Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 22, 2014 - 05:09pm PT
Many of us live or recreate in areas with extreme wildfire risk. I thought I'd attempt to put relevant and current info in one place. If you know of a new fire or have important info (or questions), please post up!
A great summary of fires for California is Yubanet. They have a nice table that is updated very frequently: http://yubanet.com/fire.php
The wildlandfire.com forum is the most accurate and quickly updated and contains information critical to making informed choices about how to react if the fire is near you. I also have a contact at CalFire (former PIO and fire lookout for almost 30 years) who gives us important perspective when it really matters. The Inciweb site and web maps can help determine if smoke will blow your weekend climbing plans.
There was a severe fire started in the campground of Jacks Canyon, a popular sport climbing area in northern AZ, last Saturday around noon. I believe it ended up burning around 1200 acres. It would be prudent to check the status of the area before making travel pans.
The fire jumped the canyon and from what I understand, "there is still a lot of green" in the canyon bottom.
I don't know the status of the official investigation, but given the location of the fire, in my mind there is no doubt this fire was started one way or another, by rock climbers. Please be careful with fire. Anyone with information regarding the cause of this fire is encouraged to contact the proper authorities.
Geomac is another good source for fire perimeter maps.
Your right about it being extremely dry, particularly along a belt from Arizona, thru California and up into southern Oregon. Though it has been a rather mild year for wildfires, it won't take much (say a lightning storm) to stretch firefighting resources thin.
But I don't know the criteria for CalFire getting involved vs municipal.
In California, everything that is not "municipal", e.g. within designated city limits, and not within US land (USFS, USNPS, military reservation, etc) is CalFire responsibility.
So Eric, I'm pretty sure CalFire is your responsible agency. It's a good idea to go and visit their station (Groveland?) and get acquainted. They're always happy to meet their "clients" when they're not on a call.
However, CalFire has extensive mutual aid agreements so they will show up when called by the "responsible agency". CalFire did a huge amount of work on the Rim fire although the responsibility and overall fire management was USFS.
In Santa Cruz county CalFire and Santa Cruz county fire have extensive overlap and they work very closely.
Also, most counties (including Santa Cruz County) have their volunteers and full timers trained by CalFire to full CalFire standards.
They also collaborate on traffic accidents, medical emergencies, Castle Rock rescues. Santa Cruz county fire does surf rescues since that's such a specialty.
Here near Castle Rock any serious call gets a response from both the county fire company and CalFire. The two stations are 6 miles apart. When the CalFire station has been called out of the area the County company will cover the CalFire station with an engine and crew. Santa Cruz county fire and San Mateo/Santa Cruz county CalFire share the dispatch center and maintenance yard.
CalFire and county fire are pretty much joined at the hip for events within the county. CalFire of course can get called anywhere in the state. Sometimes even out of state.
2 years ago I hiked up the Old Big Oak Flat trail past Fireplace Bluffs all the way to the Foresta trail jct and back. I cleaned the trail for Facelift.
I'd never been up that trail before.
Rather an adventure getting across the huge talus field beyond the wood yard. Very pretty when it gets into the forest.
A great day's outing. I saw one (1) (uno) other person on the entire hike. Not a lot of trash, either.
Nice to see this thread here. Quick references to info. when a fire starts. Info. is king and these are the areas everyone in fire looks at. I work in Seki fire doing logistics and its still pretty slow fire wise. But its like sitting inside of a box of matches as dry as it is. Here's another cool site to check out for fire stuff.
MODIS has CA pretty quiet today.
The exception being this flare-up northwest of Placerville. This thing looks like it might have the slight potential to expand --- given that the temps will soar over the next few days. The wind speed outlook is fairly stable over the same period (wsw 7 mph)
As a matter of fact I do have a recommendation.
I've got a 35 year old Husqvarna. It was a midsize model when I bought it. It can use either string or a cutting blade.
It gets about 40 hours use a year. Gave me trouble for the first time this year when it wouldn't start - no fuel. I went down to my local Husky guy who's been selling/repairing for 40 years or so. He sold me (for very few bucks) a new fuel filter and fuel lines. Suggested I take apart the carburetor and check for corrosion on a tiny screen filter. Didn't find any corrosion, replaced fuel lines and filter and BANG. Back to work again.
My wife was almost hoping I couldn't fix it so she could get the brand new model for $450. She does most of the weed whacking. We do a total of about 2 acres a year on rough ground.
I've got three Husky saws that have also never needed a major repair.
I'm guessing your work is moderate duty. Lots of area, dense, tough weeds, minimal brush. I'd suggest the Husky. Get the brush cutter blade if you think you'll be needing it. I've cut through manzanita (very tough wood) as thick as my thumb.
Whichever brush cutter you get, use the Husky string. It's far far better than any other string I've used. Cut's better and lasts much longer.
Big brush fire adjacent to homes in southern San Jose.
If anyone remembers the Mazzones boulders, it's on the southeast side of that ridge.
Besides Santa Clara county units, CalFire is dispatching engines from all over Santa Cruz county and southern San Mateo county.
They're calling engines for structure protection.
My local Saratoga Summit crew (2 wildland engines and a 3000 gallon tanker) has gone to the Curie fire. An engine from Pescadero is being moved up to cover for them.
My newest Husky is an arborist's saw from 2007. It's been fine. It has a plastic cover over the spark plug which got cracked in use. I replaced it for about $10.
Otherwise no trouble.
That's a very useful saw. I probably put more hours on it than my other two saws combined.
looks as if Butts Fire is moving NE away from towns/villages. Just a very few ranches are in it's path. So far
Our local CalFire chief was at our firesafe council meeting last night.
They're really not looking forward to July 4th with the extremely low fuel moisture.
Cal Fire, CHP, State Park and Regional Open Space LEOs are going to be all over the SCruz mtns starting about 3 PM. They've already marked for 4th of July closure dozens of roadside turnouts along the county roads going up to Skyline Ridge (such as Page Mill Rd)
If you're coming up this way for the great fireworks views......you know what to do and not do.
Thought I would post my neighborhood fire from the Idaho Owyhee Desert Fire-ecosystem. It is the second of the year within a mile of where we live.
Another close call with a fire on the west-side of the Snake River this evening. A neighbor called about 5:30PM with the news, then I took these photos over the next two hours.
The fire is now under control, thanks to the efforts of our Choss Creek & Bliss firecrews, and some BLM folks. To my surprise, no air resources were employed.
However, the boldness of our firefighters stopped the fire. Great job folks. We really like and respect what you do! Thank you!
The fire is pretty much out now with a swarm of fire crews working to mop it up.
Just another day in a fire eco-system.
A single-engine aerial tanker is now flying around the fire looking for a place to drop a load of fire retardant. The fire is all but out, and the winds have dropped from 15-20 mph to near calm, although the temps are still at about 100 F.
I guess the pilot needs some Federal money for his fire-fighting efforts.
I am impressed! The fire crews fought the fire like in the good old days of the late 1960's, when I put myself through college working summers for Forest Service Fire Crews.
Our CalFire district chief was very unhappy that Gilroy and Watsonville both still allow "safe and sane" fireworks (oxymoron anyone?)
Both towns, especially Gilroy have dry grassy hills and forests coming to the edge of town.
We'll be in SF for the day and evening watching fireworks over the Bay with friends. Hope my place is still intact when we get home.
Butts fire now 4300 acres and still only 30% contained. Notice the great leap to the North due to spotting. Something like 1/2 mile.
Looks as if it's cooling off.
clarification: "contained" in CalFire speak means a fire line all the way around a fire. Sometimes containment isn't reached until the fire is mostly burnt out.
It's not "out" until there are no, none, zero, zilch "smokes". The Rim fire was still not out last year two weeks after it was 100% contained.
Driving back to the bay on 80 this evening.
Apologies for photo quality. The fire was easily visible from the freeway.
If the news reports last night of the half dozen plus small conflagrations are any indication, it's going to be a long summer.
A large number of small fires today. None of the new ones particularly large, at least so far.
On Saturday there was about the most unusual fire ever.
Guy and wife drive Mercedes SUV up to Castle Rock. On approach, the Merc overheats. Guy parks it on the roadside parking and goes hiking with wife. Reasonably expecting to return later to a useful vehicle.
No such luck. Sometime after it had been left behind, the car self-immolated, burned to a hollow shell and torched the car next to it.
Guy and wife return while CalFire is still putting down the flames.
So if you come up to Castle Rock before the next big rain, don't be surprised by the huge scorch on the side of the ditch.
Seems to be a trend of smaller fires this year- and, looking back at history i was involved in, the latter drought years of any dry period were typically like this.
It is due to a far lesser amount of small fuels, like grasses and small plants due to dryer winters and less moist springs of drought periods. Less fuel= less spread component..
geohistorically, that seems to be the case. karen ingram and other folks have found that most of the largest fires/fire seasons (depending on definition) seem to occur a season or two after a snowy winter due to the increased small fuel load.
and mega floods tend to correlate with drought years because most drought years are also warmer years, which means that snowpack can get catastrophically melted by unusually warm late winter/early spring storms.
but i wouldn't bet my ass on a casual fire season in the sierra, because we've also had other unusual conditions, i.e., historically unusual winds. and above treeline, we still have a century of overgrowth plus the remnants from that last wet winter a few seasons back.
Knowitall Runt Angerson will hurl insults at anyone who disputes him.
The statistics this year show that this years 24k acres to date is 50% higher than the 5 year average of 18k acres burned to date.
Authoritarianism defined! He really believes his own spew despite all factual evidence that he is constantly wrong. He doesn't like "statistics" or"science" or "facts" because they contradict his authority.
Two Santa Cruz/San Mateo county dozer crews were sent to the Bully fire in Shasta County this morning. That's a long way to be calling for that kind of help. It'll take them all afternoon and evening to get there.
One of my local CalFire crews returned last Friday from a week on the 6500 acre Monticello fire.
Pot grower or not, the Bully fire was started by a trail of sparks or something similar from a truck.
Don't underestimate the ability of a hot exhaust or catalytic converter, or a chainsaw or weed whacker to ignite hot extremely dry grasses and brush.
Some uninformed person above wrote:
"Knowitall Runt Angerson will hurl insults at anyone who disputes him.
The statistics this year show that this years 24k acres to date is 50% higher than the 5 year average of 18k acres burned to date.
Authoritarianism defined! He really believes his own spew despite all factual evidence that he is constantly wrong. He doesn't like "statistics" or"science" or "facts" because they contradict his authority. "
I realize this person probably does not know the difference between a chainsaw and a weedwacker, and may not realize that there are other states besides California, but here are some interesting "statistics" from the National Interagency Fire Center:
It is due to a far lesser amount of small fuels, like grasses and small plants due to dryer winters and less moist springs of drought periods. Less fuel= less spread component..
