Yosemite: Hwy 120 Closed East of Groveland


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Social climber
Sep 4, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
If I recall years ago they would show on the news: sheriffs and LEO chopping, netting, hanging the loads below the helicopters to be sent where? Evidence, how much and the street price. Then I remember last year when another raid was shown on TV seeing the cache piled up and lit on fire as to burn the stuff there on site, taking a guess easier to do than fly the stuff out or with expense/budget cuts?

Just wondering if this is the case where FEDS burned the stuff and left not realizing they started it. No! tell me I am wrong this would never happen, a mistake from our own government. And would they admit it? No, they will get some cartel member and cut him a deal so he will say yes it was us. National Enquirer needs to investigate.

As for the delay in communication; as in no cell tower delivery to Groveland and beyond where the fire was just starting to get some speed saw right wing Tom McClintoch on local news yesterday saying to the effect that this could have happened but was cut off. ????

Looking for his comments now so far no dice.

So will have to wait it out.


Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 4, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
if this is the case where FEDS burned the stuff and left not realizing they started it.
Very unlikely. They "always" lift the loads out by chopper.
They did several thousand plants in my neck of the woods a few days ago.
John M

Sep 4, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
Not to put too fine of a point on it, but not all cops chopper out the weed.


I doubt it was the police. Too many different groups are involved in these kinds of operations to keep it quiet.

Social climber
Sep 4, 2013 - 04:59pm PT
hey there say, thank to all the recent post shares...
as to fire and any other info, stats, etc...

glad to know folks are okay, as well...

Trad climber
Sep 4, 2013 - 09:26pm PT
rad animated progression map of the fire:

the albatross

Gym climber
Sep 5, 2013 - 12:15am PT
Here is a link to NASA which map lovers will geek over. Beautiful rendition of the fires progress:


I realize that most people don't think about wildfires unless they are in their backyard or playground or their home is on fire, but thought this informative link by Brandon is worth reposting. Please take the time to read through some of this information. ( I did not write the story below).

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.


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:


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

Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Sep 5, 2013 - 02:04am PT
Definitely not pot growers:


So speak Forest Service Investigators.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 5, 2013 - 06:38am PT
F*#k a buncha causes and conspiracy theories, though it's interesting when you put your mind to it, Jay...

"At 371 square miles, the Tuolumne County fire remains the fourth-largest in California since the state began keeping records in 1932. But the wildfire's growth has slowed nearly to a halt in the last few days and was 80 percent contained by Wednesday. Hundreds of firefighters have been sent home, and most area residents have been told it's safe to return home. Full containment is expected within two weeks."

From the last post's link.

Best news out there this morning.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 5, 2013 - 09:29am PT
Yeah the pot growing rumor was tracking the typical internet terlet cyclone... circling around a false rumor, a few posters elaborating on their fantasy. wtf???

Get a grip, boys. See it doesn't really matter who or what started this fire.


SF bay area
Sep 5, 2013 - 01:04pm PT
Cause of Rim fire could be a hunter.


Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 5, 2013 - 01:18pm PT
No way, I heard from a reliable source that it was a bear smoking weed.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 5, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Smokey Bear?

Social climber
Sep 5, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
Not really that surprising, though when you mix people with hot and dry conditions fires just get started one way or another.

Nor would a pot grow as the source be surprising--I've personally put out a pot farm fire. It was their camp fire they used during harvest. Pretty nice terraced operation in the middle of freaking nowhere.

Ice climber
Soon 2B in Arizona
Sep 5, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
Cause of Rim fire could be a hunter.


Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Sep 5, 2013 - 02:33pm PT
Fire was caused by a hunter with an illegal campfire that got away from him. They know who he is but aren't releasing his name until they decide to charge him or not.

Dumbass. Thanks to him 371 square miles of forest burned.


Sep 5, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
Just heard this on the news. That really pisses me off if it's true.

The gun nuts on this forum blame everything on Mexicans, blacks, Muslims, you name it - anything that isn't old, male and lily-white like them. They display absolutely no personal responsibility for any of their actions - including CMac's specific request to limit their inflammatory OT nonsense here. Each one is their own god, the rules don't apply to them.

If this pans out, I want to hear some apologies, fast. Pull your gang into line or walk away from that crowd. Make a token reparation for the 370+ square miles of forest & Yosemite your mob burned down.

Otherwise, yeah - I'm gonna stereotype you.

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 5, 2013 - 03:22pm PT

Suppose it was a hunter with a Mexican/Illegal Alien Father and a Mother from Iran? Then you can stereotype him as triple evil!!

Sep 5, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
When Mexicans start posting all sorts of inflammatory OT nonsense on this forum, be sure to let me know.

I spent a great deal of time posting maps of this fire because some of our members were in harm's way. I did so while gritting my teeth and ignoring the idiotic garbage posted by those who take no personal responsibility at all.

So I'm kinda angry, sorry.
Greg Barnes

Sep 5, 2013 - 04:59pm PT
QINTL, this might help you in dealing with those sort of comments:


Trad climber
Sep 5, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
Since the fire started on the opening day of archery season for deer and bear, blame the bow nuts.
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