Monitoring a few favorite areas threatened by fire

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.
Post Reply
User avatar
kpeter
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm
Experience: N/A

Monitoring a few favorite areas threatened by fire

Post by kpeter » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:19 pm

I've been watching carefully. Note a couple of things. First, the fact that a place has burned doesn't necessarily make it a disaster. A lot depends on how hot the fire was when it passed over that particular area. Second, in the long long run it is probably a good thing that some of these areas burn. I can't help, however, but be sentimental about places I have visited in greener times, and I also realize that at my age nothing that burns this year will recover enough for me to ever want to visit. So there is a selfish element, for sure, behind my obsession.

If you want to monitor your own favorite areas, the best way to do so is to use CalTopo and check "Fire Activity" on the right pop-up menu, and you will then see the incident maps superimposed over the topos.

https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.7580 ... a=modis_mp

1) Trinity Alps. The Red Salmon Complex has not been getting a lot of attention down here. It has burned into the western edge of the wilderness but not penetrated too far yet. It is about 3 miles from Grizzly Lake, for those of you who know that popular destination. I worry because on the western side of the Trinity Alps Wilderness it is heavily forested, so I suspect the fire will keep spreading unless it is actively stopped, and I don't know if they think there is any compelling reason to stop it.

2) Dinkey Lakes WIlderness. The media has devoted lots of attention to the Creek Fire. Today its northern lobe burned about a mile closer to Lake Thomas Edison. The southern lobe is approaching Courtwright--still miles off-- but perhaps more serious is the Bullfrog Fire, a smaller fire actually between the Creek Fire and Courtwright Reservoir that is burning through the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness. Perhaps the Creek Fire will eventually merge with the little Bullfrog Fire, but the Bullfrog is already within a mile of the NW inlet of the Courtwright. It has burned about a mile of the trail to Nelson Lakes, and about a mile of the trail from Courtwright to Cliff Lake. Today it seemed to be moving south toward Eagle Peak.

3) Silver Falls State Park outside of Salem Oregon has had its perimeter burned. It is hard to tell from the maps how great the risk that remains may be--perhaps some of you who live in the Oregon media area have more up to date information. At the moment the park seems to be sandwiched between two arms of the Beachie Creek Fire, although it looks somewhat stable. For those of you who have not visited, it is one of the most spectacular parks for waterfalls over volcanic rock anywhere in the world. One of my favorite places on the face of the earth.

4) Woodhouse Fire in Western Idaho west of Council. I follow this one only because I spent many childhood summers in the campgrounds in this area. So far the fire has not burned those campgrounds. The Wildhorse Valley is an incredibly remote valley draining into Hells Canyon, and there was a single homestead there at the end of a long dirt road. I wonder how they fared.








User avatar
kpeter
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:11 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Monitoring a few favorite areas threatened by fire

Post by kpeter » Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:57 pm

A few updates.

1) Trinity Alps. The fire seems to have slowed as it burns from west to east into the wilderness. In the south, it burned until it hit the 2013 Coral Complex burn, and then it slowed down--only 7 years of fuel there. In the north you can draw this year's fire boundary almost exactly by the boundary of the 2006 Bar Complex Fire. In other words, this year's fire burned rapidly through areas that had not recently burned, but slowed to a crawl when it hit zones that had burned in 2006 or 2013. It doesn't look to me as if the fire is burning rapidly into high destination backpacking areas, for what that is worth.

2) Dinkey Lakes Wilderness. There are some hot spots still burning but the Bullfrog Fire near Courtwright seems to be flickering. There are a few hot spots burning between the NW arm of Courtwright and Nelson lakes, and a few between Cliff Lake and Nelson meadows.

3) I can't get good information on Silver Falls State Park outside of Salem. It was on the very edge of the huge Beachie Creek fire that wiped out a few towns. If I am reading the map correctly, the fire burned about half of the park--particularly in the south where the Santiam State Forest is--but the most popular hiking trails to the waterfalls probably were not directly affected. One wonders about runoff next spring. This to Oregon is what Big Basin is to the Bay Area. I hope it did better than our most famous state park.

4) The Woodhouse Fire in Idaho is still burning brightly, but it seems to be going south, away from my childhood haunts.

Others I am curious about:

5) The Bluejay fire in Yosemite has crossed Tioga Road from the south and is burning toward Lukens Lake. It is interesting to turn on the "fire history" feature in Cal Topo and you can see the checkerboard of fires over the last 20 years in Yosemite, and the Bluejay fire lies, of course, in a zone that had not yet burned.

User avatar
Enigmagic
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:40 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: Monitoring a few favorite areas threatened by fire

Post by Enigmagic » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:57 pm

kpeter wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:57 pm
The Bluejay fire in Yosemite has crossed Tioga Road from the south and is burning toward Lukens Lake. It is interesting to turn on the "fire history" feature in Cal Topo and you can see the checkerboard of fires over the last 20 years in Yosemite, and the Bluejay fire lies, of course, in a zone that had not yet burned.
It was moving pretty fast after Labor Day weekend, we went up Saturday morning and didn't see much aside from the Creek Fire smoke. Heading back on Tuesday the fire was pretty close to the highway.
IMG_20200908_112752.jpg
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests