Forums
Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Dolan Fire stats

Dolan Fire stats

This is the place for general discussion and backcountry information.

Moderators: dknapp1, Betsy M

Re: Dolan Fire stats

Postby jack_glendening on Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:32 am

The Dolan Fire incident site has this to say re fuels:

Recent burn scars, such as the 2016 Soberanes, have helped reduce fire spread. In the 2008 fire scar areas, where shrub growth is recent the fuels are not receptive. Where there are dead fuel components (older, decadent brush) fuels are receptive and are carrying/consuming well.
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
User avatar
jack_glendening
 
Posts: 684
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Dolan Fire stats

Postby K Vandevere on Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:46 pm

While it's not surprising that a 4 year old burn scar would carry fire less well than areas that haven't burned in 12 years (isn't chaparral supposed to take around 6 years to recover its ability to carry fire?), the thing I found most interesting was how effective Lost Valley Creek and the Arroyo Seco River were as fire breaks. The fire burned the entire south shore of Lost Valley Creek from Lost Valley Camp to the confluence with the Arroyo Seco River and the east shore of the Arroyo Seco River from there nearly to Horse Bridge without ever getting across (and most of the fuel beds the fire was facing across these streams were unburned in the Soberanes Fire). The natural firebreak provided by the streams was aided, at times, by helicopter water drops, but the main factor seems to have been a lack of south wind during the critical days when the fire was burning in this area. Without any breeze to blow embers across, the streams stopped the fire cold (and probably prevented it from reaching Tassajara, which had no Soberanes Fire scar between it and the fire on the east bank of the Arroyo Seco).

It was also interesting how, as soon as the weather turned less favorable for burning, the Forest Service, primarily through helicopter drops, was able to stop the fire dead in its tracks just east of the summit of JSP, in some of the driest, brushiest, and most difficult terrain imaginable. Fuel load certainly makes a difference, but nothing dictates fire behavior and intensity quite like the weather.
User avatar
K Vandevere
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:50 pm

Dolan Fire stats

Postby jack_glendening on Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:56 am

FYI the Dolan Fire will have burned 25% of the National Forest in Monterey County (28% of the wilderness area). This compares with 33% for the Soberanes Fire (32% of the wilderness area).

So roughly speaking each burned ~30% of the NationalForest/wilderness area here - and since the fires did not overlap, that means ~60% has burned in the last 4 years!

Jack

PS: interesting to note that the Dolan Fire licked at the edges of the Soberanes burn area but essentially stopped there - don't know how much might be due to firefighter action, but strengthens the idea that large fires occur because of a build-up of unburnt material.
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
User avatar
jack_glendening
 
Posts: 684
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am


Return to Ventana Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest

cron