(UPDATED at 5:20 a.m. PDT July 27, 2018)
Below is an updated map of the Cranston Fire, showing data collected at 10:49 PDT July 26. Click on the image to see a larger version.
(UPDATED at 4:03 p.m. PDT July 26, 2018)
Now instead of one huge convection column of smoke on the San Bernardino National Forest southeast of Hemet, California there are two. The second fire, named Ribbon, was discovered around mid-day Thursday. Air tankers were sent to the new fire to hopefully knock it down and keep it from becoming a second major fire. Firefighters on the ground and in the air did slow it down, but priorities on the Cranston Fire and a shortage of lead planes and air tankers resulted some aircraft moving to the Cranston Fire. The Ribbon Fire later picked up in intensity and developed a large smoke column 10 miles southeast of the Cranston Fire. The Ribbon Fire is northwest of the small community of Ribbonwood off Highway 74.
Late Thursday afternoon a spokesperson for the San Bernardino National Forest said the Cranston Fire has burned approximately 7,500 acres.
— CA Fire Scanner (@CAFireScanner) July 26, 2018
Firefighters on the Cranston Fire Thursday afternoon were very concerned about the convection column collapsing, which would create a powerful downdraft, possibly resulting in a dramatic and sudden change of wind direction — a very dangerous situation, pushing the fire in new directions. Supervisors were warned to maintain close accountability of their personnel and to be prepared to withdraw on very short notice. Firefighters 10 miles away on the Ribbon Fire might even be affected by the collapse of the large column.
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