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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quick Look: California Wildfires Today

    Smoke limits visibility - Please help protect our firefighters and emergency support personnel drive carefully. Slow for the Cone Zone - Slow for the Smoke Zone - Slow for the Firefighters! 
Motorists need to anticipate firefighting personnel and apparatus on the road in the vicinity of Wildland fires. 
    In Memoriam: August 2, 1962 – Timber Lodge Fire  On August 2, 1962, USFS engine crewmembers Thomas W. Foley, John Vaun Rasch and Raymond St. Pierre, along with Martin Georgi of the U.S. Conservation Service, were fatally burned on the Timber Lodge Fire, Sierra National Forest. For more information, visit http://www.wlfalwaysremember.org/incident-lists/170-timber-lodge.html.
    Weather Discussion: 512 AM PDT THU AUG 2 2012 HIGH PRESSURE OVER NEVADA WILL PRODUCE HOT AND VERY DRY CONDITIONS THROUGH FRIDAY. POOR OVERNIGHT RECOVERIES WILL OCCUR WITH THE USUAL AFTERNOON AND EVENING BREEZES. MOISTURE AND INSTABILITY WILL INCREASE THIS WEEKEND WITH A CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. STORMS MAY PRODUCE DRY LIGHTING STRIKES SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT THEN TRANSITION TO WETTER STORMS FOR SUNDAY.
    FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT DUE TO DRY THUNDERSTORMS AND GUSTY OUTFLOW WINDS TODAY. 
California Wildfires Today Location Map
    Active California Wildfires:
    CA-PNF Chips Wildfire 2,541 acres 5% contained. 
    Evacuations: The Caribou Road (Forest Service Rd No. 27N26) corridor, Maggies Trailer Park and Little Haven (several residences) are under a mandatory evacuation order (August 1, 2012) as is the Butt Lake area. Communities of Meadow Valley, Chester, Canyon Dam, Greenville, and Susanville area are not threatened nor are those to the far west including, Paradise, Jarbo Gap, Concow, etc. Structure protection continues for residences/businesses around and near Belden, including the Caribou Road corridor. 
    Closures: A fire closure area has been established and will be in place until the area is safe. Please see the Forest Order and closure map on this site under closures. 
    Forest Trail Closures: Pacific Crest trail hikers may bypass the area by hiking Highway 70/89 or catching a bus with Plumas Transit to Chester, CA (weekdays only). Travelers should check highway 70 conditions regularly (800-427-ROAD / http://www.dot.ca.gov/.
    The Chips Fire, http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3052/ now about 2,541 acres, has spread down to Highway 70; there is controlled traffic on about 3 miles of highway. The fire itself burned very aggressively to the east/northeast today as temperatures soared, humidity dipped and winds picked up. Steep rocky and inaccessible terrain, low afternoon relative humidity and diurnal wind shifts, heavy fuel loading with 50-100 snags per acre, limited access to fire, Power lines along canyon bottoms near water sources. Snags and large dead fuels combined with difficult access limit most resources to handcrews and aircraft. IMT 1 McGowan assigned.
    Fire Behavior: Wildfire is burning in the footprint of the 13 year old Storrie fire; heavy smoke/ash are the result of dense, heavy brush and dead wood from that burn. The fire is established in the Chips Creek drainage on the west and close to the Yellow Creek drainage on the east. The head of the fire will continue to spread in the Indian Creek drainage to the northwest, north, and northeast. A 300 acre spot fire is burning on the ridge above Caribou Road about 1.5 miles up and 1.5 miles ahead of the main fire. 
    Objectives for the day: Include keeping the fire : 1) south of Humbug Summit Road, 2) north of Highway 70 and Tobin, 3) west of CAribou RAod (FSRD 27N26) and 4) east of Philbrrok Reservoir. 
    Weather: Prevailing winds (out of the southwest blowing to the northeast) pushed smoke and ash in a northeast direction filling Honey Lake Valley in Lassen County and all points along the way. Heavy smoke and ash settled in surrounding valleys overnight.
    CA-SHF Salt Creek Wildfire 500 acres 20% contained . Fire is burning in mixed ownership within the Shasta Lake NRA with significant impacts to I-5, private residences and recreation businesses. A Type 2 Incident Management Team IMT2 Molhoek has been ordered and will assume command of the fire approximately 6 pm August 2. http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3075/
    Evacuations: Evacuations are in effect.Road Closures: Check for road conditions by calling Cal Trans at 800-427-7623 or visit their web site athttp://www.dot.ca.gov/.
    Incident Overview: Wildfire is burning along I-5 between the O'Brien and Salt Creek exits and South of Gilman Road in the Shasta Lake area. The fire is approximately 500 acres. US Forest Service, CAL FIRE and local government resources are on scene and engaged in extended attack fire suppression operations. 
    Cooperators: Shasta County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Shasta County Sheriff's Office, PG&E, and Caltrans are fully engaged in supporting the suppression efforts and providing for public safety.Resources: Fire crews are being supported during day shift operations by air resources including helicopters and air tankers. Resources Assigned: 36 Type 3 Engines, 10 Type 2 Engines, 5 Watertender, 5 Dozers, 6 Handcrews, 3 Helicopters, 1 Air Attack Aircraft, 4 Air Tankers and 20 Overhead. Problems/Concerns: Multiple structures threatened, one confirmed outbuilding destroyed. Major KV power transmission lines are threatened and have been impacted. 
    Volcano Wildfire400 acres, 10% contained.CA-RRU-075254, Vegetation Fire, Riverside County, Tenaja Road and Via Volcano, Northwest of Murrieta. 1 structure destroyed. six air tankers, 39 trucks and four helicopters were aiding the firefight, as well as 327 firefighters. 
    South Wildfire271 acres, 100% contained.
    GACC Notes:  The Northern California Geographic Area has now moved to Preparedness Level 3. (PL-3)
    Mill Creek Hotshots and Palomar Hotshots are being mobbed to the Northern Rockies for an assignment.
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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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