Almost no post today.

We have a guest with us.

Plus, there is the potential for strong winds and possible spot fires in our neighbourhood. But I want to share the update from Inciweb issued yesterday morning:

Rum Creek Fire morning update for Monday, Sept. 5

Firefighters prepare for another windy dry spell

MERLIN, Ore. – Tomorrow’s weather will provide a test for the fire lines. If the fire stays within the current footprint, fire managers can be more confident that it will not escape the fire lines in the future. Rum Creek Fire will be under a Haines 6 tomorrow, the highest level on the index, indicating the greatest potential for rapid fire growth. Also, the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Tuesday afternoon and evening for the Rum Creek Fire area. The forecast calls for high temperatures, gusty winds and low relative humidity. 

The Haines Index is a tool used to estimate the effect of atmospheric dryness and stability on fire growth potential. When the atmosphere is unstable, windy conditions allow mixing of air near the ground with air higher in the atmosphere. This mixing provides ample fresh air flow to a fire, allowing it to burn freely and potentially grow rapidly and develop a smoke plume. These conditions are more likely to allow a fire to run or spot past fire lines.

In advance of this weather change, firefighters are working aggressively to contain more of the fire. Sunday night, crews completed the last of the planned tactical firing operations on the west side, tying lines from Mount Peavine north to the Rogue River. The large areas of unburned fuels between this primary line and the natural fire edge in the Rum Creek drainage are being closely monitored. At this time, the fire is steadily burning through this area, reducing the chance of fire running across the primary line or spotting north across the Rogue River.

On the east side, tactical firing is expected to be completed today near McKnabe Creek. Firefighters continue to mop up around the fire perimeter and near any structures, reducing the chance for fire to cross the primary lines. This hard work is reflected in the increase in containment to 34%.

Office of State Fire Marshal resources continue to mop up remaining hot spots near structures, cutting hazard trees, and patrolling areas along Galice Road. Firefighters are also working on structure assessment and pre-planning to the north and southeast of the fire. 

Fire personnel found three more burned structures, bringing the losses to two homes and four minor structures. These were destroyed during the fire’s rapid spread on August 26th and are in an area previously inaccessible to firefighters.

Evacuations: Existing evacuation orders and notifications remain in place. An interactive map showing evacuation levels according to address can be found at //JosephineCounty.gov/FireMap. For the most current evacuation information and resources, go to Josephine County Incident Information (rvem.org).

Road control: Josephine County Sheriff’s Office has established traffic access points around the fire zone. Road blocks are located at Galice Road near Crow Road; Galice Store; Bear Camp Road at Peavine (top intersection); Lower Grave Creek Road at Angora Creek (Grays Ranch); Quartz Creek Road about 3 miles up (end of County maintenance); Dutch Henry Road near Kelsey Creek (42 44’56.2/123 40’35.4); and Hog Creek at Galice Road. The National Guard is staffing the roadblocks. Only residents (must show proof of residency) and permitted users will be allowed through.

River status: The Wild section of the Rogue River below Grave Creek will remain open unless fire conditions warrant closure. River status is determined on a day-to-day basis. Please call 541-471-6535 for more information regarding Rogue River permits. No new boating permits will be issued at this time.

Still uncertain!

Just a brief update!

Rum Creek fire two days ago.

We have had gentle winds for Tuesday and Wednesday and there is good progress on the curtailment. So long as we don’t get more winds in the next 24 hours (writing this yesterday morning) then the firefighters will be able to keep up the good work.

The smoke has been bad and the whole area of Merlin and Grants Pass is affected.

But hopefully conditions will improve later on Thursday and more so on Friday.

The fire update, released around 10am yesterday, says:

MERLIN, Ore. – Overnight, the Rum Creek Fire pushed across the line on the east side of the fire near McKnabe Creek, burning several hundred acres. Resources are being shifted to this area to corral the slop-over and establish new control lines. An increase in fire activity is expected through Friday as the weather shifts to a hotter, drier pattern. Inversions are expected to lift earlier in the day, increasing temperatures and winds while reducing relative humidity.  

As of early this morning, the fire was already burning actively on the ridges. Firefighters are expecting potential spot fires, and have shifted resources to continue alternate contingency fire lines to the east.

Last night firefighters successfully conducted burnouts on the south edge of the fire near Taylor Creek, eliminating remaining fuels between the control lines and the fire’s edge. Today, they will work to secure the southeast corner of the fire working toward the north. Hose lays and pumps have been set up along many control lines, including those constructed near Stratton Creek.

On the west edge of the fire, burnout operations near Mount Peavine and the 34 road have secured more of the western edge, and crews built line from Taylor Gulch toward Chrome Ridge. Today, fire personnel will tie the line from Chrome Ridge north to Bear Gulch, and are working near Ridge Gulch. North of the Rogue River, the line tying to the Dad Creek Fire scar is expected to be completed today.

Firefighters working with the OSFM are assisting with active fire suppression as needed. They are also extinguishing all remanent heat spots found within 100 feet of buildings, and continuing to assess structures. Also they are making preparations to include clearing brush and installing sprinklers, to further develop structure protection.

It is starting to look as though an evacuation for us at Hugo Road is more and more unlikely.

Just one of those days!

There is no post for today!

Although I admit that having this come out at the usual time for a Tuesday rather flies in the face of that sub-heading!

But on Sunday evening Merlin was placed in the first zone of the evacuation instructions. This follows the rapidly expanding Rum Creek Fire that is just West of us. Depending on what defines as the actual location of the fire we are anything from 5 to 9 miles away. Our home is on Hugo Road, Merlin.

3-D map of the Rum Creek Fire, looking south-southwest at 9:45 p.m. Aug. 28, 2022.

The Rum Creek Fire 14 miles northwest of Grants Pass, Oregon has grown to 10,709 acres since it started from lightning on August 17. The fire is burning in very steep, remote, rugged terrain on both sides of the Rogue River. It has spread upriver to Galice and east to Stratton Creek. Spot fires have occurred two miles down range.

(Copied from Wildfire Today.)

So there you are!

From Jess

This is so very cute!

Jess, a longtime follower of this blog sent me recently the following email: Paul, I thought you’d really enjoy this one.  I hope you are having a great day.  JESS

It is called Military Dog and is offered for your pleasure.

(We watched it yesterday evening and it is incredible!)

Aren’t our dogs more than wonderful! They are better than precious!

Thank you, Jess, from the bottom of our hearts!

Sir David Attenborough.

There are not many who achieve so much, but Sir David most definately has!

This is our planet. It is the only one we have (stating the obvious!).

This beautiful photograph taken from the Apollo 11 mission says it all. That Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969 changed everything.

But one thing that was not on anyone’s mind then; the state of the planet!

This view of Earth rising over the Moon’s horizon was taken from the Apollo 11 spacecraft. The lunar terrain pictured is in the area of Smyth’s Sea on the nearside. Coordinates of the center of the terrain are 85 degrees east longitude and 3 degrees north latitude.
While astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, descended in the Lunar Module (LM) “Eagle” to explore the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, astronaut Michael Collins remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) “Columbia” in lunar orbit.
Image Credit: NASA

How that has changed since 1969.

David Attenborough is a giant of a man, and I say this out of humility and respect for what he has done in his long life, he was born in May, 1926, and he is still fighting hard to get us humans to wake up to the crisis that is upon us.

Wikipedia has an entry that lists all the television shows, and more, that David Attenborough has made. As is quoted: “Attenborough’s name has become synonymous with the natural history programmes produced by the BBC Natural History Unit.”

Please take 45 minutes and watch this film. It is so important.

But before you do please read this extract taken from this site about the film:

For decades David Attenborough delighted millions of people with tales of life on Earth, exploring wild places and documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. Now, for the first time he reflects upon both the defining moments of his lifetime as a naturalist and the devastating changes he has seen.

Honest, revealing and urgent, the film serves as a witness statement for the natural world – a first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature, from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to the jungles of central Africa, the North Pole and Antarctica. It also aims to provide a message of hope for future generations.

“I’ve had a most extraordinary life. It’s only now I appreciate how extraordinary,” Sir David says in the film’s trailer, in which he also promises to tell audiences how we can “work with nature rather than against it”.

The film retraces Sir David’s career, his life stages and natural history films, within the context of human population growth and the loss of wilderness areas. “I don’t think that the theoretical basis for the reason why biodiversity is important is a widely understood one,” he told the Guardian in September.

This autumn, a series of publications warned that “humanity is at a crossroads” in its relationship with nature, culminating in a UN report that the world has failed to meet a single target to stop the destruction of nature in the past decade.

Sir David has been vocal about the threat of climate change in recent years, calling on politicians to take their “last chance” to act rather than continue to “neglect long-term problems”.

We need to learn how to work with nature, rather than against it”, according to Sir David. In the film, he is going to tell us how.

Now watch the film. Please!

As you can see, in the film Sir David states that the only way out of this mess is a massive focus on rewilding.

Coincidentally, Patrice Ayme last Sunday wrote about rewilding: California Grizzly: Rewilding Is A Moral Duty. In the latter half of that essay, he wrote: “One should strive to reintroduce American megafauna, starting with the more innocuous species (and that includes the grizzly). By the way, I have run and hiked in grizzly country (Alaska), with a huge bear pepper spray cannister at the ready. I nearly used the cannister on a charging moose (with her calf which was as big as a horse). The calf slipped off, and I eluded the mom through a thicket of very closely spaced tough trees. But I had my finger on the trigger, safety off. Moose attack more humans than grizzlies and wolves combined (although a bear attack is more dangerous). In any case, in the US, stinging insects kill around 100, deer around 200 (mostly through car collisions), and lightning around three dozen people, per year.

As it is, I run and hike a lot in California wilderness, out of rescue range. I generally try to stay aware of where and when I could come across bears, lions and rattlers. My last close call with a large rattlesnake, up a mountain slope, was partly due to hubris and not realizing I was moving in dangerous terrain. Fortunately I heard the slithering just in time. Dangerous animals make us aware of nature in its full glory, and the real nature of the human condition. They keep us more honest with what is real, what humanity is all about.

And that should be the primordial sense.

I will close by offering you this photograph. May it inspire you to rewild, in small ways and also, if you can, in bigger ways. All of us must be involved. Otherwise…

…otherwise… (sentence left unfinished).

Picture Parade Four Hundred and Forty-Eight

Yet more from Unsplash!

The link above is to the home page of Unsplash for there are so many excellent photographs on there.

We had a lightning storm over the house on Thursday evening with, luckily, a small amount of rain. Indeed, Saturday afternoon the firefighters, including air tankers, were attempting to bring three fires to the North-East of us to a halt.

So the first photograph is of a similar storm just to give you an idea of what we watched on Thursday.

It was not a lot different to the above.

Now to dogs and humans.

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All very beautiful!