Chalk Fire Update, 10/16/08

This morning, considerable smoke and plume in the Hare Canyon area. Here is the visual. I will try to obtain further information, as well as check on the Cove fire from yesterday, as soon as I am able, and will post here. We have winds going on down here.

A couple photos of the Cove Fire yesterday, show it started in an area that had been back burned during the Basin Fire, which is a good thing. Also, the CHP is not reporting any road problems in that area. Here is a link to the Cove Fire photos:
Cove Fire Photos

From my vantage point, there appear to be two separate plumes. One, higher up on the Hare Canyon side, and one lower, possibly in the Mill Creek drainage. It is hard to tell on the second one. Here is a photo I just took. There also is at least one “spotter” or fire engline on top of Prewitt Ridge. Paula Martinez, ret. PIO is on her way over from King City to the PV Station. I expect a phone call when she arrives, and will post what she has to say.

And only a few minutes later, looks like a blow-up. Still occurring, so more photos might be forthcoming.

From my vantage point, this is spooky as hell. I just took another shot, that clearly shows two separate blow-ups, and possibly a third in between the other two. Winds are playing a significant factor here. Okay, it is much more clear to my naked eye about the two separate blow-ups, and possible third, but the photo follows.

10:35 am – I just spoke to Paula Martinez, ret. USFS PIO. She informs me that the fire is up at the top of Hare Canyon, making its way up toward Cone Peak. There are both helicopters and air tankers working. Also, while the tankers are here, they will be laying retardant down the contingency line from Cone Peak to Twitchell Flats. She is still on Ft. H-L making her way to the coast, and can see what appears to be two plumes, also, but feels they are not quite as distinct as I make them out to be. Could be. I can hear the tankers, although I have yet to really get a good look at them. The fire being higher up is good for tanker retardant drops.

Here is a map of the hotspot, courtesy of Kimball, aka coast communications, listed at the right in “blog roll.”

It only shows one hotspot, but it looked like two, to me. The second one may have not shown up, or flared after the satellite pass, or my eyes are not what they used to be, or all three!!

And here is a closer look at where it is in relationship to Cone Peak Rd. Technical difficulties on the blog upload end. Will post as soon as I can. Okay, not cooperating. Let’s just say it is quite close to Cone Peak Rd. on the west side. The good news seems to be that the winds are dying down. Lots of smoke, but no threat at this time.

Wlidlandfire reporting: “They are firing out and using the tankers to support their operation. Not out of control as far as we are hearing….” Also, a little over an hour ago: “New order for 6 Type 1 A/T’s. Hmmm…” A/T’s typically stand for air tankers.

1:30 pm – Here is the latest photo taken only moments ago. Lots of tankers working it today.

Chalk Peak has now disapeared behind the smoke. Same angle and point of view as others earlier.

2:30 pm – AND here is an hour later. My, oh my. what a sight.

4:00 pm – just got a call from Paula Martinez, ret. USFS, PIO. She is back in KC, having toured the area. She informs me that all the activity is going uphill in the Cone Peak area, away from the Hermitage. The fire has reached the Cone Peak contingency line, but ff feel relatively confident they can hold it there, as the line seems to be holding at this time. Tankers will continue to fly the rest of the day, and will probably be back tomorrow. I shared my thoughts that this fire will probably NOT be declared contained tomorrow, as originally anticipated, and she agreed that is likely. We won’t know until the 209 comes out tonight around 6 pm, after which inciweb should be updated. Camera battery recharging, and I am going to do the same. Will be back around 6 pm with more photos and info, if available. As of 1/2 hour ago, 2 more tankers in route.

Inciweb is reporting: an increase in acreage to 11.760; a decrease in containment to 94%; an increase in growth potential to “medium”; and pushed back the containment date to Monday, October 20, 2008.

I am hoping this is the last photograph I post this evening, and that I do NOT see any spectacular flames which I feel compelled to photograph. Also, one last note for the evening: See Skee’s comment re: USFS calling out two of the Cachagua Fire dozers this afternoon. *sigh*

Here are a thermal and google maps, provided to me by Kimball earlier this afternoon. Thanks, Jim!!

Click on the maps to see them larger. There are six new hot spots showing on the google map.

3 thoughts on “Chalk Fire Update, 10/16/08

  1. Oh good lord, Kate! I hope you aren’t in any danger ’cause it looks real bad (again).

    Keep posting those pics and updates and good luck to you and everyone else.

  2. Kate, I was in Barstow enroute home to Cachagua with a new (used fire truck) when my cell phone rang. It was the LPF dispatch wanting two of the Cachagua Dozers to respond back to the Chalk Fire.

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