Wyoming: Douglas Fire southwest of Sundance

(UPDATED at 7:25 a.m. MDT June 23, 2016)

The Incident Management Team on the Douglas Fire 10 mile southwest of Sundance, Wyoming reported Thursday evening that the fire grew from 257 acres the day before to 1,400 acres. The evacuation orders have been lifted, but 50 residences are still threatened.

map Douglas Fire
Map showing heat detected on the Douglas Fire by a satellite at 3:23 a.m. MDT June 2,4 2016.

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(UPDATED at 9:10 a.m. MDT June 23, 2016)

helicopter bell 206
Pilot Ryan Cutter gets the Bell 206 ready for another day shift on the Douglas Fire, June 23, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

The Douglas Fire southwest of Sundance, Wyoming has burned approximately 700 to 800 acres, according to an early rough estimate from Incident Commander Dick Terry at 8:25 a.m. MDT on June 23. Mr. Terry had just finished a helicopter recon flight and said the biggest challenge today would be the “nasty winds”. They  will have a more accurate size estimate after a GPS flight.

Douglas Fire, June 23, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.


Evacuations ordered yesterday are still in effect for the small number of people that had to leave their homes.

One structure has burned, described by Mr. Terry as not just an outbuilding but a “good shop”.

Approximately 120 personnel and one Wyoming state helicopter are assigned.

We created a gallery of more photos from the Douglas Fire.

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(Originally published June 22, 2016)

Douglas Fire
The Douglas Fire as seen from Sundance, Wyoming, 7 p.m. MDT June 22, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

I drove past this fire on I-90 Wednesday. It is the Douglas Fire 11 miles southwest of Sundance, Wyoming. It was reported at about 10 p.m. on Tuesday. It is listed at 300 acres, but was very active Wednesday afternoon.

Map Douglas Fire
Map showing heat detected by a satellite over the Douglas Fire at 1:45 p.m. MDT June 22, 2016.

Colorado: Beaver Creek Fire

Campers are being evacuated from dispersed areas.

Above: Beaver Creek Fire June 20, 2016. USFS photo by Alison Richards.

(UPDATE at 10:42 p.m. MDT June 22, 2016)

On Wednesday afternoon the Beaver Creek Fire northwest of Walden, Colorado was very active again, almost doubling in size to 7,000 acres. The fire spread further to the east, becoming well established on Independence Mountain.

The evacuation orders implemented on Tuesday are still in place.

The “Blue” Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team with Incident Commander Jay Esperance will assume command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday.

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(Originally published at 2:48 p.m. MDT June 22, 2016)

In the four days that the Beaver Creek Fire has been burning 20 miles northwest of Walden, Colorado it has grown to 3,800 acres. Most of those acres were accumulated on Tuesday.

A wind shift on Tuesday afternoon drove the fire to the east, pushing it across two main roads and establishing spot fires on BLM-managed Independence Mountain. The majority of the Beaver Creek Fire remains on the Routt National Forest in northwest Jackson County, Colo about 1 mile south of the Wyoming border.

Local fire staff were working late Tuesday with Jackson County and the BLM to evacuate dispersed campers on Independence Mountain.

(Click on the images below to see larger versions.)

weather Beaver Creek Fire
Weather forecast for the area of the Beaver Creek Fire. NWS.

The weather on Wednesday and Thursday will be moderate, but will become more problematic on Friday and Saturday with humidities around 20 percent, 10 mph southwest or west winds gusting up to 17 mph, and a chance of thunderstorms.

map Beaver Creek Fire
Vicinity map of the Beaver Creek Fire.
Beaver Creek Fire 3-D map
3-D map of the Beaver Creek looking SW. Perimeter data from 9 p.m. June 21, 2016. CO Div. Fire Prev. & Control.
Beaver Creek Fire
Beaver Creek Fire June 20, 2016. USFS photo by Alison Richards.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Chris.

Red Flag Warnings, June 21, 2016

wildfire Red Flag Warnings 6-21-2016

The National Weather service has posted Red Flag Warnings for areas in California, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado.

The maps were current as of 8:35 a.m. MDT on Tuesday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts and maps. For the most current data visit this NWS site.

California: San Gabriel Complex of Fires near Los Angeles

(UPDATED at 6:10 a.m. PDT June 22, 2016)

San Gabriel Complex Mt Wilson
The area of the San Gabriel Complex as seen from Mt. Wilson at 6:05 a.m. PDT June 22, 2016. The fires are on the right side of the picture on the far side of the ridge. Very little smoke is rising above the inversion. UCLA photo. Click to enlarge.

The activity on the Fish and Reservoir Fires that comprise the San Gabriel Complex near Los Angeles has lessened over the last 24 hours. The Fish Fire is still generating heat near the top of the fire and on the southwest side.

The combined acreage for the two fires is now 4,900 acres according to the U.S. Forest Service — 1,200 acres for the Reservoir Fire and 3,700 acres for the Fish Fire. Approximately 1,040 personnel are currently committed to these fires.

The mandatory evacuations for parts of the city of Duarte and in the national monument still remain in effect.

In spite of predictions otherwise, the two fires have still not merged and are over a mile apart.

Tuesday night firefighters continued structure protection along the south perimeter above Duarte. On Wednesday hand crews will hold and improve the fire perimeter, patrol along Highway 39, and seek opportunities to build indirect dozer lines along the Red Box Road.

weather forecast San Gabriel Complex fires
Weather forecast for the area of the San Gabriel Complex of Fires, generated at 6:30 a.m. PDT June 22, 2016. NWS.

With the exception of the wind, which could be an issue, the weather forecast for Wednesday favors firefighters, with moderate temperatures and relative humidity. However the wind will be out of the southwest at 8 to 11 mph with gusts up to 17 mph.

Map San Gabriel Complex
Map of the San Gabriel Complex at 3 a.m. PDT June 22, 2016. Click to enlarge.

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(UPDATE at 9:232a.m. PDT, June 21, 2016)

At a 9 a.m. press conference fire officials at the Fish and Reservoir Fires said the expected nighttime downslope winds that intensified after 4 a.m. caused an increase in fire activity, pushing the Fish Fire down the steep slopes above Duarte, California. With the assistance of at least one water-dropping night-flying helicopter firefighters were able to prevent the loss of any structures.

After a Chief with Los Angeles County Fire Department said they put out the fire at the base of the slopes behind the residences early Tuesday morning, he said there is no containment in that area or any other area on the fire. He also said he does not foresee any relaxation of the evacuation order in the near future.

Fire officials expect the two fires to merge. The incident is now known as the San Gabriel Complex.

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(UPDATE at 7:54 a.m. PDT June 21, 2016)

Map Fish Reservoir Fires
Map showing heat detected on the Fish and Reservoir Fires at 3:23 a.m. PDT June 21, 2016. Click to enlarge.

The Fish and Reservoir Fires near Glendora, Azuza, and Duarte in southern California have not grown together. According to satellite heat-sensing data they were still about 1.3 miles apart at 3:23 Monday morning.

The U.S. Forest Service reports that the size estimates of the fires are 3,000 acres for the Fish Fire and 2,400 acres for the Reservoir Fire.

A Type 2 incident management team with Mike Wakoski as Incident Commander is assigned to both fires. They had an inbriefing scheduled for 8 p.m. on Monday.

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(UPDATE at 9:40 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016)

The U.S. Forest Service reports the Fish Fire has burned 3,000 acres and the Reservoir fire, 1,500 acres. LA County reports that as of 8:30 p.m. the two fires had not merged… yet. They were still 1.5 miles apart. But at that time the Fish Fire was 2,000 acres.

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(Originally published at 4:45 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016. Updated at 5:33 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016)

Map Fish and Reservoir Fires
Map showing heat detected on the Fish and Reservoir Fires at 1:21 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016. Click to enlarge.

Two wildfires started today near Los Angeles and both got off to a roaring start. The map above shows the location of the fires at 1:21 PDT on Monday,  about two to three hours after they started. They have grown substantially since then.

