Thursday, September 15, 2022

Additional Fire Update 15 September 2022

 Friends - Apologies, this is a late evening post due to work effectively going over the top.

The news from Old Home, as I indicated in some earlier direct responses today, is not great.  The fire hopped the river and fire breaks and started a second blaze one what is effectively the wrong side of the Canyon.  From what I see online, by the time it was brought under control over 1,000 acres burned.  It is now eating into residential areas. By my estimates the fire is somewhere between 2.5 and 2.7 miles straight line from The Ranch.

I got a message from The Young Cowboy this afternoon. They are still there onsite with their livestock and with power and water (fortunately, the main power line for the area runs right through the Upper And Middle Meadows so there is almost always power if power is to be had. The Forest Service threw up a bulldozed dirt line to protect them.  He said that it is smoky and they are eating a ton of vegetables from the garden, but otherwise okay.

The first is almost 1/5th contained now, but a random event like the fire hopping the river - wind driven embers, for example - could still turn a relatively settled fire line into yet issue.

14 comments:

  1. Too close for mental comfort! Praying that this will somehow be brought under control or disaster averted.

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    1. Leigh, it is. Part of my own issue is simply the information flow: the updates are only about twice a day officially. Twitter in this case is of some value, but often marginal: updates can be more frequent, but information is not much more relevant. Fortunately where The Ranch is located is not on the more active fire front, but it only takes a spark in the wrong place to set everything back.

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  2. Anonymous3:59 AM

    Yeah, that is close. I hope the fire stays away from your property.

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    1. Uncomfortably so, yes. Thanks for the kind thoughts.

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  3. Nylon125:07 AM

    Dicey news TB, prayers that Mother Nature can co-operate with all the efforts of the firefighters.

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    1. Thank you and appreciated, Nylon12. Weather is cooling a bit; it is the potential winds that remain the issue.

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  4. Been thinking of The Ranch and praying for favorable conditions to squash the fire. Thanks for keeping us posted, too!
    ~hobo

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    1. Thank you Hobo! The update seems about the same for the lower edge, but there may actually be rain in the forecast.

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  5. Thank you for the update. I know too well the frustration of trying to find real time information. We are closely watching a fire near us (we're several hundred miles north of your ranch). Ours is nearly controlled and hasn't expanded its perimeter in several days. It is fortunate that you do have "boots on the ground" at the ranch; they're no doubt your best source of real time information.
    It has always impressed me when, as a pilot, I have flown over old burn areas to note what is referred to as a "mosaic pattern of burn". The uninformed news refers to "XX thousand acres destroyed", when the facts are anything but. Yes, in an overgrown forest, the destruction can be horrific, but even in the worst fires, there are patterns of burn intensity. Some areas have burned the soil to sterility, and take decades to recover. Yet nearby, there are streaks of forest that have merely cleaned up the understory. Mature Ponderosa is adapted to fire, and the big trees would like a low intensity burn every five to ten years. Their bark is resistant to burning, and as long as the fire remains below the canopy, the next season will be as green as ever. Your best hope, should a fire get too close, is that the cleanup that your father did, and has been continued by your ranch caretakers, will limit any fire's intensity and protect your structural assets from damage. Controlled burns, done in the wetter seasons, are essential to keeping these large conflagrations limited.
    Hopes and prayers are with you for what the weather boys refer to as a "season changing event".

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    1. Greg - Thank you, both for the prayers as well as the commentary.

      The biggest concern is the one that you note: burning the soil to sterility. The lands this is burning through have likely not seen fires in years; with such intense heat, sterility is a real concern.

      We are very fortunate that we have folks there. And very fortunate that the years my father was able to work there as well as The Cowboy has resulted in a relatively good environment in the event the worst happens. That said, I suspect we will go through another round of culling this year.

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  6. Just saw a video of some buildings and a slug of vehicles burning near the high school in the nearby town. Scary stuff. Fortunately it sounds like the most dangerous stuff is now east of the Ranch but hopefully there are no sparks. Having never lived in such a combustible area, I can't imagine how people live knowing with a spark, everything can be gone in a matter of minutes. At least out here on the fringes of tornado alley, we know a couple days in advance that everything could disappear.

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    1. Ed, they are some scary pictures and what you saw is the main road into town (the one we take coming up from the main Interstate as well). It is way too close for comfort.

      Like anything else, I think one comes to learn to live with it - also, things are different in some ways both in terms of population density as well as overall fire management. For example, I have never felt particular concern at the Ranch, but that is because a lot of management went into it. The property right around ours, not so much.

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  7. Continued prayers for all, TB.
    You all be safe and God bless.

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