gorgeous new public information map

[click image]

[Bumped up from noon-thirty today.]


We've got everything on there. Evacuation zones. Fire perimeter. Controlled perimeter. Firebreaks. Planned firebreaks.
[Branches I and VI are the threats to my house.]


Branch I: Crews will continue to strengthen lines with firing operations as conditions allow. Direct line construction and road improvement will continue along the southwest portion of the fire.


Branch VI: Continue preparing contingency line along 170 road and Peavine Ridge roads utilizing mechanized equipment.


Full sunshine existed over the fire area today [meaning yesterday, but who's counting?], but temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. Drier air aloft resulted in lower relative humidities than yesterday with values down into the 15 to 25 percent range. Higher relative humidities existed in the lower sheltered valleys. Winds were generally terrain driven, but ridgetops did see north-northwest winds gust into the 10 to 15 mph range. Sunshine on Friday will lead to warmer and drier conditions over the fire area with generally terrain driven winds. Slightly cooler temperatures and higher humidities are expected on Saturday as clouds will be on the increase. This trend will continue into Sunday with increasing chances for rain late in the day and especially Sunday night.
The map also addresses my ongoing unease with how the ArcGIS makes the fire look further away than it is.



Recall, yesterday it had exploded from 50 to 500 acres. My point being, we cannot rely on the weather to subdue the Chetco Bar fire enough to stick to its present perimeter... or anything like it. On top of the fact that it is re-burning a monster conflagration from 15 years ago, it's taking new territory that is still struggling to reassert its conifer nature over all the weed trees that grew up after logging it too heavily.

Burning THAT could be the death knell for coastal conifer by now. The soils are too depleted. The only help for it would be to hack and chip and blow the fuels back onto the forest floor... to MULCH the tired soils. Yes, ash is a nutrient, but NOTHING like what's needed, especially not fire after fire or fire after clearcutting too much. The Winchuck drainage is a prime example of the latter.

For instance, CLICK THIS LINK, and look at the light and dark green down there. The light is where there have been clearcuts and the weed trees still predominate over the conifer. As you hit the zoom on this puppy, you can see that even in the areas where the dark green conifer are getting the better of the weed trees, there's still a lot of weed trees.

You can see where the watercourses are pretty well because they're almost all still old growth conifer because the loggers leave the trees next to them to help the salmon runs make it to nice healthy spawns and the babies make it back to the ocean without dying of ichthyopthirius from stream water staying just too warm for just too long... which is what happens after wildfires, beside the slopes dumping into the streams over the coming winter.

So. Day before yesterday I vented my anxiety on a patient guy at Cal Fire and yelled into the phone, "What? Have we got a secret stash of salmonid eggs and sperm frozen away somewhere?" when agreeing that the feds were fucking up our environment damn righteously, need for fuels removal notwithstanding... and that HAS to be the case or I'm really worrying how any of them will ever recover.

Then I emailed the information officer for the feds on the Chetco Bar fire and demanded they stop treating us like cattle and resume posting updated daily fire maps. He responded that they have trouble uploading to the antiquated Inciweb, but I responded also reiterating about us not being cattle and needing to be able to judge for ourselves AND that mulching this territory would have been THE NUMBER ONE BEST COURSE OF ACTION... if ANYBODY had bothered to go fight for the budget to hire people to do it... NOT like it isn't obvious to ANYONE who knows anything about forestry.

So, again, maybe a genuine complaint from a genuine member of the public made a tiny impression... helping encourage the local boys to stand up against the feds and bashing the feds freelance.


If you want to see what I mean about the maps:

The ArcGIS is good for showing hotspots, and making the fire look further away from me, but it doesn't mean the rest of it isn't burning, and doesn't update the perimeter until somebody uploads a new one. So we can see already from this morning, what was a crown run a day ago was already filling in between itself and the main perimeter this morning. We're not kidding around here.


Well. And. So. Uh, we can also see that what WAS a firebreak was already being scoffed at by the fire, which this fire has been doing for two of its three months' tenure on earth. It was peacefully burning away at the rate of under 200 acres a day for a whole month, and then it said, "Hey, I'm free, red and it's the dead of summer! Let's party."

It has been leaping rivers and streams and fire roads and dozer breaks like they're wet noodle fences ever since. Fifteen years' worth of scrub and tree carcasses from the old Biscuit fire, and recovering forest, and active timberlands, and ranch lands, and it is threatening more towns than just Brookings.

So, yeah, we're not kidding around here, and they better NOT be relying on the weather.

pipe up any time....