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2016 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports / Maps

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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Horseshoe Meadows Fire

Postby ERIC » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:15 pm

FB message from member rayfound:

"Fire horseshoe meadows. Evacuating all campers and hikers. I'm driving and can't post. Apparently started at top, running down."
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Horseshoe Fire 8/9

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:20 pm

Mammoth Times:
A new fire is reported along the Horseshoe Meadows Road south and east of Lone Pine, according to the Inyo National Forest. "Fire responders from numerous agencies are responding to a fire reported along the Horseshoe Meadows Rd. It is reported to be 10 acres or so in size," according to a news release on Aug. 9. "There is a mandatory evacuation of Horseshoe Meadows Campgrounds (Cottonwood Lakes, Cottonwood Pass and the Equestrian Camp) – hikers and campers will be escorted out. There is also a hard closure of Lubkin Canyon Road and Horseshoe Meadows Road. Responding agencies include Inyo National Forest, Inyo Sheriff’s Office, Lone Pine Fire, CalFIRE, BLM, and CHP.


:(
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Horseshoe Meadow Fire 8/10

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:17 am

USFS:
Horseshoe Fire Grows to 110 Acres

The Horseshoe Fire started yesterday afternoon towards the top of the Horseshoe Meadow Road, just east of the developed recreation campgrounds, near Last Chance Meadow. It is estimated to be 110 acres and 10% contained.

The fire grew rapidly, driven by terrain, wind, and dry conditions. However, the fire behavior moderated last night and crews were able to begin line construction around the fire. The warm, dry conditions and afternoon winds will be a concern for today.

The fire is burning at 9,000 feet in elevation in mountain mahogany, lodgepole pine, and sage.

The developments of the Horseshoe Meadows area are threatened by the fire. There is a mandatory evacuation of Horseshoe Meadows Campgrounds (Cottonwood Lakes, Cottonwood Pass, the Horseshoe Equestrian Camp, and Thatcher Camp) – hikers and campers will be escorted out. The Cottonwood Pass and Cottonwood Lakes Trailheads are closed and the forest has suspended issuing permits for the popular trailheads at this time. There is also a hard closure of Lubkin Canyon Road and Horseshoe Meadows Road.

Responding agencies include Inyo National Forest, Inyo Sheriff’s Office, Lone Pine Fire, Bishop Fire, Independence, CalFire, BLM, CHP, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

There are numerous hand crews, engines, air tankers, helicopters, air attack and lead planes assigned to the incident. There are approximately 100 people assigned to the incident.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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Horseshoe Fire 8/11

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:17 pm

NFS:

The Horseshoe Fire started on August 9, 2016 towards the top of Horseshoe Meadow Road. It is estimated to be 400 acres and 30% contained.

Cool weather and high relative humidity allowed firefighters to make good progress on fireline construction overnight. Today, firefighters will strengthen and improve firelines, patrol and mop up further into the interior of the fire.

A mandatory evacuation of Horseshoe Meadows Campgrounds (Cottonwood Lakes, Cottonwood Pass, the Horseshoe Equestrian Camp and Golden Trout Camp) remains in effect until further notice. Due to the narrow, winding road and heavy fire equipment traffic, hikers returning to their vehicles, will be escorted out.

The Cottonwood Pass and Cottonwood Lakes Trailheads are closed and the forest has suspended issuing permits for the popular trailheads at this time. There is also a hard closure of Lubkin Canyon Road and Horseshoe Meadows Road.


Responding agencies include Inyo National Forest, Inyo Sheriff’s Office, Lone Pine Fire, Bishop Fire, Independence, CalFire, BLM, CHP, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Firefighting resources include: 6 hand crews, 16 engines, 2 air tankers, 5 helicopters, 2 water tenders, air attack and lead plane. There are approximately 266 people assigned to the incident.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but appears to be human cause


http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4943/
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Horseshoe Fire 8/12

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:34 am

Limited Entrance for Horseshoe Meadows
Fire personnel with the Horseshoe Fire will be allowing limited entrance to Horseshoe Meadows for those people who have a demonstrated need to be in the area. This would include people that need to retrieve their vehicle from trailhead parking, people who were unable to collect their personal camping equipment during the evacuation, those picking up hikers with stock, or those who have stock in the area that need care.

