California Wildfire Season is Heating Up
On June 30th 2018, a wildfire began to burn through parts of northern California, scorching about 86,000 acres and threatening over 1,000 buildings. Close to 3,500 personnel worked to contain the fire over the course of several days, but high winds and dry conditions contributed to blowing embers and spot fires, which made containment extremely difficult.
Then, on July 5th, another fire burned near the California-Oregon border, prompting California Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. The fire jumped I-5—a hugely traveled interstate— and was burning on both sides of the southbound lane, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. I-5 remains closed between Ashland and Yreka, Calif., with no timetable for reopening the west coast's main thoroughfare. Mandatory evacuations for areas around the California-Oregon border, as of July 6th, are in effect.
If you’re on the west coast, here are some travel tips according to one local news source:
- Traffic bound for California should consider using Oregon 58 or 140 to U.S. 97.
- Traffic is encouraged to exit I-5 prior to Ashland exit 14.
- Northbound traffic is being stopped at North Yreka exit in California.
- Oregon 273 -- Old Siskiyou Highway - is closed at Oregon 66.
- Travel across Oregon 66 is not advised for commercial motor vehicles.
Like last year's wildfires, these high winds are blowing the flames in a southwesterly direction. The 2017 California wildfire season was the most destructive on record. A total of 9,133 fires burned 1,381,405 acres, including five of the 20 most destructive fires in the state's history. The 2017 fires destroyed almost 10,000 structures in the state, a higher tally than the previous nine years combined. State data showed that the large wildfires killed 43 people – 41 civilians and 2 firefighters – almost higher than the previous 10 years combined.
It’s only the beginning of the 2018 wildfire season. Where do you stand on emergency preparedness? How reliable is your risk management program?
Advance warning and accurate real-time analysis of large-scale disasters make a significant difference for companies who care about protecting their employees, assets, reputations, and business continuity. Having some lead time to secure assets and ensure the safety of employees can make a big difference. Asset liability management isn't only a best practice for ensuring the safety of people and property, it also helps companies maintain continuity in terms of operations.
Understanding emerging threats of disaster is paramount to any effective travel risk management program. Fulfilling your legal and moral obligations to provide duty of care for your employees with a travel risk management program is a huge endeavor, especially for a large organization with many moving pieces and people. NC4 Risk Center™ can provide intelligence and assessments on the impact of natural disasters.
Don’t play with fire. Email us at info@NC4.com or call 877-624-4999 to speak with an NC4 risk management specialist and dramatically increase your ability to prepare and respond to risks.