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Old 01-12-2010, 10:18 PM   #91
PistonPants
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Dat's how come we don't live in the mid-west...

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Old 01-12-2010, 10:42 PM   #92
uhoh7 OP
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That nite I makes plans to get a closer look at the fire. Warm Springs road is closed, but I think I can get on the ridge from the north. Next afternoon I load up the Gas Gas and drive out to the trailhead. It's an hour + up and in on ST but I make it to my viewpoint:























At this point my heart rate is up and the sun is going down. I'm face to face with a full on crown fire burning right up rooks creek, a favorite expert trail.

The monster looks like it could jump right over and eat me.

I retreat.....
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:58 PM   #93
Max Buffet
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Brother, I only have a summer's-worth of wildfire fighting experience, but you are WAY too close. Glad you got away OK.
Those beasts can turn and become killers that can outrun anyone on a single-track.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:37 AM   #94
machalooney
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Star date, August 18th, 2007. As uhoh7 observed the day before, a lightning strike began a fire starting 16 miles west of town. I am going to a wedding being held behind Warm Springs ridge on the east side of the fire which is the direction the fire burned. At the same time of the wedding, uhoh7 was on the other side of the fire shooting those shots and taking those video clips, the ceremony began around 5 pm. As the hundred or so of us sat in a beautiful open pasture looking at the alter, the ridge line behind the alter immediately became center of attention.

A mushroom cloud erupts and the hair on my neck begins to stand; I'm sure I wasn't the only person feeling the same sensation (I think uhoh7 was looking at it from a better vantage point as you can see). My guestimate judges that the fire was probably four miles away as a crow flies from the wedding, but the show goes on... A great party ensues all the meanwhile a smoky, translucent haze puts on a show as the sun sets and everyone begins to wonder where this fire is going.

The next morning, I get a phone call that the pasture the wedding ceremony took place and the home are now a wildland firefighter camp, all neighborhoods west and north of town are evacuated. Dear God, what's next?

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:49 AM   #95
trxcr
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The good thing about the innerweb, people can find great places to ride.
The bad thing, people can find great places to ride.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:26 PM   #96
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By now we had a name: the Castle Rock Fire. You can see the landmark for which it was named higher in the thread. The second day a troop of 24 local firefighters had driven out warm springs in time to wacth rooks creek go up. Overnite several air assets were assigned to the fire and perhaps 150 professional firefighters were on their way.

here is an overhead which shows the area burning on the previous post. My vantage point was the bald peak on the far left near the top of the map



From rooks creek heavy winds blew embers to eves gulch and the fire expanded again:



The entire warm springs ridge was now closed, so I went three miles south and climbed:



Note ski lift upper station and runs on the second ridge on left.







higher









air attack:



Ketchum, Idaho











Castle Rock Fire is now at about 15,000 acres, looming directly over Ketchum.

Phones begin to ring at the United States Department of the Interior.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:07 PM   #97
idahojoe
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Wicked

(quote) :Believe it or not, it's possible to ride from Ketchum all the way to Idaho City almost entirely on single track (takes 3 hours on the highway), though I don't think it's ever been done.



Oh yes it has!
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:35 AM   #98
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By day four, the Castle Rock Fire has been declared the "number one" wildfire in the nation, and a type 1 interagency incident management team, led by Jeanne Pincha-Tulley has been deployed to Ketchum. Hot shot crews from all over the west arrive. About 500 firefighters in total are now on the case. Numerous air assets many types are in the air.

The fire is moving north of Ketchum and ML and I load up and go into recon mode.



We head north



trailhead





In position





















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Old 01-14-2010, 07:31 PM   #99
scottmac
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I'll have you know that you ruined a good portion of my
afternoon at work today.

That is some beautiful country and being able to ride
it is a special thing.

I need to spend some vacation time up there someday
soon.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:40 AM   #100
skamikazee
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No more fire's!
Where's the good stuff?
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:21 AM   #101
uhoh7 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skamikazee
No more fire's!
Where's the good stuff?
hehe, those were my sentiments exactly at the time.

unfortuneatly, the fire had other ideas.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:48 PM   #102
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By the 21/22 Aug the northern front of the Castle Rock Fire, shown in the last series had been mostly checked by hot shot teams and air assets before it could jump the highway and roar in to the Boulder Mtns. Meanwhile backburning began from Ketchum to prevent spread straight east with the winds right into town.



