No risk now for me. The threat was on Tuesday when the winds were blowing flames my way. Today the wind shifted and Mr. Blue Sky is back. Thunderstorms are coming our way.
Mt. San Jacinto runs north & south, the 10,800' east facing side is really steep and creates the desert valley below. That's where I am in Palm Springs. The west facing side is not nearly as steep and is heavily forested above 4000'. The fire started at about 3000' elevation on the south edge and spread out along both sides of the mountain. The forest side just exploded. That pushed the flames to the higher elevations too. So from Palm Springs I see flames on all the higher ridges and lots of smoke and ash, but the real fire is on the other side of the mountain. There are many small towns up that way, the largest is the artsy Idyllwild at about 6000', which during summer months is filled with music and art camps, lots of campgrounds and cabins. I know a couple of families that live there year-round. Idyllwild has the fire coming in from the south and that is where the fire crews have focused the effort.
This is the part of the government incident alert that went out today:
Weather conditions today create the possibility of extreme fire growth. A large smoke and ash column may form in the northwest area of the fire. Large smoke columns have the potential to create thunderstorms which may lead to lightning and strong winds. With the current unstable atmosphere the column may raise high enough to form an ice cap. Eventually the weight of the ice will cause the column to collapse. When the column collapses strong downdraft winds push the fire in multiple directions placing firefighters at risk.
Spot fires ahead of the main fire may be caused from embers in the smoke column and from the downdraft winds.
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