Posts

Western States Wildfires Continue to March On

Many western states wildfires continue to burn at average to above-average levels for the month of August. Fire resources are currently working on 36 large fires that are actively burning 587,843 acres. California continues to be the focus of firefighting efforts as thousands of residents near many large fires remain evacuated from their homes. The Great Basin and Pacific Northwest Areas also have a lot of fire activity, but firefighters are beginning to gain the upper hand on these large burns.

Western States Wildfires Stress Resources

With resources assigned to fires across the states, initial attack resources are near or at draw down levels. This worries fire managers as they may not have enough manpower locally to contain new starts that they would normally be able to stop at full strength. Numerous fires in California are burning in inaccessible terrain with drought and beetle stricken fuels.

Unprecedented Behavior

Numerous western states wildfires are exhibiting behavior that 30- and 40-year veterans have never seen. The Bluecut Fire in particular burned over 30,000 acres in 24 hours, exhibiting similar conditions as the Sand fire in Santa Clarita. California firefighters’ concern may increase due to Santa Ana season being just around the corner.

Current Numbers at a Glance

  • Seven Type 1 Incident Management Teams are assigned.
  • Nine Type 2 Incident Management Teams are assigned.
  • 19,695 incident personnel are assigned.
  • Current active fires in the western states have destroyed 260 structures.

Western States Wildfires

Soberanes Fire Update: now over 50% contained

Soberanes Fire Summary

The Soberanes Fire started as the result of an illegal campfire that was left unattended on July 22nd within the Garrapata State Park to the south of Monterey. The fire is now over 70,000 acres and is 55% contained. Currently, there are more than 5,300 firefighters on scene fighting the blaze. Damage assessments remain unchanged with 57 residences and 11 outbuildings destroyed, along with 3 structures and 2 outbuildings damaged, mostly in Palo Colorado, 15 miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Full containment is not expected until August 31st.

Soberanes Fire Perimeter (8/12)

Soberanes Fire Location (8/12), between Big Sur and Carmel Highlands south of Monterey


Soberanes Fire Outlook

The fire had minimal growth in lower elevations again Thursday night as the marine layer kept the fire in check. Yesterday’s firing operation on the north part of Coast Ridge continued to be hot overnight with new MODIS heat detections picking up where an island of unburned fuel burned off near Dani Ridge. Morning reports had the high elevation areas near Ventana Double Cone as having actively burned yesterday and overnight as well. The majority of fire activity has been limited to the area of Uncle Sam Mountain and Coast Ridge, exhibiting mostly backing, creeping, and smoldering along with a few sustained uphill runs.

As mentioned, firing operations took place yesterday (8/11) along Coast Ridge and are being planned–dependent on weather–for the coming days to strengthen containment lines in the Big Sur area. This could close Highway 1 periodically over the next few days. Specifically, fire managers are trying to prevent the fire from crossing the Big Sur River Gorge where it could make a hard uphill run, and aiming to keep the fire out of the inhabited coastal canyons above Nepenthe, Pfeiffer Falls, and Big Sur Lodge.

Air quality in the Big Sur area will be poor again today at the lower elevations. The warming and drying trend that began yesterday will continue today as high pressure builds. Areas removed from the marine layer will see their hottest conditions since last week. Overnight humidity recoveries will be poor over the upper slopes and ridges. The warming trend will bring slightly more intense fire conditions above the marine layer, with areas below it continuing the low intensity and minimal spread.

Soberanes Fire Facts (8/12)

  • Started: July 22nd, 2016
  • Location: Big Sur, CA
  • Size: 70,615 acres
  • Containment: 55%
  • Fire Behavior: Slow fire spread through timber, chaparral, and tall grass in steep, rugged terrain.
  • Structures Threatened: 410 (reported)
  • Structures Destroyed: 68 (57 primary, 11 outbuildings)
  • Evacuations: Are in place
  • Incident Page: CALFIRE Information
  • News Article: KSBW News

 

RedZone Aides In Wildfire Mitigation Education

The Cold Springs fire – July 2016

On July 9, 2016 the Cold Springs Fire in Nederland, CO destroyed 8 homes and over 600 acres, prompting more information about wildfire mitigation to be taught to homeowners living in Boulder County, CO. RedZone is driving the educational cause by partnering with Wildfire Partners, a wildfire mitigation program in Boulder County that provides assistance to homeowners attempting to create a strong defensible space against wildfires. Whether it be scheduling Mitigation Specialists to provide an on-site assessment with homeowners, creating accurate and detailed reports outlining mitigation work that needs to be done, or organizing community events educating homeowners on the benefits of mitigation, RedZone, along with Wildfire Partners,  is working hard to make wildfire mitigation the top priority for homeowners.

The Effect of Wildfire Mitigation

Although the Cold Springs Fire destroyed 8 homes, an additional 8 homes within the fire perimeter survived. These 8 homes are all enrolled with Wildfire Partners and had completed their required mitigation tasks. Many homeowners called our team members to tell us their success stories, and more importantly, to thank the program for prompting them to mitigate their property. This is the response that Clark Woodward, founder of RedZone, envisioned when he agreed to collaborate with Wildfire Partners.

RedZone’s Role

As wildfires continue to burn throughout the country, RedZone is making wildfire mitigation education a top priority. As the partnership with Wildfire Partners continues, so will the cause to create defensible spaces surrounding property in order to make the lives of both homeowners and firefighters much more safe.