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The Calm before the Storm


Every day the district manager of the Sulphur Structure District hikes to a strategic vantage point to gain perspective on fire activity, or lack of fire activity. I flunked my first quiz trying to reiterate what it's called when the fire decides to make it's move during the day...but it varies depending on several layers of components which all lead to a prediction of fire activity. As Valdean would say..."sounds French to me"!

Late afternoon yesterday, the pond was completely calm. With it's new hairdo, it is looking pretty spiffy.


Smoke rolled in yesterday in the mid morning hours and just hung around for a few hours like an unwelcome guest. The Boundary Fire has grown to more than 850 acres and activity was moderate yesterday.

The rain came down fairly hard for about 37 minutes beginning at 5:51 am this morning. We got a couple more pockets of rain this morning making it wet in the open areas. Total accumulation is a whopping 0.11 inch of rain from the forecasted "heavy rain warning" storm today. A far cry from what I would characterize as a "warning level" .

Unfortunately with the dry, drought like conditions, any moisture is going to immediately penetrate the ground not leaving enough moisture at surface level where we need it. In fact, it is still dry under the canopy of the pine forest. That's where the problem will begin again... the cold, wet, weather moves out, all of the various organics used to fuel fire activity dry out and then the forest becomes vulnerable.

No precipitation in the foreseeable future.


I signed up for another tutorial this morning from our lead district manager Kyle. We discussed what the term "risk management" means in the real world (real world meaning everything else besides here...).

The Boundary Fire combined with the second hand smoke from the other state's fires has made our visiting public a bit queasy about visiting Idaho, much less Sulphur Creek Ranch.


Since we are now open, I wanted to address the risk involved from the USFS perspective.


Paraphrasing what Kyle said...when the USFS Fire shifted from direct approach of putting the Boundary Creek Fire out and shifted to an approach called "point protection strategy" they committed their resources to be here through the duration of this fire or until a seasonal event puts out the fire.

Based on our location in relative proximity to where the fire activity is, the prevailing winds being mostly from the west, our vast amount of defendable space around the buildings and the fact that we have wildland fire and structure personal stationed here until the fire is out, we are at low to no risk for evacuation no matter where a flare up might occur.

I think those are pretty good odds!

A distant thunder roll in the background reminds me that the day is not done and we may have more rain, thunder and/or lightning...

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