Forestry Friday … Fire From The Sky!

In this year of drought, our forests are a tinder box waiting for a spark. That spark came from the sky on the last day of July. It reached 108 F in the valley. A major lightning storm rolled across the North State and left numerous forest fires in its wake.

wildfire, Forest fire

Looking east toward Burney. On the right is smoke from the Day Fire and on the right is the Bald Mountain Fire.

Bald Mountain Fire

Bald Mountain.

A huge thundercloud forms about The Bald Mountain Fire.

A huge thundercloud forms above the Bald Mountain Fire. Burney Mountain on the right, has a fire lookout on its peak.

The cloud above the fire continued to grow all day.

The cloud above the fire continued to grow all day as the fire exploded in size. These clouds create erratic winds that cause the fire to spot.

The air tankers bombed the fire throughout the daylight hours.

The air tankers bombed the fires throughout the daylight hours. This S2 is on its way to the Coffee Fire.

To the west another group of fires was burning.

More fires were burning to the west. This column was from the Coffee Creek Fire.

Eiler Fire

A new fire called the Eiler Fire took off on the second day. It’s was close to the Bald Mountain Fire. The two fires were threatening the town of Burney. From the valley in Anderson, we could see at least six major smoke columns in all directions.

The beginning of the week brought us a rare and very wet cold front. The rain helped the firefighter get a handle on many of the fires.

The beginning of the week brought us a rare and very wet cold front. The rain helped the firefighters get a handle on many of the fires. The same storm created flash floods and mud slides in Southern California.

Wildfire Sunsets are a silver lining.

Wildfire sunsets are a silver lining.

Most of the east side fires are under control now, but several fires in the Klamath Mountains are still burning. We still have a long way to go to reach the end of fire season.

21 thoughts on “Forestry Friday … Fire From The Sky!

    • Great question Linda! The coastal redwood grow in the fog belt. This part of California is far less likely to have wildfires. However, it can happen. Also, the redwood bark on the old trees can be over a foot thick, which make the trees very fire resistant.

      The Giant Sequoias in the Sierra Mountains are evolved to a fire ecology and have very thick bark also. They are at great risk as other smaller trees have grown up around them. This creates a vertical fuel ladder that can carry the fire into their huge crowns. To counter this problem, many of these smaller tree have been logged to create a safe zone around them.


    • Thank Elena,we could use some more. The storm that came through early in the week was very unusual. It was two days of drizzle. We almost never get storms like that in the Summer here. Usually, it comes with thunder storms, then we have more lightning. It is a double edged sword.


  1. I am dreaming of rain as well…. so scary these big fires. I realize up there the fires come with the storms whilst down here, we have a bit of drizzling fog of late. In fact, the weather has not been “normal” all summer. I am afraid these changes may be long-lasting. 😦


    • We get a long term forecast so we can prepare for fire weather. Early this summer, our prediction was for heavier than normal thunderstorm activity in July and August produced from an “El Nino” current. He was right. We are expecting another lightning bust on Sunday and Monday. Hopefully, it comes with rain.


  2. the sunset is truly spectacular, but wow, what an expense for that benefit.

    i am so sorry that so much of your state has been suffering for so long.  i hope that the weather patterns change soon and you receive some benevolent rainfall.




  3. Good luck with your fires, I just read that we Australians are sending over a contingent of fire fighters to help out. We really know how it feels to see the fires in the mountains around you, especially here in Victoria. The bush fire sunsets are beautiful, but very scary. Hope they are contained soon. Karen


  4. Spectacular, but scary. It sounds as though you are as prepared as you possibly can be, but nature is bigger than all of us! Some trees having bark a foot thick is amazing … many of our trees thrive on fire, and need it to open the seed cases, while of course others are wiped out. I do hope the fires can be controlled soon.


    • I agree, nature is bigger than us and we do get reminded of that now and then. We have a number of fire species with serotinous cones here too. Lodgepole pine and knobcone pine are two that seed in like grass after a fire.


    • Thanks Leslie. What you say is so true. It’s the price of living in a place that fire is part of the ecosystem. Although, we can do things to reduce the effects of the fires if we could just get past the politics.


  5. Such scary photos. I’m glad it is not something we have to contend with here in the Midwest. We have actually gotten a bunch of rain this week for a change. It was a fairly dry end of July/beginning of August.


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