I've been thinking the same thing. Watching my neighbor's big meadow this year there is a much lower fuel load than most years. On the other hand it's been tinder dry since mid-June.
CalFire hired their summer staff 2 months early this year, increased their year round staff and have been All Over every small fire in the Bay area.
Last week I was monitoring a CalFire inmate crew on our Skyline Blvd shaded fuel break project when the two crews got called to a fire down in Stevens Canyon. About 3 miles as the mountain bike plummets but 10 road miles from where we were working. Before the crews could get their tools put away and line up they were cancelled. When the local fire company got to the fire they were able to deal with it themselves.
They're not taking any chances.
None of the fires so far in NCal have been really bad but there have been many more this early.
Another anecdote. A local CalFire captain's CalFire son was on that big San Diego area fire in early May. His small team of about 6 were out on the line when a blowup chased them back down the fire road on foot. Two of them got seriously singed but luckily not hospitalized.
We're all watching this monsoonal moisture coming through the area this week. Lighting in the foothills means fires and the front country is very dry!! I think technology has caught up with Wildfire some. Besides Planes and Helicopters we now have lighting maps on the computer that shows EVERY strike in the park, Positive or Negative. We can fly the area and see pretty fast if there's anything.
In California fuel moisture is at record lows. In my neck of the woods generally observation will discern NO difference in the amount of grass or ground-level fuels. In fact up here in the foothills near Yosemite we had a couple of late season rains that really boosted growth of these fuels.
yeah, seems to be the case throughout the foothills/gold country.
i dont know about the coast range.
we've also had really unusual wind conditions-- calfire and locals have been putting up the kind of hours you usually see only in the height of fire season. they seem to be scrambling air support for each and every report in tuco. even without another rimfire this season, we will be well over an "average" fire budget statewide.
Just plugging Miles Wilson's latest novel Fire Season. Miles was on the Dalton Hot Shot crew in the Angeles Natl' Forest about the same time I was there-mid 1960s. Available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Looking forward to reading it. Paul Gleason and Chuck Hartley are in the group charging up the hill on the cover. Back when orange was the old Nomex.
Keith, cool plug for what looks like an interesting book. Chuck called to tell me about it and I immediately ordered a couple copies.
Khanom, your right. At this point a very worrisome wildfire scene here in North central Washington. Friday night in Pateros sounded like a true fire storm with the fire running down hill to engulf blocks of houses in minutes. How no one got hurt is hard to imagine. People grabbed their pets and minutes later their homes were in flames.
At this point the news is telling us there is 0 containment with winds up to 35 MPH today. The smoke is horrible. Brings back memories of growing up in Southern California!
Keith, as of last night, Jon's house in Leavenworth was still OK.
Those Washington fires are terrible. They are producing so much smoke that I cancelled my planned climb today here in Montana. My heart goes out to those folks who are losing their homes or having to evacuate.
Thanks for sharing that info graphic, Ron. I imagine that a lot of the California folks reading this thread don't realize that other parts of the country are subject to large fires such as those going on in the Pacific Northwest Region. Historically it is still relatively early to be seeing fires of such magnitude in those mountains.
I remember discussing earlier this year and your point that with prolonged, multi-year drought that we have experienced, there are much less fine fuels (i.e. dried, cured grass) available to carry new starts. As you know this is particularly important in the brushier type fuels (such as the sage lands of Nevada / California). From what I have seen there have also been some significant monsoonal pushes which have probably laid down some moisture and created more humid conditions, which have helped prevent large fire growth in the Eastern Sierras / Western Great Basin (NV / CA).
One thing we might keep in mind in the heavier fuel loads (mountain timber areas) is that the pine duff component / needle cast, is extremely dry and can burn without significant grass growth. If you live near pine trees think about how "crunchy" it sounds when you are walking through the woods. In other words it would not surprise me at all if we see some megafires get started in the Sierra Range of California (like the Rim fire last summer) or more large fires in the Cascade Range further north. The season is just getting cranking in these areas. I think it all depends on the weather patterns over the next month or so. We shall see what happens.
Best of luck to all the firefighters and landowners out there in what could prove to be a challenging season.
Keith, thanks for posting up about the book. Will search it out.
I too, was a Dalton Hot Shot and knew Chuck and Paul. Do you remember Woody Hite? He gave me my first job as firefighter on the Baldy District.
John~ I remember Woody. Thought I had a photo of him from the 2013 Dalton reunion, I'll keep looking for it. Rowley sent some good photos of Lew Yazzie, John Chakerian... Maybe you recall Walt Snegowski. He recently reminded me of a bouldering session at Stoney Point with Chouinard around '63, and tells me Royal Robbins once worked on a Mt Baldy tanker crew at one time!?
Here's an InciWeb map of the location of the Chiwhaukum Fire, near Leavenworth.
Phil~Is Dan on any of those fires? Miles sent this photo of Paul on the steep terrain of the Monkey Fire in 1965 where they slept while tied to trees. A young Gordon Rowley behind him.
The Rim fire on Yosemite's northwest border and just down the road from Khanom last year went to 257,000 acres - 400 square miles!
That's a square 20 miles on each side. It burned for 2 months and a week. Started on 17 August and was still burning during Facelift in the last week in September.
I'm still not sure of the tradeoff between extremely dry fuel and sparse grasses. I live in a mix of grassland and forest. I'm seeing lots of branches turning brown already on oaks and firs. Fir branches are never supposed to turn brown. I think the fuel load not grown by the grasses is being replaced by freshly dying vegetation. Even the patch of coyote brush at the top of my driveway is turning brown.
Way cool picture, man! Looks like Paul was in his element. I sure miss him. We were lucky to have a person like him in our lives.
Yes, Dan is on the fire near Jon's house. The Carlton Complex fire seems to have quieted down, but the weather service is calling for thunder storms on Wednesday. Even for some of us who are used to living in "fire country" this is looking like a scary season. Keith, any chance you want to grab a shovel and hang out at my house?
NeeBee: Thanks for the positive thoughts. Three people who I've worked with for the last 20 years lost their homes. How does one help? What does one say to someone who watched all they own go up in flames?
Fires (more than one) at Hwy 9 and 236
This is where Castle Rock and Big Basin state parks come together.
Also a major commute from Bay Area to the San Lorenzo valley: Boulder Creek, Felton, Santa Cruz etc.
CalFire and County Fire all over it with the Alma Helitack chopper and crew.
just now they called out crews and dozers for a fire at 236 and China Grade in Big Basin State Park above Boulder Creek.
Holy crap, that's just up the hill from me-I'm on the volunteer FD the next town over from Boulder Creek. I heard sirens go by a bit ago (Felton CalFire passes us to get there). They haven't called us for mutual aid yet, which is probably (hopefully!) a good thing.
A friend is high on a ridge looking down on the area.
The new fire at China Grade was spotted by the Alma chopper getting ready to drop on the earlier fire at 236 and 9.
He wiped out the China grade fire instead.
There's also a fixed wing tanker on site now.
hey there say, DMT... and sully... i JUST now learned about this 'sand fire'
will go see the links...
whewww... keeping you in my thoughts and prayers... and others in that area, as well...
the house-sitting... oh sully, three horses, :O to move out...
i remember when my brother matt had to move his horse out...
he could NOT get it into the trailer, and then, it has a slightly
touchy foot... he ended up walking it out, through the night,
quite a ways to some friends...
may you have safe open doors to get this down, if you have to... :(
DMT, if things get worse, do you have any options for help?
did not see yet, but who else, here, is near this?
i think you all read this already (from the 25th) i think:
PLYMOUTH, Calif. (KCRA) —Firefighters were making progress Friday night containing a grass fire burning along the line that separates Amador and El Dorado counties.
Amador County fire
Amador County fire
Photo snapped at the Shenandoah Vineyards (July 25, 2014)
Photo courtesy Robert Sobon
Flames from Highway 49 fire engulf home
Flames from Highway 49 fire engulf home
A grass fire in El Dorado and Amador counties burns a home off Highway 49 on Friday.
The fire, which has forced evacuations for people who live along Sand Ridge Road and Freshwater Lane, was 20 percent contained as of 10:30 p.m., according to Cal Fire officials.
The Sand Fire, as it is called, has burned 1,300 acres and destroyed at least two structures.
View #SandFire photos
Between 200 and 250 people have been evacuated, according to El Dorado County sheriff's officials.
An evacuation center has been setup at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. Evacuated animals are also being sheltered at the fairgrounds.
Sheriff's officials are asking evacuees to enter the fairgrounds from Forni Road on the side of the Denny's Restaurant.
Highway 49 remains open throughout the area.
Watch report: Wildfire burns on border of Amador-El Dorado counties
A massive plume of smoke was visible for at least 50 miles Friday afternoon.
KCRA's Mark Finan said satellite imagery showed smoke drifting into El Dorado, Nevada and Placer counties.
LiveCopter 3 flew over the scene Friday evening, where it appeared the fire was burning on both sides of the Cosumnes River.
Firefighters are battling steep terrain under dry and hot conditions. Temperatures, which were in the triple digits when the fire started in the afternoon, remained in the 80s throughout the evening.
Residents and visitors to the area have been told to be prepared and aware of the unfolding situation, said Lynne Tolmachoff, a spokeswoman for the state's fire department. More evacuation orders are possible.
Story Winery sits to the south of where the fire is burning. An employee at the winery said flames came within 200 yards, but as of Friday evening, the fire was moving away from that area.
The blaze started about 4:30 p.m., just north of Plymouth, in a very remote area.
Access is tough for Cal Fire crews, Tolmachoff said. Also posing a challenge to firefighters is how high the blaze is burning. Many treetops are on fire.
Air tankers and helicopters were flying over the Gold Beach area Friday afternoon.
Overnight, fire crews will use bulldozers to cut fire lines in an effort to stop the blaze from spreading, Cal Fire officials said.
The fire is about 45 miles east of Sacramento. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Dry, thick brush and oak trees are fueling the blaze.
Early reports indicate a vehicle fire may have spread to some nearby vegetation, sparking the massive blaze, officials said.
Ten fire engines and two command officers from Sacramento County headed out to the Amador region Friday evening, including units from Cosumnes, Sac Metro, Folsom and Wilton Fire.
Keith....Worked with all those guys you mentioned. Still have the orange fire shirt. Much respect for Chuck, Yazzie, Gordon and Woody. No respect for Chakerian! Johnny Miles the cook was a hoot. Brought that military work ethic into the kitchen at the bunk house. Watch out if you got an Jonny's bad side during KP. Never knew RR worked up there on the Baldy!
My wife's last year with the FS (33 years). She is currently driving computers up on the Washington fires.
