SWWASAS

Oregon Forest Fires

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There are several forest fires burning in Oregon.     One in particular in the Columbia River Gorge is in a location where there have been several reports of BF crossing I-84.      Started by a kid with fireworks, the fire has joined another already burning and the combined acreage as of this morning is 32, 000 acres.    It is blocking  access to Columbia river water for BF in an extensive area.    .    Certainly 900 fire fighters would tend to keep BF away from the I-84 corridor too.    I-84 has been closed for several days to traffic.   Forced migrations due to fires or access to water might be an outcome of a forest fire.    Taking advantage of this in the fire area might be difficult because civilians are restricted,   but if such migrations are happening, it is only a matter of figuring out where alternative water is, and getting there when BF does.  Hopefully rain will soon come and put out the fire,   and perhaps it is an opportunity to me to look in the burned out area from the air before the forest service cleans up any evidence left behind.       It certainly is close enough as I am getting ash fall from the fire where I live that is very reminiscent of the ash fall from Mt St Helens eruption in 1980.   .    

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Choking smoke and ash fall supposed to stop with possible rain for me tonight, it is still smoky as I write.   ODFW says it is a blessing for the arson and it will be fine in the Gorge long-term essentially igniting another forest fire of journalistic license. 

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I've been wondering where bigfoots will go for food and water (and safety). I suppose the same way the other large animals go, south from the Eagle Creek fire, along the creeks maybe? My daughter found a very-likely young bigfoot track on a Munra Point trail a couple of years ago (so, family units are there). That area has burned. Awful. And the Whitewater fire is, what, about 40 miles south? Further south, nearer me, are the many fires in the Willamette forest. Prime habitat. Many of the residents of the McKenzie River area know bigfoots live nearby. I wonder if they are aware of any fleeing the fire. The area that Joel Beelhart calls the "Oregon Bigfoot Highway" is somewhat impacted by the fires I think, but it's a large area. I wonder what he thinks of where bigfoots might be moving to. 

BTW, biped, we got a nice amount of rain this afternoon in Eugene! Windows are open and cool, clean air is in our house now!

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It's bad farther south as well.   One of my best-guess bigfoot spots that I've been trying to find a way to gain access to burned up last week.  

 

A fire has burned a half to 3/4 mile swath across what I think is a major travel zone ... I don't think they use specific trails, I think they pass through areas in a diffuse way ... but this one is going to have an open / exposed slice across it at least 4 miles wide when all is said and done.    Slightly north of it is another fire which is burning adjacent to scars from fires from 2015 and 2016 which create a very large open area.   

 

This may sound a bit paranoid, but ... no ... lets say if I were going to use fire to manage bigfoot, each of these would be part of my plan.   "Of course, that CAN'T be happening, it has to be coincidence." 

 

Another fire is burning near where I've been doing camera-based research.   As far as I can tell I haven't lost any cameras but, based on the I.R. mapping of the fire boundaries, 3 are within 200-300 yards of the fire now.  I expect to lose them.   10 more are within the closure area so I can't go get them, they'll either survive or they won't.   4 of the 10 are at a farther distance and probably will come through ok but there are no guarantees.

 

Smoke has been awful here for almost 2 weeks.   Visibility has been down under a quarter mile.   It's like bad winter fog, only it is hot and stinky.   We got about 20 minutes of rain yesterday which cleared things up a bit.   On a normal day we'd think it was really horribly smoky but compared to what we've seen, its a vast improvement.   Air quality rating dropped from hazardous down to extremely unhealthy.  It's bad when that is a relief to be celebrated.

 

Rain should be done here now, back to warming, drying, and maybe windy.   The ride isn't over.   :(

 

MIB

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I'm sitting in my small trailer this morning in Dubois, WY- just South of the Grand Tetons and well into my fourth week on the road. It was a plan started about five years ago to go and photograph the Grand Tetons with my B&W film cameras. We have known about the fires in Oregon, Montana, and the wildfires in Canada as well as Yosemite for many days now and needless to say our trip to the Tetons yesterday was pretty much hazed out. Ah well.....

 

The sudden influx of animals fleeing into areas that already have animals is a dynamic that is very good to talk over

 

I hope everyone is safe and properties are not in jeopardy and the subject of Sasquatch and wildfires in their habitat has always been of great interest to me. Here's hoping the rains come often and help those intrepid firefighters do the amazing job that they do- as well as help with their safety as well. 

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15 hours ago, bipedalist said:

Choking smoke and ash fall supposed to stop with possible rain for me tonight, it is still smoky as I write.   ODFW says it is a blessing for the arson and it will be fine in the Gorge long-term essentially igniting another forest fire of journalistic license. 

