New fire south of Idyllwild

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B Money

Boulder climber
san diego
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 15, 2013 - 10:43pm PT
A new fire just broke in Mountain Center (243 and 74). South of Idyllwild. From all the reports im hearing, already over 1000 acres and structures already lost. Its in a canyon system that could most definitely run all the way to town.
Just a heads up if you're there or headed that way!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 15, 2013 - 10:49pm PT
Saw the smoke driving into OC from Blythe this afternoon; it was big. This could get really bad. There is so much downed wood up there from the pine bark beetle infestation. Saw five choppers flying in formation to the west. Not sure what they were up to; did not look like tankers, maybe they dropped off some hot shots.

edit: also saw smoke coming from the canyon just east of snow creek. not sure if it was a new fire or just the smoke coming over the ridge and being pushed down,
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Jul 15, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
I can see the smoke from my house. Looks like a big one.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 15, 2013 - 10:59pm PT
The fire is south of Idyllwild burning in Apple Canyon, Bonita Vista and Fleming Ranch area. The flames run in NW to SE direction and so far the fire is missing Idyllwild. Things could change if wind direction changes, but so far the town is in no danger. About 1,000 acres have burned as of 8 PM Pacific. I'm told that Mountain Center looks like a war zone. It might not be such a great idea to climb on Tahquitz tomorrow, the smoke is pretty thick..
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 15, 2013 - 11:05pm PT
The smoke I saw at 4 PM looked like it was from a much bigger fire.
HighGravity

Trad climber
Southern California
Jul 16, 2013 - 12:11am PT
I'm watching it from work and it's huge! For anyone wanting to climb Tahquitz, I've heard Hwy 243 is closed to all non residence. So I wouldn't drive up without checking the CHP or Cal trans website.
B Money

Boulder climber
san diego
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2013 - 10:48am PT
Blew up to over 5000 acres as of 6:30 this morning. Im getting some photos back from our crew we sent out last night; looks heavy. Gonna be a long battle. Its in 2 main creeks, and talking with some people that have fought there before, there is really only one place to stop it. If not, its going all the way.
Deekaid

climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 10:55am PT
What a disaster! Anything on cause yet or link for info?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jul 16, 2013 - 11:02am PT
Bummer!
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jul 16, 2013 - 11:46am PT
It's dry, dry dry this year. Streams that usually have at least a little water all year are completely dry. I've got a bad feeling about the 2013 fire season.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 16, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
Yer gonna burn, THEN yer gonna die!
QITNL

climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
CA-BDF/RRU-Mountain
news:
http://wlfhotlist.com/threads/35577-CA-BDF-RRU-Mountain
discussion:
http://wlfhotlist.com/threads/35594-CA-BDF-RRU-Mountain

Here is a website with all the "Mountain Fire" webcams and updated weather on a single site:
http://www.mtdiablocam.com/activefires.htm
John M

climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
It went from 1000 acres last night to 4700 acres this morning. I hope that they get a handle on it soon. 10 percent contained and 650 people already working it.

http://inciweb.org/incident/3516/
Karen

Trad climber
So Cal urban sprawl Hell
Jul 16, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
Is Valley Center at risk?
B Money

Boulder climber
san diego
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2013 - 02:06pm PT
Latest update has it now at 8000 acres. New evacuations ordered for Andreas Canyon.

Putting up a pretty good plum right now. Rapid spread through both brush and timber.

Deekaid

climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
if it started right off the highway maybe a cigarette from a passing car... you see people do it all the time
Deekaid

climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
really is a shame such an awesome area
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 16, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
I hope this gets under control, fast. The forest above Humber Park is about 50% old dead trees.....


if it started right off the highway maybe a cigarette from a passing car... you see people do it all the time


Most new cars sold in America no longer have ashtrays!!!!!!

Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Jul 16, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
man i live in timber country,
and we dumb f*#ks deny inherent processes
their rightful place.

i hate to see good forest burn, i do, and i have.
all of my assets are perched on
the sulfer end of a match
with ignition and
energy conversion potential greater than
the many atomic bombs
that decorate mankind's fateful birthday cake.

let it go, folks.
just get out of its way.
then go in afterwards,
and forge a new understanding.

maybe a grape vinyard while the forest recovers.

best.
jstan

climber
Jul 16, 2013 - 06:01pm PT
15:00 PDT 7/16/13
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3516/

Incident Overview

General Fire Info:
The Mountain Fire started at 1:43 PM on July 15, 2013 near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74. It is currently burning east of the Mountain Center and Apple Canyon Areas. It is burning in very steep and rugged terrain in the southern porion of the San Jacinto Wilderness along the Desert Divide and in the Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista Areas.


A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been orderd to assume command of the fire at 1800 hrs on 7/16/2013.


Trail Closures:
The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Highway 74 north to Saddle Junction. All of the trails connection to the Pacific Crest Trail are closed as well, including South Ridge Trail, Carumba Trail, Spitler Peak Trail, Fobes Trail, and Cedar Springs.
Individuals or groups with overnight or advance day-use permits into the San Jacinto Wilderness is advised to call the San Jacinto Ranger Station at 909-382-2921.
Road Closures and Evacuations:
Highway 243 is closed between Saunders Meadow Road and the junction of Highway 74. There are mandatory Evacuations for the Living Free Animal Sanctuary, The Fleming Ranch, Bonita Vista Community (20 homes), and the Zen Mountain Center.
Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for Andreas Canyon Club, 24 homes south of Palm Canyon Drive
Evacuation Centers:
Hemet High School, 41701 E. Stetson Ave, Hemet
Hamilton High School, 57430 Mitchell Road, Anza - Can accept small animals
Large and Small Animals can be taken to Lake Hemet Campground in Garner Valley
Small animals can be brought to the SanJacinto Animal Shelter, 581 S. Grand Ave, San Jacinto CA

Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Monday July 15th, 2013 approx. 01:43 PM
Location Mountain Center
Incident Commander Fulcher/felix
Current Situation
Total Personnel 650
Size 8,000 acres
Percent Contained 10%
Fuels Involved
Chapparal and Timber
Fire Behavior
Rapid Fire Spread through timber and chapparal.
Significant Events
Evacuations in the upper Apple Canyon Area.
Outlook
Planned Actions
Continued direct attack where feasible, utilize air resources

Growth Potential
Extreme

Terrain Difficulty
High
Current Weather
Wind Conditions 10 mph SW
Temperature 70 degrees
Humidity 24%

Jacemullen

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 16, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
"Growth Potential: Extreme"

Scary sh#t, hopefully too much of the PCT doesn't get burned. That's already a pretty rough little stretch.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 16, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced

Vamos a superar.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 16, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Growth Potential
Extreme

Yeah. If they can't control it fast this has the potential to get really ugly.

I'm still wondering about the smoke I saw coming from the canyon on the north side of the peak east of snow creek. Inversion? I did not see any flames but it sure looked like a hot spot.
jstan

climber
Jul 17, 2013 - 01:31am PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbJjYQJhHkg
Good old 741!

I don't know what assets Calfire has working but when I saw these Skycranes from Erickson in WA show up in Santa Barbara I jumped up and down and cheered. Without them our house was a goner. They load 10 tons of water in minutes and have an unloaded speed near 100mph. Control wise they are like a rock. With IR hardly anything can stop them. Two 5000Hp turbos for power. Low rotor speed.

Here in JT, at least, the wind was down this afternoon and perhaps as a result of this less than two more square miles were added to the burn this afternoon. Smoke has been very heavy though. Even see some ashes here. Not many however.

PS:

If you personally have not been pulled out of hell by a skycrane, you won't understand the following video. If you have, go for it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=Q8O7HTzbKaA&NR=1

Wednesday noon update:
22 square miles
light winds
16 helicopters
one DC 10
one Sky Crane with IR - can drop water at night

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 17, 2013 - 01:37am PT
we used to call those sky cranes "porta storms" lol! Hopefully the getter contained down there!
Jacemullen

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 17, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Just heard that Tahquitz is closed.
rsn

Trad climber
Quartz Hill, CA
Jul 17, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
Looks ominous:

http://idyllwildtowncrier.com/2013/07/17/breaking-mountain-fire-updates/
HighGravity

Trad climber
Southern California
Jul 17, 2013 - 04:59pm PT
It has blown up over the morning. I live about 25 miles away and couldn't see much smoke yesterday, but now I can see a huge plum building up. If it hits the high country near Carumba it will get out of control.

Edit: Too late, it already has...

Edit again: My friend took the below picture. I'm hoping it stays east of town.
Johnny K.

climber
Jul 17, 2013 - 05:01pm PT

:/
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 17, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
Good luck to the property owners and the fire fighters. May they always be in the black.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jul 17, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
Dang that's an impressive pic. And not in a good way.
Here's to hoping that it doesn't come over the mountain.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 17, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
Unfortunately, the fire flanked to the north this morning and hit the wilderness area North of Tahquitz Rock. It looks bad from Idyllwild, but at present it is not threatening the town. Looks really bad from our deck looking at South Ridge of Tahquitz Peak and Tahquitz Rock. The smoke and ash are pretty bad in town right now. Hoping it will not shift into the town...
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Jul 17, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
A friend showed me a picture from the Mac Donald's camp (evacuating / ed), including horses). Really scary and it gave me shivers. Reminded me of the 49er fire in 88.

Good thoughts going that way.
Erik
10b4me

Ice climber
Middle-of-Nowhere, Arizona
Jul 17, 2013 - 05:36pm PT
Unfortunately, the fire flanked to the north this morning and hit the wilderness area North of Tahquitz Rock.

that's not good. looks like a monsoonal flow(out of the southeast) starting friday.
Jacemullen

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 17, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
"Just got the lowdown on this one from my Fire Chief a few minutes ago(we have mutual aid agreements with neighboring FDs and CalFire), we have one crew and engine on loan at this fire. 10% contained this morning when the fresh crew rolled, and moving toward PalmSpr. Chief said "lotsa dry fuel, unfavorable winds, and moving fast, $4million in costs as of this morning, excluding any property damage (just the costs of fighting it)"."

Who are you working for? I'm at MBA.
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Jul 17, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
We've had a lot of smoke and ash up here in the park. Right now it's getting nasty now that the wind has shifted.

Best wishes to those fighting the fire and to those in the path of it.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jul 17, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
Mountain Fire Update - Evacuation Notice is in effect for Fern Valley, Idyllwild, and adjacent communities east of Highway 243.


https://twitter.com/SanBernardinoNF
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jul 17, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
Quite the column this evening via webcam:

http://www.greencafe.com/idyllwild/webcam/hemet/webcam-medium.html
Bad Climber

climber
Jul 17, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
I've been studying pine beetle kills. Turns out they don't increase fire severity. A dead tree is harder to ignite than a dry live one with lots of volatile oils. A researcher from Colorado did an extensive study about fires and beetle kills and found, although they look bad, the effect on fires is quite counter-intuitive. This doesn't help the folks in Idylwild, however. Hoping for the best. That's a great area. Only climbed there once.

There are just too many morons out there starting fires.

BAd
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Jul 17, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
Notice just issued for evacuation of the town of Idyllwild and Fern Valley areas east of Highway 243:

http://inciweb.org/incident/3516/
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 17, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
As of 5:30 PM there is evacuation order issued for Upper Fern Valley area of Idyllwild and areas east of Highway 243. This is supposed to be an orderly in/out/in order which allows residents to go out and come back in. Areas west of Hwy 243 are so far not required to leave. We are gathering our things, those few things we cannot be without and just in case, taking hem off the hill. Hoping things turn out well...
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 17, 2013 - 09:21pm PT
I've been studying pine beetle kills. Turns out they don't increase fire severity. A dead tree is harder to ignite than a dry live one with lots of volatile oils. A researcher from Colorado did an extensive study about fires and beetle kills and found, although they look bad, the effect on fires is quite counter-intuitive.

Care to elaborate on the science behind that? Seems like the volatile oils would just become concentrated.

In the wilderness areas there is huge deadfall a decade or two old. Seems to me there is huge potential for both ground and crown fire conflagration.

Hoping for the best for those in it's path.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 17, 2013 - 09:26pm PT
5:15 P.M. UPDATE: The mandatory fire evacuation order is for the Idyllwild area east of Highway 243 including Fern Valley, Mt. San Jacinto State Park Wilderness, U.S. Forest Service Wilderness and Campgrounds, according to Chris Gaulding, public information officer for the Mountain Fire.

This is not a soft evacuation order now.
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 17, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
I was evacuated from my home in Running Springs across the way
in 2003. I moved up there to cut those down. I'm trying to
remember about the county incinerators opened at no cost in
replacement for dump cost, and if they were opened on the
Apple Valley backroad from Lake Arrowhead prior to or after
I was evacuated?
x15x15

climber
Jul 17, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Been watching it call afternoon. My mom and dad finally evacuated. They live in Fern Valley and the fire is not too far from south ridge...
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jul 17, 2013 - 11:52pm PT
There are nearly 3,000 personnel (including some 18 helicopters and over 50 twenty person crews) involved in the suppression efforts on this fire. The following is from the team evening report listed online a couple hours ago:


Significant Events: Evacuations Orders (Mandatory) continue for Pine Springs Ranch, Zen Center and Bonita Vista Ranch. Evacuation orders (Mandatory) now include Idyllwild and Trails End. Fire continued to spread to the northeast and west in Branch 1. Isolated torching and rolling material continue to be a hazard. Crews made good progress improving line in Div A, C and Y and continuing to mop up 150 feet in.
Remarks: Evacuation orders (mandatory) have been placed for the community of Idyllwild and Trails End. The Pacific Crest Trail as well as connecting trails will remain closed until full suppression. Zen Center has been ordered (mandatory) evacuated. Hwy 243 was reopened to public use this morning. East winds are predicted within the next 24 hrs that will further move the fire to the west and north. Mulitple highways to be closed. We are now Unified Command with Cal Fire.

