|Courtesy of Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators|
One of my primary functions is to keep the firefighters informed on weather conditions that are favorable for suppression efforts such as letting them know about light winds that were going to be favorable for their firefighting efforts earlier this week. With that information, the team was able to put together a plan that was very aggressive for fighting the fire directly with many hand crews and fire engines, taking advantage of the favorable weather.
On the other extreme, I also let them know when the weather is going to be unfavorable. In this case, we are expecting thunderstorm activity over the fire area Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Even though there is only a chance that a thunderstorm will affect the fire directly, I still let them know of the potential of thunderstorms and probability that it will impact their operations. These impacts can include increased fire activity, grounding of helicopters and air operations, and most importantly impacts to the personal safety of the firefighters in the field.
In the next few days, the threat will be lightning, strong outflow winds, the potential for flash flooding and debris flows on the burn scar. So, by telling the fire leadership ahead of time and briefing the crews on the impacts from weather, they are able to plan for and mitigate those impacts.
An IMET is only one part of the 900 people assigned to fight this fire. Most of the time, our role is a very small piece of the whole operation, but when firefighter and public safety is on the line, we are here to help everyone come home safely!
Reno IMET briefing Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird. The briefing included the weather impacting the fire and how the upcoming weather over the next couple weeks will impact the fire season going forward.
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