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when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

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when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby DAVELA » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:42 am

anyone here with a crystal ball?

...my dad wants to visit me and go to the eastern sierra in mid september but i have told him the smoke is bad...when the hell is all this fire and smoke supposed to stop and will mid-sept be safe??I know we usually get a snow dump in early october so im kinda hoping these fires will die out soon.Enough already. :confused:



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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:51 am

A desert state and a 4 year drought. Fire stops when it hits the granite. Money from the farcical bullet train would be better spent clearing brush in spring in high impact areas and fighting fires.

Aim South until they have containment. bishopweather.com hasn't been showing really clear except when the wind shifts. Mammoth looks clear today, but it was smokey this am.
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby SSSdave » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:56 am

Pray for an early El Nino front sweeping down from the Gulf of Alaska after mid September. At best unpredictable.

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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby DAVELA » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:13 am

nws shows smoke for the whole week in bishop!!
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby maverick » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:56 am

If the trade winds die down over the Pacific in September, as one of the models is predicting, then the El Nino effect could be stronger, but some models are also predicting, that most of its energy may be hitting southern CA, anyways, hope for some major storms to hit, coming from the Gulf of Alaska, we do not need any tropical moisture with lightening storms that could start up several more fires.
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby franklin411 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:49 pm

I'm just guessing, but I bet they'll let this one burn itself out. Maybe if we get some rain around Nov or Dec it'll run out of steam.

I lived in Santa Barbara and they let the Zaca Fire burn pretty much whatever it wanted for 4 months/250,000 acres.
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby joshuacourter » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:18 pm

If you wanted to see a daily view of the smoke in the state (or just to see whats up in the world) this site may help. It is just a snap shot though. Been cool to watch how far the smoke is traveling in light of all the fires in the state as well as current Rough Fire.

NASA Worldview
https://earthdata.nasa.gov/labs/worldview/
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby astrogerly » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:14 pm

Well, it just depends on the day. Be flexible. We had bluebird conditions from June Lake north all weekend. I've also seen bluebird south of Independence. It's all about being flexible... Also, as mentioned, keep an eye on the NASA images...
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby Cross Country » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:22 am

SorryI have to state the obvios. It certainly will stop after there is suficient precipitation.
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby dave54 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:00 am

Smoke for months is something you have to accept if the armchair fire experts and self-proclaimed fire ecologists get their way and the agencies let fires burn.
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby Dragonfly » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:36 am

Just to kindly remind folks...nobody 'let' fires such the Zaca and Rough burn. When fire meets landscapes as dry, steep and overgrown as the ones hosting those conflagrations, nothing can stop them. You can only get out of the way. There are currently over 2000 firefighters and upwards of 16 aircraft (including heavy helitankers, a DC-10 and 2 to 4 C-130s) battling the Rough every day. But other than keeping it away from structures, there is not much they can do to affect its course or duration.

It's when conditions are wetter and more favorable that fires are ALLOWED to burn, when they can clear out overgrowth without fire effects being too severe/unmanageable. Is it an exact science? No. Have mistakes been made? Of course. But unless we let some natural fires go when conditions seem right, the unnatural overgrowth will only continue to build in our forests. And these forests will continue to give us Zaca Fires, and Rim and Cedar and Rough Fires, with increasing frequency.

Unfortunately, there will still be plenty of smoke in mid-September. Though they're gaining ground on Rough, the show is far from over.
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Re: when will the smoke stop in the eastern sierra???

Postby dave54 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:17 pm

No, the current large fires were not used a prescribed natural fire. They were actively suppressed from the beginning. However, there has been a change in strategies in the past few decades. The so called ’10 AM policy’ was abandoned in the early 1970s. Unless a fire starts adjacent to or within a community or other high value resource area (where it is aggressively attacked) an appropriate level of response is determined. Fires starting in a remote area with no high value resources and in the late Fall with rain predicted may get two guys in a pickup truck, where the same fire next to homes in mid-July gets all kinds of equipment dispatched.
If the initial attack is unsuccessful and the fire escapes becoming large, strategic planning kicks in to determine exactly how and where it is to be managed. Portions of the fire edge adjacent to communities get lots of attention, of course. The portion running up a mountainside away from the homes gets a different consideration. An indirect strategy is usually used. A strategic ridgetop or road is selected and the fire is allowed to run to that point where it is more easily stopped. This may be several air miles away if the intervening ground is steep and roadless. When you read the fire write-ups for Alaska or Nevada and see the size is, for example, 250K+ acres, this is most likely what they fire managers are doing – letting it burn to a road, ridge, or river many miles away.
The problem with just letting fires burn is backcountry fires do not stay in the backcountry, and cool dry weather does not stay dry and cool. One study determined of the 25 most destructive fires in California history, in terms of property damage, 18 started more than 3 miles from the nearest dwelling. It is far easier to stop a ¼-acre fire right after it starts than stop it at 10000 acres two weeks later. Given the recent phenomenon of ‘trial by social media’ a decision by a land manager to let a fire burn because conditions are mild and it is in a remote corner of the forest, may end his career a month later when the same fire is now burning homes. We see this now in newspaper editorials urging to let fires burn ‘in the remote backcountry’. The same newspapers call for a manager’s head on a platter later in the year when an allowed to burn fire (a good sound decision at the time) is now threatening the town. Therefore, managers make the safe decision to stop it now. The media and public (thus elected officials) are very unforgiving of good decisions with bad outcomes.
In 2002, a late season September lightning storm started a fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. Since the Bob has had a fire management plan (let burn) in place since 1972 and the Fall rains were expected any day, it was allowed to burn its natural course. Well, the Fall rains did not start as expected. October came, and the fire kept burning. Adjacent drainages were on fire. It was now burning in one of the local Sierra Club chapters favorite haunts, so they began clamoring for the Forest Service to put it out. The FS stuck to their guns and let it burn. The Sierra Club and other ‘environmental groups’ started pressuring the governor, Senators, and other politicos to intervene. The pressure even went to the White House. The rains finally started in November and the whole controversy faded away. Except it did gain some immortality, as the event was incorporated into a subplot on the TV series ‘West Wing’.
I have personal experience with a similar fire. A lightning caused fire in Idaho was in a remote section of Wilderness far from any trail or camp, but it was aggressively suppressed. Why? A nearby stream and lake was a favorite fishing destination of the local Congressman’s Chief of Staff. The C of S learned of the fire, who called his boss, who called the Forest Supervisor. So it was suppressed. I was a camp support person working Logistics.
Just because a fire is remote, far from homes, does not mean it will cause no damage. Municipal Watersheds are high value resource even with no homes or infrastructure. Power lines and electronic sites are valuable (a county wide EMS or public safety comm link inoperative or a town with no electricity for a few weeks?), as well as endangered species habitat and fisheries. Even views from the nearby tourism dependent town have economic value. A smoky pall hanging over an area for weeks/months will have a major economic and health impact far from the source.
I fully support the concept of allowing natural fires to burn; I did my grad work in modeling long-term fire behavior and wilderness fire risk assessment. The practicality of it is another matter. There are major downsides and risks. Too many people ignore or downplay the negatives. The impacts to humans must be considered with the ecological changes.
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