Fire reports gleaned from social media – Red Bluff Daily News

I don’t know Jessica Alexander, author of the following post on Facebook, but Wednesday morning this fire was 93 thousand acres and had burned into Nevada.

“As we drove down the highway headed to the Western Video sale in Reno, we drove through the little community of Doyle that had just all but burned. Last night the road was closed and it was clear why-the fire had jumped the road.

It never ceases to amaze me when I’ve seen these type of scenes how incredibly lucky people are to still have a home. Bless them firefighters and volunteers because it looks like most of the homes were spared.

A few miles down the road was another burn. I don’t know the details but as I looked upon the blackness and death there were sporadic patches of grass…In one patch was a single white cow. I told Bob look it’s a cow in that grass patch. His response was ‘of course everything else is burned she’s gotta eat.’ He’s so practical and matter of fact.

But my emotions got to me and my mind went to the ’80s when my dad lost his job logging.

It went to the neighbors black cow that summered in the pasture across from our house…that cow that had miraculously survived one of the first giant fires we had in Lakeview. The cow that had burns and singed hide on 80% of her body. To be honest I don’t know why they didn’t put her out of her misery because miserable is what she looked like.

It went to the so called Environmentalist that do not know all about how to actually manage the environment.

Hell yes global warming is real. But so is Environmental mismanagement. That is what we are dealing with right now.

I am sure activists truly just want to do good but did they think about what would happen when there’s an abundance of fuel for these fires?

Did they think about how they would allow the government and landowners to actually work together to put out fires before they get to be so big they are unmanageable?

Did they think about all the deer, elk, antelope, squirrels, snakes, coyotes all the wildlife that are literally burning to death right now?

Sit with that for a moment…animals burning alive so a frog or a sucker or an owl maybe would have a better habitat.

Because you Environmentalists cannot admit you’re wrong and implement changes to manage the environment we have right now!

Once again picture that because you all are the ones that did this. I’ve seen animals burned to death…have you?

Livestock and logging are not the problem they are part of the solution.

My heart and my prayers go out to all of those being affected by these wildfires, to my fellow ranchers and farmers, the firefighters and the lobbyists working endlessly to make changes happen! You all are amazing and so very appreciated.”

Royal Burnett from Redding wrote:

“Last evening I got news that the community of Doyle was hit hard by the Sugar fire…My first thoughts were why did this happen ? They’ve had days to prepare and mass forces…what in the world happened?

All of you Fire Pups and some of you old Fire Dogs out there better listen up… The East Slope of the Sierra has its own rules. This is the condensed version…when the interior valleys of California heat up the hot air rises out of the valley and spills over the Sierra Nevada the hot air collides with the Great Basin air mass. When the valley is superheated, that air mass is a moving wall. That’s been responsible for some of the blowup conditions  we’ve seen on the Sugar fire in recent days. ( A blowup is defined as a sudden or unexpected increase in fire activity or intensity on a wildfire.)

As this hot dry air from the Valley spills over the Sierra, it can push the fire front downhill…in the area from Susanville to Reno, from Carson City to Cajon Pass, those downhill runs are often in the form of many large fire whirls. The fire whirls often precede the fire front and are literally unstoppable. Winds in excess of F2 have been recorded (Fletcher Fire Goose lake, Fountain Fire Burney)   and the temperature inside the cone may reach over 2,000 degrees.

There is a Twitter film on WildFire Intel Sugar Fire thread that shows a fire whirl running through men and equipment near Constantia. Thank God no one was hurt.

I was FBAN on the Eagle fire in 1989 when a fire whirl crossed hwy 395 running downslope to Honey Lake. A CDF engine and crew were over run with serious burn injuries. The fire whirl burned a footprint into the asphalt. We were very fortunate that day, there were no fatalities.

Burning conditions in Northern California are as severe  as I’ve ever seen …and this is my 60th fire season, I’ve fought fire from Montana to Mexico, from horseback to helicopter and  we simply have not encountered these conditions in the past.  We’ve seen smoke column rotation and fire whirls on several of our recent fires…the Lava, the Tenant and now Sugar. When the ERC’s ( Energy Release Component) is running consistently in the 90th percentile I urge you fire fighters and fire managers  to be constantly aware of your fire weather and fire behavior. Post Lookouts! Don’t put men and equipment in front of the fire when fire whirls are imminent. Fire front Following is about the only tactic I can recommend in these situations. Wait until the fire front or whirl passes, establish an anchor point and go to work.

Fire whirls are a common visual indicator of severe fire behavior. They happen all over California… I’ve seen them from San Diego to Oregon. Severe fire behavior by definition is extremely difficult to predict… we can predict when it might happen, but not the form it will take. The physics of the weather variables, the types and volume of fuels  and the energy release are simply too complex.

I’ll quote from the Original 10 Standard Fire Orders…Fight fire aggressively, but provide for Safety first.”

On July 12, 2021 Royal Burnett wrote:

“I have 3 fires I’m watching this morning… the Red Flag is still flying in NE California for SW winds spinning off the low pressure  area in Nevada. That’s keeping most of the Sacramento Valley  clear of smoke.

PNF Sugar fire…Sugar is about 90,000 acres ( burned all around Frenchman Reservoir on the 7th) and 23% contained. It burned through the communities of Constantia and Doyle yesterday. Estimated 30 structures lost. This is a USFS fire, but CalFire has mobilized an impressive force  to hold this fire at Hwy 395 and protect structures..but as I noted yesterday, if buildings are in the way of one of the fire whirls there isn’t much anyone can do. The fire whirls jump dozer lines  and fire engines with ease. Hwy 395 is open to controlled traffic.

Oregon, Fremont NF Bootleg fire… 25 miles NE of Klamath Falls. 153,000 acres very little containment. This fire is burning under the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) power lines that supply 13% of the power to Northern California. If the fire or smoke damages the line, NorCal could suffer blackouts. As it is we’re under a power advisory asking us to limit power use during peak hours…from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please cooperate and don’t water lawns, wash cars, do laundry or other unnecessary power use chores…I don’t like living on generator power.

MMU River Fire. 5,000 acres, 10% contained. This is a CalFire incident in the Chowchilla river drainage, on the Madera Mariposa county line. This is a fast spreading developing incident, started yesterday afternoon. A note to the Fire Geeks… this is near the origin of the 1961 Harlow fire which held the record for fastest spreading California wildfire for many years.”

Jean Barton has been writing her column in the Daily News since the early 1990s. She can be reached by e-mail at

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