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Posts Tagged ‘Tuolumne River canyon’

RIM FIRE Now 6th Largest in Calif. History

Posted by feww on August 29, 2013

RIM FIRE spreads to 192,466 acres

The massive blaze grew by an estimated 5,000 acres since this morning to a total of at least 192,466 acres (300mi², or 779km²), climbing to the 6th position on the Top 20 chart of largest California wildfires.

Burning mainly in Stanislaus National Forest, the ferocious fire has also devoured about 45,000 acres of Yosemite National Park.

The monster blaze has surrounded Cherry Lake and Lake Eleanor, a part of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir system in the northwestern backcountry of Yosemite National Park, reached the southern edge of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir late Tuesday, and is now spreading on the western side of the lake.

YNP officials closed Tioga Road, a second key route into the park on Wednesday, which “will limit the access for visitors to and from the east side of the park, quite possibly over Labor Day weekend, which will have a significant economic impact on the area and [be] an inconvenience for visitors,” said a park official.

Some 4,537 personnel have reportedly contained about 30 percent of the fire.

fire activity on south flank
RIM FIRE – fire activity on the South Flank. Photo credit: USFS/Mike McMillan

Links and Background Information

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RIM FIRE Balloons to 288mi²

Posted by feww on August 28, 2013

Giant Calif. blaze rapidly spreads to 184,481 acres

The ferocious fire has extensively damaged Berkeley Tuolumne Camp and the infrastructure. Rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior are hampering suppression efforts, said USFS.

The blaze had consumed about 42,000 acres of Yosemite National Park by early Tuesday.

RIM FIRE has also damaged two of the three hydroelectric generating stations at the O’Shaughnessy Dam, which supply electricity for all of San Francisco’s public facilities. The dam impounds the Tuolumne River at the lower end of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park, while the reservoir provides 85% of the water for the San Francisco Bay Area.

The monster blaze is now the 7th largest in California’s history (and climbing the chart), less than 90,000 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.

The raging fire was creeping closer to thousands of homes located west of Yosemite National Park, as of posting.

RIM FIRE Map

rime fire map 26 aug 2013
Official Map of RIM FIRE as of August 26, 2013 @ 06:00PDT

Fire Details

  • Last Updated: August 27, 2013 18:30 PDT (UTC -7 hours)
  • County: Tuolumne County, Calif.
  • Location: 3 miles east of Groveland along Hwy 120
  • Acres Burned – Containment: 184,481 acres – 20% contained
  • Structures Threatened: 5,506 (4,500 residences, 1,000 outbuildings, 6 commercial)
  • Structures Destroyed: 111 (31 residences, 80 outbuildings)
  • Total Fire Personnel: 4,081
  • Total Fire Engines: 491
  • Total Fire crews: 68
  • Total Helicopters: 17
  • Total Dozers: 61
  • Total Water Tenders: 46

Evacuations:

  • 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.
  • Mandatory evacuations south of Highway 120 and north of Old Yosemite Road. Structure defense is in place for this area of the fire by ground and aerial resources. An evacuation advisory has been extended on the Highway 108 corridor from Tuolumne City to Pinecrest.
  • An evacuation advisory was 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

Forest closures:

  • 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. Contingency planning, indirect line construction and preparation to the east of Highway 108.
  • 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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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

Evacuations

  • 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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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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RIM FIRE continues to grow; burns 23mi² in YNP

Posted by feww on August 26, 2013

UPDATED at 08:30 UTC on Monday, 26 August 2013

Massive wildfire edges closer to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Rim Fire has moved to about 2 miles of a Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a key reservoir that supplies about 85% San Francisco’s water, or 2.6 million people in the area.

FIRE-EARTH estimates that the fire would have grown to about 145,000 acres, as of posting.

The giant fire, already the 14th largest in California history, continues to threaten power and water supplies to San Francisco, some 195 miles away.

The blaze consumed an additional 3,000 acres within Yosemite National Park by late Sunday, up from [13,000 acres] earlier in the day, forcing  the closure of the White Wolf area and the evacuation of 13 camps, said a report.

rim fire near YNPRim Fire continued to spread near Yosemite National Park. Photo Credit: Elias Funez/MCT/Landov via NPR

The fire has so far destroyed at least 11 homes, 12 outbuildings and four commercial properties, as well as two power structures that supply San Francisco with electricity, the report said.

RIM FIRE started on August 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest and remained at 7% containment, with 2,846 personnel deployed, as of posting.

The fire is sending smoke columns to heights of more than 30,000 feet, said USFS.

About 2,250 households are currently under mandatory evacuation, and the blaze threatens 4,500 structures.

California Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency for San Francisco on Friday due to the damage caused to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco, which had forced the officials to shut down two of the three hydroelectric power stations in the YNP area, as well as the power lines.

Latest Mandatory Evacuations

A Mandatory Evacuation has been issued for residences north of Old Yosemite Road (Forest Road 2S01).

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. The Mandatory Evacuation and Evacuation Warning has been issued by the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office. [Inciweb]

rim fire map
RIM FIRE Map.  Click map for latest version.

