UPDATED 2015-08-27 1620 UTC] The North-Central Washington town of Republic touts “air you can’t see” on its website. That’s not the case today. Wildfires in the US Northwest have not only hampered the air quality and visibility, but led to a Level 2 evacuation order in the Ferry County community of about 1000 residents. That could rise to Level 3. Amateur Radio volunteers in Ferry County have been on the front lines of the wildfire emergency there. In Republic, a combination of Ferry County Search and Rescue (SAR), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and ARES/RACES volunteers have been supporting communication for a shelter housing some 4 dozen evacuees — with more to come, according to Ferry County ARES Emergency Coordinator and RACES Radio Officer Sam Jenkins, WA7EC.
Every fifth Saturday -- that is, every time a month has a fifth Saturday, which is about quarterly -- there is an emergency communications drill. ARES and RACES groups across Washington State will staff Emergency Operations Centers, Fire Stations, etc, and and the like, and follow some scenario or exercise design.
Tomorrow's drill (in which I will not be participating, thanks to some overtime) looks to be complicated by the fact that many of the Emergency Operations Centers and Fire Stations and Et Cetera are going to be busy dealing with forest fires.
With any luck, it will rain enough to end these fires.
In the meantime, 73, OM...