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2007 California Fire Siege MACS Operation Center October 21-31, 2007 AFTER ACTION REVIEW PowerPoint Presentation
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2007 California Fire Siege MACS Operation Center October 21-31, 2007 AFTER ACTION REVIEW. 2007 Southern California Fire Siege. During the 2007 California Fire Siege, there were numerous emergency management successes, with nearly

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Presentation Transcript
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2007 California Fire Siege

MACS Operation Center

October 21-31, 2007

AFTER ACTION REVIEW

2007 southern california fire siege
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

During the 2007 California Fire Siege, there were numerous emergency management successes, with nearly

1 million people successfully evacuated, and thousands of threatened homes and businesses saved.

This catastrophic cascade of region-wide wildfire disasters resulted in approximately 518,000 acres burned, 10 lives lost, 116 persons injured, 4 commercial buildings and 2,008 residences destroyed.

2007 southern california fire siege1
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

The Southern California fire siege began on October 20, 2007. During the first four days of this sustained wind event, firefighting agencies successfully suppressed 251 fires, or approximately 90 percent of the ignitions during the initial attack phase.

Even though firefighters’ initial attack efforts on the numerous fires were highly successful in protecting life, property and resources, a number of these fires raged into large fire scenarios.

2007 southern california fire siege2
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

At 0800 hours on October 22, 2007 the MAC Group convened at the Southern California Operations Coordination Center in Riverside

(South Ops).

2007 southern california fire siege3
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

MAC Group Objectives

  • Establish priorities for response
  • Allocate critical resources based on established priorities
  • Communicate systems Integration
  • Coordinate Information
  • Intergovernmental decision coordination
  • Develop geographic strategies and contingency plans
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2007 Southern California Fire Siege

Each operational period, using the Incident Priority Rating Matrix (MACS Form 429), the MAC Group prioritized the incidents based on the most current available information, and subsequently directed South Ops to mobilize available critical resources.

In a number of instances, when firefighting resources were scarce, firefighter safety became a consideration for the allocation of resources. The strength of the MAC Group was its ability to objectively prioritize incidents based on the information derived from the decision matrix and not on needs of the individual agencies.

2007 southern california fire siege5
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

In the After Action Report there were 15 identified “successes” by the MAC Group. The following highlights a few of those:

  • MAC Group representatives maintained objective focus on priorities allowing for a consensus, decision-making processes.
  • The MAC Group relied on multiple sources of information.
  • The MAC Group was able to expedite filling critical resource needs based on information obtained directly from their communication centers.
  • The MAC Group was able to prioritize and recommend the assignment of available critical resources by kind and type.
2007 southern california fire siege6
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

Identified “successes” (continued):

  • The development of the Decision Support Briefing document by the Planning and Operations Sections of the National Incident Management Organization (NIMO), who had been assigned upon request to the MAC Group, consolidated intelligence information into a simple format that improved the efficiency of the decision process
  • The MAC Group recognized the need for improved intelligence for the fires occurring in San Diego County. CAL FIRE provided an operational area representative to the group to fill this need.
  • There was early recognition by the MAC Group that a Military Liaison was necessary to assist in the coordination of military assets used on the incidents.
  • The MAC Group requested executive level feedback to validate the group’s direction and effectiveness
  • The MAC Group exercised discipline and maintained team focus in a sequestered setting
2007 southern california fire siege7
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

During the MACS activation there were multiple “challenges” encountered by the MAC Group. The following outlines a few of these challenges:

  • Due to incident activity in their own jurisdictions some member agencies were unable to provide a representative upon initial activation.
  • The group used valuable time to review, discuss, and better define the criteria objectives identified in the MACS 410-1 for the incident priority process. Although the objectives were posted for constant review, some interpretations remained vague on specific criteria definitions.
  • The rapidly escalating fire situation hampered intelligence gathering. Some Incident Status Summary Reports were not available to the MAC Group for review prior to conducting the priority process.
2007 southern california fire siege8
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