Traffic control will be provided on Saturday, August 13, and Sunday, August 14, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon. People will need to check in and check out with security at the gate at Lubkin Canyon Road at which point ten vehicles will be allowed in at a time for safety management. Law enforcement officers will be present to implement the plan. All visitors must be checked back out by noon (therefore, it is highly advised that people plan to be at the gate at 9:00 am and by 10:00 am at the latest).

The road remains closed to other business. No one will be allowed to spend the night in Horseshoe Meadows Campground and the trailheads out of Horseshoe Meadows remain closed.

There are still fire crews working along this narrow road and people should anticipate delays and one-lane traffic. Please honor the spirit of this entrance for those who need to get into Horseshoe Meadows. Your cooperation will help assist in getting the road fully re-opened as soon as possible.

Horseshoe Fire Now Mapped at 362 acres

The Horseshoe Fire is estimated to be 362 acres and 50% contained. The fire started August 9, 2016 in the afternoon towards the top of the Horseshoe Meadow Road, just east of the developed recreation campgrounds, near Last Chance Meadow.

Last night, the fire continued to burn out fuels within the containment lines.

The fire is burning at 9,000 feet in elevation in mountain mahogany, lodgepole pine, and sage.

A mandatory evacuation of Horseshoe Meadows Campgrounds (Cottonwood Lakes, Cottonwood Pass, the Horseshoe Equestrian Camp and Golden Trout Camp) remains in effect until further notice. Hikers and campers returning from the wilderness will be escorted out.

The Cottonwood Pass, Cottonwood Lakes, and Trail Pass Trailheads are closed and the forest has suspended issuing permits for the popular trailheads at this time. There is also a hard closure of Lubkin Canyon Road and Horseshoe Meadows Road.

Responding agencies include Inyo National Forest, Inyo Sheriff’s Office, Lone Pine Fire, Bishop Fire, Independence, CalFire, BLM, CHP, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Fighting the fire include: 9 hand crews, 16 engines, 2 air tankers, 5 helicopters, 2 water tenders, air attack and lead planes assigned to the incident. There are approximately 249 people assigned to the incident.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but appears to be human caused.


http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4943/
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Horseshoe Fire 8/16

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:28 pm

The Horseshoe Fire is estimated to be 369 acres and 95% contained. The fire started August 9, 2016 in the afternoon towards the top of the Horseshoe Meadow Road, just east of the developed recreation campgrounds, near Last Chance Meadow.

The Horseshoe Meadow Road up to Horseshoe Meadow. All campgrounds and trails have also re-opened.

Crews will still be working in the fire area and visitors are asked to please be aware of emergency equipment when travelling on that road. Slow down for your safety as well as the safety of fire crews working in the area.

The fire continues to burn out fuels within the containment lines

The cause of the fire is under investigation but appears to be human caused.


http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4943/
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: 2016 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports / Maps

Postby rayfound » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:34 pm

That's good news. When I drove past on Saturday (14th) I didn't really see any smoke or anything from the highway, figured they must be mopping up. Did see a helo land in Lone Pine I assumed was working the fire.
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Re: 2016 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports / Maps

Postby robow8 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:28 pm

Not in the Sierra, but it is along the PCT near Wrightwood.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4962/
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Re: 2016 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports / Maps

Postby SSSdave » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:41 am

All these California August wildfires once again as has been the case for much of the last decade, has made for disgusting air clarity across much of the Sierra Nevada. The smoke map (see Maverick's link) for several weeks now has left the central and southern Sierra consistently under smoke although at times it is just at higher altitudes. During my early August week long trip, the Owens and San Joaquin Valleys stayed murky brown the whole time. However was able to capture many good images during mornings when cold clear air draws down and pushes the smoky air back into the valleys till afternoons. For a photographer that killed any chances of decent dawn and dusk skies as once the sun dips down into the brown haze layer, warm light immediately dims.

