What to Do?

marvin-hiking

Marvin and Family by Tom Armstrong

The snow pack is not doing so great as of the February 1 survey. However, we still have this month and March to go. They are both typically the wetter months. If the snow pack does not improve significantly, what will you do? Will you plan an earlier trip into the wilderness or go at your usual time?

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Not Looking So Good

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The snow survey results are in for the state of California. As far as the Domeland Wilderness is concerned, the Kern River is the main watershed. How much snow is up there? Well if you have already been tuned into the news, we do not have much.

The average snow pack for the month of February is 14% of normal. If there is no more snow for the rest of the year, then the April 1 average is 9%. Remember that the April 1 date is important for the State regarding water allocations and planning for the summer months. Quite the contrast from last year! However, we do have two more months to get some snow on the ground. Let’s hope for a wet snow as that means more water!

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Into 2018 We Go

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Trip Report: Kennedy Meadows to Rockhouse Basin

A user to the Domeland Wilderness, Dan Hall, hiked out in mid-November. Though it sounded like a nice hike, he brings back some news about the trail. Here is what he has to report.

In mid-November I backpacked south on the PCT from Kennedy Meadows to Rockhouse Basin, in the Domeland Wilderness. Both the PCT and the spur trail down into Rockhouse Basin (35E16A) were in good shape, and the trail junction was easy to locate. When I tried hiking the trail from Rockhouse Basin south to Rockhouse Meadow (35E16), the junction was marked with cairns, the first mile or so was easy to find, but when I came to a large wash, thereafter the official trail was lost to the brush, etc. More details about this and other things are best described with the captioned photos at http://tinyurl.com/ycg7f9tf

Thank you Dan for the conditions out there. Also thank you for the photos of the area. Nice to see what it looks like out there in the Fall.

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Shaeffer Fire’s Road Closure Ends!

Good news for those wanting to access the western entry points to the Domeland Wilderness. The road closure has been lifted on the Sherman Pass road! Below is directly from the Sequoia National Forest’s public release letter.

Schaeffer Fire Area, Roads, and Trails Closure Rescinded

PORTERVILLE, Calif., July 27, 2017 – Forest Service officials rescinded the Schaeffer Fire Area Closure Order within the Kern River and Western Divide Ranger Districts as of Friday, July 28, 2017. The fire is currently 94% contained. Smoke in the interior may continue for several weeks and fire suppression resources will remain on scene to monitor the area.

Roads and trails within the closure area, including Sherman Pass and Monache roads are now open. Rattlesnake Trail #33E22 will remain closed due to pre-existing conditions. Please remain cautious when visiting the area’s roads and trails. Hazards that remain within the closure area include burning stumps, hot spots, ash, hazard trees, and snags.

The lightning caused Schaeffer Fire started, Saturday, June 24, 2017, when a storm passed through the Kern River Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest. In the interest of Forest visitor and firefighter health and safety, Forest officials placed the Schaeffer Fire Area Closure Order, July 8, 2017.

For more information, call the Kernville Ranger Station at 760-376-3781. The district office is open 7-days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Shaeffer Fire at 74% Containment

Incident: Schaeffer Fire Wildfire

Acres Burned: 16,002 Structures Threatened: 13

Containment: 74 % Injuries: 17

Personnel: 985 Fuel Type: Brush, timber, heavy dead and down

Start Date: June 24, 2017

A Forest closure order for the fire area, including all roads and trails is in affect and will remain until the fire is declared out (Forest Order No. 0513-17-20). For details regarding this closure, please go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5285

Clear weather yesterday allowed firefighters to conduct a successful burning operation in the NW corner of the fire near the Kern River and the South Fork of the Kern River intersect. Today crews will continue to work, keeping the fire to the south side of the Kern River. On the east flank of the fire, in the Bonita Flats area, the fire’s perimeter has not changed over the last few days. In all other areas of the fire, crews continue to work improving and mopping-up containment lines and constructing direct line as needed.

