Author Topic: Gibralter Ridge Fire - NW Montana  (Read 321 times)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Gibralter Ridge Fire - NW Montana
« on: August 08, 2017, 09:52:59 PM »
Took a plate of chicken out to fire up the BBQ this evening, and found it covered in a fine film of wood ash.
Oh, crap.  The lightning fire just 4 miles east of us that started last night has blown up to a hair under 2,000 acres by now.  Limited fire fighting resources, spread thin, and they still haven't got the T2 Team up there, or any air suppressants dropped.

Numerous evacuation underway.  Red Cross is on scene, and they have opened up the fair grounds stables, boxes and paddocks for evacuated livestock.

Wheee!



(Nerd Alert:  The cloud is called pyrocumulus, or 'fire cloud'.  The heat from the fire is so intense, even at 20% humidity, it can condense moisture into a cumulus cloud, capable of producing lightning.)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 05:27:56 PM by Old Philosopher »
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 10:00:11 PM »
Before dawn this morning. Not my photos...



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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 10:06:41 PM »
This is what it means when a fire "crowns". Jumps from treetop to treetop and starts a whole new area burning. That's how firefighters get trapped.



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Offline wolfy

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 10:16:47 PM »
MAN, that doesn't sound good.   What's between your place and the fire?  4 miles of water, I hope! :-\
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 10:25:02 PM »
MAN, that doesn't sound good.   What's between your place and the fire?  4 miles of water, I hope! :-\

Ha! One lake that could boil dry in a heart beat. We have about a half mile of dry hay fields between us and the trees, it that'll do any good.  :P
I've just been sitting here on the deck watching all my prime deer hunting woods vaporize.
There's a large(er) fire just across the border in Canada, and the wind is blowing their smoke down our valley.  We've seen the sun for about 30 minutes, all day.
The rim of the valley is less than a mile away, and we haven't been able to see the mountains at all.
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Offline woodsorrel

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 10:36:40 PM »
Unfortunately, a friend recently lost his house in California's Detwiler Fire.  It's a sad situation and many of us stepped forward to help him recover.  In this case, the fire is believed to have been started by "the discharge of firearms, on public lands."  Someone wasn't careful.

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 10:54:40 PM »
Unfortunately, a friend recently lost his house in California's Detwiler Fire.  It's a sad situation and many of us stepped forward to help him recover.  In this case, the fire is believed to have been started by "the discharge of firearms, on public lands."  Someone wasn't careful.

- Woodsorrel
Sorry to hear about your friend's misfortune.  Humm....a gun caused a wildfire.  Oh, yeah...California. 
IMO, the only way a firearm could start a fire would be from the muzzle blast fired into tinder. Wait! That's been tried. The blast blew the tinder all over the place and they still didn't get their campfire lighted.   :rolleyes:  Maybe it was the side blast from a revolver...if the shooter was laying down in dry grass?
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 05:44:26 AM »
We had several years of drought in Texas a few years ago.  There was a beautiful State Park (Bastrop) over near San Antonio that was home to a stand of pine trees that were totally segregated from similar pines here in East Texas.  A wild fire burned over 90% of the trees meaning it will be decades before the park returns to its former beauty.  Stay safe, folks.
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Online wsdstan

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2017, 08:18:57 AM »
No campfires on my place this summer.  It is as dry as a popcorn fart around here.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 10:08:10 PM »
The fire has grown to 1,280 acres now. With the arrival of the Type 2 Incident Team, the number of personnel has gone from 60 volunteers to 219, including water and fire suppressant aircraft.  The arrival of the aircraft was greeted like Gandalf riding down the mountain to save the day.  O:-)  I counted 12 sorties flown over the fire in the space of 4 hours.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2017, 10:25:25 PM »
From an ecological standpoint, the upside of fires like this is that Ponderosa, White and Lodgepole pine trees need the heat of a fire to reproduce. A lot of our pine forests here have been taken over by Western Tamarack (Larch) and Douglas Fir which have no such requirement.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 03:21:25 PM »
The fire is up to 1,500 acres. Suppression sorties continue. The water is being scooped from the nearby reservoir.  I'd share a photo of the plane dipping water on the fly, but it's copyrighted.

More thunderstorms aren't helping matters (photo credit given):

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Summer fun in the Northern Rockies
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 05:26:27 PM »
I found an open source photo of one of the "scooper" planes on the reservoir.  They don't have to land to fill their tanks.

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Online wsdstan

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Re: Gibralter Ridge Fire - NW Montana
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 07:09:51 PM »
Some fish is going to a fry.
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: Gibralter Ridge Fire - NW Montana
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2017, 07:52:22 PM »
Think of it as an all expense paid trip to this years hottest vacation spot....
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Gibralter Ridge Fire - NW Montana
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2017, 07:57:19 PM »
Grabbed this off a friend's Face Book page.  Getting things a bit more in perspective.

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Offline upnorth

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Re: Gibralter Ridge Fire - NW Montana
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 03:48:02 PM »
We had friends evacuated in British Columbia this summer. Looks like a huge swash of western North America is a tinder box.