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Reading Fire 8/18/2012 update

Feather Publishing
8/18/2012
8:00 p.m. update
The Reading Fire is now 27,814 acres and 51% contained

A public meeting was held this evening at the Old Station volunteer fire department hall.

The Reading Fire is now at 51% containment. When referring to a fire, the difference between a fire being contained or controlled can be unclear. When a fire is contained a fuel break had been completed around the fire manually by hand line, and/or mechanically by dozer line. These breaks may also include the use of natural barriers such as rocky outcroppings. When a fire has been controlled, the fireline is secure enough so that flare-ups within the fire perimeter will not break through the line. Therefore, just because a line is contained does not mean that the fire is controlled.

Tonight crews will hold, patrol and mop up from Hat Lake to the Fantastic Lava Beds following MIST tactics on all divisions in the park. On the eastern perimeter crews will complete direct line and prepare for firing operations. Crews are positioned for initial attack response in the Lassen National Volcanic Park.

From Hat Lake north to the Fantastic Lava Beds the fire continued to creep and smolder with burning in the interior and potential for spotting over the line.

Air tankers were used to drop retardant on the eastern edge of the fire yesterday. Today the Reading Fire utilized the DC10 VLAT(Very Large Air Tanker) for a couple of drops. This part of the fire contains spotty fuels, patches of timber, grass and brush. The use of retardant in this area will hasten the control of this fire and shorten the duration of firefighters exposure to smoke and physical injuries. Yesterday the airtankers dropped fugitive retardant. Fugitive retardants contain a coloring agent that is designed to fade rapidly following retardant application in order to minimize the visual impacts of the retardant. This type of retardant is effective in slowing the progress of the fire, but within several days is no longer visible on the ground. Retardant is just one of the many tools used by firefighters in containing this fire.

Crews are actively involved in backhaul operations on the northwest section of the fire. While firefighters make the final push towards containment of the Reading Fire, they must fulfill another extremely important task. Firefighters must be on the lookout for equipment in the field that is no longer needed by the crews that fought the fire. The Reading Fire is no exception. The list of equipment that must be retrieved includes; hose, pump kits; generators; chainsaw kits; collapsible water tanks; trash; and smaller items such as hose fittings and nozzles. To gather these items, firefighters will GPS the location of equipment and then crews are sent out to backhaul these items. Recovered and returned equipment must then be cleaned, repaired, and organized to be ready for the next incident.

Smoke from other fires that are burning in northern California will also be present in the area. Due to smoke and firefighting equipment, driving in the area of the fire will be challenging today and over the weekend. Please be cautious when driving, watch for other vehicles, and drive slowly when visibility is low. Snag removal will continue today on the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway.

What can you do to help in the firefighting efforts, prepare your home, stay aware of the situation, and help your friends and neighbors where you can.

Due to smoke and firefighting equipment, driving in the area of the fire will be challenging today and over the weekend. Please be cautious when driving, watch for other vehicles, and drive slowly when visibility is low. Snag removal will continue today on the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway to prepare for the future opening of the road.

The Lassen National Forest and Lassen Volcanic National Park are working together and providing a coordinated response to the fire. Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the "Protect Yourself from Smoke" website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/. Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://airnow.gov/index.cfm action=airnow.main.

Closures - Lassen Volcanic National Park

Campgrounds:

  • Butte Lake
  • Crags
  • Lost Creek
  • Summit Lake North
  • Summit Lake South

Roads:

Visitors wanting to access Lassen National Volcanic Park from the north, can drive the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway from the north entrance to Manzanita Lake. Visitors wanting to access the park from the south entrance, the road is open to Summit Lake. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead for current information. The park's most popular trails remain open. From the Southwest entrance, visitors can access the Bumpass Hell trail, Kings Creek Falls trail, Mill Creek Falls, and Brokeoff Mountain trail among others. Warner Valley offers visitors an opportunity to hike several trails including the trails to Devils Kitchen and Boiling Springs Lake, two of the park's hydrothermal areas. The Lassen Peak trail will be open to the summit Friday August 31 through Monday September 3. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular full moon hike up the peak on August 31. The trails around Manzanita Lake, Lily Pond, Crags Lake and Manzanita Creek are open in the northwest part of the park.

A Temporary Flight Restrictions, 2/8455, is in effect over the Reading Fire. Other TFRs exist in the immediate area.

For additional information, please visit:

Location: 14 miles south of Old Station, CA.

Command: Interagency Incident Management Team 3 (Pincha-Tulley)

Start Date: July 23, 2012 Cause: Lightning

Acres: 27,849 NPS acres = 17,020 USFS acres = 10,750 Privately Owned Land 79

Percent Containment: 51%

8:00 a.m. update
The Reading Fire is now 27,777 acres and 32% contained.

