Structure Losses in the Camp Fire

A Conversation with Eric Knapp and Yana Valachovic Eric Knapp, of the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, and Yana Valachovic, from UC Cooperative Extension, came by The Lookout in November to talk with me about their new paper on home losses in the Camp Fire. Our talk is live on Amanda Monthei’s Life … Read more

Southern Sierra Fires – 10/6/2021

KNP COMPLEX By Ryan Stephens ***10:30am on October 6 – Operational update reported slopover near North Fork Drive in the area of Advance. Looking southeast toward Advance (lower left) and Three Rivers (center right). Today’s Ops Map ***10:00am on October6  – Today’s operational update video from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. ***9:50pm on October … Read more

Southern Sierra Fires – 10/4/2021

KNP COMPLEX Maps and commentary by Ryan Stephens *** 7am on October 4 ~ IR interpreters log book appears to have inconsistencies. Time and date for the flight last night is unreliable/unknown. Overview looking northeast over the KNP Complex: The Key in the upper left corner of the map explains color shading in regards to … Read more

Southern Sierra Fires – 10/2/2021

KNP COMPLEX Maps and commentary by Ryan Stephens *** 9:32pm on October 1 ~ IR interpreter’s log   Overview looking northeast over the KNP Complex: The Key in the upper left corner of the map explains color shading in regards to heat intensity within the KNP Complex perimeter. Red dots show isolated heat. White perimeter … Read more

Southern Sierra Fires – 10/1/2021

KNP COMPLEX Maps and commentary by: Ryan Stephens ***Noon on October 1  ~ KNP Complex Weather Update by Incident Meteorologist Jason Straub Watch the weather update here. ***10am on October 1 ~ Morning briefing video from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Watch today’s briefing here. ***9:30pm on September 30 ~ Sequoia and Kings Canyon … Read more

Southern Sierra Fires – 9/19/2021

9/19/2021 at 7:30am – Maps from Ryan Stephens Below are maps of the KNP Complex burning in Sequoia National Park made from infrared data captured at 2350PDT on September 18. IR Interpreter Alex Pincus log: -Imagery shows the fire advancing to the East NE and has reached the Wuksachi Lodge and crossed Clover Creek in … Read more

Southern Sierra Fires – 9/18/2021

6:00am 9/18/2021 – Chuck Erwin KNP Complex KNP Complex IR this morning shows a major extension of the Colony Fire (both fires are well joined at this point) up through Marble Canyon.  Then over the Generals Highway, impacting Red Fir and Wuksachi.  Ash Mountain RAWS shows that the usual down slope, down canyon winds – … Read more

Dixie Fire in Lassen Park – Animation

Here is a great map made by our friend Peter Hansen showing the Dixie Fire‘s spread across Lassen Park. As we have discussed in length on previous posts, the 2012 Reading Fire was a managed wildfire that escaped control and burned out of the park. Nine years later, the Reading played a major role in … Read more

Lassen Park and Caribou Wilderness Fire Severity – 9/11/2021

Getting the Wildfire Story Wrong We have been hearing a lot of people express concern about the amount of acreage burned in Lassen Volcanic National Park during the Dixie Fire. Part of this is the fault of sloppy reporting and articles by nationally respected publications that are getting the story wrong. This is common. Our … Read more

Dixie Fire – 9/8/2021 Heat Maps

9/8/2021 at 7pm Here is updated IR mapping from 4:45pm this afternoon. About 3,500 acres of new spread since 8pm last night, shown in purplish-red with yellow outline. For the most part, fire was still in the 2012 Reading Fire (blue) footprint at 4:45pm, but there were some spots taking off outside the perimeter and … Read more

Caldor Fire – 9/7/2021 Heat Maps

9/7/2021 at 8am We are getting great support from volunteers who are contributors on the wildfireintel.org website. Here are incident maps from Keith Flood, retired Situation Unit Leader on one of the Northern California Incident Management Teams, and heat maps plus commentary from Lookout contributor ‘Tumbleweed,’ a retired wildfire captain. From Keith: This morning’s update … Read more

