Wildfire briefing, January 6, 2014

January wildfires in northern California

Map northern California fires

Even though a major winter storm has caused 4,121 flights to be cancelled and another 11,284 to be delayed today across the United States, northern California has experienced four medium to large fires already this year.

  • The Campbell Fire, which started January 2 on the Lassen National Forest 24 miles southeast of Red Bluff, according to the U.S. Forest Service has burned 600 acres and is 40 percent contained. No structures are threatened and no evacuations are planned for this fire that is burning in the proverbial “steep, rugged terrain”. Minton’s NORCAL Incident Management Team 1 is assigned.
  • The Red Fire, south of Berry Summit in Humboldt County, has burned 350 acres and is 40 percent contained. It started January 4.
  • The Bridge Fire, near Bridgeville in Humboldt County, started January 3 and burned 18 acres. It is 100 percent contained.
  • The Honcut Fire, started January 1 in Butte County near Honcut and burned 60 acres before it was contained.
  • The Grant Fire, started December 31 and burned 40 acres in Santa Clara County near Grant Ranch County Park before it was contained.

On Sunday the U.S. Forest Service activated one large air tanker, Minden’s Tanker 48. CAL FIRE has been using multiple helicopters and air tankers on these fires.

Timeline released for Colorado’s Black Forest Fire

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has released their own timeline for the early stages of the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs that burned 486 homes beginning on June 11, 2013. Below is an excerpt from an article at The Denver Channel:

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has released its own timeline of events for the Black Forest Fire which indicates the fire was first reported nearly two hours earlier than the Black Forest Fire/Rescue District reported.

In a Dec. 10 news release, the Black Forest Fire/Rescue District said the fire was first located at 1:45 p.m. on June 11.

However, the sheriff’s office timeline released Monday shows callers to 911 started reporting a haze and the smell of smoke at 11:54 a.m.

At 1:40 p.m., emergency radio traffic is heard saying, “you might start getting more call of localized smoke,” but they blamed it on the Royal Gorge wildfire burning in Canon City, saying”looks like there is a fire in Canon City.”

However, in the same report, the person says, “pretty good column on Hodgen Rd.,” which is near the Black Forest area.

County Sheriff Terry Maketa has been EXTREMELY critical of Bob Harvey, the Fire Chief responsible for the first two hours of the initial attack of the fire.

Prescribed fire workshops in Nebraska

Prescribed fire workshops will be held in eight locations across Nebraska between January 21 and March 19, 2014. Hosted by Pheasants Forever, Nebraska Game and Parks, and several other organizations, the one-day sessions are broken down into basic and advanced classes.

The workshops for landowners will discuss benefits of prescribed fire and how to safely conduct a project. Topics covered include equipment and safety, environmental factors, techniques for conducting prescribed fires, briefings, items to consider when writing a burn plan, possible funding sources, and how to factor in weather conditions. There will also be an exercise on how to write a burn plan. The registration fee of $10 includes lunch and training materials.

In order to conduct a prescribed fire in Nebraska, a landowner needs to have a burn plan and a permit from the local fire department.

More information, including dates and locations.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Wildfire briefing, January 6, 2014”

  1. A fire over 50 acres in the height of fire season in Humboldt County or the Redwood Coast is fairly rare and significant…. not to mention in January.

    I’m thinking the CA “predictive services” folks might need to rethink their products to account for drought, fuel conditions, and the long term forecast.

  2. Three days before the Feds started using one of their contract air tankers on the fire in the Lassen N.F. Travel time from Minden to the Lassen forty-five minutes (150 miles) reload Cal Fire base at Chico. Off to a great start, fire season 2014.


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