Observed Fire Behavior: Fire made to major runs in opposite directions today with short range spotting, isolated torching and spot fires from rolling material are continuing to occur. The fire continued to burn actively through the night.

Planned Actions: For tonight, continue to build and strengthen containment lines in Branch I and lll with crews, engines and rotor wing aircraft. Contingency planning for Branch l and II continues. Continue to strengthen containment lines in Div A, C, and Y. Construct containment lines in Div U. Firing operations are planned in Div U.

rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jul 18, 2013 - 09:15am PT
bump
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:13am PT
Up to 22,000 acres and growing as it's been really hard to get ground crews in there to fight it due to the terrain.

The town of Idyllwild is under an evacuation order.

Scary stuff.
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:20am PT
I PM'd apogee, I know he has a place up there somewhere.

No word yet . . .

Any other taco heads live up there???
10b4me

Ice climber
Middle-of-Nowhere, Arizona
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:22am PT
Smoke is now blowing into the el lay basin
x15x15

climber
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:24am PT
my folks are up in fern valley. they left last night, and now we wait...
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:26am PT
It's smoky in town this morning, but it hasn't come over the ridge yet- it's clearly up in Tahquitz Valley somewhere, though.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:29am PT


Credit: Cosmiccragsman
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:36am PT
Hey, are you on the scene, Cosmic, are you?
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:39am PT
Wow, hitting pretty close to home. Hope everyone up there stays safe, good thoughts for all.
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:46am PT
Apogee, you're not in the evac zone???
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:54am PT
http://blog.pe.com/2013/07/17/mountain-fire-idyllwild-evacuation-photo-comments-news/
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:21am PT
Alois and Pen....I hope you are out of harms way. Same goes with your parents Phil. Thoughts and prayers to all the residents.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:34am PT
Sheriffs are knocking on doors, confirming evacs. Tried to stay incognito, but Max announced our presence. They are taking names/DOB/ license plates of those still in homes, and trying to leverage further evacs.

Staying put for right now, but ready for a fast exit.
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Good Luck to you and your neighbors, bro!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:50am PT
Incident Report link for this one(updated frequently, info maps etc):

http://inciweb.org/incident/3516/

From that report, updated 5min ago:

"Equipment on-Scene:

2985 firefighters, including 228 engines, 17 helicopters, 10 fixed wing aircraft, including a DC-10, 51 hand-crews, 21 water-tenders, and 15 dozers."

Our Chief said 15% contained this morning. Wild sunrise this a.m. over here with all the smoke, brought back bad memories of Fairbanks in the summers of '04 - '06.

Good luck to all, be safe, get out.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:53am PT
wow,, that is a PILE of resources. 51 hand crews?> they must have every CDF crew in CA.!
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:55am PT
Hi everyone

I just got back up the hill, was dropping some stuff at friends...
The town is deserted, but for fire and police people. They let me back up to gather a few more things.

The fire is at Red Tahquitz, moving NE, so very close to the Saddle and Humber Park. So far it is in the Wilderness, so only non-mechanized means are used on the ground, but once it gets out of wilderness, they will hit it with full force.

It is pretty hard to look at one's place and try to pick a few things that might remind us of good times, good years etc and to have this sinking feeling, that everything will be gone in a day or two.

But, such is life in these beautiful mountains.

Thanks for the good wishes, could someone manage to order a shift in the wind??

Love, Alois.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:59am PT
You can bet the FireFighters will do EVERYTHING in their power not to loose a single structure. They will give up their lives to do such acts...

Spirits to ALL of you in harms way, residents and firefighters alike.
x15x15

climber
Jul 18, 2013 - 12:14pm PT
thanks dave... one more run up the hill for me.

and we need good wind shift as alois said. maybe some rain by the weekend... hopefully no dry lightning...
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 18, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Two hours ago....22,800 acres ......

Many prayers for all involved.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jul 18, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
It is pretty hard to look at one's place and try to pick a few things that might remind us of good times, good years etc and to have this sinking feeling, that everything will be gone in a day or two.

When I lived in fire country, I kept a box of my most precious items, and a firebox with important documents, flash drives, etc...ready to be grabbed at a moments notice.

I'm not trying to distract from what's going on, just sharing.

Positive thoughts to all affected, lets hope for the best.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 18, 2013 - 01:21pm PT
they must have every CDF crew in CA.
not quite, only about half, there are 42 fire camps (2 are for women). There are 8 crews just at Ben Lomond Camp in the SCruz Mts. Each crew is 12 - 15 men.
Properly speaking they are California Dept Of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) crews. They are still prisoners of the state.
When you see the news photos/films, all the guys/gals in orange are CDCR. CalFire is always in yellow.
I used the Ben Lomond crews for 5 months this year on clearing 2 miles of shaded fuel break in the Santa Cruz mtns. There were 3 similar projects simultaneously in the SCruz mtns this spring.

Best of luck to the residents of the fire area. And to the firefighters.

They will give up their lives to do such acts.
(save structures)
Actually they won't. Fortunately. They will certainly try to protect homes and structures and domestic animals as long as they have a safe exit.

This is one reason it's in a home owner's best interest to keep a fuel break around your house. If CalFire thinks it's too dangerous to protect your place, they won't even try. And you'd best have already obeyed the evacuation order because if your house is under immediate fire threat they possibly won't come to knock on your door.

My house and all my stuff isn't worth one life, not "even" a CDCR inmate.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 18, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
Yep, worked with MANY "con crews".. Ive fought fire in CA from the bottom to the top o da state..

Jacemullen

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 18, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
From my place in Oceanside it looks like San Jac is an erupting volcano. Pretty crazy.
MtnDeb

Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
Jul 18, 2013 - 03:44pm PT
Just came out of "my" mountains yesterday afternoon and it is smokey in Bishop for some reason. ? Thinking of you, Alois and Penelope; certainly hope this plays out positively for all involved. Very sad. Please tell me you packed your kooky climbing shirt Alois!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 18, 2013 - 03:47pm PT
Yeah, when I looked up that way from Rancho Cucamonga yesterday morning, it looked like an absolute disaster.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Jul 18, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
From the incident map does it look like things will soon burn around Tahquitz Rock? If I remember the rock is off the shoulder of Tahquitz Peak correct? Best to all, what a bummer on so many levels.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 18, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
A friend posted this map, which is the status sometime today (the InciWeb map seems a little dated)....here's his commentary, too:

Credit: apogee

This map was posted at the Mountain Center post office. It shows the current 22,800 acre area involved in the fire. The major hot spots are at Red Tahquitz on the northern front, and at the end of Morris Ranch RD on the south. They were able to cut lines during the night and have been hitting the high country with Phos-Check this morning in an effort to "paint the mountain red" from Wellman's Cieniga to South Ridge. So confidence in control now!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 18, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Tahquitz rock is on the NW shoulder/ridge of Tahquitz Peak.

If you look at that incident page I linked bove, there's a topo map with the fire area overlayed, and Tahquitz Peak is labeled. Just eyeball that long, prominent NW ridge running off the peak. Zoom in a bit and you can also see where the road ends in Humber Park.

Edit: Or even easier, the map directly above..."Lily Rock" as labeled on the map, is what we climbers call Tahquitz rock.
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jul 18, 2013 - 04:13pm PT
Specifically, Tahquitz Rock was also or formerly called Lily Rock, and is so labeled on the map.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 18, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id=9176803&pid=9175072
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Jul 18, 2013 - 04:39pm PT
Per Forest Service newser, the fire is of man made origin, arson investigators on scene.

So some as#@&%e set this blaze out in the middle of the forest with all that wood to burn.
crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
Jul 18, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
They never caught the ^&(*( who set the Station Fire. It makes you wonder...

Good luck and best wishes to our firefighters and everyone in the areas of danger!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 18, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
Crusher, you can pm me for the inside scoop on the Station Fire.
I can not say anything publicly other than 'you won't believe it'.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 18, 2013 - 05:38pm PT
Taken about 30 mins ago:

Credit: apogee

The ridge from Wellman's Divide to Tahquitz to South Ridge is the Rubicon. If it gets across this, there's gonna be serious structural damage.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 18, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
Oh man, Ap...that does NOT look good!

Praying that fire stays away from town....
brawa

climber
SAN
Jul 18, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
Live feed of firefighting: http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Jul 18, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
View from perris
View from perris
Credit: neversummer
Hope things turn for the better soon...
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 18, 2013 - 08:05pm PT
"If it made a run toward town...I don't know if we could stop it."

Mountain Fire IC
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 18, 2013 - 08:17pm PT
Per Forest Service newser, the fire is of man made origin, arson investigators on scene.

So some as#@&%e set this blaze out in the middle of the forest with all that wood to burn.

This makes me very sad. Tahquitz, Suicide and the San Jacinto wilderness were my playground for many years. A beautiful area is destroyed for generations to come and likely many peoples lives are changed by the act of some f-wad. This is sickening and heart breaking.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 18, 2013 - 08:17pm PT
Brutal........

Credit: Cragman
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jul 18, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
We've been following the fire reports closely and are hoping that the weather and firefighters will prevent it causing any damage to homes in Idyllwild & Fern Valley area.
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 18, 2013 - 08:22pm PT
I was quite nice returning to my Running Springs home after being
evacuated in 2003. The temperatures were in the 80's at the time
of the fire in the day time and above freezing at night. About
10 days after the fire started I returned home at about 1:00 A.M.
It was in the 20's in Big Bear City upon return with about a foot
of snow and the same temp at my home with about a 1/2 foot of snow.

Cragman, unfortunately it's not that late in the season now. About
the only thing to do is cross fingers and hope for luck.
romand

climber
Jul 18, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
Some recent screen captures from the CBS livefeed:

Looking east towards Reed's Meadow and Caramba Overlook
Looking east towards Reed's Meadow and Caramba Overlook
Credit: CBSNews livefeed

Credit: CBSNews livefeed

~6:20 pm on Thursday near Reed's Meadow
~6:20 pm on Thursday near Reed's Meadow
Credit: CBSNews livefeed

very scary...
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
Those flames in the last picture are probably 200 feet tall...

Wow.
manzanita man

Social climber
somerset, ca.
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
ive seen flames like that up close and personal. being a 1st saw, i dropped many trees that were completely engulfed. burning branches bouncing off my helmet. hope for the best to the crews fighting this fire andi hope they find the pos that started it. first saw 89-93, not currently.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
Taken about an hour ago from town:

Credit: apogee

There's some verrrry cautious optimism that the heavy retardant runs may have helped at least create a solid barrier. This, combined with cooling nighttime temps and rising humidity...along with a slight monsoonal flow starting tomorrow...

Fingers crossed. Hard.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 18, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
Oh man.....gulp!

looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:29pm PT
Fingers crossed for you too.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Jul 18, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
Oh no, I just hope they can hold it on the ridge.......best to the fighters and best to the community.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Jul 19, 2013 - 12:07am PT
The moon has a weird pinkish hue tonight.

apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 19, 2013 - 02:47am PT
Not up here it doesn't...tonight it pretty much looks normal. Big improvement from last night, which was an eerie orange.

Of course, you turn around and that column is still rising from the ridge, and there's a very faint glow of flames in the distance. We ain't outta this yet.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Jul 19, 2013 - 04:18am PT
All my positive thoughts to you guys up in the area and hope the wind/temps shift. At least there's a monsoon system coming in for the weekend to make things more humid and less dry.

Idyllwild and Tahquitz hold very fond memories for me, I can't imagine how great that level must be for the folks who live in that amazing area. That's truly home. Hoping for the best outcome for you guys and I mean it when I say I've been thinking about this and following it all day and will be tomorrow.

And PS thank you to those in the vicinity of it posting pics. It really brings it home how close it's coming.
Gal

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
Jul 19, 2013 - 04:25am PT
thinking of you all over there! I've spent much time climbing at Tahquitz... hoping for your town and all the area....
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Jul 19, 2013 - 04:58am PT
please get some rest, apogee and other locals.

a terrifying situation.

i've sympathy for your worries
and predicament.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jul 19, 2013 - 10:45am PT
Still adding equipment/assets from yesterday. Now on scene:

3,316 firefighters, including 263 engines, 19 helicopters, 10 fixed wing aircraft, including a DC-10, 53 hand-crews, 30 water-tenders, and 15 dozers.

Wind shift should smoke out the IE pretty good today.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 19, 2013 - 10:49am PT
God bless Tahquitz, home of the brave. And all the folks living in Idyllwild.
Hope it rains like mad up thre.

JL
Big Breasted Woman

Trad climber
The Brown Crack
Jul 19, 2013 - 10:52am PT
Thinking about all you folks in Idyllwild and the surrounding areas. Stay safe and I hope you get a monsoon up there! Well, maybe not a monsoon! But I hope it rains like a mutha!!!!
Deekaid

climber
Jul 19, 2013 - 11:04am PT
I had a feeling it was arson. In situations like this it should be a capital crime regardless if any lives are lost. All those animals and the firefighters risking their lives, it sickens me to think of it. Here's to sat imaging finding the f*#ker and the town remaining safe.
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Jul 19, 2013 - 11:09am PT
Fingers crossed for Idyllwild and for Apogee. I live in the woods too; every year we wonder whether this will be the season...
x15x15

climber
Jul 19, 2013 - 11:31am PT
See what another day will bring. We have been through it before.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 19, 2013 - 11:40am PT
The moon was blood red in the area east of LA last night.
I see a bad moon rising.

I heard talk on the news that fire officials were concerned that with so many people still in Idyllwild it might be real dicey getting them out in time should the fire suddenly head for town.

Lets hope the weather conditions change for the better this weekend.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 19, 2013 - 11:51am PT
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?site=sgx&smap=1&textField1=33.822083333333&textField2=-116.69625#.Uelf1cjn-70

Hope it rains before the winds shift late Sat.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 19, 2013 - 12:49pm PT
Penelope and I are still on the Hill this morning and things look just a bit better. The huge amount of fire retardant that was dropped on the ridge line above the town might have helped. The fire turned ever slightly east and away from the Saddle. Some hope...There are incredible numbers of fire crews here, they are really throwing all the manpower and equipment on it. What an incredible display of fire fighting ability..

