Sierra Fire Impact Alert

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maverick
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Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by maverick » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:00 am

3 major fires are burning, in 3 different parts of the Sierra, to the north (north of Bridgeport) the Slink Fire at 20,795 acres 21% containment, in the central part of the Sierra (Shaver Lake) the new Creek Fire at 40,000 acres 0% containment, and to the south (GTW) the SQF Complex Fire at 55,961 acres 7% containment.

Evacuations are in effect, with trail, campground, road closures.

Visibility from smoke (depending of wind direction) will be reduced significantly, and air quality may become outright dangerous in sections of the Sierra.

Please stay updated and informed on the fires conditions, don’t visit areas anywhere near these active fire areas!


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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org






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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by balzaccom » Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:35 pm

Yep. We cut our trip short out of Thomas Edison...then got trapped by the road closures...then got evacuation orders. Not quite the trip we planned...
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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by robow8 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:51 pm

balzaccom wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:35 pm
Yep. We cut our trip short out of Thomas Edison...then got trapped by the road closures...then got evacuation orders. Not quite the trip we planned...
Glad you're safe.
Be careful out there everyone. We're getting more fires down South.

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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by David_Caruso » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:12 pm

Bailed out this weekend too after night 2 of a 3 night trip.

We had no idea how close the fires were to us and it made my wife super uncomfortable.

We were in the Hoover Wilderness out of Green Creek and camping up near Summit Lake. Saturday evening we thought it was standard 3:30 to 5pm thunderstorm rolling into the area. But it got so dark and then the smoke followed with eerie darkness, then the ash. It all felt so close. We woke up early and bailed on doing a loop into Virginia Canyon and up over Virginia Pass into Glines Canyon...just picked up early and hiked back down at a good clip.

You just can't tell when you're totally detached from the world and we decided to play it safe.

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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by Harlen » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:11 am

robow8 wrote:
Glad you're safe.
Be careful out there everyone. We're getting more fires down South.
Yes, thanks for the sentiment. Strange for me to return from my last trip to the Sierra and find that this time, I was entering the fire zone! our place was fine, though there were fires on all sides of Soquel-- a safe, but concerning distance away... just the smoke to breathe, and chalky ash in the garden. Two of our very best friends were not so lucky. Some of you will recognize them from a multitude of HST photos, as they are also my two most common Sierra hiking partners-- Carleton in the summer, and Frank in winter:


262.jpg
Or you may recall Carleton as the beautiful dog "Smokey's" partner.

002.jpg
Carleton was the luckier one; though his cabin of 20 years burned to the ground, he had recently moved out, but he still stored his many things there, and most of his history burned with the cabin. Also, many of his best friends and former neighbors lost everything in this "Hwy One" or "Last Chance Fire." (or whatever they called it)

100_3101.jpg
Frank had less luck, as the house he'd built with his hands, and raised his family in was just a lot of ash when we got there. When they evacuated, they still thought that being burnt out by the slow-moving "Bonny Doon Fire" was unlikely, and so brought out the minimum possessions, though Frank did grab his best backpacking boots and gear, along with photos, artworks, and his most valuable carpentry tools. The silver lining for his family, and I hope for many others who lost everything, is the insurance coverage they think they have. ???

Both these friends, and HST clan members, are taking this well. No injuries to any of their families, though C. knew pretty well the single casualty of the Last Chance Fire. So it can hit close to home. Frank's new advice to us is: "When they evacuate you,assume the worst!"
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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert - hikers trapped by fire

Post by wildhiker » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:47 pm

And here is one of my worst nightmares - hiking out of the backcountry and being trapped by wildfire! Saw this at
https://abc30.com/creek-fire-around-50- ... d/6413342/
-Phil

Creek Fire: Rescue operation to airlift over 60 trapped at Lake Edison, China Peak 'unsuccessful'
Fresno Fire also confirms that there has been one death linked to the fire, but it may not have been directly caused by the fire.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A rescue operation to airlift more than 60 people trapped by the Creek Fire at Lake Edison and China Peak on Monday evening was unsuccessful. Officials say that the people are safe and being cared for.

Fresno Fire also confirms that there has been one death linked to the fire, but it may not have been directly caused by the fire. The exact circumstances are currently unknown.

Authorities earlier said 14 people are trapped on China Peak and at least 50 people are trapped at Lake Edison.

RELATED: Creek Fire grows to 135,523 acres with 0% containment, new evacuations issued for Fresno, Madera counties

The Fresno Fire Department said there may be multiple casualties.

A Chinook aircraft piloted by a team of military personnel tried to land and rescue the trapped people, but the smoky conditions made it impossible for the team to approach safely.

Another effort will be made shortly to evacuate the trapped people using night vision, Fresno Fire said.

Fire and EMS units are waiting at the National Guard base at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport to receive and treat the rescued people.

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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by maverick » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:31 am

I understand that some of you have plans to do a trip into the Sierra, some have been waiting all summer, some of you are coming from out of state, but you should seriously reconsider your plans.
Smoke can lower your immune system and impact your respiratory system among other things, and please don’t forget that we still are experiencing a pandemic, which the virus attacks ones respiratory system!

CDC:
What is Wildfire Smoke and Can it Make Me Sick?

Wildfire smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials, and other materials. Wildfire smoke can make anyone sick. Even someone who is healthy can get sick if there is enough smoke in the air. Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects, including:

Coughing
Trouble breathing normally
Stinging eyes
A scratchy throat
Runny nose
Irritated sinuses
Wheezing and shortness of breath
Chest pain
Headaches
An asthma attack
Tiredness
Fast heartbeat
Older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions may be more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke.

Wildfire Smoke Can Affect High Risk Groups

Eight Tips for Protecting Yourself from Breathing Wildfire Smoke

If possible, limit your exposure to smoke. Here are eight tips to help you protect your health:

Pay attention to local air quality reports and the US Air Quality Index . When a wildfire occurs in your area, watch for news or health warnings about smoke. Pay attention to public health messages and take extra safety measures such as avoiding spending time outdoors.

Pay attention to visibility guides if they are available. Although not every community measures the amount of particles in the air, some communities in the western United States have guidelines to help people estimate air quality based on how far they can see.

If you are told to stay indoors, stay indoors and keep your indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is very hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed.

Use an air filter. Use a freestanding indoor air filter with particle removal to help protect people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions and the elderly and children from the effects of wildfire smoke. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on filter replacement and where to place the device.

Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles and fireplaces. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke tobacco or other products, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.

Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease or cardiovascular disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from smoke. An “N95” mask, properly worn, will offer some protection. If you decide to keep a mask on hand, see the Respirator Fact Sheet provided by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Avoid smoke exposure during outdoor recreation. Wildfires and prescribed burns—fires that are set on purpose to manage land—can create smoky conditions. Before you travel to a park or forest, check to see if any wildfires are happening or if any prescribed burns are planned.
Is a trip now worth risking your health or life?
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by balzaccom » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:20 am

Good post, Mav. Those conditions we experience near the Creek Fire were NOT healthy
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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by Douglas » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:45 pm

I believe we are cancelling our trip to Rae Lakes (permit Sept 16th)... driving from Portland, OR.
Making our way over to the Yellowstone/Tetons in search of clean air and walk-up permits.
Stay safe, California!

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Re: Sierra Fire Impact Alert

Post by ERIC » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:08 pm

If you want to talk politics of the fire, please keep that in The Campfire, folks. We will be deleting those posts here and elsewhere they don't belong. Thank you for your cooperation.
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