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Community service: Shingletown Emergency Radio






Emergency Radio Comms - 

The "Shingletown Emergency Radio" Plan

Net, Tuesday at 1900 Hours

For the Station Operators who have their radios turned on.

Questions?  call 530-474-3267

Fire Safety - video on being Ember Prepared

In Shingletown, STARC is assisting with the SER Smoke Check,  Earthquake, and Situation Reporting emergency radio plans. 

This is  great for Shingletown and surrounding areas! 

Thank you STARC.

Read about the positive community service procedures and activities conducted by Ham Radio Operators using the SER PLAN HERE.

Help stop disasters before they happen.

When there is smoke at 2:00 A.M., and your question is - "where is the fire"? (and the fire department is asking "where is the fire" ? ...

"The few who matter, are on frequency."

 One part of this program is about coordinating Station Operators from different reporting locations in the mountains / hills of our community in an effort to triangulate on possible source locations of smoke.

PART 1:   SER - Scheduled Nets / Formats. 

There are 3 Net Categories: 

 Smoke,   Earthquake,   and  Situation reports.  


Procedure for Designating Primary Frequency / Alternate Primary Frequency when low battery, bad weather, non operating repeaters and other situations in on page 2 of Format November.


IF A SITUATION ARISES,  SER PLAN NETS MAY BE ACTIVATED BY ANY PARTICIPATING STATION OPERATOR AT ANY TIME (24/7).  SCAN THE PLAN FOR ACTIVATION ALERTS. Your radio must be turned ON, and Scanning the Plan (or be on the Alert Frequency), to make the plan work..



FORMAT TANGO 4 - Smoke Check Report    04/08/2018
FORMAT MIKE 7 - Smoke Report Word Meanings and Q codes  

                                                                                       UPDATED  20180610  public Web vers

FORMAT ROMEO 7 - SMOKE LOOKOUT LOCATIONS   (version 20171022 (form erroneously shows 2016, but is 2017 version)
Other suggested items:  compass; protractor; straight edge; laminated map; grease pencil


FORMAT TANGO - Earthquake Reporting Event Call in (EQ, Explosion etc...)



FORMAT TANGO 9 - Situtation Report Net QXi D 20171110

What are these local "Q Codes" I hear?    

Why don't you just say - "I don't see any smoke or fire...?"

We use our local Q Codes "QW_" series for the MONITORING portion of the smoke reporting program (seeking 24/7 monitoring).  The Q Codes avoid long winded explanations, and provide defined brevity  (See Format Mike 7).  

For example, the Q Code "QWA" involves specific defined steps a station takes before transmitting.  It also avoids the use of the trigger words "smoke" or "fire".  

Consider this Q Code report:   

           "K6PDS, QWO viewing East  3 miles, light,  QWA, out". 

It is clear and understandable even when you are not next to your radio, or when the radio reception is not real clear. Under our procedures, merely giving your call sign means you are reporting from your home QTH.  Yes, you need to look up the meaning of the Q Code (format Mike 7). But only a few are routinely used. 

Compare the above Q Code report to this non defined report

 "... hey Joe, I am looking around and I don't see any smoke or fire but looks like its a little smoky to the east of me".  

If you look at the Q Code report, that message is very specific. A few words communicate a lot of information. 

In contrast, the non defined report, doesn't advise whether the person is mobile, or at home. It doesn't tell you what steps the station took to make the report. It doesn't tell you whether the station has classified the "little smoky" as general atmospheric smoke / haze, or as smoke from a fire, etc... . You probably would have to go to the radio and ask. 

One of the purposes of the monitoring plan is to have people "listening", and to avoid having  back and forth "chatter" on the frequency plan. Such non defined "chatter" will result in operators turning off their radios.

If there is an actual fire event, we use plain English in our smoke net (Format Tango 4).  The Reporting Nets are structured, brief and factual.  Mapping and triangulation is part of the Smoke Net. 

How about joining in?  

And yes, Q Codes are proper on VHF. Under the Plan, you pick your level of involvement.

"Those who matter, are on frequency."

Your family and home are important to you. 

Turn on, Tune in, and Scan the Plan. 



Link for Incident Information

Cal Fire Twitter

Northern California Geographic Coordination Center

Spotting Fire Behavior:


Map Viewer:


Reference Material 004 -Tactical CAllsigns and Procedures Tactical Callsigns and Procedures

Reference Material 005- Q Codes Q Codes

Reference Material 006 - Common Abbrev. CW Work Abbrev. CW Work

 Lat / Long  Plotting points on maps using Latitude and Longitude

GPS Coordinates:


Whitemore (South of Miller Mountain Rd)

Shasta Forest Village

 Wilson Hill Rd.

 Hidden Meadows

 East of Starlight Pines

 Nehemiah Dr.

 Manton (East by South East of Manton & South of Forward Road on Cedar Ridge Rd.)


Check for Red Flag Warning Alerts

Shasta Chain Control

Shingletown Cam is located on the north side of HWY 44 in Shingletown

Lassen Park Cam is located in Shasta County on the south side of eastbound HWY 44 at the Lassen Park North Entrance

Bogard Rest Area Cam is located in Lassen County on SR44 at the entrance to Bogard Rest Area

This is not a once a week  "check in net". 

This is an active community service by  local  Operators [seeking 24/7 monitoring] (any licensed Ham radio operator who can hear us)  who wants to take positive action to help locate smoke from a forest fire so that the Fire Department can respond and put it out, before our homes are burned to the ground.  Many operators can form the basis of a Radio Network to triangulate on potential sources of fire / smoke.  Mountains, shifting winds, ridges and valleys make it hard to locate a fire (especially at night).  Each person may not be able to monitor 24/7, but with a group, and each person making a bona fide attempt, it can be done.  We need many Radio Operators to make this work. Please join in.

Just turn on your radio and leave it on.

Help stop a disaster before it happens! Be proactive, not reactive.

You don't have to say anything. Just have your radios on and listen scanning the plan FREQUENCIES. Then respond when a smoke report is made, or other emergency is heard, or observed; or if you smell smoke, you call in your smoke report.  Obviously, we need people on the air to hear a call. That is where you come in - you merely report your situation from your home, or other location.  This is NOT a substitute for 911. If you have an emergency, dial 911. You can even listen on a "quiet" frequency so you don't hear people randomly talking. Control stations would map the results of radio smoke reports in an effort to locate the potential source of smoke and call in the results.  Want to join in?   

Call 474-3267 for information. 

This program seeks coordination with those who are monitoring their radios under the PLAN set up for local comms.  The PLANS are here.  Now, they  just need to be used. The informal group is  the Shingletown Emergency Radio Net.  ALL Ham operators are invited to take part - just turn on your radio(s),  and leave it on!

That's it.  

 It is what it is.   "The few who matter, are on frequency."

73    K6PDS

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

You don't have to "join" or become a "member".  Just turn on your radio, follow the PLAN, and help out.