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

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 – 9/21/2021

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 – 9/19/2021

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

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

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 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 – 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 – 9/5/2021 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

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.

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

Dixie Fire – Burn Severity

I know so many of you are just getting back home, or trying to get home… if you have a home left to go to. People with attachments to this land have lost so much. Please don’t read this post as minimizing how the Dixie Fire has been terrible for our communities. In the spirit … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/21/2021

8pm update: Genesee Valley was the hub of much of the action today. Mill Creek/Highlands area looks like it is cooling down. Minor spread on N side of Lassen Park, and Fredoyer Summit. Some movement south toward Milford. Infrared mapping from 5pm, 8/21/2021. EARLIER: Good morning, everyone. Today is my dad’s 76th birthday and the … Read more

Mountain People

Here again at 6am, waiting for the latest IR data to arrive… I’ve been wanting to write about people, as this website will be a three-legged stool about people, land, and forest/fire management. I have been thinking a lot about how people experience the world around them, and why reporting on the Dixie Fire is … 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

Dixie Fire Severity – 8/12/2021

We use the term ‘fire severity’ to describe a fire’s level of impact on the vegetation, soil, and overall ecology of a place. High severity isn’t always bad – some ecosystems like chaparral are well-suited to it. You can really go down a rabbit hole on this topic, and every place is different in what … Read more