I have a reservation for Treasure Lakes starting Wednesday Aug 31 thru Monday Sep 5 that starting Thursday will get me over into Dusy Basin to base camp the rest of that holiday period. However won't pull the trigger on actually going unless some of these fires quench and smoke clears up some. The long range 10-14 day CPC forecasts does show some troughiness moving further south from the northwest over that period that could usher in some t-storms and clearer air.
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Re: 2016 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports / Maps

Postby Hobbes » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:04 am

The Blue Cut fire @ El Cajon pass was completely out of control Tues/Wed. The smoke column was clearly visible from OC. Actually, it looked like a huge volcano had erupted near Mt Baldy.

Dave, my final trip the last few years has been the July HST meet-up. Aug is usually hot, crowded and smokey. Over the years, I have been caught in a handful of fires. This includes Canada, Washington, Tahoe, high Sierra and Malibu. The Malibu fire was a classic Santa Ana - we had to load everything in a car and evacuate our house.

Late spring is my favorite time in the mountains. Muddy, yeah, and maybe snowy & icy too, but the days are long & the crowds small. The West has always had huge summer wild fires - the last 10 years have been pretty typical: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_w ... th_America

If you don't go on your Dusy trip, you might want to check out Mendocino and/or other locals north. Late summer/early fall is when NorCal beaches/coastal mountains put on a show.
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Re: 2016 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports / Maps

Postby SSSdave » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:23 pm

Thanks Hobbes for the input. There have always been some lightning caused Sierra fires that varies from year to year with monsoon flows and other factors but over the long term that tends to average out. Decades ago during August here in the central and southern Sierra Nevada on average had clearer air. I recall a couple decades ago Galen Rowell commenting on that reality. Since then IMO it has become worse. I was born in LA. One year late fall in the 50s there was a huge fire in Beverly Hills that burned down over 300 of its expensive mansions of that day. Remember my uncle giving us little kids a tour of the streets during the Christmas season pointing out where lots of celebrities had lost their homes. So yeah fires have always been here.

One factor has been the huge population and agribusiness increases in the SJ Valley that creates all manner of pollution, especially vehicle and dust, the real estate driven large population increase of ranch homes in the Sierra foothills, and the vast pollution ever increasing in the LA metropolis. But on top of that has been a significant number of late summer fires caused by humans both in the Sierra and elsewhere in California that blows into the Sierra. Of course some of it is infrastructure like power lines arcing on trees, some due to the endless cigarette butt chuckers, but today given California liberal politicians making the state a sort of a Mecca for miscreants and criminals, it seems there are a lot more mentally ill pyros and anarchist haters living in our state that one can count on starting fires each time hot winds blow.

As to our northern coast, photographically I much prefer visiting those areas during May when they are green and flowery. The one thing September offers is less fog and northwesterly winds. There is a period in October when along North Coast rivers cottonwood and bigleaf maple turn yellow, however the Eastern Sierra has much more to offer both in leaf colors as well as settings.
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Air Quality Alert 8/19-8/22

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:51 pm

NWS:
AIR QUALITY ALERT MESSAGE
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY CA 327 PM PDT THU AUG 18 2016

THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT HAS ISSUED AN AIR QUALITY ALERT DUE TO SMOKE IMPACTS IN SAN JOAQUIN, STANISLAUS, MERCED, MADERA, FRESNO, KINGS, TULARE, AND THE VALLEY PORTION OF KERN COUNTIES FROM WILDFIRES SURROUNDING THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY.

THIS AIR QUALITY ALERT IS IN EFFECT UNTIL MONDAY MORNING AUGUST 22.

EXPOSURE TO PARTICLE POLLUTION CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS, AGGRAVATE LUNG DISEASE, CAUSE ASTHMA ATTACKS AND ACUTE BRONCHITIS, AND INCREASE RISK OF RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS.

RESIDENTS ARE ADVISED TO USE CAUTION AS CONDITIONS WARRANT. PEOPLE WITH HEART OR LUNG DISEASES SHOULD FOLLOW THEIR DOCTORS ADVICE FOR DEALING WITH EPISODES OF UNHEALTHY AIR QUALITY.

ADDITIONALLY, OLDER ADULTS AND CHILDREN SHOULD AVOID PROLONGED EXPOSURE, STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES OR HEAVY EXERTION, AS CONDITIONS
DICTATE.
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