The All-Purpose Wildfire Thread

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khanom

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:
https://twitter.com/CAL_FIRE
http://hotlist.wildlandfire.com/forum.php
http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_current
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov
http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/ (weather, wind, smoke, fire danger, etc)
+ Various Wildfire maps and Modis data interfaces, including:
http://wildlandfire.maps.arcgis.com/

A great summary of fires for California is Yubanet. They have a nice table that is updated very frequently: http://yubanet.com/fire.php

The wildlandfire.com 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...
HighTraverse

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.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 22, 2014 - 08:33pm PT
Yes, or "bluffs" as they called it.

I mentioned it because it did have the potential to go bigger and affect access into the valley.


I didn't include the Haigh fire, which was stopped a mile from my house, a hundred or so feet from Priest Coulterville Road at the base of the drainage that runs up to my property. It's also only a mile or two from Priest Station Cafe, run by the Anker family. Saw Leo there just the other day (does that man ever age?) What on earth would we do without burgers after climbing?

And yes, I'm more paranoid about this than anything. Ever.


Edit: Oak fire is 100 acres and 50% contained. 1 outbuilding destroyed and further evacuations in effect.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
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.

Looking north from the restroom at the parking area.  6/15/2014
Looking north from the restroom at the parking area. 6/15/2014
Credit: the albatross

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

This vehicle was parked in the general area of the point of origin of ...
This vehicle was parked in the general area of the point of origin of the fire.
Credit: the albatross

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.




khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 22, 2014 - 08:46pm PT
Very interesting, albatross.

Fuel moisture everywhere is at absolute record lows. Like 5% in some cases. This means anything can start a fire. Driving through dry grass, a cigarette, a pipe, anything.

So please be careful!

As resources get stretched it won't be possible to hit things hard from the outset, so something small can get huge incredibly fast.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
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.

Jacks Fire, less than 90 minutes after it was spotted by FS lookouts. ...
Jacks Fire, less than 90 minutes after it was spotted by FS lookouts. I am thankful that no persons were seriously injured (or killed) on this human caused fire.
Credit: the albatross
Ward Trotter

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

Credit: Ward Trotter


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

Credit: Ward Trotter

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

Credit: Ward Trotter
BooDawg

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?
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2014 - 07:49am PT
A lot of the smaller fires that get mopped up quickly aren't reported/handled state-wide. But I don't know the criteria for CalFire getting involved vs municipal.


Anyway, there is a red flag warning today for Alpine, Madera, and Mono Counties. The Oak fire was down-sized to 85 acres and is 90% contained.
HighTraverse

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.

khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2014 - 06:11pm PT
I just realized that was where we went hiking a couple of weeks ago. Didn't know it was called that.

HT: yes, Calfire. We know many of those guys and always shoot them extra produce.
HighTraverse

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.
klk

Trad climber
cali
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.
klk

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

as you were
Radish

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.

http://wildfiretoday.com/
RP3

Big Wall climber
Sonora
Jun 28, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Photo a friend took of the great Walmart fire of 2014:
Credit: Melissa Johnson
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)

Credit: Ward Trotter

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


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

Credit: Ward Trotter



neebee

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

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 28, 2014 - 06:00pm PT
Fire conditions for this week and through the July 4 weekend will be BAD. Very hot and very windy through much of California.

Please be careful!

Especially:
1. no open burning
2. use outdoor power equipment before 10am
3. watch where you put that pipe down, eh
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