bagley fire,    mccloud river,    News

Firefighters on Bagley/McCloud Wildfire Making A Stand At The McCloud River

Posted by Tom Chandler 9/3/2012

I just spoke to someone who just came off the Bagley/McCloud fire (he goes back tomorrow and he's not an official spokesperson, so let's classify this as informed gossip).

The fire has burned to the McCloud River pretty much all the way down to Gelman Road, and crews are in place to protect the Nature Conservancy cabins (on the west -- unburned - side of the river).

He suggested more than 2000 people are working what he called a "very active" fire, the only saving grace being the lack of any real winds in that canyon.

"If it got windy, it'd jump the river and just burn and burn" he said. They're even bulldozing secondary firebreaks on the west side of the McCloud.

In other words, the Bagley fire is still burning, all the roads are closed, and let's hope for low winds.

The official incident page essentially says they're making a stand at the McCloud, but are planning for the worst:

Continue to patrol and secure direct and indirect fireline. Prep contingency lines and improve existing lines. Crews will also remove snags along the McCloud River along the west flank. Indirect line construction will continue southwest from Bald Mountain to the McCloud River Club. Additional burnout operations will be conducted if conditions are favorable and may include firing operations on the west flank near Claiborne Creek and the McCloud River Club. Continue patrolling and holding the contingency line along the south flank near Wheeler Ranch.

See you in Nomex, Tom Chandler.

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

13 comments
Steve: Off topic a little, what’s up with our resident road kill expert…two post by Singlebarbed in two days….he must have missed us Monty At first I thought you meant Wally the Wonderdog (in fairness to me, Wally looks and smells better than Singlebarbed). In truth, I don't know what Singlebarbed's doing. He got away clean, but it looks like he's a recidivist...
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Off topic a little, what's up with our resident road kill expert...two post by Singlebarbed in two days....he must have missed us Monty
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Here is a up-to-date look at the fire and what is involved (number of acre, number of personnel, etc). http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3188/ This is a great site for tracking fires across the West.
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A lot seems to depend on the following winter and spring; the McCloud drainage is steep and there is a lot of fuel built up, so you have to assume more sedimentation the next two winters, but then, that's just temporary too.
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Did someone say "pie?" Nowadays they often use spray-on gel or wrap-on materials to protect structures (the insurance companies were doing this around Sun Valley a couple years ago; as the fire burned closer to the L&T's dad's house, a truck pulled up and sprayed goo all over the thing).
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The Conservancy folks say 60 firefighters are on station at the TNC cabins, with that number set to double if things get nasty. They've already laid out the pumps and hoses to protect the thing.
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Sully: “Twenty Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires: Lessons About Disturbance and Ecosystems” http://www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/files/norock/products/Romme%20et%20al%202011Ecosystems.pdf Well this seems like good news: "Minshall and others (1989) predicted that the fires would have minimal impacts on fish com- munities (Prediction 14), and this prediction was supported (Table 1). Dead fish were observed ... more in a few 2nd and 3rd order streams, but fish mortality was rare overall. Subsequent evaluations of the fisheries of six larger rivers in the park uncovered no detectable changes in the composition or structure of the fish assemblages, despite changes in the composition of the macroinvertebrate community in some rivers (Jones and others 1993)."
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"Twenty Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires: Lessons About Disturbance and Ecosystems" http://www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/files/norock/products/Romme%20et%20al%202011Ecosystems.pdf
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Wow .... hope eiverybody stays safe!!!!
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What does this mean to the fishery down the road? Can we expect catastrophe? Wild fires are natural, but have human beings prevented them in this area so as to create a deadwood bomb that will do severe and permanent damage? I have only been visiting the McCloud for 10-15 years - has something like this happened before? Let's hope this last stand keeps the wildlife, people and property safe!
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It's been more than a decade since we packed two trailers and pick-ups with my folks stuff and watched a monster wild fire crest the next ridge above their cabin. Live cinders the size of BBQ briquets were falling from the sky...Mom had baked a couple pies for the structure protection crew and we told them where the keys were if they needed to use the head or get water. The forest crews stopped the ... more fire,the structure crews kept the spot fires at bay and all came out OK....Hearing this anytime just gives me the shiversbut the firedoggys will always have my thanks for what they did and still do.
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Wow, that sucks... Hoping they can save the cabins and all firefighters come home safe...
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Big mojo from NC to everyone fighting the fires and the locals (even the insane ones who think the anadromous fish are aliens).
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