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Big Fire

Leni

Active member
A huge fire in the Cajon Pass. Cars and trucks are trapped on the 15 freeway. More later.
 

Umberto

New member
Lots of fires here, as well, and a big one in my AO. A storage unit went up and it was reported it sounded like ammo going off in the fire.
 

deand1

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
Saw it on the news. That was scary but I don't understand why they don't clear the freeway.

Frank, This is not a case where you just clear the freeway. This is 7 - 8 miles of a long steep canyon freeway that is reduced from 4 lanes at the bottom to 2 lanes through the area due to road construction. They were STOPPED, grid locked, due to Friday rush hour, escape from the city, and traffic going to Las Vegas.

The drivers were told to leave their cars and run down the road away from the fire. Staying in the car was not an option due to direct flame exposure. They took their luggage and keys and ran away. There was not an option of turning around, exiting, or taking alternate routes. This is rural steep mountainous area with a single freeway through the mountains.

This is a canyon where winds in the afternoon line up with the canyon from the bottom and are funneled to the dry desert. The winds are concentrated due to funneling. A firefighters "Watch Out" situation. These poor citizens were without any protection except to run away from the scene. We are fortunate to not have lost them.

Have a good day.
 

EastTexFrank

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Frank, This is not a case where you just clear the freeway. This is 7 - 8 miles of a long steep canyon freeway that is reduced from 4 lanes at the bottom to 2 lanes through the area due to road construction. They were STOPPED, grid locked, due to Friday rush hour, escape from the city, and traffic going to Las Vegas.

The drivers were told to leave their cars and run down the road away from the fire. Staying in the car was not an option due to direct flame exposure. They took their luggage and keys and ran away. There was not an option of turning around, exiting, or taking alternate routes. This is rural steep mountainous area with a single freeway through the mountains.

This is a canyon where winds in the afternoon line up with the canyon from the bottom and are funneled to the dry desert. The winds are concentrated due to funneling. A firefighters "Watch Out" situation. These poor citizens were without any protection except to run away from the scene. We are fortunate to not have lost them.

Have a good day.

Ok. Now I understand. I found it on Google Earth and see what you mean.
 

Umberto

New member
In that desert area and drought conditions as they are, I wonder how long it takes for that area to recover? It's not the same as prairie grass getting burned.
 

deand1

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
In that desert area and drought conditions as they are, I wonder how long it takes for that area to recover? It's not the same as prairie grass getting burned.

It has never had heavy growth. The dominate growth is 3 - 4 foot high sage brush, but in it's absent due to frequent fires, annual grasses, wild oats and wild mustard will dominate.

That area burns every year due to people issues and a double train track running down the canyon. A car fire or a truck fire will spread to the roadside and spread with the wind and terrain. As stated before, the winds dominate the spread of fire in that area, but slope also has an influence.

In the summer the cool moist air moves up through the canyon toward the hot dry desert and the canyon concentrates the wind.

In the fall, during Santa Ana wind season, the winds blow down canyon, off the desert, toward the sea and increase in speed and warm up due to compressional heating. Santa Ana winds can reach speeds of 60 with gusts to 90 MPH. Actually at that speed, it is hard to get a fire started.

I spent a lifetime fighting fire in Southern California and have been burned over a few times. I was so concerned about the citizens were on the run without protective clothing. How about the families with kids and old folks caught in that mess. Very fortunate to not lose any.
 
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