Forward Watch, September 11
Team Rubicon is monitoring the spread of wildfires on the west coast and continuing to serve the survivors of Hurricane Laura.
California, Oregon, and Washington are experiencing a historic fire season with widespread blazes that have already charred more than 3,880,000 acres. So far, first responders have recovered the bodies of seven individuals believed to have been killed by the fires.
On Thursday, the August Complex fire became the largest fire in California history, having burned roughly 740 square miles. Across the state, significant power outages caused by the fires have left more than 250,000 residents without electricity.
Strong winds and dry conditions have resulted in more than 50 fires starting in Oregon and Washington. Some towns in the fire’s path have sustained damage to more than 50% of structures. In the small community of Malden, just south of Spokane, 80% of buildings were burned.
How Team Rubicon is Responding
Team Rubicon continues to monitor the widespread wildland fires, including the Creek, El Dorado and North Complex fires. Greyshirts are standing by, ready to assist local EOCs and fire departments.
Oregon & Washington: Remote EOC Support
In response to the multitude of wildfires, state EOCs are standing up Virtual Operations Support Teams to monitor activity and trends on social media as it relates to wildfires. Team Rubicon will provide virtual volunteers, serving remotely, to help supplement these efforts.
For many communities affected by Hurricane Laura, water has been restored under a boil warning and Waste Management has resumed its regular routes. Most roadways are now in passable condition, though debris and obstacles still exist. Electric companies say it could be weeks before power is turned back on for residents.
Calcasieu Parish remains under evacuation orders and certain communities that were blocked off by storm debris are just now beginning to receive meaningful relief services.
Residents of the region fear that the general lack of attention being given to this disaster will slow their recovery.
How Team Rubicon is Responding
Operation Crying Eagle
Team Rubicon’s core disaster relief capabilities are in full effect as Greyshirts deliver sawyer, debris removal, and roof tarping services to people in need.
Calcasieu Parish, LA
Team Rubicon has 63 Greyshirts on-scene. So far, they’ve completed 19 of the 84 work orders that they have received.
Team Rubicon has 26 Greyshirts on-scene. So far, they’ve completed 15 of the 69 work orders that they have received.
Team Rubicon has 11 Greyshirts serving as virtual phone operators on the Crisis Cleanup hotline. They’re taking calls from Hurricane Laura survivors and connecting them to recovery resources.
Senior members of Team Rubicon’s Training Team are on the ground in Lake Charles, LA providing “Just in Time Training” to build capacity for Operation Crying Eagle.
Their focus is on upskilling chainsaw and heavy equipment operators so they can be put in the field as soon as possible. Fall protection training is also being offered to support all work orders pertaining to roof tarping.