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

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 – 9/21/2021

9/21/2021 at 6am KNP COMPLEX Today’s Briefing Map IR Interpreter’s log Jeremy Hurd: Minor growth to perimeter, with the most significant in the SSW areas. Center of the perimeter continues to show some isolated heat sources as the scattered heat continues to withdraw toward the outer perimeters. Below are maps of the KNP Complex burning … 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

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 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

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

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

Important Legislation

Wondering how you can help expand the use of prescribed fire in California? Read this letter from my colleague Lenya Quinn-Davidson and please write a letter of support for these important bills that will make it easier for private citizens and tribes to use fire on their own lands. ____________ 9/2/2021 – Exciting news! SB332 … Read more

Dixie Fire – 9/2/2021

DixieFire Video Briefing from September 2, 2021 The Dixie continues to spread east toward Highway 395. We talk about recent fire spread, tactics being used to protect Quincy and other communities, and about limitations on our ability to fight these monster fires.

Dixie Fire – 9/1/2021

9/1/2021, 6pm Update: Here is some afternoon infrared from Dixie. The southeast side of the fire, west of Milford, has been very active for several days. Strong SW winds have blown the fire about 20 miles northeast, growing the Dixie by about 65,000 acres in three days. The fire was about six miles from Highway … Read more

Dixie Fire – Firing Operations

8/31/2021 – 5pm. What’s going on up north of Westwood on the Dixie Fire? Three DC-10 tankers are flying there today. Also, what’s going on at Lake Davis? This post is all about firing operations. We are going to talk about why we do them, how we do them, what it takes to pull one … 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

Caldor Fire – 8/30/2021

8/30/2021 – 8:00 am Good morning. Sending our best wishes to everyone displaced by this fire and living in fear of losing their home right now. I spent the last month on edge waiting to see if the Dixie Fire would take my parents’ and brother’s homes. I feel your anxiety. I am hoping we … Read more