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Sunday, August 26, 2012

An American Hero dies and Wildfires Rage On

Before we talk about Wildfires I would like for us to take a moment and think about a true American Hero that passed away yesterday. Neil Armstrong was an explorer that many of us wished we would one day be. There are only a few pictures that when you see them they not only bring back the moment in time of where you where, what you were doing when it was first viewed. Pictures that need no captions, pictures that we all feel we are part of, pictures that shaped the future. This is one of those pictures.


Wildfire Headlines in today’s newspapers ….

Growing wildfire destroys 84 buildings, threatens 900 others in Northern California

Fast-moving wildfire forces evacuations in Montana

Serbia evacuated thousands of villagers on Saturday and called in the army to help fight wildfires raging through the drought-hit western Balkans.


Yesterday’s info from the National Incident Command Center

Saturday, August 25, 2012 – 0530 MT
National Preparedness Level 4
National Fire Activity
Initial attack activity: Light (151 new fires)
New large fires:  12 (*)
Large fires contained: 10
Uncontained large fires: ** 27
Area Command Teams committed: 1
NIMOs committed: 2
Type 1 IMTs committed: 8
Type 2 IMTs committed: 10
** Uncontained large fires include only fires being managed under a full suppression


Cache Creek, Wallowa-Whitman NF. IMT 2 (Rapp). Forty-one miles northeast of Enterprise, OR. Brush and grass. Running with short-range spotting. Structures threatened.

Chips, Plumas NF. IMT 1 (Opliger). Twenty miles northwest of Quincy, CA. Timber and brush. Moderate fire activity with short-range spotting. Communities threatened. Evacuations in effect.

North Pass, Mendocino NF. IMT 2 (Wakoski). Twenty-five miles northeast of Covelo, CA. Logging slash. Active fire behavior with torching. Structures and communication site threatened. Evacuations and area closures in effect.

Bagley, Shasta-Trinity NF. IMT 2 (Whitcome). Seven miles west of Big Bend, CA. Timber. Active fire behavior with torching and spotting. Structures and high voltage power lines threatened. Creeping and smoldering. Structures threatened.

Trinity Ridge, Boise NF. IMT 1 (Quesinberry). Transfer of command from IMT 1 (Harvey) to IMT 1 (Lund) will occur today. Seven miles northwest of Featherville, ID. Timber. Active fire behavior with group tree torching and spotting. Numerous structures threatened. Evacuations and area closures in effect. 

Halstead, Salmon-Challis NF. NIMO (Houseman). Eighteen miles northwest of Stanley, ID. Timber. Crowning. Numerous structures and power lines threatened. Evacuations in effect. Area closures in effect.

SO MANY WILDFIRES are caused by CARELESSNESS and one such careless actions is leaving a campfire UNATTENDED or FAILING to EXTINGUISH it properly. This is something so easy to do so lets take the extra 10 minuites it takes to make sure your campfire doesn't become a wildfire. PLEASE !
The following is one of the better write-ups I have seen about Campfire Safety...PLEASE read it and put it into action the next time you go camping.

Make sure your campfire doesn't become a wildfire

With Labor Day just around the corner, many individuals and families will be headed to the forest, ocean, mountains or high desert for one last summer camping adventure.

State fire officials are asking those folks to be extremely cautious with their campfires given current conditions. The National Weather Service forecast for the weekend calls for above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation across the state.

Campers are reminded that recreational fires are not allowed on many public lands except in approved designated campgrounds.

“Rules/Regulations change every day and vary widely. I would advise people to check before you go and again when you arrive at your camping designation.

Here are some reminders Smokey Bear and Friends to make sure you don’t start a wildfire.


• If you’re in the backcountry, and especially during high-risk times, it’s best to avoid having a campfire altogether. Oftentimes campfires are prohibited above a certain elevation or near certain bodies of water.

• If you must have a fire, follow the Leave No Trace principles:

Make sure to check and follow all regulations. In some areas, regulations change depending on the season because of fire danger.

Use only established fire rings, keep your campfire small and never leave a fire unattended.

Use small pieces of wood gathered only from the ground and never break branches or cut down trees for a campfire.

After a campfire is completely out and cool to touch, and after all the wood has turned to coal, scatter the cool ashes.


• Make sure a campfire is allowed. Check to see if there is a burn ban in your county.

• Find a shady spot away from dry logs, branches, bushes, needles or leaves.

• Make sure there are no overhanging tree branches near the fire.

• Use existing fire rings where it is safe to do so. Don’t build fire rings in roads.

• Keep campfire rings small, and use wood no bigger than the ring.

• Never leave a campfire unattended.

• When leaving, make sure your fire is dead out. Very carefully feel all sticks and charred remains. Feel the coals and ashes. Make sure no roots are smoldering.

• Drown the campfire with water, and stir charred material.

• If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.


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