Updates: Fire continues to burn, comm...

Updates: Fire continues to burn, community meeting planned

There are 21 comments on the www.fresnobee.com story from Jul 28, 2008, titled Updates: Fire continues to burn, community meeting planned. In it, www.fresnobee.com reports that:

The Telegraph Fire near Mariposa was reported to be only 10% contained this morning.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.fresnobee.com.

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Menyoun M Andrade

Anaheim, CA

#2 Jul 28, 2008
I am trying to find out if Brad and Irene Aborn are okay. They have an Arabian Ranch there and Icannot reach them. They have about 50 horses and some Llamas. Any information would be greatly appreicated.

San Clemente, CA

#3 Jul 28, 2008
Anybody know the status at Colorado Rd. off Whitlock?

Roseburg, OR

#4 Jul 28, 2008
I'm also wondering about Colorado Rd. There are some great homes, people and pets there.
DK Hartman

Los Gatos, CA

#5 Jul 28, 2008
I am trying to find out if anyone knows the status of the fire on Morning Star Lane. I am trying to find out if anyone knows anything about Lisa Dapprich & Vince Kehoe, living at # 4677-Morning Star Lane. They live very close to Midpines.

Las Vegas, NV

#6 Jul 28, 2008
I have a friend on Sunrise Lane that I also can't get a hold of. Anyone know if they have been evaculated??
Mariposa resident

Catheys Valley, CA

#7 Jul 29, 2008
Concerned wrote:
Anybody know the status at Colorado Rd. off Whitlock?
The area has been evacuated. Check for more info on the cal fire site. Very good updates.
PaulShirleySolis SanJose

Martinez, CA

#8 Jul 29, 2008
My Grandaugter's In-Laws live in Coulterville, They are the Jones Family, They live on 9835 Ernest Road. Are prays are with them.Concerned about how they are doing?
Irenes sister

Minneapolis, MN

#9 Jul 29, 2008
Menyoun M Andrade wrote:
I am trying to find out if Brad and Irene Aborn are okay. They have an Arabian Ranch there and Icannot reach them. They have about 50 horses and some Llamas. Any information would be greatly appreicated.
Irene, Brad and their kids had to evacuate, but got out ok. They were able to move most, but not all of the horses.
Thomas D

Oakhurst, CA

#10 Jul 29, 2008
question -- I am trying to find out if anyone knows the status of the fire on Morning Star Lane.

Answer -- I know where they live and the fire is some distance away and generally moving away from them. So far, so good.

United States

#11 Jul 29, 2008
Greeley Hill? Dogtown Road near Wampum Hill.... wondering how it is going. Our cabin is there and haven't heard anything in the last 12 hours.

Honolulu, HI

#12 Jul 29, 2008
I am wondering if the fire has progressed past Briceburg. My parents live on Chamberlain Rd next to the KOA.
Any news?
Silver Fox

Gustine, CA

#14 Jul 29, 2008
The fire is burning towards Greeley Hill for sure now and there have been some road evacuations in that area. 20 homes have also been evacuated near Coulterville. I'm listening to the scanner right now and they keep mentioning Coulterville over and over. That's the direction of the fire - Greeley Hill and Coulterville.

The fire has long since burned past Briceburg and has moved up the Merced River Canyon. It jumped to the south of the river near the Ferguson Roadslide. It's burning like mad up towards El Portal right now.

This blog has great updates: http://robertlindsay.blogspot.com/2008/07/tel...

Sunnyvale, CA

#17 Jul 30, 2008
Concerned wrote:
Anybody know the status at Colorado Rd. off Whitlock?
As per conversation with my friend who lives off Colorado Rd., they aren't letting anyone in.

United States

#18 Jul 30, 2008
why keep posting the same thing?

I live in the flightpath they are using and can assure you a large orange supertanker flew 1000' over my house 2 nights ago. they are using what looks like DC-9's (?) and a variety of of other aircraft. The terrain is steep. Larger planes don't have the maneuverability. Quit armchair quarterbacking.
Mike Kern

Vista, CA

#19 Jul 30, 2008
We just stayed at the KOA in Midpines. I assume it was evacuated. Does anyone know if the KOA and Bug Resort are OK?

Long Beach, CA

#20 Jul 30, 2008
For any armchair quarterbacks who would like to know what is
really happening, here is a site where you can click on a button and hear the live scanner traffic from telegraph airattack. It is illuminating and educational.


Morristown, NJ

#23 Jul 30, 2008
Does anyone know if any homes were lost on Lakeside Rd?

Since: Jul 08

Chico, CA

#25 Jul 30, 2008
Mr Nemechek, this sort of spam is utterly ridiculous when local citizens are pleading for information about their homes, their livelihood, irreplaceable possessions, perhaps animals and pets left behind in a rapid evacuation. Stop promoting your own business and feeding on people's fears and concerns in some sick attempt to make money.


