Smoky Knight Fire persists, costs mounting

fire 6It goes without saying that Tuolumne County residents are VERY happy the USFS, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Kern County, CAL FIRE, Tuolumne County Emergency Personnel, Tuolumne County Fire, and Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department, and the Office of Emergency Services have put their all into containing the Knight Fire.

Thank you,  firefighters!

We thought you might be interested in knowing the estimated price tag so far (see below). Just imagine if we had been able to put that money into fuels management…

Wildland Fire Update – Sunday, August 2, 2009 @ 8 a.m.
Knight Wildland Fire – Stanislaus National Forest
30 % Containment
Public Information Officer: Debbie Santiago
Started: Sunday, July 26, 2009 @ 3:35 pm
Cause: Under Investigation
Location: 10 miles North of Twain Harte
Acres: 4,050
Estimated Containment: 30%
Estimated Control: unknown
Estimated Costs: $5,700,000
Injuries: 3
Fuels: Burning in heavy timber/brush
Committed Resources: 1,360 personnel
Fire Potential: Extreme
Personnel: 30 Type I hand crews, 6 Type II hand crews, 10 Helicopters, 4 Air Tankers, 62 Engines, 13 Dozers, 25 Water Tenders, 167 Overhead
Major issues: Steep, rocky inaccessible terrain, extreme fire behavior, active burning throughout night.

Significant events: Fire crews continue to be heavily engaged in suppression efforts on the Knight Fire, located approximately 10 miles north of Twain Harte.

Firefighters are conducting burn-out operations along containment lines to solidify them and hold the fire at bay. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels have allowed firefighters to make good progress with their efforts. Acreage will continue to increase as the burn-out operations continue moving the fire to the west along the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River. Mop-up and rehabilitation of control lines continue at the east end of the fire. Contingency line construction is nearing completion for the entire fire.

Several roads and recreation areas, including Crandall Peak Staging Area, Sand Bar Flat Campground, Forest Road 4N14 west off of Beardsley Rd., 4N01 at Fraser Flats, and the southwest end of 4N16 (Italian Bar Rd.) will be closed to the public due to the high number of fire personnel and the operations they are carrying out in those areas. Only authorized personnel will be allowed to pass through Spring Gap. These areas are clearly marked with cautionary signs.

Heavy smoke will continue to impact many outlying areas, including those as far away as the Sonora Pass and Angels Camp.

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I like going places: out West, west of the West, and all the way around the back of the globe to the East. I like to go by train, plane, automobile, horseback. Whatever. And I like writing about what I see, feel, hear, smell, and touch all along the way and once I get there.

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