Dixie Fire – 8/18/2021 Evening

Lots of wind today, but no huge losses on any of the major lines as of 3pm. If you are a student of wildfire, this clip will probably give you the chills. Most firefighters have seen the Eagle Fire Burnover video many times in annual refresher trainings. It’s shown to remind us about unique dangers … Read more

Northern California Fire Weather – 8/18/2021

Here is a weather forecast from a NWS forecaster that I got from the forums.wildfireintel.org website. Major takeaways: The offshore winds will continue for 48 hours, followed by a reversal to gusty onshore winds. These reversals will complicate firefighting efforts across the region. Farther out, there is potential for moisture from the Pacific Ocean to … Read more

Mountain People

I wrote this piece a couple days after my hometown of Westwood narrowly missed being burned up by the Dixie Fire. We had spent the previous week watching closely as the fire moved steadily, and sometimes rapidly, toward town. Everyone up there was evacuated, and a lot of old friends were leaning on The Lookout … 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 – 8/14/2021 Evening

Good evening. The Dixie Fire made some moves today. Nothing on the west side really blew out more than a mile between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm, but there were a few noteworthy runs. The east side of the fire pushed up a towering column, and I think this kept the IR plane from getting … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/14/2021 Update

Good morning, this post has been update with detailed maps from IR captured at 6:30 am, 8/14/2021. There were some firing operations along the Highway 36 corridor last night. Don’t know exactly where, but Westwood and other communities are still safe. Biggest change this morning is the fire added about 4,000 acres on the west … 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

Dixie Fire – Friday the 13th

Just another crazy day/night on the Dixie Fire. Last night’s post is bleeding into today’s – what an night! As of 2am, Westwood, Clear Creek, Hamilton Branch, and the Peninsula were still standing. But today is Friday the 13th, it’s another critical fire weather day, and our communities are literally surrounded by fire. There has … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/12/2021 Morning

11:20 Update: Today’s weather is problematic for firefighters. The smoke is lifting out, and the forecasts call for increasing instability in the atmosphere. The Haines Index is a number which meteorologists use to quantify the potential instability, with a score of 6 being the highest. Today’s Haines is a 6. We often see big runs … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/11/2021 Evening

Good evening, everyone. The fire was relatively subdued under heavy smoke today. The biggest run was about a mile, inside the 2007 Moonlight Burn, headed east toward Antelope Lake on the east flank of the fire, north of Eisenheimer Peak. Another run of about 2,000 feet, headed southwest, occurred on the northern flank of fire … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/10/2021 Evening

The fire burned actively today on the fronts which are still hot. Things seemed to be most active around 4:00 pm. Smoke limited visibility on the webcams. This intel sleuthing means working with all the tools we have, and the platforms that update the most often are the ones that have the coarsest texture. Even … Read more

8/9/2021 – KQED Interview

Today I did an interview on KQED: https://www.kqed.org/forum/2010101884878/dixie-fire-3rd-largest-in-california-history Content below is from KQED website: A firefighter surveys a destroyed downtown during the Dixie fire in Greenville, California on Aug. 5, 2021.  (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images) The Dixie Fire, which has ravaged hundreds of thousands of acres in Northern California and leveled the … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/7/2021 – Morning

Heavy smoke is in the forecast for some time, now. Morning AQ is at apocalyptic levels, though we aren’t under the Martian sky like we were last September. Looking for some info on a longer-term forecast and how that will affect smoke dispersion, will update when I have better info. The forecast below says a … Read more

Dixie Fire – 8/6/2021 – Evening Report, Smoke, Fire Behavior

I do not have a lot to report about the Dixie Fire today. Heavy smoke blanketed the fire all day. This, coupled with mild winds, helped moderate fire behavior. Looking at the big-picture weather satellites, it looks like the fire spread on its edges, to the west and east, but not very far. Fires need … Read more