New fire south of Idyllwild

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specialistclimber

climber
Jul 24, 2013 - 05:58pm 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 - 05:59pm 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 - 06:06pm 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 - 11:24am 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 - 11:47am 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 - 11:49am PT

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

WHAT?????

DMT
x15x15

climber
Jul 25, 2013 - 02:15pm 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 - 01:07am 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 - 05:17am 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 - 06:25am 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 - 07:42am PT
These are natural fires. Let....them.....burn......

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

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jul 26, 2013 - 07:44am PT
ohwwwlordy.. define "natural fires".....
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jul 26, 2013 - 10:08am 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 - 10:20am 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 - 10:32am 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 - 10:50am 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 - 10:59am 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 - 12:18pm 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 - 12:43pm 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 - 12:46pm PT
Cool Apogee! Its great to see appreciation like that.
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