Reservoir Fire
Reservoir and/or Fish Fire. Screen capture from KABC at 5:11 p.m. PDT 6-20-2016.

The Reservoir Fire ignited at about 11 a.m. after a vehicle accident on Highway 39 near Morris Reservoir on the steep slopes above Glendora, California. Within about three hours it had burned 1,200 acres and required the evacuation of San Gabriel Canyon recreation area. At 5:30 p.m. it was estimated at 1,500 acres.

Continue reading “California: San Gabriel Complex of Fires near Los Angeles”

Photos of the Reservoir and Fish Fires near Los Angeles

These are photos from the Reservoir and Fish Fires near Los Angeles on June 30, 2016.

BAe-146 drop
A BAe-146 drops on one of the fires near Los Angeles, June 20, ,2016. Screen grab from ABC7 video.
DC-10 drop fire
A DC-10 drops on one of the fires near Los Angeles, June 20, ,2016. Screen grab from ABC7 video.

And these photos:

And then this:

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Our main article about the Fish and Reservoir Fires has more details about these blazes.

California: Border Fire forces evacuation of additional areas, including Lake Morena Village

(UPDATED at 8:15 a.m. PDT June 24, 2016)

map Border Fire
Perimeter of the Border Fire (in red) at approximately 9 p.m. June 23, 2016.The white line was the perimeter two days before. Click to enlarge.

The growth of the Border Fire east of Potrero, California has slowed in recent days. CAL FIRE reports that it has burned 7,483 acres.

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(UPDATED at 7:20 a.m. PDT June 22, 2016)

map border fire
Map of the Border Fire at approximately 3 a.m. PDT, June 22, 2016. Click to enlarge.

The Border Fire at Potrero, California, 18 miles east of the greater San Diego area, continued to spread to the east on Tuesday, adding another 480 acres. CAL FIRE is reporting that it has burned a total of 6,500 acres, two residences, and 11 outbuildings.

A spot fire 1.2 miles northeast of the main fire had burned 40 acres as of early Wednesday morning.

Resources assigned to the fire include 1,604 personnel, 200 engines, 40 hand crews, 6 helicopters, 12 water tenders, and 7 dozers.

Highway 94 and the Pacific Crest Trail are closed.

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CAL FIRE reported at 7 p.m. on June 21 the revised size of the Border Fire was 6,020 acres.

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(UPDATED at 5:25 p.m. PDT June 21, 2016)

New evacuations were ordered for the Border Fire in San Diego County at 2 p.m on Tuesday June 21. It includes Lake Morena Village northwest of Campo, California.

Border Fire new evac

CAL FIRE reported that there are 1,484 personnel assigned, plus 158 engines, 32 hand crews, 6 helicopters, 12 water tenders, and 3 dozers.

The mandatory evacuations have been placed in parts of the city of Duarte and in the national monument still remain in effect.

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(UPDATED at 6:10 a.m. PDT June 21, 2016)

Border Fire perimeter map
Border Fire perimeter at 9 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016. Click to enlarge.

CAL FIRE’s latest estimate on the size of the Border Fire at Potrero, California was 7,500 acres late Monday afternoon. Our very rough analysis of Monday night’s mapping data puts it much closer to 6,000 acres … but it may eventually grow into the larger figure.

The fire has gone through or past several small communities with names like Dog Patch, and has come within two miles of Campo, which was the first evacuation shelter. When the fire grew closer to Campo, the shelter was moved to the rest area on Buckman Springs Road at Interstate 8, and was later relocated to El Cajon at the Los Coches Creek Middle School, 9669 Dunbar Lane.

According to CAL FIRE mandatory evacuations are still in effect for the communities of Potrero, Forest Gate, Star Ranch, Cowboy Ranch, Dog Patch, & Canyon City. Highway 94 remains closed. 

The number of structures destroyed remains at four outbuildings. There have been three minor injuries to firefighters.

Continue reading “California: Border Fire forces evacuation of additional areas, including Lake Morena Village”