The Sun Valley Idaho area is suddenly a burning question!

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Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Aug 18, 2013 - 08:56am PT
Happy Anniversary, Fritz!

Very dramatic photos...thanks for posting.

Haze over the Tetons, this morning. 100 plus miles downwind...

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Aug 18, 2013 - 09:08am PT
We had lightning yesterday- several small fires in the pine nut range, but they all seem quiet today.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Aug 18, 2013 - 09:09am PT
Fritz-

All the best to you and Heidi celebrating 25 years together! Bad news about the fires, though.

Rodger
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2013 - 09:12am PT
I don't know the gent, but John R. Parsons has an interesting Facebook post on the fire this morning. He is initially talking about the fire west of Hailey on Sat. morning. It is now confessed that the back-fire the Forest Service set on Carbonate Mt. to save Hailey then raced up the north-side of Croy Creek with fire-crews chasing it. The fire burned as far west as Rotarun ski area, before being controlled.

It is also now confessed that the DC-10 used on the fire lost it's rear engine over the fire last week. It somehow did not fall out of the sky.



Joh R. Parsons
"The Battle of Hailey" was won in the trenches sometime between 2-4 am this morning. It was a genuine hand-to-hand battle just as we surmised it might be. In fact, at today's Hailey Community Meeting "Out in Deer Creek and Green Horn, we got our butts kicked," said Blaine County Fire Chief Bart Lassman.

There were 40 municipal fire engines and their crews who went face-to-face with the fires, often being backed right to the walls of the houses they were protecting. Not a structure was lost last night. Miracles happen. Prayers ARE answered.

Resources are now pouring into The Beaver Creek Fire.

10Tanker had a Hollywood Moment Thursday. The DC-10 lost an engine over The Beaver Creek Fire and almost stalled before the crew could recover. Consider that this DC-10 routinely comes in 300 feet off the deck to drop its retardant. There's not a lot of margin for error in a DC-10 when you're 300 feet from those Wood River Valley Hills. Witnesses said they heard a loud pop and the plane sagged toward earth. The crew somehow rallied the giant aircraft and limped toward Pocatello calling out "Emergency, Emergency" on their radio. Luckily, the giant aircraft landed safely and is now being repaired.
Forest Service photo of DC-10 drop on Beaver fire.
Forest Service photo of DC-10 drop on Beaver fire.
Credit: Fritz

photo by Jeff Pfaeffle of the tail engine fire on the DC-10.
photo by Jeff Pfaeffle of the tail engine fire on the DC-10.
Credit: Fritz

Meanwhile, 10Tanker's twin DC-10 has taken over fire bombing duties. Meanwhile, the Forest Service ordered up yet another MAFFS C-130 and so three of The Big Birds were playing Tag Team on the fire today. And, of course, meanwhile, the fire has five huge Type 1 helicopters swarming overhead to remind us of Mohammed Ali's famous line, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

Municipal fire trucks continue to stream into Wood River Valley. Federal resources are pouring in as well. The Beaver Creek Fire is making national news on network and cable TV and has virtually taken over the regional media outlets.

A total of 2250 homes are under mandatory evacuation and another 7,350 under "pre-evacuation" notices. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are moving in all directions seeking shelters, motels, campsites and just Friend's homes in which to bunk down.

As we said last night, if Hollywood tried to dream up a script such as this, no one would believe it. However, this is true. it's reality. It's really happening.

Meanwhile, believe it or not, the fire crews are winning. It's such a truly awe-inspiring story to follow in real-time, we simply can't stop watching and reading. The West is filled with about 200 years of stranger-than-fiction Real Life Dramas. This is yet another chapter in a saga of courage, determination, pluck and, yes, a little luck. This is an evolving story of the role of sheer human effort winning against all odds.

It is quite simply a mesmerizing story unfolding to behold.
Jelf

climber
Aug 18, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
The following link will always display the most perimeter of the Beaver Creek Fire straight from the GeoMAC server. This is the same server that also provides data to the crews on the fire line. Sometimes the data on the InciWeb site is not as current as the data that comes from the GeoMAC server. (The InciWeb site gets its data from GeoMAC.)

To see high resolution topographic maps first open the ‘map type’ menu and then select “t4 Topo High”. The ‘map type’ button always displays the name of the current basemap and is in the upper right corner of the map (lower right corner on mobile devices).

To see the basemap prepared by the Blaine County GIS staff, including parcel lines, open the ‘map type' menu and then select "Blaine_County_basemap". Zoom in for more detail. You can also try Menu ==> Search.

