Tahoe NF Safety News Release Sept. 6, 2013
Incident: American Wildfire
Contact: Gwen Ernst-Ulrich
September 6 2013
American Fire Area Still Hazardous Even as Smoke Clears
Nevada City CA – Tahoe National Forest (TNF) officials remind people that even though smoke from the American Fire is clearing being within the fire area remains hazardous.
Unstable burned trees and tree limbs can fall at any time particularly during wind gusts.
Rolling material including large rocks can fall on roads and trails.
Stump holes that are often burning underground are not easily detected.
Ash pits that walkers can sink into often have hidden hot material.
Intermittent smoke ash and dust are breathing and eye hazards.
Unburned vegetation within the fire area can ignite without warning bringing entrapment danger.
Large vehicles such as water tenders and fire engines are present on narrow dirt roads with limited turnouts.
The TNF appreciates everyone’s patience and is working hard to restore safe public access to the American Fire area. A fire area closure order remains in effect and can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tahoe/alerts-notices/ aid=19769.
A Few Key Wildfire Terms
Contained means the forward spread of the fire has been stopped. The American Fire was contained on August 29 2013.
Controlled means the fire will not cross containment lines. Measures such as felling trees in the containment lines and eliminating hot spots adjacent to containment lines as well as patrolling for new smokes in or near the containment lines is referred to “mop up.” Mop up is occurring on the American Fire right now and is expected to continue for at least another week.
Out means the entire fire area is cold to the touch. Concerning the American Fire that means all 27 440 acres must be cold to the touch. With the heavy fuels and large stumps that hold heat “Out” is not expected until substantial rain and snow have blanketed the fire area. Even when the fire is declared “out ” a recently burned area still contains hazards such as falling trees and limbs hidden holes in the ash pits and rocks on roads and trails.