December Update – New interviews and videos.

We’ve been pretty busy in past 6 weeks with interviews, burning, planning work, and some blacksmithing. Here are some of the projects we’ve been working on: An interview with Tim Chavez: I sat down with my friend, Cal Fire’s legendary Tim Chavez to talk about the science of wildfire prediction, and why it is so … Read more

An interview with Wolfy Rougle

We sat down recently with Wolfgang (Wolfy) Rougle to talk about prescribed fire, and efforts she is helping lead to increase local capacity for citizen-led prescribed burning in Butte County, Califorina. The Butte County Prescribed Burn Association has been running for several years, and has helped landowners to safely burn on private property around Forest … Read more

Mosquito Fire – September 15, 2022

Mosquito Fire – September 15, 2022 Intro & Livestream: Zeke Lunder Maps & Intel: Ryan Cowper Stephens September 15 at 7am – Fire behavior was pretty subdued yesterday under smoke and mild winds. We took a trip out to the north end of the fire and connected with the Division Supervisor working on a strategy … Read more

Spread Potential of the Mosquito Fire and Other Fire News – September 11, 2022

California and Cedar Creek Wildfires – September 11, 2022 Mountain, Mosquito & Cedar Creek We edited our morning Lookout Livestream and added a section about how far the Mosquito Fire is from Truckee and Tahoe, and landscape conditions that might affect its spread. Also, the video has updated maps of new spread on the Mountain … Read more

Evening Update and Wildfire Q&A – September 10, 2022

Evening Update – Mosquito, Mountain & Cedar Creek Wildfires – September 10, 2022 This video gives an update on fire spread of the fires, above, and has an extended Q&A session with Zeke Lunder answering a wide range of questions on wildland firefighting topics including: Why don’t we fly air tankers in heavy smoke or … Read more

McKinney Fire – August 1, 2022

Video briefing: Blog briefing: Per August 1, 2022 Facebook fire behavior briefing from Dennis Burns: Portions of the fire got rain last night. This, along with higher relative humidities and good cloud cover is helping moderate fire behavior, allowing crews to go direct in many places, including in the 2014 burn scar north of the … Read more

McKinney Fire – July 31, 2022

YouTube video above and post below have different material in them, but lots of overlap too. The McKinney Fire burned very actively through yesterday afternoon, growing about twenty thousand acres in 12 hours. In the afternoon, heavy smoke obscured the fire and thunderstorm outflows pushed smoke and fire in many directions. These following maps are … Read more

McKinney Fire – July 30, 2022

By Zeke Lunder The McKinney Fire burned very actively through the night, spreading across tens of thousands of acres. It was pushing up a big column by 10am this morning. These following maps are made with public aerial infrared mapping data from FIRIS (Funded by California OES). Having near real-time access to taxpayer-funded fire intelligence … Read more

McKinney Fire – Day One

By Zeke Lunder July 29, 2022 at 6pm  Scroll for updates. The McKinney Fire on the Klamath National Forest is establishing on the south side of the Klamath River, east of Horse Creek. @FIRIS perimeter from about 5:20pm. Since mapping, fire has spotted over McKinney Creek Road. There is not a lot of large fire … Read more

PyroFiction Hopepunk Biketopia

My friend Paul Price runs Paul Component Engineering — a world-class manufacturer of high-end bike parts, here in Chico, California. After the Dixie Fire, I did an interview for his newsletter and they asked some funny questions that let me run wild with a fantasy of how things could be different in our relationship with … Read more

Fire Management in the Ishi Wilderness & Lassen Foothills

We have been covering the Graham Fire for past two days and this video gives an overview of the challenges that arise wile managing wildfires in the almost one million acres of the “Lassen Foothills,” bordered by Red Bluff and Cohasset Ridge and the Sacramento Valley and Lassen Volcanic National Park.       There … Read more

Workshop Therapy – Forging a Butte Creek Wild Chinook Salmon

What does a metalwork have to do with wildfire? It takes a lot of welding and wrenching to run a mobile wildfire mapping operation, and I built up a pretty good shop during the years we started and ran Deer Creek Resources. When I sold DCR to Firestorm, in 2017, I kept the shop. The … Read more

Dixie Fire Stories Interview

I did an interview a couple months ago with Joanne Burgueño, a photographer who helps run the Dixie Fire Stories page on Facebook. They have been running multi-part interviews, with photos, with people who went thru the Dixie Fire in one way or another. Here it is: My name is Zeke Lunder. I’m a geographer … Read more

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

A Conversation with Sue Husari

Lassen Hotshots, 1977. Zeke: Okay. We have a visitor today, Sue Husari, legendary wildland firefighter, one of the first female Hotshots, and leader in American wildland fire with a fire career spanning 5 decades. Welcome to The Lookout, Sue! When did you know that you were going to have a career in fire? Sue Husari: … Read more

Tim Hart Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act

HR.5631 – The Tim Hart Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act is moving through committees in the House of Representatives. This is an extremely important piece of legislation for Federal wildland firefighters, who are actually not classified as being firefighters at all. Most of us who have worked for Federal agencies have been classified … Read more

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 – 10/14/2021

Here are images of the Alisal Fire based on an infrared overflight at 9:30pm on on October 13. The fire spread about 2.5 miles to the west since it was mapped 24 hours earlier on October 12. Yellow shows scattered heat, in areas that are generally cooling off. Orange/red fill shows areas which were burning … 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

Fawn Fire – 9/23/2021 6pm Update

Here is information on the Fawn Fire, burning northeast of Redding. General Fire Location   The fire slowed down significantly this afternoon under a heavy aerial attack that had at least 12 tankers working at the peak of the firefight. Here is an update from NorthOps — the regional fire coordination center at the Redding … Read more