We are so sorry to see the damage done to all those beautiful places we hike to every week. The recovery will be slow, the fire was so hot, most places just have a white ash cover. The south area from Red Tahquitz, the Western Divide and the peaks on it, the Saddle and the southern flank of San Jacinto, they all burned and still do. Just feeling sad for this wonderful place...

Many thanks for all of your concerns and wishes. It helps to know, we are not alone in this. Love, Alois.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 19, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
My sincere hopes for a good outcome, despite what damage has been done already. Idyllwild has long been one of my favorite places, ever since I first climbed there when I was 14, a good 35 yrs. ago now. After seeing what the Station Fire did to the San Gabes, I hope Idyllwild can be spared the same.
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Jul 19, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
Credit: BG

Helicopter shot taken late yesterday and played this morning on KTLA TV
jstan

climber
Jul 19, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Climate change may mean that rainfall in the SW is decreasing, long term. If that proves true re-growth of forests lost either to fire or to clear cutting will not be as assumed. We might keep in view the Saharafication that has been occurring in Africa for millennia.

If we wish to make old forests last as long as possible, we might consider actively managing understory and seriously changing how we use our forests. This was successfully done in Japan centuries ago and that country is now reportedly 67% forested.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 19, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
A quiet night...not much smoke in town last night, but a scattering of large ash pieces this morning:

Credit: apogee

Ain't that crazy? Imagine the kind of updrafts that were pushing pieces of ash that large high enough in the atmosphere to be dropped miles away. Unreal.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 19, 2013 - 01:55pm PT
Thanks for the update, Apogee. Everyone in the area, but you in particular, have been in my thoughts and prayers.

John
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 19, 2013 - 01:57pm PT
From the Town Crier:

"Of the 24,500 acres, nearly 95 percent (23,400) are federal lands.

In general it was a quiet night on the fire lines, according to Gordan Martin, the planning chief.

The changing weather brings several threats. First, “It’s favorable for column down drafts and possible isolated lightning strikes,” said Rob Balfour, the weather expert. But there were some early reports of light rain at higher altitudes this morning.

While the possibility of increased moisture may dampen the fire, the northern edge is still growing slowly and headed toward San Jacinto Peak, according to fire behavior expert Dennis Burns. As of Friday morning, the burning edge is still to the east of the ridgeline, but approaching Hidden Lake.

Firefighters will continue to try to secure the Antsell Rock area; meanwhile some crews will be working along the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail today."

http://idyllwildtowncrier.com/2013/07/19/breaking-mountain-fire-updates/
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Jul 19, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
Yep, jstan, you're right about that.

If you ever are in Flagstaff, look up at the south east slopes of Mt. Elden and the lower flanks of the SF Peaks adjacent to that. There was a fire there in the early 90s. It had been Ponderosa Pine with some Pinon and Juniper.
Now, you don't see any trees growing up there, 20 years later, only shrubbery.

Succession may kick in within a span of a few hundred years. Or, like you said, due to climate change, there will never be trees growing there again.

Edit: That ash is crazy apogee . . .
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 19, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Red Kettle feedin' the crews:

BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Jul 19, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
evacuation warning isssued for Pine Cove

http://inciweb.org/incident/article/3516/19241/
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 19, 2013 - 04:34pm PT
hey there say, apogee and all...
sad to hear things are not better yet, :(

praying and hoping for things to get better and for folks to be safe, and of course:
no more fire... :O
but i know that is a big order, :(


you are not forgotten...
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 19, 2013 - 06:20pm PT
This photo taken yesterday.
Tahquitz standing tall against the conflagration.

Credit: Jenny Kirchner

I pinched photo off MP
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Jul 19, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
That is one amazing photo Ward!!!

Scary and sad all at once..
Arson...?

Hope everyone makes it out safely.

Rain forecast could be both a blessing and a curse..
Lets hope for heavy downpours and limited lightning..
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 19, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
having looked at the forecasts and terrain, its going to be a toss up as to benefit from thunder cell activities. Big plume dominated fire being what it is and the country being canyoned spells some watch out situations- heres to hoping every ground pounder there has one foot in the black baby!

They have a pile of resources on it. Some daring backfires perhaps?


\fyi the smoke from that fire is over and east of Carson city ..
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Jul 19, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
impressive photo, mr. trotter.

potential energy everywhere,
sitting idle, awaiting it's chance.

you walk thru an old established forest, and
and stillness dominates,
the wind sorts out its path thru
needles, and the birds cycle their eggs.

this picture above dramatically and forcefully
displays the kinetic version of a forest's undoing.

someday that'll be my horizon.
not today.
im sorry that you local folk are
forced to process the potential loss
that pivots upon forces beyond you.

a tough emotional struggle, im sure.
do what you can,
get the f*#k out when and if.

the only good thing that becomes
of these tragedies is the unison
that they encourage within communities.

we all have more than we need.
a heart is piqued towards compassion
and giving when excrement is flinging about.

take it well, folks.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 19, 2013 - 07:00pm PT
http://www.geomac.gov/viewer/viewer.shtml

Zoom in to Idyllwild area to get current boundary of this fire.
It is the green triangle the furthest south in CA

Or select " mountain CA." In 'jump to wildfire' search field.

Over the last 48 hrs. that thing has been seeming to move more north and east.

Idyllwild is slightly north of area designated " Mountain" where fire started.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 19, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
I believe that photo belongs to Jenny Kirchner, an Idyllwild local. She is a longtime, hardworking photographer for the Town Crier (amongst many other projects).

http://jennykphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery/Mountain-Fire/G0000clzvymD18_s/C0000.1aZ_Iurgts

She deserves special credit for it, along with the many other great images she's captured related to this fire (and many other important Idyllwild events).
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jul 19, 2013 - 10:52pm PT
Good luck to everyone up there, and to one of my favorite cragging areas. Very sad to see this happen. They say it's arson? I've heard there is some witchcraft in those parts. I'm sure they could come up with a suitable disposition for the offender.

Regarding the photo credit, this digital world has hurt a lot of people in terms of the value of what they create. Think about it the next time you "rip" a cd. Sorry for the OT, but that picture belongs to the photographer and could have financial value.

Great picture btw. But I get to see it without buying a newspaper, or watching a commercial sponsored TV show, or a website with ads? Some source of revenue for the photographer?
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 19, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
That was a Great one Weeg!
My sentiments exactly.

Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 19, 2013 - 11:41pm PT
Think about it the next time you "rip" a cd. Sorry for the OT, but that picture belongs to the photographer and could have financial value.


Ripping CDs you own is perfectly legal. So is pinching pictures under the Fair Use Doctrine. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/copyright-fair-use-and-how-it-works-for-online-images/

Most pictures are not worth much money.

Fair use does not require you to credit the artist, but it is considered good style to do so.
Gersh

Trad climber
San Diego, Ca
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:10am PT
Great link, Ward. There's Thaquitz just left of the upper left-hand margin of the fire line, at the tip of the snow-covered hook. Suicide at around ten o'clock from there. Best wishes to all.
froodish

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:15am PT
Wow, great photo. Best wishes to all the Idyllwild residents.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:52am PT
Ripping CDs you own is perfectly legal. So is pinching pictures under the Fair Use Doctrine.

Ripping a CD you already paid for? No problemo. Same goes for images.


How's the fire look tonight guys? Hopefully moving away?
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 01:33am PT
Those of you with Google Earth go to

http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/googleearth.php

Click " current" on KLM bundle.

Once you get on google earth
Zoom in on "mountain" fire.

By playing with locations you can get some good rotationals on the proximity of this fire in relation to Tahquitz Peak and the affected ridge lines.

10b4me

Ice climber
Middle-of-Nowhere, Arizona
Jul 20, 2013 - 01:45am PT
if the monsoon comes in, the wind will come in from the east, which may drive it over the ridge, and down into Humber park.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 20, 2013 - 01:51am PT
The wind is really whip'en in JTree to night!
From the west. Should keep it away from idyllwild.
Try and get some sleep.
Pray'in for ur safety.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 20, 2013 - 01:54am PT
Who gives a f about ripping CDs at this point. Sometimes the stupidity of this forum is alarming.

edit: it just seems irrelative and pointless given what is going on to piss about ripping CDs.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:07am PT
Bumping away from thread drift
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:09am PT
Credit: apogee

"They say it's arson?"

That's not the buzz around town. More like an inadequately wired or protected well pump that shorted out just west of Mountain Center. Totally unconfirmed at this point, mind you.
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:10am PT
Praying for a little rain and calm winds this weekend
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:13am PT
it just seems irrelative and pointless given what is going on to piss about ripping CDs.

Whatever. Climbing in Idyllwild is roots for me, any one who knows me knows that. Sorry if the OT post bothered you.

I hope for the best possible outcome here.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:15am PT
which may drive it over the ridge, and down into Humber park.

Actually the data conveyed in the Google Earth/ forest service link I gave above has had one arm of the fire coming down to within a mile or so of Humber Park , down a canyon that is roughly northeast of Suicide Rock, sometime in the last 24 hrs.
Probably around the time of the Kirchner photo I posted above.
No current data on the progress of the fire in that area. Hopefully it does not go any lower and then down into Humber proper.
jstan

climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:18am PT
From inciweb at a little after 11PM


Credit: jstan

Weather and Fire Behavior forecasts predicted that the fire would continue to burn aggressively and would generate a significant smoke column. These kinds of smoke columns are often capable of creating unstable weather conditions fires including thunderstorms, lightning and erratic winds. Fortunately these weather conditions did not materialize over the Mountain Fire today and firefighters were able to make good progress on the fire.
Firefighters constructed fire-line along the ridgeline east of Idyllwild and Pine Cove. Crews also made excellent progress on the southeast side near Trails End on Morris Ranch Road in Garner Valley.
Tonight, moisture is predicted from the East/Southeast and will move across the fire area. Cloud cover may increase through Saturday morning. Firefighters will focus their efforts overnight on constructing additional containment lines on the southern flank of the fire.

Equipment on-Scene:
3,478 firefighters, including 260 engines, 20 helicopters, 10 fixed wing aircraft, including two DC-10s (Tanker 910 and 911), 68 hand-crews, 30 water-tenders, and 15 dozers.

Credit: jstan


Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:22am PT
68 hand crews Holywow!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:24am PT
Can you explain what that means? I'm ignorant on the topic... 68 handcrews =? Is that like 68 squadrons?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:29am PT
68 --20 man crews - like hot shot crews or CDF con crews. The ones diggin those lines to contain the fire.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:40am PT
Whatever. Climbing in Idyllwild is roots for me, any one who knows me knows that. Sorry if the OT post bothered you.

I hope for the best possible outcome here.

Kris - Yeah, me too.

edit: Peace
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:48am PT
Ron, how much do those 1300+ men make for a weeks worth of work?
I'm only asking because I'm trying to follow the paper trail. Paper being money.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:03am PT
Well as far as fed service, most hotshots or handcrewmne are gs3 to gs6. So around 13 plus an hour for a GS3 to 17 plus an hour for a GS 6. And hazard pay is another 25% which is added onto OT as well. So over time on a fire that isnt contained is time and 3/4..

But im sure many of those hand crews are CDF con crews so they get like a dollar a day and time off sentences sometimes. Not sure of the deal these days.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:17am PT
Alright, cool! That seems pretty cheap.
We're jus trying to understand how the fire is costing 8+ million so far to"fight" the fire..
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:19am PT
The biggest expense,, AIRCRAFT. 2nd biggest , overhead- the teams of organizers as well as food bills, fuel, supplies, transportation etc etc. It adds up QUICKLY! Basically feeding staffing and supplying multiple regiments of troops.



for example, a typical crew expense starts at assignment. They might drive seven hours to get there- fuel, lunches etc all charged to that fire. Then once they get there , over time and hazard pay are added. Their rig may need a new tire etc. Breakfast lunch and dinner every day, plus snacks waters etc. Toilets are rented and serviced and showers normally provided at large type 1 incidents. First aid that may be required for any of your crew, tool maintenance and replacements can also happen. Fuzees or drip torches etc may be used which also cost to the fire. Chainsaws use gas and oil- also charged to the fire. thats just one crew typical scenario.


Then add a WHOLE team of people filling positions from supplies to safety to sanitation to transportation to personnel time and record keeping , and many other positions of overhead including planning and fire ops , air ops etc etc etc. Hundreds perform the over head tasks. And they can be endless.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:31am PT
Recent FS/ googleEarth Fire data updates has the fire getting pretty damn close to Humber Park.
I hope I'm reading it wrong.
It is also moving to the peak that is direct north of Suicide Rock.
This data last updated about 7 pm.

Although I clicked ground data at a leading location and got "July 20" .
The sections just upslope from Humber and directly east of Suicide Rock are color coded bright red.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:32am PT
con crews also get any weed that they find, however, no buds yet,
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:41am PT
Thanks Ron.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:43am PT
Credit: Ron Anderson
Yur welcome BB~~
The above is a scene from being a "transportation officer" during the little valley fire- a mere 8000 acres. This is the morning shift change transportation being assembled to take the day crews out and bring the night crews back to camp. ALL those rigs need fuel maintenance drivers etc.. There are four more rows out of the picture and that was just 8000 acres..



those DC-10s run at least 6 grand an hour operating expenses not counting slurry costs.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 04:26am PT
Damn if it doesn't look like some leading edges of this thing might be headed straight for Suicide Rock.
Although It could make an abrupt right turn and head upwards.

Wow.

It seems to be trending along the north end of that valley. The Suicide Rock side.

It is going to be interesting what this thing does around that area over the next several hours.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 20, 2013 - 04:50am PT
Each one of those DC-10 runs have cost in the neighborhood of $30K. I can't count how many have flown past in the last couple of days...easily several dozen of them.

