Friday, October 26, 2007

Wildland Fires In San Bernardino Turn A Corner - Day 5

Forest Service “WAR BOARD” at the beginning of the day Oct. 25, 2007. Image Credit: JerryB -- Socalmountains Forums

Damage Assessed - Last Updated 10-30-2007

Per San Bernardino County: 352 Properties Destroyed, 59 Damaged;

The County of San Bernardino has released information on properties damaged or destroyed by the Slide and Grass Valley Fire.

The County Assessor's Office has released damage reports.
Lake Arrowhead
Green Valley Lake
Running Springs, Enchanted Forest, Smiley Park, Crab Flats


Wildland Fires In San Bernardino Turn A Corner - Day 5


Grass Valley And Slide Fire Daily Posting Links:

(updates for 10-22-2007)

(updates for 10-23-2007)

(updates for 10-24-2007)

(updates for 10-25-2007)

(updates for 10-26-2007)

(updates for 10-27-2007)

(updates for 10-28-2007)


Firefighters battling as many as 20 major fires in Southern California gained ground in extinguishing blazes that caused the largest evacuation of residents in the state's history and as much as $2.5 billion in damage.

As far as the continuing fires burning in the San Bernardino National Forest, the Grass Valley Fire around the Northwest side of Lake Arrowhead has burned 1,100 acres and is 70% contained … the Slide Fire located between Snow Valley Ski Area to the West and the Running Springs communities to the East burned 11,675 acres and is 15% contained.

The winds are expected to remain calm today but are to increase blowing back to the East threatening the homes to the South of Running Springs, Arrowbear and the forest near Snow Valley Ski Area.

The fires throughout Southern California, all were having a better go of it and great gains have been made. Qualcomm Stadium is expected to be restored to a sports facility from an evacuation location by the end of the day today. It is still unknown if the San Diego Chargers will be able to have their home game be played there on Sunday, but that is the goal.

Martin Mars Super Scooper - Ready to set down in Big Bear Lake and gather up over 7,000 gallons of water, on-the-fly. All boating was banned on the lake yesterday while fire fighting activities heated up. Image Credit: Christopher -- Socalmountains Forums

This item excerpted from Bloomberg news service -

California Firefighters Gain Ground as Winds Ease
By Peter J. Brennan – Bloomberg – Oct. 26, 3;06am PT

Firefighters in Southern California gained ground in extinguishing blazes that caused the largest evacuation of residents in the state's history and as much as $2.5 billion in damage.

Santa Ana winds, which bring hot air from the desert, subsided yesterday, making it easier for firefighters to try to contain the five most destructive blazes, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. More than 12,000 firefighters were battling 13 remaining blazes.

“Due to a good weather day, we were able to make progress on containment of the fires,'' said Zachary Young, a spokesman for the governor's office of emergency response.

U.S. Border Patrol agents found four bodies burned in a canyon east of San Diego, Cable News Network said. If confirmed as fire-related deaths, it will bring the death toll from the blazes to seven. About 55 people have been injured, Young said.

The National Weather Service is forecasting lighter winds over the next two days and stronger winds blowing inland from the Pacific Ocean picking up Oct. 28, which may push fires in the opposite direction, it said.
President George W. Bush yesterday flew to California to survey the damage, saying the federal government wouldn't forget about the area in the coming weeks. He declared a “major disaster'' in the region, meaning the federal government will be providing assistance for firefighting and rebuilding.
Bush was criticized for the slow federal response in 2005 to Hurricane Katrina, which flooded New Orleans. Bush and Schwarzenegger praised each other for their reactions to the fires. “It makes a big difference when you got somebody in the state house willing to take the lead,'' Bush said.

Blazes have scorched at least 719 square miles (1,869 square kilometers) since Oct. 21.

Officials revised the number of homes destroyed to 1,342 from 1,400 the previous day and the number of businesses destroyed to 34 from 104, according to state statistics. About 20,900 structures were in danger, down from 45,000 yesterday.

Five people in San Diego, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties have been arrested on suspicion of arson, the Associated Press reported. The detainees haven't been linked to any of the major blazes.
The rescue efforts haven't been without criticism. U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a Republican, complained that the authorities were slow to deploy military aircraft. Officials said that was because of the winds, not bureaucracy. Still, some returning residents complained that they were needlessly evacuated or were given little assistance. Others expressed praise.

