Monday, August 31, 2009
GOOOOOOOOD MOORRNNNNNNNNNING IDYLLWILD & all you commuters waiting to retest Highway 74 and rubber neck the burn areas.
The sunrise was more beautiful this morning. The sky is clear, no clouds and no smoke and plenty of traffic.
The Cottonwood Fire is 95 percent contained with little activity last night. Its size remains at 2,409 acres.
To reinforce the view that this fire still a potential danger, the Forest Service is already thinking about all the other SoCal fires, especially the Station Fire where tragedy occurred yesterday and the one in Oak Glen
But just as you thought it was safe to drive the local roads, Cal Trans has begun its work on St. Route 243 (see photo above) south of Idyllwild. From lower Saunders Meadow Road past the turnout toward the entrance to town Drive safely.
As the local deputy ranger told the Integrated Management Team this morning, “The locals like to drive 50 miles per hour and hug your bumper. They drive fast and low.” So be careful and cautious. Fire vehicles will still be on Hwy 74.
Most of today’s work will be mop up and clearing along those highway and control roads. Incident Commander Mike Wakoski described the team’s work. The Task was to put the fire out, the purpose was to protect lives and property and the End Stake was fire suppression and it is occurring.
Team members were told the last camp meal will be Tuesday’s breakfast, but worse, the last shower will be 11 p.m. tonight! No aircraft and a few helicopters, which will mostly shuttle crews to the canyons for some ground work. Patrol the area will be an important task today.
Tomorrow, Fred Espinoza will assume t he Incident Commander post for the final stages of the Cottonwood Fire.
Thanks to all firefighters and Sheriff’s and Highway Patrol and Cal Trans and OES staff who fought stop and suppressed this Fire. Many have said the Cottonwood Fire could have been worse. Idyllwild was fortunate again.
The cost of suppressing and stopping the Cottonwood Fire has reached $1.5 million already.