Rain is coming

From Weather West, aka, Daniel Swain: “The good news: significant, perhaps even fire “season ending” rains possible across much of Northern California by late next week. The bad news: some models suggesting heavy rainfall capable of causing significant post-fire flood/debris flow concerns near #CampFire.” Looks like Big Sur is in the 2 to 3” area. So, is this significant enough to close the gates on Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide? I guess we will see 48 hours out.


Dangerous Veterans Day weekend, 11/9/18

The State of California is on fire. I have been watching the Camp Fire that has taken out the entire town of Paradise and killed who knows how many yesterday, continue to rage. There is the Hill Fire down in Camarillo, and here (and apparently everywhere) there are huge hurricane force winds. Last night, it was so cold up here – even under my down comforter, that I had to get up and put another thick layer on. It is a 3-day weekend. What could possibly go wrong? NO CAMPFIRES ANYWHERE IN THE NATIONAL FOREST.!

AND, there is a  200 guest private party going on up Willow with a “community campfire” and “professional fire dancers.” The organizer has assured me that he has canceled any fire at this event. Thank you.

Gray Slip Photos taken 11/3/18

Here are some photos showing the depth and width of the cracks with measuring tape so that we can more accurately track the movement. There are also photos showing the three springs (which we believe to be different ones, but which we have no way of knowing whether they all come from one original spring) that have been exposed by Madonna Const. since they dug here to obtain fill dirt for Mud Creek. There is no indication that there is any effort being made to control the water here. You might remember from the article I published on Monday (Here) that water is the key ingredient in landslides and debris flow. “Water is the key ingredient,” said Austrian hydrologist Thomas Thaler, who studies threats to mountain communities. These photos demonstrate that.

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The depth of that last crack is 60 total inches. At the end of the slide show, Rock Knocker lost his tape measurer into the crack and had to climb in there to retrieve it. That gives an idea of the width and depth, although the tape could not follow the slope of the crack, so it is actually deeper than 5 feet.

Wildfire across from Gorda Mtn.

UPDATE- under control in less than an hour.Engine 17 was still there this am.

6:33 pm – small fire, Martha and crews on the way. Were calling for mandatory evac, but may cancel that. Will see. Listening to scanner, now. Looks like they got it.

6:30 pm – Wildfire across the highway, No wind, which is good. I’ll update when I know more.

Global Warming Is Destabilizing Mountain Slopes, Creating Landslide Risks

That was the craziest weekend I can remember us having as a community in a very long time. Fire, crazies, sirens at 4 am, drug crazy confrontations, accidents, and a suicide. Seemed like it would never end. Here is to a saner week ahead.

This is not something most of us want to hear, but it is definitely something we need to pay attention to. I happened across an article with the above title through Weather West (Daniel Swain) whom I follow. Here are a few excerpts:

”A team of scientists monitoring the Swiss peaks above Andermatt say they’ve detected some warming as deep as 300 feet into the rocks. In a few places, some giant rock slabs have moved more than 4 feet in a year, a possible warning sign of a large collapse.”

“Water is the key ingredient,” said Austrian hydrologist Thomas Thaler, who studies threats to mountain communities.

“For us it’s very important to know if climate change has an impact on rainfall, because that has the most influence on landslides and debris flows,” he said. “Climate change will increase the magnitude, not only the frequency, of these events.”

While most of this article deals with the very northernmost mountainous regions, like Norway and Iceland, Switzerland is also mentioned extensively. There are lessons for us to learn here about our landslides and how we prepare. As all of us here know, the challenge is to control the water that permeates these hills and has to come out somewhere. How and where we control this water is crucial. That will bring us back to Gray Slip later this week and more recent photos.

For the rest of this article, see: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26092018/climate-change-mountains-landslide-hazard-thawing-permafrost-rockfall-extreme-weather-glaciers-global-warming

You might even find you want to subscribe to insideclimatenews after reading this article.



Ranch Fire – SLO Co.

From friend on way to town, north, 2 fire engines and 1 ambulance heading south. This is what I have found. I have had all the fire news I can handle for one weekend, I think.

CHP reports it as south of Higuera. USFS is sending resources including a helicopter.

From Cal Fire SLU – Engines enroute to a vegetation fire Hwy 101 and Johnson Ranch. 2 acres of grass 1 structure threatened. #RanchFire.