a closeup of the 5% containment — 6pm — 11:30pm updates

[click image]

[Bumped from 10:30am.]


The red is the fire. The solid black lines are completed fire lines. The X lines are completed dozer lines. The R lines are roads as fire lines. The H lines are hand cleared lines. The broken black lines are planned lines, and the black dotted lines are backup lines.

So then when you look at the whole thing, you can see how serious this is, and I am marginally comforted to see they at least have some lines planned to block a little southwest action, but I'm going to mosey over to the firehouse after I've got enough coffee in me and my pants on, to see if WE have any plans for a fire line on the border. Given the forecast, that's almost certainly going to be crucial.

I mean, I've only been assuming all the screaming firetrucks have been going to help Brookings, but maybe they've been going to get a good fire line up to keep that uncontrolled monster from entering California. Probably not, but maybe... and Brookings has the National Guard helping them now....

Oh, oh, and these fire lines are a joke. This fire has completely ignored major rivers and streams, like, pfeh, nice try, and roads? Give me a break. So those lines will have to stay manned to work.


I sashayed right on over to the firehouse to ask if anyone was plotting how to block the Chetco Bar fire from flanking the Brookings fire breaks, hopping the Winchuck, and burning us all down.

No. They're all busy with the Eclipse Complex fires, won't be dealing with the Chetco unless it breaks the lines behind Brookings. The faithful VFD secretary doesn't think the Chetco Bar fire is a threat to us.

I'm telling her that it hopped the Chetco River and numerous sizable streams already. That it's barely moved east from its starting point, except for yesterday and the day before, but has gobbled up well over 130,000 acres coming west and north and south from there. The Winchuck isn't even a pimple, and the soutwestern edge of the fire is going to be moving straight for us at the rate of two-thirds of a mile a day if the current predictions hold.

She waffled.

I asked her to please at least make some of the guys aware that the monster to our northeast is headed for us and all the action fighting it is ONLY about protecting Brookings, nothing stopping it from flanking to the south and burning us down.

She gave me a number to call for email notifications.

I could swear she was thinking I'm just a worrywart old broad. So maybe I write a pointed email next to someone at the National Guard, or CalFire, or both.

Truly, I didn't think there was any danger of it getting to us until yesterday, when I saw that the feds had just been letting that sucker burn for six weeks and it was now radically closer to homes and businesses than the last time I looked.


I know what they're doing. They don't have the money and the EXCUSE is that wildfires have always been, and are actually healthier for the forests. They still let us call their crews "firefighters" and still call themselves "forest management". Fucking shit for brains.

The wind is pushing the fire directly for the top corner of California and even if the wind changes, weather's projected to be prime conflagration conditions for more than a week, the wind could change back, and even if they succeed at saving Brookings, Gold Beach to the north and Smith River to the south are definitely easily predictably at seeerious risk.


Okay. I have spent a couple hours hassling state and federal agencies about this. The Federal Forest Service has done this. The fire started on July 12th and they've done NOTHING about it until it started getting too near Brookings. Our local CalFire people were up helping all last week, until, I guess, the National Guard finally came to help reinforce the fire breaks to keep the fire out of Brookings.

Some of us waxed wishful they'd send some of the Houston flood water up here for a nice cleansing rinse. We're all breathing smoke, and gonna be worse still — from unhealthy to REALLY unhealthy — tomorrow.

At LEAST this gave me the information that CalFire is AS aware of the situation as I am. They are being thwarted because it's on Forest Service land and there are huge chain-of-command difficulties. So I'm pretty sure CalFire is poised to keep it from getting to the rural residents near the border and the greater Khoonkhwuttunne/Smith River area.

The operative word there is "poised". They are NOT supposed to have to sit on their hands when a conflagration is approaching, but "luckily" they are busy with the Eclipse Complex fires so it's only clerical staff and little old ladies having to worry this hard. I called the main Chetco Bar fire information line and the woman who answered told me there was a fire line all the way around the fire.

This map has yesterday's date on it. So I had to get uppity and take issue with that baldfaced lie. So she switched gears and insisted those "planned firebreaks" in the southwest of that map were almost completely finished today. I said I was happy to hear it, but those aren't going to stop the main fire from coming to my house. She said, "I assure you, ma'am, there is NO way the fire is getting to you."

Oh, liar, liar, pants too federal to be on fire assures me of that? Yes. She's right, but maybe only right because I will have driven down to some evacuation station in Crescent City, NOT that there's no way the fire is reaching here.

Ahem. I have marked in red the approximate location of the "planned firebreak" that is supposedly almost finished.

[click image to compare with 8/30 fire map]

That's still yesterday's map on Google too, so the fire is closer, and even if we assume she was right, that they're almost finished with those planned breaks:


Can't imagine it flanking to the south [and/or to the north for that matter]? Have they got a fleet of choppers poised to dump loads of sea water on the forest?


I think she means they'll save Oregon's little redwood tourist park and send the out of control part off into Forest service land over the border and rely on CalFire and our VFD here to keep it out of town. Yep. Yep. I'm about dead positive that's just totally precisely fiendishly their plan to a tee.

Those firebreaks are DESIGNED to divert the fire back onto Forest Service land.

NOT to put out the fire.

Never mind the forest.

Never mind our lungs and throats and eyes and nostrils and sinuses....

No money for this shit. It's on its way to Afghanistan.


10pm and still stewing... looking for newer maps, but they're all still a day old.

[click image for map source]

On this map, the crossed lines are all plain fire and the clusters of red dot blots are extra-hot spots detected by satellite. I drew in my vaguely like the feds' backup breaks and added where I bet the next "planned firebreak" will come if the fire flanks their clever little diversion breaks.

I can see them plotting it on wall maps like in Dr Strangelove. Never mind that some or all the breaks they have completed or planned might not hold, this is the master stroke. This way every Forest Service employee on the West Coast will be managing charred stumps for years... eventually saplings, if they're lucky... patting themselves on the back about how this will fertilize the forestlands and everything will be back and healthy in another 30 to 50 years.

Tough about the salmon who need those streams shaded, but we've got salmon farms now.

How'm I doin' as a fed here? Pretty much bingo, or whut?

Maybe I'll bring a flower down to the local CalFire station.


11:30pm Maybe my calls had more impact than I thought. Just a few minutes ago:
Incident: Chetco Bar Fire Wildfire
Released: 21 min. ago
Chetco Bar Fire Evacuation Update
August 31, 2017
9:30 p.m.

Following the advice of the Chetco Bar Incident Management Team, and based on the current fire behavior, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office has expanded a Level 2 Evacuation Order to include all areas along Winchuck River Road east of and include Peavine Ridge Road. Level 2 Evacuation (Be Ready) means residents within this area should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Residents MAY have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at their own risk.
So I made another map for you.

[click image for quote source]

I put a big blue blot where everyone east of it got put on this alert... and everyone on Peavine Ridge Road... meaning right down to the state line. And either someone is too fried and put up yesterday's fire map on today's date, or nothing happened today. I think it's a fried person putting up the wrong map, but it could be that fed woman liar and they haven't done their cleaver diversion breaks yet. Either way, this change in evacuation status means the fire made a lot of headway today and they know the fire's going to flank them and do just what I said it was going to do.

I was SO relieved to know that CalFire was right on my same page... EVEN though they're nearly as helpless as I am right now. For sure they won't be when the fire hits the state line... unless they manage to divert into federal lands, but they won't be able to keep it there without CalFire.

I'm going to go hit the tribal council offices tomorrow to make sure they're on top of this too. They could scream at the feds to some effect I think... at least get people in to make some REAL breaks.

I promise to shut up now.

pipe up any time....