The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Excessive Heat Warning

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning in effect from noon today until 9:00 p.m. Friday for our area. Temperatures will reach into the 100's and could persist into the weekend.

There has also been a Red Flag Warning issued until tomorrow night. A Red Flag warning indicates hot, dry weather that could cause wildfires.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another Heat Wave

Another multi-day heat wave will begin Wednesday.  The hottest day of the summer so far is possible on Thursday.

PRIMARY AREAS IMPACTED:  Lowland locations AWAY from the coast…i.e. the Willamette Valley and Columbia River Gorge.

IMPACTS:  High temperatures 95-100F.  Low temperatures in the low to mid 60s may provide some relief to those without air conditioning.  Fire danger will rise and may be especially high across Lane, Linn, Marion & Clackamas Counties where less rain fell this past weekend.

TIMING:  Wednesday through Friday.  The hottest temperatures in the next week will likely be on Thursday.

UNCERTAINITIES:  90s may persist over the weekend and possibly even into early next week.  The hottest temperatures over the weekend and early next week will likely be over the southern half of the Willamette Valley and in the central Columbia River Gorge.  Temperatures over the weekend and early next week should NOT be as hot as Wednesday through Friday of this week.

Friday, July 24, 2015

9-1-1 Communications ANI/ALI System Down

From Cowlitz County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications:

The ANI/ALI system (the automatic phone number and location information system for 9-1-1 calls) is down right now. If you have an emergency, you can still call 9-1-1, but the number you are calling from and your location will not be available to dispatchers. Should you have an emergency requiring fire or law enforcement, please stay on the line and give emergency dispatchers your location.

Technicians are working on resolving the issue and we will provide an update when the system is back up and running. Again, you can still call 9-1-1 should you have an emergency.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fire Updates

Fire Update:
Colvin Creek Fire - @80 acres burning, no containment but there are no structures in jeopardy at this time. Weather forecast over the next couple of days is favorable to get control of this fire. Public "looky-loos" are a concern, please stay away from the area unless you are a land owner.
New fire - there is a brush fire in the area of Little Kalama River Road/Woodland Heights. Crews from Clark County are responding to this fire.

Germany Creek Fire - this is still smoldering and being monitored by fire resources. There are no structures, fire area is @4 acres of difficult sloped terrain.

Toutle - also still smoldering in spots but is being monitored by fire resources.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Seattle to Portland Bike Ride

The Seattle to Portland (STP) Bike Ride is coming up this weekend.  You can expect significant traffic impacts to Westside Highway and across the Lewis and Clark Bridge.  The ride will draw 10,000 cyclists from 7 countries and 45 states.  Be patient!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Keep Your Furry Friends Cool!

Tips from the ASPCA
Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it's hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.
Know the Warning Signs 
Symptoms of  overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
No Parking!
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. "On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke," says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states.
Make a Safe Splash
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
Screen Test 
"During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets-mostly cats-fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured," says Dr. Murray. "Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions." Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
Summer Style
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs' coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
Street Smarts 
When the temperature is very high, don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Avoid Chemicals 
Commonly used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets' reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.
Party Animals
Taking Fido to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
Fireworks Aren't Very Pet-riotic
Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets, and even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Fire Safety Message from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue

Kelso- Fire officials are asking the public to please be prepared, safe, and responsible with fireworks while celebrating the fourth of July for the wildfire season has begun early this year. Already this year over 313 wildfires have ignited across the State of Washington and more are to be expected. According to a recent Seattle Times article, this time last year there were less wildfires at 214 and in 2013 there were 169.

Fire Chief Dave LaFave and firefighters from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue helped provide additional wildfire training to National Guard members last week in Yakima. This effort was in conjunction with the emergency proclamation by Governor Jay Inslee which will allow the Department of Natural resources (DNR) to dispatch additional Resources from the National Guard, if needed, to assist in suppression efforts. The Governor also urged people to reduce their firework use or celebrate another way without fireworks, according to the Seattle Times article.

The early fire season also affected this year's Cowlitz County burn ban for outdoor burning. The ban normally starts July 15th, but went into effect June 24th this year. Only recreational fires in approved three feet diameter metal, stone, or masonry lined fire pits are allowed.

According to the Washington State Fire Marshal's office there were 155 fireworks-related fires reported in the State last year that resulted in over $320,000. in property loss and 277 injuries, including 2 fatalities. According to the State Fire Marshal's office the legal discharge times of fireworks in Cowlitz County are from June 29th through July 5th from 9am to 11pm with the following exceptions: July4th 9am-midnight. Kalama has additional restrictions: July 4th 9am-11pm and July 5th 9am-9pm. Local and state officials are urging people to remember the increased fire danger and reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires. Follow these fireworks tips and make it a safe holiday:

Be prepared, be safe, be responsible:

* Read fireworks instructions before use
* Light fireworks on a hard and even surface and don't lean over them
* Stand at least 20 feet away from fireworks
* Have a bucket of water and a hose ready
*Soak used fireworks in water before disposing them in a metal garbage can if possible
*Obey local laws

More on fireworks statistics and safety tips can be found at