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Messages 61 - 80 of total 643 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jul 15, 2014 - 08:36am PT
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.
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.
Fire Season-Miles Wilson
Fire Season-Miles Wilson
Credit: KL
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.


khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 19, 2014 - 06:12am PT
Yes, I'm California centric. Sorry... I didn't even know about the Carlton Complex fire in Washington until now. It started on July 14 and has exploded to over 168,700 acres. Almost 100 homes have been destroyed. Containment is 0%. This fire forced evacuations in Leavenworth, and I can't imagine that area is accessible right now.
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.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Jul 19, 2014 - 08:44am PT
Credit: Ron Anderson


Current fire activity from today^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^



Thoughts to all those affected in Washington...Prayers to those who have list homes, and the firefighters in harms way.



But notice the pattern if occurrence on the map for a moment. The areas suffering the worst of the drought have little compared to the wetter climates of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Climates which grow more annual fuels as they received more precip than in California or Nevada. This ties in with drought figures. Fires here in NV have very little acreage associated with them, and weve had major lightning activity all this last week.
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... :(
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 20, 2014 - 07:57am PT
The Buzzard complex in Oregon is nearly 370,000 acres, which is the largest active fire on Inciweb right now.


I feel compelled to say that size isn't everything. A massive fire in a relatively unpopulated area may have less impact on people than a smaller fire in a more populated area. Sure, the numbers make for more dramatic headlines, but in the end it has nothing to do with loss of property, economic impact, etc.

So Ron, I'm not saying you are rong on this one (at least for California as a whole), I just don't see what your point is.
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.
Chiwaukum Fire
Chiwaukum Fire
Credit: InciWeb

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.
Paul Gleason, Monkey Fire 1965
Paul Gleason, Monkey Fire 1965
Credit: Miles Wilson


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.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 20, 2014 - 05:34pm PT
HT, I concur. Up here I think it's the worst of both situations: We had late spring rains so there's lots of grass, and now things are dying and turning brown way earlier than usual. My poplar trees are dropping their leaves already... wtf?


Just had a whole bunch of CalFire aircraft fly over headed SE. Probably something from the thunderstorms? No word on The Twitter.
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?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jul 22, 2014 - 05:55pm PT
Bully Fire is getting T-storms and heavy rain, flash flood warnings for that area.
Stay safe fire crews.
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.
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