Having owned animals I would have been incapable of evacuating myself, ( donkey and goats ) I was advised to let them out of their corral, and close the gate behind them so they can't get back "home". They stand a better chance of making good survival decisions when they can't retreat back to what's always been their safe place.
Good luck. There's only so much you can do, and that's what stinks the most about these things.
Wildfire Near Yosemite Forces Road Closures, Evacuations
July 26, 2014
Evacuations are in place for the community of Foresta as firefighters battle a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park.
The fire started Saturday around 4:30 p.m. and now covers approximately 500 acres.
It is burning in the Merced Canyon, and has been named the “El Portal Fire.”
The closure of Highway 120, between Crane Flat and the Highway 120/140 junction has been ordered. The community of Foresta has been ordered evacuated.
Many resources have been ordered to attack the fire: ground crews, air craft, and helicopters. More resources will arrive throughout the evening.
Khanom.. this is what I have from a friend in the Park. 140 is not closed. Roads off of it are closed and 120 is closed from the intersection of 140 to crane flat. So one can't get to the meadows from the valley or exit out your way from the valley.
this is the information on road closures from the sierra runtimes..
Road Closure Information 7/26/2014 18:30
Hwy 140 through Yosemite National Park is Open.
Foresta Rd is closed at Hwy 140
Crane Creek Rd is closed at Hwy 140
Hwy 120 closed at Hwy 140
Hwy 120 closed at Crane Flat
An El Portal friend took this picture today from Glacier point rd. and looking toward Merced canyon and Foresta..
I heard through FB, that my friends homes in Foresta are safe.. so far.....
Hoping the best for the Foresta community.
The silver lining on this thing is that daytime temps will be going down over the next few days, winds are light to moderate, and the humidity is going up. There's even a slight chance of precip on Monday.
I don't have any recent news, John. We were camped in White Wolf, and left early this morning to make sure we could get out to the west. Needless to say, it was a rather long trip back to Fresno.
There was still a lot of smoke this morning, but there seemed to be even more smoke coming from the west of the Park entrance. I'm glad to hear the Dark Hole fire is behaving, because this morning, they were saying in White Wolf that it, too, might be going out of control.
Why was Bridalveil Creek closed? Lack of water, perhaps?
Not related to any of the fires currently burning but I took this video near the top of North Dome yesterday. It took the chopper barley 10 minutes to arrive after we called it in. It's amazing how accurate these guys are, it was pretty windy!
This is the MODIS profile for the last couple of hours.
Looks like they've gotten the earlier NW flank down for now , but a section north and west of Foresta is heating up. The wind is shifting around a lot more than yesterday's prediction.
At 2 pm it's out of the wsw at 8 mph. Also the temps are much higher than predicted---but then so is the humidity.
There is a fire burning between rock creek and fish creek campgrounds near North Fork ca. 500+ acres (French fire) . Tankers have been flying over all afternoon and the plume of smoke is visible. It looks like it could rain and I sure hope it does.
For the SoYo gang - got a 500 acre and growing fire south of Mammoth Pool Reservoir - Rock Creek and Fish Creek campgrounds are evacuated. Talked to bud of mine on the Bass Lake FD who says Minarets Road will be closed any minute now. But they will be hitting it hard after last years big burn at mammoth Pool itself.
Saturday, July 26th when I took my tour to Glacier Point there was a week-old fire update posted on an information board which included a map of the fires currently burning in Yosemite, The fires were ignited by lightning by a series of storms during the week of July 16th. On the map those fires are marked with small red fire symbols; some of the fires’ names are labeled.
When we got out to Glacier Point, I could see that the Dark Hole Fire on upper Yosemite Creek had grown considerably in the previous 48 hours; we could even see flames with binoculars. However, I could not get the flames on a picture.
After leaving Glacier Point, we went down to Yosemite Valley to view the scenic wonders of the Valley. After walking up to the pool beneath Lower Yosemite Fall, we drove down the Valley toward El Capitan where we saw a HUGE smoke plume from somewhere down the canyon. Thus, Ken decided to forego the usual stop near El Capitan Meadow and continue toward El Portal, to decrease the likelihood or being trapped by a possible closure of Hwy 140.
When we arrived at Yosemite View Lodge, where some of our guests were staying, we could see flames above the hillside and helicopters sucking water from the Merced River and flying over the ridge to deliver their water loads onto the fire out of our sight.
Occasionally, the fire would come over the ridge toward Yosemite View Lodge,, but then it would retreat out of our view.
"I've been through four or five of these fires over the last 20 years. It's always a concern, but we've always held up pretty well around here. And the fire crews are pretty amazing around here," said Ken Yaeger who was forced to evacuate.
Yaeger came back to see if he could pick up some items from his home. Even though he has confidence in the skills of fire fighters, the drought, and extremely dry conditions have him worried.
"I'm sure everybody in the foothills is going to be concerned, it's going to be a bad year," Yaeger said.
Temps are down and humidity is up for these fires, although winds might be a little gusty today.
Looks like the northern flank of the El Portal fire is presently being driven by S/SW gusts.
The wind is expected to shift around to the NW later today .
The Dark Hole fire has looked much,much better the last 2 days. It's cooling down and hasn't expanded appreciably.
There's even a prediction of 10% rain there tomorrow. Even if it doesn't rain at least its an indication there'll be a lot more moisture in the air. If the wind behaves itself and there are not a whole lot of fire lightning strikes ,then the overall outlook is good . At least for now.
El Portal fire suppression from the air. Probably veteran crews from last year's Rim fire, I'm thinking.Second go-round an hour and twenty minutes later.Get some!
5:10 p.m., yet one more trip into the airport. For a total of at least four RTs this afternoon.
Man I feel bad for you guys, but strangely it has not bee that way up here the last few years. The first Decade I lived here we had massive blazes yearly but not so much the last 10 years. This year we had late snow, cool temps and a fair amount of rain. The forest or what is left of it after fires and beatle kill is now a jungle of bushes, weeds and fallen down trees in many places. Anyway I hope this all dies down soon.
unreal thunder and lightning in sonora last night. like unreal-- like high in the alps-style thunder and lightning.
I ran up to Grass Valley yesterday, and kept watching the clouds build in my mirrors for most of the drive home. I wondered if they'd amount to anything. They blew up fast and looked pretty angry, so I'm not too surprised that they did.
Totally dry here on Castle Rock Ridge. Only 0.6" rain since April 6.
Threatened rain on last Fri-Sat-Sun. I watched the distant small curtains of rain evaporate before ever reaching the ground.
At least we didn't get lightning!
I woke up this morning to rain drops on my sleeping bag here in Wawona. I was sleeping on a friends porch. I packed up my stuff and then it didn't rain. Guess I should have kept my stuff outside. haha.. Now it is very smokey here.
Would modis be showing that fires cool down at night? Because based on the smoke, things sure seem to be going here.
Conflicting 120 info.
Right now, YNP road conditions
Closed from Big Oak Flat Entrance to Crane Flat (Hodgdon Meadow Campground is accessible from the west)
120 is not open at the Big Oak Flat entrance.
120 IS open via 41/140
(continuation of Highway 120 through the park)
(Information about Highway 120 outside Yosemite)
No access from Hwy 120 from the west (but is accessible via Hwys 41 and 140 from the west)
There's construction on 120 at Ellery Lake, east of Tioga Pass with traffic delays.
they might just be moving a lot of assets around crane flat heliport.
got rained on at kennedy meadows today-- yesterday's t-storms were so intense that middle fork (what's left of it) looked like Big Muddy. huge sediment dumps-- if the trout survive, yr not going to want to eat them.
fair bit of smoke from pinecrest to kennedy earlier, but it cleared out a bit as the day went on.
The current map suggests that the section of road from Crane Flat to 140 (Big Oak Flat Road) has been reopened.
But since the fire perimeter is moving closer, I'm not confident this is true (or stable).
whether it makes sense in the context of the fire and winds, looks like the bottom line is you can get to Tuolumne right now (Wednesday evening) via 41 or 140 to the Valley then up Big Oak Flat road to Crane Flat and up 120 to Tmds.
Trains of Harleys with open pipes streaming over 120 in Tuol Mdws is repugnant.
Says the (relatively quiet) motorcycle rider.
You could substitute racing pipes Rice Burners except they are only loud when at open throttle. Unlike Hawgs which are nearly as loud at 2000 rpm as at 5000 rpm.
<end OT rant>
Anyone know of a decent current smoke map? I can't figure out which fire this smoke is coming from. With a west southwest wind, the El Portal fire smoke should be blowing away from us. and the French fire should be too far east.
Lodge LCA fire started yesterday on the upper Eel River NW of Laytonville.
Now at 85 acres.
It's 6 miles and 1 ridge W of my son's previous summer camp: Camp Winnarainbow. My wife nurses there every summer. Her shift was a month ago.
We have good friends just south of Laytonville, she's the head nurse at Winnarainbow
Good luck up there Wavy and Johannara, Jundi and the other counsellors, Rose and David and all the campers.
There are a lot of airtankers and helicopters working this afternoon in the mountains of Northern California (north of Redding, CA), Medford, OR area and up into the Bend / Prineville region. Fire weather watches posted.
In the Santa Cruz mountains, the morning CalFire checkin (includes county fire and volunteer companies) asked all mountain companies to cover their equipment.
That means volunteer companies to their stations and "regulars" to man their stations with all hands.
It's as hot today as yesterday. No forecast for moisture in the next week.
At least forecast cooling off a little on Sat and Sun.
Two local CDCR inmate crews were sent out of area to a fire.
Lodge fire now to 600 acres, spotting and spreading.
I haven't noticed a whole lot of air activity over the Yosemite area. That is a good sign for fire fighters and residents.
Most of the heavy airtankers and helitankers are active in roughly the Redding / Medford / Bend / Wenatchee, WA mountains. With SEAT activity in the lower country extending all the way into ID and northern MT.
And it is not even August yet. It might be a long month if this weather continues.
Some news and notes from areas a little further north of Yosemite:
0700 CA-KNF Beaver Fire: 400 acres, 11% contained. Moderate rate of spread, with active short runs during the afternoon. Active burning observed on all flanks. NorCal IMT2 Team 2 (Johnson) will inbrief at 1200 hours today.
CA-MEU Lodge Complex: 650 acres, 5% contained. Steep slopes and difficult access are hampering containment efforts. CAL FIRE IMT Team 4 (Derum) assumed command of the incident this morning.
CA-KNF July Complex: Complex comprises the White (1,000 acres, 0% contained), Leef (17 acres, 45% contained) and Log (130 acres, 0% contained) fires. White Fire is making significant upslope runs with single tree torching; Leef fire has forward progress stopped and is smoldering; Log fire is active on all flanks. California IMT Team 1 (McGowan) will inbrief today.
