Not that anyone wants to hear this, but it is another weekend with extreme fire conditions. Be prepared. Have your go bag packed. Sign up for Nixle alerts. Let's hope it passes without incident.
Via Daniel Swain: "This is the fire weather forecast I was hoping wouldn't come to pass, given all that has already transpired in 2020: Very strong offshore winds, coupled w/exceptionally low humidity & record-dry vegetation, will bring extremely critical wildfire risk Sun/Mon. 1/3 "
Also: "Confidence increases regarding a significant offshore flow event late in the weekend - not just strong winds, but the very dry airmass with it. Comparing offshore gradients SFO-WMC.
2017 Wine Country Fires -17.8mb
2019 Kincade -16.3mb
2020 Model Fcst Sunday night -18 -20mb"
Sign up for Nixle:https://local.nixle.com/county/ca/marin/
Via Richard Dillman: "Lost German shepherd - Several of us in the Paradise Ranch Estates neighborhood in Inverness have spotted a large German shepherd in the area who seems to be lost. He's been seen on Sunnyside, Behr Lane and Drakes View Drive. No collar, sometimes whimpering. He seems to have gotten separated from his people. If anyone is looking for him a search of our neighborhood would be a good place to start."
"The new Ballot Drop Box was installed late this afternoon in Pt Reyes Station after concerns about the original one shared with Health and Human Services arose. The HHS Box, as you can see in one photo, has been taped shut and has a sign pointing to the Official Ballot Drop Box next to the entrance to the HHS Building.
Again, any of you who deposited your ballot into the HHS box, please be assured the County Election Officials did pick up your ballot and take it to the Registrar's Office to be counted. It is taking about a week for them to tell us our ballots have arrived due to the extraordinary number of ballots they have received, far in excess of normal this early in the election cycle. I have had lots of people tell me they deposited their ballots in the HHS box and have been notified by the Registrar's office that their ballot has been received."
- Cathleen Dorinson
If you see any voting issues, you can report them to: https://seesay2020.com/
Info about seesay2020: https://thedemlabs.org/2020/09/29/fight-voter-intimidation-see-something-say-something/
A response from the Marin County Government about the ballot box in Point Reyes Station: "Hi, everyone: Thanks for voicing your concern about the security of Marin County Elections Department's official ballot drop boxes. We want to assure you that our ballot drop boxes are more secure that described in the original post. Ballot Drop Boxes are constructed similarly to those used by USPS, FedEx and UPS. Ballot Drop Boxes are bolted on the inside into concrete or secured to an immovable object using industrial strength hardware. The opening is narrow and designed in a way that prevents tampering or retrieval of envelopes.
Ballots are collected on a regular schedule multiple times a week by deputized employees of the County Elections Department working in teams of two. Each Ballot Drop Box is inspected by the pick-up team for damage or evidence of tampering. Local law enforcement agencies have been notified of the locations so they can monitor Ballot Drop Boxes daily while on patrol. At this time, we have not seen any evidence of Ballot Drop Box tampering in PRS.
However, if you notice anything usual about the ballot drop box, please report it to Marin County Sheriff's Office or Marin County Elections Department. We have a detailed FAQ about our ballot drop boxes online: https://www.marincounty.org/.../dropbox/general-information
Thank you for being so engaged in this year's election. And remember: You can track the status of your ballot online: https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/
An unusual story that someone in PR said they witnessed. Did anyone else see this happening?
"This evening a man who said he's a lawyer and a member of the American Independence party was taking photos of the election box by HHS in Point Reyes, It was 7:15pm or so and it was dark so he had a large flashlight with him he used while taking photos of that box from every angle possible.
He gave me a name that doesn't come up on Google and said the box was vulnerable to vandalism and the votes inside it could be easily destroyed by fire or even a milkshake. He also said it wasn't bolted down securely so the whole box could be taken away."
October 2020 in Point Reyes station. (Thx WS)
"Someone’s boat slipped off its anchor (in Tomales Bay by Inverness) and floated toward the pier just north of the Inverness yacht club’s pier. My husband and our neighbors got to it before it crashed and tied it to the pier. A Park Service boat seemed to be looking for it but stopped short of where it’s tied up. Tried to call them but couldn’t get through to tell them what happened and where the boat is. Hopefully the owners will see it." (Thx AM)
“Power back on in the SG Valley. According to a neighbor, it was a Trump metallic helium balloon tangled in the wires by the SG Presbyterian church and a PGE truck was dispatched to remove Trump and restore power to the people. Seriously it was a Trump balloon.” (Thx RC and JF)
On crowded weekends like this, unfortunately, there are lots of emergencies and lots of sirens. WMF doesn't post them all on Facebook, but I do try and tweet them out on the WMF Twitter feed. So if there are sirens and you're wondering why, best to check either the WMF Twitter feed or the WMF web site (where the twitter feed is also).
Those recent sirens are an accident in Marshall:https://twitter.com/WestMarinFeed/status/1317582886082543616?s=20
WMF Web site:http://www.thewestmarinfeed.com
You can also download the PulsePoint app which will give you the same information in real time.
Spotted this week on Tomales Bay. Either it is the West Marin version of the Loch Ness monster or people in a small boat who took it upon themselves to tow in a large water hazard.
The #woodwardfire flare up at sunset from Limantour Rd. Marin County Fire is aware of it. It is within the perimeter and the fire is still 100% contained. (Thx HRM)
Via KWMR: “A large plume of white smoke is visible originating from within the Woodward fire area. Marin County fire says they are aware of it.”