UPDATE continues…

For additional information see:

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RIM FIRE Forces New Closures at Yosemite National Park

Posted by feww on August 25, 2013

UPDATED Sunday, 25 August 2013, 15:40 UTC

RIM FIRE forces the closures of two additional areas at YNP

The blaze had consumed at least 13,000 acres in the northwest corner of Yosemite by early Sunday, up 2,000 acres from previous day.

Park officials have closed parts of the YNP’s northwestern corner for the week, including the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir area, Lake Cherry and Lake Eleanor, according to reports.

The ferocious wildfire began on August 17 and has since been burning out of control, forcing Gov. Brown to declare a state of emergency in Tuolumne County on Thursday, and proclaim yet another state of emergency for the City and County of San Francisco late Friday.

The blaze had scorched  at least 133,980 acres (209 mi² or 542km²) as of Sunday, 25 August 2013, @ 14:30 UTC, with 7% containment, said USFS.

A Forest Closure is in effect for locations near and in advance of the fire. Evacuation advisories are still in effect for Tuolumne City and nearby areas along the Highway 108 corridor.

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

For additional information see:

Smoke from Wildfires Covers Most of the Continental U.S.

Some 5 dozen major wildfires and scores of smaller fires are currently burning across the U.S., prompting air quality alerts in several areas.

HMS

Hazard Mapping System. Smoke Analysis Map. Source: OSDPD/NOAA

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State of Emergency Declared for SF due to RIM FIRE

Posted by feww on August 24, 2013

Rim Fire an “imminent threat to critical infrastructure assets”; Gov declares State of Emergency for SF

The ferocious wildfire that began on August 17 and has been burning out of control in Tuolumne County forced California Gov. Brown to declare a state of emergency 190 miles away in San Francisco late Friday.

The governor said he declared the emergency due to the damage  caused to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco.

Rim Fire had consumed about 126,000 acres (470 km²), as of Saturday, 24 August 2013 @ 05:00UTC, and the blaze continued to grow explosively, as it crossed into Yosemite National Park, burning at least 11,000 acres there.

San Francisco was forced to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations in the area due to the fire, according to local reports.

The City gets about 85 percent of its water from Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Yosemite area, just 3 miles from the current fire boundary.

Highlights of the Governor’s Proclamation

The wildfires that started in Tuolumne County have caused damage to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco, and now threaten damage to property, equipment, and resources of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, said  Calif. Governor Brown in his state of emergency proclamation for the City and County of San Francisco.

As a result, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been forced to shut down transmission lines with the result that the City and County is affected by the wildfires in the County of Tuolumne and is likely to be further affected should the fire cause additional damage to the City and County of San Francisco’s water and electrical assets in Tuolumne County, including the possible temporary interruption of electricity and/or water delivery.

Due to the imminent threat to critical infrastructure assets, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission declared an emergency, and the City and County of San Francisco declared a local emergency and requested that I proclaim a state of emergency …, said Gov Brown as he signed the Proclamation, declaring a state of emergency in the City and County of San Francisco.

rim fire 061s
Rim Fire Photo 6. Photo credit: Stanislaus National Forest/USFS.

The massive fire has so far destroyed at least four homes and a dozen outbuildings in different areas, and was threatening more than 5,500 residences, said the USFS.

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RIM FIRE Crosses into Yosemite National Park

Posted by feww on August 24, 2013

UPDATED: Saturday, 24 August 2013 @ 05:00UTC

The 126,000-acre (470 km²) fire continues to grow explosively

RIM FIRE continues to grow explosively burning east and has crossed the Yosemite National Park (YNP) boundary, consuming at least 11,000 acres at the edge of the park by Friday afternoon. The fire also continues burning west toward the community of Pine Mountain Lake.

The blaze is actively growing to the north of the Duckwall area and up Kibbie Ridge, southeast, and east. The fire burned actively throughout the night, said Inciweb.

In the next 24 hours the fire is expected to continue up the Tuolumne River canyon, and continue its spread to the north and east.

The fire continues to increase in size and actively through the day and night. It continues to exhibit very large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels and inaccessible terrain.

Fire behavior was very active today with very rapid rates of spread, running surface fire, torching, passive crowning and long range spotting occurring in most all areas of the fire.

Rim Fire Photo 031
Rim Fire burning up Tuolumne River canyon. Photo credit: Stanislaus National Forest/USFS.

State of Emergency Declared in Tuolumne County

California Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency in Tuolumne County on Thursday due to Rim Fire, one of about 20 fires burning in California. Some 5 dozen major fires are currently burning across the western U.S.

Fire from Hell

Night Photo of The Rim Fire
Night Photo of The Rim Fire. Photo credit: Stanislaus National Forest/USFS.

Evacuation Advisory for The City of Tuolumne and Ponderosa Hills

Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office has issued an evacuation advisory for the City of Tuolumne and Ponderosa Hills.

The blaze started Saturday August 17, 2013 and as of early Saturday it had consumed at least 125,620 acres, with about 5% containment and 2,672 personnel deployed.

The fire is now threatening at least 4,500 homes, up from 2,500 two days ago, and additional undisclosed number of homes were under mandatory evacuations, as of posting.

Officials have closed Highway 120, one of four access routes to YNP, located about 320 km south of San Francisco. More than 4 million people visit the park annually.

Rim Fire Photo 02
Rim Fire Photo 2. Photo credit: Stanislaus National Forest/USFS.

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