The All-Purpose Wildfire Thread


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Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 22, 2014 - 05:09pm PT
Many of us live or recreate in areas with extreme wildfire risk. I thought I'd attempt to put relevant and current info in one place. If you know of a new fire or have important info (or questions), please post up!

My info sources, in the order I check them: (weather, wind, smoke, fire danger, etc)
+ Various Wildfire maps and Modis data interfaces, including:

A great summary of fires for California is Yubanet. They have a nice table that is updated very frequently:

The forum is the most accurate and quickly updated and contains information critical to making informed choices about how to react if the fire is near you. I also have a contact at CalFire (former PIO and fire lookout for almost 30 years) who gives us important perspective when it really matters. The Inciweb site and web maps can help determine if smoke will blow your weekend climbing plans.

Current incidents:
Arizona: InciWeb
California: CalFire, InciWeb
Washington: InciWeb

(More to follow when I get a chance)

Edit: Added links to current info rather than having to update it all the time...

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 22, 2014 - 06:06pm PT
Fireplace Fire: Between the Old Coulterville Road and trail to El Cap from Tamarack
From the name, I'd guess it was near Fireplace Cliffs. Not many people go up that way.
the albatross

Gym climber
Jun 22, 2014 - 08:34pm PT
There was a severe fire started in the campground of Jacks Canyon, a popular sport climbing area in northern AZ, last Saturday around noon. I believe it ended up burning around 1200 acres. It would be prudent to check the status of the area before making travel pans.

The fire jumped the canyon and from what I understand, "there is still a lot of green" in the canyon bottom.

I don't know the status of the official investigation, but given the location of the fire, in my mind there is no doubt this fire was started one way or another, by rock climbers. Please be careful with fire. Anyone with information regarding the cause of this fire is encouraged to contact the proper authorities.

Geomac is another good source for fire perimeter maps.

the albatross

Gym climber
Jun 22, 2014 - 09:09pm PT
Your right about it being extremely dry, particularly along a belt from Arizona, thru California and up into southern Oregon. Though it has been a rather mild year for wildfires, it won't take much (say a lightning storm) to stretch firefighting resources thin.

Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 22, 2014 - 10:01pm PT
Two hot spots in California right now.
One to the northeast of Carmen City:

The other in the foothills east of Burbank, near Brand Park in Glendale.

This baby is 23% contained in the White Mountains of Arizona around Dehose:


Social climber
Butterfly Town
Jun 22, 2014 - 10:15pm PT
This evening at Colorado Rd., near Midpines was a small fire. A fire crew was on the scene as I drove past. There was little wind, and I'm hoping that they got it contained quickly.

Any news on this one?

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 24, 2014 - 04:15pm PT
But I don't know the criteria for CalFire getting involved vs municipal.
In California, everything that is not "municipal", e.g. within designated city limits, and not within US land (USFS, USNPS, military reservation, etc) is CalFire responsibility.
So Eric, I'm pretty sure CalFire is your responsible agency. It's a good idea to go and visit their station (Groveland?) and get acquainted. They're always happy to meet their "clients" when they're not on a call.

However, CalFire has extensive mutual aid agreements so they will show up when called by the "responsible agency". CalFire did a huge amount of work on the Rim fire although the responsibility and overall fire management was USFS.

In Santa Cruz county CalFire and Santa Cruz county fire have extensive overlap and they work very closely.
Also, most counties (including Santa Cruz County) have their volunteers and full timers trained by CalFire to full CalFire standards.
They also collaborate on traffic accidents, medical emergencies, Castle Rock rescues. Santa Cruz county fire does surf rescues since that's such a specialty.
Here near Castle Rock any serious call gets a response from both the county fire company and CalFire. The two stations are 6 miles apart. When the CalFire station has been called out of the area the County company will cover the CalFire station with an engine and crew. Santa Cruz county fire and San Mateo/Santa Cruz county CalFire share the dispatch center and maintenance yard.

CalFire and county fire are pretty much joined at the hip for events within the county. CalFire of course can get called anywhere in the state. Sometimes even out of state.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 24, 2014 - 06:02pm PT
Fireplace Bluff area has a lot of fuel on the ground...

sounds good that they got that one contained. It is one of the prettiest walks in the Valley, up the Old Big Oak Flat road.


Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 25, 2014 - 01:57pm PT
(thread drift)
2 years ago I hiked up the Old Big Oak Flat trail past Fireplace Bluffs all the way to the Foresta trail jct and back. I cleaned the trail for Facelift.
I'd never been up that trail before.
Rather an adventure getting across the huge talus field beyond the wood yard. Very pretty when it gets into the forest.
A great day's outing. I saw one (1) (uno) other person on the entire hike. Not a lot of trash, either.

Trad climber
Jun 25, 2014 - 02:42pm PT
108 is closed in sonora--

5 acres in flames right behind the wal-mart

they've already got a chopper on it.

Trad climber
Jun 25, 2014 - 03:08pm PT
they've knocked it down.

as you were

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Jun 28, 2014 - 10:00am PT
Nice to see this thread here. Quick references to info. when a fire starts. Info. is king and these are the areas everyone in fire looks at. I work in Seki fire doing logistics and its still pretty slow fire wise. But its like sitting inside of a box of matches as dry as it is. Here's another cool site to check out for fire stuff.

Big Wall climber
Jun 28, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Photo a friend took of the great Walmart fire of 2014:
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 28, 2014 - 01:37pm PT
MODIS has CA pretty quiet today.
The exception being this flare-up northwest of Placerville. This thing looks like it might have the slight potential to expand --- given that the temps will soar over the next few days. The wind speed outlook is fairly stable over the same period (wsw 7 mph)


This fire in east Arizona is getting some national media coverage and has burned more than 5k acres:


Social climber
Jun 28, 2014 - 02:34pm PT
hey there say, khanom... good thread... thanks for starting this...

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 28, 2014 - 06:06pm PT
use outdoor power equipment before 10am
Thanks for the reminder to get up early tomorrow for my brush clearing project.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 29, 2014 - 12:53pm PT
As a matter of fact I do have a recommendation.
I've got a 35 year old Husqvarna. It was a midsize model when I bought it. It can use either string or a cutting blade.
It gets about 40 hours use a year. Gave me trouble for the first time this year when it wouldn't start - no fuel. I went down to my local Husky guy who's been selling/repairing for 40 years or so. He sold me (for very few bucks) a new fuel filter and fuel lines. Suggested I take apart the carburetor and check for corrosion on a tiny screen filter. Didn't find any corrosion, replaced fuel lines and filter and BANG. Back to work again.

My wife was almost hoping I couldn't fix it so she could get the brand new model for $450. She does most of the weed whacking. We do a total of about 2 acres a year on rough ground.
I've got three Husky saws that have also never needed a major repair.

I'm guessing your work is moderate duty. Lots of area, dense, tough weeds, minimal brush. I'd suggest the Husky. Get the brush cutter blade if you think you'll be needing it. I've cut through manzanita (very tough wood) as thick as my thumb.
Whichever brush cutter you get, use the Husky string. It's far far better than any other string I've used. Cut's better and lasts much longer.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 30, 2014 - 03:23pm PT
Big brush fire adjacent to homes in southern San Jose.
If anyone remembers the Mazzones boulders, it's on the southeast side of that ridge.
Besides Santa Clara county units, CalFire is dispatching engines from all over Santa Cruz county and southern San Mateo county.
They're calling engines for structure protection.

My local Saratoga Summit crew (2 wildland engines and a 3000 gallon tanker) has gone to the Curie fire. An engine from Pescadero is being moved up to cover for them.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 30, 2014 - 03:30pm PT
My newest Husky is an arborist's saw from 2007. It's been fine. It has a plastic cover over the spark plug which got cracked in use. I replaced it for about $10.
Otherwise no trouble.
That's a very useful saw. I probably put more hours on it than my other two saws combined.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 1, 2014 - 05:47pm PT
Curie fire was 100% contained by the time I went to bed.

New much more dangerous fire in NE Napa County
It's gone from 400 to 1000 acres in a few hours.

There are a few SuperTopoeans from Napa County.
One I know from Angwin about 5 miles of open land S of this fire.
This image was at 5:30 PM today

Angwin in lower right corner
Mt Saint Helena in upper left just under the MODIS info
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