"Damn if it doesn't look like some leading edges of this thing might be headed straight for Suicide Rock."

No sign of that thusfar. The trend is currently northward towards Wellman's Divide & Hidden Lake. There's a smoke column visible from town, but no active flames anywhere in the valley.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 05:14am PT
Credit: Ward Trotter

This is the data I am alluding to . It was current at roughly 6-7pm
I'll take your word for it though, I like your version a lot better.
These data streams are often notoriously off. Lets hope so
Suppression efforts could have worked there as well.

In the satellite photo Suicide is formation to the west , about to be pinched by something advancing.

Note: This is a prior photo of that area on a normal day with the current fire data superimposed.

Kudos to all the crews working hard and risking their lives. Lets hope no one gets hurt on this one.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 20, 2013 - 11:31am PT
This morning is gray with clouds and smoke covering Idyllwild. A few drops of rain fell a while ago, but nothing substantial yet, hoping for some. The highway is full of trucks carrying dozers and trucks with crews. Last night choppers were (possibly) ferrying crews for about 3 hours along the Southridge to/from Lake Hemet fire camp between about 5 and 8 PM. The fire cloud seems to be just a bit farther away from town and NE toward San Jacinto. There is a lot of ash falling, luckily, the ash is not hot. All in all, it looks just a bit better for the town. If the winds don't change drastically...
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 20, 2013 - 11:34am PT
8:30 A.M. UPDATE: The Mountain Fire’s growth was very limited last night. The current size is 27,278, a 99-acre change from Friday evening. Today is beginning much like yesterday, cloud cover and higher humidity.

Fire officials reported that Friday night was relatively quiet. They continued to use the nightflying helicopter especially on the western perimeter of the Fire. Fire lines were established along Southridge yesterday. Many crews are now being staged in Idyllwild in case of a sudden change. But as work on the Southern edge is progressing, more resources are being assigned to the west and north.

Today, two hotshot crews will use the Palm Springs Tramway to enter the backcountry and begin work on the northern tip of the Mountain Fire. These are the first units in the area. They may, if it is safe, establish a “spike camp”, according to Norm Rooker, a team information officer.

The southern perimeter is “Looking good, really, really good” according to the team. And there is not much movement on the eastern perimeter.

The 30 percent of rainfall creates safety concerns for firefighters for several reasons. A sudden very heavy downpour can create flashflood and possible injuries. The erratic wind behavior might affect the fire’s behavior in unexpected and dangerous ways. And finally, the possibility of lightning strikes, late this afternoon, could move the fire into new locations.

But the Incident Management Commander Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, stressed to unit leaders to “… take care of crews because the cloud cover would make access difficult in case of injury.” To clarify her point, she added be sure of safety because a rainstorm could quickly become ‘Camp Mud’.

The number of personnel fighting the Mountain Fire remains at 3,478. The cost of the Fire is now $12.2 million.
Spufi

Trad climber
DeLusion, Ca
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:04pm PT
Thanks for the updates.
Sending good vibes your way this morning!
Manny

Social climber
tempe
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
Praying for rain and more humidity.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
from the looks of the system coming up out of the SE, theres going to be a strong westerly flow happen today, maybe tommororw?..
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Here is some UFS/ Google Earth data from the last 2 hrs.
The red is the most active north/ northwest remaining elements of this fire. The green icon at top is the top of San Jacinto ( tramway top) This is where they are currently dispatching crews
via tramway as Alois mentioned in the update.
The red blocks at lower left is the area in the valley and ridges just short of Tahquitz/ Suicide. This area seems to have remained significantly unchanged over the last 12+ hrs..

Credit: Ward Trotter
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
Hey I saw Clark on tv this morning. The local news was interviewing residents
asking what they would do if the fire got close? Clark said he was ready to boogie!

I bet he would prolly just go climb the Vampire and wait for the fire to go by.

The ants aren't out this morning. It must be gonna rain. I'm gonna go wash my car
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
The map above seem to show the fire moving away from Idyllwild and Tahquitz Rock. I drew where I think both formations are on the above map, and if true, would show some progress in keeping the fire from the town.

Credit: Alois
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
I looked at the weather system just to the SE this am, it is tracking to the NW and will arrive over the fire soon - and at that time expect a westerly movement of the fire. First it will be N Westerly then as the system gets close to being over head, straight westerly's seem likely. my best guess.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
Alois:
You are right about the locations.
I think at this stage in order for the town to be significantly threatened it would require a relatively sudden heat-up with the winds shifting dramatically around strongly coming from the east/ north ,as you might see from a Santa Ana heat-up.
The monsoonal system that Ron mentioned could be a problem as well.
I think if that system affects things negatively it would more likely push the fire in a N and NW direction toward Fuller Ridge ,Black Mountain, and San Jacinto.
Hopefully it will lower temps and dump some water and the tramway crews will have a strong shot at stemming the north/west advance.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 20, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
I hear you guys, not out of trouble yet, by any means. If the wind starts fron NE/E later today and is significant, both Pine Cove and Idyllwild could be in the path of the fire again. Hoping it doesn't go that way.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
A bit of a broader overview.
The little square at top is San Jacinto. The other green icons at top are Fuller Ridge and Black Mt.

Credit: Ward Trotter
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:55pm PT
People are getting pretty antsy in town...there's buzz that the evac order won't be lifted until Monday or Tuesday, and frustration that it was called when it was. The natives are getting restless...

A 'soft evacuation' order was issued for Pine Cove yesterday, on the basis of smoke and health impacts to residents. The highways are still essentially closed, and the only open businesses are the Chevron, Gary's Deli, and the Red Kettle. The grocery & liquor stores were ordered to close- there is a feeling that there is an attempt to 'starve' the remaining 5% of those who didn't evacuate off the Hill.

Maybe a little conspiratorial, but it does make sense that they'd want to keep the streets clear so that the many various resources in the area can move about freely. If the order was lifted, there'd be a huge influx of traffic, which would make response very messy.

Personally, we're doing just fine. Had a great 'block party' last night on the porch with several neighbors & family, venting a lot of the stress that's been building up over the last few days. We gathered again this morning for a waffle breakfast on the porch. Suffering in style!
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 20, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
Credit: apogee
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:01pm PT
Good to hear your ok Apogee. I know your frustrations well.



Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
They are afraid of the unpredictability of this monsoonal system coming in. It's influence will last until Monday or Tuesday, hence the talk of keeping things status quo until then.
mwatsonphoto

Trad climber
los angeles, ca
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:14pm PT
Not too long ago I lived and worked at Idy Arts Academy for four years. Every summer I would head out to the Sierra I'd always worry/wonder if I'd come back to a place to live and work. Sending good thoughts for you all up there!!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:14pm PT
Are they working that western flank today? If that gets cleaned up you guys should be safe.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
Hoo-boy, Ron...we had a great scotch-enhanced political discussion last night on the porch. As the sole liberal in the group, I held my own against the strong Idy conservative representation. It was spirited, jovial, and we all expressed great thanks for the 'socialistic' government services that have protected our community so well. You would have loved it!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
HAHAAHA! Now ya know how i feel ! Sorry i couldnt be there truly..

You and i arent that different really. Not as much as washington wishes for. ;-)



Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 20, 2013 - 04:17pm PT
Apogee, I just got a new update on the map and it shows a bit of disturbing news. The sliver of fire heading SW to S. It just came over the Town Crier
site. BTW if you need "liberal" reinforcements, we are ready.

Credit: Alois
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 20, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
knew that west flank would be trouble. Fingers crossed for ya all.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jul 20, 2013 - 04:26pm PT
It's raining like crazy here in East Redlands / Crafton Hills. I hope you're getting the same up there, or at least the fuel's soaking up some of this humidity.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 20, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
Taken about 30 minutes ago:

Credit: apogee

Good to know, Alois. For all of Idyllwild's rep as a funky-groovy-artsy-fartsy town, many of the locals are about as conservative as anywhere you'll find.

(No politi-tard thread-drift intended. Apologies.)
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jul 20, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
Apogee...Artsy fartsy is good marketing for the black-hole known as the chamber of commerce..Looks like the sky is clearing up there...? Heres to favorable winds and a full glass at cocktail hour..RJ
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
I'm appr. 100 miles west of Tahquitz as i was when this started. Large
rain drops are coming down in slow frequency which could be a good sign.
I'm wondering if these were forecast or from some seeding operation.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jul 20, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
Such a drag. Even if the fire were 100% extinguished right now, the aftermath will be super grim. Climbing up there won't be the same.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jul 20, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
Even if the fire were 100% extinguished right now, the aftermath will be super grim. Climbing up there won't be the same.

You know, I remember the Cuyamaca area VERY well from my childhood (~'89-'03). I hiked Stonewall Peak a good 15 times before I was 10, and rather than trek somewhere expensive our family would camp at Paso Picacho during winters for a vacation. I stopped going perhaps just before high school.

In 2004, I visited Julian with some buddies, to camp at the old place I used to camp at. My parents told me it burned the year before and would look terrible.

It didn't look like I remembered, it looked... alive. All the old dead debris on the floor was replaced with reeds and stalks and flowers. The dead, charred limbs of oaks were being quickly overtaken by shoots and vines, eager to take advantage of their new real estate.

Some might have looked at that scene and called it grisly. Indeed, hiking Stonewall 2 years ago (for the first time since) I, for the first time, could see the summit from the parking lot. As a child, the taller Oaks obscured the peak and it seemed like a long and arduous quest to some unseen summit. Now it looks like the bump it 'actually' is.


Some is lost, that is for sure. I ran the desert divide trail mid-May and camped out on Red Tahquitz early June. I am happy to have had a chance to see those areas for the first time before the fire. But also I feel fortunate to have been alive during a change, to be able to witness a natural occurance such as this. Though caused by arson, the mountains need to shed their fur. With the possibility of so much loss of life and property, I think we got off easy, and can enjoy the mountain scenery in a completely different way.

So there's that. I know I'll miss the pristine view of what we think mountains look like, but I'm curious to run that ridge again later this winter, to reflect on the changes in life and maybe even my own.
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 20, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
Mudslides were more common after the 2003 fire across the way with
some larger size boulders coming down on the road. This is to be
expected with loss of some erosion control.

There is significant rock fall below the Northern side bases of
Tahquitz which appeared has already removed trees over 100's or
1000's of years so fire shouldn't be much of a factor to routes
there. The other sides should not have much if any route factors
either and the top is rock not suitable for fuel.

The Pirate as I remember had some closer trees, otherwise i can't
remember any other routes at Suicide that should have much if any
route factor changes. If the tree was lost in The Flower it shouldn't
change the rating unless of some root factors but i remember that
tree as also being out of fires way.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jul 20, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
The fires did not reach the crags, as I heard.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 20, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
Nearing sundown....how are things looking?
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 20, 2013 - 11:21pm PT
Another looking for info BUMP!
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 20, 2013 - 11:22pm PT
Dark gray clouds are milling around, but no rain. No brown or red clouds. All seems strangely calm. I don't hear many aircraft flying.
The source of the fire seems much more to the north of the town and in line with San Jacinto.
The air quality seems a bit better this evening.
Mind you, this is my "scientific opinion" based on visual observation from our deck...
The various websides (Idyllwild Town Crier, inciweb.org/incident/3516/) are strangely quiet without any updates.
So, Idyllwild is ok right now.
BTW The fire never came close to either Tahquitz Rock or Suicide. No routes were affected as of now, no trees destroyed anywhere near the well known routes...JFYI.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 20, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
Thanks, Alois.....hope that good news continues!!!!!!!!!!

Keeping the prayers coming for ALL involved!
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 20, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
The prolonged evacuation is getting people a little edgy...the local fire chief apparently pushed the local stores to close. The locals want to come home!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 21, 2013 - 09:11am PT
Looking for a morning report......BUMP!
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jul 21, 2013 - 11:40am PT
Like many other old (and new) climbers, I'm following this thread closely.
Tahquitz is an exceptional temple to the religion of rock climbing.
Hang in there brother fire fighters, stay safe!
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 21, 2013 - 11:53am PT
Got about 25 minutes of nice rain last night here near town- best summer thundershower yet, this season. Hopefully they got the same thing up high, smack-dab in the midst of the fire line.

Unfortunately, there was also good amount of lightning...hopefully it didn't touch something off, somewhere.

Neighbors are on their way for pancakes...gotta get cookin'!

Edit: Just heard word that the roads will be re-opened at 11 today...that'll make a bunch of people very happy....
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 21, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
Things look much better this morning. At about 4:00 AM, our western part of Idyllwild, locally called "Banana Belt" was pelted with rain. For about an hour it poured and the lightning strikes were pretty impressive too. This morning the ground is wet, clouds suggest some further possibility of rain so things look less threatening all around.
Penelope actually slept the whole night. We don't talk about it much, but there is a low level of stress associated with all of this and after a while, it starts to show here and there.
The latest fire info says it is now 49% contained, so it might not be too long before residents can return.
Good Sunday to all of you. Alois.
donsut

Mountain climber
Idyllwild, CA
Jul 21, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
Good news from the mesonet sensor...Mother nature to the rescue!!!

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?sid=MSJC1&table=1&banner=off
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 21, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
Thanks, Alois.....GREEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAATTTTTT news!!!!!!!!!!!
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 21, 2013 - 12:49pm PT
Pen and I just spend a bit of the morning looking at the latest fire maps.

There are plenty of bad news regarding the forest and the mountains.

BUT


We don't think Tahquitz or Suicide were touched.

The South Ridge trail might not be affected much. Tahquitz Peak is ok, the rocky ridge from Tahquitz Rock to Tahquitz Peak did not burn.

Marion Mountain seems to be ok.

Summit of San Jacinto seems ok.

Cornell, Miller and Folly Peaks seem ok.

Jean Mountain seems ok.

Both Marion and Fuller Ridge trails did not burn.

The Saddle was affected, so going from Humber Park to San Jacinto, one might encounter burned areas.

