Monday, June 30, 2008

The Water Bomber

A Martin Mars water bomber floats at Bridge Bay as boaters look on Sunday morning after the plane landed on Lake Shasta. Delayed by mechanical problems for three days, the plane is making its first appearance in the north state to help with the fight against lingering lightning-sparked fires.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

More Help on the Way

The Martin Mars -- a flying boat built in 1946 that was first designed to be a long-range bomber for the U.S. Navy and is now used as a water bomber -- is set to land on Lake Shasta today and load up with water and start dropping it on the flurry of fires still blackening the north state's national forests, said Mike Odle, spokesman for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Along with the massive aircraft, which is under contract with the U.S. Forest Service out of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, will come a tanker truck and a support semi to Lake Shasta. Looking at a photo of the outfit, Odle said the plane dwarfs the trucks.

The bomber holds 7,200 gallons of water -- 60,000 pounds worth, enough to douse 3 to 4 acres -- Odle said, and carries enough fuel to keep flying for six hours. To reload, the plane lands and uses scoops on its fuselage to draw in water. The water is dropped on a fire after the plane, which is comparable to a Boeing 747 jumbo jet in size, swoops down to 150 to 200 feet.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

CalFire battling new blazes west of Redding

New fires are erupting around Shasta County from smoldering, lightning-blasted timber even as crews master the dozen or so major blazes that have been threatening Shingletown and other communities since Saturday.

Firefighters are combating flames near Buckhorn Summit, French Gulch and west of Igo/Ono, said Roy Del Carlo, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman. The largest of these, the Moon Fire near Paradise Peak well west of Redding, has consumed some 2,000 acres with zero containment.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Still Smokin'

I took a few shots as I was coming back into Redding yesterday from Mount Shasta and the smoke is pretty thick. One is from the Pit River Bridge, the other two from just north of Redding on I-5. The smoke was so thick yesterday that Cal Fire aircraft could not fly to fight the fires.

As the smoke has continued to build and an air inversion has held it over the north state, the number of tanker flights dramatically declined — with 23 flown Monday and 21 Tuesday. With skies too smoky to fly Wednesday, two state air tankers and five federal air tankers were lined up at the base.

“Part of the problem now is any way the wind blows we are going to get smoke,” said Jim Heffley, manager at the air attack base.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Teepees, Bees and another look at Mount Shasta

My route today included Mount Shasta and the McCloud area. At a ranch in Mount Shasta I noticed a couple of teepees out by the barn. The lady says people come and stay overnight there (to get close to nature I guess) Click picture for a larger image.

The beehives were in the McCloud area, I couldn't get out of the truck to get a closer picture, the bees were quite active today. Click image to see the larger picture, yes, those are all bees!

A view of Mount Shasta from
Ski Park Highway
. Click picture for a larger image.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Fire photos

Top to Bottom: Sand Pit Fire, Pit River Fire (2), and the Back Bone Ridge Fire.

Still Smokin' in California

The wild fires continue to burn all over Northern California. The hills all around us have fires and smoke filling the air. You will have to enlarge this picture to see the smoke locations. This is a panorama made of three separate images taken just about a mile from home.

Monday, June 23, 2008

California Burning!

Firefighters continue to battle a series of storm-related fires that are burning throughout the north state today. The most urgent fire is a 100-acre blaze between Shingletown and Manton where it is causing mandatory evacuations.
Click image to enlarge.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thunderstorms and Fires

Yesterday's severe thunderstorms with marble sized hail in Redding caused a series of fires to start from the lightning strikes.

Widespread thunderstorms rolling through the north state late Friday night and Saturday ignited scores of fires ranging in size from less than an acre to hundreds of acres in lightning-torn Trinity County.

The largest concentration of fires is known as the Lime Complex near Limedyke Mountain in the Hayfork Ranger District of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, forest spokesman Mike Odle said. The Lime Complex in Trinity County includes 30 fires burning more than 1,000 acres, Odle said.

Another large complex of fires is called the Iron Complex in the Big Bar Ranger District near Junction City off Highway 299. Multiple fires are burning 350 acres in the Iron Complex, Odle said.

Some 3,000 lightning strikes spawned 75 fires in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest from Friday night to Saturday afternoon, and fire officials were bracing for more thunderstorms Saturday night, Odle said. Forest Service officials still were assessing the fires’ acreage Saturday afternoon.

Lightning sparks fires

Number of fires by agency:

Shasta County Cal Fire: 52.

Shasta-Trinity National Forest: 75.

Whiskeytown National Park: 5.

Tehama County Cal Fire: 30-plus.

Siskiyou County Cal Fire: 6.

Klamath National Forest: 150-acre Happy Camp Fire.

Lassen National Forest: 9.

Lassen-Modoc Grange Unit: 23.

Lassen-area BLM: 3.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More of Shasta

I had basically the same route today so got a couple more shots of Mount Shasta from different locations. The snow is sure melting fast this year.

Click pictures for a larger image.

Some Interesting Sights.

My route yesterday took me from Redding to Tulelake with stops in Dorris and Lake Shastina and Weed along the way. The flag pole in Dorris is 200 feet tall, the tallest this side of the Mississippi, so obviously the flag is huge, and on a clear windy day they say you can see it 10 miles away.

Mount Shasta is losing almost all of its snow now, even on the cooler North side. This picture is from highway 97 coming back towards Weed from Macdoel.

Lots of Pelicans sunning themselves today in the Wildlife Refuge near Tulelake.
As always, click the images for larger pictures.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Older Than Dirt!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Beautiful Back Yard

I love to see Mount Shasta from all the directions as I travel on the different roads around it. Yesterday I was in Big Springs for a delivery on my way to Yreka and saw this farmhouse and barn some distance away. What a beautiful view they have of the North side of Mount Shasta with some snow still remaining. The South and West sides have given up most of their snow to the warmer weather.
As always, click the picture for a larger image.

Gas up another dime!

Well here in California we didn't have to wait long for $4 a gallon gas and now we are only about a quarter from $5 gas. Yesterday I filled up in Weed and paid $4.73 at a local station. It is over $5 in places like Tahoe and Yosemite already though.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Few More Small Town Post Offices

My route went north today so I got a few more Post Office locations in 'small town' America.
Top to bottom is Lakehead, Greenview and Fort Jones, all in California. Lakeview has 549 people,
Greenview has about 260 and Fort Jones has 64o residents.

Gas Prices Still Rising

Gas prices this week have gone up another 34 cents.
Even the off brand across the street is $4.65 a gallon.
Click picture for a larger view.