Small road side vegetation fire in Point Reyes Station. Fire crews say they have it out now.
People reporting smoke in Point Reyes and there is a fire notification on pulse. No further news at this time.
“Yesterday's #fireWeatherWatch has been upgraded to a #redFlagWarning and now includes the addition of the North Bay Valleys and the East Bay Valleys. Strong offshore winds will be gusty, especially at higher elevations with dry conditions prevalent from Wed. AM thru Fri AM.”
News from the Point Reyes Light this week:
Relief on the horizon for dramatically salty Point Reyes water:
"The district is looking to build a second well on the Gallagher Ranch, so even less water is needed from the Coast Guard wells. The district board raised rates in 2016 to help pay for its construction, and after boring three test wells that didn't pump enough water, crews found a productive location on the pasture."
Park hopes for new loops on ranch roads:
"The proposed trail changes pertain to both the seashore and the northern district of G.G.N.R.A. The first is to use an old road grade to connect Pierce Point Road, which extends north across the peninsula, to L Ranch Road, thereby facilitating access between Tomales Point and Marshall Beach. The short, roughly mile-long road creates the opportunity for a new loop."
Inverness and Bolinas step up water restrictions, warn of rationing:
"IPUD, which uses water from streams and creeks that descend from the Inverness Ridge, has particularly limited storage capacity: its tanks turn over the water they contain every three days."
Medical emergency at Drakes Beach in Point Reyes. Unclear what it is.
This cool little site from Vimeo lets you look out someone else's window for a little while. Look hard enough, and you might find one in Inverness, CA. https://www.window-swap.com/window
People asking about the helicopter in Bolinas: "CHP H-30 just assisted Marin County Fire with an overturned boat off the coast of Bolinas. All parties are accounted for and were rescued by Marin County Fire watercraft. Luckily none of the occupants were injured." (thx LW)
Car rolled over on PR/Petaluma Rd. No word on injuries. Please slow down. Please don’t text and drive.
It is critical to help conserve water in Inverness. Thank you.
A rough day today between the fires and the car accident. Here is sunset in Point Reyes. Be safe. Be loving. Life is short, (Thx SC)
"One driver was killed and another was injured in a head-on collision involving a big rig in West Marin on Monday, the California Highway Patrol said. The crash was reported around 9:10 a.m. on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road just west of Novato Boulevard, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.
The driver of the station wagon was westbound when the vehicle drifted for unknown reasons into the eastbound lane and struck the truck head-on, Barclay said. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene."
Via CHP Marin: "It seems that a few people on here have formed the opinion that this crash was caused by the big rig. In this situation, the station wagon that was traveling west on Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road drifted over the center line and into the opposing lane of traffic where it struck the truck head on. We are speaking with a couple of witnesses that saw the station wagon prior to the crash and are providing more information for our investigation.
There is also a thread about the trucks impeding traffic as the traverse the back roads through Marin. We have handled numerous traffic complaints regarding these trucks, from going too fast to going too slow. If you have specific traffic complaints, please feel free to contact our office at (415)924-1100 so we know what's going on. We can't be everywhere at once, and we do enforcement along the entire Marin coast line, so letting us know of a specific place where there is an issue will help us conduct "targeted enforcement." We also bring the traffic complaints to the attention of the delivery coordinators on the jobs that they are driving to so that they can speak with their people.
Slow trucks are required to pull over to allow traffic to pass once there are 5 or more vehicles behind them, HOWEVER, only when it is safe for them to do so. Drivers are quick to judge when and where a truck should pull over, but there are more factors to worry about in a fully loaded gravel truck than in a normal vehicle. The truck needs enough space to slow down on the roadway, not the shoulder, and they need to be sure the shoulder can actually support their weight. Areas around the reservoir are great for that, but a lot of the areas east of that have very few, if any places to pull over. If they can't safely pull over somewhere it means everyone behind them needs to be patient until it's possible for them to allow everyone to pass. We've been stuck behind them as well, so we get the frustration, but we'd rather be caught in that delay than have a truck roll off the hill because they pulled onto a soft shoulder or ended up not being able to stop in time on a gravel shoulder."
FULL STORY: https://www.marinij.com/2020/09/28/west-marin-crash-forces-road-closure/
SFD Construction is scheduled until Fall 2021:https://highways.dot.gov/federal-lands/projects/ca/point-reyes
Via KWMR "Point Reyes Petaluma Road at the Cheese Factory closed both directions due to a traffic collision. Closures at Nicasio Valley Rd, and Novato Blvd."
Head on car v semi truck accident on PR Petaluma Rd. Might be a major injury requiring airlifting a patient out. Expect delays.
For those of you that heard the loud crash and sirens last night, it looked like a pickup truck missed the curve on SFD by Bear Valley Rd./white house pool and went into the ditch. Sounds like no one was injured.
“Update on fire near the lighthouse area:
75% containment as of 4 PM
Crews do not anticipate any further fire growth at this point.
Started:10:35am. Location: near the end of the LH Access Rd
Thank you to all participating agencies! Red Flag thru tomorrow evening.”
An iconic shot of the vegetation fire in Point Reyes today up. (Thx SP)
Elk activists protested in Point Reyes today outside of McClure’s Ranch.
A better view of the vegetation fire in Point Reyes out by the Chimney Rock caused by a downed power line. (Thx SP)
There is a vegetation fire in Point Reyes out by the Chimney Rock caused by a downed power line. One to two acres in low grass.
Water rescue underway off Dillon Beach for a kayaker missing since this morning.
Absolutely packed day in West Marin. Be prepared for a lot of traffic. And a medical emergency which required helicopter transport in Inverness. Hopefully that person ok.