Over the next several days, firefighters will start fire suppression repair. The goal of fire suppression repair is to minimize or eliminate environmental impacts caused by firefighting activities and leave the area in as natural a condition as possible. Vegetation that was cut will be scattered and used to cover areas of bare soil that were cleared by the fire fighters. This includes hand lines, dozer lines, safety zones and helicopter landing sites. Trash will be hauled out and excess equipment will be removed. Fire suppression repair is the first phase of rehabilitation after a wildfire. 

With the significant progress made in reaching 74% containment, fire managers are beginning to downsize the suppression organization. Resources are being released as conditions warrant.

For Smoke Advisory information, see https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html orhttp://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm.

Information on the #SchaefferFire can be found on Facebook and Twitter ,https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5285 or go to Schaefferfire@gmail.com. The Kern River Ranger District can also be reached at 760-376-3781 (ext.635) from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Source: InciWeb

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Shaeffer Fire Now at 61% Containment

Incident: Schaeffer Fire Wildfire
Acres Burned: 16,002

Structures Threatened: 13

Containment: 61% Injuries: 5 (minor)

Personnel: 1,039 Fuel Type: Brush, timber, heavy dead and down

Start Date: June 24, 2017

A Forest closure order for the fire area, including all roads and trails is in affect and will remain until the fire is declared out (Forest Order No. 0513-17-20).For details regarding this closure, please go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5285.

Suppression efforts on the Schaeffer fire have increased to a containment of 61%. The southwest portion of the fire from the Forks of the Kern to Bonita Meadows is now considered contained. The fire remains active on its northern border in the Kern River area, northeast of the Forks of the Kern, and on the eastern flank in the Beach Meadows area. Protection measures are still in place for structures that may be threatened. Similar conditions are expected today for those regions of the fire, which may result in smoke columns.

Firefighters continue to work along the Kern River and on the eastern perimeter to secure and hold the fire line. Air operations will make water drops throughout the day to check fire spread and cool areas of intense heat. Crews may use firing operations when weather is ideal to consume unburned fuel between containment lines and the fire.

In advance of potential firing operations public and firefighter safety, as well as protection of property are top priorities. “Burning out” is a tactic used by firefighters to assist in controlling fires. Operations of this type are used during favorable weather to minimize fire severity. Firefighters will wait for optimal conditions and continually assess the firing operation. Smoke and fire may be visible.

Resources assigned to the Schaeffer Fire include of 30 crews, 28 engines, 6 dozers and 10 water tenders, and various overhead and support personnel for a total of 1,039 personnel.

Friday and Saturday will see a slight warming and drying trend. Relative humidity may drop back into the upper teens during this time.

As suppression efforts continue, smoke may impact surrounding communities. Smoke is typically greater in the morning and evening hours. Plan outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. People with respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people may be susceptible to adverse effects. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctor’s advice. For more information, see https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html orhttp://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm.

Information on the #SchaefferFire can be found on Facebook and Twitter or go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5285. The Kern River Ranger District can also be reached at 760-376-3781 (ext.635) from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Source: InciWeb

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Shaeffer Fire Reaches 42% Containment

Incident: Schaeffer Fire Wildfire
Released: 11 hrs. ago

Acres Burned: 15,859 Structures Threatened: 13

Containment: 42% Injuries: 4 (minor)

Personnel: 1,141 Fuel Type: Brush, timber, heavy dead and down

Start Date: June 24, 2017

A Forest closure order for the fire area, including all roads and trails is in affect and will remain until the fire is declared out (Forest Order No. 0513-17-20). For details regarding this closure, please go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5285 .

The Schaeffer Fire was active yesterday on its northern border in the Little Kern River and Kern River area. Similar conditions are expected today for that region of the fire and on the eastern flank, in the Beach Meadows region, which may result in smoke columns. Crews are working along the Kern River securing and holding the northern and eastern perimeters.