When homes are being lost it is hardly a blessing unless you are one of the fire is good for the forest idiots.     They hate the fact people build in forested areas in the first place.      Less see I have been paying for DEQ to pollution test my vehicles for decades,  heaven forbid that they do not pass.    We do that to limit the supposed man caused climate change.   But the Federal Government lets more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,  by letting fires burn,  than all of humanity has created driving vehicles.      It is notable that the historic Multinoma Lodge is being protected by the Gresham Fire Department even though it is Federal Property in Federal Forest.    Could it be that forest fire fighting techniques in use basically unchanged since fires began to be fought are not quite up to the task of protecting buildings?     Why modernize methods when fire is good for the forests?    For several days they refused to allow airdrops.     The Eagle Creek fire is now 35,000 acres and 7% contained.         It originated along a trail, and if modern fire fighting assets had been available,    it could have been stopped at a few acres because of the canyon it was in.    An ATV with a pump and a water tank could navigate most human trails.   That could have put it out or slowed it down until more assets could be brought to bear.     The large fire in Southern Oregon, is now over 140,000 acres.     A fire fighter said when it was at only 1000 acres, and close to being contained,   they were pulled off the fire and told to let it burn.       Those trees belong to the people of the United States, not the Forest Service.      The Governor of Oregon wanted to commit state assets to fighting it when it was much smaller, and the Forest Service refused to allow it.       Someone needs to fire some people.   

Edited by SWWASAS
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Grew up in a valley in Northwestern Nevada and I recall fires that would burn for as long as nine weeks.  They were all lightning caused and you had to check every day to see if they were coming your way.  When they did, we'd watch the borate bombers make their runs.  If we saw a curl of smoke within a mile or two of the house from a lightning strike, we'd drive out there and shovel sand on sagebrush until it was out, or it was apparent we couldn't control it.

 

Every year homes would burn, and every few years a family would get trapped and die.

 

Fire does rejuvenate the land, but it does a number on people.  Those who get to me are the environmentalist who insist on letting the underbrush go for years, guaranteeing that when a fire finally gets out of hand, it's going to be horrific.

 

 

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It begs the question of how much money can be made from forest wood salvaging in areas where logging was normally restricted? Does it make it easier to harvest resources when much of the understory and canopy has been burned away?

 

Maybe the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise could answer such questions? Not to worry, it's just ol' cynical hiflier here lobbing his usual two rocks into the camp.

Edited by hiflier
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Every spring when we would go up to collect firewood, we would go to the areas where there had been fires and collect logs from dead and downed trees.  There were plenty and we never had to cut a still-standing dead tree to get what we needed.

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24 minutes ago, hiflier said:

It begs the question of how much money can be made from forest wood salvaging in areas where logging was normally restricted? Does it make it easier to harvest resources when much of the understory and canopy has been burned away?

Most of the logs are not salvaged.  The money isn't in that part.  The money is the federal disaster funds that come in to fight the fires after they get going.

 

17x7

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In the mean time much of Washington and Oregon is breathing unhealthy air,   my neighbor is in the hospital because of respiratory problems,  I wonder how many have died from asthma,   homes with treasured objects burned to the ground, because people were given 30 minutes warning,  and much of it is done because the Forest Service prefers fire to employing people to keep the underbrush cleaned out because fire is "natural".      No one seems accountable for any of this.      The media is not asking questions.   Staying home to protect your property is met with threats of arrest while crooks are driving around looking for vacant houses to break into.  A fire station was ransacked and 100's of thousands of gear and personal property stolen.       The only thing I can say is that it is all insanity.    

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38 minutes ago, hiflier said:

It begs the question of how much money can be made from forest wood salvaging in areas where logging was normally restricted? Does it make it easier to harvest resources when much of the understory and canopy has been burned away?

 

Maybe the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise could answer such questions? Not to worry, it's just ol' cynical hiflier here lobbing his usual two rocks into the camp.

 

None.    There is no legal way to salvage designated federal wilderness.   It would require an act of congress to modify the wilderness act of 1964.    Technically the areas outside the wilderness boundary could be salvaged but following the Silver Fire (1987, 96,000 acres) and Biscuit Fire (2002, 499,000 acres) which burned much of the same area as the Chetco Bar fire is burning now, environmental groups sued USFS and logging operators in the US courts ... 9th Circuit Court heard the case ... and won blocking many of the already-awarded timber salvage sales.

 

As long as the 9th Circuit Court continues legislating from the bench, there's no significant salvage possible on public land.

 

MIB

Edited by MIB
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University of Nebraska Huskers scheduled to play Oregon Ducks Saturday afternoon, in Eugene. Evidently a Saturday morning decision whether to allow game to be played or not. Lots of flights scheduled and lots of hotel rooms rented by Nebraska fans traveling to the game.

 

There was rain forecast in the region earlier in the week that could help clear the air. Has it rained in the Eugene area?

 

Take care and stay safe. Best wishes to the PNW in their fires situation.

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The NWS says some smoke today in the Eugene area.   I don't see any in the forecast after today.   Any rain has been very light with only 20% chance in much of the state.     The wind direction is the key to if there is smoke.    Today the winds in Northern Oregon are out of the West.    When we have had the bad smoke it was out of the East or South East.   

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Yes, "rain" in the summer here is typically what others would call showers. We won't get soaking rains for awhile yet.

 

Between the fires and the flooding/hurricanes, I've been so worried for the hairy (and hairless) folks. It's just awful for so many. :(

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