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2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Discussion related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby tie » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:49 am

Is there anywhere to go that isn't smokey? Maybe Cottonwood/Langley is far enough south? Northern Yosemite? The NASA Worldview image seems to show a trail of smoke going up near Mammoth, and some slight haze over Whitney.

Last weekend I flew up to Mt Rainier to get away from the Sierra fires---and was smoked in there, too! Then I saw some fantastically clear photos of the Thousand Island Lake area. I'd go up there this weekend but it is so hard to be sure.



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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby Fran » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:40 pm

I think the Tahoe area is pretty clear. I've been getting pictures from my sister in the Carson Pass area with very blue skies. She says they have gotten very little haze.
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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby michaelzim » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:13 am

Apart from the other links mentioned in this thread, I also use plain old WeatherUnderground (with a dedicated page to smoke and fires that I have saved and click on every morning). It is kinda basic but gives a pretty clear graphic of where the smoke is going. Here is how to use it, then an illustration below:
1. Put in your place of interest or home town if in California, and you get a standard forecast, 10 day, and so on, with options.
2. Ignore that and look at the smaller right hand map with RADAR and SATELLITE tabs. Look further right up there and click the WunderMap option...which will open up a bigger map of California. (Both RADAR and SATELLITE work for smoke & fires).
3. The map zooms and via usual methods and you can "click hand grab it" and pull any direction. I line up the general southern Sierra and zoom to where I want it.
4. On the right you will see a menu box with all kinds of stuff. I usually click radar as satellite adds moisture (any 'gear-wheel' gives more options), then use right side thin scroll bar to pull down to "Fire"...then check that, or just one of the options. I just use "Active Fires" and un-click "Fire Risk" as it clutters the image.
5. You will then get a fire and smoke map of whichever area you are looking at in the main map. Like in link below...
*(I have been zooming out and pulling down to see WA and PNW too and it has been an absolute black mess up there. Until today, as they are getting rain and moisture. However, you can see yesterday's remaining "black doom" all the way over in the Dakotas as it was all blowing east).

http://content.screencast.com/users/zimike/folders/Jing/media/9b6484c1-e116-4fb3-b5ff-be74f6635636/2015-08-29_0800.png

Ummmmmmmm...I can't seem to find how to put an image in here, but maybe this will do it. However, I delete my public stuff every few days so this may not work for very long. Sorry...But the description above should let you see your own.

Best, Zimichael
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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby cloudlesssky » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:14 am

It's amazing how fast things can change. After reading the InciWeb site and smoke forecast I decided to do a loop through Gardiner and Sixty Lakes Basin Friday (8/28) through Sunday (8/30). The smoke was supposed to clear and the initial conditions seemed to bear out the forecast. There was slight smoke haze in the air as I went over and down Kearsarge. But while I was taking a break at Charlotte Lake the wind shifted direction and within 20 minutes or so I could tell I didn't want to be there overnight, and certainly not 4-5 miles further west in Gardiner Basin. I decided to turn around and hike out. By the time I hit the top of Kearsarge my eyes, nose and throat were burning. It was clear on the east side.

The view from the top of Kearsarge Pass at about noon:
IMG_6099.JPG
Looking west from Kearsarge Pass. Very slight smoke haze in the air.


The same view about 2 1/2 hours later:
IMG_6115.JPG
Looking west from Kearsarge Pass with smoke from Rough Fire filling the air.
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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby CentralCalBrewer » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:12 am

I took these 2 pictures at Courtright yesterday morning about 9:30am. You can barely see the water from the shore and opposite mountains are totally hidden. It's pretty gross up there. My car and close still smell of smoke.

Image

Image
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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby Keegan » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:24 pm

It is pretty bad out there. I just returned from resupplying a friend on the JMT, coming in over Taboose Pass where the Rangers said was "the worst of it." The smoke is prevalent all the way from Whitney to Mammoth, depending on where the winds will to go on any given day. I would say bring a mask, wear it, and hunker down (low exertion) during the worst of it and you'll be fine (on most of the east side). See below.

Wildfire Smoke Report: If you're headed to the Eastern Sierra from Bishop to Lone Pine, think about bringing a N95 dusk mask for the smoke (available at any hardware store - maybe even TrueValue Hardware in Lone Pine, filters 95% of particulate matter). I wore mine for 4 days and am sure it saved my sensitive lungs.

At night the smoke mostly clears, the winds shift and it sinks back into the valleys (camp high!). The mornings stay clear and beautiful until anytime from noon-3pm, when the west winds bring in a heavy blanket of smoke. The evenings are horrendous. At its worst it rains ash on you, your eyes burn and you cant see the mountains less than 1/2 mile from you.

I started very early in the mornings to hike in the clear air, then hunkered down during the worst of it in the afternoon and evening. The fire is at 73 thousand acres and only 25% contained, so my guess is these conditions will persist for a good long while. Many hikers have left the trail because the smoke is so bad.

You can track the Rough Fire, the source of the smoke here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4456/
And here is the same daily report they have printed at the ranger station in Lone Pine: http://californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com/
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Smoke down in the valley visible. This was in the morning, and it got very bad as the day went on.
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Rough Fire 8/31 Update

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:57 pm

https://www.facebook.com/sequoianationa ... =1&theater

Fire has reached Lewis Creek in the Monarch Wilderness, and depending on the winds, it has potential of heading into Little Tehipite Valley. :(
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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby thehungryeye » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:00 pm

Thank you everyone for the updates. It pains me to do it but the images in this thread have convinced me to cancel my trip for this coming weekend. :( No way I'm taking my son into that mess.

Chris Farley, we need you now buddy.

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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:26 pm

It won't burn next year.. we've got that going for us.
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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:34 pm

It won't burn next year.. we've got that going for us.


Let's hope not, but some of the forecasters are predicting, that the main energy of this El Nino is going to hit SoCal, hope their predictions are incorrect.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby rlown » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:35 pm

sucks for them.. means mudslides.
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Re: 2015 Fire & Smoke Reports

Postby Rsinghp » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:51 pm

8/31-9/2
North Lake, Paiute Pass, Humphries Basin

Looked really good. Bright blue skies. Encountered some smoke in HB but nothing at all that bad.

Had issues with Nuun (strawberry lemonade), made me nauseous, vomiting. I got scared, thought it was altitude sickness, tho had been at 9500 for 3 days now without any sign of it. In any case I've had AS before wouldn't wish it on an enemy. Found a zofran that I was carrying nausea, went away and came back home. Unfortunately I didn't make the connection with Nuun and nausea until I got home. I got sick again 1/2 mile from the trail head at north lake, almost fainted. Made it to my car and threw up.
I am in good shape. But I made a horrible horrible mistake by not testing Nuun at home first. It was such a highly rated product that I didn't think I needed to. I didn't even look at the ingredients until I googled it. It contains sorbitol, magnesium oxide and lots of other hard to pronounce stuff.

Needless to say I wish I was with my party in evolution valley preparing for Lamarck col tomorrow. Lots of lessons learned tho.

So to summarize north lake, Paiute pass, Humphries looked really really good.

Can't do pics. Too large. I'll create an Instagram or some other
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