Wildfire Website Mojo

Website Mojo
The staff of The Mountain Enterprise worked for 12 hours to report the story of the Post fire with continuous updates, often every 20 minutes. Community reporters from Frazier Park, Lebec and Pine Mountain also contributed a steady stream of great photos and reports. There were 35,000 page views on Tuesday.The kind comments of those using the site made the work worthwhile.

Tonya Zorich, Frazier Park:
The Zorich family called to thank The Mountain Enterprise for posting the school closure on our website. “It was very helpful and saved a lot of headaches,” they said. They “do not have TV, by choice.” Internet is their main source of information. “The school closure was not posted on the ETUSD or the Kern County Fire websites and since the ETUSD snow chain telephone tree has not yet been established, the newspaper’s website was very helpful,” they said.

LaVonne Lewis, Pine Mountain:
…You guys are doing a magnificent job of keeping us updated. We are living by the computer and your updates. This community owes you guys a huge debt of gratitude. Thank you from all of us for your tireless work. You guys deserve medals!

Vance Pelland, Lebec:
Pelland called from Santa Clarita. He lives in O’Neill Canyon in Los Padres Estates and has been checking our website every few minutes. He gives us great thanks for the website and all our updates because it’s been very helpful to him. His wife and children are at home and it has helped him get through the day seeing our constant updates.

In a telephone interview Wednesday morning, we learned that Valerie Pelland evacuated. “We have one way in and one way out [of the canyon]. Leaving seemed like a good idea once we saw the top of the mountain explode with fire,” she said, adding: “This morning the helicopters woke me up, they were still doing drops, with trucks and bulldozers going in and out. They saved all the homes. The house on the hill had the fire burn right up to it. But the firefighters were really on it. I am watching the guys climbing up the mountain right now. They are really good.

Scott Robinson, Pine Mountain:
We put a link to your paper on our PMCPOA website to keep residents informed. Some residents got a reverse 911 last night, which in speaking with Station 58 and Kern PIO, may have been due to a glitch in the system.

Also, people where getting bad info from Facebook that the fire was burning out of control from the Wind Wolves Preserve area, which was false. That fire had already been 100 percent contained, according to Kern County Fire Station 58. Thanks for your continuous update!

Jena Khan, Frazier Park:
Khan called to say the website “has been a tremendous help.” She is out of town and her friend is staying at her house in Frazier Park. “Thanks for keeping the updates coming.”

Olsen Ebright, NBC-LA:
Olsen Ebright, a content producer for NBC Universal, sent tremendous aerial shots of the fire for our use, and this email: We just posted raw aerial video of the brush fires up there. Figured you may want some embedded video for your web coverage. We were following your coverage all day. The time-stamped updates were great. You guys owned the story.


This is part of the August 27, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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