CA-LNF Bald Fire: 3,100 acres, 0% contained. Fire is threatening Pacific Crest Trail, historical structures and power, communication and transportation infrastructures. Fire progressing at a moderate rate of spread, with short range spotting and torching. NorCal IMT2 Team 1 (Minton) is assigned to this fire and will inbrief at 1400 hours today.
CA-LMU Day Fire: 7,000 acres, 5% contained. Fire continues to make significant runs with long range spotting. Continued threat to the community of Day, Lookout Ranchettes, local power infrastructure and commercial timberlands. CAL FIRE IMT Team 3 (Michael) will inbrief today.
All main roads within Yosemite National Park, including the Big Oak Flat Road, are open. Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. The community of Foresta remains closed.
Through work I have access to a program which lets me view all the firefighting aircraft in the country. It's pretty cool and gives me a good idea where the activity is happening (airtankers and heavy helicopters flying typically means something is going on).
I don't see any other aircraft over that Mariposa area, so it was either a false alarm or they caught it small.
Fire on Hwy 1 (the coastal highway) N of Santa Cruz, just S of Waddell Beach.
On the ocean side of the road.
Fire crews were called out about an hour ago. There haven't been any more callouts and I can't see any significant smoke rising over the coastal hills so I'm guessing it's under control.
It looks to really be heating up in northern Cal. If forecasted lightning and winds pan out, it could be an interesting month:
1615 Update from news and notes:
CA-HUU McClellan Fire: 30 acres, 0% contained, burning brush. Fire is located on Highway 36 at McClellan Mountain Road, Dinsmore. Rapid rate of spread. Structures threatened, evacuations in progress.
CA-LMU Day Fire: 7,000 acres, 10% contained. Mandatory evacuations of the Lookout Ranchettes have been issued.
CA-SHF Coffee Fire: 200 acres, 0% contained, burning in timber. Fire is located in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, 5 miles northwest of Coffee Creek. Moderate to rapid rate of spread.
CA-KNF Little Deer Fire: 350 acres, 0% contained, burning in brush and timber. Fire is located near Highway 97, 11 miles southwest of Macdoel. Moderate rate of spread. Fire is burning towards Highway 97.
OR-ODF Oregon Gulch Fire: 9000 acres, 0% contained. Fire is burning near the community of Copco, south of the Oregon border. Fire was part of the Beaver Complex east of Ashland, Oregon that burned into California overnight. Structure threat to the community of Copco. Fire is being managed by an ODF Type 1 team. 1,000 acres is burning in Siskiyou County, California. Fire is in Unified Command with CAL FIRE.
CA-LNF Eiler Fire: 950 acres, 0% contained, burning in timber. Fire is located in the 1,000 Lakes Wilderness, 12 miles southwest of Burney. Rapid rate of spread.
Here's some morning news and notes from North Ops:
CA-KNF Little Deer: 600 acres, 10% contained.
CA-SHF Coffee Fire: 750 acres, 5% contained. Fire made significant runs upslope due to rollout and numerous snags. Heavy inversion settled over the fire during the night.
OR-ODF Beaver Complex: 11,623 acres, 2% contained. 4,645 acres are burning in California. Evacuation notices in effect for Copco Road area. Threat to Fallbrook water supply source for Yreka. Fire is in Unified Command with CAL FIRE.
CA-KNF July Complex: California IMT1 Team 1 (McGowan) assumed command of the complex at 0600 hours. Complex includes the White Fire, Log Fire and the Leef Fire. White Fire: 2,500 acres, 0% contained, rollout continued overnight with active backing. Log Fire: 350 acres, 0% contained, rollout continues to hamper containment efforts; fire is in Unified Command with CAL FIRE. Leef Fire: 17 acres, 90% contained. Minimal fire activity reported.
CA-KNF Beaver: 1,751 acres, 5% contained. Fire spotted across Beaver Creek, doubling the fire size. The fire made significant runs to the north east late into the night. Mandatory evacuations are in effect for the Beaver Creek area. Advisory evacuations are in place along the Klamath River.
CA-MEU Lodge Complex: 902 acres, 20% contained. Fire continued to spread in all directions. Steep terrain and potential for rolling debris is hampering containment efforts.
CA-Eiler Fire: 6,932 acres, 0% contained. Fire is under command of NorCal Team 1 (Minton). Fire made significant sustained runs yesterday. Fire has crossed Highway 89; Highway 89 remains closed in the fire area. Evacuations remain in place. Thousand Lakes Wilderness is closed.
CA-LNF Bald Fire: 17,977 acres, 5% contained. Fire is in Unified Command with CAL FIRE. Extreme fire behavior, with rapid rates of spread and long range spotting. Evacuations are in place for Little Valley Road. Burlington Northern-Santa Fe rail line remains shut down.
CA-LMU Day Fire: 12,500 acres, 15% contained. Fire continues to move with high intensity. Wind driven runs produced long range spotting up to 1/2 mile.
* Dry with Gusty Southwest Winds East of Cascade-Sierra Crest Today *
* Thunderstorms Late Sunday Through Friday, Peaking on Monday *
The very hot/dry conditions at the surface have dried dead fuels down to critically dry levels in most areas. 1000-hr fuels are down to between 5-10% across most inland areas. In addition, live fuel moisture is down to between 75-110% in higher elevations (above 4000 ft), and 65-75% in lower elevations (with locally drier spots). These critically dry fuel conditions are now producing rapid fire growth. Abundant lightning, even combined with rainfall, Sunday night and Monday will likely lead to new ignitions. With resource drawdown at its current level, abundant new lightning is considered a HIGH RISK situation.
I spoke with Mr. Cliff today, an NPS firefighter, who was taking a day off at Glacier Point. Neither of us had been up there in quite some time and today, of all days, was unique because of the tremendous layer of smoke all over.
He had just yesterday taken a chopper flight to the top of one of the high points across from Glacier, like North Dome, someplace in the picture above, anyway. He'd been on the go since before the El Portal fire and was happy as heck to get this break.
We pulled out of Arnold Meadows the other day after the mandatory evac for the French Fire.
The northern head of the fire at the time was coming up the Chiquito Creek drainage from Mammoth Pool around the Wagners Store area. About 3 miles south of us as the embers fly.
Talked to my Bass Lake FD bud last night - they have staged 5 Engine Companies inside of our meadow with a dozer line being cut to our south from Lower Chiquito campground easterly to Minarets road near the FS Workstation.
Over the last 5 years - the local FS had done a lot of underbrush clearing around our area - hoping that work pays off. What concerns them and us the most is that Arnold Meadows has about 150 one acre lots - maybe 50 have houses or cabins with the rest being set up either for tent camping or covered with crap since the absentee owners haven't been up in years.
It's those crap lots that spook us the most - the one due south of me has 20 years of tree fall and understory trash trees that would go up like a bomb if fire hit. Dawny and I have over the years slowly "moved" into that lot - have probably cleared about 75 feet of it from our side - but that still leaves a couple hundred of feet still full of tinder.
But again, we have four owners who have a vested interest in their property plus the skills to do something about fire - one BLFD, one recently retired CalFire Captain, one active USFS Hotshot and another FD guy from the Valley.
Feeling better about the prospects but damn - that whole area is going to look like sh#t for years after this fire.
have probably cleared about 75 feet of it from our side
That's a very good start.
As you probably know, CalFire likes 100feet of "defensible space"
Cut everything up to 8" diameter (except any special species, such as perhaps Pacific Yew)
In the Santa Cruz mtns it's Toyon, Buckeye and Madrone if it's sparse.
Remove all branches up to 10 feet.
Check with your CalFire for best reduction method: options are chipping, burn piles (a bit late for that this year) and lop and scatter.
Very likely you already know this.
It's those crap lots that spook us the most - the one due south of me has 20 years of tree fall and understory trash trees that would go up like a bomb if fire hit. Dawny and I have over the years slowly "moved" into that lot - have probably cleared about 75 feet of it from our side - but that still leaves a couple hundred of feet still full of tinder.
yeah, that's my world, too. absentee owner, stacks of brush and ladder fuels.
One contrarian view on dropping dead trees.
From a friend who was ex CalFire fighter, chief, fire behaviorist and then resources manager of a major open space district in the Bay Area.
As fire behaviorist, Pat was the guy sitting in a trailer at the fire camp working with weather data, fuel load and topographic maps and computer models trying to work out what the fire was likely to do next.
Standing dead trees are often best left in place. With no green vegetation they don't spread fire quickly. They are great animal habitat (owls, bats, bugs, squirrels, etc). One tree can house dozens of critters of several species.
Obviously they are prone to coming down in a fire (or a storm) so don't leave them near anything you care about. Or power lines!
Our local CDCR inmate camp is spread thin. Our shaded fuel break project could only get one crew today. Most of the camp crews are out on fire lines.
We're having the first cool, moderate relative humidity day in nearly a month.
Ladder Fuels - yep, that's been the phrase of the year for a while now.
My lot spills out onto the meadow itself on the west side. Twice a season I weedwhack and mow the meadow down to about 4 inches running out about 150 feet from the leading tree line. There is a overly healthy river willow stand that follows a couple of seasonal watercourses and I have taken to thinning the dead stuff and cutting the branches up to a height of about 3 feet above the mowed part.
We have lifted the limbs on the leading edge of the trees to a height of 20-30 feet and cut any dead finger branch I can reach from a 36 foot ladder and a 20 foot pole saw.
But again, it's that trash tree lot to my south that scares me. The "owner" hasn't come up in over 10 years - we offered to buy him out back when we had money but never heard from them. I'm thinking after this fire season is over - we will say screw 'em and just go ahead and clear that pile ourselves.
"Evacuation order will be lifted on Wedensday August 6th at 9:00 AM for residents living in the Arnold Meadows and Wagners Mammoth Pool Resort area. The Forest Service Area Road and Trail Closure remains in effect and the area remains closed to the public."
Nothing like dodging a bullet to make you feel grateful for the men and women who risk their lives to save the hopes and dreams of strangers.
Doubly amazing to find out DMT knows the lyrics to a Rush song!!!!!!!!!!
Intense deer pressure here as well. I walk my dog in a large meadow in the forest about 10 PM every night.
The deer seem to be diminishing. Maximum in June, 9 at a time, 6 or 7 nearly each evening.
Now max is 4, just 3 last night. A couple of nights have been zero.
For a year there has been a magnificent yellow eyed buck. Haven't seen him in about 2 weeks. He's quite noticeable at night.
Now for a fire update. On Tuesday there was a significant fire in the Santa Cruz mountains at the top of King's Creek Road.
Within 20 minutes there were a Huey Helitak crew/water dropper, an S2 twin engine tanker and an OV10 Bronco command craft.
