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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quick Look: California Wildfires Today

 Never Forget: 
July 28, 2002 – Stanza Fire
On July 28, 2002, Lassen Engine 11 rolled down a steep embankment on the Stanza Fire, Klamath NF. Of the 5 crewmembers, Steve Oustad, Heather DePaolo-Johnny, and John Self were fatally injured. Crewmembers Ryan Smith and Alex Glover fortunately survived. Visitors to the Almanor Ranger District in Chester, California are encouraged to visit the Engine 11 Memorial that sits across from the District office next to the Chester Airport. Visit the Lassen National Forest's E-11 Memorial page for more information.
July 28, 1939 – Rock Creek Fire
The Rock Creek Fire started at 11:15 on July 28, 1939 from lightning. The point of origin is located approximately five miles southeast of Orovada, Nevada and four miles due east of the Highway 95 monument. Between 15:30 to 16:00 the fire burned explosively downhill in a westerly direction, under the influence of a thunderstorm directly over the fire that produced 40 to 60 mile per hour downdraft winds. A crew was entrapped and 5 died. For more info:​​toolbox/staffri​de/lsr3_stand1.​html (International Association of Wildland Fire, 2011) 

California Fire Weather: No current Watches or Warnings
Warm and dry across the state.
NWS Current Fire Weather Watches / Warnings 

California Wildfires News Today:
 The National Preparedness Level (PL) has been lowered to PL-2 as large fire activity moderated across the country.

Four MAFFS C-130 aircraft and support personnel from the 302nd Airlift Wing, Colorado Springs (US Air Force Reserve) and the 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands (California Air National Guard), are supporting wildland fire suppression operations out of Boise, ID.

California Wildfires Today:
CA-TCU-Graham Wildfire 100 acres - 40% contained 
  Status/Notes/Conditions: Crews continue to make progress advancing containment lines. Today resources will continue containment efforts while securing and improve existing lines; however, very steep and rugged terrain remains a cause of concern for fire suppression efforts and firefighter safety.  
Name: Graham Fire
County: Tuolumne County
Location: Off Clements Rd, northeast of Groveland
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit / Major Incident Command Team: CAL FIRE Incident Management Team #8
Acres Burned: 100 acres
Containment 40% contained
Evacuations: The Evacuation Warning has been lifted.
Injuries: 3
Cause: Under Investigation
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, US Forest Service, Groveland Community Services District, Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office, Tuolumne County Fire, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and PG&E
Total Fire Personnel: 1,033 (842 CAL FIRE)
Engines: 61 (50 CAL FIRE)
Fire crews: 37 (32 CAL FIRE)
Airtankers: 1
Helicopters: 7 (1 CAL FIRE)
Dozers: 5
Water tenders: 12

CA-TCU- Penn  Wildfire 134 acres - 90% contained.
 Full containment expected later today.  
 Status/Notes/Conditions: Crews continue to make good progress toward the completion and improvement of the fire containment lines. Mop-up and patrol continue. Demobilization of resources expected today.  
Name: Penn Fire
County: Calaveras County
Location: Off Skunk Ranch Road, near Pennsylvania Gulch, East of Murphys
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit /  CAL FIRE Incident Command Team 8
Size: 134 acres
Containment 90% contained, Full containment expected later today.
Structures Destroyed: 1 outbuilding destroyed
Threatened: 12 residences threatened
Evacuations: There are no current evacuations
Injuries: 1
Cause: Under Investigation
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, CHP, US Forest Service, National Park Service, Murphys Fire, NCPA, Calaveras SO, Altaville Melones Fire, Ebbetts Pass Fire, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, PG&E.
Total Fire Personnel: 330 (317 CAL FIRE)
Engines: 34 (31 CAL FIRE)
Fire crews: 13 CAL FIRE
Dozers: 2 (1 CAL FIRE)
Water tenders: 3

Cascade CA-YNP-1473 WUF 109 acres WUF
Location:  Yosemite National Park Wildire is burning between two upper forks of the Cascade Creek
Cause: This lightning caused fire, in Yosemite’s high elevation Wilderness
Size: The fire has grown to 109 acres.  The southern perimeter edge is the most active with occasional 6 to 12 inch flame lengths during the hottest part of the day. 

Fuels: It is burning in a short needle red fir forest.
Threats: Currently, the fire poses no threat to trails, park service buildings, infrastructure or roads, cultural or natural resources.
Status: Patrol - Firefighters continue to monitor and scout the fire to determine the potential in growth and spread direction.

CA-PNF-EUREKA Wildfire 4.5 acres. 100%
Plumas National Forest - Two-three engines and 2-20 person handcrews are finishing fire lines and mopping up the interior of the fire. Smoke and flare-ups will occur throught the day as the fire continues to burn in the interior. Two 17 person handcrews from the CA Department of Corrections Antelope Conservation Camp in Susanville worked overnight and were released yesterday..
Cause Under Investigation.

Learning: What Is Fire Suppression Repair?
The overall objective is to repair damage caused by the fire suppression activities, and to return the affected area to pre-fire conditions as nearly as possible.
 Work is specifically designed to minimize surface and gully erosion, minimize sediment delivery to stream channels, restore conditions to pre-fire drainage patterns, minimize loss of soil productivity due to potential erosion in cleared areas, and minimize the introduction or spread of noxious weed infestations.
 The goal of water barring fire lines is to drain water off the fire line and prevent concentrated flow and ultimately soil erosion.
 The goal of removing berms on dozer lines is to eliminate water channeling effect.
 The goal of repairing roads is to return drainage elements to functioning stable condition so that they effectively route water off of the road, minimize erosion and repair damaged driving surfaces.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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