All in all, we are happy that at least some of the beautiful places in our local mountains still remain in good condition to hike, run and scramble on.


guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 21, 2013 - 01:00pm PT
Good news Alois.

Maybe this will have a better than hoped for ending.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 21, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
O think you all can thank the fire gawds for sparing the towns. All in all a lucky incident, truly..
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 21, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
Damn, best of luck. As a youngster we drove throw Idyllwild on our way to relatives and such.

I have never climbed at T&S, though the article (Mountain, Summit, some mag, ???) showing Tobin Sorenson climbing (I think a 10c route) in the early 1970s always caught my imagination. I want to climb there some day.

I truly hope the damaged is limited, to families, firefighters and emergency workers, the animals and of course, the terrain.

Remember what Foresta used to be like? Wooded, now a moonscape, but things are growing back. Nature does that, as we all know. But Foresta (Yosemite) was beautiful prior to the fire. Will it ever be the same again?

Same thing with the Mountain Fire, sure would have been nice to see the area before hand, hope I'll get there one day and climb, but that is of little importance.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 21, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
The latest at 10:00 on Town Crier (Idyllwild newspaper) Web Site:

10:02 A.M. UPDATE: You will need a permit to get back into Idyllwild. Permits will be issued after 11 a.m. today. Permitting stations are at Banning High School, USFS Cranston Guard Station and Lake Hemet. You will need proof of residence or employment to get a permit. You will need a permit to get past the road closure. The road closures stay in effect until after 11 p.m. today. Residents, business owners or employees will be permitted back in. There will be continuance law enforcement presence in Idyllwild. No structural damage or property damage in Idyllwild and Pine Cove. But there will be plenty of fire equipment remaining so be cautious when driving. Some residents might find some of the stuff outside their home rearranged. This was done by fire personnel as a precaution in case the fire came into Idyllwild.
John M

climber
Jul 21, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
From inciweb.. 1.5 inches of rain at the palm springs aerial tramway. Thats great.

http://inciweb.org/incident/3516/

The anticipated rain and thunderstorms materialized early morning, brining 1.5 inches of rain as measured at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. With diminished fire activity, fire crews continued to work towards further containment through line construction particularly along the east side towards Palm Springs. Although conditions were hazardous and some crews were taken off the line due to severe weather, firefighters continue to fight the fire aggressively where possible. Today’s priority for fire operations is focused at the northern most part of the fire with crews at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway constructing direct hand line at the fire’s edge to reduce the threat to Idyllwild and surrounding communities.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and Mount San Jacinto State Park are currently closed because of unhealthy air quality. Fire crews will be working around the Aerial Tramway to prepare structural defense preparations.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:03pm PT
'Permit' system...I wonder what the rationale is for that.

I'd love to know some of the underlying dynamics that brought the kinds of management decisions that occurred here in the last few days. Outwardly, some of them make you scratch your head wondering, and there's buzz that local vs. Fed politics were at play, but it's hard to know for sure.

In any case, it's gonna be a bit crazy out there today...forecasts for more thundershowers to 'welcome' the returning residents.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:05pm PT
Seems a bit odd to me how the towns have been handled. Especially the hampering of the local stores. Ive not seen that too much in the past.

Safety concerns should take priority regardless of inconveniences though.
HighGravity

Trad climber
Southern California
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
The permits are so the residence can get back into town without others coming in to congest the roads or loot from properties. You've got a town of around 6,500 residence who want to get home via two small mountain roads. The last thing they need is some jackwagon trying to see fire damage crashing their car and causing more delays for these people to get home.

Edit: if people want to help the town, they should make a trip up this weekend, spend some cash, have some lunch, etc.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
Changing Weather: Rain is forecasted to continue throughout the day with rain increasing and thunderstorms possibly developing in the afternoon. Thunderstorms could bring strong downdraft winds and lightning. A flash flood watch is in place and firefighters remain alert to the changing weather conditions.

Hopefully this fire will now be in retreat.

Equipment on-Scene:
2,678 firefighters, including 89 engines, 16 helicopters, 10 fixed wing aircraft, including two DC-10s (Tanker 910 and 911), 68 hand-crews, 28 water-tenders, and 14 dozers.
Down a few hundred firefighters from yesterday evening.
A well deserved rest.
Increase in hand crews. They're probably patrolling the lines, putting out "smokes" and keeping the fire contained.
2 DC-10s! That's all there are. 12,000 gallons of retardant dropped in 8 seconds.

Could have been a lot worse. I'm pleased that the residents will have some relief from their anxiety.
John M

climber
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
A permit just might be a way for them to have a chance to ask people to not get in the way. Go home and don't go driving around doing the looky loo.. They could do that at the check point, but then that would make the check point go slower. Making everyone get a permit keeps the lookyloos out, and keeps the check point moving. If this thing blows up again, then too many people on the road could hinder the response.

I have seen how quickly a fire can blow up. About 25 years ago there was a fire near Fillmore Ca. It burned through one of the canyons near town. There are a couple of squeeze points in that canyon where one car accident could have held up the fire response. For some homes, a 5 minute delay would have meant a lost home. That fire moved crazy fast. If too many people delay leaving to the last minute, then you can have road jams.

On that fire I was helping the guy who maintained the cities water wells. We ended up driving through a wall of fire because the fire shifted and the winds went from 10 mph to 50 mph and the fire tore through the side canyon we were in. The fire peeled the paint off the sides of his vehicle. What saved us was a fire crew at the end of the road who cooled us down with a fire hose. I was on the radio as my friend drove telling dispatch that we were in trouble. The fire crew got to the road we came out about one minute before we did. Their quick action on a hose saved our skins. One car in the way and we might have been toast.

Most people can respond well. but all it takes is one fool to screw things up. And we all know just how many unthinking fools there are out there. So thats why governments have to respond with more caution then most people would like.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
"You've got a town of around 6,500 residence..."


Man, the media coverage of this event was pretty bad. The amount of misinformation and hyperbole was really unbelievable.

ABC/Channel 7 described this as the 'desert town of Idyllwild', and that 6500 people had been evacuated. Umm....even if you include Alandale/Pine Cove/Idyllwild/Mtn Center, that's only about 4000 people total. Only the Idyllwild area was evacuated, which is maybe 2000 people.

One well-known, longtime local, Bob Baker, was renamed 'Bob Parker' by ABC/7, in spite of his repeated clarifications. We teased him mercilessly about his new alter-ego.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
The "media" Apogee, has been useless for quite some time. They dont know acres/sq miles formulas either lol! What each TV station needs is an ex firefighter to cover these events rather than some boob they trained all of three hours to "cover" fires.
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Pen and I read the Internet updates from Town Crier, the local Idyllwild newspaper which was open and reporting on the crisis. We think they did fantastic job covering and reporting on the fire. They were on the ball throughout all of this, they were/are accurate and timely. Thank you Town Crier, thanks Becky and Jack Clark...
BeeHay

Trad climber
San Diego CA
Jul 21, 2013 - 02:51pm PT
Guy on NPR this morning kept calling it "Idyllwood".

You local boys really have been stressed haven't you, or did all the womenfolk leave the hill?


BH
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 21, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
Here are some recent USFS Active Fire Mapping data ( partially from satellites that correlate precise infrared and other data readings ).
The top photo shows a flare -up in red that started over the last 12+ hrs.
The bottom photo shows that area downgraded to orange at the 12 pm update.
The green icon east of town is Tahquitz Peak.( from that icon track to 10 o'clock for Lily Rock and continue across the valley in direct line to Suicide Rock)

Overall they show the extent of the fire damage throughout the area. When conditions permit they will release detailed photo maps of the area to further confirm the affected areas.

Credit: Ward Trotter


Credit: Ward Trotter

Once again ,kudos to the crews that put themselves in harms way on this.
Idyllwild-- you dodged a big bullet.

I look forward to climbing Tahquitz on Aug. 1
See ya.


Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 21, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
BTW during one of the more active phases this was how close the fire got to Suicide and Humber Park a couple days ago:
Note: these are photos of that area on a normal day ,sometime probably in the last year ,with the current fire data superimposed

Credit: Ward Trotter


Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 21, 2013 - 08:18pm PT
Things still staying mellow down there?
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 21, 2013 - 09:11pm PT
People are returning to the town in droves.
It has rained late in the afternoon, now it's foggy and cloudy, looks to me like a good weather to kill the fire for good.
Pen and I drove up to Humber Park just before noon, there is absolutely no sign of fire in the whole alpine cirque between Suicide and Tahquitz. The North Draw, the area left (climber's left) of Tahquitz, was spared too. If you drive around the town, there are just no visible signs of the fire which is fantastic.

I think this saga is more or less over. We dodged a cannon ball...
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 21, 2013 - 09:14pm PT
Cheers for ma nature. Nothing like it to settle the dust. Glad to hear no issues with safety of the crews. You all did indeed dodge the ball..
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 22, 2013 - 05:47am PT
Best wishes to all - firefighters, residents, etc, and yes I agree with Alois, the Town Crier is who I mainly followed from here in Ireland. Some of us journalists are not that bad (and then, there sure are a lot of dolts in the profession - and yes it is a profession, but full of dimwits, I know I have worked with them, could even be one myself).

I've always wanted to climb at T&S. Hopefully, someday, fingers crossed, I will.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Jul 22, 2013 - 11:09am PT
Good photo sent yesterday from my former boss, Gordon Rowley of the Angeles NF. The email said: "C130 near Suicide Rock SBNF". Clearly not Suicide in the photo (Antsell ?) but looks like it spotted pretty close to the crags. Thanks for the up-dates everyone. Best wishes to all.
Title says: "C130 near Suicide Rock, SBNF"
Title says: "C130 near Suicide Rock, SBNF"
Credit: KL
Deekaid

climber
Jul 22, 2013 - 11:23am PT
What was the final determination of cause? I saw conflicting info and stopped looking.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 22, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Didn't know there were any ANG wings with J models.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 22, 2013 - 11:59am PT
There's no official word on the cause as yet, but the local buzz is that it was an electrical pump on a well at a ranch near Mountain Center that shorted out, causing the initial fire. There's no talk of arson.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 22, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
Hope that baby has laid down today for ya all.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jul 22, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
The email said: "C130 near Suicide Rock SBNF".

That's actually Antsell rock, on the desert divide. The summit is class 3, and it's an amazingly gorgeous peak along the coolest hiking ridge south of the sierras (NO JOKE!). The trail curves around the ridge, being on the west side of the ridge before the rocky buttress then dropping off to the east side to skirt it. Wonder what it'll look like now...
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 22, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Cannonball missed......this time.

The clock has restarted. As posted elsewhere, the countdown, from 10-20 years, has now started.

Question: are the affected people now going to demand reasonable and adequate preventive measures to forestall the next conflagration? Or are they going to put themselves at the mercy of weather, again, should they live so long?

I am certainly a clean air advocate. However, the regional air quality management groups are emerging in many areas of Ca as the enemy of preventative prescriptive burns.

The burning requirements are SO restrictive, that they effectively block burning most of the time. What they consistently fail to consider is the alternative.....the massive fires that will result if smaller fires do not occur. Eliminating fire is NOT an option.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 22, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
These photos are from July 17:

Credit: Wu- USFS


Credit: Pluckett- BLM

Credit: Mike Lindberry
John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
Jul 22, 2013 - 04:30pm PT
thx to firefighters for saving it all (and my vacation week after next) :-)
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 22, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
Question: are the affected people now going to demand reasonable and adequate preventive measures to forestall the next conflagration? Or are they going to put themselves at the mercy of weather, again, should they live so long?
What is it that they are not doing that they could be? I'm not familiar with whatever yard clearing policies they may have up there. I have a place where they now monitor and ticket to see if your lot has been cleared to 100 ft. of the structure, which is usually done by burning or hauling away the detritus. However, in the same community, there is a push for "thinning", which I see as double speak for logging, which would create some cash for the community but do nothing to prevent or limit the scope of a fire should one pass thru the town itself.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 22, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
The same thinning procedures that were applied just outside the wilderness boundary, in Humber park itself and in town should be executed all the way up to the ridge and then all the way to the burn line.

After that controlled burns would be effective.

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 22, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
Growing up in Saranap (unincorporated between Lafayette and Walnut Creek), we had to go through 'weed' abatement every year (we had an acre of land). The county (Contra Costa) would come by every year and say "you cut it or we will and charge you".

And we always did, my mom did not like the idea of having to pay for it when she had three sons, and for a couple of years we had goats to eat the grass (and they ate just about everything else that was green, stripping our willow and cherry trees, but I love goats, howdy Chaz, how are your goats?).

I am surprised that some areas like Idyllwild and other rural areas in California do not have similar requirements. Maybe they do and I just don't know. So I may be speculating out of my arse.

But as an homeowner (I am not) I'd think clearing the land around your house would make sense. I am not judging anybody. Just wondering.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 22, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
Here in Carson, the BLM uses sheep to chew a fuel brake around the SW quarter of town on a hill known to attract lightning strikes. Fairly effective at reducing fuels as the sheep leave it purt near moon- scaped.

Some of the areas that were chained in the pine nuts in the late 60s/early 70s is now wildlife magnets in the mono culture of that range.
Logging,, fire wood and other methods of treatments are available. Just NOT in wilderness areas.



PS,, WICKED twin columns picture above! They are generating their own direction of force.. I can almost smell it.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 22, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
Just want to check in to say that I'm so relieved that such a huge fire missed you Idyllwilders.

And Ward Trotter, those are some fine pix, too. Impressive array of pumper trucks there. Thanks for posting them.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 22, 2013 - 05:39pm PT
Yeah Ron, sheep... almost as stupid as turkeys (I worked on a ranch for a laboratory, we bled sheep, rabbits, a pony, chickens, not the best part of my life, but we were as humane as could be, and I was studying medicine and the bloods of the animals were used for testing for pregnancy and other medical conditions, all the animals were treated with humane conditions, but the sheep, they would just go out in the pasture and die, not feisty like goats).

