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Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Jul 15, 2014 - 11:23am PT
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.
John M

climber
Jul 15, 2014 - 08:25pm PT
there is a fire north west of Reno.. I don't know what its called but I can see the smoke from Reno.. There was lightning here yesterday.


PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jul 19, 2014 - 08:25am PT
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.
Chewybacca

Trad climber
Montana, Whitefish
Jul 19, 2014 - 08:46am PT
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.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jul 19, 2014 - 09:57pm PT
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.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 19, 2014 - 10:06pm PT
hey there, say, philG ... very sorry to hear about his fire situation... hope and prayers, that it gets contained and over with... :(
john bald

climber
Jul 20, 2014 - 10:05am PT
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.
Keith Leaman

Trad climber
Jul 20, 2014 - 12:51pm PT
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.

klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 20, 2014 - 02:25pm PT
that's a great pic, keith.

the old webbing belt, and the cig . . .
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 20, 2014 - 03:50pm PT
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.
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jul 20, 2014 - 08:45pm PT
Keith,
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?
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 22, 2014 - 06:18pm PT
I heard on the radio this AM the mid range forecast for central California, including the coast range is periodic thunderstorm activity for 2 or 3 weeks. Can't confirm it just now.

There has been really serious Tstorm activity in N Cal and S Oregon all afternoon.

Very interesting real time thunderstorm website. Very busy right now on a diagonal line from SWest to NEast Oregon.
http://www.blitzortung.org/Webpages/index.php?lang=en&page_0=30
Central Montana is getting hammered
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 24, 2014 - 06:35pm PT
Bay Area
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.

.
.
.

CRAP
just now they called out crews and dozers for a fire at 236 and China Grade in Big Basin State Park above Boulder Creek.

Arson suspected
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Jul 24, 2014 - 06:43pm PT
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.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 24, 2014 - 06:50pm PT
You and I should get together sometime soon.

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.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 24, 2014 - 07:32pm PT
All quiet now. Fires are probably at least contained.
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
Jul 25, 2014 - 06:07pm PT
Isn't Sand Ridge Rd in El Dorado County between Pville & Jackson?
Been a while,
So dry now I'm sure,,,,
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Jul 25, 2014 - 07:25pm PT
dingus that plume is right out my front window.
we're putting up a family whose been evacuated.

i'm emotionally prepared
to wail out a new anthem:

oh sweet nothing.
aint got nothing at all.
[Click to View YouTube Video]
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jul 25, 2014 - 08:17pm PT
Ive been virtual watching 4 helicopters and 8 air tankers on this incident, it looks as to be a big one. There's much timber ahead, slope, and hot weather, too.

Best of luck to all involved.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 25, 2014 - 08:31pm PT
out by the winery.

lotta stuff to burn out there as it moves east

bummer
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