All of this was on the north side of the warm springs drainage, mouth of which is pictured above.

A fire closure made any recon on local trails impossible, however the western edge of the closure ran right on a 9500ft ridge with single track access---after a long approach to the trail head by road.

I loaded up the trials bike again and left town around noon---black line shows road approach about half unpaved, blue line shows general route of single track to the edge of the closure. I had no idea what I would see, infact as I drove the fire was racing up Warfield and Red Warrior creeks to the south as shown in red:



I reached the ridge early in the evening a stared straight at the new focus of the fire:



On the left the northern front still had some life:



the bald peak above (Bear Peak) is where I had taken my closest shots days earlier.



Below, looking straight down Warm Springs creek I could see the fire moving in the direction of Bald Mtn, the Ski Area. You see the faint outline near the top.



But the real action was at Mars Ridge, where we often ride:



"A wildfire front is the portion sustaining continuous flaming combustion, where unburned material meets active flames, or the smoldering transition between unburned and burned material. As the front approaches, the fire heats both the surrounding air and woody material through convection and thermal radiation. First, wood is dried as water is vaporized at a temperature of 100 C (212 F). Next, the pyrolysis of wood at 230 C (450 F) releases flammable gases. Finally, wood can smolder at 380 C (720 F) or, when heated sufficiently, ignite at 590 C (1,100 F). Even before the flames of a wildfire arrive at a particular location, heat transfer from the wildfire front can precede the flames, warming the air to 800 C (1,470 F) and drying and pre-heating flammable materials. High-temperature and long-duration surface wildfires may encourage flashover or torching: the drying of tree canopies and their subsequent ignition from below."

In a fire like this the temps at head height reach 1200C in the most active areas.













About 6 miles on the other side of this volcano is my house.







ML took these shots from a spot twenty miles due south on the same evening:







The Castle Rock Fire has now consumed 37,000 acres, the southern front is completely out of control and the weather outlook is hot, dry, with afternoon gusts to 45mph. By midnight there will be 1600 firefighters in Ketchum.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:20 PM   #103
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I'm moving to Idaho

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I'm moving to Idaho
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:23 AM   #104
machalooney
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If you have ever been to Ketchum, you know there is only one highway in and out. Imagine watching every truck and trailer loaded with mattresses, and other homely items heading south. A lot of people's neighborhoods were evacuated and others dashed out of town purely to evade the cloud of smoke that began to settle in the valley every evening. By morning, you could cut the smoke with a knife and spending time outside early morning was like putting your face on the smoky side of a smoky campfire and having to breathe.

Being able to drive every afternoon after work to my home in the camas prairie, gave me a reprieve from the smoke inhalation and a new vantage point of the fire as uhoh showed above in his last few pictures.

Curiosity, we could not help but want to go look at the dragon.






Ok, Mother Nature will do whatever the hell she damn well pleases! Some of our precious trails up in smoke. huh. What's next? A valley of homes only a mile away.

We roll back home to find out what the next 24 hours will bring.



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Old 01-17-2010, 02:14 AM   #105
uhoh7 OP
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Once I got home after the western recon, I was able to get detailed updates from the fire team now broadcast nearly real time on youtube.

The southern front had jumped the divide on the south, now Greenhorn Gulch, in addition to the upper warm springs area were evacuated. The leaders were worried the fire would cross the highway just south of my house and possibly come right over the ridge above our sub division. Bulldozers were cutting a fire line 250 yards from my house.

Next day at noon I proceeded a few miles south and climbed the hills to the east for a view of greenhorn.

The fire situation:



The greenhorn drainage is on the lower right. Below I'm looking directly west from the highway







I pull out the GG and climb, these guys looked as confused as I felt:



Greenhorn looked ugly:



















In this vid you can see a helicopter and hear the 40mph winds



Next a longer shot



As I drove home I noticed fire trucks at every intersection. I pulled into our street and right away a neighbor flagged me down: "We're evacuated! Get your shit and get out!"

I walked in the house and looked around, thinking what I should take. Areas already evacuated earlier could not return to their homes even in the morning when the fires were quiet. So far not a single home had burned.

"Oh fuck it!" I pulled down the shades and locked the doors. When the sheriff banged on the door I kept quiet. The dog barked. Finally after 3 or four minutes he left. Later in the evening I put the sprinklers up on the roof and turned them on. Thank god the power stayed on. As night fell the ash came down like snow.
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