BZ in hiatus

Ladies and gentlemen, I have no more time for posting.  The fire has changed directions and it is anticipated that it may run down the slope north of me, propelled by northerly winds.

I’ve managed to pack out most of my valuables but there just isn’t sufficient time, energy, trucks, personnel or storage space to save my furniture or other larger items.  I’ve done the best I can.

The wind now is out of the north, blowing southerly towards me and others around me.  It isn’t yet very strong.  Tonight it is anticipated to grow stronger and spread out.  I’m watching some open flames across the canyon and over the Bear River.  All it will take will be some blown embers to activate the area around me.  The head of the fire is still moving north, away from me, but the wind is not helping.  The temperatures are rising and humidity is dropping.  If we can survive today, Wednesday and Thursday, we may make it.  CalFire is saying that if we can get to August 1st, things should be well.

That is five days away.

I’ll be back when I’m back.



This is with whom Obama negotiates

Khamenei Tweet About ObamaYes, the persons who continue to advocate “death to America” and, now, send Twitter messages about Obama committing suicide.

Is this not absolute insanity unbridled?  Why do we negotiate with the mentally unbalanced, those persons who have not and will not hold to treaties and agreements?

With this issue and that of Planned Parenthood, I become more convinced that I am inhabiting some sort of alternate reality from my worst nightmares.

Then I wake up and read the news for another day.



Blogging intermittent due to issues with forest fires in my area; see my prior posts for Saturday and Sunday.

Late Sunday Lowell fire update

Lowell Fire C-130 DropC-130 drops retardant; the air quality is horrendous and the plume still moves west and northwest.


July 26, 2015 at 5:34 PM Three air ambulances on the way to transport firefighters from the fire to medical care. The firefighters are in a safe zone, but are waiting for thei way out to be cooled. Per CAL FIRE:_PIO: 4 firefighters sustained burn injuries on the #LowellFire. They have been airlifted & paramedics are assessing their condition.

July 26, 2015 at 4:49 PM Increased activity again on the Lowell Fire, but additional air support is on the incident.

July 26, 2015 at 4:04 PM Additional hand crews are being inserted from Red Dog and You Bet. That’s good news, it means fire behavior is not as erratic as yesterday.

The plume that dominated the fire yesterday is much more subdued now, another indicator of moderated fire activity.

July 26, 2015 at 3:01 PM VLAT 911 is over the fire, assisting the 8 other tankers, the 5 helicopters and the close to 1,000 firefighters on the ground.

July 26, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Via Nevada County OES: CALFIRE reports no significant fire spread at this time. Crews continue to attack from the air. No big runs, and the line is holding.

Photo montage from the Lowell fire:

Monday will be a telling day, information indicates.  I have still not heard a cause for the fire, though I suspect it’s man-made via campers or locals with fireworks, open flames, etc.



Update on Lowell Fire

Lowell Fire, Gold RunFor reference, please see my last post.


Lowell, Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit, Cal Fire. IMT 1 (Zombro). Two miles west of Gold Run, CA. Timber. Extreme fire behavior. Evacuations, road, area and trail closures in effect.

July 26, 2015 at 9:42 AM

CAL FIRE: Investigators are no longer looking for the vehicle of interest in connection with the Lowell Fire in Nevada Co. Thanks for all the tips!

July 26, 2015 at 9:20 AM

Air Attack just placed the resource order for today. Those are resources available to the incident. Helicopters will placed on the head on the fire, together with the DC 10. There is a strong potential to keep the fire confined in its current footprint due to calmer winds, higher humidities and sufficient resources. Air Attack recommends attacking the head of the fire hard and attempt to keep it from spreading further north.

4 S2 Tankers (the same type as the tankers positioned at Grass Valley Air Base)
1 VLAT Very Large Air Tanker
1 HelCo (Helicopter coordination)
2 Type 1 tankers
3 Type 2 helicopters
3 Type 1 helicopters

July 26, 2015 at 8:54 AM

CAL FIRE Update: Fire Behavior calmed down a little throughout the night, but there is still a major concern at the head of the fire. The fire is burning rapidly in a northerly direction in the Steep Hollow Creek Drainage. Access to the fire is very challenging, but hundreds of firefighters are actively battling the fire in the air and on the ground.

KC-10 FIRE TANKER 1The best news?  They’re bringing in the KC-10, a huge converted commercial jet aircraft with a massive retardant capacity. now indicates the fire is smaller than originally estimated, as an aircraft was able to accurately scan the fire’s size via infrared mapping.  The fire now appears to be heading west, which is generally away from my town.  If it decides to turn, however, and go northeast up the canyon, I could be directly in the path.

More information as available.



Saturday’s fright, Sunday’s plight

Lowell Fire 1As some of my readers may know, I have a cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains about 91 miles from where I once worked.  I was in Sacramento in the early afternoon when my cell phone received a fire alert from a local newspaper.  You can see the incident I am referring to above, and via this story.

My wife and I drove both our vehicles up to my cabin and frenetically began loading in anticipation of an evacuation, which was already in progress about four miles away.

This is what we faced when we got up here: in five minutes, determine what your most valued treasures are.  How could you decide in that time frame?

At this point it is 8:30 PM and light is fading rapidly.  Both our vehicles are packed with what we triaged.  Our neighbor, who watched the entire incident from the overlook of a friend’s house, said he saw plane after plane after plane pour retardant with great efficacy, knocking down what he typified as “at least 100-foot flames.”  He has since told me CalFire has knocked the blaze down, though there are some areas burning towards a more populated town called Grass Valley.

But I haven’t stopped loading the cars and I won’t now.  I’m actively monitoring the news and the CalFire site.  I’ve finally gotten my most valued treasures loaded.  I’m not taking any chances.  They are now going down the hill.

More information to follow.  The night always tends to recede a fire, and the morning tends to make things grow again.  The wind appears to be on our side, for the time being.  More information at for those in the area.

Officials now think the fire may be man-made.  There have been no thunderstorms in the area and I believe it was due to human activity, a campfire, carelessness:

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said officials are looking for information on a vehicle seen leaving the area near where the fire began. It was described as a 4×4 white Jeep Wrangler with a black roll bar and without a top or front doors. The vehicle was seen near Gold Run and Dutch Flat about 2:30 p.m. Anyone with information can call the Placer or Nevada county sheriff’s departments.

Talk about water-tight.

A few prayers sent our way wouldn’t hurt.


Lowell Fire, Nevada County Lowell Fire, Base Lowell Fire, Gold Run Lowell Fire, Ridge