To always open the map zoomed in on a specific spot, first make the map look the way you want it to look on your screen. Then click (or touch) Menu ==> Link to this map.

If you open this link on a smartphone or other mobile device then you will automatically see a touch-friendly interface.

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=43.58445,-114.467517&z=11&t=m,Fire_perimeter,Fires,Blaine_County_basemap&wms=http://wildfire.cr.usgs.gov/ArcGIS/services/geomac_dyn/MapServer/WMSServer?name=Fire_perimeter&layers=23&transparent=true&wms=http://wildfire.cr.usgs.gov/ArcGIS/services/geomac_dyn/MapServer/WMSServer?name=Fires&layers=24&transparent=true&rest=http://maps.co.blaine.id.us/bcgis/rest/services/BlaineCoBaseMapFGDB/MapServer?name=Blaine_County_basemap&layers=0-51

For more information on GeoMAC see:
http://www.geomac.gov/index.shtml

The map is displayed by Gmap4 which is an enhanced Google map viewer that I developed. To see the perimeter for other fires simply zoom out and pan the map.

Gmap4 homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Joseph: Thanks for the links. Works for me. I do appreciate the Inciweb link maps are often out of date.

Thanks everyone for the anniversary wishes! Things are looking more encouraging for the Sun Valley area today.

But the Schist just keeps coming for Idaho. There is a new fire that is burning hot on the SW side of the Sawtooth Mtns.

The Little Queens Fire is already at 1,000 acres and is currently staffed by 4 observers. It will likely affect air quality in the Stanley area, and there are already trail closures in the area.

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3663/

Here's some more photos from the Beaver Cr. fire.

The main firecamp on Big Wood River with the fire coming for it on 8/1...
The main firecamp on Big Wood River with the fire coming for it on 8/16.
Credit: Fritz

Panorama of fire camp and fires on 8/17 by Jacques Bordeleau.
Panorama of fire camp and fires on 8/17 by Jacques Bordeleau.
Credit: Fritz

Burning above Big Wood River between Deer Cr. & Greenhorn Gulch on 8/1...
Burning above Big Wood River between Deer Cr. & Greenhorn Gulch on 8/16. Photo by Ben McCoy.
Credit: Fritz

Greenhorn Gulch spot fires on 8/15.  At times the fire was spotting ou...
Greenhorn Gulch spot fires on 8/15. At times the fire was spotting out to one mile in front of the main flames.
Credit: USFS

A side canyon of Greenhorn Gulch, named Imperial Gulch, on 8/15.
A side canyon of Greenhorn Gulch, named Imperial Gulch, on 8/15.
Credit: Fritz

Note all the smallish fire tornados, and spot fires in front of the wa...
Note all the smallish fire tornados, and spot fires in front of the wall of flames.
Credit: USFS

Timber Gulch burnout today.  Note the large-black tornado.  Timber Gul...
Timber Gulch burnout today. Note the large-black tornado. Timber Gulch heads up at Mt. Baldy,the main ski mountain for Sun Valley. The Forest Service folks assert this is all under control.
Credit: Ben McCoy


susan peplow

climber
Joshua Tree, CA
Aug 18, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
A shout out for safety of one of our own Supertopian's Chris Trudeau. Almost for certain in the thick of this as he's the Helitack Superintendent for Swan Valley just east of there. Hoping for speedy containment and most importantly safety of residents and firefighters!
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Aug 20, 2013 - 05:02am PT
Bump for this. Does anyone have any updates - particularly Croy Creek - Fritz, anyone? The inciweb and Blaine sites don't seem to give much away.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2013 - 06:50am PT
Jaaan & all: Things are looking much better on the Beaver Creek fire.

Looking at recent updates:

Pre-evacuation alert for Ketchum & Sun Valley were lifted last night.

Sat. photos of the fire at 3:00 A.M. this morning show recent burning only on the N.E. corner of the fire.

Most all of Croy Cr. burned on the N. side of the main road, but no structures are reported lost.

Currently 1,800 fire-fighters and a bunch of copters, planes, and bull-dozers are in the area.

Fire manager was optimistic last night about total control of the fire happening soon.

Scattered showers and higher humidity are expected for the next three days.

