French Fire updates

Screen shot 2014-08-02 at 10.14.20 AMUpdate 8-5-14 from Mammoth Tourism: 

FRENCH FIRE UPDATE

Fire Start: July 28, 2014, 5:45 A.M. 
Location: Mammoth Pool 
Cause: Human
Size: 13,717 acres 
Percent Contained: 40% 
Number of Personnel: 1883 

Fire Summary: Cooler weather helped suppression actions throughout the night, allowing crews and equipment to make good progress in line construction along the northwest perimeter. Fire still remains active along the northwest perimeter. Today crews will continue building and reinforcing containment lines on the north and west perimeters. The east perimeter has burned down to the San Joaquin River.

Fire crews will begin fire line suppression repair work, which is repairing or improving fire damaged lands unlikely to recover on their own. The extent of repair will vary depending upon intended use after the fire. For example, the dozers will pull berms back onto the trail and return the line to original grade to prevent concentrations of water flow. Fire hand crews will construct waterbars at or below the slope break. After the fire is cold, slash and debris can be scattered along the length of the fire line.
An investigation has concluded that an abandoned campfire near the Rock Creek Campground was the cause of the French Fire. The abandoned campfire was located towards the bottom of Rock Creek Road, near the San Joaquin River. Investigators are asking for the public’s help for information about anyone who was seen in the area of Rock Creek Road near the San Joaquin River during the afternoon or evening of Sunday July 27. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the 559-877-2605.

LOCAL SMOKE FROM THE FRENCH FIRE
Smoke from the French Fire has impacted local communities. Smoke is typically greater in the morning and evening hours. Plan outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. Up-slope breezes occur during the day, which will often take smoke into higher elevations. In the evening, these winds change direction and bring smoke down slope to lower elevations.

For more information about smoke impacts, please visit the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District’s website at:http://www.gbuapcd.org/data/mammoth/index.htm
For more information on health and safety concerns, download this Heathgram from the Mono County Health Department:http://www.visitmammoth.com/includes/content/docs/articles/MG-smoke-6.26.14.pdf 

 

Update 8-4-14:

frenchfireIncident Overview

Cloud cover helped suppression actions throughout the night, allowing crews and equipment to make good progress in line construction along the northwest perimeter. Today crews will continue building and reinforcing containment lines on the north, west and south perimeters. The east perimeter has burned down to the San Joaquin River. Structure defense continues in the Arnold Meadow area on the northern perimeter.

An investigation has concluded that an abandoned campfire near the Rock Creek Campground was the cause of the French Fire. The abandoned campfire was located towards the bottom of Rock Creek Road, near the San Joaquin River. Investigators are asking for the public’s help for information about anyone who was seen in the area of Rock Creek Road near the San Joaquin River during the afternoon or evening of Sunday July 27.

The French Fire will continue to produce large amounts of smoke, which has impacted local communities. Smoke is typically greater in the morning and evening hours. Plan outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. Up-slope breezes occur during the day, which will often take smoke into higher elevations. In the evening, these winds change direction and bring smoke down slope to lower elevations. For more information about smoke impacts, please visit the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Districts website at:http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm

EvacuationsResidents living in the community of Arnold Meadow were notified to evacuate due to increased fire activity along the northern perimeter of the fire. Several summer homes in the Hogue Apple Ranch and Wagner’s Resort were evacuated earlier in the week.

Update from Mammoth Lakes Tourism:

Update 08/03/2014: Investigators Pinpoint the Cause of the French Fire

Good morning,According to Inciweb, an investigation has concluded that an abandoned campfire near the Rock Creek Campground was the cause of the French Fire. The abandoned campfire was located towards the bottom of Rock Creek Road, near the San Joaquin River. Investigators are asking for the public’s help for information about anyone who was seen in the area of Rock Creek Road near the San Joaquin River during the afternoon or evening of Sunday July 27.INCIDENT OVERVIEWDate of Origin: Monday, July 28, 2014.
Location: Rock Creek Drainage
Size: 12,827 acres
Total Personnel:1,763
Percent of Perimeter Contained: 20%

Summary:

The fire operation was completed on the southern end of the fire last night to secure containment lines down to the San Joaquin River. Direct fire line was also completed from Chiqito Creek to the 4S81 road on the northern perimeter. Fire crews are hoping to take advantage of cooler weather and higher humidity to construct direct fire line were possible on all open fire lines. Crews also continue to do structure defense in the Arnold Meadow area on the northern perimeter.

Cooler weather and higher humidity should help fire crews today.
There are no local Eastern Sierra evacuations or road closures in effect.

LOCAL SMOKE FROM THE FRENCH FIRE

The French Fire will continue to produce large amounts of smoke, which has impacted local communities. Smoke is typically greater in the morning and evening hours. Plan outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. Up-slope breezes occur during the day, which will often take smoke into higher elevations. In the evening, these winds change direction and bring smoke down slope to lower elevations.

For more information about smoke impacts, please visit the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District’s website at:http://www.gbuapcd.org/data/mammoth/index.htm

(press release)  Smoke from the French Fire continues to cloud Inyo-Mono.  Fire activity continued throughout the night in the north and northwest perimeters of the fire. A firing operation was started last night in the areas near Wagners Mammoth Pool Resort on the northern perimeter. The fire is expected to be active again in the northern and northwest perimeter on both sides of the Minarets Road as the fire moves into more dense fuels. The final burning operation is planned for the southern edge of the fire to reinforce completed containment line.