Within 2 hours it was fully contained. Had it climbed the ridge, it would have been 1 1/2 miles of wilderness canyon from my house. The fire was entirely on private land but about 1/4 mile from the Castle Rock State Park southern boundary. The fire crews drove down the Kings Creek Truck Trail which we cleared last year as a shaded fuel break project. This saved them about 15 minutes drive time vs Highway 9 or Bear Creek Rd.
You can see the Huey in this photo. He was sucking water from a nearby pond.
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Aug 7, 2014 - 02:34pm PT
"Essentially it's government robots not wanting to stick their neck out if the evidence isn't 120% definitive."
If that's true, can you really blame them? If a mistake is made, they get crucified from every angle (not to mention debilitating litigation). Who would want to stick there neck out, knowing there's a strong likelihood it's gonna get chopped, one way or the other?
Not defending land managers in general, by any stretch. I do have some empathy for what they have to deal with, though.
I hope they throw the book at Keith Matthew Emerald.
Stupid friggen b**tard.
Thanks to Google he'll go down in history. 20 years from now when someone google's Rim Fire, they'll get old fashioned 22cal bullets and this moron.
Some not so good news.
The Lodge fire just west of Camp Winnarainbow has spotted eastward for the first time and is now on the Winnarainbow/Hwy 101 east side of the ridges. Now less than 4 miles away.
Winnarainbow has kids for one more week. Hope they're not having too much smoke.
At least the fire will be easier to fight.
7:15 AM morning report:
The fire continues to burn in heavy timber. Firefighters are challenged by steep, rugged terrain with difficult access. Fire activity increased yesterday as the eastern flank of the fire pushed to the south. The fire crossed the Eel River in two areas and continues to grow to the east. Structure defense preparation continues near populated areas and firefighting personnel continue to make progress constructing fire line across the northern and southern boundaries of the fire.
My sister and her family are part owners of The Big Bend Lodge on the Eel River and crews are staying there. They've been clearing like mad, made a helipad, and are otherwise doing as much in preparation for the fire's arrival. Scary.
the MODIS map I posted shows that the fire has moved south from the Lodge since last evening. They'll have good dozer lines but there'll be plenty of hotspots to mop up. They'll likely be OK now. You can bet the fire crews are thankful for their assistance.
Sounds like the Lodge is busy!!! Poor septic. :) Thank you for the links everybody.
edit: my sis says that the fire is still slowly progressing towards the lodge as far as her source of information is concerned. Smoke plumes build up, everyone gets more gripped, then they die down, or at least move out of sight. Deep canyon living. Its like living in a cave.
Bad news on the Lodge Lightning Complex fire close to US101 between Laytonville and Legget.
Continues to spread eastward.
8 firefighters injured when it popped over a ridge.
5 of them CDCR inmates. My local inmate camp and CalFire stations have crews up there.
I have some sympathy for the CDCR inmate crews. I've worked with them for the past two years on shaded fuel break projects. Decent enough non-violent state prison inmates doing their best to keep out of prison. Some of them will return to prison. Bad habits can be hard to break. I've seen them work their arses off for me, I can only imagine how hard they work on a fire line. Pretty much nonstop except for a few hours sleep here and there, often just bivvying out in the forest when the crew gets relieved. Two weeks ago, I got an inmate crew who'd returned after several days on a North Cal fire the night before. They were really dragging. I've worked several times with their Captain and she knows how to work them. She cut them all the slack they wanted that day.
Our project has not had a crew all this week. So were stalled till next Tuesday. If then.
Eight firefighters were injured as the fire crested a portion of Brush Mountain. All eight firefighters were transported to burn centers and treated for burns; they remain in stable condition. According to CalFire Director Ken Pimlott the injuries are considered serious but not life threatening. Three of the firefighters were from a fire agency on loan to fight the fire and five were members of the California Department of Corrections fire crews assigned to the fire.
Just to clear the air about that miserable SOB Emerald and the Rim fire, here is yesterday's Merced Sun-Stroke news.Erik, I'm sorry for your financial loss, hoss. Yer obviously one of the hardest-working members of your community there and my sympathy goes out to the rest of them, as well.
We pulled into the entrance to land owned by Hillview Water. There was a man named Richard there with the key to the gate, waiting for trucks from Ahwahnee.
Richard told us *Gene and myself) that the water company's land abutted a parcel that had been used for years as a dumping spot, filled with rubbish and old tires, that it was used by "homeless dopers" and that ilk. He was expecting that one of them began the blaze. Another gent came up and corroborated that view, saying that they were a plague in Oakhurst in the summer, especially.
The trucks began streaming by (three of them) at around 2:08.
On the way to Nip we saw one more pumper unit and three trucks with hand crews from Mt. Bullion. On the way down 140 into Merced County we saw a red CalFire truck heading uphill.
We looked at each other and shook our heads. This ought to have been controlled, as there is a tank of water sitting filled on the Hillview property.
As I look out the window here in Middle Earth, the sky is murky over the mountains.
This is the date the Rim fire began, if memory serves.
Starting tomorrow CAL FIRE will have a landline set up in the Sheriff’s Command Center for the general public to call about fire information.
That number will be: 559-658-2560; ext. 115
AS OF 10:03 pm Pacific Time:
1200 acres have burned
Cause of Fire remains under investigation
8 structures have been damaged from the fire
500-plus homes are still threatened
600 Fire Fighters continue to battle the wildfire
Cal Fire is work with CAL OES for mutual aid to assist in defending structures
One Fire Fighter was injured and transported to an area hospital for evaluation.
hope this helps folks... wow, i wish i knew what was going on, for my
brother and his wife, :( (did try calling them, hours agao)...
Around 2:00pm I was working in my yard and heard helicopters and planes circling around near by. I thought it sounded like they were fighting a fire. As I couldn't see or smell smoke I wasn't too concerned. Around 4:00pm I decided to head up to Shut Eye (Chilkoot Lake area)for an evening boulder session. As I drove down the hill from our house I rounded a curve and the fire came into view. Holy shit! Huge plumes of smoke and flames burning along the ridge just west of town and Hwy 41. Not deterred I headed down to town and turned N on 41. Things were just starting to get really bad. As I passed Sweetwater Steak House I pulled over on the right (just before Standard Propane). Towering flames were fast approaching Hwy 41. I hung a u turn and headed back home. I knew they would close the road very soon and I needed to be there to coordinate an evacuation if necessary. I was somewhat comforted by the fact that the fire would have to jump the highway to threaten our house...but if it did so it would race up the hill straight to our home. I got home and packed the truck and the car and prepped the animal crates. An hour or so later I drove back to where I had first seen the fire and law enforcement and fire personel were driving up and down the road. I flagged them down and they told me the fire had jumped the highway and was right over the ridge to the north from our house and that we should get out. They got a dozer up there pretty damn quick. I wasn't willing to leave just yet and decided to wait until I saw actual flames at the ridge top. A short time later I rode to the top of the ridge on my motor cycle to see how bad it was. From an evacuated home on top of the ridge I could see soaring lames a few hundred yards away and expected them to burn my way. They held off. Now dusk you could see glowing embers being carried aloft in huge plumes of smoke. I thought the worst if those embers landed on our side of the ridge. They need to get a crew up here fast! Just as I thought this I heard the rumbling of vehicles and a convoy of fire trucks arrived. I felt better and headed home ready to evacuate on a moments notice. As darkness descended I kept a weary eye out on the ridge for flames. Ashes fell like a very light snowfall illuminated by my headlamp. Gradually the smoke diminished and the stars showed bright. Good job fire crew! We made it.
I knew they would close the road very soon and I needed to be there to coordinate an evacuation if necessary. I was somewhat comforted by the fact that the fire would have to jump the highway to threaten our house...but if it did so it would race up the hill straight to our home.
that's the part, that really got me scared, after i first called mom...
she shared the address, so i could find where you were, in regards to the fire and it was THEN that i feared that too...
did not know of this, wow, 'til just before you called her, so
wow, you were really on quard for a while... whewwww...
was so glad for the northern movement of it, when i realized it
was not moving straight over towards you...
hope the cats and wife, are doing well through this...
brave fight, and i was so worried all night, hoping for
say, mark, also, childhood friend, diane, called and was concerned about
you and jaime, too... she will glad to hear this... whewwwwwww, again, and wow...
I have a friend that has land up there in Oakhurst. Does anyone have a link to a map that shows the areas burned? I tried the Cal fire site.
Is the fire only south of 41, or is it also between 41 and 49?
Since this is all purpose, this post refers to current and past fires in the NW. Climbed Adams last weekend. There was no view of Hood due to the smoke. The views of Rainier and St.Helens were painted with a brown sludge below the smog/smoke line with a little topping of white at the highest elevations.
The weather has been getting better. We expect to start a small demobilization of fire foreces perhaps this week. We had over 8,000 firefighters on the lines.
Thanks, Khanom! Our acquaintances who live in Oakhurst have reported some of the devastation, but since they were in Fresno when they told us, the report was necessarily incomplete. They seemed to think that some homeless drug addicts caused the fire. That may just be convenient scapegoating, but it wouldn't be the first time that sort of thing has happened around here. Very tragic, regardless of the cause.
"The first/last palms on the way in from Merced are about two minutes west of the base of the hill up to Mariposa on the north side,
just before the little county park which is on the south side."--PTPP
That Skycrane is awesome to watch.
6 years ago there was a fire in Castle Rock State Park, just across the next ridge from me. Due to overgrown vegetation they couldn't get engines near it until they cleared the fire road with 'dozers 24 hours later.
Meanwhile I went to my neighbor's place where he has a view down over Stephens Creek reservoir, 2000 feet below.
Watching that giant insect suck up 2750 gals of water in less than a minute then climb up the mountain we saw the pilots literally face to face as they rose just above the trees.
7 minutes round trip from reservoir to fire to reservoir. They and the CalFire Huey from Alma held the fire until hand crews could hike through the forest to get to it.
From CalTrans site: State Hwy 49 IS CLOSED 13 MI SOUTH OF THE JCT OF SR 140 /AT CHOWCHILLA RD/ (MARIPOSA CO) DUE TO A WILDFIRE - MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE
Smoke plume looks bad from near Mariposa.
From Cal Fire:
Bridge Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: September 5, 2014 2:20 pm
Date/Time Started: September 5, 2014 12:42 pm
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit / Mariposa County Fire
County: Mariposa County
Location: Highway 49 at Harris Road, 10 miles east of Mariposa
Evacuations are in place for homes on Harris Cutoff Road and all of the Ponderosa Basin Area.
For more evacuation information visit the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office Nixle
Road Closures : On highway 49 between Worman Road and Chowchilla Mountain Road
Biotch...The Sherwin Lake fire must have been a campfire...Hasn't been any lightning recently...There was a similar fire about 6 years ago in the same area that was threatening the town and was also started by some campers...
Would you two bitches take you're crap someplace else? This is a great thread that provides good usefull information for people. Instead you two shitheads have to chime in and prove that neither of you need dic holes in your underwear.
You guys up north are really getting hit hard this summer. So far nothing major here in socal. I'm just waiting for something spark up in the San Bernardino Mtns or elsewhere. With all the Bark Beatles killing off the trees, it's only a mater of time.
About 11:30 a.m. today, my tour arrived at Glacier Point where we could feel a strong southerly wind blowing and see that the smoke from the Meadow Fire had increased substantially from 2 days previously. At various times with binoculars, we could see flames reaching up from behind the hill in the foreground.
By noon, the fire and smoke had increased substantially.
We left Glacier Point then and arrived at Tunnel View at 1:30 p.m. where we saw this dramatic change in the scene!
By the time we reached Ahwahnee Meadow which was being used for a base for helicopter operations, it was 3:20 p.m.
Leaving the Valley, the scene at Valley View looked like this at 3:30 p.m.
Does anyone else find the repeated occurrence of the fires in the YNP region suspicious? The entire state is a tinderbox but this area keeps seeing active fires (I realize the fire that kicked up this weekend was an old fire). WTF??
Is it because the sheer volume of (clueless) visitors in the region?
Weather patterns favorable to this region for lightning strikes, etc?
Proactive fire suppression in the region in the past? What?
Bonny Doon CDCR inmate camp has been short 2 crews who were sent to the Meadows fire.
So CalFire brought down 2 crews from Trinity River inmate camp (just south of the Trinity Wilderness) to fill in on our Skyline Blvd shaded fuel break projects.
They were like kids on holiday. Almost dancing and singing as they worked. First time with no fire licking at their feet in several weeks.
My South Skyline Firesafe Council project is getting major funding from PG&E.
A short history:
A few years ago 2 or 3 major fires were set off by power line faults. I mean big fires. Including at least one up in Tad/Timid's area.
Jump to 2011 - 2013 California budget crisis and reduced funding for CalFire. Including cutting back summer staffing at the stations.
Late 2013 Guv Brown suddenly has a budget surplus.
Plus we get the drought.
Late 2013, thinking ahead, Brown moves significant funds to CalFire to hold summer staffing levels beyond the usual Oct 30 cutoff. (CalFire adds summer staff to all fire stations, usually from April 30 - Oct 30)
Summer staffing maintained through Jan 30, 2014 at least here in the SCruz Mtns.
Then summer staff brought back on April 1 instead of May 1.
Brown then also gives major $$ to the electrical utilities, PG& , SCE etc specifically to reduce vegetation beneath "transmission" lines. I think that means everything over about 10kilovolt. PG&E hires district fire funds managers and one starts coming to our meetings. Money in his pockets.
So PG&E is committing $24K to our Firesafe Council as we're getting pretty good at running these projects.
We've got 2 CalFire inmate crews clearing ground level vegetation, PG&E clearing the trees around the lines, CalTrans traffic control and chipping and our trained crew sponsors on the job every day on Skyline Blvd. After 6 miles on Skyline we'll move on to clearing more old fire roads in the SCruz mtns and another 3 miles in Castle Rock State Park. Believe it or not, the hardest part has been getting traffic control from CalTrans. Commercial traffic control companies get several hundred $ per day for the same service.
As a non-profit firesafe council we pay CalFire $200 per day per crew. We've already spent $7K on crews and we're about 1/3 done. Pretty much on budget so far.
#BlackFire in Mendocino county started yesterday PM. It's just N of Lake Mendocino in the Potter Valley area.
Several engines from San Mateo/Santa Cruz/Santa Clara counties formed up a strike team last night.
CalFire must have been really worried about this one.
Of course when a fire starts late in the day, the available time for air assets is limited.
Two of their engines and a pickup got cooked last night.
Both photos from Ukiah Daily Journal
Currently only about 150 acres.
I can't say for CalFire overall but I noticed this year that the local helitack chopper (an upgraded Huey) now has a snorkel pump and under belly tank in place of the baggy bucket it's had for years.
It likely takes a little longer to fill the tank but I'm sure it's much safer since the chopper can lift without the drag of the bag. Possibly it also is more accurate on the drop.
Next time I see the local Chief (saw him yesterday at a memorial service) I'll ask.
George Johnson, 61 years old.
stalwart volunteer firefighter for 32 years
a pillar of knowledge and strength at a fire or road accident.
George died on Sept 5 after a 6 month bout with pancreatic cancer.
He spent the last months of his life with friends and family getting his affairs in order.
George remained active in our Firesafe Council until 2 months ago.
His memorial yesterday. Dozens of neighbors and family, a dozen or so local volunteer and CalFire firefighters paid their respects.
One son is a CalFire firefighter in the Sierra foothills.
His other son is a forest planner for USFS in Oregon.
His daughter April is a cancer survivor and has been his comfort and advocate through his journey.
This is her memorial to George http://aprilandjoseph.typepad.com/my_weblog/2014/09/a-daughter-pens-her-dads-obituary-george-herbert-johnson-ghj-tree-farm.html
you will leave a void in the neighborhood.
hey there say, khanom, are you able to post a map area, showing the newest oakhurst fire, please, when you get a chance, :)
i can also, look, but this faster internet, still seems to staul out, a few times and disconnect... :(
i think, too, it is the moving/animated ads, at some sites, that does some of this, or my browser?
From the Twitter feed, the Courtney Fire (east of Oakhurst) also appears to be blowing up.
USFS has been called in. They are attempting to get the choppers out of the way for big fixed wing tankers.
Major evacuations along rte 426, 222 and 274 (Miller Landing)
It's right on the S shore of Bass Lake now.
Courtney fire human caused
And not the first this year in the Oakhurst area
Cal Fire spokesman Dennis Mathisen confirms that 20 of the 21 structures burned in the Courtney Fire south of Yosemite National Park on Sunday were homes. Mathisen also says the fire was definitely human-caused — either accident or arson — though the exact origin hasn’t yet been pinned down.
The fire is still threatening about 400 homes near Bass Lake, just northeast of the town of Oakhurst. This is the third fire to have broken out near the town, located at the junction of Highways 41 and 49, in the past month. The first of those, the Junction Fire, burned eight homes. The cause of all three blazes is under investigation.
The helicopter pilot escorting the 12 firefighters on their escape route told them they were safe at 1:48 p.m. “You guys are looking real good right now”, one of the pilots said. There was talk about getting a large helicopter to drop some water for dust abatement so that another ship could land and pick them up.
This is Very Bad News.
I haven't heard any SClara/SCruz/SMateo units called out of area today. I'm sure they're not willing to leave the south Bay Area counties unprotected.
There was a small fire on 17 at Pasatiempo. Otherwise quiet here.
Courtney Fire: house likely saved by good defensible space.
I wish my place looked THAT good although I'm in pretty good shape.
King Fire has now expanded it's evacuation, this thing is blowing up big time. The evacuation site in Pollock Pines has been moved since it is now in a voluntary evacuation area. The fire area doubled today and is 5% contained. I just got back from Oregon and drove up Highway 50 this afternoon to see this just west of Placerville:
Fortunately for us living in Camino the wind shifted and blew out of the SW moving the fire away from us. I'm about 3 miles as the crow fly's from the start point:
We all knew it was coming we just didn't know when and where. Safe passage for those in harms way and a great thanks to those on the lines.
October is Santa Ana winds season. When the wind blows hot and dry out of the east in central and Southern CA. Can blow very hard for days at a time.
The big Yosemite Rim Fire two years ago burned most of the month of September and well into October.
and the devastating Oakland Hills fire was in October 1991. A year with a pretty good preceding winter wet season.
We happened to be out on my sailboat in SFBay when it went up. We watched it all night from our apartment in Sausalito. 3,354 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units gone.
25 dead including Lee Ortenberger and about 150 seriously injured.
And all finished the next evening.
something like 150 homes destroyed or damaged.
That's got to be a huge percentage of the housing stock.
That little town has been devastated.
It turns out the Roseburg Mill was only damaged, not destroyed.
At least there will still be some jobs in Weed.
Meanwhile the wind is picking up and the fire is not yet completely out.
King Fire now has a mandatory evacuation of Swansboro which is on the North side of the American River above Slab Creek Reservoir and on the West side of the fire. Tomorrow the wind is suppose to pick up to 35 mph gusts as a low comes ashore. Wind will be out of the South so it will push the fire further North into Union Valley/Ice House and to the West toward Swansboro.
My fear is as the low moves over the range the wind will shift and come at us out of the North. If the fire has pushed West it will have plenty of fuel to move South with that North wind straight at Camino, Cedar Grove and the Western end of Pollock Pines.
I've got a real bad feeling this thing is about to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better. Let's hope it rains enough Thursday morning so they can get it better contained on that West and South sides in anticipation of the North wind. I'm sure a part of their strategy is to back fire from the Southern containment lines today and tomorrow.
Rub a rabbits foot, cross your fingers and or say a prayer for those in harms way.
MODIS data is a pretty broad brush. Actual conditions are generally much more localized.
however CalFire's taking no chances with US50.
Fire crews improving fire break with US50 in background.
Voluntary Evacuation Advisories: New voluntary evacuation advisory for the entire community of Swansboro, north of the South Fork of the American River between the American River between Brushy Creek and Rock Creek. Also for east side of Sly Park road between Highway 50 and Park Creek road. This extends east to Fresh Pond.
Sly Park Rd is South of US 50!
weekend before last, I was at a big party at a friend's ranch at the lower end of Sly Park Rd. I really hadn't thought the fire would be moving that direction.
Now keeping my fingers crossed for Dana, Theresa, their goats and chickens. And their newly bought retirement ranch.
Now keeping my fingers crossed for Dana, Theresa, their goats and chickens. And their newly bought retirement ranch.
will surely keep them in mind, with all the prayers...
saw so many sad stories, coming out of bass lake...
we used to visit there, though only about twice? when we were kids...
so much, i love my homeland, which was mainly mid, and upper calif, as we traveled, did not know much of southern calif, until recently...
very sad to see our beloved state, this was, as to drought and fires...
prayers ongoing, for all the firefighters and family involved...
Alright John, rumor is a guy poached a deer, had another guy dispose a bag of entrails by burning it. Well I can't believe this would be true, but from where I heard it, I think it is. Sad regardless if this is true.
Officially, CalFire isn't saying.
However they have let out hints that the Boles and Courtney fires were human caused.
The 400 square mile Rim Fire last year was caused by a hunter. Had a cooking fire going in an area that was closed to all fires.
