Thursday, August 27, 2009
ATTN Readers, especially FaceBook users:
NO EVACUATION ORDERS HAVE BEEN ISSUED. Please remain calm and at home, be prepared, but night time weather and wind will be in our favor.
A fire has broken out about 1 mile east of the Forest Service's Cranston Guard Station. At 9:15 p.m., the fire has burned about 600 acres and spreading northeast moderately and slower than at 6 p.m.
Although the fire is 5% contained, U.S. Forest Service public information officer for the fire, John Miller said, "We do not see a threat to Idyllwild."
Highway 74 is closed from Borco Street in Valle Vista to Mountain Center.
The Forest Service has ordered three strikes teams, air tankers, two dozers and six crews.
The Martin Mars airtanker (top photo), from Lake Elsinore, has been dispatched to help drop water. From the Forest Service operating manual, the Martin Mars operates on the philosophy of “gallons per hour”. Simply stated, this means a direct attack on the fire by dropping the largest possible amount of water or gel in the shortest possible time. It is capable of delivering up to 7,200 gallons of water, foam or gel depending on the fuel load.
Dave Fiorella, San Jacinto Ranger District fire chief, is the incident commander.
As of 7:20 p.m., the Mountain Disaster Preparedness volunteers CERT / Radio Comm are in an active standby status. They have set up a communications center at the fire station with Dorian Paul, MDP’s Communication Director, Communication Liaison. For details of MDP advice, see JP's blog.
Second photo by J.P. Crumrine taken from Idyllwild. Bottom photo by Rachel Welch taken from Hemet.
More pictures can be seen on JP's Blog, thanks to Doris Lombard.