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Fire: What I Didn't Know...Really.

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Sep 29, 2020 - 9:29:03 AM
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3556 posts since 12/8/2007

Yeah, I fought wildland fires for years with the USFS; nonetheless, when my mates and I went camping in Napa Valley's Bothe-Napa State Park a few weeks back, I thought offhandedly that if a fire breaks out, we'd all just scuddle on over to the grape vines in the valley, a short distance away. These vines stretch for three kilometers across the valley floor, and the area underneath and around them is cleaned of any great build up of leaves or dead branches; in short, the three kilometers of vines seemed to me to be a fine fire break.

Yet this Glass Fire jumped the valley in minutes. It sent embers the size of a fist across the valley and down amongst the grape vines, starting fires all over the place. Fires broke out in the vines, in the pines and firs on the other side of the valley, in the mountains and state parks on the other side of the valley, amongst the redwoods. Fifty-sixty mph winds.

It seems anymore that one can clear everything from his property, no matter. Once the embers rain down on a building and the winds carry the embers under the eaves....

Wow.

Sep 29, 2020 - 9:57:18 AM

1819 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Humbled by this instrument

Yeah, I fought wildland fires for years with the USFS; nonetheless, when my mates and I went camping in Napa Valley's Bothe-Napa State Park a few weeks back, I thought offhandedly that if a fire breaks out, we'd all just scuddle on over to the grape vines in the valley, a short distance away. These vines stretch for three kilometers across the valley floor, and the area underneath and around them is cleaned of any great build up of leaves or dead branches; in short, the three kilometers of vines seemed to me to be a fine fire break.

Yet this Glass Fire jumped the valley in minutes. It sent embers the size of a fist across the valley and down amongst the grape vines, starting fires all over the place. Fires broke out in the vines, in the pines and firs on the other side of the valley, in the mountains and state parks on the other side of the valley, amongst the redwoods. Fifty-sixty mph winds.

It seems anymore that one can clear everything from his property, no matter. Once the embers rain down on a building and the winds carry the embers under the eaves....

Wow.


It's scary times. I just heard the whole town of Calistoga is evacuated. My valley is still unscorched but very smokey. Lots of vineyards here too. My property abuts one.

Sep 29, 2020 - 11:45:15 AM

3058 posts since 6/21/2007

With the weather, winds and overgrown stands there isn't much hope for a "easy" escape. I was a FF/EMT with Truckee Fire for 13 years, and had a few experiences with small, quickly controlled fires, but we trained consistently on UI protection, line-cutting, and hose-lays uphill with the local Cal Fire crews every year. Until you've seen a house burn to the ground even though it started off with 3' of snow on the roof and 8' berms around the house, you haven't really learned how insidious flames can be.

Right now I'm following the updates on FB for the Creek Fire, which is pretty well destroying the summer haunts of my Boy Scout days, from Shaver Lake through Huntington Lake, Dinky Creek and that entire area.

Sep 29, 2020 - 4:35:44 PM
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WyoBob

USA

141 posts since 5/16/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Humbled by this instrument

Yeah, I fought wildland fires for years with the USFS;

Curt, My old time fiddle buddy , friend, banjo and fiddle teacher, Lynn Young, worked for the Forest Service for years and the most interesting thing he did was to play with the "Fiddling Foresters".  At our old time jams, he brought up the "Mann Gulch Fire" and I researched it and came across this site:  https://nymag.com/arts/books/features/mann-gulch-norman-maclean-2014-9/index7.html

Here's a link of the tribute song that was done, featuring Lynn and his group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAWs8K0Mcng

God bless the folks who risk their lives fighting forest fires.

Sep 29, 2020 - 6:31:45 PM

3556 posts since 12/8/2007

quote:
Originally posted by WyoBob
quote:
Originally posted by Humbled by this instrument

Yeah, I fought wildland fires for years with the USFS;

Curt, My old time fiddle buddy , friend, banjo and fiddle teacher, Lynn Young, worked for the Forest Service for years and the most interesting thing he did was to play with the "Fiddling Foresters".  At our old time jams, he brought up the "Mann Gulch Fire" and I researched it and came across this site:  https://nymag.com/arts/books/features/mann-gulch-norman-maclean-2014-9/index7.html

Here's a link of the tribute song that was done, featuring Lynn and his group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAWs8K0Mcng

God bless the folks who risk their lives fighting forest fires.

 


Why thanks sooo much WyoBob!  I had no idea that this fire and event took place.  How interesting.

Sep 30, 2020 - 6:07:52 AM
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11335 posts since 9/23/2009

really awful to see the west burning up...terrible. i hope you all stay safe and hope it will stop burning soon.

Oct 1, 2020 - 3:53:46 PM

3556 posts since 12/8/2007

Okay, so a new fire broke out about ten kilometers south of our camp of two weeks back at Bothe-Napa; however, no winds were blowing ash or hot coals that way. Thus, we're guessing it's arson at this point. The local news crew showed fire investigators placing markers all about the start of the new blaze. If indeed this sad turn of events proves true, hoooooeeeee. Already millions and millions of damage has been done. The flames burned a large part of the castle from the 1400s outside Calistoga, ripped through Bothe-Napa redwoods (our camp has been saved looks like), and is threatening the town of Calistoga.

Hmmmph.

Oct 1, 2020 - 4:21:59 PM

11335 posts since 9/23/2009

very twisted people, arsonists...

Oct 2, 2020 - 11:39:55 AM

3058 posts since 6/21/2007

Great book! I read it several years ago and have been meaning to add it to "Fire" section of my library. 

During my Fire Academy with Truckee (and Northstar) FD's (I went through it twice, once with each Department - loads of fun!) we were well versed about Mann Gulch and a couple of other large fires.  Some of the instructors, members of the departments) had also had assignments to the large Yellowstone blaze.  I never got the chance to go on a strike team, but we had enough "small" incidents around the area during my 13 years with the 2 Departments.

Edited by - BanjoBrad on 10/02/2020 11:46:58

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