Another wedding enhanced by wildfire activity

Earlier this summer we wrote about two wedding ceremonies that were planned months in advance, like most weddings, but the lucky couples did not anticipate the wildfires that would be occurring nearby. They both kept going in spite of the large smoke columns near Lake Isabella, California, and Bend, Oregon. The one in Oregon required the relocation of the reception.

On Saturday, September 13 a third wedding kept going in Corona, California and met the couple’s objectives, in spite of the noise created by large helicopters hovering and drafting water out of a nearby lake. The aircraft were working on the the Silverado Fire seven miles southwest of Corona. Check out the video below. The couple did not seem to be too bothered by the, uh, enhancement, of the ceremony. At least they have a story to tell.


Oregon: Onion Mountain Fire, west of Grants Pass

(UPDATE at 11:45 a.m. PDT, September 16, 2014)

Onion Mountain Fire, September 15, 2014. Photo by Joseph.

Onion Mountain Fire, September 15, 2014. Photo by Joseph.

The Onion Mountain Fire 15 miles west of Grants Pass, Oregon has grown to 3,000 acres. Part of that increase is the result of a burnout operation. Most of the spread of the fire was on the northwest and northeast sides.

Map, Onion Mountain Fire 10 pm 9-15-2014

Map of the Onion Mountain Fire. The red line was the fire perimeter at 10 pm September 15, 2014. The yellow line was the perimeter about 24 hours previously. (click to enlarge)


(UPDATE at 9:06 a.m. PDT, September 15, 2014)

The Onion Mountain Fire 15 miles west of Grants Pass, Oregon continued to spread Sunday afternoon.

Map of the Onion Fire

Map of the Onion Fire at 2 a.m. PDT, September 15, 2014. (click to enlarge)

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest lists the size at 1,500 acres with no containment. Resources assigned include 181 personnel, seven hand crews, and eight helicopters. About ten residences are threatened.
Continue reading


California: King Fire near Pollock Pines

(UPDATE at 2:20 p.m. PDT, September 16, 2014)

The Incident Management Team made this map available on the National Forest InciWeb page this afternoon:

King Fire map, September 16, 2014

DC-10 dropping on the King Fire

DC-10 dropping on the King Fire, September 16, 2014. Photo by San Jose State University Fire Weather Research Lab.


(UPDATE at 9:15 a.m. PDT, September 16, 2014)

Map of King Fire

Map of the King Fire at 2:50 a.m. PDT, September 16, 2014. The squares represent heat detected by a satellite, accurate to within a mile or so. The red squares are the most recent. (click to enlarge)

The King Fire east of Placerville, California is requiring evacuations north of the community of Pollock Pines. Tuesday morning the fire is still spreading to the east and north and is listed at 11, 570 acres with 5 percent containment. The fire is burning in steep terrain located in the South Fork American River Canyon and Silver Creek Canyon.

The fire started out as a CAL FIRE responsibility fire and later burned onto the El Dorado National Forest, so we may not see any good maps of the fire any time soon.

Neither of the official sources of detailed information from CAL FIRE or the U.S. Forest Service have mentioned by 9:39 a.m. on Tuesday September 16 that 12 firefighters were overrun by the fire on Monday, deployed fire shelters, and had to run from the fire, eventually making it to a spot after a long run and hike where they could be extracted by helicopters. A dozer also burned in the incident. CAL FIRE sent out a tweet that briefly confirmed that the entrapment occurred.


(UPDATE at 4 p.m. PDT, September 15, 2014)

A CAL FIRE Captain and an inmate crew, 12 people total, were overrun by the fire and deployed their fire shelters. After initially deploying, they ran and later walked quite a distance, guided by the Helicopter Coordinator overhead in a helicopter, until they reached a point where they could be picked up by helicopters. No major injuries were reported, however it just occurred at about 1 p.m. today and not all the details are known. Three ambulances were requested to meet them at the airport where the helicopters landed.

A dozer was also burned over. The operator was “accounted for”; no more details are available about the operator.

More details are in another article.


(UPDATE at 9:20 a.m. PDT, September 15, 2014)

The King Fire 11 miles east of Placerville, California has been spreading rapidly with long-range spotting north of the community of Pollock Pines. There is a significant threat to the Whites Meadows, Spring Valley, Camino, and Pollock Pines communities. Areas under a mandatory evacuation order include White Meadows Road, Spring Valley Road, the eastside of Forebay Road from King of the Mountain Road to Pony Express Trail, and all roads north of Pony Express Trail from Forebay road east through Bullion Bend. Other areas are under a voluntary evacuation.

The fire is listed at 3,900 acres with 10 percent containment. It is being managed in a unified command with the Eldorado National Forest and CALFIRE. Califormia Incident Management Team #5 (Giachino Incident Commander) as been assigned and will in-brief at noon today.


King Fire.

King Fire, September 14, 2014. Photo by CHP, Placerville.

The King Fire is requiring evacuations of residents north of California Highway 50 near Pollock Pines 11 miles east of Placerville, California. (See the map of the fire below.) Firefighters are having to deal with rapid rates of spread and long-range spotting. It is being managed under a Unified Command with CAL FIRE and the El Dorado National Forest. The fire can be seen from Sacramento which is 50 miles west of the area. CAL FIRE reports that 500 structures are threatened and mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the east side of Forebay Road between King Mountain Road and Pony Express Trail; and for White Meadows Road. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office website has detailed evacuation information. As of late Sunday afternoon the fire had burned 2,500 acres on both sides of the American River. Daniel Berlant of CAL FIRE said 800 personnel are assigned.

Map of King Fire

Map of the King Fire at 2:05 p.m. PDT, September 14, 2014. The red squares represent heat detected by a satellite, accurate to within a mile or so. (click to enlarge)



Rising temperature trend in California, January through August

California, average temperature, January through August

California, average temperature, January through August

The NOAA data above showing the trend in temperature in California during the first eight months of the year, is impressive. The average temperature this year shattered the record. It illustrates that you should not get excited about the weather on one day, or one season, or even one decade. There is a great deal of variability. The long-term trend has the big picture.