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Archive for August 27th, 2013

RIM FIRE Spreads to about 180,000 Acres

Posted by feww on August 27, 2013

Ferocious fire becomes 7th largest in California history

Rim Fire wildfire consumed an additional 20,000 acres (~12.5%) overnight, charring a total of at least 179,481 acres (280mi², or 726km²) by 07:30 PDT (UTC -7 hours) on Tuesday, reported Cal Fire.

The massive fire spread further east and north overnight, pushing deeper into Yosemite National Park. The eastern flank of the blaze has now burned to within a few hundred yards of Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which supplies most of San Francisco’s water.

The monster blaze is now the 7th largest in California’s history (and climbing the chart), less than 94,000 acres behind Cedar Fire (273,246 acres), the largest fire ever recorded in California, which left 14 people dead and more than 2,820 structures destroyed in San Diego area, October 2003.

Seventeen of the the top 20 wildfires in California have occurred since 1985.

RIM FIRE has already destroyed 111 (31 residences, 80 outbuildings), according to Cal Fire.

However, an earlier news bulletin by Reuters said the blaze had destroyed homes and “1,000 outbuildings…

Rim Fire Incident Information

  • Last Updated: August 27, 2013 7:30 am
  • Date/Time Started: August 17, 2013 3:25 pm
  • Administrative Unit: Stanislaus National Forest / CAL FIRE Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit
  • County: Tuolumne County, California
  • Location: 3 miles east of Groveland along Hwy 120
  • Acres Burned: 179,481 acres (Containment: 20% contained)
  • Structures Threatened: 5,506 (4,500 residences, 1,000 outbuildings, 6 commercial)
  • Structures Destroyed: 111 (31 residences, 80 outbuildings)
  • Injuries: 3
  • Cause: Under Investigation

rime fire map 26 aug 2013
Official Map of RIM FIRE as of August 26, 2013 @ 6:00am


  • The evacuation advisory from Tuolumne City and the area east of Highway 108 has been expanded to Pinecrest Lake. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated.
  • A Mandatory Evacuation has been issued for residences north of Old Yosemite Road (Forest Road 2S01), and an Evacuation Warning has been issued for all residences north of Bull Creek Road (Forest Road 2S02), Bondurant Mine Road, Texas Hill Road, and Wampum Hill.
  • An evacuation advisory issued from Mi-Wok to Pinecrest along the Highway 108 corridor. This advisory has been issued by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. (An evacuation center is located at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.)

Road Closures

  • Highway 120 remains closed to all inbound and outbound Yosemite National Park traffic to Crane Flat Campground. Highway 120 east
  • The Stanislaus National Forest has issued an area closure for the entire Groveland Ranger District and for the Mi-Wok Ranger District east of Highway 108.

Links and Background Information

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – August 27, 2013

Posted by feww on August 27, 2013

US “ready” to strike Syria: Hagel

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the US military is ready to act on Syria.

“We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take,” Hagel told the BBC.

“I think it’s pretty clear that chemical weapons were used against people in Syria,” he said.

“I think the intelligence will conclude that it wasn’t the rebels who used it, and there’ll probably be pretty good intelligence to show is that the Syria government was responsible. But we’ll wait and determine what the facts and the intelligence bear out.”

John Kerry…

“What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality,” Mr Kerry said at a news conference on Monday.

“Make no mistake, President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.”

President Assad

Syrian President Bashar Assad told Russia’s Izvestia newspaper that claims of his government using chemical weapons made by Western countries are “an insult to common sense” and “nonsense.”

“The statements made by the politicians in the USA and in other Western countries represent an insult to common sense and neglect of the public opinion of citizens in those countries. It’s nonsense: first, they bring charges, and then they collect evidence. And it’s one of the most powerful countries that does it – the US. They accused us on Wednesday, and in only two days the American leadership announces they started to collect the evidence.… They accuse our army of using chemical weapons in the area that’s reportedly controlled by the terrorists. In fact, there is no precise front line between the army and the insurgents in that area. And how can a government use chemical weapons – or any other weapons of mass destruction – in the area where government troops are concentrated? This is against elementary logic,” said Assad.

