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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dixie Fire – Ongoing Updates

UPDATE: 8/29/2021, 9:00pm Only got IR mapping at 3pm today, so here is where the fire was at that time. White line is last night’s perimeter. Blue is 2019 Walker Fire, Purple is 2020 North Complex. UPDATE: 8/29/2021, 8:00am Fire continues to spread toward Walker Mine, north of Greenhorn Ranch and south of Genesee Valley. … 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

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

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