what's the point?

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Everything Chetco Bar Fire related for 2 September will be posted here.


Whenever things go south on them — in this case also literally — they simply avoid giving pertinent information in an easily discernible way. InciWeb finally fixed the problem with the fire map for the 31st being the fire map for the 30th... by changing the date on it. Only. And there is no fire map for the 1st. We get the word that the fire grew on various borders... by about 6000 acres today... if you look around and do some math... but we do not SEE it.

Why would that be? The map guy is tired. Somebody's cell phone or walkie-talkie went down. It was Friday. It's a holiday weekend. The website went down. What the fuck ever. It's back up now and has been for hours and there's no goddam third or fourth or fifth iteration of essentially the identical map when we KNOW that if they're doing ANYTHING and if the fire is doing ANYTHING it would manifest itself in terms of changes on the daily fire maps... NOT just a phrase about the fire growing and the stats about the acres burned and personnel assigned to the fire and the weather conditions that, at least today, were not exactly as forecast, yet the conflagration grew, and it grew to the southwest because the wind was coming from the northeast.


And this is NOT good enough for government work. They have access to utterly dazzling satellite information minute to minute. They have computer screens that can paint that fucker for you in pristine detail, and ALL the map guy has to do is annotate the new activities for the day. NOT a backbreaking or even mentally taxing activity. The public goes to that site to figure out how fast or if or when they might have to bug out, or to see stuff they particularly care about for whatever reason, but... nooooo... CYA is still in full throat.

NOTHING pierces that shit, EVEN if lives depend on it.


11am I just noticed I did not hit the update button on last night's last update for the the fire situation, before I set about making this post to scream about human pusillanimity and how lethally stupid it is. I was admitting therein my state of senility about fog maybe being pure smoke, or my body being so smoke-saturated that I am hallucinating fog... or it WAS fog and I'm just having a humility/outrage mixed state so familiar to gerontologists.

Whatever. Other than that, it still is exactly as I said, and now I will go about seeing what I can find in the way of updates for today.


There's a new map today... with partially updated perimeter. For sure the east side burned southwest a LOT yesterday, but for almost certain so did a lot of areas on the southern perimeter that were not changed on today's map. Also, only changes to the firebreaks situation, such as they are, are some goofy little dozer breaks on the northwest and nothing on the west, where they admitted last night they'd been using choppers dumping water.

That's saving Brookings, which, of course, is priority one and their paltry firebreaks were not doing the trick. Late to even begin any measures at all, and those were wholly insufficient ones anyway, and now it's douse that fucker with chopper runs or the worst is a done deal. This is not even entered on the new map. Probably too embarrassing.

From today's bureaucratic pronouncement:
Significant Events

Extreme, group torching, spotting, short crown runs. There are several areas active around the perimeter. Most active area was a late day 3-mile run on the east end of the fire in the brush of the Biscuit Fire scar (2002). Group torching and spots in south, northwest and north. There are more than 8 hot areas around the 80+ mile perimeter.


Projected Incident Activity

12 hours- Extreme fire behavior. Rh recovery poor. Torching, crowning runs, spotting to 0.7 mile (maybe further), major runs likely with alignment of wind and terrain, plume development. High potential for large fire growth (Haines 6).

24 hours- Extreme fire behavior. Torching, crowning runs, spotting to 0.5 mile (maybe further), major runs likely with alignment of wind and terrain, plume development. High potential for large fire growth (Haines 6).

48 hours- Extreme fire behavior. Torching, crowning runs, spotting to 0.5 mile, major runs likely with alignment of wind and terrain, plume development. High potential for large fire growth (Haines 6).

72 hours- Very active to extreme fire behavior. Torching, crowning runs, spotting to 0.5 mile, major runs likely with alignment of wind and terrain, plume development. Moderate potential for large fire growth (Haines 5). Possible thunderstorm development.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Continued very active fire behavior. Thunderstorms possible.
So I should be putting the precious books in those boxes today, at least. Hard to function in heat and smoke, but it is waaaaay less hot here than everywhere else in this heat wave right now.

