Dagley Reeves, AA7HB published the following account to the Rim Country Amateur Radio Club:
As I am sure you're all aware, the local area including Forest Lakes, Heber, and Overgaard were affected yesterday by a mass communications outage.
Landline, cell phone, and Internet were out of service for a good part of the afternoon and evening. It is still a matter of conjecture, but the 911 system may have also been affected. The fire department's repeater also appears to be out of service.
The W7RIM emergency operations center was activated at the request of the chief of the fire department and status was raised to DEFCON 2.
Dagley went over to the fire station and activated the public service radio for use by the fire department. The club's VHF UHF radio was also activated and a listening watch was maintained on various repeater frequencies.
The main concern was the fire department being able to receive emergency calls from his dispatch station located in Show Low. A workaround was obtained by dispatching one of the firemen to an area with cell phone coverage and radio contact with the fire station through their car to car frequency. 911 calls were delivered to this firemen on his cell phone whereupon he relayed that information to the fire station using the car to car frequency. While this was not an optimum solution, it seemed to work.
Dagley was able to contact John in Forest Lakes who was having similar difficulties. The Flagstaff EOC was activated and relayed 911 calls to Forest Lakes via one of their repeaters on Mount Eldon. After some fiddling around with the VHF antenna rotator, Dagley was able to communicate with both John and Flagstaff EOC. clearly.
At first blush, I have to say that the Coconino County office of emergency management stepped up to the plate whereas the Navajo County office of emergency management was never heard from. While the situation was handled appropriately, I kind of felt like a small tick on the dog when it came to getting any sort of information out of Navajo County.
We have a lot to talk about at the next meeting!
No verifiable information is available regarding what caused the outage although rumor has it that it was cut in the fiber optics cable somewhere between the 277 spur and Paper Mill Road.
Service was restored sometime last night and EOC status has been lowered to DEFCON 3.
Last weekend John (N7MLS) activated the EOC space at the Forest Lakes Fire station for the Winter Field Day event. There were multiple pitiful attempts to get theAlpha Delta DX-CC multiband dipole in place, but ugliness didn't prevent it from working pretty well. He brought his Yaesu 857d radio and a laptop in order to run some digital contacts in addition to phone. The end result was 21 contacts on 2 bands, with over half being PSK31 digital contacts. John also checked in to the Sunday morning Arizona RACES net. Our ability to quickly set up an HF station for emergency communications was demonstrated successfully.
An obvious future project is to set up some outdoor mounting points for future easy installation of wire antennas.
Governor Ducey declares June 2019 as AMATEUR RADIO MONTH IN ARIZONA
The Governor has again issued a proclamation declaring the month of June as “Amateur Radio Month” in Arizona. This recognition by the head of the state government acknowledges our efforts and success we attain across all of Arizona. We can be proud of the efforts each of you make and we applaud the recognition that Amateur Radio receives. Help us celebrate by sending your planned activities and any photos to
N7MLS@yahoo.com so we can highlight what hams are doing each month.
Our repeater's duplexer has been retuned, and the repeater is once again fully operational. Please monitor 146.800 MHz whenever you are in the area.
The repeater has been on and off all summer. The latest issue seems to be with the duplexer. Retuning is planned soon.
The longer term plan is to set up a UHF link to the repeater in Heber so that a transmission to either repeater will automatically be retransmitted on both. This will give us great coverage from the rimtop visitor center all the way through Heber-Overgaard.
The Forest Lakes 2m repeater is being repaired. Check back in a couple of weeks to see if it is back on line for us.
I plan to post items of general interest here on this blog page. Priority will be given to topics regarding emergency communications and threats to our community.
Your comments are always welcome.
June 4, 2018 - 7:13 pm
Summary: The 377 Fire, made up of multiple wildfires, is burning on the Black Mesa Ranger District on Arizona State Highway 377 between mile markers 1 and 22. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has temporarily closed highways 277 and 377. The Forest Service, in coordination with the Navajo County Sheriff’s office, is currently evacuating ranches north of the 377 including De Spain Ranch. A shelter is available for livestock and people at Martinez Hall at the Navajo County Fairgrounds in Holbrook. Power lines are currently being affected so power, internet and phone lines are down. Chris Johnson’s Type 3 Incident Command Team is in route, and will soon have the assistance of a Type 2 team. In the interest of safety, forest visitors are reminded to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of wildfires as smoke may reduce visibility in the area.
Structures Threatened: 5
Resources Assigned: 4 single engine air tankers, 2 helicopters, 1 large air-tanker with a lead plane, 21 engines, 4 dozers, 6 hand crews, and 3 water tenders.
Know Before You Go:
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests