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Thread: Still Smokey

  1. #1
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Still Smokey

    Nice sunrise in clean air...for a short while.

    The Western Section of the August Complex (total: 880,000 acres, 47% contained) is picking up with the dry hot weather returning and evacuation notices are back in force. This is approaching/at the SE corner of Humboldt County.

    The Red Salmon Complex to my east and north in the county is approaching 120,000 acres and is 31% contained. From the latest report on planned Forest Service activities: "Provide point protection along the Salmon River Road corridor for defendable structures." That shows the importance of maintaining good clearance around one's home/property!

    Smoke from both fires are heading my way, though right now it is all atmospheric (not on ground level). The light is reddish yellow again after several days break and some light rain.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    Yesterday the wind shift brought the smell of burning grass, evidently from south of my hometown in lower elevation areas of the Kings River, where they're simply allowing that branch of the Creek Fire to slowly burn itself out. It's uninhabited, though they've evacuated some little towns still further down, including the Reservation. There are incredible series of little waterfalls in the steep side canyons, which I doubt anyone besides myself has ever photographed; but all that will recover very quickly from the fire, and the first really wet year will probably produce an incredible poppy bloom. At the north end, the fire has bottlenecked around the junction of the Middle and North Forks of the San Joaquin, where the Lion Fire of several years ago has deprived this fire of fuel. But it burned clear across the Granite Creek Bench and all the trailheads originating there. That will recover much more slowly, longer than I'll have time to witness, starting with a lot of opened up meadows. A bit of that more pitchy forest smell started arriving late last night, but it's nowhere near as bad as before. Mars was the reddest red I've ever seen it last night, but at least I could see it. Right now I'm more worried about noxious creosote-laden brush smoke arriving from the Helena and Calistoga area, if the wind shifts south.

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Still Smokey

    The Red Salmon Complex is on land classified as timber land. The August Complex Western Zone is lower elevation and is more of a mix of grassland (and grass farms), manzanita, oak and conifer forests. In that fire, live embers were documented landing 8 miles ahead of the active fire front yesterday.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    There are certain WSA's (Wilderness Study Areas) up there that it's hard to find much information on, although they've obviously been hit hard by fire.

  5. #5
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Still Smokey

    After over a week of smoke from fires south of the Canada/US border, I hope we don't get any more! My brother, way out in Saskatchewan, said they even got some.

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    Currently in northern Calif is the largest "fire complex" in State history, now well over 800,000 acres, at the same time as the largest single-point-source fire, occurring in the Southern Sierra, at almost 300,000 acres. What has confused me is why there was not a dual classification of fires like that when I was young, when across the same River lower down there was a fire of over 400,000 acres, but which for sake of the records they divided into several smaller fires. But the probable reason is that it was due to the arsonist setting at least two or three fires just a few miles apart from one another, so that they'd deliberately merge into a far bigger one. People died. By accounting them as separate fires, the authorities could charge him with multiple counts of arson, and overall, lock him up for life. Something very similar happened on a rural road near here this summer. Somebody lit 13 fires in a row along a rural road, and they charged him with 13 counts of arson for sake of a very stiff sentence. There were two similar incidents earlier in the month, so that was one dangerous guy indeed.

  7. #7

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    Re: Still Smokey

    A friend who works up there says Yosemite Valley is incredible right now. No crowds. Animals have come down from the high country, little smoke and blue skies. The water falls have petered out, which is normal this time of year.
    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.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    All it will take is a shift in the wind to bring the smoke back. But October is that month winds typically go from inland toward the coast, rather than the other way around, like in summer. Not too bad here on the Bay today, but miserable a bit further inland.The risk of more fires is very high statewide.

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Still Smokey

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    A friend who works up there says Yosemite Valley is incredible right now. No crowds. Animals have come down from the high country, little smoke and blue skies. The water falls have petered out, which is normal this time of year.
    Might head down that way after the first good sets of rain.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    I'd love to photograph some of the burnt areas sometime later, but not during the messy clean-up phase when nobody superfluous should be around anyway. I've had it with smoke. Even my little old lady cat is having issues with the air.

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