Evacuation Orders Issued in Rim Fire Path



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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, August 23, 2013

 

Latest U.S Forest Service Incident Update

Thursday coverage: Rim Fire Grows Past 63,000 Acres, Containment Elusive

Update: 11:20 p.m. - Fire Continues to Grow, Containment Now at 5 Percent

The Rim Fire continues to grow, standing at 125,620 acres, with 5 percent containment as of Friday night. More than 2,600 personnel are now working the incident.

The blaze has spread west of Paper Cabin Ridge, prompting evacuation advisories for Tuolumnce City and areas along the Highway 108 corridor. 

Approximately 4,500 structures are threatened by the fire, which continues its eastward spread and is well into the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park. Fire officials have ordered additional resources to fight the fire in the most-threatened areas. 

Preparations for additional Base Camps and Spike Camps are in progress to mitigate travel time of suppression resources and to limit exposure for the safety of firefighting resources.

The fire continues to increase in size and actively through the day and night. It continues to exhibit very large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels and inaccessible terrain. Aerial resources are being effective with MAFFS and VLAT DC-10 air tankers prepping locations in advance of the fires spread towards the Highway 108 corridor.

The availability of fixed wing air craft is pertinent to the success of suppression operations. The use of Maffs C-130s and the V-LAT DC-10 has greatly improved suppression efforts. Use of Military Rotary wing aircraft continues today.

Due to inaccessible, steep terrain and active fire behavior a combination of direct and indirect attack will be used on this incident. Direct line suppression efforts are impeded by difficult access and steep inaccessible terrain. Active fire behavior today raises safety concerns for crews adjacent to the fire’s edge. Smoke exposure within the deep drainage of the Clavey River will be an issue for fire crews as well.


Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Saturday August 17th, 2013 approx. 03:15 PM
Location Groveland Range District, Stanislaus NF
Incident Commander Wilkins/lawshe

Current Situation

Total Personnel 2,672
Size 125,620 acres
Percent Contained 5%
Fuels Involved

Brush, Oaks, and Pine

Fire Behavior

Fire behavior was very active today with very rapid rates of spread, running surface fire, torching, passive crowning and long range spotting occurring in most all areas of the fire.

Significant Events

Fire has spread west of Paper Cabin Ridge and prompted evacuation advisories to be issued to Tuolumne City and nearby areas along the Highway 108 corridor. Structure defense continues to be an issue with the Rim incident. Access is still a concern for crews and equipment.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Continued fixed wing air support.

Growth Potential

Extreme

Terrain Difficulty

Extreme

Remarks

The Rim Fire continues to exhibit very large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels and inaccessible terrain. Rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior are drastically hampering suppression efforts. Aerial resources are being effective with MAFFS and DC-10 VLAT air tankers prepping locations in advance of the fires spread towards the Highway 108 corridor.

The very high potential for long range spotting however remains a significant concern for fire to advance beyond the retardant lines and allow for fire spread into the communities of Tuolumne City, Twain Harte and Long Barn. The Southern Area IMT1 Blue Team (Wilkins) assumed command o the fire at 6:00 A.M., August 23rd. The Rim Fire continues unified command with CAL FIRE.

Approximately 4,500 structures are threatened on the Rim Fire. Fire continues its eastward spread and is well into the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park. Orders for resources in support of contingency groups for Tuolumne City, Twain Harte and Long Barn will continue.

Preparations for additional Base Camps and Spike Camps are in progress to mitigate travel time of suppression resources and to limit exposure for the safety of firefighting resources.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 20 mph SW
Temperature 87 degrees
Humidity 15%

11:30 p.m. - Governor Issues Emergency Proclamation for San Francisco due to Rim Fire

Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation Friday night for the city and county San Francisco due to threats to the utilities systems from the Rim Fire, burning in Tuolumne County. Some electric transmission lines affected by the wildfire have been shut down, and the water system faces possible disruption.
The full text of the proclamation:
WHEREAS on August 22, 2013, I declared a State of Emergency to exist in the County of Tuolumne, due to the wildfires therein; and

WHEREAS the wildfires that started in Tuolumne County have caused damage to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco, and now threaten damage to property, equipment, and resources of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department; and

WHEREAS the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been forced to shut down transmission lines with the result that the City and County is affected by the wildfires in the County of Tuolumne and is likely to be further affected should the fire cause additional damage to the City and County of San Francisco’s water and electrical assets in Tuolumne County, including the possible temporary interruption of electricity and/or water delivery;

WHEREAS on August 22, 2013, due to the imminent threat to critical infrastructure assets, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission declared an emergency, and the City and County of San Francisco declared a local emergency and requested that I proclaim a state of emergency; and 

WHEREAS the circumstances of this emergency, by reason of their magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single county, city and county, or city and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist within the state that affects the City and County of San Francisco.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the State Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the California Government Code, HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist within the City and County of San Francisco.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
All agencies of the state government utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for the performance of any and all activities consistent with the direction of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the State Emergency Plan.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 23rd day of August, 2013.