On the down-side, the new Little Queens fire on the S.W side of the Sawtooth Range is up to 7,000 areas and the nearby ghost/mining/tourist town of Atlanta is under mandatory evacuation. Smoke was very bad yesterday in the south-end of the Sawtooths.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Aug 20, 2013 - 07:03am PT
Thanks again Fritz.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Aug 20, 2013 - 08:28am PT
Idaho is having the year Fritz! Ill pray for some H20 for ya up there!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 20, 2013 - 09:15am PT
Today's paper says it is still only 9% contained/97Kacres with continued
potential strong winds. :-(

I remember a fire in E Washington in the 70's was about 40K acres and that
was considered nearly cataclysmic back then. That would be considered
NBD these days. Our Station Fire two years ago was 160K acres.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Aug 21, 2013 - 08:45am PT
Seems things are looking a bit better now. My friends have been told they can hopefully go home today or tomorrow.

Question is now what can be done about the 100 years of fire suppression timber that's just waiting to go up again? Can it be safely burned under control? Is there an official strategy to somehow deal with this?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Aug 21, 2013 - 08:55am PT
Jaaan NO the forests do NOT burn naturally any more. The fuel loads man made through years of fire suppression. OUR GOVT ignores this all in favor of giving $$$$$ to anybody else in the world. So there IS NO plan to actually do what is needed.


Idaho was a fire record setter back in the 1910 period when million acre fires were seen! So for some areas up there - its 113 yrs of fuel growing, and no burning.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Aug 21, 2013 - 09:07am PT
All of these fires would be NBD, if there were some selective timber harvesting and removal of the underburden. The fires near my ranch/home last year were a result of lots of old and beetle killed timber going up in smoke and flames. The selective removal of dead trees by firewood users hd been discontinued. Everything simply becomes a throwaway under the current system.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Aug 21, 2013 - 09:16am PT
I was climbing at Elephant's Perch last year and we could see and smell the smoke from the Halstead fire. From what you say about the big fires back in 1910 Idaho does seem to have a bad track record. Do other states suffer in this way/as badly? I guess California is one...?
MyungCalvert

Gym climber
CA, NY, USA
Aug 22, 2013 - 03:54am PT
These WIFI JAMMER for CAR USES are available at a very reasonable price. You can buy this WIFI JAMMER for CAR USE very easily. As this service takes nominal charges on the network, so you would need to spend a little amount to get complete peace of mind when you are not willing to get disturbed.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 22, 2013 - 05:12am PT
My friend in Idaho, Marion A. Carlson, who owns a hay farm up there, has posted this picture on her FB Timeline.
Blazin' away!
Blazin' away!
Credit: Mandy Carlson

Mandy Carlson was from Merced and knew The Flames intimately.

She resided in Wawona for a time "back when."

One night, in fall, she hosted one fine party there.

We gladly went, for it was raining like heck in the Valley.

Even Flames need someplace to dry out.

The beer was flowing...hardly a dry night!

Oh, how I wish it would rain!
Bad Climber

climber
Aug 22, 2013 - 06:15am PT
I'm hoping for the best in Idaho. We need fires, but we like to live in areas meant to burn. Not a good combo. Y'all should know that beetle kill IS NOT an indicator of increased fire risk. It just looks that way. Here's a quote from a leading scientist/forester:

Below is an excerpt from Dr. Kulakowski’s testimony on April 11, 2013 before the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation of the Committee on Natural Resources of the United States House of Representatives. He was providing information for the committee members to consider when they vote on H.R. 1442, a proposed bill with a strange name, the “Depleting Risk from Insect Infestation, Soil Erosion, and Catastrophic Fire Act of 2013″.



“…Another example is that of a major outbreak of spruce beetle in spruce and fir forests in Colorado in the 1940s, following which there was substantial concern about the increased risk of fire. But although over 300 fires occurred in that region in the decades that followed, our research found that the forests affected by beetles were no more likely to have burned than other forests. Furthermore, no major fires occurred in those beetle-affected forests in the years and decades that followed the outbreak despite the abundance of dead trees. The most likely explanation for this lack of large severe fires is that climatic conditions in these forests are a more important factor in determining fire risk than is the presence of dead trees. In fact, it was not until a severe drought in 2002 that a large fire affected these forests. During that year there were many wildfires in Colorado, the majority of which burned forests with no recent history of outbreaks.

The article: http://wildfiretoday.com/tag/beetles/

Counter-intuitive, yo!

BAd
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Aug 22, 2013 - 08:01am PT
That quoted statement is a perfect example of mealy-mouthed double-speak. Of course there's no greater risk of a fire "outbreak." That is normally left to lightning. The old dry beetle killed timber burns like crazy once it's ignited, though. In the northern Medicine Bow National Forest near my ranch, there hasn't been anything done to reduce the spread of wildfires, such as selective removal of 100 years of accumulated dead timber; this resulted in over 150K acres being destroyed last Summer.
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