Vladimir Putin

President Putin has told the British PM that Russia did not have any evidence whether a chemical weapons attack had occurred or who was responsible, according to an official statement.


Other Disasters/ Significant Events


At least 43 people, including a dozen civilians, were killed in Afghanistan over the last 24 hours, authorities said on Tuesday.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented 1,319 civilian deaths and 2,533 injuries—a total of 3,852 civilian casualties—in the first half of 2013.

The total represents an increase of 14 per cent in deaths and 28 per cent in injuries over the same period in 2012, said UNAMA.


Swollen Heilong river triggers widespread, persistent floods in NE China

continued flooding in NE ChinaOriginal caption: The aerial photo taken on Aug. 26, 2013 shows houses [and vast tracts of crops and farmland] inundated by floods along the Tongjiang-Fuyuan river section of the Heilong River in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province. The Heilong River has swelled since mid-August, with some sections of its middle and lower reaches seeing their worst floods in history.(Xinhua/Ma Ling). More images…


TS FERNAND leaves at least 13 people dead in E. Mexico

At least 13 people were killed Monday after landslides triggered by torrential rains from tropical storm FERNAND destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, officials said.


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RIM FIRE Raining Ash on Key SF Reservoir

Posted by feww on August 27, 2013

Explosive blaze devours at least 160,980 acres (251.53mi²)

Rim Fire is burning less than a mile from Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy reservoir on the Tuolumne River, raining ash on San Francisco’s main water source.

The massive fire had blackened at least 22,000 acres within YNP as of Monday morning, forcing the closure of Highway 120, the main road leading into the park from the San Francisco Bay area, and prompting evacuation of the remainder of 74 campsites in the park’s White Wolf area, officials said.

Although the fallout of ash and soot has not yet significantly deteriorated the Hetch Hetchy’s water quality, officials fear winter rains could cause runoff of debris and topsoil, which is stripped of vegetation by the blaze, severely affecting the reservoir.

“When you burn down everything, you’ve got a moonscape out there when floods can contaminate the water,” said California Gov. Brown on Monday during a visit to the fire zone. Brown declared a state of emergency for City and County of San Francisco on Friday due to threats to the city’s electricity and water supplies.

RIM FIRE Map as of August 26, 2013 @ 6:00amrime fire map 26 aug 2013

  • RIM FIRE became 11th largest wildfire in California history, as of Monday morning, and climbing.
  • At least 30 ACTIVE fires, larger than 100 acres, have been burning about 345,000 acres across California since late June.
  • Rime Fire is one of about 5 dozen major fires currently burning across the western U.S.
  • Drought, high temperatures and insect-damaged forests have fueled about 6,000 wildfires across the region, so far this season.

RIM FIRE: Basic Information
Last Updated: August 26, 2013 6:30 pm [CAL FIRE Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit]
Date/Time Started: August 17, 2013 3:25 pm
County: Tuolumne County
Location: 3 miles east of Groveland along Hwy 120
Acres Burned – Containment: 160,980 acres – 20% contained
Structures Threatened: 4,500
Structures Destroyed: 23 [About 1,000 outbuildings have also been destroyed. REUTERS]
Total Fire Personnel: 3,752
Total Fire Engines: 460
Total Fire crews: 71
Total Helicopters: 15
Total Dozers: 60
Total Water Tenders: 43

Evacuations, Closures and Other Fire Info

A forest closure is in effect for locations near and in advance of the fire. Several locations on the west side of Yosemite National Park have had closures implemented as a result of the fires spread. Evacuation Advisories are still in effect for Tuolumne City and nearby areas along the Highway 108 corridor. Mandatory evacuations were issued for Old Yosemite Road. 

Evacuation Warning has been issued for all residences north of Bull Creek Road (Forest Road 2S02), Bondurant Mine Road, Texas Hill Road, and Wampum Hill.  An evacuation center is at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.

Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated. 

The Rim incident is expected to continue to exhibit very large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels, strong winds and inaccessible terrain. Rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior and hampering suppression efforts. [Cal Fire/Inciweb]

Links and Background Information

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