Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mountain Fire - Update

Monday night, I shared with you some information on a little fire that we had going here in Riverside County - The Mountain Fire. When I wrote that post, I had a feeling that it could be a problem child. It would appear that my impressions were correct. It has become a real pain for the USFS and for all of the other participators.

As of 2100 last night, it has burned almost 20,000 acres. Six residences and a commercial building have been destroyed, numerous outbuildings have burned as well.

Almost 3000 personnel are assigned to this fire, including 228 engines, 21 water tenders (tankers for you east coasters), 15 dozers, 17 helicopters, 10 fixed-wing aircraft including a DC-10.

Image courtesy of Tanker10 web-site

Numerous hamlets and communities have been evacuated, most of the town of Idyllwild  is under evacuation as is Fern Valley. I have to believe that a whole bunch more resources will be ordered if the fire moves into Idyllwild, I think the plan called for 50 strike teams to protect the town.

There is a strong possibility that the fire will burn over the mountain into the south end of the Palm Springs area. That has not happened in long, long while.

A friend of mine sent me this photo yesterday, I believe it was taken yesterday afternoon.

It was taken from base camp, located at Lake Hemet. It is looking north, and is of one of two major fire fronts that were blazing away yesterday. The photo was taken by Alan, one of my friends employees. Many photos like this were snapped yesterday, the power of this fire is impressing many.

The winds are expected to shift a little today, who knows what that will bring. I'll have to check and see if I have any friends on the fire, the odds are high. If so, they will be there for days - this isn't going away any time soon.

Thanks for reading,



  1. The photos are incredible. I'm curious - what would the ideal response be to a disastrous fire like this one, and should the Federal government be helping more than it is?

  2. Mad Jack - I'd have to say that the ideal response would be to throw thousands of firefighters at it and try to keep it away from the houses and such until the weather changes and it can be contained. Pretty much what happened.

    As far as the Fed involvement, it is pretty much their fire. Although it is a unified command, I believe that the Feds are paying the bill, which will be in the tens of millions of dollars. I don't think it will qualify for disaster relief, though I could be wrong with that.

    The Feds occasionally try to manage fires, allowing nature to run it's course. As this was:

    A) a man caused fire
    B) close to several towns
    C) displaying extreme fire behavior

    They didn't mess around and got busy quick.

    Thanks for the comment