Monday, June 23, 2008

Fire Update

I just talked to my mother, and her house on Navarro Ridge is still there. The eastern half of the property has burned, and the fire breaks bulldozed yesterday are doing their job. Back burns on the grasslands and woodland understory have been effective, and there are tenders watching the ongoing smolders on that defense line. The CDF crews are now further out on the lands beyond, where the Navarro Fire still rages. The neighbors' house nearby is intact as well. They have been able to retrieve more from the house to take to storage on the coast.

The danger is not passed. Cinders float through the air, and wind conditions can change at any time. It may be days before the all clear is given. I can only imagine how altered the property is, a place of my life story for half a century, and my mother's for thirty years more than that. We knew the fire day would come eventually, and are so grateful to all the people out there fighting more than 130 fires in Mendocino county, started by an extraordinary lightning storm on Friday.

KZYX radio is the best source of local, updated information. As I type this, they announce that voluntary evacuation is recommended for Rancho Navarro, which is threatened by the same fire as my mother's place.

Some useful links have been posted on the Yahoo Groups Mendocino-BB:

http://geomac.usgs.gov/ (Click "wildfire mapping", zoom in on your
area, select "MODIS
satellite" from the bar on the right, and click refresh)

Satellite:
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/eka/satellite/ (Click "Northern California 1
KM visible")
When the clouds clear the smoke will be easier to see.

EDIT: A link I found at NASA Earth Observatory, click on the MODIS Rapid Response Team link to the twice daily satellite images for Northern California.

7 comments:

Palm Axis said...

Are most fires up north started by random dry lightening storms? Fires are such a torment. I wish that your mother's home continue to remain out of harms way.

USelaine said...

We rarely have "dry" lightning storms, and apparently this was an odd time of year for it too. Our lightning usually comes with rain around October in a narrower band of turbulence. The troubling thing is how wide a swath of strikes came with this one - it hasn't been known to happen like this before. Thank you for your good thoughts.

Kym said...

Elaine, I'm still hoping your mother's place is well. I've been thinking about you even though I've been gone all day. Give your Mom a hug from all of us.

Dina said...

Fire is a fearsome thing.
This is my first time to follow a CA fire from a personal viewpoint, with all the details they never tell you on the news. Thank you for including us. You stay in our prayers.

Knoxville Girl said...

Glad to hear that your mom and her home are both ok so far. Major changes to an important place in one's life are stressful, to say the least. Hang in there, kiddo.

Hilda said...

Oh, Elaine, I'm so sorry to hear about this. I'm glad your mother is safe, and I really hope the fires miss her home. I've been praying for everyone in CA since I heard about the fires. And those affected by so many other disasters. The situation in some provinces here after the typhoon is still pretty bad. And typhoon season's only just begun—we've about 20 more to go based on our yearly average. Keep safe.

Petrea said...

All day today I've been thinking, "Got to check in at Willits and see how Elaine is." Mother's property "altered." Home still there. Some bad, some good. I can only imagine. We get the fires around here, but over 700 at once is unbelievable. Please update us when you can.