Aug 8 news
A federal grand jury indicted Keith Matthew Emerald, a 32-year-old resident of Columbia in Tuolumne County, on a felony charge of setting fire to a forest as well as misdemeanor counts of leaving a fire unattended and violating local fire restrictions.
Emerald is also charged with one felony count of initially lying to investigators about the cause of the inferno. His arraignment is expected to be next week at the U.S. District Court in Fresno. He has not been arrested.
The four charges against Emerald carry a potential prison sentence up of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
400 square miles. That's equivalent to a square 20 miles on a side!
CHP has just reduced US 50 Westbound to 1 lane, east of Pollock Pines.
That's a bad omen.
50 closed both directions between Sly Park Rd/Pollock Pines and Fresh Pond.
Going to be a long night for travelers.
June Lake update
June Fire Grows to 35 Acres
The June Fire, which started at the base of June Mountain, is estimated to be 35 acres. Fire behavior includes torching, spotting, and active runs.
Structures are threatened. Evacuations are mandatory east of June Mountain and south of Hwy 158. Highway 158 is closed at the south junction with Highway 395 and remains closed north to Rainbow Lane.
Structure protection resources are on scene and more are en route.
The June Lake Community Center is open as an emergency shelter. Southern California Edison has powered down power lines at the request of firefighters for firefighter safety.
Numerous resources from California Office of Emergency Services, Cal Fire, Mono County, Inyo County, local fire departments are assisting.
I heard some airplanes buzzing around this afternoon, went out see what's going on, and saw the plume. Judy and I got in the car and drove up canyon. It was already going pretty good and I got some pics. After dinner I went out for more but the closures were up and I couldn't get close but did get one looking up the road.
Down canyon where Flanders, Cragman, and I live is up wind and seems safe right now.
It was surprising to me to see this graphic evidence of the smokiness in the SJV because of the fires in the mountains. There is a definite light/dark demarcation in this photo taken last evening about 6:30, due to the clouds to the NW blocking the sunset and casting strange light to the south and west.
The smoke showed up in this photo vividly.
If you're smart, you'll stay indoors as much as you can, like I'm doing till I leave for Facelift...except to take the garbage out, of course.
neebee's right, we all care because "it could happen here."
HT, Nice photo that one was taken from Northshore Drive, Cragman's place is off to the right a couple of miles down canyon. The fire started near the base of the ski area but moved up and left burning over one run called Canyon Trail but getting further away from any ski lifts or buildings as it progressed.
Because of road closures I can't get as close as I did yesterday. But I was able to get a few. It looks like it didn't expand a lot overnight.
Great shots Dick. You beat me to the punch... like you said, Cragman and Flanders are a bit farther to the west. I am in the Peterson Track and gotta say it is kinda creepy over here. Kinda a ghost town. Sounds like WWIII with all the air traffic.
US 50 is now open. One lane only westbound in the area of the fire, between Sly Park and Fresh Pond.
Well over 18000 acres now.
By comparison, the Rim Fire was 257,000 acres.
Latest MODIS imagery.
Fire is moving NNW into sparsely populated country. It appears that whole area has previously been logged.
Ron quote from another thread currently making the rounds....
For instance, I could say that right now, a large portion of the Eldorado NF is burning , due to the fact it fell decadent and over stocked by NON treatment. And that its torching right now in an un-natural way due to those conditions. And that is 100% truth. BUT to those so opposed to "logging" it will be considered inflammatory and then abused, condemned and insulted.
What are all those polka-dot looking things in the northern half of High Traverse's map right above? That region of Eldo NF sure looks like it has been seeing some pretty active timber management.
FYI... those are forest clear cuts for non remote-sensing pros. The whole northern half of that map is a patchwork of forest in varying stages of regeneration (look at google maps of the area).
The canyon next to the highway is steep (read: more difficult to log) and probably full of fuel, hence the rapid initial growth. Hopefully if the fire continues to move northward it will hit these areas that appear to have less growth and it will get tamped down some.
Edited to add: I don't have any problem with logging forests. Forests grow back. Much of the demise of N. America's logging industry is due not to environmentalists but because of global economics. Malaysia and other Asian countries got into timber products in a big way in the past 20 years and it's a lot cheaper to get raw materials from there than here. The timer industry has paralleled the steel industry somewhat.
Thanks for picking up that logging info. Of course once you've clearcut, then the forest grows back with all trees the same size. So about 20-40 years later you've got a dense forest of smallish evergreen trees. Few of them can grow large due to the crowding. Deciduous trees, especially oaks, can't grow quickly beneath the canopy of evergreens.
Perfect Storm fuel load.
King Fire has grown a LOT in the past 2 hrs 15 minutes.
Significant expansion North and NW.
Town of Volcanoville (upper left of this pic) now under voluntary evacuation! Or possibly mandatory. Sources are conflicting.
Opposite sides of the Hetch Hetchy road, last Nov after the Rim Fire:
This was apparently an old clear cut that was then left to grow. The area beyond the trees is still meadow.
This is what we do on a shaded fuel break. Take out all the small stuff (less than 8" diameter) up to 10 feet above the ground and leave all the big stuff. Now you have a healthy forest of mixed age trees.
Can it burn? yes......
but it sure slows the fire down and gives the fire crews a chance to stop it.
And yes, 3 or 4 years later you have to come back and give it a haircut.
hey there say, High Travers... say, i was going to email you, as, i was curious about how all this works... clearcut, etc and all you were talking about, but say, NOW that you posted a bit about it and how 'fire fuel' stuff, and all this, works... i think i got it now...
i have wondered about various areas, how or why they burn more, (barring wind changes, etc) and i wanted to understand... thanks again...
i know nothing about how logging or healthy cutting, or anything, works,
edit: folks being allowed back to bass lake...
news from about 11 hours ago, so the link said:
The same thing happens in the national parks. If you want to move up, then you have to move to a different park. You end up with highly experienced people who often don't know the park that they are working in. So they come in and change the rules because they don't understand the local situation. It can be a real pain in the ass. But then you also have long time employees whom you wish would move to a different park.. ack..
From downtown Placerville...
From Carson Road in Camino before it blew up at 5:00 PM
Last night along Highway 50...
Getting ready for the wind to change tomorrow night and on into Friday morning as the low passes over the range, clearing below our house and out buildings above the canyon....
0745 CA-ENF King Fire: 70,944 acres, 5% contained. The fire remained active overnight. Incident personel determined that the fire made a run of over ten miles north between 1600 yesterday and 0600 this morning.
1845 CA-ENF King Fire: 27,930 acres, 5% contained. This afternoon fire behavior became extreme with plume domination, crown runs and long range spotting.
below the US Map are your KML choices.
Select Fire Detections(MODIS): Current
This will download a small KML "widget" to your browser downloads folder.
Just double click that widget (at least on a Mac) and Google Earth will launch and install a "Places" folder and download all the data.
You're still not finished. You now need to navigate Google Earth to the area you're interested in. e.g. Pollock Pines, CA
If you save the Active File Mapping Program folder as a Google Earth Place, you won't have to go find it again next time. Like any Google Earth Places folder, you can turn it on or off.
NOTE the legend in the top left corner. The time is Mountain Daylight Time
The MODIS data is actually a "spot". The graphics then draw a square around it.
This is not an accurate representation of the fire boundary. khanom and others have given links to that.
I like the Google Earth representation because I can see the topography, land use, buildings, roads, creeks, etc.
I just heard about this Pollock Pines fire, thought I'd check here on Weegie and the other local denizens, and I shouldn't be surprised to see it is getting plenty of attention. Fingers crossed that the caprice of nature favors the preservation of your material gatherings.
Several bay area city fire depts have been called out to the King Fire for structure protection.
Latest is Mountain View.
CalFire appears to be holding all engines and crews in the Santa Cruz/San Mateo counties unit.
The CDCR inmate crews we've been using for fire clearance have been absent all week.
We've had drizzle here in the SCruz mts since last night. No measurable precipitation but it's got to be helping the vegetation a little bit. First moisture since mid July and that was just a very damp fog.
Chance of thunderstorms in the Pollock Pines/Tahoe area this afternoon.
that makes about as much sense as removing all water restrictions!!
50 closed from Fresh Pond to Riverton.
Fire front 8 miles from Alpine Meadows who are in fire preparedness mode now. Charging up their snowmaking equipment.
Speaking of drought, there's a big use of water.
Some of the statistics are mind boggling
From the latest CalFire report (6:00 PM)
73,184 acres - 10% contained
So now it's about 1/4 the size of the Rim Fire last year. Which took over a month to put out.
12,000 single residences and 9,000 other minor structures
So far no residences lost. That's pretty amazing.
Total personal 3842
Fire engines: 327
Fire crews: 99
Dozers: 49 !! That's one dozer for every 2 crews.
Water tenders: 80!!
The fire nearly tripled in size making a run to the northeast yesterday of over 10 miles up the Rubicon Canyon towards Hell Hole Reservoir. Spot fires were observed up to 3 miles ahead of the fire front and have moved into Placer County.
Ron I think it's going to be some time yet until your air clears.
Hows the pup? Been thinking about you and her.
plenty of water for the choppers?
I wonder just how full those reservoirs are after 2 years of drought.
French Mdws reservoir has a capacity of 136000 acre feet.
As of last week it was down to 49000
Hell Hole capacity is 208000 acre feet, currently at 71000 af.
so they are both a bit over 1/3 capacity.
And none of the air assets can work at night. They're all back at their airfields getting serviced and the crews getting some shuteye till dawn tomorrow.
For the next 10 hours its strictly man against fire.
Ron, do you have any idea if they work the dozers at night?
speaking of reservoir levels.
Here are California's majors as of midnight last night.
The thin red line and red percentages are the historical averages for the same date.
Pyramid Lake is an interesting outlier.
With Castaic they form a pumped storage hydro-electric pair
At night water is pumped from Castaic up to Pyramid lake when the SoCal electricity demand is lowest. Then during the daytime, usually late afternoon, when the demand is highest the water is returned through the generators. So when things are going properly, Pyramid Lake will always be approximately full at midnight.
Courtright and Wishon are the only other pumped storage system in CA.
also it's getting up into the area of lots of granite and less dense forest cover.
Better fighting access and less fuel load.
sort of. the crystal range ends at hell hole so if there was a way for fire to enter the basin from the west, between those lakes would have to be it. the winds have definitely shifted though and the smoke is now dense in south lake too. if it's out of the basin and the wind shifts back to ENE that's no big deal. if it makes it into the north basin and the wind shifts to ENE it could be a big deal.
This is photo of my wife sifting through the ashes
after the Angora Fire. Massively changed our life.