Firefighters are making excellent progress in constructing and holding hand line on all flanks of the fire. Air operations continued to make water drops throughout the day to check the spread of the fire Overall the heat from the fire is diminishing. Containment has increased to 42%.

In advance of potential firing operations public and firefighter safety, as well as protection of property are top priorities for the Incident Management Team. “Burning out” is a tactic used by firefighters to assist in controlling fires. Operations of this type are typically used during favorable weather to minimize fire severity. As such, crews wait for optimal conditions. Firefighters will constantly assess the firing operation. Smoke and fire may be visible.

Resources assigned to the Schaeffer Fire include of 37 crews, 29 engines, 5 dozers and 12 water tenders, and various overhead and support personnel for a total of 1,141 personnel.

Little change in the weather pattern is expected over the next few days. Thursday and Friday will see a slight warming and drying trend. Relative humidity is likely to drop back into the upper teens during this time.

As suppression efforts continue, smoke may impact surrounding communities. Smoke is typically greater in the morning and evening hours. Plan outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. People with respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people may be susceptible to adverse effects. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctor’s advice. For more information, seehttps://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html or http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm.

Information on the #SchaefferFire can be found by following on Facebook and Twitter or go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5285. The Kern River Ranger District can also be reached at 760-376-3781 (ext.635) from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Source: Schaeffer Fire InciWeb

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Video: Domeland Wilderness

A couple of folks head out into the Domeland Wilderness to do some trail maintenance work. Check out the views of where they went in this video. Thank for sharing your adventure Dylon Schwahn!

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Schaeffer Fire closes roads and trails

Although the Schaeffer Fire is not within the Domeland Wilderness, it is impacting access to trails. A Forest Order is in effect closing road access to some trailheads. Read and follow the links below for more information.

Schaeffer Fire Now at 12,268 Acres 

Acres Burned: 12,268 Structures Threatened: 12

Containment: 10% Injuries: 0

Personnel: 722 Fuel Type: Brush and Timber

Kernville, CA July 8, 2017 – The Schaeffer Fire is currently 12,268 acres and 10% contained. The fire is burning 17 miles north of Kernville within the 2002 McNally wildfire footprint.

A Forest closure order for the area of the fire, including all roads and trails has been issued, going into effect today and will remain in effect until the fire is declared out (Forest Order No. 0513-17-20). For details regarding this closure, please go tohttps://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5285 .

Yesterday, a spot fire occurred on the north side of the Kern River. Helicopters effectively controlled the one acre fire. Firefighters continue to have success with containment efforts as fire continues backing slowly toward the Kern River to the northwest. Hotshot crews are working in the rugged terrain on the north end of the fire to strengthen the containment line using existing roads and trails to keep it from spreading into the Golden Trout Wilderness.

Fire activity remains active today. The fire progressed on the south and east edges and fire crews are doing an outstanding job strengthening the indirect handline on the south edge around Schaeffer Mountain and tying into the forest roads, trails and Sherman Pass Road. This effort can reduce the overall containment area. Crews continue to improve defensible space around structures in these areas.

Helicopters are making water drops to protect resources in the vicinity and air tankers will be used to reinforce containment lines when they can be used effectively and weather conditions permit.

Hotter and dryer weather conditions are predicted for this weekend with a slight chance of thunderstorms today.

There will be a community meeting at Kennedy Meadows Volunteer Fire Station this Saturday at 4:00 PM (99075 Goman Ave.). A community meeting is also scheduled in Inyokern on Sunday at 3:00 PM at Inyokern Fire Station #73 (6919 Monache Mountain Ave).

People with respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people may be susceptible to adverse effects. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctor’s advice. For more information, seehttps://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html or http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm.

For more information follow #SchaefferFire on Facebook and Twitter or go tohttps://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5285. The Kern River Ranger District can also be reached at 760-376-3781 (ext.635) from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

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