I hate when this happens!

Posted by: garyW

I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 02:33 PM

Huge fire started yesterday afternoon on the other side of the mountain SW from me, maybe 15 -20 miles away in higher elevation. Pine trees burning and tons of smoke and ash. Right now the fire is cresting the ridge and heading down into drier mountainsides with brush. Big worry that that the canyons nearby with dense palm oasis will burn. The fire could easy continue downhill … I've shown on the map where I live …. I have nothing but mountainside between me and the fire. It's about 5 miles away now.

Preparing now on what to load in the car if they call a mandatory evacuation. I feel our neighborhood is fairly safe because there's not much to burn on the hillside and the firefighters will have my street as the main firebreak and line of defense for the whole neighborhood of 200 homes tucked up in the cove. Yikes!

More later...





Usually my backyard pics are sunny blue sky ...



Posted by: steveg

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 02:34 PM

Got franks and marshmallows? grin
Posted by: garyW

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 02:42 PM

Right now, Glenlivet on ice. cool
Posted by: steveg

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 03:36 PM

Just don't try to put out any flames with that stuff! eek

BTW, 18 y-o or French Oak Finish?
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 03:44 PM

Drinking and driving . . . Take care!
Posted by: AusMac

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 04:08 PM

Don't drink and drive, you might spill the drinks.
Posted by: MrB

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 04:48 PM

Oh, man. Keep us up to date.

Dave
Posted by: garyW

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 04:56 PM

I think its a 12 year on the shelf now …. I'm not really drinking in the afternoon, just wanted to come off as a cool cat. Actually, the Xanax is making everything okay for now.

laugh
Posted by: garyW

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 05:03 PM

I talked with the fireman who have taken a precautionary position down the road with few large engines and about a dozen guys. They said there were air tanker drops of retardant earlier that slowed the fire coming this way. They're calling this the "Mountain Fire" and it's 10% contained with about 10K acres burned. The fire coming downhill is slow moving and the wind is working in our favor. The real problem is the dense dry pine trees in the higher elevations that have the town of Idyllwild and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway on high alert.
Posted by: DLC

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/16/13 05:15 PM

You're old hat... THAT's Got Smores Steve !! mad

laugh
Posted by: garyW

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/17/13 10:57 PM

Fire is much worse today. Spread now to 20,000 acres. Smoke and ash is getting really bad.



The west side of the mountain is all forested, the east side facing the deset valley is much steeper with less to burn. I'm on the desert side. All day there were tanker air drops on the higher ridges. 3000 firefighters and 16 helicopters. Tonight the mountain town of Idyllwild and camgrounds had mandatory evacuations of about 6000 people. I see the top ridges on fire tonight, fire is moving into higher elevations with thick chapparal and pine. The fire is also moving down the mountain toward Palm Springs, I'm looking from my window right now and see flames heading down into the canyons, slowly, and by luck there's almost no wind. At daybreak the helicopters will start scooping water from the golf course lake about a 1/2 mile down the street and try to save the canyon's palm oasis. This is a picture of what these look like, sacred sites of the local tribe:






Posted by: Celandine

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/18/13 05:47 AM


frown
That was the news I woke up to this morning
and the first thought turned to your wellbeing.

Fires USUALLY burn UP mountains rather than DOWN
...but I'd start dragging all my Apple Equipment
to the car (...if I were you).

Keep us updated
(PLEASE)
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/18/13 07:05 AM

Stay safe!
Posted by: garyW

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/18/13 07:54 AM

Fire is no longer a potential threat to my neighborhood as it was on Tuesday where it would burn towards me from the south. That made me a bit anxious. Officials from the fire crew told us there is now no threat to the Palm Springs area except in the palm canyons where the flames burn down the mountainside, but for now that may be contained. On the flip side of the mountain the forest is burning …. and the winds continue to blow smoke and ash my way. Forecast is for monsoon thunderstorms to roll in over the next couple of days and that means high humidity and maybe some help supressing the thing. But it also means lightning strikes and new fires. And so it goes.

Posted by: yoyo52

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/18/13 08:34 AM

Nature's a b¡tch.
Posted by: Celandine

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/18/13 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By: yoyo52
Nature's a b¡tch.


(having just crossed the 'dreaded' threshold)

"...you ain't seen 'nuthin' yet..." eek
Posted by: DLC

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/18/13 11:27 AM

Originally Posted By: yoyo52
Nature's a b¡tch.

Yeah don't you remember those commercials?
"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature !! (thunderclap) " eek

Tread lightly , my friend ! wink
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/18/13 12:04 PM

I meant no disrespect!
Posted by: garyW

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/18/13 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: yoyo52
Nature's a b¡tch.


report came out today by investigators saying the fire was man-made mad


Getting close to 40,000 acres burned this afternoon, declared the worst California fire this year to date. City of Idyllwild is threatened. Many people will lose their homes. The historic Palm Springs Aerial Tramway mountain station at 8500 ft. is threatened. The fire is headed to higher elevations where all the fuel is. To the south, one report said the southern-most canyon with the old-growth palm oasis has flames approaching and is just about ready to burn. hoping the aerial retardant drops have been in that area too.

I've been watching the large helicopters all day. They have a base camp visible from my place where they hover, refill the fire retardant from large tanker trucks, then take off up the mountain. I was told they have 13 helicopters in the fight, it's been non-stop since early this morning. Fire crew says it's only 15% contained with extreme risk.

Flames visible on the mountain ridge, still lots of smoke. Wind shifted for a while this afternoon and we had short a break from it.

the historic tramway mountain station was built in 1964, accessible by the longest cable car span in the country, from the valley floor (near sea level) to 8500'. This side of the mountain facing Palm Springs is incredibly steep.


the fire map keeps getting worse. I'm on the bottom center edge of the map. The tram station is to the right of the leading edge of the fire. Idyllwild is just above the right leading edge.


Posted by: steveg

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/19/13 02:26 AM

Yeesh! Are you at risk at all?
Posted by: garyW

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/19/13 08:19 AM

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.
Posted by: Leslie

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/19/13 09:56 AM

Glad you are safe.
We drove up to Idyllwild last year, cozy little town. Damn.
Posted by: garyW

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/19/13 12:51 PM

This is the part of the government incident alert that went out today:

Quote:
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.


eek
Posted by: Leslie

Re: I hate when this happens! - 07/19/13 02:02 PM

Bad news.