Dixie Fire – 9/6/2021 Evening Update

9/6/2021 at 9pm Looking at the 5:20pm IR data, the spot fire near Bogard ran about 120 acres this afternoon, produced two three-acre spots about 1/4 mile in front of it, and was about 3/4 mile from the Bogard Rest Area. Looking closer at the IR last night, I noticed the spot that ran 30 … Read more

Dixie Fire – 9/5/2021 Evening Update

People have been sending me stuff. Here is what it looked like on the Dixie Fire when a spot fire took off in heavy fuels with a good wind. Also it captures the mood for the last day of this crew’s roll on the fire. 9/5/2021, 8pm The same areas we’ve been talking about for … Read more

Dixie Fire – 9/5/2021 Morning Update

We just made a quick video about how forest thinning projects helped firefighters contain portions of the Dixie and Caldor Fires. If it is too chunky, maybe wait a few minutes for YouTube to post the HD version. Also, I’m aware about the missing audio. The missing section of audio shows different results of thinning … Read more

9/4/2021 – Dixie Fire Update

Video briefing for 9/4/2021   EARLIER: 9/3/2021, 9pm. A few pieces of new information from today: According to a trusted local source, the 2012 Reading Fire is too green to burn. The team is thinking about using napalm from a flamethrower to get it to go. I am assuming this would be along the lower … Read more

Caldor Fire – 9/3/2021

9/3/2021, 6:30am Here is what the fire was doing at 9:15pm on September 2. I did some interpretation of other more detailed imagery flown in the early morning hours and fire hadn’t spread significantly overnight. This 9:15pm imagery makes for a nicer presentation, so I’m using it for these maps. White line shows 24 hours … Read more

Dixie Fire – 9/3/2021

Here is a video briefing for 9/3/2021. 5:00am, 9/3/2021 Still quite a lot of action on the Dixie Fire. This writeup is based on interpretation of 9:30pm mapping flights of the southeast and northeast corners of the fire. The big wind-driven run to the southeast has dropped off the escarpment toward Highway 395 right at … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/30/2021

8/30/2021 – 10:30pm A huge run on the southeast side of the Dixie Fire today, a smaller run north of Silver Lake, and some activity in Genesee Valley. This post is about events that didn’t go the way firefighters wanted them to over past couple days. The intention here isn’t to trash firefighters who are … Read more

Dixie Fire – Ongoing Updates

UPDATE: 8/29/2021, 9:00pm Only got IR mapping at 3pm today, so here is where the fire was at that time. White line is last night’s perimeter. Blue is 2019 Walker Fire, Purple is 2020 North Complex. UPDATE: 8/29/2021, 8:00am Fire continues to spread toward Walker Mine, north of Greenhorn Ranch and south of Genesee Valley. … Read more

Caldor Fire – 8/28/2021

UPDATED  8/28/2021, 10 pm Here is the situation status summary from the incident command team on the fire. These can be downloaded daily from here: Significant Events The overnight inversion lingered in the lower elevations of the incident reducing fire activity until 14:00. Once the inversion broke, activity began to increase in Div D and … Read more

Caldor Fire – 8/22/2021

Good morning. If you are visiting The Lookout for the first time, please check out my intro from two days ago, and the ‘About The Lookout‘ page. This work is 100% supported by donations, so if you find it helpful, please consider making a donation to help us expand our capacities. The intention of The … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/17/2021 Evening

Good evening. With a half million-plus acre fire, there is always something to report! Most fire we are looking at tonight is in locations that have been active for the past week, so let’s start the check-in. Today we got data from a Sentinel satellite orbit. This is like Christmas for map geeks. Here is … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/16/2021

UPDATE: The new fires on Morgan Summit have grown together and are 10,000 acres. A firing operation along Highway 89 aimed to keep the fire to the east of the Park Road. Firing occurred at the Visitor Center at the old ski area, and I have no intel on any damage to facilities there. Here … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/15/2021

Good morning everyone, Well, we continue to grind this one out. On this topic, it is worth mentioning that many of our worst wildfire disasters and accidents have happened during transitions between management teams. The east zone will be transitioning to a new Federal Type I Incident Management Team this afternoon. Often, a lot of … Read more