"A man who was killed in a motorcycle crash in West Marin on Tuesday has been identified as Daniel Cameron Turchie, 19, of Pinole, the coroner’s office said.
The crash happened at about 6 p.m. Tuesday on Shoreline Highway north of Point Reyes Station and about 300 yards south of the Giacomini Ranch, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division said.
Turchie was riding north when he failed to take a sweeping turn in the road, crossed into the other lane and struck a utility pole, the coroner’s division said.
He was found unconscious 30 feet down an embankment. Resuscitation efforts failed at the scene, the California Highway Patrol said."
FULL STORY: https://www.marinij.com/2020/09/23/marin-coroner-ids-motorcyclist-killed-in-point-reyes-wreck/
Fatal motorcycle accident on Rt. 1 just north of Point Reyes. Both lanes closed for now, please avoid the area. (thx BM)
"The Point Reyes National Seashore released a final version of a controversial plan Friday to extend leases of historic ranches in the park and to cull some tule elk to prevent conflicts with private ranching.
In its final environmental review of the park’s general management plan amendment, the National Park Service’s preferred option is to extend leases for private ranchers from five-year terms to up to 20-year-terms. The 24 ranching families in the park and neighboring Golden Gate National Recreation Area would also be able to diversify their livestock beyond cows on a case-by-case basis to include other animals such as goats, chickens and pigs.
To address conflicts between the free-roaming Drakes Beach tule elk herd and ranches, the plan would allow park staff to kill some elk to keep the population to 120 elk. The herd had 138 elk as of the last count in late 2019."
"David Evans, owner of the D. Rogers Ranch lease in the seashore, said he was pleased with the park’s proposal, saying it will ease the uncertainty of short-term leases, provide more economic security through livestock diversification, promote improved land stewardship and potentially allow visitors to access ranches."
"Fleur Dawes, communication director for In Defense of Animals, said the park service should expect more pushback including protests and other actions in the coming weeks."
FULL STORY: https://www.marinij.com/2020/09/18/point-reyes-releases-final-plan-to-preserve-ranches-cull-tule-elk/
FINAL PLAN: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?projectID=74313
Found by the side of the PR/Petaluma Rd near the olive ranch. Stolen? Trash? (Thx BM)
More fire weather coming. Make sure you are prepared. “Early indications is that this early Oct event will have potential to bring record heat to CA and possibly other areas. This will coincide with weak offshore flow, so should spread all the way to coast and bring extreme wildfire burning conditions once again.”
Sign up for local alerts:
Marin County -www.alertmarin.com
Marin Sheriff - local.nixle.com
Get your defensible space ready:https://youtu.be/otMDwt03E-o
Have a plan and a go bag;https://www.cnet.com/how-to/emergency-go-bag-what-you-need-when-evacuating-your-home/
Very important voting info from Wade Holland in the Point Reyes Light: “The good news about November’s general election is that voting in person at a polling station will be available on four days, from Saturday, Oct. 31, through Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The bad news is that only three polling stations will be open in all of West Marin.
Covid-19 is impacting this year’s election in many ways, including reducing the number of polling stations in the county from 89 to just 29. The three West Marin polling places will be at the Bolinas Community Center, the San Geronimo Valley Community Center and the West Marin Health & Human Services Center on Sixth Street in Point Reyes Station. These centers will be open for voting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
A major change this year is that Governor Gavin Newsom has directed that a vote-by-mail ballot be sent to every registered voter. Lynda Roberts, Marin’s registrar of voters, recommends using the mail-in ballots rather than going to the polls. She also urges that completed ballots be mailed back well before Election Day. To be counted, vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day, Nov. 3, and received by the county by Friday, Nov. 20.
Ballot drop-off boxes will also be available around the clock through Election Day at 12 locations in the county, including at the Bolinas Community Center and the Health & Human Services Center in Point Reyes Station.
Voter pamphlets will be mailed on Sept. 24, and the vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out on Oct. 5.”
FULL STORY: https://www.ptreyeslight.com/article/many-changes-store-election-day
Don't feed the coyotes please. "A woman was hospitalized this week after a coyote bit her leg on Tennessee Beach in the Marin Headlands, authorities said.
The woman told park rangers the coyote was acting aggressively as it approached her Tuesday afternoon on the remote beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. After the animal bit her, she walked the 1.7-mile trail back to Tennessee Valley Road and drove to a hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries, according to a spokesman for the National Park Service.
Using a piece of the woman’s clothing, park officials are attempting to collect a sample of the coyote’s DNA. The genetic information will be used to identify and track the animal as part of a new program that aims to address the growing problem of coyotes approaching people in search of food in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, said park service spokesman Charles Strickfaden.
He said park rangers have noted a “large increase” in reports of people feeding coyotes. As a result, “food-conditioned coyotes” are increasingly approaching visitors to beg for food."
Car accident on SFD in Inverness by Dream Farm Rd. Hopefully everyone ok. Drive safe, the roads are slick today.
REMINDER: Areas closed to all visitors due to the Woodward Fire.
The area and all trails south of Limantour Road and Bear Valley Road, west of Highway 1 (aka Shoreline Highway), and north of Stewart Trail are closed to all visitor access until further notice.
These areas include, but are not limited to:
Limantour Road is closed to all visitor access until further notice.
The Bear Valley area is closed to all visitor access until further notice. This includes:
Bear Valley Visitor Center Access Road
Bear Valley Visitor Center
Bear Valley Picnic Area
Bear Valley Trailhead
Morgan Horse Ranch
Coast, Glen, Sky, and Wildcat Campgrounds are closed until further notice. Campers will receive a notification and refund via email.
Also closed are Bear Valley Trail, Horse Trail, Sky Trail, Laguna Trail, Glen Trail, Greenpicker Trail, and Coast Trail north of Stewart Trail.
MORE INFO: https://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/management/firemanagement_woodwardfire.htm
Via Point Reyes National Seashore “Happy 58th Birthday Point Reyes National Seashore!! On September 13, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the establishment of Point Reyes National Seashore. To learn more, visit nps.gov/pore.” (Photo WMF)
Via Point Reyes National Seashore "For those of you who have been asking about the wildlife in Point Reyes during the #WoodwardFire, we thought you might be happy to see that this bobcat was caught on camera just outside of Incident Command Post (where we coordinate as a team) yesterday."
It was orange yesterday. The smoke is so thick right now. Some additional information about all of that:
"To get a sense for how dark it was in CA yesterday, here are solar radiation observations from my backyard weather station for 3 recent days. Much darker than a typical foggy day, and it was effectively sunset ~3 hours too early."
"The orange skies this morning are a result of wildfire smoke in the air. Strong winds over the past few days transported ash from fires in northern California and the Sierra Nevada into the region.
These smoke particles scatter blue light & only allow yellow-orange-red light to reach the surface, causing skies to look orange. If smoke becomes too thick in a certain area, most of the light will be scattered & absorbed before reaching the surface, which may cause dark skies."
"Very little change in the smoke across the SF bay area the next 18 hours."
RADIATION LINK: https://twitter.com/feet_pinocchio/status/1304105774667296768?s=20
ORANGE LINK: https://twitter.com/AirDistrict/status/1303746736414883840?s=20
SMOKE UPDATE LINK: https://twitter.com/NWSBayArea/status/1304127426105024512?s=20
Wires down on PR/Petaluma Rd past farm stand. Expect delays. Thx @alexporrata
“Effective today (9/9/20) at 4 p.m., the Marin County Sheriff's Office in collaboration with the Marin County Fire Department is lifting the remaining Evacuation Warnings in West Marin.”
Local Point Reyes Station radio station KWMR featured on the home page of the LATimes.com web site today.
"In a place where local news is otherwise a once-weekly paper or a conversation at the post office or local market, the radio station has long been a trusted source of knowledge when emergencies hit.
“There is a weird parallel between COVID and a wildfire in a way in that they are these dynamic situations but they are slow moving also,” (Jeff) Manson said. “Stuff isn’t changing hour to hour and yet people are really hungry for information.”
He and (Amanda) Eichstaedt have learned if they don’t put out facts, small town gossip will take over."
An incredible shot of the #woodwardfire in Point Reyes. Taken Aug 20, 2020. (Thx FP)
Some local residents have asked about the salinity intrusion that happened to the wells in Point Reyes Station. Here is the North Marin Water District's post from Aug 20th explaining what happened:
"Salinity Intrusion in West Marin System Source Wells
Unprecedented salinity intrusion has occurred in two wells which North Marin Water District uses as sources of drinking water in the West Marin system.
These two wells, located near the former Coast Guard housing property in Point Reyes Station, have experienced periodic and seasonal salinity intrusion for many years. In 2015, NMWD completed permitting and construction of a well and pipeline that brings water from a different source, out of the reach of tides. This third well is situated approximately a mile and a half east of Point Reyes station adjacent to the Gallagher ranch.
Unfortunately, the third well is unable to produce enough water to meet 100% of the volume demands of our customers in the summer months and the salinity intrusion at the Coast Guard wells has continued to worsen, likely due in part to sea level rise.
This year, under dry-year water conditions, we have seen the salt levels in the water produced from the Coast Guard wells rise to unprecedented levels. While there is no direct health concern from the salt for most people at this concentration, it does affect the taste. Customers that may be on sodium restricted diets should consult their physicians to see if the additional sodium is a concern for them.
Additionally, bromide, a component of the salt water that has increased, can also contribute to the formation of disinfection byproducts. We have taken every action available to keep disinfection byproducts as low as possible and continue to monitor their concentrations. If they rise to an unsafe level we will, in consultation with the California Division of Drinking Water, communicate this to our customers.
In order correct the situation, North Marin Water District is actively working to construct additional sources of water that are not prone to salinity intrusion. The acquisition of land, planning and permitting have been going on for two years. We hope to have this new source constructed and available for water supply in 2021.
Emergency water conservation measures remain in place and reduced water use decreases our dependence on wells impacted by salinity intrusion.
More information about water quality can be found at https://nmwd.com/your-water/water-quality/
If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed here, please call Pablo Ramudo, Water Quality Supervisor at 415-761-8924."
FULL POST: https://www.facebook.com/NorthMarinWaterDistrict/posts/10157925814993600
PR LIGHT ARTICLE:https://www.ptreyeslight.com/article/saltwater-intrusion-north-marin-wells-reaches-historic-high
The Point Reyes National Seashore is closed today, as are all of the local beaches like Shell Beach and Chicken Ranch. Someone reported seeing kayaks in the Nicasio Reservoir today, that is also not allowed. With COVID and the heat, these are challenging times. But we're also dealing with the #woodwardfire and a red flag warning and need to give first responders, law enforcement and fire fighters the time, space and focus to do their work. Thank you. Be safe.
Here is the video update from the new #woodwardfire incident command for today.
"We saw an increase in activity last night. Not unplanned, cleaning up the unburned fuel, no threats to the containment lines. Today's plan is to have hand crews out cleaning up fire lines.
Prepared for the warm, windy day. Critical fire day today. Ridge tops never cooled off and primed us for another hot day today. Around 100.
This is the last hot day, pattern change, a storm system moves through the area which will bring us gusty winds this evening.
Then we will transition back to the marine layer putting the fire back into relative humidity.
Challenging weather for all the fires in the state with the wind coming. We have two strike team engines to be prepared.
Also potential power shut offs and safety shut offs, but not targeting Marin County as of now.
Might see a helicopter today keeping things cool and within the perimeter."
Anyone else seeing the #woodwardfire flames tonight? Here is a shot from the Point Reyes Station mesa. (Thx AW)
The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2 which has been managing the #woodwardfire since last weekend is transitioning today and handing over command to a Type 3 team from the Great Basin.
With so many fires in California raging right now, we are so grateful to our local fire fighters for rushing in when the #woodwardfire went from 7 acres to 50 acres in the blink of an eye. And to the Northern Rockies team who came in with a huge range of expertise and were able to oversee the fire management from 0% containment to the 93% containment (along with those super scooper planes, helicopters and ground teams).
The local community stood by, watching the huge plumes of smoke rise up over our community, wondering how bad it was. And every day Mary Rasumussen, Brandon Cichowski and Scott Shuster (along with local resources Jason Weber and Brenton Snyder and a whole bunch of other folks) would get on the interwebs at 9:30am to give us the daily update and help us to understand what was going on the park with the fire, with the evacuations and everything else fire related. Thank you for that. And thank you to the outstanding ASL interpreters and the Spanish language translators who ensured it was accessible for everyone.
Goodbye Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2, thank you for putting your blood and sweat into this fire to keep us safe. Good luck on your next mission. And welcome Great Basin. As Brandon says, "things are looking really good." Let's hope so. Be well, stay safe.
English video update for Sep 6:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EmLv1TnQyc
Spanish video update for Sep 6:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q38QQqedEZ4
Full #woodwardfire incident report:https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/CARNP/2020-08-23-1658-Woodward-Fire/related_files/pict20200806-101029-0.pdf
Via PRNPS #WoodwardFire Daily Update:
Area Burned: 4,813 acres
Containment: 93 %
Total Personnel: 301
•Water Tenders: 3
Downloadable PDFs and more information on incident webpage: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7062/
A smokey sunrise over Tomales Bay in Inverness this morning. (Thx AN)
A view of the #woodwardfire from Point Reyes today. Photo by Felix Chamberlain.
"Effective today (9/4/20) at 6PM the Marin County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with Marin County Fire are reducing the Evacuation ORDER for Silverhills Rd, Fox Dr. and Noren Way to an Evacuation WARNING.
The evacuation center at the Marin Center is now also closed.
The following areas are now under an Evacuation WARNING:
Silverhills Rd, Fox Drive, Noren Way
Bear Valley Visitor Center and NPS Headquarters
We are asking that the public stay away from coastal west Marin this weekend. With a multitude of fire personnel still assigned to the fire, there will be a large amount of firefighters traversing west Marin to the fire and we expect smoke to continue throughout the weekend.
In addition, additional emergency calls due to visitors on the coast and the heat could cause a strain in resources on standby in case of a new fire or the need for additional resources on the Woodward Fire. The Point Reyes National Seashore remains closed to the public. PLEASE avoid West Marin."
Spotted this very cute family in Olema who come out at 7pm each night to cheer on the firefighters as they finish their shift working on the #woodwardfire.
#WoodwardFire Update: Thursday, September 3, 2020
Area Burned: 4,626 acres
Total Personnel: 486
•Water Tenders: 5
Via Bay Area NWS: “Deep marine layer this morning will keep temperatures near normal today with some minor warming Friday. More significant heat event looks on tap for this weekend with Excessive Heat Watch in effect Saturday thru Monday.”
Please remember, the Point Reyes National Seashore is closed for the weekend because of fire operations. Be safe everyone.
Via Hog Island Oyster Co.: "So happy to feed some of the AeroFlight Super Scooper crew who came by the farm the other day. These guys have been scooping water out of Tomales Bay to help fight the #woodwardfire raging just south of us. Beyond grateful for this crew and for all of our first responders!! Folded hands"
Via @MarinSheriff - Evacuation WARNINGS for the following communities have been LIFTED:
Other evacuation warnings and orders around the fire REMAIN in effect:
Inverness Park (WARNING)
NPS HQ Bear Valley (WARNING)
Reposted because original graphic was blurry.
A lot of people have asked about these columns of smoke behind Inverness Park. According to the #woodwardfire video update today, those are controlled backburns by Limantour Rd behind Silver Hills.
From the #woodwardfire video update today:
"Containment continues to rise. There has been some backburning on Limantour Rd. right behind Silver Hills which are the columns of smoke that people have been seeing and reporting. Management action points are under discussion which may reduce the evacuation warnings and orders, possibly tomorrow or Friday if those action points are hit. The Point Reyes National Seashore will be closed through Labor Day weekend."
"Madeline Hope said the part of the Silverhills area where her home sits, and where evacuations are mandatory, is about a quarter-mile from where the fire is burning.
“If we lose everything, we still own the land and we can rebuild,” she said.
Ken Fox has been a volunteer firefighter in the town of Inverness for three decades. He said he was evacuated last week from Fox Road, named for his father, in the Silverhills evacuation zone to escape the encroaching Woodward Fire.
