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Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Jan 20, 2012.
50,000 acres in Nebraska
Things aren't so good in Oklahoma as Wind-whipped Oklahoma wildfires destroy homes:
Things are really bad in Oklahoma. While national news has the story, the newspaper site The Norman Transcript has some thorough but pretty heavy local coverage with photos. Some of it is dramatic shots of the fire, but there are many like this:
Only a few weeks after one of their C-130 aircraft crashed on a fire fighting mission, killing all crew members, the NC Air National Guard is supporting firefighting efforts in western states. Two C-130's and 16 men will leave Monday for Boise, Idaho, where they will receive their assignments.
Things have really gotten wild in California and Nevada. Nor Cal has 3 major fires burning and Eastern NV has a complex of major fires burning in the Elko area. Rescources have started to be stretched thin, 2 Strike Teams from CA were sent to NV to help out there (Marin County and Cal Fire Nevada/El Dorado Unit).
The Chips fire in the Plumas Nat'l Forest has been burning for a few weeks and is only 13% contained and at this point isn't expected to be contained until 8/31, the fire has sent smoke over both the Reno area and down into the Sacramento valley. The State of CA has activiated it's OES strike teams for this fire to help BLM, USFS, and Cal Fire.
Sunday 8/12 two fires broke out in the Clear Lake area quickly burning upwards of 5,000 acres by Monday AM. The state and local agencies were spread thin, at one point the fire was over 1,000 acres with 2 engines, 1 water tender, and a couple of aircraft trying to cover it. As of this morning at least one home was lost but they think more have been; fire crews haven't been able to scout everything out. Strike Teams from throughout the state have been notified they will be headed to Clear Lake or are already headed there.
And this is just the start, over the next few months the Nor Cal fire season peaks and So Cal heads into their major season. With the dry winter, late summer heat, and now T-Storms headed in this week it could get interesting.
For those who have not had experiences with wildfires, here's a summary of what went on in my region yesterday.
As the Sacramento Bee offered this headline Sacramento could tie second-longest streak of 100-degree days wildfires were exploding in our area Sunday.
I have my scanner on as our home is in a forest setting, this time of year a source of both beauty and anxiety. Things were relatively quiet, then...
The first fire, reported around 1:00 pm adjacent to Highway 101 just south of Willits was within a mile of the CalFire station. (See news article.) They were able to contain it to just 30 acres by this morning and still able to extinguish one in the north end of the County.
But local air attack (one helicopter and two small bombers) were committed when around 4 pm two fires within a few miles of each other broke out (possibly set by a firebug) in neighboring Lake County. The Lake County Record Bee has a Facebook site with photos and posts from residents.
The San Francisco Chronicle summary story this morning was 2 Lake County fires threaten 500 homes:
The Wye Fire has destroyed at least three structures including at least one home, as noted in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat story:
I'm not sure about the new instant posting. It's tough to read posts on the Record Bee Facebook site like:
And if it weren't bad enough, a new fire took off last night. This is the report in the Record Bee:
It appears that all of these began adjacent to state highways.
Right now Northern California CalFIRE crews are pretty heavily committed. This photo from the Facebook site this morning shows "my helicopter":sure: at the Wye Fire, meaning we would not get the nearly instant air response we always hope for:
This image from my website home page gives you an idea of why we are always anxious this time of year:
Like everyone else who chooses to live an hyleopolis setting. Yes, we do study this concept here. From our community's specific plan:
We study, but nonetheless we know the risks....
I happened to have the scanner going where I live, just after 5pm Sunday they pulled the "local" helicopter out of the Bay Area (106) that's based at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mtns, about 10 mins after that they sent out a strike team that included one of our two "local" Cal Fire engines that's based at the foot of Mt. Diablo. (I didn't catch if they responded code 3)
As of this morning it sounds like a lot more strike teams are being activated for both the Lake County incidents but also the Chips fire. It sounds like hwy 20 is closed into Clear Lake, I know last night they were worried becuase there were about 100 vehicles that were stuck between the 2 fires on the higway (I'd imagine many poeple leaving after a weekend at the lake). As for the Chips fire they have been opening and closing parts of Hwy 70 and 89 as it warrants. The fear is rocks and trees falling down onto the road.
The aircraft sound like they are using the former McClellan AFB in Sacramento as the main air attack base. This is what they did in 2008 when Nor Cal had it's last rash of fires.
I wouldn't have any large growth within 50' of any structure. Maybe 100'
The problem is you don't move to the redwoods to cut the trees down. The lots here are typically .5 to .75 of an acre. If we all cleared a defensible space of 100' there would be no real reason to live here. We accept the risk and work to keep the undergrowth cleared plus trees limbed up at least 4' and away from the house.
That's the problem with suburban development in the urban-forest interface, along with feral cats v birds....
Of course we also live with earthquakes.
The lead story in tonight's wrap up is Wildfires rage in West, destroy 60 homes in Washington state.
And there was the sad story Idaho Firefighter Killed: Anne Veseth Dies While Fighting Wildfire:
I saw those stats - a million acreas here and a million acres there and pretty soon we won't have much left.:eek2:
One certainly doesn't need the stats to know things are burning. The number of town evacuated this year has become large. Here's another:
Idaho resort town ordered to evacuate over wildfire
While we have our normal late Summer fog, much of Northern California is more than a bit smokey. In the satellite picture this morning smoke from three major fires (plus others) are visible:
The fire at the upper center east of Redding, California: UPDATED: Sheriff declares state of emergency as Ponderosa Fire threatens 3,000 homes, forces more evacuations
The fire at the right east of Chico, California: Chips Fire inches closer to Seneca
The new fire at the left in our own Mendocino County: Wildfire burning near Covelo grows overnight
Last week's big fire in Lake County, California is just producing hazy, but significant, smoke: Full containment of Wye Fire expected Saturday
CALFIRE maintains a web site summarizing incidents in California with links to a few more details.
The InciWeb web site which lists (with links) fires on federal lands shows 36 active fires in California, mostly Northern California. These active fires - only the ones on federal lands - involve 451,330 acres. When you add in the fires being handled by CALFIRE you get over 500,000 acres actively burning in Northern California.
From UPDATED: Homes threatened by Ponderosa Fire grows to 3,500:
In reading and from various reports it sounds like California resources are getting low. Most counties have sent at least 2 strike teams (5 engines) plus CA OES has activated the vast majority of their type 3 engines and water tenders. Crews have also come in from NV and the NC National Guard has sent in their large air tankers. Many CalFire stations are now being staffed by other local agencies on mutual aid agreements. The Ponderosa fire now seems to be the #1 priority with the vast amount of available crews being sent that way. Crews from So Cal headed that way have long drives before arriving on scene.
Yeah, things are not so good. From 50 buildings destroyed in Northern California fire:
Here in Mendocino Evacuations ordered northeast of Covelo; fire at 10,000 acres:
And we have Prattville packing as Chips Fire looms: :
But good old Art may have to get off his dock as we have this 9:00 pm update: Chips evacuations upgraded; Prattville now under mandatory evacuation . These fires are in heavy forests and rugged terrain making it hard to create effective containment boundaries. Things are dry and trees just explode.
Today the Mendocino County Sheriff's automated phone tree system used to warn about mandatory evacuations in Covelo inadvertently called some homes here in our area, 40 miles from the fire. Ooops. But folks are pretty forgiving.