How Can You Tell If A Fire-Damaged Tree is Going to Die?

In this video we talk with Danny Cluck about factors that influence the survival of conifer trees that have been damaged by wildfire. I first got to know Danny in the mid-’90s when we were both working for the U.S. Forest Service. I was on a tree-marking crew and he was a biologist who would … Read more

Alisal Fire – 10/12/2021

We are covering the Alisal Fire in Santa Barbara County. If this is your first visit to our site, please check out the About The Lookout page. This site provides wildfire intelligence and commentary. We are not affiliated with any organized fire department — this is unofficial information collated from public data sources. If you … Read more

Guest Photo Essay – Southern Sierra Forests

Here is a guest photo essay from Darin McQuoid. He saw a post we did last week on the fires in the Southern Sierra where we mentioned tree mortality, so he sent us these great photos. We welcome submissions like this. Thanks, Darin! December 12, 2015: Tree mortality from bark beetle. Castle Rock and Paradise … Read more

Fawn Fire – 9/24/2021 Morning Update

Good morning, Our latest intel from the Fawn Fire is infrared mapping flights from 9:40pm on September 23. The white line is where fire was at noon on September 23. Yellow line is 1pm, first red line is 6pm, and outermost line from 9:40pm. Here are still images of the same information from the video. … Read more

Southern Sierra Fires – 9/20/2021

9/20/2021 at 6am Briefing Map KNP Complex – Maps by Ryan Stephens, with commentary by Chuck Ervin. Below are maps of the KNP Complex burning in Sequoia National Park made from infrared data captured at 2306PDT (11:06pm) on September 19. IR Interpreter Alex Pincus log: Significant growth in the NNW section. Perimeter slightly grew to … 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

Southern Sierra Fires – 9/17/2021

09/17/2021 – 8pm update from our correspondent, Chuck Ervin. Div A is clearing Paradise Ridge towards General’s Highway (as reported this morning).  Shepard Saddle Roads being improved as well with dozer and retardant line, courtesy of CALFIRE.  Structure protection is ready as far up as Grant Grove, down to Three Rivers and out to Silver … Read more

Southern Sierra Fires – 9/16/2021

The fires burning in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and on the Tule River Indian Reservation are a bit outside our territory, but as Caldor and Dixie Fires wind down, we have some bandwidth to post the heat maps. I (Zeke) am a Northern Sierra kid and not familiar with this part of the world … Read more

Northern California Fire Weather and Fuels

UPDATE: 9/15/2021, 1:35pm Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Sacramento CA 134 PM PDT Wed Sep 15 2021 .SYNOPSIS… Chances of moisture (not a bunch) increasing with best chances on Sunday. Cooling definitely on track with coolest day Sunday. Some gusty winds possible early next with temperatures slowly rising. && .DISCUSSION… The cooling trend has … 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

Caldor and Dixie Fires – 9/13/2021

Good morning. The Dixie and Caldor heat maps showed no significant new growth overnight. Caldor, mapped at 11pm on September 12, had minor spread to the north near Kirkwood and some heat in Upper Strawberry Creek. Operations maps for today are show the south side of Echo Lake as being fully contained. At 8pm on 9/12/2021, … Read more

Caldor Fire – 9/12/2021 Update

Hello everyone! I got pulled into a long day in the field for an in-depth story about the Dixie Fire, so our Caldor Fire coverage took a hit. I do post brief updates on Twitter @wildland_zko when I don’t have time for a full post here, so give me a follow there. Thanks to our contributor … Read more

Dixie Fire Effects – Two Videos

We got into the burned area of the West Zone of the Dixie Fire on September 10, right after about a half-inch of rain. We looked at some of the ways the fire has affected the forests. The two videos below show what we saw on our trip. This first video shows post-fire forest conditions … Read more

Dixie Fire – 9/9/2021

9/9/2021 at 3:30pm Here is IR mapping of the northwest corner of the fire, from 12:18pm on September 9. Some heat showing outside of yesterday’s spot fire near Butte Lake. EARLIER: 9/9/2021 at noon Here is the 10:30am 9/9/2021 perimeter for the northwest corner of Dixie, near Old Station showing spread since 8pm on September. … Read more

Caldor Fire – 9/9/2021

9/9/2021 at 7am Here is a video briefing focusing on Echo Lake and area between Strawberry and Kirkwood — the two remaining areas of the fire with the most heat.  Below is an assessment of the situation from our correspondent ‘Tumbleweed’ a retired wildland fire captain. IR from 22:33 (10:33pm) on September 8. Isolated … 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 – Fire Severity and 9/8/2021 Heat Maps

9/8/2021 at 7am Below is a morning report from our contributor ‘Tumbleweed,’ a retired wildfire captain. Also check out our latest Youtube video, which discusses the burn severity of the Caldor Fire.  IR from 22:40 (10:40pm) on September 7. Isolated heat has been removed for clarity on some pics. Clear areas do not indicate … Read more

Dixie Fire – 9/7/2021 Morning Report

9/7/2021 at 8am According to Daniel Swain at Weather West, there is a chance we may see “elevated convection, and possible dry thunderstorms, across central & northern CA for Thu into Fri period. Weak trough offshore will combine with subtropical moisture streaming northward to provide some risk of dry lightning.” Here is our 9/7/2021 Dixie … 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

Caldor Fire – 9/6/2021

9/6/2021 at 9am Here is an update from Lookout contributor ‘Tumbleweed,’  retired wildland fire captain. IR from 2341 (11:41pm) last night. Isolated heat has been removed for clarity. Clear areas do not indicate no heat. There are many reasons for heat not showing on IR runs. Only eyes on the ground can determine when it … 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

Caldor Fire – 9/5/2021 Morning Update

Above is 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 along … Read more