On Tuesday, July 4th, 2023 the Oakland Radio Communication Association (ORCA – Amateur/Ham 2-way radio) performed its annual mobile wildfire patrols in the Oakland Hills and foothills. These took place from 5pm – 9pm and involved a total of 13 ORCA radio volunteers in 9 vehicles driving throughout 4 pre-defined sectors to monitor for smoke, fire and illegal fireworks. A team of 4 other ORCA volunteers were at the Butters Fire Station 25 to perform Command and Net Control tasks to stay in contact with the patrollers via 2-way radio. One additional ORCA radio volunteer operated from home in Maxwell Park as a relay when needed, and several other ORCA radio operators checked in from home and monitored locally.
These wildfire patrols are in partnership with the Oakland Fire Dept and its Emergency Management Services Division (EMSD), and the Firesafe Council. An EMSD manager was on-hand at the Fire Station to observe and provide support. Oakland Fire Dept fire engines were also out patrolling the Hills roads from 7pm – 11pm.
Oakland Firesafe Council’s GENOAK (GMRS Emergency Network for Oakland) 2-way radio network was also activated on the evening of July 4th. A GENOAK Net Control operator and 13 other GENOAK radio operators checked-in and observed locally in their own communities for any wildfire related incidents.
Thankfully no wildfire incidents were observed and everyone was grateful to see the fog roll in around 8pm.
~ Doug Mosher
WQOY819 / KI6DOG