In February the Wildlandfire Staff watched as a rural area Northeast from McCloud in Northern California just 20 miles from our office had its first large incident of the season.
McCloud sits on the southern slope of Mount Shasta, at an elevation of 3,271 feet and normally in winter seasons has a great covering of snow and less than 8 miles from McCloud is the Mt. Shasta Ski Park. The ski park in 2014 opened for two days due to it’s lack of snow. In, 2015 Mt. Shasta had experienced some snow storms that allowed it to be open for a few weeks, and the snow was quickly melted away from the warm rain that followed. Just a few miles Due East, loggers were working away they were burning off slash to keep their landing clean. At some point of time of that happening, the fire had escaped and burnt up less than 300 acres in country that is normally deep under snow.
A local friend of mine who drove a water tender spoke about the interesting conditions of engines having to be pulled out at the higher altitudes by dozers that needed to be pulled out of ditches from sliding off the road in the snow. Also mentioned was the fact that the fire snuffed itself out when it reached high altitude and was met with more snow.
As conditions worsen we watch as vegetation gets drier and drier and as pointed out in the video. Drought conditions lead to surprises, and surprises lead to death.
Buckle up and stay safe out there everybody!