Sheep can eat up a moon-scape like you mention. And they tend not to have a will to live. We never "overbled" them, we kept it within bounds of legal and humane requirements by law (the company was based out of Danville, CA, the farm/ranch, outside of Martinez). The animals were treated as best as possible and we had very little loss of all of the creatures... I made sure of that in my short time there.

I look back and wonder. (I love animals and have worked for them - supporting animal charities, donating my time to cleaning animals from oil spills in SF Bay, working for vets in high school and two summer schools of vet aide courses and training, but some people like PETA probably would want to throw paint on me for my very legal and humane lab work. I was working in a lab and ranch and we were humane as could be... no difference than working at a blood bank).

Back to the topic, using animals to clear the land for firebreaks - goats are better IMO.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 22, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
hey there say, all... just wanted to check and see how everyone is doing...

it seems like things are better?
i can't really tell and cannot go back to check all this...


hopefull--it sounds better from this bit that i read...
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 22, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
Just NOT in wilderness areas.

Therein lies the rub.

The wilderness boundary needs to be redrawn at the ridgelines above town where it makes sense.

I've seen this happen before.

Domelands was a place of incredible beauty when the Cannels ranched it, logged it and took care of it.

Then they were bought out and it declared "wilderness". 30 years or so of neglect later it was a brushy, choked and unhealthy forest that one day exploded.

It's now a depressing moonscape and will continue to be so for at least another couple of generations.

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 22, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
Oh no TGT, not Domelands, I always wanted to climb there. I'll google pix of the place, is it that bad?


EDIT

I am a die-hard liberal (though some of my training has contradicted that), but I do not even know who the Cannels are. But sometimes, as history has shown, those who seem to be raping the land, SOME mind you, are actually protecting it, though probably for their own means and wealth.

Still, now I am going to sound like a libertarian or tea partier, and I am NOT, the government can mess things up. Checks and balances in a democracy include the natural resources of the nation.

That said, in the long term I'd rather see the govt take care of America's lands that the greedy corporations.

Gawd, have I hijacked this thread?

Again, as mentioned earlier, best wishes to the people, residents, firefighters and all of this fire.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 22, 2013 - 06:13pm PT
I was back into Bart a couple of years ago with Todd, Epperson, Reesa and Tucker ten years or so post fire.

It was about the most depressing hike I've ever been on.

It was a hot fire and there are few signs of recovery even after ten years or so.

Didn't go up to the Fist or the Knuckles, but I'll bet they got the same kind of damage Elephant rock did in the same fire year.

It didn't get to the base of Bart though.

To your point, there's the whole notion of the "Tragedy of the Commons" that's at least a few hundred years old.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jul 22, 2013 - 06:19pm PT
Since you guys like the photos here are a few more from last week:

Firefighters on Palm Springs Tram
Firefighters on Palm Springs Tram
Credit: Chatham- desert sun


Credit: USAF

Credit: Ed Sherman

Credit: Sam Wu

Credit: Michelle Puckett

Arrowhead Hotshot member sharpening saw
Arrowhead Hotshot member sharpening saw
Credit: Chatham

Credit: Chatham
Credit: Chatham

Credit: Chatham
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 22, 2013 - 06:22pm PT
There are many fires i was on and was then involved in the rehab of. Many are looking quite different today and rather NICE some 30 plus yrs later.
Ive found the most important key is QUICK REHAB, like fall planting using that great ash to help regenerate.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Jul 22, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
Some good photos here:

http://www.pe.com/photos/photos-news/20130722-lake-hemet-firefighters-head-home-as-do-residents.ece

The owners of the Lake Hemet market are friends of our family:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/hemet/hemet-headlines-index/20130720-mountain-fire-lake-hemet-market-in-center-of-activity.ece
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 22, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
Domelands was a place of incredible beauty when the Cannels ranched it, logged it and took care of it.

Then they were bought out and it declared "wilderness". 30 years or so of neglect later it was a brushy, choked and unhealthy forest that one day exploded.
I understand your basic point, which, if I understand it correctly, is that private enterprise can sometimes can do a better job of management than the government. However, I think your interpretation of the Cannels having done a superb job can be misleading. First, forestry isn't necessarily management, clearing brush, etc.; it's just cutting down the biggest trees and leaving a bunch of flammable remnants on the ground when you're done. Second, they may not necessarily have had to contend with the same conditions, climate, etc., that we have today. Simply because they haven't had a significant conflagration isn't evidence that they were good caretakers. It could simply be evidence that they were lucky. If you start with the premise that forests were pristine by the time man arrived, I think it's a tough argument to make that man is suddenly needed to sustain a "healthy" forest.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 22, 2013 - 06:46pm PT
Fat Dad,, Forests have ONLY three ways to go in securing treatments. Wildfire, insect/disease or logging/ clearing/ burning.

That is it. It WILL BE 1 of the 3 to dominate any given stand.

None were meant to stagnate. And we interrupted fire at the turn of the century . Now fires DO NOT mimic those natural burns of the past due to fule loads built in an un natural protected stand. There are only small windows of weather that can mimic natural burns of the past each year.. So its either treat it or loose it eventually.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 22, 2013 - 07:16pm PT
it's just cutting down the biggest trees and leaving a bunch of flammable remnants on the ground when you're done.

That's not how it's done. Especially if you have a financial stake in the outcome.

Do you think all those slash piles that used to dot the landscape around the Needles years ago piled themselves?

loggers did that.

That's another area that's going to incinerate sooner or later now that logging and responsible management has been forced to a stop.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 22, 2013 - 08:23pm PT
Idyllwild.  The bacon got saved!  Yip-yip-yipeeee!
Idyllwild. The bacon got saved! Yip-yip-yipeeee!
Credit: mouse from merced
Hemos superado el fuego con la gracia de Dios!
The forest somewhere along Hwy 243 into Idyllwild from Banning.
The forest somewhere along Hwy 243 into Idyllwild from Banning.
Credit: mouse from merced
Whew!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 22, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
Then they were bought out and it declared "wilderness". 30 years or so of neglect later it was a brushy, choked and unhealthy forest that one day exploded.

I remember thinking ten years or so ago while camped near saddle junction that controlled burns were needed in the SJ wilderness. Not the conventional type, but basically controlled bon fires where the dead wood is marshalled to "fire pits". After the bon fire is done, hit it with an air drop or two to kill the coals. Of course it would have been a monumental task to have any real effect. But looking at the damage and expenditures in the last week, maybe not so far fetched.
Psilocyborg

climber
Jul 22, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
the backside out by caramba, to red tahquitz, to saddle junction is extremely overloaded with fuel
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 22, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
I remember thinking ten years or so ago while camped near saddle junction that controlled burns were needed in the SJ wilderness. Not the conventional type, but basically controlled bon fires where the dead wood is marshaled to "fire pits"

that's exactly what was happening in the S Sierra with the logging. The price of taking some mature stems was policing up the area and clearing out the brush.

The reason you saw the slash piles all summer was that they waited till late fall, just before the first snowfall to burn them.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 23, 2013 - 02:40am PT
What is it that they are not doing that they could be? I'm not familiar with whatever yard clearing policies they may have up there. I have a place where they now monitor and ticket to see if your lot has been cleared to 100 ft. of the structure, which is usually done by burning or hauling away the detritus. However, in the same community, there is a push for "thinning", which I see as double speak for logging, which would create some cash for the community but do nothing to prevent or limit the scope of a fire should one pass thru the town itself.

Good question.

I wasn't so much talking about defensible space, although that should be a priority in any urban/wildland space. It makes such a difference in safety for the firemen, that it should be a requirement for insurance, IMHO.

I'm really talking about the forest, itself.

Most mature trees have some fire resistance---but not from a catastrophic-level fire event. Everything burns down.

If you look at most of the forests in Ca, you will see that they are FAR too dense. Way too many trees growing. They are competing for nutrients, water, sunlight. It means that ALL the trees are stressed, and less than healthy. This is because the area is not exposed to regular small natural fires, which would burn out the small stuff.

In some areas where the dominant climax species requires fire for the cones to open or germination, you have invasion of trash species, like the lodgepoles invading the red fir stands.

The biggest problem that I hear about (I volunteer as a wilderness ranger in the Sierra NF), from those who would allow more fire, and use it as a tool, is that the various Air Quality Boards in different regions PROHIBIT any burning except on the absolute clearest days. When you factor in the requirement for moisture in the fuel, wind conditions, temperatures, etc, it means that there are VERY VERY few days when it can take place.

A few years back, SEKI was sued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District for burning when they said they could not. So we have two gov't agencies, spending tax dollars suing each other in court?

The impact of a major fire is terrible, not only on the trees and the trails, but on the animals/birds in the area, as well. Much smaller fires give them a chance for relocation and survival.
Gal

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
Jul 23, 2013 - 02:44am PT
Ward, I liked your pics.
Pie

Trad climber
So-Cal
Jul 23, 2013 - 03:08am PT
When can we climb there again? Any ideas?
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Jul 23, 2013 - 04:59am PT
why don't they just let those suckers burn? cheaper, safer, and prevents future fires, just build your house out of bricks,

Indians knew more about fire than we do,

Halon? hope not, gotta go for the PhostrEx,

i say this as i eat cereal engineered by the evil Monsanto company, did your know that Justice Thomas was a big wig at monsanto?

how many lawsuits does monsanto lose? none.

head of the EPA for the pacific northwest? ex monsanto exec,

leader in lobby money? monsanto,

worst US disaster? Texas City, monsanto again,
what was the question?


i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Jul 23, 2013 - 05:08am PT
^isn't the policy (at least on FS lands) to let naturally started fires burn (other than structure protection) and suppress man-caused fires?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 23, 2013 - 10:19am PT
None were meant to stagnate. And we interrupted fire at the turn of the century . Now fires DO NOT mimic those natural burns of the past due to fule loads built in an un natural protected stand. There are only small windows of weather that can mimic natural burns of the past each year.. So its either treat it or loose it eventually.

Lose what?

At the end of the day, the forest will grow back if allowed to naturally progress. I don't buy the conventional wisdom that suggests these big wildfires are so hot as to literally leave behind scorched, infertile ground. I've seen it play out too many times, now. Seen it first hand... the ecosystem returns and does so in a fairly well understood progression. It IS part of the fire cycle.

The things that might prevent the forest from coming back? Climate change or HAS changed. Or humans prevent it directly by building or seeding one species of tree (penny pine plantations).

Ron in your experience - these 'rehab' efforts you speak of: do foresters seed for the ecosystem, or do they favor the lumber man (multi-species vs cash crop)?

DMT
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 23, 2013 - 11:06am PT
Dingus,

look at it this way: These huge uncontrolled fires burn everything in their path, ok?

But say you are talking about a forest consisting of a climax species of red fir, or sugar pine, or jeffrey pine. A 100 foot tree, depending upon elevation, is several hundred years old.

I've often read and heard that a natural fire cycle is less than 20 years. So the bigger trees are able to survive that, and keep growing, and have been through many fire cycles.

But not if the regular small fires have been replaced by massive ones of enormous heat, which comes through every 50 years.

There will be NO trees older than 50 years.

The shade that a larger tree generates prevents the growth of invasive species. With less shade, and without smaller fires to clean them out, invasives have a chance to become established in forests that would naturally have kept them out.

The outfall of that is that the natural "pure" stands of old growth forest is being replaced by mixed forests that are not natural.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 23, 2013 - 11:10am PT
^isn't the policy (at least on FS lands) to let naturally started fires burn (other than structure protection) and suppress man-caused fires?

Not so simple. This is left to each forest to determine. On the Sierra NF, where I work, there is considerable tension over this. The Wilderness guys want to let fires burn in wilderness. The fire guys want to put everything out. That is a constant battle.

Outside of wilderness, everything gets put out.
ALL human caused fires get put out, no matter where they are.
10b4me

Ice climber
Middle-of-Nowhere, Arizona
Jul 23, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Another example of an invasive species, as the result of fire, is the poodle bush. That thing has taken over the burned areas in the Angeles National Forest. Oh, and if you contact it, the results are similar to the effects of poison oak.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 23, 2013 - 11:59am PT
Gold rush clear cutting is not the same as a wild fire.

Sure wish I could get a dialogue and not rhetoric.

Oh well.

DMT
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 23, 2013 - 12:03pm PT
fer shyts sake rhetoric??

really?


oh well.



edit: ALL RHETORIC removed.......
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 23, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
Stick to the party line. Ignore penny pine plantation rehab question. Citation of strict 20-year fire cycle, as if this were something programmed into nature. Treating all forests the same. Converting natural forests (regardless of burn status) to logging plantations....

Rhetoric.

DMT
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 23, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
ron is a bit over the top in the one-size-fits-all rhetoric, but there is a lot of forest in cali (and elsewhere in the west) where fire suppression or logging are the only viable alternatives.

in some places, the fuel load is so high, and the infrastructure and topography so messy, that no one trusts control burning. san jacinto is probably one of those areas. and the really sad thing is that no one i know in forest science believes that the big pines will come back after the next big fire. it's too warm now, and the fires are going to be too hot and too fierce. when the big pine forests burn in much of socal and the southern sierra, they are likely to ge replaced with cedar and oak scrub.

that forest up there is the one where i first studied forestry and game management. it's been very sad watching it over the last twenty years. and it is one of the places where a lot of folks in fire science think that suppression or mechanical thinning are about the only options. i don't know the numbers, but i'd hazard a guess that selective logging there would have to be heavily subsidized.

a good deal of the logging in the sierra is pretty well done, especially in contrast to the clearcut/plantation practices still popular in the pacific nw. some of the work along 108 has been really nice. and control burning has obviously helped a lot up there.

george gruell's re-photo project on the sierra is worth owning and reading.

http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Sierra-Nevada-Forests-Interpretation/dp/0878424466

gruell's position on burning is a bit different from ron's. he argues that we need to do a whole lot more. and he's probably correct, although control burns are always risky, and the electorate doesn't understand fire science, doesn't want to, and prefers the unknown risk of coniferous time bombs to the inconvenience of a smoky weekend.
x15x15

climber
Jul 23, 2013 - 12:31pm PT
cool... the piss fest here too...

