Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Another Day, Another Fire

According to the San Bernardino Sun:
YUCAIPA -- A 3- to 4-acre fire visible from Interstate 10 is burning tonight in the Spoor Canyon area but is not threatening homes, U.S. Forest Service officials said.

It is not known what sparked the blaze. Crews were called to area of Ivy Avenue and Jefferson Street at 10:18 p.m. The fire's glow has been visible from neighboring cities and the freeway.
It's actually very pretty looking at the moment, with a streak of orange snaking it's way up the mountainside. Unfortunately, it was basically uncapturable with my camera (you can see my best attempt above).

Google Map of area.

Update 11/22 AM: The fire area isn't quite so lovely in the daylight. There is a giant scar on the mountainside where vegetation used to be.
fire @ Spoor Canyon (click for larger image)
The Sun is now reporting that the fire is at least 100 acres and "has a potential to grow to 1,500 to 2,000 acres". Fortunately it's dead calm outside - there are no Santa Ana winds to spread this fire.

It's pretty cool to watch the firefighting effort, at least from a distance. There are several helicopters that appear to be dumping water on the fire, then circling down to the lake to scoop up more water.
Helicopter going to scoop up more water
There is also a large plane that slowly circles around and dumps bright orange fire-retardant along the edges of the burned area.
plane dropping fire retardantfire retardant dropped from planeHopefully it will be completely contained soon.

Update 11/22 PM:
This is now called the Jefferson Fire, it is listed as having a "human cause", and, as of 1:45 PM was only 15% contained.

I went out at lunch time to watch the helicopters a bit. It looks like they are actually taking water out of Yucaipa Reservoir, not the lake (duh, I guess). Here are a couple more firefighting helicopter photos:
helicopter dropping water on firehelicopter with water bucket

Update 11/22 PM later:
The News-Mirror is now reporting that the fire may have been started by a hiker:

Fire officials say that the fire was apparently started by a hiker who had been trying to connect with four other hikers Wednesday night in an area above Bryant Street and Ivy Avenue. U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller said that the hiker set a signal fire when he couldn't locate them after two hours. The hiker, whose named has not be released, is cooperating with authorities. It is not clear whether he will face criminal charges.
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