Threat Eases as Telegraph Slows To a Crawl

Updated totals for the Telegraph Fire:

33,705 Acres -40% Contained –4,448 Fire Personnel -51 dozers- 57 Water Tenders 101 Engines -13 Helicopters -12 Fixed Wing Aircraft- 61 Hand Crews Including 6 Camp Crews

Projected demobilization start date: August 1, 2008 0800hrs

Today’s observed fire behavior:
“North end of the fire is a running surface fire with occasional single tree torching and short range spotting. The remainder of the incident is experiencing moderate fire behavior.

Significant events today:
Active fire behavior is primarily in the northern and eastern flanks of the fire. Hwy 140 to Yosemite National Park was restricted for a period of time yesterday; CHP will be escorting traffic through one lane only when air operations is not working in the area. Logistical support is now available at Kassabaum Spike Camp. On 7/30/08 at 0700 operational briefings will be held at both camps. The northern portion of the fire is mow in fuel model 10. The incident is now operating in an Area Command (Hodson), with north and south operational areas. ICT 6 will command the north area and ICT 8 will command the south area. The Merced River will be the operational area break. Fire suppression repair has begun. Some residents in Div A, B, and S were allowed to renter this evening

Actions planned for next operational period:
Keep the fire east of Highway 49, north and west of Highway 140 and south of Highway 120. Dozer and hand line will dominate suppression efforts due to the extreme topography and fuels. Air support will be critical in holding efforts. No significant demobilization is planned for 7/31; however plans are in place to demob Type 1 Engines starting on 8/1. Resource orders have be placed to facilitate the demobilization plan. Fire activity may alter this plan”

18 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Mike, thank you for the up-date. W.

  • Mike says:

    Hello Ward. I don’t know anything specific about individual addresses or properties but I saw this in the updated 209 report. It briefly mentions one street you asked about, Sherlock in/near Midpines.Best to you Ward.”Active fire behavior is primarily in the northern and eastern flanks of the fire. Hwy 140 to Yosemite National Park continues to be restricted; CHP will be escorting traffic when air operations are not working in the area. Fire suppression repair has begun. Good progress was made yesterday due to the 24 hour suppression efforts. The majority of residents were allowed to re-enter today, with the exception of Sherlock Rd. and parts of the community of Midpines. Hwy 140 will have various restrictions East of Mariposa.”

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not a Mariposa local but we do own a portion of 40 acres generally in the ‘Y’ where Sherlock Road hits Whitlock North and West of the Mt. Queen property at 6092 Sherlock. The property is known as the ‘Lower Diltz.’ It appears that Floyd’s home was spared while Trenton’s and some across Sherlock were not. The fire maps show that this area may or may not have burned. Do any of you locals have any idea about this area? Would very much appreciate knowing the status of this area.Thank you all for the information on this Blog. I wish there was some manner in which we could help those of you that have lost everything. Ward G. 831.625.4280

  • Mike says:

    Thanks Dan, I’ll explore G.E when I get back to the computer later today!Mike

  • Dan C says:

    Hi Mike,I posted earlier as Anon. I’ve now signed up.Black Mt. is about 3 miles south-west of Kensley Station. Approx. Coord. according to goog. earth are 37.40.01, 12.00.26. I believe to be a critical area as it is just above the North fork of the Merced canyon.Yep, no T-shirts for me either.

  • Mike says:

    Thank You Local Mariposan–I figued it was off Bull Creek but on top farther north. This makes sense now.

  • Local Mariposan says:

    The “Burma Grade” is the switchbacked dirt road that starts at Briceburg on the north side of the river (where HWY 140 and the Merced River first intersect as you travel east from Mariposa). At the top of the ridge, the Burma Grade turns into Bull Creek Road which goes north. On Tuesday night, the fire was travelling north on both sides of Bull Creek Road where Branch III, Division M was working.

  • Mike says:

    Local knowledge! Thanks very much.

  • Anonymous says:

    Burma Road is at the base of Briceburg. It is a very narrow steep unpaved road of sorts carved into the sound of a mountain. You cross the bridge over the Merced River at Briceburg where the road starts and ends up near Greeley Hill.

  • Mike says:

    “driving a night on remote, windy, unfamiliar roads – not my idea of fun.”On the contrary. If the fire is laying low it can be the most amazing experience you can ever have. Surreal defined.I haven’t found the Burma Road on any map. Like Black Mountain, not on any topo’s or published maps I have looked at like Google Maps or Google Earth. Even air attack and the tankers express confusion about which peak it is.At one point the other day air attack referred to it as the one next to the dozer line with smoke.

  • Mike says:

    The shirts should have a giant asterisk on the back.Pretty insulting to the communities that lived in fear for a few days.I won’t be buying one.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Mike,I know nothing about fighting fires, but a lot about ER/ICU work and I can say that, listening to the scanner, these guys are pros – doing a great job under pressure. A question: where in the ##! is the Burma Grade? I haven’t found it on Google, but it sure seems to be used a lot. I had no idea how much time people spend on the road, driving to one area, then another, as needed.Geez, driving a night on remote, windy, unfamiliar roads – not my idea of fun.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the updates. By the way they are selling T shirts in Mariposa that say – Telegraph Fire, Yosemite 2008. I guess Midpines/Mariposa don’t exist.

  • Anonymous says:

    Mike,First thank you for this blog. It helps us stay informed with recent progress. As for air support. I have watched it from my home on small fires as well as this one. Yesterday aprox. 1300 Black Mt. was a major flair-up, the ‘heavies’ came in a suppressed enough for us to see another day. It is plain to see that air or ground cannot do it alone. Without either IMO, Greeley Hill would be gone.

  • Mike says:

    Thanks, I’m writing too much, can’t even track down my own blatherings.

  • Anonymous says:

    Captain Mike,Your comments on the LA times article were in your post called Telegraph Fire Path Moves Away From Mariposa. I definitely agree with you on this score, and am just grateful there was air support to save the mountain communities in this historical area!

  • Mike says:

    Hi Preston, I know I commented on this before in my own comment section but I can’t find it. As I read it I wondered where they found the disgruntled retirees who contributed to the article.I can offer this opinion Preston. The Telegraph Fire would already be at El Portal on the east, Coulterville on the northeast and 120 to the north without the air tankers and helicopters.Many more than 22 homes would have burned in Mariposa.Two days in a row now the air attack scheme arrested forward progress. Credit the dozers and air tankers with follow up support by helicopters and hand crews for putting this fire out.The article’s agenda became clear to me when they went on about ineffective air drops. As I wrote before their reporters need to visit the fire grounds of a fire like the Telegraph if they want to understand how tankers affect the fires path.I thought Pincha-Tulley’s quotes about her air force on the Castle Rock fire were poignant.Part 3 of the series comes out today.Mike

  • preston says:

    Captain Mike,Looking at the statistics in this report for helicopters and aircraft, I am thinking of this article about the true reason for using these tools:http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wildfires29-2008jul29,0,5666042.story?page=1The article says that firefighters refer to air drops on fire as “CNN drops”, and that they are for publicity only.I can’t truly believe that this approach to firefighting is strictly political, but would appreciate your views on this.