Friday, July 11, 2008

Bad News on the Camp Fire ~ 2:15pm Update

I had to go into town earlier today and I've just gotten home. Checked with the news sites and found some very bad news that comes from the Camp Fire. Here's a link to the article in the Chico Enterprise Record as well as a copy and paste of the summary:
2:15 p.m. Summary: Day's successes marred by finding of body
Staff reports
Article Launched: 07/11/2008 08:10:17 AM PDT

Firefighters are making good progress today on the Butte Lightning Complex fires, but the discovery of a body in the Concow area has cast a pall over the successes.

The victim was a man who had lived on Hoffman Road — an area under an evacuation order — and it has been confirmed he was killed by fire.

No further details were available.

The most active flame in the Camp Fire appears to be in the vicinity of Andy Mountain Road near Jarbo Gap. Even that fire is reported to be "creeping." Helicopters are working both in the Concow area and near Magalia.

Firefighter's progress allowed the evacuation status of part of Paradise to be reduced from "immediate threat" to an advisory to be prepared, but a strip along both sides of Pentz Road are under the higher level of alert.

In other fires of local interest, there has been little growth on the Friend-Darnell Fire in the Bald Rock area southeast of Berry Creek. Evacuation orders in the area have not been revised. Firelines are being strengthened in the area.

However progress on the Cub Complex, in Deer Creek canyon near Butte Meadows, allowed a downgrading of the immediate threat evacuation status there.

Highways 70 and 32 are still closed due to the fires.

Overnight, additional fire lines were cut on the east side of the West Branch of the Feather River and others were strengthened in the continuing effort to keep the Camp Fire from jumping to the Paradise side of the drainage.

Firefighters and officials who attended a 6 a.m. briefing at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds were told all those lines seem to be holding.

Thursday forecasters were calling for down-canyon winds of up to 40 mph starting about 4 a.m. today, but winds of that intensity did not materialize. There were winds this morning in some of the canyon areas but they were in the 16 to 18 miles per hour range, according to fire officials.

The fire weather forecasters are also predicting that the heavy smoke layer will continue today, with high temperatures in the 90s to 100 range.
Most of the Sacramento TV stations also have articles up about the latest from the briefing this afternoon.
The Chico News station, Channel 12, also has a story online about it.
I'm going to copy and paste one paragraph from the article from Channel 12:
"The Sheriff's office has confirmed the discovery of human remains in the Concow area. The remains were located in an evacuated area after the fires had destroyed the residence. The Sheriff's office is saddened by the loss of one of their community members but hopes that providing this information it will encourage people in the evacuation areas to heed the warnings so that they and their families will be safe. It is important to keep in mind that evacuation orders are not made lightly and done in the interest of the safety of the people in the area being evacuated."
We've all seen the news coverages of evacuations for disasters. The authorities don't call for evacuations unless its necessary. This person was probably one of the ones that we saw on TV telling the reporters that they could "handle" themselves and had decided to stay put to protect his property. When I see people like them on TV, I keep thinking back to the man who insisted on staying in his home on the side of Mount St. Helens. Remember him? Harry Truman was his name and no one could talk him out of coming down off that mountain when the volcano was getting ready to blow. Now the man is buried along with his 16 cats and his pink Cadillac under Spirit Lake. Because he wouldn't leave "his mountain". Was this man who was found today another of those independent, stubborn people?

We don't know yet. They haven't released his identity nor any information about the man.

Note: If there are any of the fires that you would like me to find information about, please, please leave me a comment and tell me what you'd like me to include in these fire reports.

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