30 Sep 2008, 10:46am
The 2008 Fire Season
by admin

Tuesday Morning Fire Updates

The 2008 Fire Season is not over, by any means. The following fires are active this morning:

The Rattle Fire (North Fork Complex) [here] is 18,838 acres. Fire size increased by ~450 acres yesterday. Nearly the entire Boulder Creek Wilderness (19,100 acres) has been incinerated. It will be, and then some, by the time this fire is out. The Boulder Creek Wilderness was set aside because it was considered to be a rare, low to mid elevation old-growth forest. It’s not that anymore, having been converted by the Rattle Fire to early successional tickbrush.

The Rattle Fire was ignited by lightning on Aug 13 and was under control at 960 acres as of Sept 3. But the Umpqua NF was not pleased and the Northwest Oregon IMT (West) was ordered off the fire. Subsequently the fire has blown up under the noses of various IMT’s. To date over $29 million has been spent burning rare, low to mid elevation old-growth.

The NWO IMT (West) was subsequently detailed to the Gnarl Ridge Fire [here] in the Mt Hood Wilderness where they have successfully contained that fire at 3,280 acres. Fortunately the Mt Hood NF did not have a burn, baby, burn mentality and allowed the NWO IMT to do their thing.

Ironically, the NWO IMT had previously contained the Gnarl Ridge Fire back on Aug 21 at 516 acres, and turned over mop-up duties to the Mt Hood NF. But the MHNF failed to do the mop-up and the fire erupted again a month later. So the NWO IMT was recalled. To date $13,400,000 has been spent fighting this fire twice.

The Middlefork Fire (Lonesome Complex) [here] south of Crater Lake, OR, is now over 20,000 acres and 45 percent contained. The fire extends from Crater Lake NP south to the Seven Lakes Wilderness and has been burning for nearly 6 weeks. The fire increased another 300 acres yesterday. While not an official WFU, the Middlefork Fire has been allowed to burn the entire watershed of the Middle Fork of the Rogue River. Over $17,000,000 has been spent on monitoring and backburning. Portions of Crater Lake National Park, the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF, and the Fremont-Winema NF have been burned.

The Wizard Fire [here] north of Camp Sherman, OR, is now 1,150 acres. Originally supposed to be a 30 acre prescribed fire, over $1.5 million has been spent to contain this USFS-set wildfire. Eastside old-growth spotted owl forests along the Metolius River near Wizard Falls have been incinerated. The area was one of the last remaining patches of old-growth in the Metolius watershed, most of which has been burned in the last ten years by such fires as the B and B Fire, Eyerly Fire, Black Crater Fire, GW Fire, Cache Mtn Fire, etc. Over 170,000 acres of old-growth owl forests have been destroyed on the Deschutes NF in those fires.

The Kitson Fire [here] east of Oakridge, OR, is 808 acres and 60 percent contained. The Central Oregon Type 2 IMT (Rapp) has this fire well in hand. Heavy fuels continue to burn, however, and there are areas of intense burning within the fire perimeter. South and east winds have not fanned flames to the extent expected. Costs to Date: $2,663,203.

In California a new fire has erupted in the Ventana Wilderness south and east of Big Sur. The Chalk Fire [here] is over 2,000 acres but it is unclear how much over that number it is (meaning it could be 10 times that size). Homes have been evacuated, just as they were in the Basin/Indians Fires earlier this summer. That complex burned 244,000 acres of the Los Padres NF but surprisingly there is more to burn!

The Hidden Fire [here] in Kings Canyon National Park is 3,660 acres and 98 percent contained. It has cost $8,720,000 to date. Meanwhile the Tehipite Fire [here], also in KCNP, is over 10,500 acres and 0 percent contained. Information on the Tehipite Fire is difficult to obtain although it has been burning since July 19. The National Park Service does not issue 209’s like other agencies. The NPS is very secretive about their management of our national parks, and with good reason: if the public knew what goes on with that agency the entire system would be purged of slackers today!

Today is the last day of fiscal 2008. While there is no official accounting, the USFS fire budget has been overspent by $600 million dollars or more. This despite the fact that in calendar year 2008 only 4,728,614 acres have reportedly burned, about half the acreage reported on this date in the previous four years.

The enormous drain on the USFS regular budget has been noted by Congress, who have cavalierly done nothing about it. Congressional leaders did, however, attempt to loot the US Treasury for $700 billion dollars to stuff in the pockets of wealthy investment bankers. That record graft action has been short-stopped for now, but do not underestimate the corruption in Washington D.C. The leaching of the taxpayers on behalf of multi-millionaires is not over by any means.

Nor is the 2008 Fire Season.

1 Oct 2008, 8:35pm
by YPmule

Monday fire start roughly between Twin Falls and Jackpot NV, now 6,800 acres. Put up an impressive plume:

Fire season is not over in Idaho.

Link to current lightning strike map:

1 Oct 2008, 9:49pm
by Mike

Shoshone Basin Fire

Location: 2 miles E of Rogerson, Twin Falls Co., ID

Specific Location: E of Hwy 93, Lat 42° 11´ 33″ Lon 114° 35´ 0″

Date of origin: 09/29/2008
Cause: human

Situation as of 09/30/2008 at 4:00 PM
Personnel: 121
Size: 6,776 acres
Percent contained: 80%

Costs to Date: $300,000

Sage brush, grass fire. Burnout from Shoshone Basin Rd.

1 Oct 2008, 9:52pm
by Mike

Another great real-time lightning map is Vaisala Lightning Explorer. See Fire Links at W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking.



web site

leave a comment

  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta