Skykomish Bolt Creek Forest Fire

Discussion in 'Weather' started by litesong, Sep 11, 2022.

  1. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Western Washington air pollution is mounting towards an unhealthy level. Many high readings surround our area, with one reading north along the Canadian border IN an unhealthy condition. I believe there is a forest fire in the mountains along the border. Presently, Seattle ranks as one of the most polluted cities in the world.
    There is a forest fire near Skykomish, Washington, less than 50miles away. HIghway 2, between the towns of Index & Skykomish has been closed. Several areas are on alert for prompt evacuation, if necessary. It does sound, that altho the forest fires are in the mountains, they are NOT in the high mountains & are near inhabited areas.
    Occasionally, I am clearing my throat….even a small cough. Will continue to monitor conditions.
    PS…..Now, some areas are being evacuated. The fire has grown to 2000acres, or a little under 2 miles by 2miles. I may be able to monitor the size of the fire, just be looking at the fire particles coming down. It appears, more particles are descending than 3 hours ago. Over a month ago, at least one town in Eastern Washington had been evacuated due to fires.

    PS I…..The Skykomish wildfire has reached DNR Level III. All people from east of Index to Skykomish must evacuate
     
  2. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Here is a satellite view of the Skykomish Bolt Creek fire:
    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattl...medium=Referral&utm_campaign=RSS_seattle-news

    PS…..The temperature got to 78degF, altho it was supposed to get to 90degF. The smoke & particles kept a lot of the solar radiation from reaching the ground. The red sun was a lot dimmer than its normal yellow & hotter radiation.

    PS I……This evening……The Sky Bolt Creek fire is said to be 5000 acres now. The rugged mountains eliminate any fire fighting teams from operating. The gusty & smokey winds also eliminate fire-fighting planes or copters from effectively combating the raging fires.
     
  3. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Mountain climbers descending from Merchant Peak to escape the Bolt Creek fire:. (Alison Dempsey-Hall / )
    upload_2022-9-11_4-36-38.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2022
  4. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Reports state that 2 climbers on the north wall of Mt. Baring, across a valley from Merchant Peak, are stranded & need helicopter rescue!
     
  5. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Air pollution maps indicate that many areas in Western Washington are at triple (& beyond) levels for unhealthy air pollution.
    Oregon also has major wildfire air pollution problems. One wildfire alone, is over 31,000 acres(over 7miles by 7 miles).
    At 9AM, the sun has risen high enough that it is finally showing red through the wildfire smoke. A very brief whiff of the wildfire air is stronger than a barbecue in the neighbor’s backyard.

    As global warming increases, only worse conditions can be expected in the years & decades ahead.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2022
  6. litesong

    litesong litesong

    The Skykomish Bolt Creek wildfire is over 7600 acres(3.5 miles by 3.5 miles)…..lots of very steep terrain, so square mileage is increased.
     
  7. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Looks like part of the Bolt Creek fire moved around the town of Index(hopefully) & some fires were started (by flying ash?) along Highway 2, DOWN IN THE VICINITY OF THE TOWN OF GOLDBAR.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2022
  8. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Early this morning: Reports state that 2 climbers on the north wall of Mt. Baring, across a valley from Merchant Peak, are stranded & need helicopter rescue!
    ////////
    Early this evening: The 2 climbers were on the west ridge of Mount Baring. I found their video reports on YouTube, after returning to safety. While on YouTube, search for Baring Mountain- Bolt Creek Fire-Stranded. You should pick up their video.
    Very exciting & they are safe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2022
  9. litesong

    litesong litesong

    The Skykomish Bolt Creek fire has expanded to 8000 acres. Tho the winds have been gusty at higher elevations(as evidenced in the videos by the 2 temporarily stranded climbers on Mount Baring), the general easterly air flow has been fairly low, helping to slow the expanding range of the fire.
    There is only about 20% chance of a little rain in the next few days. It probably won’t be enough to stop the present Washington state forest fires.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2022
  10. litesong

    litesong litesong

    There is a neat 3-D Google map on YouTube, showing the fire burn extent of the Skykomish Bolt Creek fire. The map shows how the two men on Mount Baring were able to escape the fire. Tho much concern has been shown for Skykomish & Index citizens, the map shows that the town of Baring & community of Grotto were in dire threat of destruction.
     
  11. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Size estimates of the Skykomish Bolt Creek fire have now risen to 9400 acres. It is amazing that general wind flow has gotten so low, & several towns & communities have been saved due to the lack of stronger winds. It has been announced that people can return to their homes in Index (altho a large percentage never obeyed safety orders to leave).
    However, the fire is teaching (to those who listen) how very vulnerable Western Washington is to periodic increasing summer dryness & wildfires due to global warming.

    PS…..With morning light, the clouds above us are rain clouds (not smoke). By Friday, there is a 20% to 25% chance of rain. The nearer mountains are less hazy than days before, but further mountains appear more smokey & Gunn Peak, Jump-off Ridge, Merchant Peak & Mount Baring are not seen at all.
    With a bit of smoke clearing, helicopters have been able to make fire-retardant drops on portions of the fire. Fire-breaks are helping to save the towns of Skykomish, Baring & Grotto. At the Money Creek Tunnel, the Bolt Creek fire has burned to Highway 2, & was even burning on top of the tunnel! Other burn areas have descended to Highway 2 & that is where successful fire-fighting efforts have kept the fire from crossing to the the south of the highway, & setting whole new regions on fire.
    Hopes are that low wind velocities will remain so, helping to limit the spread of the fire.

