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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 06/25/2008 11:37 AM Updated by: thepinetree on 06/26/2008 08:14 AM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM

North Mountain Fire Update~By Jerry Snyder

Fire Update for Wednesday, June 25, 2008....Fire Status: Active; Location: Stanislaus National Forest; Acres Burned: 1,010; Percent Contained: 5%; Cause: Lightning; Date Started: June 21, 2008; Full Containment Expected: No estimate; Injuries: 0; Resources: Type 1 Hand crews, 3 Engines, 5 Type 2 Hand crews 3, Dozers 2, Helicopters 2, Air Tankers 3; Total Personnel assigned to fire: 263. Overview....

At approximately 3:48 PM on Saturday June 21, 2008, lightning started approximately ten small fires. The largest of which is now approximately 1,010 acres and is burning in steep, rugged terrain with difficult access north of the Tuolumne River.

At 5:00 PM June 23rd Southern California Interagency Command Team 2 assumed command of the North Mountain Fire. They are currently working with Stanislaus National Forest, State, County, and other local resources.

Current Situation:
Fire behavior was observed to be active last night on the East flank with little or no movement. Crews are going out this morning and continuing to construct fire line where appropriate. Field observers are gathering intelligence to assist the Operations and Planning Divisions in further developing the operational plan. A base camp will be operational today at Drew Meadow. Additional firefighting resources are starting to arrive as they are released from other fire incidents.

Slow progress is being made on the South and West flanks of the fire. Helicopters have been used to make bucket drops in the inaccessible areas of the fire but have been limited due to poor visibility from smoke.

Incident Priorities:
Firefighter and public safety is our core value.
Maximize protection of resources at risk.
Provide timely public information on current and predicted fire conditions.
Provide for productive relationships with local, County, State and Federal Officials.

No evacuations are in place. Contingency plans have been developed to evacuate organizational camps and Forest recreational residences should the need arise.

Road Closures:
No road closures are in place at this time. Motorists are requested to drive slowly and be aware of the possibility of smoke in the area. Coordination with Federal, State and local officials will take place should the need arise to effect a hard closure.

Areas Closed:
The Preston Falls Trail is closed.

Weather, Fire Behavior and Smoke Conditions:
Weather continues to be stable with continued temperatures of 80 to 85 at the highest elevations…..90’s in the lower elevations. 12-18 % humidity from low to high elevations. Winds to 10 mph. Predicted monsoonal flow from the coast on Friday and Saturday with slight possibility of thundershowers. Smoke conditions will continue as inversion holds smoke low to the ground and mixes with smoke from other California fires. Some relief possible on Friday and Saturday as low pressure moves through the area.

Securing additional resources and assets due to extreme fire activity around the state.

Steep rugged terrain and heavy fuel loading.
“Roll Out” is carrying fire.
Long travel distances for crews and equipment.
Dealing with poison oak and stinging insects
Potential extended evacuation times.
Spotty cell phone and radio coverage.

What To Expect:
The North Mountain Fire will continue to be active for at least another week as firefighters work their way through steep, difficult and dangerous terrain. Limited firefighting personnel and equipment availability due to the unprecedented California fire activity has meant that it has taken longer to achieve control objectives. Expect to see fire personnel in the area for another 7-14 days or so as they move to full containment and control. Until weather conditions change significantly, expect to have smoke in the air from the North Mountain Fire for the next week or so.

North Fire Cooperators:
Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, Hetch-Hetchy Power, Tuolumne County Emergency Operations Center

Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team
Ron Woychak, Incident Commander

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