Dave Farcas, 74, dismissed complaints as he returned to his condominium in Del Mar yesterday. “I thought they were remarkable,'' he said of public officials.
Reference Here>>

"Dance Of The Fireflys" - Helicopters snaching water from Lake Arrowhead and heading back to the fight. Image Credit: RAY via Scanner/Chat Forum

Excerpted from Scanner/Chat Forum –

Friday 26 October 2007 - 05:53:44
scanner - structure going up on allview

Friday 26 October 2007 - 05:54:55
scanner - looks like the structure we saved last night

Friday 26 October 2007 - 06:34:11
So far in Big Bear it is clear, the moon is bright and a smell of smoke.

Friday 26 October 2007 - 06:40:29
Just an overview. Same as what is in the top screen. But they will be stopping everything for a moment of silence at noon to honor the fallen firefighters from the Esperanza fire.

Friday 26 October 2007 - 06:46:08
Compared to what I was in DTH and what was in Redlands, it is fairly clear here this morning. But yes, still smoky.

[DTH-Down The Hill]

Friday 26 October 2007 - 06:46:34
The moon view from DTH is red. Up here it is white.

Friday 26 October 2007 - 06:58:50
On scanner, search and rescue going on behind Sugarloaf.

Friday 26 October 2007 - 07:09:24
xxxx - It actually looks pretty good. Smells like smoke some - but NOTHING like it did on Wednesday afternoon & evening.

-- SoCalMountains.Com SERVER DOWN --

Friday 26 October 2007 - 10:12:25
last report the fire was still above artic circle it has not moved down into the drainage or towards glory circle, back wth updates shortly

Friday 26 October 2007 - 10:13:55
per scannner ok aa is over the slide fire and also over the boy scout camp in lake arrowhead there are a few new smokes poping up and they are geting them out

Friday 26 October 2007 - 10:17:16
per rotw* ground to air they are talking about where to send the guys to work into town , this was lake arrowhead at the boy scout camp --
tankers were worried eariler about the smoke as it was one mintue you could see 4 miles out then a minute later it was 3 miles out visiablity and they said if they were not able to get thru the smoke they would have to abort and hold at san bernadino air base, but the sky has cleard so the tankers are up and running over here at the slide fire too

Friday 26 October 2007 - 10:20:40
They have 6 tankers and 1 super scooper assigned to our fires up here today. So far so good.

Friday 26 October 2007 - 10:22:03
there was dicussion of getting the scooper in to douse of the hot spots near the boy sout camp in L.A but tankers are doning that area just fine -- aa per rotw ( helicopter 715 ( tanker) were going to send you back to work on the grass fire - divison zulu -( aa giving directions how to get over there (( some of the pilots are not familar with this area, ) to the grass fire

Sun shining through the smoke in the San Bernardino National Forest - Image Credit: louamestoy

These updates posted at KBHR 93.3FM –

Updated Numbers on the Slide Fire and Grass Valley Fire

The Grass Valley Fire, still at 70% containment over 1,100 burned acres, has an updated burned structure count of 160 structures, per fire officials this morning. More details are expected, with regard to structure loss.

On the Slide Fire, which is at 15% containment with the structure loss tally still at 200 plus homes, the new burned acreage tally is 13,378 acres.
Fire Crews Concentrated Near Snow Valley; Big Bear Events and Closures

The updated reports on the Slide and Grass Valley Fires, as of this morning, is that they have achieved improved containment on both fires. Over 2,100 firefighters are at work on both blazes.
Firefighting crews have concentrated efforts on the 13 Turns section of Highway 18, both day and night, to ensure that the Slide Fire does not cross the highway between Snow Valley Ski Area and Green Valley Lake Road. John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service spoke to us directly from this area this morning, and reports that this is a ground fire, and most trees along the roadway do remain intact.

However, the fire did reach the roadway, from about a ¼ mile west of the top of 13 Turns and down to near the Green Vally turnoff. Still, Miller tells KBHR, “There are a ton of crews there, putting out hot spots.” That said, he reassures us, “The threat to Big Bear is minimal.”

