Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pine Fire

Update (9/13 morning):

This morning we can see no smoke, either from our yard or from the cameras on Lyons Peak. Either the fire is greatly reduced, or it has burned much further away from us. The MODIS satellite this morning shows “hits” moving southeast from the eastern flank we saw last night, and no hits on the western flank (the only possible threat to us). This is all good news.

Not so comforting: the MODIS data shows a new fire this morning, just east of Tecate, right on the border with Mexico. I have no other news of this fire, and I cannot see any smoke from it on the Lyons Peak cameras, so my fond hope is that this fire has been put out since the satellite made its last pass…

Original Post (9/12 evening):

Today while I was at work, Debbie called with the kind of news we dread hearing: a wildfire, not very far from our home, sending up big plumes of smoke. Fortunately for my state of mind, I could see from the Lyons Peak cameras that the fire posed no immediate threat to our house.

It's been dubbed the “Pine Fire”, and it's already up on the CDF Incident page – 0% containment and 1,000 acres burned so far. On my way home from work this evening, they reported a single injury to a bulldozer operator, suffered when the winds shifted suddenly. When I got home, the fire's smoke plume loomed over the mountains surrounding Lawson Valley – but the wind was blowing northward, away from us.

The map at right shows a chunk of San Diego County that's roughly 22 miles (34 km) across. The four red hatch-marked areas are one-kilometer “hits” from the infrared-sensing MODIS satellite, which show approximately where the fire was burning when the satellite last passed over. The purple fuzzy spot is the town of Pine Valley, and the green fuzzy spot is where we live.

I also heard on the news that the suspected origin of the fire was an illegal alien's camp fire. Again. The Corte Madera area (south of Guatay and Pine Valley, and south of I-8) we know well – we used to drive and hike there in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before the coyotes and the illegals practically took it over. When we started hearing the Cleveland National Forest rangers advise people to travel in the area only in groups, we stopped going. Apparently so did most other legal tourists, because (according to the news) the illegals far outnumber the legals there now. Sigh.

But I saved the best news about this fire for the last: according to the reports I've heard so far, no homes have burned or are threatened. Let's hope it stays that way…

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful area. Several years ago I was out there doing some rock climbing. Of course a storm came in and we ended up spending a cold wet night in bivy sacks. There was snow on some of the peaks on the way out.