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Thread: Smoke smoke everywhere

  1. #61
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    Late night news had some spooky self-recorded cell videos of backpackers wildly driving through walls of flames on the dirt road toward Beasore Mdws probably. I still have friends trying to do the full length of the Sierra "High Trail" route. Most of that is well above timberline, so not at so much risk of fire per se, but the smoke itself might be seriously risk in the northern half at this point. My lungs were starting to bother me. I got only about an hour and a half of clear air to zip up the canyon behind me here on the East Bay and get my legs stretched hiking up the ridge and bagging a couple of nice shapshots. It was clear almost all day yesterday, but was too hot to do much. I'm quite sensitive to smoke due to all the big forest fires I survived as a kid, so hope that none of the smoke from this latest fire reaches here, right when the Pt Reyes fire is finally nearing control.
    For those unfamiliar with the area, Mammoth Pool, where campers are stranded, is the hydroelectric reservoir furtherest up the San Joaquin River, but prior to the giant rotunda or basin where the three high country forks of the San Joaquin River merge, one of which contains Balloon Dome, larger than Half Dome in Yosemite, set within a series of glacial canyons rarely visited. Slightly upriver from that there was a lightning caused burn last year, and then still further up the Middle Fork you finally reach Devil's Postpile, Red's Meadow, and Mammoth Mtn.
    There are a handful of historic structures at risk from this fire, and a small number of summer cabins; but the main human risk at this point would be to campers and backpackers, that is, unless the wind reverses course and the fire impacts the resort areas around Hwy 168 south of the River. There are hundreds of square miles of dead pines adjacent to all that which are quite susceptible to a major incident. 168 on the west side of the range is now closed to the public. The completely detached other half of 168 is over toward Bishop.

  2. #62

    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    Balloon dome looks really interesting...may have to add it to the list of places to see when everything is not on fire.

    We tried to hike to Ten Lakes in Yosemite yesterday. The smoke cloud blotted out the sun about halfway there and had to turn around at the pass as we were getting pelted by tiny black cinders. Not the relaxing hike we'd hoped for, though we did get to see some wildlife. When we got back to the car it had a layer of ash all over.

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  3. #63
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    Two small earthquakes just occurred on the Hayward Fault 3KM ESE of San Leandro. The first, at 1136, was a mag 2.6 at a depth of 9.4 km and the 2d, at 1143, at the same location but at a depth of 10.1km was mag 3.4. I didn't feel the first but did the second which felt like something hitting the apt building twice. No damage but can't help thinking that on top of all the fires, smoke, and heat, the last thing we need is a major earthquake to occur.

    Thomas

  4. #64
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    I was visiting a friend in Hayward when a 3.5 hit a few years ago -- I was surprised at the shaking, as most of ours are out to sea and 4s and 5s get mellowed. Since then we've had a couple good land-based quakes not too far away that demonstrated the difference.

    I have the earthquake center bookmarked to check on shaking -- quake, or low-boy w/ excavator passing by? Big enough quake and I won't have to worry about checking the internet!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #65
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    I live just a 5 min walk from the Hayward Fault. Haven't noticed anything. My lot is on one of the few areas underlain by granite, so shock waves pass through very fast. But in nearby neighborhoods built over fill or Pliocene mudstone (both basically Jello, just like the Marina District in SF), it's a whole different story. A 3.0 doesn't even wake me up.

  6. #66
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    Half of Big Creek is now destroyed. I once knew all of those families. And evacuation prep orders have been issued for North Fork and Bass Lake. The latter is a dead tree death trap waiting to happen. Shaver Lk is already being evacuated. But if the wind shifts ashfall east instead, Mammoth Lakes will be potentially at high risk.

  7. #67
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I live just a 5 min walk from the Hayward Fault...
    My friends lived just a few blocks east of I880 down by Hwy92. Doubt there is much very solid anywhere near -- the redwoods probably just use to sway a bunch back in the good old days when there were redwoods there in abundance. If my house falls off its 'foundation', at least it does not have far to go...
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #68

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    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    The town of Shaver Lake is surrounded by the fire.
    The Army National Guard is using a Chinook to airlift campers out of Mammoth Pool(160-200 so far I heard) the rest were told to get in the water to escape the flames.
    North Fork has been evacuated, that's about 9 miles from Bass Lake which is close to HWY 41 and the South gate to YNP.
    The fire exploded so fast one Pack outfit had to turn their livestock loose to hopefully find their own way to safety, the employees just barely getting out themselves.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  9. #69

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    Re: Smoke smoke everywhere

    It's not good. Now up to 75000 acres and 0% containment.

  10. #70
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Smoke smoke everywhere

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    Hope this is not political, I donít think it is (unless possibly you live in CA). Big article in NYTimes on whether insurance companies have to continue insuring homes in fire zones. One side of review said it was needed to maintain a housing market. Opposite view was why should companies insure homes that had burned multiple times. Any views? (Mods please delete if this gets too lengthy or turns political.)
    Itís called moral hazard and until a price signal like the inability to buy insurance and no subsidies from government for rebuilding communities in fire zones happens, nothing will make a difference. In CA, housing costs are driving the idiocy, and fire suppression and climate change is making previously safe areas unsafe. So there will be many more Paradises in the future.

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