There is one hot spot that is reportedly visible from the Highway 38 area, and this is directly north of Snow Valley along the ridgeline. The fire, Miller notes, “is in the timber and that's what's creating all the smoke. It is one concentrated area. Crews are there, and there is aircraft working it as well.”

Given today's blue skies in the Big Bear Valley, we will see columns of smoke but again, Miller says, “The threat to Big Bear is low.”

In other Big Bear news related to the fires, Big Bear Lake does remain closed to all boating activity today, to allow for safe water pulls by aircraft for fire suppression. In a conversation Scott Heule, General Manager of the Municipal Water District, last night, he did stress his gratitude to boaters for their gracious compliance.

Bear Valley Unified School District tells us that Saturday's Bears football games and the cross country meet will be rescheduled—our teams will not have to forfeit.

The football games against 29 Palms have not yet been rescheduled; the cross country meet will now be held at Yucca Valley on Wednesday, October 31. The BBHS performances at the Performing Arts Center are on for Saturday, at both 1pm and 7pm. Tickets for Thursday and Friday performances will be honored, space permitting. As of today's fire situation, BVUSD does plan to have schools open on Monday.

Other events still on for this weekend include Saturday's final day of Oktoberfest, from noon to midnight; the Soroptomists will still hold their Halls of Horror Haunted House at Snow Play Mountain on Saturday, from 5 to 10pm, and a less-scary version on Sunday, from 4 to 6pm (cost is $5); and the Discovery Center will still hold their Feast of the Harvest Moon, featuring Native American culture, on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

Also, the Bloodmobile is in town today, if you have an hour to give blood, at Stater Bros. until 4pm today.

And, once again, access to Big Bear, via Highway 38 and Highway 18 through Lucerne Valley is open to all traffic. Officer Gary Fernandez with the California Highway Patrol reiterated for us today, “There are no checkpoints. Highways 18 and 38 are checkpoint free.”

Given that the front way of Highway 18 is closed, we would like to remind you that businesses in Fawnskin and the Boulder Bay area remain open, and would appreciate the support and patronage of the Big Bear community this weekend

Tent City at the Snow Valley Incident Command Center – Image Credit: KBHR 93.3FM

This found at incident reports -

07:55 PM Source: other From: Website - 7:00 pm

Update Mandatory Evacuation for Green Valley Lake, Arrowbear, and Running Springs.

Fire has crossed Hwy 18 in Running Springs and also crossed Hwy 330.

Evacuation Centers are located at National Orange Show in San Bernardino and the Victorville Fairgrounds in Victorville.

All highways in the San Bernardino Mountains west of Big Bear Dam are closed to upbound traffic.

Access to Big Bear is via Hwy 38 from I-10 in Redlands or from Hwy 18 through the Hi-Desert in Lucerne Valley.

Fire Behavior -- Moderate intensity, active surface and backing fire, short runs, torching, combined with short range spotting.

Significant Events -- Structure protection in place for Lake Arrowhead Scout Camps established. Initated perimeter control on northeast section.

Outlook -- Planned Actions Continue structure protection, mop and patrol around structures; construct direct line in southwest section and around Running Springs. Projected Movement The fire has the potential to move to the north towards the Pacific Crest Trail and south in the Fredalba Creek area.

Growth Potential Extreme Terrain Difficulty High Containment Target Anticipate success with a perimeter control strategy as critical resources begin to arrive.

Remarks -- Mandatory Evacuations for all areas from Crestline to Snow Valley remain in effect. Voluntary evacuations for Highland from North of Highland Avenue, east of Hwy 330 and west of Weaver.

An estimated 200+ homes have been burned. A total of 10,000 homes threatened for the Grass and Slide fire areas.

Road Closures -- All highways west of Big Bear Dam: 138, 18 and 330. Hwy 18 to 40th St., 330 bottom (Highland) to top.

Resources on Scene -- 213 Engines, 35 water tenders, 23 hand crews and 6 dozers, 10 Helicopter, Air Tankers 4. Resources being shared between Slide and Grass Valley fires.

One additional structure lost early in the AM at Running Springs. Developing contingency plans for fire movement towards Lake Arrowhead. Damage assessment in progress.

Lastly, this from Calfire at 9:30pm PT -

Slide Fire – 13,700 acres – 20% contained

Grass Valley Fire - 1,140 acres – 75% contained


No comments: