Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bluecut Fire, San Bernardino National Forest

August 18, 2016 at 2:30 PM EDT

With better mapping the Bluecut Fire the area burned was downgraded to 25,626 acres, down from 30,000 acres last night. However the latest information from Inciweb's Bluecut Fire page (accessed at 2:30 PM EDT) shows that the fire has grown to 31,689 acres and is at at four percent containment. See this report from ABC7 in LA. Mandatory evacuations remain in place. There is still no count on the number of damaged and destroyed houses.  A few roads have re-opened, including I-15 northbound. I-15 southbound and other local roads in the fire area remain closed.

August 17, 2016 at 7:25 PM EDT

I spent a little time this afternoon watching some live stream coverage of the Bluecut Fire from ABC7 out of Los Angeles. I saw at least two Air Cranes dipping at a Lake and then dropping nearby defending Lytle Creek. In the time that I was watching a couple of tankers dropped on the fire, one of which was BAe-146 T-01 from Neptune Aviation. I understand that the community of Wrighwood is threatened (see this article from ABC7). Mandatory evacuation orders (including Wrightwood and Lytle Creek) along with road closures remain in place. There is still no containment and the fire has burned 30,000+ acres though that could change tonight.

Red Flag warnings remain in place over the Bluecut Fire through this evening local time.

For other media coverage:

August 17, 2016 at 12:25 PM EDT

Yesterday afternoon I got an e-mail alert about what is now known as the Bluecut Fire that started the morning of August 16th in San Bernardino National Forest east of Los Angeles, California. I was watching some live streaming footage of the fire from ABC7 out of Los Angeles. At the time I was watching this footage, about 5 PM EDT on August 16th, the fire had  burned about 1,800 acres up from 300 acres earlier that day. I am no expert on wildfire behavior, but I did have a creepy feeling about this fire. As I watched the footage, I saw at least one structure that was in flames, likely destroyed. And it seemed close to other structures as well. As the camera on the news helo zoomed out, I could see a line of retardant on the hillside. I saw some nice footage of two drops from a DC-10 tankers, one of which was tanker 910.

This morning, I woke up to reports from two other national media outlets, NPR (fire size reported at 18,000 acres earlier this morning) and a weather report from MSNBC (sorry I can't find a link for you, you'll have to trust me). I did find this report (with a video) on the Bluecut Fire from the Weather Channel with a map and a discussion of the drought and the winds. I was listening to a news radio station this morning (again no link) with a brief report on the fire. Point being that this fire is in the news.

As I write this at shortly after noon EDT on August 17th, the Bluecut fire has burned 30,000 acres and is not contained. Residences have been destroyed, evacuations (see below are in place), and there are numerous road closures in the area including but not limited to a portion of I-15.  Evacuation centers for humans and animals have been set up. I'd like to quote from Inciweb's latest incident overview on the Bluecut Fire (in large bold print near the top of the page, what you see may be different depending on when you access the Inciweb page:
There is imminent threat to public safety, rail traffic and structures in the Cajon Pass, Lytle Creek, Wrightwood, Oak Hills, and surrounding areas. Please follow the evacuation instructions, as this is a very quickly growing wildfire. An estimated 34,500 homes and 82,640 people are being affected by the evacuation warnings. (obtained on August 17, 2016 at 12:10 EDT from
I know from Inciweb's latest incident overview on the Bluecut Fire that the following air resources are available to work the fire: two Very Large Airtankers , 8 Airtankers, and eight helicopters.

Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today has been providing his usual excellent coverage that I found here (with updates), including coverage of firefighters who were entrapped for a short time with two minor injuries. Bill also has some maps and other links with information about the Bluecut Fire.

There are a few media outlets in the Los Angeles area, I have been checking ABC7, and here is a report on the Bluecut Fire (last updated on August 17th at noon EDT) with a video or two and a photo gallery.

No comments: