"Strange": internal investigation of inadequate response to fire will result in changes, disciplinary actions in Orange County, California
Because it is so rare that there are consequences meted out for failure to act wrt avoidable failures, I was surprised to see this article in the Orange County Register ("Orange County probe finds Canyon 2 Fire response rife with human error and complacency, calls for disciplinary action"). From the article:
Concluding that the fire agency’s response during the early minutes of the Canyon 2 Fire was rife with “human error and potential complacency,” an 80-page report from the county obtained by the Register — slated to be presented publicly later this month — says the findings present “an important case study in how miscalculations and missteps in small but critical areas can result in significant damages… to a community.”
The investigations by the county and the OCFA both say fire personnel essentially ignored early reports of flames on Oct. 9, 2017, the day the fire started. Both also say fire officials were too slow to send equipment and personnel to contain a blaze that burned for eight days, charred 9,200 acres, destroyed 15 houses and 10 other structures, and displaced thousands of residents of Anaheim Hills and North Tustin.
Specifically, the two reports say OCFA officials downplayed a 911 caller’s reports of flames in a canyon at 8:32 a.m. Instead of following protocol, which would require sending personnel and equipment to the scene, they directed firefighters at a station more than a mile away to look outside and report on what they saw.
Those firefighters dismissed the reported flames as wind-blown ashes, an error that prompted an OCFA dispatcher to tell CHP officials that fire reports were “unfounded.” Firefighting equipment wasn’t deployed for another 71 minutes.
Separately, in going through mounds of old stuff I haven't read, I came across this article, "Pittsburgh Uses Data to Predict Fire Risk," in Government Technology Magazine, discussing the use of data analysis in fire agency organizations, better matching resources and fire inspection processes to ward off the potential of problems like the Ghost Ship building fire in Oakland, California or the disaster of Grenfell Tower in London.
Among other cities, fire departments in New York City ("New York City Fights Fire with Data," GT) and Austin ("Austin Fire Department Extracts Value From Data," GT) aim to use data analytics and programs to improve performance.
Some time ago, Philadelphia created a "Fire Vulnerability Index" for buildings, to be able to be proactive in reducing risks and the likelihood of fire by "scor[ing] every household in Philadelphia on its propensity for a fire" ("Philadelphia Fire Department uses data to stop fires before they start," Urgent Communications). From the article:
From this index, the PFD now knows which households to focus fire-prevention efforts on and can pinpoint fire vulnerability households in the city that are more likely to have a future fire event. Fackel said it also can use the data for several efforts, such as to provide those households with fire alarms or to send them direct-mail flyers about fire safety.