The French Fire will continue to produce large amounts of smoke, which has impacted local communities. Smoke is typically greater in the morning and evening hours. Plan outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. Up-slope breezes occur during the day, which will often take smoke into higher elevations. In the evening, these winds change direction and bring smoke down slope to lower elevations. For more information about smoke impacts, please visit the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Districts website at: http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm

EvacuationsResidents living in the community of Arnold Meadow were notified to evacuate due to increased fire activity along the northern perimeter of the fire. Several summer homes in the Hogue Apple Ranch and Wagner’s Resort were evacuated earlier in the week.ClosuresA Forest Service Area Road and Trail Closure, Forest Order # 15-14-07, has been issued for the French Fire area. More information about the Forest Closure and the closure can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/o44cvyu .

 

Basic Information

Current as of 8/2/2014 7:33:07 AM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Monday July 28th, 2014 approx. 05:45 AM
Location Rock Creek Drainage
Incident Commander Dave Cooper

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,560
Size 11,466 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 15%
Fuels Involved Timber with some brushy areas
Significant Events Last night’s infrared shows that the northern, northeastern, and western division M,X & Y perimeters were the largest areas of growth. The northeastern perimeter has extended to the western shore of Mammoth Pool, just north of the boat ramp.

Outlook

Planned Actions Structure defense in the Hogue Ranch, Kinsman Flat, and Arnold Meadows area will continue to be the primary objective.
Projected Incident Activity Perimeter will continue to grow on the north and west sides of the fire.
Remarks The fire is expected to be active again in the northern and northwest perimeter on both sides of the Minarets Road as the fire moves into more dense fuels. The final burning operation is planned for the southern edge of the fire to reinforce completed containment line.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns Hot temperatures with smoky conditions until afternoon.
 

4 Responses to French Fire updates

  1. Sierra Lady August 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Left out of this press release was the fact the cause was an ILLEGAL abandoned campfire during fire restrictions plus right along side a road! Notice the Foster’s beer can left in the “fire ring” on the Inciweb link. Catch them and make them pay!

    B. Richter

     
    • Benett Kessler August 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      Sierra Lady, In our update (French Fire sends smoke to Inyo-Mono) the release from Mammoth Lakes Tourism does list the cause as an abandoned campfire. Thanks for reading, Benett

       
      • Sierra Lady August 4, 2014 at 11:03 am #

        I could not locate this particular press release on the MLT press release web page (which is difficult to locate to begin with): http://www.visitmammoth.com/media/press-releases/

        The p.r. above states: “Good morning,According to Inciweb, an investigation has concluded that an abandoned campfire near the Rock Creek Campground was the cause of the French Fire.” If MLT was quoting Inciweb then they should have read the update about the cause of the fire closely and reported it accurately. All one has to do is look at the photo of the origin of the fire on the Inciweb site and draw a pretty good conclusion.

        Below is the full p.r. from the Inciweb site posted on 8/2/14:

        “An update on acreage will be released in the morning fire update after a mapping flight is conducted tonight.

        Cause of the French Fire Released, Public’s Help Needed

        An investigation has concluded, that an abandoned campfire near the Rock Creek Campground was the cause of the French Fire on the Bass Lake Ranger District of the Sierra National Forest. The abandoned campfire was located towards the bottom of Rock Creek Road, near the San Joaquin River, as shown in the map below. Investigators believe a long log was left in the campfire, extending into nearby pine needles. As the log burned and reached the pine needles, the fire extended into the forest starting the French Fire.

        For just this reason, a Forest Order has been in place since June 25, 2014 restricting campfires in the Sierra National Forest, to help prevent just such an incident given the extreme drought conditions existing on the Forest. Campfires were not permitted unless they were in a designated campground during the time of the incident. “It is an unfortunate and unnecessary loss for all of us, that due to the irresponsible actions of a few, a portion of a national treasure has been lost, not to mention putting lives and homes at risk” said Dean Gould, Forest Supervisor, Sierra National Forest. To date, close to 12,000 acres have burned, at an incident response cost of 8 million dollars to date, which does not include the value of resources or property lost or damaged.

        Investigators with the Sierra National Forest are asking for the public’s help for information about anyone who was seen in the area of Rock Creek Road near the San Joaquin River on during the afternoon or evening of Sunday July 27.

        Anyone with information is encouraged to call the French Fire Information line at 559-877-2605.”

        @ Just the details, I don’t drink beer so the I.D. on that can came from another poster on another blog. Thanks for the correction. Knuckeheads indeed!

        B. Richter

         
  2. Just the details... August 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    @Sierra Lady: Great catch finding the update on inciweb as to the source of the fire. I also noticed the can in the photo. After clicking on the image options (full sized) that’s most certainly NOT a can of Foster’s Beer. From what I can tell, it looks a lot like a 24oz can of Mickeys Malt Liquor. Does that detail matter? Maybe? That brand / size can is usually sold at small convenience stores and gas stations. With idiots this careless, I wouldn’t be shocked if they tossed a receipt near by that can be traced back to the place they bought the can. Which could turn up some footage to help ID these knuckle heads! People this reckless have to be tracked down and dealt with! We’re just praying for the fire crews to get the upper hand on this one!

     

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