the Jordan Peak Lookout.
With the unprecedented amount of heat being released from the burning fuels, there’s no telling what if any of these burned out properties could have been spared if all the resources fighting fires in California could have been deployed on the SQF Complex. Remarkably, there have been no deaths; 15 injuries and numerous close calls.
California Statewide Fire Summary
On Wednesday, September 23, after full containment of the CZU Lightning Complex in Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties, some additional resources have been made available to battle 26 remaining major wildfires in California. As of September 23, there are over 18,200 firefighters on the frontlines. Firefighters continue to make progress on over two dozen major wildfires, as well as the 22 new initial attack wildfires that were sparked across the State yesterday (September 22).
As of September 23, total personnel working on the SQF Complex Fire is 1,508.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 8,000 wildfires that have burned over 3.6 million acres in California. Since August 15, when California’s fire activity accelerated, there have been 26 fatalities and over 6,600 structures destroyed. And now a Fire Watch will be in effect beginning Saturday, September 26. A Fire Watch most often precipitates a Red Flag Warning and there is critical fire weather on the way. Gusty winds, low humidity, and rising temperatures are in the forecast for Northern California and that almost certainly means more fires and more resources needed.
CALFIRE veterans know what’s looming on the horizon is the southern California fire season driven by the Devil Winds, also known as the Santa Anas. Where will California get the resources to hold the line against all these fires? That question was posed to Assemblyman Jim Patterson, California State Assembly District 23 that includes Three Rivers but also the Fresno County communities of Auberry and Shaver Lake currently dealing with Creek Fire.
In this 3RNews video, Assemblyman Patterson said his priority, when he returns to Sacramento after visiting the SQF Complex Fire and the Creek Fire, is to ensure that these firefighting heroes are no longer resource deprived.
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