He said he has not been directly fighting the blaze but has helped advise on the best trails and roads for firefighters to use to drive in bulldozers and other equipment to surround and beat back the blaze with controlled burns."
FULL STORY: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Woodward-Fire-in-Point-Reyes-upends-lives-in-West-15526085.php
People are sneaking water into the elk in Point Reyes during the fire.
"At 6 p.m., as his shift came to a close and he drove away, the small bucket-brigade crept in (to the Point Reyes National Seashore). They were transporting roughly 200 gallons of water to the park’s tule elk, who they say are dying from dehydration — and unable to reach other water sources because of a fence around their preserve — as drought conditions worsen in the region."
A statement from the park: "While we sympathize with their concerns, the safety of firefighters, fire personnel and local residents during the Woodland wildland fire is the park's number one priority. Taking action without permits and permissions from the NPS and while the park is entirely closed to all public access due to the Woodward Fire is unlawful. The park has communicated with concerned citizens that our monitoring indicates adequate water is available. We have park staff, who are authorized to be in this otherwise closed area, monitoring water availability for the elk at Tomales Point today."
Photo of elk rutting taken by Carlos Porrata taken just before the Woodward Fire. Carlos and Tom Killion have a show at Toby's in Point Reyes Station through September.
LA TIMES LINK:https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-09-01/fire-point-reyes-tule-elk-water-activists
"Today's #woodwardfire update (thx AW):
Acreage: 4,465 with 25% containment
Crews continue to make progress to contain the fire, great news considering the extremely difficult terrain and thick vegetation (30-40 foot high brush in some places). Aircraft are available but due to heavy smoke and fog have been used on a more limited basis in the last several days. The water scoopers are no longer assigned to the #woodwardfire and are now deployed to Arizona.
Large falling trees pose the biggest risk to firefighters and skilled crew are removing them on and near the firelines.
Thick heavy smoke is caused by the burning of dense vegetation. It is expected to lessen once winds pick up.
Evacuation orders and warnings are still in place. Backburns are within 1/8 of the top of Fox Drive."
A clarification on an earlier post. Cafe Reyes in Point Reyes Station has been donating pizzas to the first responders and fire fighters out of their own pockets and are not taking donations, but they always appreciate your patronage.
And Bodega Coffee in Forest Knolls donated 20lbs of fresh roasted coffee to the #woodwardfire command center earlier this week.
We're all in this together. That's how we're going to get through this. Thank you.
Here is the latest map of the fire:
Acreage: 3,269 with 17% containment
Summary of today's #woodwardfire video update (thx AW):
"Acreage: 3,269 with 17% containment
The firecrews made significant progress yesterday which included back burning, creating fire line and mop up operations. Much of the back burn happened around Bear Valley and above Fox Drive and Silverhills which is what caused the large smoke plumes in the afternoon. Crews will undertake similar operations today.
There is a team of resource advisors on the fire working with the operations teams to help minimize impacts to natural, historical and cultural resources. For example, avoiding retardant drops in freshwater creeks and ponds, and when possible protecting trees essential for spotted owl habitat. Yesterday fire crews were able to protect Kule Loklo using controlled burns.
All evacuation orders and warnings remain.
Heavy smoke is expected to impact the community for the next few days. "
* It says 'Aug 30 Daily Briefing' in title, but it is Aug 31. That's an error.
A lot of people are concerned about the amount of smoke the #woodardfire is kicking up behind Fox Drive right now. I'm guessing that is because of all of the backburning they're doing right now. This is what Kule Loklo looked like earlier.
More photos here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/photographs/7062/
Here is the summary of the video update from the #woodwardfire today (thx AW):
Total acres: 3,072, 15% containment
"Crews continued to secure firelines yesterday, conducting controlled burns both near Bear Valley trail, the Visitor Center and along Limantour Road. Operations to create firelines will continue today and tomorrow which are critical ahead of hotter weather predicted later in the week.
Evacuation orders remain for Silverhills, Fox Drive and Nolan Way, as the fire is 1/4 mile away from some structures in the area. Evacuation warnings remain for Inverness Park, Inverness, Seahaven and Olema.
For a summary of accurate air quality which compiles data from EPA and purple air monitors check out: https://fire.airnow.gov/
(I will add when it is up.)
Via Point Reyes NPS: "A fire whirl is a spinning vortex of ascending hot air caused by a fire. Fire whirls range in size from less than 1ft to over 500ft in diameter. This one was seen today during the burn out operations near the Point Reyes National Seashore Visitor Center. #WoodwardFire"
Coast guard and local fire looking for a boat that gave an SOS for taking on water off the coast possibly by Abbott’s Lagoon.
To clarify, it was a “warning” the was lifted in Bolinas, not an order. The graphic that was previously posted is incorrect. All other orders and warnings are in place. (Thx SP)
“Evacuation Warning LIFTED for BOLINAS
At 12 noon on Saturday 8/29/2020 the Marin County Sheriffs Office in collaboration with the Woodward Fire Incident Command are lifting the evacuation warning for the community of Bolinas this includes: Hwy 1 South of Five Brooks, East to the Bolinas Ridge and South through the communities of Bolinas and Dog Town.
Other Evacuation Warnings and Orders around the fire remain in affect. Residents are encouraged to remain aware, ensure they are registered for www.alertmarin.org as this fire and the associated weather may require changes to areas covered by evacuation orders or warnings.”
From the video update;
The #woodwardfire received additional support from 60-70 firefighters between yesterday and today. They are hard at work creating containment lines and slowly making progress on the north east and south edges of the fire. Progress has been slow due to heavy fuels and rough topography but has been aided by a marine layer and relatively light winds.