A public meeting will be held tonight, August 18, at 6:00 P.M. in Old Station at the Volunteer Fire Department.

Air tankers were used to drop retardant on the eastern edge of the fire yesterday. This part of the fire contains spotty fuels, patches of timber, grass and brush. The use of retardant in this area will hasten the control of this fire and shorten the duration of firefighters exposure to smoke and physical injuries. Retardant is just one of many tools used by firefighters. Like any other tool, it must be used under the right conditions and for the right job in order to be effective.

Firefighting efforts continue to be focused on protecting structures and controlling the growth of the fire. Containment lines continue to be completed around the fire, with increased progress being made keeping the perimeter as small as possible. There has been no increase in growth on the north side or west side of the fire, and crews continue to ensure containment by mopping up and extinguishing hot spots in those areas.

Tonight's objectives will be patrol the fire, hold the line that we have, and continue mop up within the fire perimeter. Fire crews will be vigilant on continuing suppression tactics. Thunderstorms are in progress over the fire area.

Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST) is a fire fighting philosophy of "do least damage." If a fire crew was fighting a fire in your back yard, you would want them to use MIST tactics. First, they would only suppress the fire in ways that would provide for your family's safety and their own. Then they would cut down only necessary trees, use water rather than chemicals when possible, communicate clearly with each other so they did not waste time or resources, use tools that were the right size rather than too big or too small, spend only the money they needed to spend, and restore the site as much as possible. Suppression of the Reading Fire is being done using MIST tactics.

Firefighters consider many factors in deciding which tools to use at a particular location and time to suppress a fire. This option was chosen today to reduce risk to firefighters that included exposure to smoke, Characteristics of the terrain, weather variables such as temperature, humidity, wind direction and force; the types of vegetation in the fire area; proximity to homes and other buildings; and the first priority of safety of the public and firefighters are all factors in choosing the right tools for the particular circumstances.

Smoke in the area again today is a concern to people with respiratory problems. Smoke from other fires that are burning in northern California will also be present in the area. Keep windows closed and air condition on, and limit outdoor activity in areas of heavy smoke. The Lassen National Forest and Lassen Volcanic National Park are working together and providing a coordinated response to the fire. Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the "Protect Yourself from Smoke" website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/. Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://airnow.gov/index.cfm action=airnow.main.

Due to smoke and firefighting equipment, driving in the area of the fire will be challenging today and over the weekend. Please be cautious when driving, watch for other vehicles, and drive slowly when visibility is low. Snag removal will continue today on the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway to prepare for the future opening of the road.

What can you do to help in the firefighting efforts, prepare your home, stay aware of the situation, and help your friends and neighbors where you can.

A Temporary Flight Restrictions, 2/8455, is in effect over the Reading Fire. Other TFRs exist in the immediate area.

The park's most popular trails remain open. From the Southwest entrance, visitors can access the Bumpass Hell trail, Kings Creek Falls trail, Mill Creek Falls, and Brokeoff Mountain trail among others. Warner Valley offers visitors an opportunity to hike several trails including the trails to Devils Kitchen and Boiling Springs Lake, two of the park's hydrothermal areas. The Lassen Peak trail will be open to the summit Friday August 31 through Monday September 3. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular full moon hike up the peak on August 31. The trails around Manzanita Lake, Lily Pond, Crags Lake and Manzanita Creek are open in the northwest part of the park.

Closures - Lassen Volcanic National Park

Trails: including the Pacific Crest Trail

Campgrounds:

  • Butte Lake
  • Crags
  • Lost Creek
  • Summit Lake North
  • Summit Lake South

Roads:

The Lassen National Volcanic Park Highway is closed just past Manzanita Lake to Summit Lake.Park visitors can still access the Park at the north entrance to Manzanita Lake and the Loomis Museum and the south entrance in Mineral. Visitors have access to the Park Highway up as far as Summit Lake. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead for current information.

For additional information, please visit:

Location: 14 miles south of Old Station, CA.

Command: Interagency Incident Management Team 3 (Pincha-Tulley)

Start Date & Report Time: July 23, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Cause: Lightning

Acres: 27,777 NPS acres = 17,000 USFS acres = 10,698 Private Property = 79

Percent Containment: 32%

Estimated Containment: August 21, 2012

Resources:

Hand Crews: 19

Engines: 77

Helicopters: 3

Injuries: 1

Structures Damaged: 0

Estimated Cost-to-Date: $11,465,313

Total personnel assigned to the incident: 933

Interagency Incident Management Team 3 (Pincha-Tulley) took command of the incident at 6 pm on August 13, 2012. Numerous agencies from many jurisdictions are working together in cooperation to ensure public and fire fighter safety and suppress the fire as quickly as possible. Initial attack in the park is being coordinated by CIIMT3.

For additional information please call the Reading Fire Information phone line at 877-384-7026 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m

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