2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Questions and reports 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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kpeter
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Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by kpeter » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:30 pm

No hot spots for three days, the only expansion since the storm was an additional 1/4 mile of Kibbie Ridge. The Incident Report for today reads:
Fire activity continues to be limited to isolated smoldering. Fire crews will continue to patrol and extinguish any remaining hot spots near containment lines. Firefighters continue to monitor the continued slow spread of fire in the Yosemite and Emigrant Wilderness areas between Cherry Lake and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
This means they are just letting the fire alone in the backpacking zone. There will be a few smoldering patches, particularly as roots burn underground, since there are no mop-up crews working the wilderness. (Believe me, it is no fun to put your boot into one of those holes.) If October should turn dry and hot the fire could erupt again, but if the weather stays cool and if we get more precipitation, then we have already seen the full extent of the damage.








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kpeter
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Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by kpeter » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:22 pm

Rim Fire Round Up

The Fire management people closed up shop today and turned the last smoldering patches of the Rim Fire back over the Stanislas National Forest and Yosemite National Park. There have been no new hot spots since the rain storm last week, and the perimeter has not expanded. It would still be dangerous to walk around in certain areas since roots can continue to burn underground for weeks. The greatest damage to the trails is yet to come, when winter storms dump water on denuded hillsides.

After the 2003 fire on Kibbie Ridge there was so much deadfall over the trail that most reports on this website indicated the trail had nearly vanished. It was finally cleared in summer of 2011--8 years after the fire, and still by the next summer (2012) there were already 80+ deadfall over it from one winter's blow-down. Depending on the severity of the fire the deadfall can be at its worst a few years after a fire, since old dead trees fall down more easily than new dead trees. In any case, it is likely that all trails through the burn zones will be similarly impassable or difficult for years to come, until enough winter storms have knocked down enough dead trees to enable the trails to be kept clear for more than a season at a time.

Meanwhile, the Forest Service, already under sequester, will be overwhelmed. They could not clear Kibbie Ridge even annually before the fire, and now they will have dozens of trails in desperate need of work. It will take years, and it is a near certainty that some of the trails will never be repaired and will vanish.

I think it likely that some of the trailheads will not reopen for a long time--maybe not at all next year--given that there will likely be severe erosion to the roads, and the Forest Service is already undergoing a crisis in funding--before a shutdown. I could imagine Shingle Springs closed for a full year, for example, since it is prone to erosion already.

With this bad news about NW Yosemite, I am thinking increasingly of the Emigrant Wilderness for my early season hikes next year.

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Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by kpeter » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:43 pm

Very hard to get any updates. The official daily report today says:
The Rim fire is now being managed by the Groveland and Mi Wuk Ranger Districts on the Stanislaus National Forest. Minimal fire spread is expected in the next 24 hours and fire behavior continues to be creeping and smoldering. There is one 800-1000 acre pocket of vegetation near Kibbie Lake that remains with a potential to burn.
While they might mean that the fire may still come to shoreline, there are some islands of vegetation left unburned south of Kibbie. Hopefully it will be the latter.

I did find this interesting map from September 30 posted, I presume, just before the government shutdown.

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/map/3660/0/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What I found interesting was not the red "uncontrolled fire edge" lines which were generally where we knew they were letting the fire burn, but the fact that there was a black "completed line" from Cherry Lake across Kibbie Ridge and as far east as a point due south of Kibbie Lake. It seems that they did build some lines in the wilderness, and we may see evidence of that when we get back there. Those would have to be hand lines.

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Re: Rim Fire Started By Hunter

Post by seanr » Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:37 pm

The man lied, initially claiming a rockslide caused the fire, then pot growers, before admitting it was his illegal campfire, and now he has been named and charged:

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/07/661322 ... p=/99/749/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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