With the fog, our friend, dissipating over the next several days conditions will become hotter and dryer, testing the containment lines and increasing the intensity of the fire.
Due to unpredictable weather in this area and a lack of weather sensors, the incident command team is bringing in three weather stations to help forecast local conditions. One will be at Divide Meadow; one near the Environmental Education Center, and the third is TBD.
Current acreage: 3,072 with 10% containment
520 personnel; 13 crews; 33 engines; 6 helicopters and 2 planes
All evacuation warning orders and warnings remain in place.” (Thx AW)
Spanish and English versions:https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCrAW3grMdl_cJ7u_ZcwLB7A
UPDATED: August 29, 2020 [07:30am PDT]
Area Burned: 3,072 acres
Total Personnel: 521
• Crews: 13
• Engines: 33
• Helicopters: 6
• Planes: 2
• Dozers: 5
• Masticators: 3
Ground crews made good progress yesterday, as fire activity was relatively low to moderate due to the persistent humid marine layer that hung over most of the fire. Primary fire spread has been to the northeast, where firefighters completed burn out operations by drone and by hand. Air operations were grounded most of the day because fog and smoke hindered visibility.
Heard a report of possible suspicious activity in Inverness Park this evening. Unknown people poking around a house under construction. The local authorities have been notified. Might not be anything, but worth keeping an eye out given the two folks that were caught in Inverness Park yesterday. Fires and evacuations can attract that sort of thing.
The 8/26 fire perimeter (light yellow) put together with the 8/28 fire perimeter (dark yellow) to show the progression of the #woodwardfire over the last couple of days. Dark yellow shows new areas.
Another very informative and important video update about the #woodwardfire this morning.
Total acres: 2860 with 8% containment
Summary: "The fire is still burning with the most activity taking place in the north eastern and south eastern edges. Slight growth of the fire yesterday occurred near the Z and Wittenberg trail.
Crews are now focusing on cleaning up the edges of the fire which will make them more defensible and easier to maintain over the coming weeks and months of hot weather. The approach is to use dozers, hand crews in hard to reach areas, and back burns.
All evacuation orders and warnings remain in place." (Thx AW)
For the latest fire updates, be sure to tune in this morning:
REMINDER: The next #WoodwardFire briefing will take place this morning at 9:30am:
- Facebook Live: https://facebook.com/PointReyesNPS/
- Watch/Listen on Zoom http://zoom.us/Join
or call (669) 900-6833 - Meeting ID: 951 6747 3562, Attendee ID: #, Password: 925738
On a lighter note, the WMF has nothing to do with and knows nothing about the WMM, but this made us laugh. If you don't get it, you don't spend a lot of time driving around here.
Not a lot of news to report about the #woodwardfire today. Two fire fighters were injured this morning from falling debris but not critically. On Olema Hill it was a strange combo of blue sky, fog coming over the ridge and smoke heading north towards Point Reyes Station. No new satellite or IR data either.
IMPORTANT: "Bolinas and Olema are not being evacuated. NBC mistakenly mixed up the "warning" and "order" on their broadcast. They will correct. No changes to the Evacuation Order and Warning status in West Marin due to the Woodward Fire." Via Amanda Eichstaedt at KWMR.
Update from Coastal Health Alliance 8/27~ "Effective 8/28/2020 & until further notice, CHA will resume limited in-person medical visits @ Point Reyes clinic along w/ tele-phonic visits for patient care. A medical provider will be available during normal business hours. Please call CHA's Call Center @ 415.663.8666 to be scheduled or referred to a Registered Nurse for triage. Above notice is subject to change, based on air quality. An additional notice will be sent out regarding resuming COVID-19 testing on Thursday mornings."
The end of an era. Stellina closes forever tonight in Point Reyes Station. Thank you to Christian Caiazzo and all your amazing staff. We will miss you.
This is where they caught the female suspect way up on Drakes View Dr. in Inverness. Apparently the male suspect is still on the loose? “Looking for a white male, early 20’s, 6’1, shaggy long hair, white T-shirt and blue jeans. Last seen running from stolen vehicle that crashed near Inverness. 1 person in custody, 1 not. If you see someone matching description 📱 911.”
Via Marin County Sheriff “Looking for a white male, early 20’s, 6’1, shaggy long hair, white T-shirt and blue jeans. Last seen running from stolen vehicle that crashed near Inverness. 1 person in custody, 1 not. If you see someone matching description 📱 911.”
Something going in the park right now. Lots of CHP and rangers with lights moving at high speed. Anyone know what’s going on? Pursuit?
Thick marine layer today. Fire grew very little yesterday. 2,739 acres and 5% containment.
REMINDER: The next #WoodwardFire briefing will take place this morning at 9:30am:
- Facebook Live: facebook.com/PointReyesNPS/
- Watch/Listen on Zoom zoom.us/Join or call (669) 900-6833 - Meeting ID: 951 6747 3562, Attendee ID: #, Password: 925738
Also live on KWMR 90.5 or www.kwmr.org
Super scoopers were back today fighting the #woodwardfire, but only for a couple of runs and then on way back, they dumped their water back onto Tomales Bay. Anyone know why they would do that? Switching fires? Lack of fuel?
