The Idaho Department of Corrections has returned their fire crews to prison while it reviews the program
An inmate working on a camp crew has been accused of raping a woman at the Coal Hollow Fire 56 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Associated Press is reporting that Ruben Hernandez, 27, has been charged with felony rape. Below is an excerpt from the article:
…The woman told police Hernandez had been flirting with her and asked for her number. She gave him a friend’s husband’s contact information to get him to leave her alone, according to charging documents filed Friday.
One morning as she was sitting in a wash trailer watching a movie, Hernandez entered, exposed himself and asked for oral sex, authorities said. He assaulted her after she again rejected him, according to charging documents.
She froze, afraid to scream or stop him because she knew he was a prisoner and didn’t want to get hurt, the charges say. She told a friend, who reported the assault to base-camp security guards.
The inmate was part of a 10-person crew from Idaho working at the incident command post in Utah, performing cooking and janitorial duties supervised by two Idaho correctional officers.
The alleged rape occurred on a day of transition at the fire, as the Northern Rockies incident management team departed and turned it over to a local Type 3 team.
After the August 29 incident the Idaho Department of Corrections brought their fire crews back to prison while it reviews the way they choose, train, and deploy inmates in the program.
The Coal Hollow Fire has burned over 31,000 acres along Highway 6 south of Spanish Fork Canyon. The lightning-caused fire started August 4 and is winding down. It has not been updated on Inciweb since September 8, 2018.
Many of us had not heard of Draper City, Utah before their fire department Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett was killed by a falling tree while fighting the Mendocino Complex of Fires in Northern California August 13, 2018. That was, of course, a tragedy, but now the city and department are in the news for a different reason. One of their firefighters found and has adopted a dog they found while fighting the same fire.
Two fire vehicles fighting the North Eden Wildfire were destroyed August 17 by wind-driven flames. A heavy engine from Woodruff Fire Department and a light engine from the State Division of Forestry Fire & State Lands responded to the fire’s west flank.
One engine experienced a mechanical problem and as both crews tried to make the vehicle mobile again flames quickly moved toward the scene cutting off their escape route. The group of three firefighters was forced to leave the vehicles and escape into the black. No injuries were reported.
Above: Accumulated precipitation over the last seven days, June 12-18, 2018.
Moderating weather over the last seven days has helped firefighters make progress on some of the fires in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah. Today’s national Situation Report showed little or no increase in the size of wildfires in those four states. The 416 Fire in southwest Colorado and the Badger Creek Fire in southern Wyoming released a total of 345 personnel over the last 24 hours.
Todd Pechota’s Type 1 Incident Management Team is currently assigned to the 416 Fire, but Joe Reinarz’s NIMO team has been mobilized for the fire, which could be an indication that they expect it to be a long term incident. The west side of the fire has spread into steep, remote terrain above 8,000 feet as it grows closer to an 11,000 to 12,000-foot ridge five miles away. Much of the ridge is above the timber line and may eventually, with patience over time, serve as a barrier. Mr. Reinarz’s team team will transition on Friday.
Below, National Weather Service graphics show the observed precipitation and the departure from normal for the last 30 and 90 days.
Above: The Redding Hotshots conduct a safety briefing before beginning their assignment on the Trail Mountain Fire. U.S. Forest Service photo.
Below is information about the Trail Mountain Fire in central Utah, provided by the Incident Management Team Saturday morning, June 16, 2018.
“[Friday], at approximately 12:00 p.m., Emery County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Highway Patrol closed Highway 31 through Huntington Canyon but it remained open up to Bear Creek Canyon. Increased fire activity had created thick smoke and poor visibility on the highway. Additionally, firefighters and equipment were working directly along the highway. Despite this increased fire activity, evacuations were lifted for the Trail Canyon community. Highway 31 will be constantly monitored today and reopened as soon as conditions allow.
“Firefighters contained a large portion of the fire perimeter Friday on the southern portion near Trail Mountain and Whetstone Creek. The overall percentage of containment does not reflect this containment yet due to fire growth of about 3,000 acres yesterday into Little Bear Canyon and up Mill Fork Canyon. The fire also reached the ridge just south of Crandall Canyon. Firefighters thinned vegetation and installed sprinkler systems around the Crandall Canyon Mine Memorial and adjacent areas.
“Saturday’s cloudy weather, cooler temperatures, and higher relative humidity should reduce fire activity but will have little effect on the dead and dry vegetation that has allowed the fire spread. Possible thunderstorms could bring gusty winds that would also help the fire spread.”
It began as a prescribed fire that escaped on June 6 in central Utah
Above: A pyrocumulus cloud forms over the Trail Mountain Fire, as seen from Joes Valley Reservoir June 13, 2018. Inciweb photo.
At 9:31 a.m. on Thursday the relative humidity at the Mill Fork Canyon weather station near the Trail Mountain Fire in Utah had already dropped to 12 percent and will likely get even lower with the predicted Red Flag Warning conditions. During the night it never got above 30 percent. A mapping flight Wednesday evening showed that the fire had burned 9,554 acres.
The forecast for Thursday calls for sustained 23 mph winds out of the southwest and west with gusts up to 38 mph. The Haines Index will max out at 6, an indication of atmospheric instability which can be conducive to rapid fire growth. On Friday the wind should increase with 22 to 29 mph southwest winds gusting above 40 mph under cloudy skies but there will be a 33 percent chance of showers.
In an update Thursday morning the incident management team said, “It is likely the fire will continue to spread north along Highway 31, where timber is denser.”
Highway 31 is closed as firefighters work to keep the fire from crossing the road. An evacuation order is in effect.