Yosemite: Hwy 120 Closed East of Groveland

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Messages 601 - 620 of total 708 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
klk

Trad climber
cali
Sep 2, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
Latest MODIS image, 20 minutes ago.


i believe that the hits showing on the far nnw line are backfires.



Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Sep 2, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
No both 140 and 41 are open. Bad smoke for two days (Friday and Saturday). Good now. We southern folks have been lucky. Park was quiet today. If the wind holds it is a good time to be here.

Ken
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 3, 2013 - 09:35am PT
Thinking about all those affected by the fires...

photo not found
Missing photo ID#319358

Stand strong@
Stand strong@
Credit: Dingus Milktoast

DMT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 3, 2013 - 11:12am PT
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
At @ seven a.m. and @ one minute apart.

Wind @ from southeast.

Wishing all on the lines @ the best you can get.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Sep 3, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Ite been interesting to me living in the smoke plume for weeks now around here. Many people are showing the affects. Things like depression, anxiety and even claustrophobia. Not to mention the actual health hazard and those with breathing issues. This is the longest the area has gone in smoke as far as i know.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 3, 2013 - 11:19am PT
I passed thru the lower Carson valley a couple of times in the past few days. That smoke would be tough to take ugh!

DMT
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
The fire has grown to 235,841 acres, but is now 75% contained!

Word via Evergreen Lodge is that Caltrans has completed repairs to 120 and is just waiting for fire crews to check trees. No word yet on when 120 might open past the Big Oak Flat entrance, but rumor is 1-2 weeks.
Ikat

Social climber
Carson City
Sep 3, 2013 - 02:35pm PT
This is what the Yosemite NP website says about the 120 closure:

•The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) is closed from Crane Flat to Ten Lakes Trailhead (just west of Yosemite Creek Picnic Area), for the next five to seven days (as of September 2). The only access to the Tuolumne Meadows area is via Highway 120 from near Lee Vining

In other words, re-opening is not imminent.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Sep 3, 2013 - 02:35pm PT
containment percentages should be jumping exponentially now as burn outs are completed, along with the increased acreage burned.
Ikat

Social climber
Carson City
Sep 3, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Increased containment gets a reduction of funding and resources, so I expect a slow slope rather than a steep one.

They've estimated containment at Sept 20 and I think they'll keep it going for another two weeks, at least.

100% containment = no more money for you.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Sep 3, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
108 evacs lifted--

http://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/2238096/Rim-Fire-Evacuation-Advisories-To-Be-Lifted-At-Noon.html
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2013 - 10:24am PT
237,341 acres, 80% containment

But it ain't over:

"September 4, 2013 at 7:14 AM

Active fire behavior in the interior late into the evening associated with burnout operations. Moderate rates of spread were observed both in advancing surface fire and backing fire. Heavy fuels still continue to experience complete combustion with high probability of ignition."


From the Modis maps it looks like there is no new activity in the SE at Pilot Ridge. Great news for our friends down that way!



Rim Fire Fact Sheet - Day 17

Largest wildfire in the United States to date in 2013

(Second largest to date in 2013: Lime Hills Fire, Alaska 201,809 acres)

No. 1-ranked on national wildland firefighting priority list

Fourth largest California wildfire in historical records dating to 1932

The four largest California wildfires have all occurred since 2003

Personnel currently on incident: 4,359

States that have sent firefighters or other personnel: 44 and the District of Columbia

Cal Fire geographical units that have sent personnel: 20 of 21

Inmate personnel from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: 746

Proportion of inmate personnel working on the fire: 17.1 percent

Completed containment line: 110.7 miles

Completed dozer line: 149.7 miles

Hand line: 9.3 miles Road Used as Line: 19.9 miles

Total acres burned in California to date in 2013: 493,627

Rim Fire acres as a proportion of burned acres in California: 47.8 percent

Total aviation hours: 1,543

Water dropped: 2.0 million gallons Fire retardant dropped: 2.3 million gallons

Acreage in Yosemite National Park: 66,155

Proportion of the fire burning in Yosemite National Park: 28 percent

Proportion of Yosemite National Park within the fire perimeter: 8.7 percent

Size of the fire area: More than five times the size of Washington, D.C.

Hot meals served: Breakfasts: 45,133 Dinners: 41,558

Pounds of firefighter laundry washed: 14,148.3


Via http://yubanet.com/CAFires/Rim.php
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 4, 2013 - 10:32am PT
Today's LA Times reports that the Twain Harte fire chief said it appears that it
was man-caused at a possible pot grow.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Sep 4, 2013 - 10:36am PT
Cartel clearing more of "their lands" maybe?
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Sep 4, 2013 - 10:39am PT

September 2, 2013 - I never had experienced how much heartbreak and relief could exist along a single street until June 27, 2012, when I stood and surveyed the charred remains of a Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs. The firefight was as epic as the devastation was striking. Some of us who were there that night received awards in emergency response, a few were commended in person by President Obama, and all of us were greeted as heroes by hundreds of sign-bearing flag-waving Coloradans. Even our money was often refused at gas stations and restaurants. We stammered uncomfortably, "Sorry ma'am that's so kind of you, but we can't accept that" or gave an awkward "Thank you so much, sir." I wondered, "How many of these people know that we are not actually recognized as firefighters?"