A couple of more satellite hot spots were added to the map this afternoon near the Bear Valley Trail area. Those circles DO NOT represent the fire, they represent the margin of error of the location. SF Chronicle photographer Jessica Christian also posted some photos that shows what it looks like in that area. "Crews monitor weakened trees and flares during a back burn along the Bear Valley Trail as the #WoodwardFire burns in the hills west of #Olema #PointReyesStation"
LINK TO THE MAP:
LINK TO JESSICA CHRISTIAN TWEET:
Another great report from SF Chronicle reporter Jessica Christian:
"Checked on mandatory evacuated roads west of Point Reyes Station. No immediate fire threat to:
- Fox Drive
- Noren Way
- Silverhills Road
North #WoodwardFire line still holding 1+ miles south of Limantour Road. East line AT Bear Valley currently of concern. Lots of wind."
Jessica Christian, a photojournalist from the SF Chronicle, is now covering the #woodwardfire and posting a lot of great updates on Twitter. "Marin County Fire crews line up to hike one mile up Sky Trail to hold the #WoodwardFire line south of Limantour Road"
Via Marin County Sheriff: "Evacuation warning area expanded in Olema to east side of Highway 1 to Olema Hill.
Out of an abundance of caution based on increased fire behavior on the Woodward Fire this afternoon, evacuation warning areas in Olema are being expanded.
The following areas are now placed under a warning:
- Highway 1 at the greenbridge (Lagunitas Creek) south to the intersection of Highway 1 and Sir Francis Drake (Southern Intersection in Olema).
- Sir Francis Drake to the top of Olema Hill - everything north of Sir Francis Drake.
- Everything between the above intersections to the east to Olema Hill and west of Highway 1.
Residents should be prepared to evacuate in the event of an evacuation order. Prepare a go bag, and prepare your home for evacuation. Charge your electronic devices and make sure you are registered for Alertmarin.org to receive the most up to date emergency notifications."
Via KWMR. Listen to 90.5 or at www.kwmr.org for #woodwoardfire evacuation updates. Be sure to sign up for alerts at www.alertmarin.org.
"An evacuation order has been issued due to the Woodward Fire. The following areas are now under evacuation order:
- Silverhills Rd
- Fox Drive
- Noren Wy
You need to evacuate immediately. Evacuate down Sir Francis Drake Boulevard toward Point Reyes. Please be mindful of Firefighting resources as you are evacuating.
If you have alt. means of lodging, we encourage utilizing those. If you don't, evacuation center established at Marin Center, near Civic Center. There'll be check-in location at the front parking lot & staff to assist you."
#woodwardfire evacuations are underway in Silverhills Rd, Fox Drive and Noren Wy south of Inverness Park. Bear Valley Rd is closed. Please avoid the area. Non residents are being turned around.
MARIN SHERIFF: Evacuation ORDER for Silverhills Rd, Fox Drive and Noren Wy south of Inverness Park due to Wildfire. nixle.us/C5QL4
Thick smoke and a two helicopter attack on the #Woodward fire in Point Reyes late on Monday afternoon. Lots of air support out here, seems like fire very active. Shot from Olema Hill. Make sure you have your bags packed, animals ready in case of evacuation. Make sure you are signed up for alerts at http://www.alertmarin.org
A local Inverness resident expresses his gratitude for the super scoopers as they attack the #woodwardfire for the fourth day in a row.
A lot of detail about the #woodwardfire today in the morning briefing. Watch the video to get all the details. Unfortunately they did not get to the sheriff update at the end for some reason.
VIDEO LINK HERE:https://www.facebook.com/marincountyfire/videos/255911435585170
FULL INCIDENT REPORT HERE:https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7062/
I did another overlay with the latest Marin County Fire map onto the Point Reyes National Seashore trail map. Remember, this does NOT an actual map of the fire.
From Paul Doherty (GIS for EM Professor): "The perimeter is only generally mapped once a day by a nighttime infrared sensor on a plane and corrected by an expert. Satellite hotspots occur a few times a day but are not precise and are not reviewed / edit by experts."
- The pink area is the Woodward fire perimeter as of 8/23/20.
- The red area is USA Wildfires v1 current perimeter.
- The red dots are MODIS and VIIRS thermal hotspots and fire activity.
The most active part of the fire was on the northern perimeter with some "spotting" (small fires) which were "pressing their control lines" which is why they're concentrating the scooper planes there.
They're doing a lot work with bulldozers and crews to fortify all of the lines (fire breaks) around and off the fire to stop the spread. If the wind stays light today, sounds like they could make some good progress. Fingers crossed.
THE FIRE MAP LINK HERE:https://marincounty.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=8e8b73f198634c78b3048e1f8e95d6ab
Super scoopers are back early today and hitting the north perimeter. The tweet I took this still from said it was from the #woodward fire, but others disagree. I'll post it anyway with that disclaimer. Either way, the amount of skill those pilots have is amazing and they're doing something similar here.
Here is the link to the tweet and the video:https://twitter.com/KreiderCourtney/status/1297634005446090752?s=20
Via NWS: "We have CANCELLED the Red Flag Warning.
Stay weather aware as weak cells are still over the North Bay; however, most moisture has moved north of our area and instability has decreased giving us confidence to let the warning expire early."
Via Daniel Swain: “Finally some good news to report: last night's dry lightning event was less widespread & intense than earlier feared. Nearly all lightning spared Bay Area, though there were strikes in Central Valley & western Sierra foothills that may have sparked new fires.
What happened? Well, there was *plenty* of elevated convection just above everywhere, but it wasn't *quite* deep enough to generate much lightning. Models were slightly off with timing, and may have underestimated smoke effect, and that made all the difference.
Also: we still aren't totally out of the woods in NorCal. Dry thunderstorms are still expected today, mainly in northern 1/3 of state but possibly clipping North Bay. These could yet spark new fires. But all in all, a better than expected outcome.”