The Arizona wild fire season is here.

Discussion in 'The Caboose' started by Ray Marinaccio, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    The Arizona wild fire season is here. Although not the worst fire burning in the state, this one (the Green fire) near Prescott is to close for comfort.
    The first photo was taken at 1:30 and the second 45 minutes later.
    Fortunately minutes after I took the second photo, the slurry planes made their assault and the fire is now 50% contained.

    Attached Files:

  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yeah, it's starting right on que and all over the state. The worse one right now is up in Sedona. That is absolutely too beautiful an area to be scorched like that. As of this morning they've lost two homes in an area of million-dollar homes, but the good news is that it is traveling away from the Village of Oak Creek into wilderness area.

    Although the one near Sedona was an accident, our biggest concern is it's so dry here that there is no rain even during a lightning storm and that's the cause of most of these fires. Up in Sedona yesterday, the humidity was in the single digits and the dew point was around one degree, and Sedona is in the wetter regions of Arizona.:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  3. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I noticed yesterday that our humidity level was 4%!!! Now that's a dry heat!!:D :D :D
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I don't know about you, but I could smell the smoke when I went outside this morning. Now we're both a good 70 miles from the nearest fire, unless there's another one nearer that I don't know about.:rolleyes:

    Yeah, 4% is dry, as is a dew point of one degree. That means that it has to get down to one degree above zero before there can be any dew settling. In the known recording of man, it has never gotten even close to that temperature, even in the winter. Yesterday's temperature was 108 with 111 forecast for this weekend.:D
  5. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Hope you guys will not have to leave your homes because of those forest fires. Them things are hard to bring under control. I only fought 2 of them this year here in Pennsylvania. The worst one I was ever on was one that burnt 13,000 + acres. They can be dangerous, but they also help the land as well, by getting rid of all the dead trees, grass, etc, and make way for new growth.
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    No, some of us are in more populated areas. The worse we had was a few years ago when we had two fires, both set by humans, combine and took out 500,000 acres of timber and hundreds of homes. The closest that I've had was a large brush fire last summer that was within a half-mile of our house and several just a few miles to the north of us.

    The current one up in Sedona was at 1500 acres this morning, and it's still not contained. I haven't heard anything more about the one near Ray's home, just south of Prescott.
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    We just got back from a few days of R and R up north. We spent a day at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow (pictures to follow) and another day in Flagstaff and Sedona. In Winslow, we could see the smoke from the "Potato" fire (don't ask me, I don't name them :rolleyes: ) just north of Heber. It's been burning for about a week now, but is still under 7,000 acres. A new fire started just west of Flagstaff yesterday where last night they had to evacuate about 200 homes and shut down I-40 for a while. We were gone before it had started. There's one other fire burning right now up around Page at the northen part of the state.

    We visited some of our old sites around Sedona and could not see evidence of the fire that had gone through to the south less than two weeks ago. I'm sure it's there, we just couldn't see it from either the Chapel or any of the roads we took.
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Last Monday we spent the day and that night around Sedona. Unfortunately, we couldn't do that right now because there's a rather large wildfire just north of the town. Route 89A is the main highway throught the town and through Oak Creek Canyon. It is where our hotel was and the road is now closed to through traffic. They are starting eveacuation of some subdivisions about a mile away from this fire. It is now into the ponderosa pines and spreading fast and is much more serious than the one they had a few weeks ago there just to the south of Sedona.

    They suspect that this one was started by humans since there has been no lighting in the area for over a week. The "Potato" fire near Flagstaff is out, and the one south of Winslow is about 40% contained. There are several others burning throughout the state right now, but this one in Sedona is now in the middle of some red rocks and is difficult to fight.

    I know that Arizona isn't the only area being hit by wildfires, but hey, that's where we are and that's what we can report on right now.
  9. pasayten

    pasayten New Member

    I just retired last June 2005 after 34 yrs with the US EPA... One of my last projects was a joint USFS/EPA Wildfire mapping application for various areas of the U.S.

    This is the main page... with a Pacific Northwest focus... but also has a link to a new Western US map which includes Arizona and New Mexico...

    Go down and click on the "View Western BlueskyRains" near the bottom and above the "volcano cam" After the new map window pops up, you can zoom/pan around and turn on/off some data layers, you can get a map like:


    Sometimes, not all wildfires are tracked... only the ones that get in their database... You can also make a map of "tomorrow" as the weather predictions go out to the next day...

    There are also many other "fire" tools out there... Look at the "Links" tab on the maon page.

    Just wanted to pass this on, as sometimes using the "tomorrow" forecast, you can sometimes plan your activities to an area that may be less prone for smoke...

