Smoke forecast and Red Flag Warnings for Sunday Oct. 27

Smoke will affect areas in Arizona, New Mexico, and southern California

smoke forecast October 27, 2019
Forecast for vertically integrated (high level) smoke at 5 p.m. PDT October 27, 2019.

On Sunday October 27 smoke from wildfires in northwest Mexico will affect areas in southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

smoke forecast October 27, 2019
Forecast for near surface (low level) smoke at 5 p.m. PDT October 27, 2019.
Red Flag Warnings
Red Flag Warnings as of 7 p.m. PDT October 26, 2019. Times are CDT.

The smoke in Mexico has been coming from the fires shown on the map below.

fires wildfires northwest Mexico
Map showing heat detected on wildfires in northwest Mexico as last as 1:36 p.m. PDT October 26, 2019.

Three large fires are very active in Mexico

The fires are south and southeast of San Diego, California

fires in northwest Mexico ,a[
Map showing heat from fires in northwest Mexico detected by a satellite at 4:24 a.m. PDT Oct. 25, 2019.
Several large fires in northwest Mexico south of San Diego are producing large quantities of smoke. For the time being most of it is being blown over the Pacific Ocean.

One of the fires is west of Tijuana, another is northwest of Ensenada, and the third is south of Tecate.

Smoke from the Tick Fire at Santa Clarita is expected to affect Oxnard and western Los Angeles.

smoke wildfire southern California and northwest Mexico.
Forecast for vertically integrated smoke at 5 p.m. PDT Oct. 25, 2019 from wildfires in southern California and northwest Mexico.

California sends firefighters into Mexico to battle wildfire near border

CAL FIRE engines cross border into Mexico
CAL FIRE engines cross the border into Mexico to assist firefighters in the suppression of a wildfire west of Tecate, Mexico. CAL FIRE photo.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has mobilized a strike team of fire engines to cross the international border in order to help firefighters in Mexico. They will be assisting in the suppression of the Border 8 Fire that has burned 1,500 acres very close to the border just west of Tecate, Mexico 23 miles southeast of San Diego.

The fire is a threat to cross the border in an area of the United States with steep topography and limited access. Keeping it from crossing the border would be the preferred option, rather than having to suppress a much larger fire in difficult terrain on the U.S. side.

The fire has been spreading to the east, generally toward the city of Tecate which has a population of 102,000 in its metropolitan area.

Air tankers have been dropping retardant in a few selected locations north of the border off and on since the fire started August 14, including S2T and C-130 aircraft from bases at Ramona and Hemet, California.

Border Fire Mexico United States California
Photo from Otay Mountain showing the Border Fire at 5:44 p.m. PDT August 14, 2019, and the approximate location of the international border (white line).

CAL FIRE may decide to activate the unstaffed air tanker base at Brown Field Municipal Airport which is 1.6 miles north of the border and about 16 miles west of this fire. It is 31 miles south of the Ramona air tanker base and has a 7,972-foot runway which according to information from the USFS “provides ample length to meet safe takeoff requirements for the size and weight of a Next Generation Air Tanker with a full payload”. The runway at Ramona is too short to handle many of the large air tankers. The tanker base at Hemet, which also has a relatively short runway, is 80 miles north of the fire.

The fire can be seen via cameras here and here.

Firefighter from Mexico trains with hotshot crew

Mexican firefighter Fulton Hotshots
A firefighter from the National Forestry Commission of Mexico trains with the Fulton Hotshots. Screenshot from the video below.

This video features a firefighter with the National Forestry Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR), Fernando Navarro Jiménez, who for several months joined the U.S. Forest Service’s Fulton Hotshots on the Sequoia National Forest in California. It shows the impact of the experience on him and CONAFOR as well as the cooperation between the U.S. Agency for International Development, the USFS, and Mexico.

San Luis Fire burns thousands of acres on the Mexican border

A fire that straddles the Mexican border in the boot heel of New Mexico has burned thousands of acres. During a satellite overflight at 2:23 a.m. MDT Friday most of the fire was in Mexico but it was well established in the United States.

Our very unofficial estimate based on satellite data put it at approximately 5,000 acres early Friday morning. It was still very active at 2:23 a.m. local time.

The San Luis Fire is 41 miles south of Animas, NM and about 2 miles south of the OK Bar Fire that burned a couple of weeks ago. It is possible that this new fire could burn into the southern edge of the OK Bar Fire.

There is a Red Flag Warning in effect east of the fire.

19 firefighters injured while performing in a Tijuana parade

You can’t make this stuff up.

While performing a stunt on top of a ladder truck during a parade in Tijuana, Mexico, 19 firefighters fell and were injured November 20.

The truck was moving very slowly while firefighters were doing handstands on top of other firefighters. When the truck suddenly stopped, they all fell, with most of them going all the way to the ground. There is one report that first, a firefighter lost his balance at the front of the truck, and the driver hit the brakes so as not to run him over. But very rough Google automatic translations leave some of the details in question.

Below is an excerpt from LaJornada, translated by Google:

Tijuana, 20 November.- The Sunday morning accident was recorded during the parade on November 20 in Tijuana, in which 19 members of the Fire Department were injured.

Firefighters were performing stunts aboard one of its units-above boulevard Paseo de los Heroes, at the height of the Glorieta Independence- when the truck stopped making them off balance.
According to the office manager of the Ministry of Public Security official Jose Luis Lopez, the injured are being treated, none seriously injured, however, two of them have possible fractures collarbone and leg, while others already they were discharged.

When I worked for the U.S. Forest Service, forms that had to be completed after every accident had one section that asked: “How could this accident have been prevented?” Well, I have some ideas about this one.