Anyways, here are a couple of young climbers who are so happy to be back at the grandparents' house.
so happy to see trees and rock and no fire scar...
so happy to see trees and rock and no fire scar...
Credit: x15x15
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 23, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
KLK,, that ISNT an accurate summary of what i had said. Up thread i mention burns and the SMALL window of weather afforded to do those. I also mentioned alternatives like sheep, chaining and others. And i NEVER said one fits all of anything. I SAID that each stand is different and that nature is a complex beast.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 23, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Thanks klk. The artifact summit forests of the basin and range country seem quite unique to me. I can understand the suppression argument, there.

I can also get the suppression argument for that city in the forest, South Lake Tahoe.

But at the end of the ... period? Those forests are going to burn, sooner or later. The notion that huge wildfires did not occur prior to modern fire suppression just doesn't hold water with me. The notion that a gioven patch of forest would burn 'every 20 years'? Ludicrous.

Fuel built up in the past without any help from people. Now it could be those artifact forests are doomed because of the climate change over the past 5000 years.

I would really like to steer the discussion toward the rehab idea of burnt lands - what is reseeded (native ecosystem? Single species logging plantation? what?), and how. Any takers?

DMT
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jul 23, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Nothing to offer Dingus, other than ask another question.

What happened at Phantom Spires after that area burned? Was it left to its own devices, or managed? I'm assuming it was left alone.

I'm curious too.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 23, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
Credit: Ron Anderson


I was getting into that, but since ive nothing but rhetoric to offer ill just give you a pic (worth a thousand words) of me teaching some "rehab" techniques..
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 23, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
^^^ Answer: single species tree plantations. US Forest Service servicing the private logging industry. Got it.

DMT
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 23, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
whatever u say..
x15x15

climber
Jul 23, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Happy to still have the forest after the fire.
Happy to still have the forest after the fire.
Credit: x15x15

obviously, with the tone of the discussion, i'm stoked we don't have to rehab around lily rock, or suicide... seems its a volatile topic ready to explode into the flames of stupidtaco hell!!!
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 23, 2013 - 03:19pm PT
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Columbian_savannas_of_North_America

At low altitudes in the Rocky Mountain region, large areas of Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir had an open park-like structure until the 1900s. In California's Sierra Nevada area, frequent fires kept clear the understory of stands of both Ponderosa pines and giant Sequoia.[9]
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jul 23, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
Drift...

Dingus, have you ever been to the "Hoist Ridge" down below the Generals Hwy
right at the Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP boundry???

All the Giants were cut down, plantation style pine trees were planted and even those cant survive because of the low elevation and the heat associated with that.

The giant stumps are still there, but no ferns, and its hot and covered with Manzinita (sp?) hard to believe that it was very much like the Big Tree part of Sequoia at one time.

___

I am very happy that the forrest above Humber Park didn't burn and that the rains came when they did.

Answer to prayers.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 23, 2013 - 07:04pm PT
Sequoias are artifact trees too, mostly selected out due to climate change. Only survive in niche pockets. I can see, if you wipe out the whole niche, it won't come back. Same effect as clear cutting a mountain top in the basin and range country.

Point is, the climate had already changed from ideal. Clear cutting the forest did not change the climate. Site moisture, I get. Climate change? No. Not from cutting down a grove of sequoia.

DMT
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 23, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
hey there say, x15x15, oh my... i am so glad to hear that these grandkids are able to come back and enjoy an area they love...

thank you for sharing 'life behind the scenes' of all this...


i know a life-time friend of mine, whose sister lives NEAR some forest in the boulder creek, think it is, area, of middle calif, and she worries as well as the family themselves, about what they'd do, if faced with sudden fires, there...

thanks again...


also, ps:
i have not clue about to burn, or not burn, or whatever the recent discussion is, :( hope it gets a bit smoother for all the participants, :)


hope the fire season settles soon... i highly respect those that fight these things, :O


will try to go back and see how everyone did, through this...
i just can't right now, :(
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 23, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
hey there say, dave kox... thanks for sharing about your friends and the link...


oh my, there is so much to learn about what, where, when, etc, as to burn or not to burn...

hard stuff to fully get a handle on, i reckon??
thanks for all the shares folks...


TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jul 23, 2013 - 07:43pm PT
http://fireaviation.com/2013/07/19/updates-on-seven-fire-aviation-topics/
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jul 23, 2013 - 08:51pm PT
I’m no fire expert, and certainly have not fought one (as many here have.) But I did follow, and have continued to observe the aftermath of the Station Fire, which burned in the San Gabriels in 2009. While the fire was burning, crews which were accessing the southern perimeter of the fire via fire roads which originate in Monrovia Canyon Park and elsewhere around here were often found resting and refreshing or preparing to deploy both in the park and sometimes at the local Pavilions Market. I talked to these guys pretty frequently, and what I learned about the fire, and later saw for myself after it was over, was that in the steep canyons on the north facing sides the fire created vicious updrafts which created intense heat which burned the large stands of huge oaks and old growth fir to dust. Not even a trace of the stumps could be found after the fire. These were the finest forests in this part of these mountains, and due to an unusually hot fire they are gone, probably forever.
Then came the rainy season and the erosion and slides. Today the fire roads and trails I hike are mostly repaired, and there are various grasses and bushes getting a foothold in the canyons, but the big old forest really took a hit. Of course these north side areas cannot be seen without quite a hike so most people around here don’t have a clue what was lost…
All I am trying to say is that when terrain, weather and fuel come together to create a super-hot fire the landscape can be altered forever.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 23, 2013 - 09:26pm PT
At the end of the day, the forest will grow back if allowed to naturally progress. I don't buy the conventional wisdom that suggests these big wildfires are so hot as to literally leave behind scorched, infertile ground. I've seen it play out too many times, now. Seen it first hand... the ecosystem returns and does so in a fairly well understood progression. It IS part of the fire cycle.

Haven't seen the damage first hand, but this may be a different story where it is actually scorched earth; there was just so much fuel up there. It would be interesting to see some photos of the aftermath. Anybody have any?

"At the end of the day"? Maybe in a couple of hundred years. I guess the upside is that several million pine bark beetles got the chop.

edit: in less arid ecosystems I would agree with you.
jstan

climber
Jul 23, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
As I understand it trees with enough access to water have the sap needed to restrict pine beetle entry. If we go so far as to assume this is valid, then severe pine beetle kill may mean conditions are too arid. And if they are too arid for the function of a mature tree with a developed root system, what challenges face a seedling?

This is why I posted about the need to change the way we use old growth forests. While in grade school a century ago, I read that Germans go into the Black Forest, cut some of the under story and manually carry the debris out. To protect the mature trees and manage new growth. There is much new knowledge about fire behavior and there is a lot of knowledge about what trees require. May be this knowledge needs to be combined with the muscles of those who love their forests.

Here.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jul 24, 2013 - 01:16am PT
I'm glad that this fire was stopped before too many homes burned or people were hurt or killed.

DMT wrote:

"But at the end of the ... period? Those forests are going to burn, sooner or later. The notion that huge wildfires did not occur prior to modern fire suppression just doesn't hold water with me. The notion that a gioven patch of forest would burn 'every 20 years'? Ludicrous."


Anyone interested in fire history in Western forests should read some of the research done by professor Walter Covington from Northern Arizona University. In the Ponderosa Pine forests of northern AZ, one of the most lightning rich areas of the country, research suggests that most all of the land burned with regularity, through low intensity ground fires, every 5-20 years. (Simply put, cattle grazing and fire suppression and human settlement have removed much of the grasses which carry fires). In contrast, Dr. William Baker from University of Wyoming suggests that large scale, high intensity fires (such as we are seeing today) were not uncommon in the past.

I am not a forest scientist, but have spent many years of my life in pursuit of wildland firefighting. I am not sure there are any simple solutions or one model fits all forests, but I do know that if the climate continues to warm, we will see more intense, longer lasting fire seasons.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 24, 2013 - 01:19am PT
http://www.fs.fed.us/publications/policy-analysis/fire-and-fuels-position-paper.pdf
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 24, 2013 - 10:07am PT
The Town Crier had some (online) text and photos of the Mountain Fire "city". Impressive the resources put in to fight this fire. A cafeteria/cantina, temporary accommodation, showers, toilets, a medical team, - like a little town. Pix of personnel in lines waiting for food, pix of the facilities that were/are put in place, etc.

Impressive, logistics wise, personnel wise and just plain sensible.

EDIT

TGT, that link to the Fire Aviation interview about the 747 was very interesting and very informative. TFPU.
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
//They write
http://www.fs.fed.us/publications/policy-analysis/fire-and-fuels-position-paper.pdf

In the arid West, where moisture is too scarce to support fungal decay, fire is the
primary mechanism for removing dead trees and limbs from the forest floor.

//I write
They were being removed by private funding prior to arson reported.

//They write
knowledge to develop new methods to utilize and market small diameter trees and other
fuels. For example, small diameter trees, which were formerly unmerchantable, can be
processed into flooring or other marketable products, or used in their round form in
other structures. Fine fuels, also called small woody biomass, are being used in
small-scale community renewable energy systems. EAP grants are funding rural
community-based projects directly and indirectly for hazardous fuel reduction as
ecosystem restoration.

//I write
Counting on that for disposal and other than perhaps pocket change proved to be a
failure in 2003-2004 and most of the lumber was not suitable for purchase and
use as lumber by the lumber companies. Those systems did and probably still do
pollute more than larger oil burning systems due to the oil burned during
transport to where it's able to be refined further and or used.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 24, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
"I read that Germans go into the Black Forest, cut some of the under story and manually carry the debris out. "

This process was done all along Hwy 74 & 243 about 5-6 years ago, in an effort to create a barrier, and to reduce 'ladder' fuels that would ignite the tree canopies. It took months, was very expensive, and 6 years later...the chaparral has returned to nearly half it's original size.

Theoretically, this seems to be a useful strategy, but it doesn't seem to be a very practical solution.
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 03:27pm PT
Log incinerator's jam.

It was the most productive disposal iv'e watched. However
burning should probably not be free for contractors, they
should probably be paying dump fees as with green waste.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 24, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
Theoretically, this seems to be a useful strategy, but it doesn't seem to be a very practical solution.
Haven't read this thread in a while but I'm not sure I agree with this. If the chaparral has reached half its original height in 5 to 6 years, then you need to repeat the process every 10 yrs. or so, maybe a little more or a little less. This does not sound like an onerous burden, at least if we're talking about doing this just near occupied areas. Certainly not a walk in the park, but not a severe effort given the pleasure of living in the mountains.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 24, 2013 - 05:58pm PT
If the chaparral has reached half its original height in 5 to 6 years, then you need to repeat the process every 10 yrs. or so, maybe a little more or a little less. This does not sound like an onerous burden, at least if we're talking about doing this just near occupied areas. Certainly not a walk in the park, but not a severe effort given the pleasure of living in the mountains.

I read that nationally there are 200 million acres that need to be thinned, there is currently funding for thinnging 3 million acres. I doubt that ratio will change, even with a progressive president in office. Defensive space around homes is much easier to create and maintain and can be the responsibility of the home owner.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 24, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
Chaparral is a fire adapted ecosystem. It will burn. It MUST burn. Building houses in chaparral country is fairly stupid, actually.

DMT
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 24, 2013 - 06:22pm PT
"If the chaparral has reached half its original height in 5 to 6 years, then you need to repeat the process every 10 yrs. or so, maybe a little more or a little less. "

If I understood jstan's position correctly, he was suggesting that using the thinning management strategy used in the Black Forest might be useful in western forests. The cost, effort & time that was necessary to manage the brush solely along the Hwy 74 & 243 corridors could theoretically be applied to the overall forests, but given the tremendous cost, and the fact that it re-generates in short order, seems to make that an impractical solution.

(If I remember correctly, the original impetus for that clearing project came after the disastrous San Diego county fires, and was later heavily supplemented by 'stimulus' funding.)
jstan

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 06:55pm PT
Fire will come again. Next time the efforts of 3500 people probably won't be able to save the houses. It will be a total disaster once fire gets into Idyllwild. Right now all the residents of that town are pretty clear on this. If you are going to do something, now is the time to do it.

I think we need to learn from Facelift. When people work together toward a common goal, all of our tendencies to fight and disagree disappear. For once everything just feels incredibly right. How to start?

Climbers on ST own property in Idyllwild that have beetle killed trees on it? Start there. Take out whatever permits are required, line the fire department up with your need to use hot tools and get a party together. We can huck it out to the street where it can be trucked away. You will need some pole spurs for the trees that can't be felled.

Then talk it up with the neighbors. You may be surprised at what happens. I have a couple of saws.

When it looked like Santa Barbara was going to burn up and I was hiding on the roof so the police would not attempt to cart me away, I ran into another hider who gave me the secret for getting help in a fire. He said, "Put a half dozen number 10 cans of peaches out on a picnic table. You will have every fireman within five miles protecting your house." They are desperate for sugar and water.

All of us are fed up with the totally pointless arguing and bitching that is America. Right now Idyllwild has a golden opportunity.

Don't lose it.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 24, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
I think it's a safe assumption that the Black Forest and forests in the Western half of the US are eons apart in terms of remoteness and accessibility. In other words, if what jstan wrote was part of an approach to the entirety of the Black Forest then that approach just would not work here.