  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Wow, that's good information. We did get some smoke while we were up in Winslow a week ago, but we missed the one in Flagstaff by one day and this latest one on Sedona by a few days. We freqently get smoke from these fires down here in the Phoenix area. That one that Ray posted at the begining of this thread is one example, some smoke carried down here and we're a good 60-80 miles south of where that fire was.

    Interesting, thanks for posting that link, I'm going to bookmark it.
  11. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Whoah! The little disclaimer/warning that pops up when you enter that site sounds pretty serious!

    WARNING NOTICE: This is a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) computer system, which may be accessed and used only for official government business. Unauthorized access or use of this computer system may subject violators to criminal, civil, and/or administrative action. All information on this computer system may be monitored, recorded, read, copied, and disclosed by and to authorized personnel for official purposes, including law enforcement. Access or use of this computer system by any person, whether authorized or unauthorized, constitutes consent to these terms.

    Soooo, how do I validate my personal web surfing as "official government business?" Are you sure we are allowed to be mucking around in there?
  12. pasayten

    pasayten New Member

    Actually, the original BlueskyRains portal site is running on a USFS/University of Washington server here in the Pacific Northwest... and without such a daunting EPA disclaimer which was meant to ward off hackers and illegal uses on their servers... (Bluesky was a joint USFS/EPA project)

    This main page focuses on the Pacific Northwest and also has some other interesting stuff on it... Like Mt St Helens trajectories if it erupts again! Note that the PNW site tracks wildfires AND planned burns... They actually use it for day to day smoke management of prescribed (planned) burns... I wonder why we named it bluesky instead of smokysky? that's the government for you! :)

    The Western US map is available on this page at the links near the bottom "View Western BlueskyRains" and just above the "volcano cam" (dark at night!)

    As this is the original site and most up to date, I would bookmark this site. Especially since it will pick up improvements and expanded areas first... They have weather/smoke data down to the 4 kilometer resolution level in the PNW and are thinking of expanding that to other parts of the country. The western US is currently modeled at the 12 kilometer resolution level. What would that be in N scale... 12000/160 = 75 meters in N!

    Other interesting fire mapping sites include:

    NOAA Fire satellite detection:

    USDA/Forest Servbice MODIS Active Fire Mapping:
  13. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Just an update. All the local TV stations are devoting their entire broadcasts to the fire up in Sedona. As I said, we spent a day up there last week and one thing we always do when we go there is to drive through Oak Creek Canyon. Tall ponderosa pines run right up to the red rocks that make up the canyon. Oak Creek parallels the highway and is stocked for fishing along the way. We drove through Cave Springs camp ground where we spent many a night when our kids were young. Many homes dot both sides of highway 89A as it winds through the canyon.

    Well, the fire is now in the canyon. All the campgrounds were evacuated yesterday, all the homes are being evacuated right now. They are saying that the fire could reach 89A just about anytime. This is not the largest fire we've had here in Arizona in the past few years, but it's probably going to be one of the worse for damaging some of the most beautiful landscape in the world.

    Sorry folks, but I have a special attachment to this area and cannot believe that some transients had to have a fire in a "no burn" area, and caused all this. It's sickening. Conditions are not good for fighting this fire, no rain in sight, windy, hot and very low humidity.

    A few prayers that these firefighters are sucessful in turning this around and are kept safe while doing their jobs might be in order here.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Sounds like that hunter that got lost in the San Diego area a couple of years ago and started a fire to "get help" and ended up burning much of So California.
  15. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    That happened here a few years ago. One woman was lost and set a "signal" fire. Another firefighter started a fire so he would get on the payroll. Both fires eventually combined and burned 500,000 acres and hundreds of homes. She got off, he's still in jail.

    Russ, you've been up in that area, you've got to agree that it's a real loss. So far they're only 5% contained and I dread looking at the news to see where it's headed.
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The worst of it is that as I think you pointed out during last year's wild fires, Arizona is such a dry state (dry in the sense of no rain, not lack of alcohol) that forrests don't grow back like they do in the East.
  17. Padre

    Padre Member

    Last Call,
    19 Hotshot Firefighters
    Rest in Peace.
  18. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    Padre, I removed that picture as it was intended for the family members only (though it has been released now nationwide). To see these men lying in their Field of Honor is very personal in nature. God forbid one of their children or family members log into here and see that picture. I believe you have honored them by reminding us of their selflessness and the laying down of their lives to protect the homes of so many. Not one of those homes, nor all of them were worth their lives, but fact is, they saved many lives by not letting that fire blaze out of control. If the wind blows the wrong way, they die. Very sad. The person who leaked the picture should serve time, unless it was a family member.

    These are real Heroes. :)

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