Monday, June 30, 2008

Postcards from the Edge of the Navarro Fire

Smoke Rage

I can't imagine the bandana does him any good against the smoke, but maybe he wears it for bug protection in any case. All sorts of information and misinformation has been going around concerning air filtering. The Air Quality District points out that a filter quality of N-95 is required, with a fully sealing mask that forces all the air through the filter, in order to remove the microscopic particles that do the damage. Bandanas, medical masks, and common dust masks are useless for this purpose.

In the last few afternoons, water helicopters have flown back and forth taking loads of water from Lake Mendocino to drop on fires to the north. Bear in mind that these are big aircraft, and what look like beach balls at a distance actually carry very useful volumes of water.

A Little Lake Fire Protection District engine backs in to the main station, prepared to go the minute it's needed again.

I really feel for all the animals in this situation, because they can't escape the smoke either and don't have air-filtered shelter. These are a couple of llamas in Little Lake Valley on Thursday.

The main "Smoke Rage" post is over on my Willits Daily Photo blog.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Please, I Want to Quit Smoking!

Above, a view of Red Hill back in late April. Below, Red Hill from almost the same angle on Monday, June 23, 2008.

Then nearly the same view on Friday, June 28, 2008.

Where There's Smoke

The white ground is not snow, but ash. It was mostly cool after three days, but I was still careful about where I stepped.

High above the ashen ground, the living green overstory of redwood crowns remains healthy in the sunlight.

A couple of hundred feet away, an unfinished duff fire continues to burn at an apparently safe pace, removing fuel from possible engagement by the wildfire now acres away.

But as the day moves into the less humid afternoon hours, the duff fire gains strength.

Soon, it's clearly no longer a controlled level of understory burn, and I need to report it.

Rick Hautala secures a bulldozer, and races to the hot spot. (Sorry for the black mask edges - my lens cover only partially retracted for some shots, probably from dust grains interfering).

CalFire trucks respond to Rick's radio call even as he is behind the green forest "curtain" smothering the flames and clearing a path for crews. The white plume of smoke high above shows the trouble spot.

Firefighters stand ready as Rick continues his dozer attack.

The Marin County crew arrives, gears up, and prepares the pump truck.

The first length of hose is extended and un-kinked.

Assessing the hazard, these crewmen will now bring in the hose and axes.

The more extended write-up of this event is on my Willits Daily Photo blog, linked here.

More photos of the firefighting effort in Mendocino county can be found on the Official County Website, linked here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


This is the fallen redwood branch that inspired the Willits Daily Photo blog post "Widowmakers". It shattered apart when it hit the pavement and doesn't fit very well into the yard waste bin back by the shed. But my house is not directly under the tree, so don't worry.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Power of Art

The last two photos are from the upstairs gallery, where work was being done to prepare for an evening event. I encourage you to take a much more detailed look at all the works of Bern Rauch on his website linked here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008