Mt Charleston Fire - Las Vegas

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WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 5, 2013 - 11:14am PT
This thing has shut down the access to the Spring Mountains and forced evacuations up on the hill here (as well as caused significant air quality issues). As of the update last night, 2,000 acres and 0% containment with winds 35mph+ on the hill today.

Pretty crazy to see, the local news here claimed this to be the biggest fire on Mt. Charleston (I assume they are referring, as many Vegas locals do, to the Northern Spring Mountains by referencing to 'Mt Charleston'). Does anyone know of where you can view a map with the coverage of the damage? Southern Nevada just doesn't cover fires like Northern Nevada does...

Regardless, hoping for the safety of those fighting the fires and no loss of home or life in this whole ordeal up there.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 11:19am PT
Good find, Ron. I was up mountain biking on Wednesday off Lee Canyon Rd (SR-156) after work.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Right now, we are in pretty deep doo-doo with this fire.

The fire split, with the southern fork now breaching into the valley west of Red Rock last night - we could see active flames from our place in the Southwest.

The northern fork has breached over the ridge between Griffith and Charleston peaks...an area full of awesome high mountain meadows and 2000 year old Bristlecone pines. Really bummed about that.

The fire index is off the charts due to the record high temps, so the fire isn't even laying down at night that much. Added to that, it's in a wilderness area, so no dozers, trucks, or even chainsaws. Right now it's hard to say if it's going to go into Lee canyon, Kyle canyon, or both.

And all the big bombers are tasked in AZ and so far there hasn't been any news of one getting released, so we have a couple helos and a SEAT for aerial.

On top of all that, the plumes and smoke are driving me nuts, like an old war horse :-| I thought I was over the "I wanna go kill it" phase of my life.

Guess not.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:31am PT
This really sucks ..
Hopefully at least the bristle cones will survive ?
Aren't they fairly fire resistant?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:34am PT
Added to that, it's in a wilderness area, so no dozers, trucks, or even chainsaws.

I hope you are wrong about that. Fighting fires is specifically exempted by the Wilderness Act. If managers are taking the position of not allowing the above,they should be fired, right now!

PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN USES
(c) Except as specifically provided for in this Act, and subject to existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.
SPECIAL PROVISIONS
(d) The following special provisions are hereby made:
(1) Within wilderness areas designated by this Act the use of aircraft or motorboats, where these uses have already become established, may be permitted to continue subject to such restrictions as the Secretary of Agriculture deems desirable. In addition, such measures may be taken as may be necessary in the control of fire, insects, and diseases, subject to such conditions as the Secretary deems desirable.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Yeah Riley, they are super tough. You don't get to be 2k years old without getting hit by lightning or fire a time or 20, haha.

It's going to take forever for the meadows to regenerate though, and in most cases all that comes back is fire weed to fuel the next one even more. We were supposed to do a training hike to Griffith on Sunday but that's not going to happen for sure. Once this burns out I will get up there and take some photos.

Ken, thanks for adding that. My information is a bit outdated, and comes from when I was a wildland smoke eater 12 years ago. Looks like things have changed.

That being said, even if they could use saws, the fire is now on an extremely steep hill side in heavy timber with a ton of ladder fuels. I think it would be pretty dangerous to even attempt a line up there.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 11:42am PT
Vegas, where you getting the info? Anywhere on the internets a good source for this? Couldn't see any flames/glow from my place off Alta, West of 215. Was at my Dad's for 4th festivities off Cheyenne and Alexander West of Lone Mtn and could see an eerie glow and could see textbook pyrocumulonimbus clouds sparking with lightning and then seeing the glow of the flames increasing exponentially shortly after the lightning. Spooky stuff!


Those ancient bristlecones up there are so cool


Ancient Bristlecone Pine on 7/3/13
Ancient Bristlecone Pine on 7/3/13
Credit: WML

A few other pics from that ride, beautiful area. Like a super tiny slice of Tahoe, minus the creeks and lake, LOL

B Wer pushing pedals up the double track uphill portion
B Wer pushing pedals up the double track uphill portion
Credit: WML

WML and B Wer at top out zone
WML and B Wer at top out zone
Credit: WML

B Wer enjoying awesome singletrack in trees.  Classic!
B Wer enjoying awesome singletrack in trees. Classic!
Credit: WML

What a beautiful area. Hopefully they can somehow get this thing under control....definitely a whacked scenario if what Vegasclimber reports is the situ
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:49am PT
The "10&18" should always apply, eh?
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:56am PT
Hey WML,

Right now I don't have a link for you, sorry. My info is coming from a Red Cross IC that I know personally, and my personal knowledge of the area.

Right now the SAR team I am on is on standby, we may end up going to the mountain in some form of a support capacity.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 11:57am PT
LVMPDSAR?
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jul 5, 2013 - 12:11pm PT
Nope, Red Rock SAR.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
And now a flash flood warning for the area...


Will bring a snorkel to go run laps on The Fox this afternoon.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Now estimated at 6k-8k acres and zero containment...
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 5, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
Hey Ron...I had to make an early morning run to Lowe's today for a new fridge after mine quit last night.....saw that fire on the way back this morning...looked like the wind might drive it back to life....

Been howling down here in Mono County all day......
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Jul 5, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
I heart bristlecones !!!!!

Didn't even know they had a grove in that area
I only new about Cali and I think Colorado ...
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 5, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
Crazy how big that fire is but zero smoke scent at Red Rock...
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Jul 5, 2013 - 11:59pm PT
Horrible news, such a beautiful area. Is it into the town site up there or just up high on ridge line. I was up there several times last year. Those bristlecones are amazing on the ridge between Charlston and Griffiths.

All those homes in that valley... Omg
Deekaid

climber
Jul 6, 2013 - 09:25am PT
Any news on the cause? The Bristlecone Pine Forest of the White Mountains was the site of one of several of what I consider supernatural experiences in my life. A pretty powerful place.
Deekaid

climber
Jul 6, 2013 - 09:49am PT
Nice briefing, thanks.
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 6, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
Per the LVRJ, 11,000+ acres burning in Carpenter One here in LV

Some definite visibility impairment looking from my office window out toward the Red Rock escarpment, but looking North it is really bad. Still no scent of fire in the air down here at the West end of town by RR. Quite humid relative to the area, but also still breezy.
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