15 Sep 2008, 10:03am
The 2008 Fire Season
by admin

Oregon Fires Blaze Away

Nearly a month ago two fires were ignited by lightning in the Oregon Cacades [here]. Today the Rattle Fire on the Umpqua NF and the Middlefork Fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou NF continue to blaze away, growing hourly, consuming forests, endangering lives, and eating up money.

The Middlefork Fire [here] south of Crater Lake has grown to over 5,160 acres. No significant effort was made to contain or control it, although it was not declared a whoofoo. Instead the Middlefork Fire is a de facto whoofoo, a non-suppression “suppression” fire. RR-SNF Supervisor Scott Conroy likes to play games with words and with fire. He was hoping for another Biscuit Fire, and he may have got one.

The Middlefork Fire is growing in all directions. A large area closure was issued yesterday that includes portions of the Fremont-Winema NF as well as the RR-SNF. Numerous trails and roads are closed, including the Pacific Crest Trail. Smoke pours into the Klamath Basin, and the fire is headed that way, too.

Last week the Blue Mountain Type 2 IMT (Batten) was rushed to the fire, but there is little they can do now except massive back burns in old-growth Oregon Cascade forests. The resource destruction is horrific. These are spotted owl stands and cultural landscapes whose occupation by humans goes back at least 6,000 years, all burned to the quick and the dead by the rogue Rogue River-Siskiyou NF. Over 550 firefighting personnel are now assembled at the Middlefork Fire, and $500,000 a day is being spent to watch a priceless, heritage forest incinerate.

The travesty/tragedy of the Middlefork Fire could have been avoided. The fire could have been put out when it was small. But Scott “Biscuit” Conroy and his Earth First!er buddies like holocausts. The only good forest is a dead, charred, snag patch is the motto of the eco-nazi forest holocausters. Forests are the new Jews in America today.

The new Region 6 Regional Forester Mary Wagner has sent a team to “evaluate” the Middlefork Fire fiasco, but no word has been heard regarding their cover up whitewash as yet. Too soon to judge? Gimme a break. Conroy is going to get a medal for spending $10 million the USFS doesn’t have to burn heritage forests they hate.

The Rattle Fire [here] is also burning along quite happily, sending fire storm plumes up into the late summer sky. The Rattle Fire was subdued by the Northwest Oregon IMT (IC Carl West) but they were ordered off the fire for doing too good a job. Umpqua NF Forest Supervisor Clifford J. Dils did not want containment, he wanted fiery destruction. So the Rattle Fire became a de facto whoofoo too, another  non-suppression “suppression” fire.

Yesterday the Rattle Fire was reported to be 4,500 acres and pluming. Over 1,000 firefighting personnel are assembled, at a cost of over a million dollars per day, but they have dropped way back. The power grid is down, the highway closed, area residents evacuated, and massive backburns are planned in the hopes that the fire can be prevented from cresting the Umpqua watershed and burning into the Willamette watershed.

Over $16 million has been spent so far, according to my calculation, necessary because costs reported by ORCA Type 2 IMT (Paul) are grossly understated and deceptive. They fail to account for the $3.1 million spent on the Rattle Fire before ORCA was assigned, and fail to include the $5.9 million spent on the other fires in the North Fork Complex.

Earth First!ers are ecstatic that old-growth forests are being incinerated [here]. It tickles their cindered arsonist hearts whenever catastrophic holocaust rages through ancient forest. The more death the better to an Earth First!er, whose principal monkey wrencher tool is fire. How easy it is to heave a milk jug full of gasoline into a school building, and everybody gets your political message when you do that. You hate America and wish to destroy the entire country. We get it, we get it.

Not much left to do but, as Chief of the USFS Gail Kimbel says, pray for rain. It’s a sure bet that her outfit is out of control and hellbent to burn America to the ground. Maybe God can put some rain on the fires and quench their arsonist lust.

16 Sep 2008, 9:09am
by Mike


Rattle Fire Tuesday morning update:

Situation as of 09/15/2008 at 6:00 PM
Personnel: 927
Size: 6,184 acres (Rattle Fire 5,733 acs; North Fork Fire 451 acs and 100% contained)
Percent contained: 25%

Costs to Date: ~$17.4 million (North Fork Fire, $5,855,982; Rattle Fire, ~$11.5 million)

Estimated date of containment: 09/30/2008

Costs reported by ORCA Type 2 IMT (Paul) are grossly understated. They fail to account for the $3.1 million spent on the Rattle Fire before ORCA was assigned, and fail to include the $5.9 million spent on the other fires in the North Fork Complex.

Fire gained ~2,000 acres yesterday.

Plume dominated fire activity occurring within the Spring Creek and Onion Creek drainages of the Boulder Creek Wilderness and is threatening to cross to the East side of the Boulder Creek drainage. Fire has crossed the head of Singe Creek and Reynolds Creek. Fire has spotted over the wilderness boundary on the W flank as well as E and S flanks.

Extreme fire behavior with torching, running, and long range spotting. Flame lengths of 100 feet were observed early in the burn period. Plume dominated fire in both the A.M. and P.M.

16 Sep 2008, 9:09am
by Mike


Middlefork Fire Tuesday morning update:

Situation as of 09/15/2008 5:00 PM
Personnel: 693
Size: 5,886 acres
Percent contained: 15%

Costs to Date: $6,104,755

Estimate date of containment on 10/1.

Area closure has been implemented.

Fire gained ~725 acres yesterday. Active crown fire. The fire is less than one mile from the crest of the Cascades and threatens to burn on the Fremont-Winema NF.

16 Sep 2008, 7:06pm
by Mike


Rattle Fire Tuesday evening update:

Based on Google Earth fire maps, the Rattle Fire grew over 3,000 acres today. It jumped Boulder Creek to the E and has burned nearly to the summit of Perry Butte. The fire has also crested the ridge above Rattlesnake and Onion Creeks and burned west into Singe and Reynolds Creeks in the Steamboat Creek watershed.

Plume-dominated fire activity was reported.

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