It's not even the ocean saving us. It's the thick layer of smoke blocking out sunlight.


Strikes me you might want to know what they mean by all those Haines numbers in their forecast. It's not about mayonnaise in Alaska. And the possibility of thunderstorms is, unfortunately, real. They like to happen when cool air hits hot air and the air IS hot out there and the ocean will continue to try to send cool air to water the redwoods, which means very often that the lesser conifer further inland suck it bigly... as we have seen.

I can't deal with strict attention to the Eclipse and Orleans Complexes to the southeast of me. They are nuking Crescent City with smoke and this one is nuking me with smoke, with a lot of friendly smokey overlap, but there's only so much of me I can spare for dire emergencies, and I know the ones in California are being dealt with by California pros... probably with plenty of hinderance from the Forest Service, too, but at least they're there.


I have a sinking feeling this
Fire Restrictions: The IFPL (Industrial Fire Precaution Level) is Level IV.
means the fire has been deemed too dangerous to fight just now... so nobody's fighting it... and that would account for yesterday too... aside from maybe special dispensation to dump water on it from choppers behind Brookings.

And the "Winchuck drainage" is the completely unprotected one I've been hopping up and down about.
Fire is now established in the head of the Winchuck drainage, compromising options to contain fire upslope of indirect lines. Crews and engines actively engaged in suppression efforts to check fire spread from entering the Winchuck drainage any further. Implement point protection strategies that have a high probability of success. Continue to prep and indirect line, identify contingency lines, as well as coordination with wildland and structural resources. Continue with mop up opportunities around structures.
Six weeks ago the fire was not even five thousand acres. Seven weeks ago, it had just started. Somewhere in that week they decided not to do anything. I'm not sure when they actually started doing something, but it was probably when the fire crossed out of national forest and started threatening structures... which would have been about ten days ago.

Brookings would have called CalFire to come help until the feds got their asses there with the National Guard... halting any work to put breaks into the Winchuck drainage by dismissing CalFire until further notice. [Saves money.] [Not forests or watersheds or humans.] It's 5pm and the smoke has been nearly to ground level here all day.

It's definitely not fog, but it is shading us from the heatwave. 82º and low humidity.


We are now 140,000 acres from when we could have extinguished this fire with ONE chopper bucket and a couple of firemen. And a passel of Level 3 evacuees were downgraded to Level 2 today, which means for sure they had permission to nuke the perimeter by Brookings with chopper buckets yesterday, but also means a LOT of people have been in shelters for days when they could have been home... plus having to jump through all these stupid hoops to do it.

Blockheads will whine, "Better safe than sorry." But this was corruption, utter irresponsibility.


This one just happens to be extra-egregious because of the number of human lives at stake, and impacted adversely, but ALL the forest service land fires for the past how many years have been "managed" this way, fucking up the ecosystem something stupendous. Yes, indeed, wildfire has always been with us, but we've fought them so long the fuels are beyond the pale dangerous to just let burn like this, when we have the technology to spot them and put them out before they're bigger than a few acres.

Far and away better to just let the lightning fires ignite, willy nilly, and put them out before they're too big and thin the fuels that way. When it's just a little fire, the critters have a chance to get away to safety. When it's a monster fast moving conflagration, they're dead, and this happens.



Oh, heh. Almost 30 times smaller than the Chetco Bar fire....



[this map is darn inaccurate due to blindness and senility, but still makes the point]

[click image for larger and more accurate view on 9/3 map]

Winds currently from the NNE....

Just go HERE and zoom in and out on the East Fork of the Winchuck, if you think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, okay? It actually dips into California in one or two places and drains into the Pacific right after you get over the Oregon border heading for Brookings.


Missing MODIS image for 2 September:

pipe up any time....