Multiple “challenges” (continued):

  • Due to the number and frequency of new fire starts, the prioritization process was conducted twice a day. As the fire activity stabilized, the prioritization process was done once per day. The MAC Group determined that situation dynamics would dictate the frequency of the prioritization process.
  • The group encountered challenges with the MAC Center facility. Certain actions were taken to improve the process and more effectively perform the objectives. New technologies and systems exist that have not been institutionalized such as Google mapping, video conferencing, military imaging capabilities, and other cutting-edge technologies.
2007 southern california fire siege9
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

The MACgroup identified opportunities for future program enhancements:

  • Request a Planning Section Chief (PSC) to assist the MAC Group
  • Require that the agency representative within the MAC Group proactively acquire incident information from all available sources.
  • Verify that an alternate resource ordering process is in place in the event of system overload or failure
  • Maintain a simple, consistent “big picture” format for the Intel summary package.
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2007 Southern California Fire Siege

Identified opportunities for future program enhancements (continued):

  • Ensure that all MAC Group members are briefed on the process, objectives, meeting agendas, and member conduct.
  • Maintain consistency among group representation to provide continuity in the MAC process
  • Assignment to the MAC Group must be viewed as any other incident assignment and not as an ancillary duty.
  • Request that a dedicated Intelligence Officer (internal and/or external) be assigned to the MAC Group for the purpose of bringing consolidated, unified information back for review
2007 southern california fire siege11
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

Identified opportunities for future program enhancements (continued):

  • Consider incorporating all-hazard MACS forms and processes.
  • Recognize the need for access to state-of-the-art tools.
  • Provide an environment that is free from disruption that allows for open discussion relative to the prioritization process.
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2007 Southern California Fire Siege

The MAC Group prioritized incidents and coordinated firefighting resource support for twenty-two large wildfires…

…with more than fifteen thousand fire and emergency personnel

effectively mobilized from over 1100 assisting agencies.

2007 southern california fire siege13
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

Interagency cooperation and executive management oversight contributed greatly to the overall effectiveness of the MAC group.

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2007 Southern California Fire Siege

Some 207,399 fewer acres burned in the 2007 siege, than burned in 2003—even though there were almost twice as many fires requiring large fire strategy and deployment—13 fires in 2003, and 22 fires in 2007.

By comparison to 2003, more personnel and resources deployed faster, fewer acres burned, fewer lives were lost, and fewer structures burned in the Siege of 2007.

2007 southern california fire siege16
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

2003

2007

The successes of the 2003 mobilization set the benchmark for excellence in the 2007 Southern California fire siege.

2007 southern california fire siege17
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

Complimenting the successful initial attack of nearly 90% of the wildfires ignited during the siege, the firefighting agencies’ well-organized extended attack effort kept the potential magnitude of this disaster comparatively small. These efforts saved many lives, thousands of homes, and damage to and natural resources.

2007 southern california fire siege18
2007 Southern California Fire Siege

It is the intent of this MAC Group’s After Action Review that ongoing management enhancements remain a top priority.

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2007 Southern California Fire Siege

MAC Group Signators

Chief Jorge Camargo, Orange Co. Fire Authority*

Chief Tom Drayer, CA-OES Fire*

Chief Mark Sanchez, Ventura Co. Fire Department*

Chief Mark Schmitt, Santa Barbara Co. Fire Department*

Chief Lee Delap, CAL FIRE*

Chief Nick Dunn, Kern Co. Fire Department*

Chief Dave Stone, Los Angeles Co. Fire Department*

Chief John Martinez, Los Angeles Fire Department*

Chief Ralph Domanski, USFS*

Chief Brad Harris, CAL FIRE/San Diego Op Area Rep.

Chief Les Matarazzi, U.S. DOI*

*FIRESCOPE Member Agency Representative