Still, I kind of chafe at the suggestion of mechanized thinning. TGT mentions such work up around the Needles and it's from that area where I've seen all the flammable remnants littering huge open stretches. About 20 yrs. ago I was up at Hermit Spire and walked across an open area which was carpeted in every imaginable remnant of from a large stand of trees after you hacked off everything and hauled away the trunk. It was a field of kindling. I don't see how that approach yields a safer forest. You've removed the most fire resistant portion--the big trees--and hacked everything else into kindling. Maybe we're talking about two different things--logging vs. thinning (if there is a distinction)--and I don't know enough to know the difference.
jstan

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 07:15pm PT
If someone is making money- it is logging.
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Was this fire different than the 2003-2004 fire across the way in the sense
that it was contained at lower altitudes, did not jump and burn along miles
of highways and did not ignite and burn higher altitude timber?

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 24, 2013 - 07:39pm PT
would you all care for me to elaborate a bit to the rehab and fire hazard reductions? I dont want to butt in of not desired. But i could explain options and practices both. Or ask me specific questions that i will then try to answer..to the best of my knowledge level..
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 08:29pm PT
How many tons per hr. of 5' diameter logs or more are turned to ash with
a single incinerator in your area?

How many men does it take per day to turn 240 tons of those logs
into ash assuming the proper loader.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 24, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
HAHAHAAA! GUD one, but i fail to see the relevance. And more info would be required. As per LOG, would that be WHOLE log, half log or legal utilization standard of down to 8" diameter? And then of course, tree species do weigh differently green as well as dry on the stump. Hemlock is LIGHT, while Ponderosa is dense and heavy. But as far as i know there havent been 5' diameter logs harvested any where near me since i worked for them..
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
Size and length of logs is somewhat irrelevant. The incinerators appear to be somewhat larger than
(M or N bins -> which I think are about 24' X 6' X 6')
Sometimes I used a O bin at 7' high.

Those bins are a legal load at 10 tons. Logs were usually about 6-8 long.
60" that long usually needed a 35 ton crane to load into the bins.

I think 1 man could turn to ash 240 tons in a day if he stays real busy
on the loader, and has no equipment down time. Of course there is and
always will be equipment down time with that type of work and conditions.

They started with 1 man and i think there was 3 incinerators and 1 loader
without the luxury i had, that being i could swap loaders. They later had
i think 3 men and 2 loaders. They did use wheel loaders on the flattened
ground, wheel loaders i did not use in town as they are too unstable on
sloping grounds. I used track loaders with a crane in town.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 24, 2013 - 08:56pm PT
What incinerators do you speak of? I was offering up rehab and hazard reduction advise lol!
specialistclimber

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
I think the 1'st man at the incinerators and the others were county of Riverside employees. The incinerators were a 45 minute 1 way trip away from Lake Arrowhead on the service road going towards Apple Valley. It's borderline San Bernadino County and may still be National Forest. You may wish to contact County of Riverside Public Works or their Waste Management Dept. to begin with and The National Forest Service.

They are buried into the ground with a few feet above ground hence a loader
is needed to lift logs in. They requested 6'-8' in length from me and never
said anything about the diameter being too large.

Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jul 24, 2013 - 08:59pm PT
For those who think that Idyllwild area has no fire-safe policy in place, get real, almost all of Southern California has these policies in place these days.

Idyllwild residents, local contractors, private companies and governmental agencies removed between 18,000 and 20,000 beetle damaged trees from the town in the last 5-7 years and hauled it away..

I have personally removed 7 trees from our property. My neighbors and friends all did the same.

The town has a fairly stringent policy that requires strict abatement. Fire officials give non-compliance notices and if those are not heeded, property is abated and owner charged. This has happened and not just once. Defensible space and clearance is a requirement.

We live in a place that will burn if fire goes directly at it. Nothing but luck or change of wind or timely downpour will save it. Those 3,500 people on the fire line did an incredible job to push the fire away from the town.

Next time,some homes might be saved because where they are located, some of us might be lucky again, but, no amount of clearing will safeguard everybody.

The temps have gone up in the last 20 years, precipitation is way down and getting worse every year.

Tahquitz Rock used to ice up almost every year to provide some wonderful ice climbing possibilities. Fulmer Lake froze to the point that kids could skate every year. That is all gone now.

So yes, we live in a fire danger area. And if we live here long enough...
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 24, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
jstan--

if each and every idyllwildian was a jstan, and each and every one of them was armed with chainsaws, loppers, and shovels, and the state and federal agencies let them self-mobilize and fed them bologna sandwiches, coffee, and maybe the occasional line of meth to help build morale, and someone could magically dispose of all the dead brush and non-commercial timber slash, it would take maybe a couple years for all of that ground to infill with scrub oak, cedar, manzanita and other volatile fuels.

the forests in the transverse ranges of socal took shape during the little ice age. the parents and grandparents of today's biggest oldest trees grew up centuries ago when conditions were a whole lot cooler and wetter. their children and grandchildren have inherited increasingly unfavorable conditions. the forest we knew on san jacinto's flanks grew up in the lee years of the waning of the little ice age in the late 19th century.

today is vastly warmer and drier and smoggier than it was when the great yellow and ponderosa pine forests were healthy.

it's possible that if we hadn't learned forestry from the germans (who in the 19th century were far and away the most advanced in forest science) and thus come to believe in fire suppression, that we might have allowed more fires in the 20th century, and that the forest today would be healthier. but it's also possible that idyllwild could've burned to the ground in one of those fires.
and even if we could get a time machine, go back to the early 20th century, and persuade period folks that control burning is a key part of a healthy forest, it wouldn't change the basic climate calculus.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 25, 2013 - 02:24pm PT
Here is a real-time example of what is happening wrong:

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3552/

The Aspen Fire was discovered on Tuesday, July 23 burning on the Sierra National Forest- High Sierra Ranger District. The fire is burning below Stump Springs Road north of Aspen Springs. The fire has burned approximately 2,000 acres and remains active.
Additional resources will continue to arrive assisting in fire suppression.

Sierra National Forest initial suppression efforts, crews were able to keep the fire from burning into the Kaiser Wilderness. Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priority.
The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team assumed command of the Aspen Fire at 6:00 P.M. July 24, 2013. The team will work with the Sierra National Forest to manage suppression efforts.
Smoke from the Aspen Fire will impact air quality in local communities. Individuals sensitive to smoke are suggested to remain indoors and keep windows closed, to minimize exposure to smoke.
The fire is in steep, rugged, inaccessible terrain. There is no imminent threat to the community of Big Creek at this time.


The Sierra National Forest is suppressing 15 additional fires and all are less than ¼ acre in size; All of these fires were started by lightning.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 25, 2013 - 02:47pm PT
"Here is a real-time example of what is happening wrong:"

Ummmm....ok.....?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 25, 2013 - 02:49pm PT

Here is a real-time example of what is happening wrong:

WHAT?????

DMT
x15x15

climber
Jul 25, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
I help my my folks keep their property clean and fire safe. I remember some nasty looks by a few who saw me as the devil when I felled a large, dirty, and unhealthy pine... or two... and more...

some will never understand...

and, Do we really need to keep the entire forest closed? I don't know what needs to be done, so I am being serious with my question. Even Ernie Maxwell is closed do to "Fire Danger"... what is the danger now? Can it erupt back up to a monster fire? the incident says the risk of it getting big is nil... but I really do not know...
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 26, 2013 - 04:07am PT
WHAT?????

DMT


What is wrong is 15 fires, all started by lightning, all posing no risk to people or structures, all in relatively remote areas, all in areas with a built-up debris for many, many years, and needing a good burn.

All being actively fought. Millions being spent to do this.

These are natural fires. Let....them.....burn......
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 26, 2013 - 08:17am PT
From Wikipedia

Pre-Columbian savannas once existed across North America. These were created and maintained in a fire ecology by Native Americans until the 16th century death of most Native people.[1][2][3][4] Surviving natives continued using fire to clear savanna until European colonists began colonizing the eastern seaboard two hundred years later. Many colonists continued the practice of burning to clear underbrush, reinforced by their similar experience in Europe, but some land reverted to forest.[1]

Credit: Patrick Sawyer

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 26, 2013 - 09:25am PT
What is wrong is 15 fires, all started by lightning, all posing no risk to people or structures, all in relatively remote areas, all in areas with a built-up debris for many, many years, and needing a good burn.

All being actively fought. Millions being spent to do this.

These are natural fires. Let....them.....burn......

Thanks. I agree in principle.

DMT
10b4me

Ice climber
Wishes-He-Was-In-Arizona
Jul 26, 2013 - 10:42am PT
These are natural fires. Let....them.....burn......

Would tend to agree, but I think there are other factors that may come înto play.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 26, 2013 - 10:44am PT
ohwwwlordy.. define "natural fires".....
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 26, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Ron, did you start drinking early this morning?

a natural fire is one started by natural causes, ie, not man-made.

I think the fire policy clearly makes this distinction. ALL man-caused fires (except prescription) will be fought will be fought and extinguished, no matter where, no matter how beneficial. (which is probably a sensible policy).

But naturally caused fires should be assessed for benefit vs danger, not just automatically fought.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 26, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Ahhh,, i see your "naturaL" wording now Ken,, and as ive stated too many times,, i dont drink.;-)


Now as for those "natural fires", yes there ARE some areas that can burn "naturally". Mostly from the 8500 to 10,000 ft levels. Many areas in the sierras can burn quite naturally still as the fuel sources are rare. Many lightning fires are let burn types in the wildernesses. Due to the low fuel loads and lack of spread components. Ie consistent fuels that allow fires to travel.

As for the REST of the mountains and stands which are dotted with communities dwellings and residences, there are NO naturally burning fires due to fuel loads being UN NATURALLY saved through fire suppression since the late 1800s. And it isnt even that the fire has taken out understory alone, but rather the invasive actions like fir encroachments in Pondo/Jeffrey stands and conditions crowd and change from tolerant to intolerant species evolving. In these areas, there is no natural burning other than SMALL windows of PERFECT conditions and weather that mimic creeping fires with small torching of trees here and there- of the past.

The trees are NOT the only concern in these areas as MUD slides and soil erosion and water sheds can be damaged beyond repair.

For more area than not,, there is no opportunity for any use of wildfire THESE days. We went past that curve long ago. If i were presiDUNT, id take every dime to be given to the ME and give it to the USFS and recreate the CCC of the past, and start treating our lands.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 26, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Ron, I state my opinions based upon conversations with Wilderness Managers and District Rangers within the last three weeks. They are in a constant fight with "Fire" types that want to put out everything, where the resource managers (not just punters like us, but the professional foresters) have to fight to allow fire do work it's magic.

The example I just gave on the Sierra NF, where they are fighting to put out 15 quarter-acre fires that pose no dangers (according to the fire guys!), is an example.

These are the fires that create a natural firebreak that can keep things from going nuclear.
Dr. Christ

Mountain climber
State of Mine
Jul 26, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
My understanding is that it is FS policy to let naturally caused fires burn in wilderness areas, as long as they pose a threat to human life or property.

I fully support WELL CONCEIVED fuels management projects that include consideration of flora, fauna, soils, hydrology, etc. You wouldn't believe the resistance the FS gets every time they do a thinning project within public view.

They did a recent thinning project on the SW side of Emerald Bay Road out by Camp Richardson. They did a great job... nice size class distribution, good ground cover but not too excessive... and they got tons of complaints about "ruining the forest with their logging." Take a look next time you drive by... that is a good example of what a healthy stand looks like. The few fuels treatments they did near North Upper Truckee saved many houses from the Angora Fire.

Many areas in SoCal are fire dependent ecosystems, meaning they have evolved with fire, which periodically thins the chaparral... which doesn't happen when you have houses all over the place.

Good slide show: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/ecoregions/docs/papers-presentations/fire-regimes.pdf
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 26, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
True Ken,, as i mentioned SOME can be left to burn, and even "fire guys" know that. Now also realize that the Timber "shops" and "fire shops" are ALWAYS at odds with each other and MUCH of that is a fight for FUNDING.

To have the whole story you must see and acknowledge both sides of this coin. That is IMPERATIVE to a full understanding of these issues. Then apply common sense. Forestry is much- just that.

Take every little town among the hills and mountains in CA, then trace a 25,000 acre spot around them. THAT is an immediate danger zone as exampled by the burn. With fuel loads and dry conditions, this is what can be expected. No brainer right? So those areas are given a HIGH priority for fire suppression.

Then throw in the MAJOR watersheds and draw the same- priority #2. So on and so forth this goes. Important wildlife or habitats are also a priority. The forests are used by MANY in MANY different ways. All of these factors are taken into account when developing let burn policies. And those areas that qualify are less every year.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jul 26, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
From last night's Summer Concert, where a bunch of the heroes who helped save our town were acknowledged by the community:

Credit: apogee
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Jul 26, 2013 - 03:43pm PT
today from the Z107.7 Joshua Tree web site:

MOUNTAIN FIRE CONTAINMENT EXPECTED TODAY, CAUSE RELEASED
Fire investigators say the Mountain Fire was caused by electrical equipment failure on private property, a nearly 20-acre parcel of land along Highway 243 in Mountain Center owned by Tarek M. Al-Shawaf, of Saudi Arabia. Because a fire originated on a property does not mean the owner was involved. The wildfire, which burned 27,531 acres, is expected to be fully contained today. The cost of fighting the fire now stands at $25.2 million. More than 3,400 firefighters assisted in efforts to contain the blaze, which was repor¬ted at 1:43 p.m. July 15 at Highway 243 and Highway 74. It burned from east of Mountain Center, through the Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista areas, and then along the Desert Divide and southern portion of the San Jacinto Wilderness. Seven homes and 15 other structures were destroyed. The fire led to the evacuations of several mountain communities, including Mountain Center, Idyllwild, Fern Valley and Pine Cove, and the temporary closure of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 26, 2013 - 03:46pm PT
Cool Apogee! Its great to see appreciation like that.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Aug 7, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
Here is a pic from about ten days ago on the Aspen Fire in the Sierra National Forest.

Sikorsky S-64E at a retardent dip site
Sikorsky S-64E at a retardent dip site
Credit: the albatross
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Aug 7, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
Has anybody investigated the Saudi for Al Quaeda ties...?
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