Update: 4:13 p.m. - Evacuation Order for Cities of Tuolomne and Ponderosa Hills

The Tuolomne County Sheriff’s department has issued an evacuation order this afternoon for the City of Tuolumne and Ponderosa Hills on the west side of the Rim Fire.

The fire has doubled in size since yesterday and has now moved east into Yosemite National Park.  More than 4,500 homes were threatened as of this morning. 

CalFire says the fire is growing in all directions, though the most damage has been done on the northern and eastern flanks. 

“The last couple of days, right around the mid-afternoon hour is when we’re really seeing the most activity,” says CalFire’s Daniel Berlant. “An inversion layer sits over the fire in the morning starts to lift. The fire really gets enough heat that it generated and it just takes off.”

Berlant says hand crews are on all sides of the fire, but the vegetation is too dense to move in any heavy machinery.  A DC-10, C-130 and national guard helicopters are all assisting in the firefighting effort. 

Highway 120 is closed.  The Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora has been set up as an evacuation center. 

Video from Camp Tuolumne Trails: A place for me Facebook Page (Shot Aug. 20, 2013)

 Fire officials say the availability of fixed-wing air craft is pertinent to the success of suppression operations. The use of Maffs C-130s and the V-LAT DC-10 has greatly improved suppression efforts. Use of Military Rotary wing aircraft continues today.

In the next 24 hours the fire is expected to continue up the Tuolumne River canyon, and continue its spread to the north and east.

Due to inaccessible, steep terrain and active fire behavior a combination of direct and indirect attack will be used on this incident. Direct line suppression efforts are impeded by difficult access and steep inaccessible terrain.

Active fire behavior today raises safety concerns for crews adjacent to the fire’s edge. Smoke exposure within the deep drainage of the Clavey River will be an issue for fire crews as well.

Due to inaccessible, steep terrain and active fire behavior a combination of direct and indirect attack will be used on this incident. Direct line suppression efforts are impeded by difficult access and steep inaccessible terrain.

Active fire behavior today raises safety concerns for crews adjacent to the fire’s edge. Smoke exposure within the deep drainage of the Clavey River will be an issue for fire crews as well.

Air Advisory for Tahoe Basin and Reno Areas

Smoke from the Rim fire will continue to pour into the Tahoe Basin and Reno areas impacting air quality there. Smoke concentrations in the Reno area will approach unhealthy for sensitive groups. Modeling indicates that tonight’s diurnal winds will follow Thursday night’s pattern with smoke from the American fire settling into the Colfax,

Auburn and Foresthill area with the latter area seeing greater concentrations approaching unhealthy air quality levels between early to mid-morning. Smoke from the Rim fire will pool into the Reno area tonight and early tomorrow morning with smoke concentrations approaching unhealthy air quality levels.


Update: 8:55 a.m. - Smoke From Rim Fire Clouding Skies in Reno

Smoke from the fire is fouling the air 150 miles away in the Reno area. The Washoe County Health District says the air quality index has risen into the unhealthy range for sensitive groups. The alert is expected to remain in effect through the weekend.
Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency as the wildfire outside Yosemite National Park has more than tripled in size.

“The governor’s state of emergency helps clear the way for any federal assistance the state may need. Now we have been battling over a dozen fires here in the last week so it’s been a very, very busy couple of days for us." - Daniel Berlant, CAL FIRE


Update: 8:25 a.m. - Rim Fire Continues to Grow at 'Explosive Rate'

Sheriff’s Deputies are urging residents of nearly 300 homes in a gated community to begin a non-mandatory evacuation, as the Rim Fire has neary tripled in size. The 105,000-acre fire is just 2 percent contained as of Friday morning.

0823 Rim Fire Perimeter Comparison

The red perimeters show the growth of the Rim Fire from Tuesday to Thursday.

“The Rim Fire continues to grow at an explosive rate,” says Daniel Berlant of CAL FIRE. He adds that dry conditions are assisting the fast-moving fire.

Berlant says the Rim Fire is threatenting some 4,500 homes. 

“Several strike teams are from the Sacramento County, Placer County, El Dorado County region. All of them have been assigned to these fires for several weeks now. With the amount of activity and the amount of homes that are threatened we’ve called in a lot of local government strike teams to assist us in structure defense and in battling these fires.” - Daniel Berlant, CAL FIRE

 

The Tuolumne County Sheriffs Office has issued an evacuation order for residents north of Ferretti Road to Elderberry Road. An Evacuation Order is issued when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property.

Statewide, nearly 8,000 firefighters are on the frontlines, as about a dozen major wildfires continue to burn in California.

CAL FIRE crews Thursday contained the Swedes Fire that burned in Butte County. The American Fire in Placer County is now 66 percent contained. That fire has burned more than 20,000 acres near Foresthill.

RAW: California's Mutual Aid Fire Chief Interviewed About Wildfires from CalOES on Vimeo.

 

 

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