Winter Returning (to the Western Slope of the Sierras)

The crazy mid-February warm up will come to an end this week. Say good-bye to temperatures in the low 60’s.  Sunny skies will be bright and blue until President’s Day evening, and snow (and snow) through Tuesday and maybe Wednesday.

Whoa! I sound like a weather girl on TV, don’t I?  😉

At first our local weather folks were saying 1″ accumulation at the most. Now we are looking at 4 to 6 inches expected down to 2000 feet.  This is a big deal. Especially when you live at 4080 feet. I see soup, homemade bread, and a blazing fire to quilt by.

Yesterday we stacked firewood because the garage rack was empty. Going out into the snow to get firewood is dumb. Besides, this gives the spiders the chance to get indoors by hitching a ride on the log express. Heaven forbid they would freeze to death.

We had the pest control service do inside and outside before Thanksgiving weekend. The day we returned to our home sweet home, we found a spider here, a spider there just like before we left. Apparently, the organic kid and pet safe chemicals are spider safe as well.

How did I get so distracted by spiders? Sorry.  I was talking about the weather. I  am excited to see more snowfall. But then I am new up here and not sick of it like everyone else up here seems to be.  I hope we are snowed in so I can’t get to my dental appointment on Weds. I just know Doc will find problems – he always does, and we aren’t talking cavities either.  Neither side of my family had good teeth.

Now you know why I’m not the weather girl on TV. I tend to drift about. Ha! (Get it?)

Anyway, I will try to get some decent photographs to post later on this week. I may have to post from my phone. The power is usually the first thing to go belly up when a storm hits. That will totally screw my soup and bread fantasy, so I hope this is not the case.

Well, that’s all the Calaveras County news from me today. It’s all I know about and it’s time for my nap…


Local Lingo: Fire Categories

I am (slowly) learning the local ways around my new home and the firefighting terms used lately.  I thought I would share this article with you so we all can understand the Ramsey Fire updates as they are posted at  The Pine Tree  … I will be looking for them throughout the day, for the obvious reason. I will not be posting each update on this blog, however, if you are interested in Arnold, or it’s surrounding communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills, John Hamilton will keep y’all up to date. Just click  HERE and bookmark it.

A Bit of Fire Lingo for You (Posted by: John_Hamilton on 08/16/2012 09:08 AM)
Ganns Meadow, CA…With the Ramsey Fire there has been quite a bit of interest in the how the USFS categorizes fires. This was sent to us and contains some great information. A single tree would be a Type 5 incident – a truck goes out and monitors or puts it out. Type three teams will have some air support, maybe a hot shot crew or two (Type 1 ‘Elite’ firefighters) , some engines and maybe one or two Type 2 hand crews (less skilled than Hot Shot crews, but still skilled). The Forest has evaluated the local weather, fire behavior and resources at risk in the local area and determined a Type II Incident Management Team is in order. When the Forest “threw the switch” for a Type II team, trailers for offices, a portable mess hall, supplies for a supply cache, porta potties, hand washing units and other necessary items for a “Project Fire” were mobilized. A special group of “Overhead” management staff have also been called, people who’ve spent their careers working to fill jobs on Incident Management teams.

The team will be communicating with the ‘North Operations Center’ (North Ops) in Redding as they evaluate the fire further and begin requesting fire fighters from across the country. They will divide the fire into Divisions or Branches and members of the Team will be assigned to manage each Division of the fire.

The big fire is being broken down into management units and each unit will be staffed with necessary resources to meet the management objectives of the Forest. Since this is human caused, it will be full suppression – the fire will be surrounded with fire line, crews will try keeping the fire inside the line, and when it cools off, the fire will be mopped up 200 – 250 feet inside the line by those Type 2 and Type 3 crews, it will be contained a portion at a time, and finally controlled.

If the fire turns into a Type I incident, that is a big one. The Type I team manages one or more Type 2 teams and all the complexity around a very large fire, the politicians showing up, vastly expanded media coverage, etc. If the fire goes Type I, pay very close attention to the news, wind directions, weather and your property.

Type 2 & Type I teams have Public Information Officers running an information “Trap Line,” a 24 -48 hour update of fire info to local media, posting maps and press releases in local businesses, arranging public meetings, making the world safe for dignitaries, managing TV and news reporters, etc. Find out where the trap line businesses are, and you will get the most up to date info possible, short of a Twitter feed, Inciweb is your next best source.

Ramsey Fire Map: Aug16th Morning Update
Ramsey Fire Map: Aug16th Morning Update

Ramsey Fire Morning Update…1,150 Acres, 30% Contained, One Way Traffic Control on Hwy 4 Through Fire Area

Posted by: John_Hamilton on 08/16/2012 08:54 AM
Ganns Meadow, CA…Today fire crews will continue with fire suppression efforts. Fire crews will be working on preparing an area along the southwestern edge of the fire near the Stanislaus River for planned burnout operation tonight and tomorrow morning depending on fire conditions. The burnout operation is being planned to help secure containment line along an area that is unsafe for fire crews to work in, due to steep terrain and standing dead trees. Steep terrain and limited access along the Stanislaus River is a major concern and are making direct line construction along the fire unsafe for crews.