We know how fast it can spread & how the fire creates
it's own weather/wind. We hope no one is hurt or
killed. You can rebuild. Oddly, our new home is sided
with Cedar from the Angora Fire.
Bob & Cheryl Pinckney.
0730 CA-ENF King Fire: 76,376 acres, 10% contained. Evening winds became down slope and down canyon, bring the fire down into the canyons. This may cause significant runs back up the canyons today when the winds shift to upcanyon/upslope.
klk.....thanks for the info. I just looked it up on Wikipedia. I went through the San Luis visitor center last year and don't recall the pumped storage thing. I'm very interested P-S so I must've been in a hurry at the visitor center (I was taking a quick break from a HOT motorcycle ride. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it).
CalFire budget being discussed on KQED Forum right now.
Cal budget year starts July 1.
Annual firefighting budget is almost empty, will probably be zero by next week.
$209 million budget, $190 million spent. Estimated total cost of King Fire alone is $10million.
Budget is based upon preceding 5 year average.
Which is insufficient due to the drought.
Gov Brown's contingency funds will be available so we don't need to worry too much......yet.....
Great news about the Courtney fire. Hopefully they get that one mopped up by the time we get to shuteye. They just issued a volountary evacuation for Kyberz. On the modis it looks like the fire's coming up the Hwy 50 corridor a bit.
This is the "official" info page from the Public Information Officer
Among other things, it corrects stuff that's been put out by unofficial sources. https://www.facebook.com/KINGFIREPIO
US 50 is open but 1 lane Westbound from Riverton to Pollock Pines.
you're getting a Big California Adventure!
Shuteye area was never threatened. I doubt even the access roads were closed. The smoke should not be too bad now.
However It Ain't Over Till It's Over.
1830 CA-ENF King Fire: 76,376 acres, 10% contained. The north portion of the fire was under an east wind influence with 18-20 mph winds, and gusts to 38 mph, which pushed the fire to the west. A spot fire 2 miles ahead of the main fire front caused resources to withdraw from the area. Down canyon winds, with an easterly wind influence, is expected to bring more than normal active fire behavior throughout the night.
Or we could say hey, let's investigate to make really really sure he's guilty before lynching him.
E.g. Did you know that he actually broke into someone's house to call 911 to report the fire? That's how he was arrested.
That kind of brazen behavior is common among arsonists, who tend to want to admire their work and the reactions it evokes. It's not enough to arrest someone but definitely enough to get them a hard look, and there are now lots of ways to gather physical evidence once you're looking hard at someone.
Except that it's not the job of casual observers who have none of that evidence to determine his guilt. And btw, you are an expert on the psychology of arsonists?
I'm not the one saying let's lynch him. Just pointing out that him breaking into someone's house to call 911 is no reason to exonerate him as you suggested.
And I don't need to be a psychologist to know reporting the fire is common among arsonists and pyromaniacs. I just need to be able to read. My 'guess' is that because he reported it he was interrogated and he confessed.
Interesting map. It appears as if they've done a number of forest fuel reduction experiments.
They might now get a Proof Of Concept test.
I'm definitely not cheering for the fire to go through their experiments but it's an ill wind that blows no good.
Talked to friends in Weed...They said people were running out the back doors of their homes as the fire hit the front of their homes barely escaping...40 mph winds kept any smoke plumes from developing and camoflauged the racing flames...Allegedly the fire was started by transients..3rd time Weed has burned...
I haven't seen any reference to Sequoias. But they're fire resistant. In fact they need fire to mature their seeds.
They learned this the hard way in Yosemite where they were suppressing all fire in the Sequoia groves for years. Suddenly they had no young trees. Now they let 'em burn.
I did a little sleuthing.
I believe this is the location of the Place County Grove
Wikipedia says there are only 6 trees with diameters up to 12 feet.
Major activity on SW corner, large industrial strength helicopters flying over head every 5 minutes. Must be loading up at the mill site in Camino. It's crazy here, my smoke alarm just went off in the house, we're on edge!
Yesterday late afternoon they were dropping on the Western line adjacent to Swansboro which is about 2 miles due north from our property on the north side of the South Fork.
Here's a close up of the industrial strength fire suppression:
Cal Fire has been building a huge fire break on Iowa Hill, we're talking the right of way width of Interstate 80 over Donner Summit. It's connecting up with the clearing SMUD and PG&E did under their power lines. The ridge is the one beyond the power lines that you see in the first photo.
I heard their intention is to back fire from the ridge down to the American River at Slab Creek Reservoir, holy sh*t! The SW corner does remain active which is a threat to Camino, Audubon Hills, Union Ridge and Placerville not to mention Swansboro who is on the western front in trenches.
We're not out of the woods south of the American River.
hey there say, brandon- say, my extra clothes, here, are so of the old old type stuff, most likely no one would want them, and i could not mail, until oct, second week, anyway, but say:
my very good childhood friend, in brentwood area, just may have some stuff, so i will talk to her... i will email and you can send an address, if she can do this... or, also, if my shirts, may be welcome, even a bit late, let me know... most are gal's shirts, a bit cowboyish type, and a few guy shirts, too, but they are really worn-thrift-store types, so i don't want to
push these, if there is some nicer sturdier stuff, near by, on the way...
wish i could help more, too, but i am too far, off...
when they have a home again, i can send any kind of free scenic, etc, or whatever, artwork to help redecorate--but that is a long time off, i know, :(
prayers, until then...
good for you, to get this 'help message' out, here...
very sad for their loss... and for the loss that so many have gone through.. :(
Significant activity on SW corner, it's burning on North side of Slab Creek Reservoir. This photo is looking East to Slab Creek with ground fire creeping toward Swansboro. The orange colored trees in the foreground are the containment line on the South side of the River above the dam.
The winds are out of the SW and are gusting, so far no fire on South side of River except up by Forebay where it started. This photo is of the plume over Iowa Hill which has undergone a massive clearing operation. What's burning is on the North side of the River, it may even be a back fire set from the water so the Iowa Hill containment line on the South side and the last hope for Camino won't be challenged.
Great success with back fire operations on the Southwest corner yesterday and today, here's some stunning photos of the burn on the North Side of the American River above Slab Creek Reservoir.
Here's an image of the Southern edge of the burn looking west. Our home is shown on the map; see Apple Tree Lane. We're out of the woods now in Camino and I hope Swansboro, the Northern and Eastern edges are troublesome.
What an awesome job the air and ground support did in protecting us from this monster. Let's hope it rains tomorrow morning and melts this wicked witch into the earth.
klk, my buddy took them from a mutural friends property down our canyon just above the River. It's been front row seats watching the King Fire from their place which has a point of land that basically just sticks out into the canyon, spectacular spot. He also has a straight view to the East of where the new pump storage dam will be constructed on top of Iowa Hill.
Hey Chuck, yea I think we dodged a bullet on the SW corner. Glad the beast was stopped there, let's connect soon and discuss all the good things in life. BTW I need a chipper crew and you to keep moving forward on into these woods.
the inciweb site is only updated at best twice a day. They have hotlines now for communities with wild land fires burning near or through them. It seems to be standard procedure. Its better then having people call 911. Its amazing how much misinformation gets out there. Plus there are still lots of older folks who don't use the internet.
The band of moisture seems to be pretty narrow. Hopefully it parks itself over the fire for awhile. From the radar its doesn't like its there yet.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Nearly an inch of rain, with more wet weather forecast for the weekend, has helped firefighters gain the upper hand on a massive wildfire burning in the mountains east of Sacramento, officials said Friday.
Over 2,000 homes threatened in California fire Associated Press
Record amount of retardant used on California fire Associated Press
Fight against California fire is 2nd most costly Associated Press
Destructive California wildfire burning in two national forests Reuters
The blaze has burned more than 150 square miles of a heavily forested region of the Sierra Nevada that is home to numerous hydroelectric plants and is crisscrossed with power lines, water pipes and wooden flumes.
It destroyed a dozen homes near the town of Pollock Pines in El Dorado County and threatened several reservoirs that supply water and electricity to portions of Northern California, but most of the utility infrastructure appears to have been spared. A popular lake basin that draws hikers, campers and anglers from throughout Northern California was threatened but escaped largely untouched.
The King Fire that authorities say was started Sept. 13 by an arsonist was 68 percent contained Friday.
The region saw a 20-degree drop in temperatures and a doubling of humidity levels in 24 hours, National Weather Service meteorologist Brooke Bingaman said. Up to another half-inch of rain was predicted for the fire zone through Friday, with some snow falling at the highest elevations east of the fire. Showers, higher humidity and lower temperatures were expected through Saturday before a warming trend next week.
More than 1,000 of the 8,000 firefighters who had been fighting the blaze, some for two straight weeks, were expected to be released from duty, said Dana Walsh, a fire information spokeswoman for the Eldorado National Forest.
Crews battle California wildfires
A firefighter with the Gabilan Camp crew hoses down hot spots during a controlled burn to fight the …
The storm led the Klamath, Mendocino, Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity national forests in the northern and coastal regions to lift seasonal burn restrictions on Friday.
As some areas of the fire cooled, authorities were able to begin assessing the damage.
The fire burned intensely through more than 5 miles of the canyon carved by the Rubicon River, which is designated a wild trout river. Walsh said damage to the river and its fish will depend on whether the fire leads to erosion and mudslides this winter.
The fire also passed through the Leonardi Falls Botanical Interest Area, known for its unique and sensitive plants. Walsh did not know how much damage was done to the 215-acre site northeast of Stumpy Meadows Reservoir.
It burned around three sides of the reservoir itself, which is the sole water supply for the 2,400 residents of Georgetown, 15 miles downstream. But the flames missed a boat launch, recreation area and the historic Gold Rush town's water distribution system.
Now the concern is the silt, mud and ash that will wash into the reservoir with the winter's rain and snow. Authorities plan to soon begin laying straw and planting grass and trees through the burned area.
It burned through several campgrounds around the Stumpy Meadows and Hell Hole reservoirs but did minimal damage, Walsh said.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. replaced poles and wires distributing electricity from the Hell Hole Reservoir hydroelectric plant and wires serving 22 homes near the fire's origin.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District estimates the fire caused $2.5 million in damage to one power line and the roof of a generator station.
The fire came within a mile of the El Dorado Irrigation District's power house along the South Fork of the American River, and within 8 feet of a pipe that feeds mountain water to the hydroelectric plant. Surveillance cameras showed flames burning near other buildings and wooden flumes without doing harm.
"Fortunately, we dodged a couple bullets," utility spokeswoman Mary Lynn Carlton said. "We were really lucky."
Good story, and nice work by Dahlen to guide the crew to a survivable area.
I was expecting some kind of story where he does the water drop, then a small crew climbs into the bucket for an impromptu short haul.
Not possible with that many people, or if the clearing / tree height doesn't work.