This "supertanker" is a pretty convincing proof that supertankers do not have the flawless safety record you herald. What else do you have wrong?

It costs on average $1.02 per gallon of retardant delivered by an S2T, which is a mainstay of California's initial-attack firefighting aircraft. These S2T are capable of accurate drops in tight, confined spaces, and are capable of making the downslope dives which are frequently necessary to fight fires in their initial burn-period. These are all things which supertankers are generally incapable of doing.

Yet, it costs the Tanker 910, a supertanker, on average $2.37 to deliver a single gallon of retardant. And it doesn't have the maneuverability to deliver it where it's really needed or the accuracy to lay down the retardant lines that really are effective. In fact, the only real merit of this tanker is to lay down long retardant lines along ridge tops during extended attack, once firefighters have given up direct attacks and are instead making stands along ridge lines some distance from the fire. Even then - smaller planes such as the S2T could do this in a more cost-effective manner, but supertankers are pretty glamorous and do make a good photo-op for politicians.

Even then, retardant lines don't stop fires. This is another myth you're perpetuating, and in reality they're often ineffective. Hand crews and engines check fires and put them out, and the role of tankers is usually just to slow a flame front or as a political ploy by one political or another. There's a great article out yesterday by the LA Times about how often these air tanker drops are just for show, and the fact that these toys are one of the major reason for the skyrocketing costs of interface firefighting.

So, Mr Nemechek. It's nice that you may finally be leaving the Butte County forums, but understand that you do the citizens of California a severe disservice, promoting your product and trying to make a pretty penny off their fears, their fright, and their limited knowledge.


Before you go on your standard vitriolic response, let me offer some real solutions to Californians looking to protect their homes, their property, and their livelihood from these yearly firestorms.

1: Create defensible space around your home - it gives firefighting crews a buffer to work with when defending your home and increase the defensibility of a structure immensely.
2: If you're remodeling or building a new home, ask questions about what you can do to make your home more resistant to wildfire. There's a lot you can do.
3: Fund more engine crews, more hand crews. These are the backbone of our fire service, and when the winds are blowing hard up a steep canyon (conditions where fire activity is most extreme and aircraft are completely ineffectual), it's these engine companies that are the real line of defense between the flame front and your home.
4: Defensible Fuel Profile Zones, such as those conducted in the northern Sierra are an exemplary idea, providing firefighters with a grid-like network of fuel reductions that reduce fire activity and make firelines more defensible so that crews are able to hold large fires at these prepared defensible zones. We need to do more fuels work to reduce risk, but these are one of the best ideas I've seen in quite a long while.

Since: Jul 08

Chico, CA

#27 Jul 30, 2008
Ed, the amazing thing about your sentiments is that quite obviously Tanker 910 was missing a large portion of its wing, having shown its lack of maneuverability and the fact that airplanes aren't well designed for playing chicken with trees. Furthermore, these ogres are incapable of the steep diving runs that S2Ts and other firefighting aircraft routinely perform on initial-attack brush fires midslope or at the bottom of a canyon. These behemoths are in fact only really useful once the fire has blown out of proportion and firefighters are forced to pick arbitrary defensive lines rather than aggressively trying to hook the fire.

Secondly, once again - the cost of retardant delivery from these supertankers is atrocious. It costs Tanker 910 on average $2.37/gallon to deliver retardant, whereas a smaller aircraft such as an S2T can deliver retardant for a price of $1.02 a gallon. For the same price it would cost for a supertanker to make a single pass and dump 12,000 gallons of retardant ($28,440), 23 S2Ts could deliver nearly 28,000 gallons of retardant - and more importantly they can be accurate and selective about where it is deployed. Supertankers may be able to deliver a significant amount of retardant with a single drop, but their effectiveness with each gallon of retardant is severely limited, and moreso, it is far from the most cost-effective means of delivering said retardant.

Ed, I am a seasonal firefighter who sincerely believes that by utilizing effective firefighting tools we can minimize loss from these catastrophic wildfires, and that there are practical and workable solutions that are available to Californians who wish to protect their homes and property.

Ed, I'm sorry to say this, but supertankers aren't one of them. They're a waste of money for something smaller tankers do with at least double the efficiency.

Since: Jul 08

Chico, CA

#29 Aug 9, 2008
When you say pilot error, you mean that the pilot was trying to push his plane to perform maneuvers typical of firefighting aircraft, and the aircraft itself was unsuitable for these maneuvers.

Would that be correct?

Also, with the impeccable fire crushing potential of supertankers, why is supertanker-friendly Russia scourged by wildfires on a yearly basis...

This catastrophic thousands of starts lightning storm in California overwhelmed anything and everything that could've been done. It would be cost-prohibitive to be in constant preparation for these worst-case scenarios... hence the reason that funding is often based on averages.

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