This is just a photo of the helicopter that I rode in the other day.
A tiny little bat snoozing above the door to where our offices are.
Another photo of me briefing. This is our plans meeting – the smallest group I brief.
Pretty uneventful day today. High afternoon RH’s…and the fire is pretty much done for – at least as far as we’re concerned.
Tomorrow’s discussion…then a couple of photos:
…GUSTY NORTH WINDS ACROSS THE AREA TODAY…
After just a small chance of a shower this morning, it will be a little warmer and drier today across the area as an area of upper level low pressure pulls off to the south into northern California. Strong gusty north to northeast winds will be possible through the day today as high pressure at the surface tries to push into the northwest. A little warmer and drier on Thursday?with relative humidity expected to make it back down into the lower 20s again in some parts of the area.
The warmest day of the week will come on Friday, with some spots hitting the 80 degree mark. Some cooling on Saturday and Sunday as today?s upper level low begins to pass to our southeast. However, this cooling will be offset by the introduction of very dry air in the lower portions of the atmosphere. The result will be relative humilities in the teens across the area Saturday and Sunday.
Against my mom’s direct orders – I flew the fire today. My first time in a helicopter. I got an opportunity to take a look at the fire with my own eyes. Helps allot in the forecasting for the fire – and it’s just plain cool.
Here’s a short video…and some photos are below.
I’ve learned a couple of things in the past couple of days:
1. When you have a layover in Ontario, your flight originated in El Paso, and the leg to Ontario was only about 2 hours long – you’re not in Canada. There were French books at the airport for god’s sake!
2. No one here knows how to spell Manilla…er, Manila. It’s “Manilla” on the national situation report, it’s “Manila” on our products here on the fire. Google Earth will take you to a town called “Manila Creek” with a road called “Manilla Creek Road” running through it. Now, when I’m asked how to spell “Manil[l]a”, I just say, “yes”. As, apparently you can pick any way you’d like. Today: “Mannilla”.
I won’t stop learning there!
Things are going well here at camp. I’m set up in a community center building in Nespelem, WA. Internet is provided – so I didn’t have to screw around with our personal internet satellite thing – which is nice.
The fire didn’t move a whole lot today with light winds…things are set to change though. My short-term forecast discussion for tomorrow’s forecast:
An approaching cold front and an associated upper level trough will bring strong gusty winds to the fire this afternoon. Although still quite dry; this afternoon?s winds will accompany slightly higher relative humidity than was seen yesterday afternoon thanks to increasing clouds and cooler afternoon high temperatures. The cold front will slide across the area tonight, bringing a slight chance of rain showers overnight tonight and into Monday ? although a wetting rain is very unlikely. Even cooler temperatures on Monday will help keep minimum afternoon RH?s above 20 percent across the area.
My briefings are going great. I jumped in well after getting here so late last night.
The meeting schedule is pretty hectic here. I present the weather at all of the ones with the “*”:
0600* – Morning Briefing
0830* – Aviation Briefing
0900 – NW Fire Coordination Call
1115 – Region 1 GACC Call
1200* – Plans Meeting/Lunch
1700* – Plans validation meeting
1800* – Night Shift Briefing
2000* – Team Meeting
I leave tomorrow morning at 805am, for a fire called “Manilla Creek”. It’s in NE Washington state, about a 2.25 hour drive from Spokane, WA (where I’ll be flying into). Right now, the complex is 3,200 acres – pretty small – and is only 10% contained. I’ll be stationed near the town of Coulee Dam, WA, near the Grand Coulee Dam.
As always…there’s info in the National Interagency Coordination Center Incident Management Situation Report
Previous or Next Landmark/Cascade Complex Entry
This should be my last blog on this fire. I just wanted to post some aerial photos of camp. Tomorrow morning is my last briefing. I then start the DEMOB process…and should be outta camp by 10am.
Pretty much speaks for itself.
That’s me (obviously), Gale (the FBAN), and my replacement – Jack, going to eat.
Also…here’s my departing forecast discussion…
Warmer and drier today as upper level ridging begins to build back over the area. Warming and drying trend continues into Wednesday…with the highest temperatures seen in the area since the 16th of August, and relative humidity in the single digits in some valley locations. Mid-to-upper level moisture will begin to push into the area from the south on Wednesday… with the potential of producing very isolated afternoon and evening dry thunderstorms…
…(outlook for Thursday through Saturday) Continued warm and dry with mainly southwest flow through Saturday as the area sits under upper level ridging. Strong, gusty afternoon southwest winds will make a return for Friday and Saturday. Mid-to-upper level moisture will keep the threat for isolated…mainly dry…afternoon and evening thunderstorms Thursday and Friday.
I’m still laughing. Check out this photo of me doing my weather briefing this morning…
I was telling them about how temperature and humidity would be similar today, to what was seen yesterday…and lighter wind. Guess got a little too excited. I think I get a little uglier, every fire I’m out on.
I took a trip out to the fire line with the FBAN, Gale. With 3 fire dispatches under my belt, and not a flame seen…she was determined to show me something. We didn’t see anything too terribly crazy fire-wise. …but we saw some good stuff. Stuff I’d never seen before. I’m easily entertained right now. Two weeks of camping will do that to ya’.
I’ve never made it to blog #10 before on a fire. Hmph. …and I haven’t really had allot to say.
Well, today – now that we’ve had 4 days between us and about a half of an inch of widespread rain, fire activity is starting to pick up again. Visible satellite from ~545 pm Mountain Time:
Instability has been low, so the smoke columns haven’t been very impressive as of late – but you can still see allot of smoke pumping out of our fires.
Tomorrow – pending what I think of the weather in the morning, I should be able to head out with the Fire Behavior Analyst to check out the fire activity on the line. I’ve said it before, but I think tomorrow could be the day I get a few cool photos. Again, it will depend on the weather. If it looks like I need to hang out here and watch observations, I will.
We had a windy and dry day out there today – just barely Red Flag (3 or more hours of wind gusts >24mph along with relative humidity <16%). Tomorrow should be…wait, here’s tomorrow’s forecast discussion (sneak preview – edited for display here):
Strong westerly flow aloft beneath an upper level trough will translate to the surface again today, meaning another day of strong winds for the complex. These winds will accompany slightly higher minimum relative humidity thanks to moisture behind a cold front that will push across the area around mid-day. Although only slightly higher – the relative humidity should remain above warning criteria. Our upper level trough begins to push eastward for Monday, decreasing winds across the area as warmer and drier conditions begin to set in.
While our fires here in ID have been relatively tame as of the last few days, Greece has not been so lucky…
Greece declared a nationwide state of emergency on Saturday, as Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis pointed to arson as the cause of an unprecedented wave of wildfires that have ravaged the country, particularly the southern region of Peloponnese.
Fire authorities put the death toll at 47, but a senior Health Ministry official said a total of 49 bodies had been recovered.
Satellite imagery from the area…