You see, on paper, we are not called federal wildland firefighters - we are called forestry and range "technicians." To us, it's the joke that's not funny. It comes at a great price that even our government job title fails to recognize us appropriately.

Few Americans see a green fire engine for what it is, know what a hotshot crew or hand crew really does, or has even heard of helitack. Even those closest to us cannot fully grasp what we do, the shifts we endure, and the risks we take. Men and women have many reasons for leaving home and family to battle fire, but none of us do it for recognition or to be a hero. We shy away from media and attention. We do this job because we love what we do, and those who don't, soon find the commitments too many and sacrifices too great.

Put in the spotlight, we revert to the things we learned our first year on the job: keep your head down, keep your minds calm, your composure modest, know your place, don't say or do anything stupid, and above all, do your job with "duty, respect, and integrity." We serve the People. We serve our country.


Image by Lindon Pronto, Bison Fire 7/13, NV
However, over the past few years I have come to realize that this silent, can-do work ethic, has contributed to our predicament. We continue to be treated and paid at sub-par levels relative to our counterparts in private, city, and state agencies. Our low profile has led the media to misrepresent, mischaracterize, and outright lie about who we are and what we do. It often feels like federal firefighters are purposely kept from public view: we don't have shiny red trucks, ironed and tidy uniforms, or enough aggressive public information officers to set the story straight for the headline. This doesn't entirely surprise us: we can be rugged folk by appearance. Many of us enjoy working in the woods and living simply. We don't have extensive uniform budgets (we personally purchase shirts, boots, etc.). We are the soldiers in the trenches; we don't have access or time for showers and razors. Simply put, when we are out there putting in long days, we are happily grimy, dirty, smelly, and hairy.

So, when you consider our culture of "asses and elbows", our diverse appearances, and the fact that the media isn't permitted to enter into our hazardous work zones to fully cover the duties we perform, it is no wonder our faces and voices don't make headlines. Furthermore, it would be a difficult task to sum up the work that forestry and range technicians of the federal land management agencies perform. The fact that we hail from four very separate government agencies, is testament to our broad range of duties and responsibilities. Our work cannot be as easily characterized as driving up in a fire truck, attending to the injured, and running into a burning building with a breathing apparatus and fire hose.

Were I to define us simply, I would say: federal wildland firefighters make up the largest and most professionally trained firefighting force in world. We staff fire engines and earth-movers, work from helicopters and jump from planes, move as 20 person crews of "ground pounders", and comprise complex teams that manage relief efforts beyond just devastating fires; our teams have also dealt with emergencies like 9/11 and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

So what do we do out there? It would take me more than my allowable word count to get into that, but if you are interested in learning more from the front lines of wildland firefighting, I would encourage you to read works by Norman and John McClain. Instead, I will focus on the gist of what a standard work schedule and deployment looks like for us wildland firefighters:

In station we work 40 hour weeks, but most of us average 60 hours. Standard fire assignments are 14 days with extensions to 21 days (travel excluded). A 21 day assignment would approximately amount to 336 hours without days off, or about 8.5 work weeks. After 21 days, policy requires only one mandatory day of rest before reassignment. The norm is to receive up to two days of rest after a 14 day assignment. During an assignment when there is active and uncontained fire(s), federal firefighters (DOD excluded) work in 16 hour shifts, and are unpaid for the remaining 8 hours.

Some of the dangerous and adverse conditions that we encounter on the fireline include: extreme heat, extreme cold, heavy smoke, falling trees, steep rocky terrain, periods of extended physical and mental exertion, uninterrupted shifts in excess of 36 hours, limited rations of water and (very unhealthy) food, night shifts, sleep deprivation... You get the point. And yet, the above conditions combined with adrenaline, a sense of purpose, brotherhood, and duty, are also the exact same reasons we absolutely love our jobs.

We not only accept these aspects of our line of work, we LIVE for them.

There are however, aspects of our jobs that are for the sake of our health, sanity, livelihoods and particularly in supporting our families, harder for many of us to ignore:

We are treated and compensated at a much lesser standard than our private, city, and state counterparts who work beside us on the same incidents. For example, most non-federal firefighters are guaranteed hotels and portal to portal pay on incidents, ironically for which our government obligingly usually pays for. Take Cal Fire for example. They work 24 hours, then rest for 24 hours. If they are out of unit they are paid continuously for all 48 hours. During those 48 hours you can expect 16 hours of work (same shift schedule). In comparison, federal firefighters on the same incident will work 32 of 48 hours, usually are required to sleep in the dirt (alongside the convicts), and are not paid for more then 16 hours per day.

Cost-saving measures, at least in the Forest Service, commonly run rampant. Not being paid for 1/3 of the time we spend away from home and family is only one example. It is common now to be required to take unpaid lunch breaks while assigned to fires or even while out on the fireline. Hazard pay does not apply on prescribed fires, despite requirements of carrying a fire shelter (acknowledgement that our lives are at risk). Another instance: recently my crew was needed to monitor a very active fire perimeter throughout the night. So, less than half a mile from advancing 40ft flames, we crawled into our sleeping bags, which we threw down into ashes that were still warm from the fire having passed earlier. As we had leftover drinking water, our Meal Ready to Eat (MREs) and "appropriate sleeping accommodations" which our policy handbook defines as "paper sleeping bags" or otherwise, we were taken out of pay status for the following 8 hours.

Behind the scenes, groups and lobbyists have been trying for decades to improve our pay and working conditions.

These groups and individuals have won important battles for us. Earlier this year, for the first time ever, seasonal firefighters were finally given access to health benefits. Now I think it is time that the American people demand action too, which is why I am breaking my silence. It is my hope that you will join myself and others in fighting for some of these changes, particularly in demanding that federal firefighters be recognized on paper for what we do and who we are. Fortunately, a bill that would make many of our hopes a reality, and finally address the issues I have described, has just recently been introduced to Congress. The Wildland Firefighter Protection Act may never be signed into law if it proceeds quietly. This is why I am reaching out, hoping that a wave of public pressure and support for these firefighters will carry this legislation through the perilous waters of our gridlocked government.

We especially owe it to those firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice. That they be honored by increased recognition and funding for agencies like the US Forest Service, that are tasked with keeping our resources and communities safe. This is a complex task, but raising the nation's collective awareness for what we do, and to recognize us as Federal Wildland Firefighters, is a crucial step. To us boots on the ground, it is a painful reality to not be properly recognized, to be denied the same benefits and financial support systems as the other "real" firefighters around the nation. We have no shortage of personal pride in what we do, but we are grossly lacking in demonstrative pride in us by our own government, elected officials, and the public who ultimately pay our salaries.

What H.R. 2858 the Wildland Firefighter Protection Act would do:

1. It would create a new occupational series for land management employees (USFS, BLM, NPS, FWS, and BIA) entitled "wildland firefighter" to more accurately reflect position duties.

2. It would finally introduce a 3-year pilot program for portal to portal pay for federal firefighters.

3. Hazard pay differential (.25%) would be factored in as base pay for retirement purposes.

4. Work performed after 1989 in fire preparedness and suppression may be credited for purposes of retirement calculations. (Many of us work multiple seasons before we receive permanent employment; seasonal work is not counted for pay raises or retirement calculations).

5. Lastly, the bill is designed to affect significant cost savings by addressing 21st century fire preparedness and suppression needs, and address dismal firefighter retention rates resulting from conditions described in this article. Low retention rates are also extremely costly, due to the complex, time consuming process of hiring so many firefighters who leave the agency for one with better pay and benefits.

PLEASE:

Petition the White House : http://wh.gov/lgzu9

Show support through MoveOn Civic Action: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/wildland-firefighter/?source=search

And sign at Change.org (which helped get seasonals' health benefits): http://www.change.org/petitions/congress-please-support-h-r-2858-the-wildland-firefighters-protection-act

Official H.R. 2858 language:

http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/house-bill/2858/text

Thank you for your support.

The opinions and positions expressed in this editorial are entirely my own, and are not representative of the agency I work for.

Sincerely, Lindon Pronto

6-year Seasonal Wildland Firefighter

With the U.S. Forest Service

http://yubanet.com/opinions/Lindon-Pronto-I-am-a-Federal-Wildland-Firefighter-Not-a-Forestry-Technician.php#.UidFlBG9KSP

khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2013 - 11:07am PT
"Today's LA Times reports that the Twain Harte fire chief said it appears that it was man-caused at a possible pot grow."


We've discussed this. It's speculation. Show me the evidence one way or another. He made these remarks early on, not after they'd done any investigation.

Of course it's a distinct possibility, but the only person saying it is this guy. And now that he's said it this is what the public is believing.

Stupid rumors.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 4, 2013 - 11:17am PT
I did think it odd that no evidence was cited. Most pot grows aren't lacking
in evidence, no matter how hot the fire would have been. He did say there
had been no lightning which does seem substantiated.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Sep 4, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Well, the area where the Rim Fire started has been a "prime" pot growing habitat for years and years. No proof yet. Just a surmise, but certainly not improbable given the time of year in late summer when growers hire "watchers" to keep the deer out of their harvest in September/October. Does seem as though public officials do have a decided preference for blaming a whole host of problems on pot growers. Wait for some solid evidence.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 4, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
Does seem as though public officials do have a decided preference for blaming a whole host of problems on pot growers. Wait for some solid evidence.
Public officials and locals.
However, not without reason. There've been two confirmed "pot fires" in my mountain area in the past 2 years. Fortunately both put out within a few hours.
Still no reason to jump to conclusions.
WTF

climber
Sep 4, 2013 - 03:17pm PT
Just about had it three plus weeks of California wildfire smoke and I'm talking heavy heavy smoke.

Sooooo f*#k you California your smoke your f*#king pot growers and all the other sh#t that makes your state the beautiful sh#t hole that it is.

Rant complete moving on now.
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