    PS I…..With the low winds, I will go towards Sultan. Some of the backroads give overviews of mountains further east & I can get an idea of the fire extent, if it isn’t too smokey.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2022
  12. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8417/

    How on earth does a wild fire start on the wet side of the hills/mountains, that's what I'd like to know. Has it been so dry, and was it a lightning strike or something more human in origin?
     
  13. litesong

    litesong litesong

    9-14-22:
    Whoa! Went for a drive to the river, this morning. I was surprised when very small rain drops appeared on the windshield. But, I was near a hill which I have noted in the past, able to create its own rain. Immediately, I hoped the tiny raindrops were a forecast of heavier rain that might help reduce the Bolt Creek fire. Returning home before the car had a chance to get really wet(I hate parking a wet car in the garage if I can avoid it), I checked the hourly forecast for the Everett area.
    AND there is a slightly greater chance for rain tomorrow(noted yesterday above). For today, there ALSO IS an increased chance of rain, but generally no more than 2% to 10%. Then looking up Skykomish (which is the real concern), the chance of rain is double AND TRIPLE of Everett for today, but still only barely into double figures. For Skykomish tomorrow tho, chances for rain vary, but for a couple of hours go as high as 50% to 60%!! Oh, boy!! I really really hope it rains!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2022
    BillLin likes this.
  14. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Here in the Midwest , we imagine the Pacific Northwest to be one
    long rainy day. I guess not.
     
    BillLin and litesong like this.
  15. litesong

    litesong litesong

    I think of the Pacific Northwest to be a long rainy SEASON (even longer at times)…..specially in the mountains. Even tho rain can stop, strong clouds & fog can be incessant. Some people, susceptible to the blues, under the continual clouds & fog, can get despondent. I love the Cascade Mountains, but yeah, I don’t want a home closer than I am to them. As grand as are the mountains, the clouds & fog can narrow your visual outside world to a 30 foot circle for a week (month?), unless you go into a big building.
    Sometimes a sunny day is forecast, but bottomland fog lasts the day. So your whole day is spent, not in sunshine, but…… in the fog.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
    BillLin likes this.
  16. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I don't expect the FAA will like it, but perhaps every home with low fog issues should be built with towers that can break through and overlook the low fog, even if it is 10 stories high or more. :)
     
  17. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Oh, you said it! Years ago, radio stations wanted to install a radio transmitter in our valley that was over a 1000 feet high, so radio reception would improve in our hilly (& small mountain) nooks & crannies. However, the FAA nixed that idea, because the radio tower was to be placed right between our 2 nearby airports & right in the flight path of one of the airports. The radio stations were able to wrangle a compromise with the FAA, however. Now, there is a radio transmitter, maybe 250 feet tall, with 5 support auxiliary towers, maybe 100 feet high.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
    BillLin likes this.
  18. litesong

    litesong litesong

    9-16-22: This morning, Skykomish is NOT listed to have 60% rain chance today. The chance of Skykomish rain today is reduced to 46% (& now down to 40%) at the max. So rain to extinguish the Bolt Creek fire seems to be slipping away.

    PS…..Minor good signs for Skykomish tho, are over-night temperatures are into the mid-40’s, with highs today in the mid-50’s & slightly above, AND there IS some fog. Another good sign is that the Bolt Creek evacuation station has closed, as most all evacuees have been allowed to return to their homes. Winds remain at a low level.
    In related news, Washington state Highway 20 mudslides have been cleared. Highway 20 is the state’s farthest north Cascade Mountains crossing connecting Western to Eastern Washington. Simultaneously, 2 cross Cascade Mountain highways were blocked.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
    BillLin likes this.
  19. litesong

    litesong litesong

    For a while, they opened Highway 2 to Skykomish & beyond to Stevens Pass & Wenatchee, thru the Skykomish Bolt Creek fire area. The fire crews worked strongly to keep the fire from crossing to the south of Highway 2, & often were working the north fires, right along Highway 2. However, the clown drivers on the highway were driving too fast, so they had to close Highway 2 again, to give the crews enough safety.

    Its bad enough dealing with the danger of fire in front of you, without having to deal with the danger of crazy drivers ready to take you out, behind you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2022
    BillLin likes this.
  20. litesong

    litesong litesong

    It appears that a second prediction of rain that might extinguish the Skykomish Bolt Creek fire is being lowered AND in the same way the rain prediction was eliminated on 9-16-22. The clouds that might put down some rain, are being shuttled along south to north in our valleys, & not being driven hard west to east into our mountains that could squeeze some rain out of the clouds. Tho it is cloudy, the clouds are not being up-lifted, cooled & causing any moisture in the clouds to precipitate, in the form of rain.

    PS, (11:15 PDT)……Cloud Sets (not general incoming weather system) are originating in the middle of Oregon & being driven north. Traveling toward Mt. Rainier, the cloud sets appear to thicken & continue north. Possible thickening MAY occur around 1PM, PDT, that could provide rain to help extinguish the Skykomish Bolt Creek fire. HOWEVER, that cloud set MAY BE too far east of the fire! We’ll see.
    Even tho radar is showing quite thick clouds over Washington state, the Wa state DOT cameras are showing no rain in many(all?) areas, including Sultan, Skykomish, Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Pass or North Bend.

    PS I (2:50PM, PDT)……Today supposedly, there is a 92% (now, up to 96%) chance of rain for Skykomish in the 3PM, PDT hour. So now, we’ll really see if some rain(or not) can help contain the fire.
    No rain is indicated on the one operating DOT camera in the Skykomish region.
    However, on some of the DOT cameras on Interstate 90 in the Snoqualmie Pass area 30-40 miles south of Highway 2, there seems to appear a light wet rain may be falling on the Freeway.
    Yes, definitely there is rain water on the Snoqualmie Pass area.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022 at 11:07 PM

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