Californnia lightning fires

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Smoke grounds air tankers
Yesterday heavy smoke from the 40,000 acres burning near the north end of the Sacramento Valley kept air tankers on the ground.

Govenator: just say NO to fireworks
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenner asked residents not to buy fireworks this 4th of July. I’m with him on that. I have put out too many fireworks-caused fires. From Arnold:

“I know that the people that are selling all this stuff are going to go crazy now when I say this, but don’t buy any of the fireworks,” said Schwarzenegger, surrounded by dozens of firefighters, Monterey County law enforcement representatives and elected officials. “Don’t go out and do fireworks this year … . It’s just too dry and too dangerous to do those things.”

The governor spoke at the Basin Complex Fires incident command post at Andrew Molera State Park off Highway 1.

Courtesy of

Concow evacuated
Most of the community of Concow, east of Chico, is evacuated due to the Empire and Rim fires, part of the BTU Lightning complex which closed Hwy 70. The Empire and Rim fires will most likely burn together.

According to NCOCC: Fires in this complex are immediately threatening communities. The air was stable last night, so fire activity was minimized. The inversion layer still dominates the incident area. If the inversion layer lifts, fire intensity will greatly increase, causing additional evacuations and significant fire spread. Some of the fires are in remote areas making containment difficult and will require large numbers of hand crews.

The map below shows heat, in red, orange, and black, detected by satellites, with the red areas being the most recently burned. The yellow lines are the perimeters uploaded by the incident management teams. Click on the map to see a larger version.

InciWeb still broken
The InciWeb site, which should be the best place to go to get information about fires, is least likely to be working during multiple fire conditions due to very limited capacity. Not only is it frequently impossible for citizens to visit the site, but the fire managers are unable to upload critical information. The federal and state agencies that maintain this site need to install better servers.

Indians fire
The fire was relatively quiet yesterday due to higher humidities and shading from the smoke of the nearby Basin fire. The Team ordered evacuations in the Arroyo Seco area on the north side because of planned burnout operations, but the burn was limited due to weather conditions. It is 58,872 acres and 71% contained. (see the map below)

Basin Complex, Gallery fire
The Partington Ridge area has been evacuated. The fire is moving south into the South Fork of the Big Sur River drainage and north towards Manual Peak. The Basin and Gallery fires are within 1/2 mile of each other and are expected to merge soon. Highway 1 is still closed to non-residents. The complex is 20,600 acres and 3% contained. (see the map above)

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