Eldorado National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
100 Forni RD Placerville California 95667
Placerville, CA 95667
CURRENT SITUATION & WHY ARE YOU STILL SEEING SMOKE AND FLAMES?
If you drove along the Highway 50 corridor today it’s likely you saw more smoke than you have in the past few days. The precipitation we received provided us with a 24-hour break and now that break is over. However there continues to be no threat to the line over the entire fire. So what’s going on? How can this be happening? This is not unusual. For starters, the effectiveness of the precipitation is based more on its duration than on the amount received. And the fire only received light moisture, off and on, for 6 hours. This is not what we would call a “season-ending” event. Additionally, as you drive by burned areas, you are likely to see many burned trees standing like “cigars” in the ground. Eventually these “cigars,” some of which are still burning inside, fall to the ground and they produce even more smoke and possibly flames. Fortunately, there are few ground fuels to carry the flames and cause a threat. But it can definitely be surprising and even a bit unsettling to see the increased smoke so long after the initial fire burned through the area. Another reason for the increased smoke is due to the drying weather and increased winds from the SW. Trees that were burned during the initial stages of the fire are finally losing their needles due to the wind. When enough “needle cast” collects on the ground, a fuel bed of fine flammable fuels is created. A good way to think of these fine fuels and how they result in fire is to imagine how you would start a campfire. You would ignite the fine fuel first, as you blew on them (providing oxygen similar to the SW winds), these fine flammable fuels would grow. In this case a “forest” of needles is occasionally collecting on hot spots and igniting. However, rest assured that the chances of these burning needles creating any sort of risk to the fire line is negligible. BLACK ICE remains an issue for driving. Most everyone has a personal experience with being caught off guard by icy conditions. And at this stage of the fire, there is no reason to be in such a hurry that you lose your SA (Situational Awareness). Review some basic procedures to follow if you find yourself on black ice. Generally you want to do as little as possible and allow your vehicle to drive over the ice. Do NOT hit the brakes, do NOT jerk the steering wheel and try NOT to panic. Reduce speed by letting off the gas. Slower speeds make icy roads less of a safety issue. The Caldor Fire is 98% contained. There are 1071 personnel on the fire and all sections of the fire report daily successful efforts in suppression, repair and rehabilitation. However, it remains extremely dry throughout the fire footprint and it will be quite a while before the large number of interior hot spots are eliminated. What is a “READ” on a wildland fire? These are specially trained REsource ADvisors who work with fire managers to assist in minimizing the impacts of fire on natural resources. And then post-fire, they assist with the rehabilitation and repair. An excellent short video showing the work of one restoration project on the Caldor Fire can be seen here: Caldor Fire Restoration Project.
USDA FOREST SERVICE – ALL CLOSURES REMAIN IN PLACE
· ELDORADO NATIONAL FOREST: o All roads, trails and facilities within the fire closure area remain closed. For more info: Forest Order 03-21-18and Eldorado NF Closure Information o ALL firesare prohibited on the forest, including gas and propane. For more info: Forest Order 03-21-16. Overnight camping is temporarily prohibited in the forest. For more info: Forest Order 03-21-17. · LAKE TAHOE BASIN MANAGEMENT UNIT (LTBMU): o Caldor Fire Emergency Closure (19-20-06) for portions of the LTBMU remains in effect through December 31, 2021. For more info: LTBMU Fire Closure Order 19-20-06 o Backcountry closure (Forest Order 19-21-07) for the following areas: Desolation Wilderness, Meiss Backcountry, Barker Pass Road and McKinney/Rubicon Trail remains in effect until October 20, 2021.
For more info: LTBMU Backcountry Closure Order 19-21-07