2020 LNU Lightning Complex

This post is a call to the Cobb Community to contribute useful info.
PLEASE add a comment that we can include in the updates!


(Original Post) 19 Aug 2020 @ 9:30 PM Pacific
+ UPDATES!

Hello Everybody,
We hope you’re safe right now
as the many fires sparked by lightning strikes (over 10,000 in the first August storms), are flaring up all over the state and already stretching CalFire’s resources dangerously thin. Fires are continuing to run in multiple directions and impact multiple communities. There are now over 500 fires in California (including 23 major “complex” fires).


LNU Lightning Complex Fire”                                          (LNU = Lake Napa Unit)
Fatalities: 5 (plus 4 injuries — as of 24 Aug)
Counties Affected: Lake, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo & Solano
Multiple Blazes: Hennessey, Gamble, 15-10, Spanish, Markley, 11-16, Walbridge (13-4).
Started: 17 Aug 2020
Acres Burned: 350,000+ acres (as of 24 Aug)
Structures: 871+ destroyed, 234+ damaged, 30,500+ threatened (as of 24 Aug)
Containment: 22% (as of 24 Aug) —— 98% (as of 26 Sep)
———————
LNU Lightning Complex(3 fires), Sonoma-Lake Napa Unit, Cal Fire. IMT 1 (Cal Fire Team 2). Two miles north of Barro, CA. Chapparal, tall grass and timber. Extreme fire behavior with long-range spotting, short-range spotting and wind-driven runs. Numerous structures, energy and communication infrastructure threatened. Evacuations, area, road and trail closures in effect.


Lake County & Cobb Area Information

• Radio      • Weather      • Maps      • Images       • Info & Alerts


• Radio •

Radio Frequencies (MHz):
   462.5500   CAVERN Main GMRS Repeater Channel        (DCS Tone: D071N)
   154.2875   Morgan Valley Fire Command / Round Fire (“Fire 23”)
   155.0250   CalFire LNUE (CAVERN 47)
   169.5375   Hennessey East Fire Command

NOTE: to tune in 7-digit freqs, use Menu on your radio to set the “Step” to “2.5“, the smallest increment. On some radios, the last digit is just visible in a very tiny font on the radio’s display.

Web-Based Radio:
Lake County Fire & Police Radio (direct: Lake County emergency svcs)
Broadcastify.com (general: online radio frequency aggreagtor)

Stay Tuned: more frequencies are coming soon from CAVERN Network Control !


Weather

NWS Weather Update
• 21 Aug •

Fire Weather Threat:
Thunderstorms Possible on Monday & Tuesday (24 & 25 Aug)
across northwest California.
New wildfires may be ignited by lightning

National Weather Service                                                      (general)
Current Weather for Cobb, Lake County                                 (95426)
The Geysers • Weather Forecast

WindFinder.com                                                    (dynamic wind maps)
Windy.com                                                          (wind tracking website)
AirNow.gov                                                        (CA fire & smoke maps)
LightningMaps.org                                         (pinpoint lightning strikes)


Maps •

Lake County Fire & Evac GIS Maps
Lake County, CA GIS Portal
Lake County Map Info:                   Email: Lon.Sharp@LakeCountyCA.gov
National Wildfire Coordinating Group                 (maps w/fire overlays)
CalTopo.com                                     (topographic maps with data layers)
SF Chronicle Fire Maps                        (both current & historical fire info)
ArcGIS Map of LNU Complex Fire             (complex extents, evac zones)
LNU Incident Maps                     (NIFC maps: hi-res downloadable PDFs)


• Images •

AlertWildfire.org                  (Lake County & North Bay area tower cams)

19 Aug: Some LNU Complex Fires (from the Cobb Mtn 1 webcam)

• Info & Alerts •

LNU Lightning Complex Fire Info                                 (LNU fire details)
Fire Updates from CalFire                                       (general CF website)
CalFire LNU Tweets                                      (updates for hummingbirds)
FlightRadar24.com                                             (track aerial fire-flights)
Fire Info for Resource Mgmt Sys                            (NASA data d/l login)
Lake County Sheriff OES Alerts                     (emergency services alerts)
511.org Road Closures                         (critical fire-related road closures)
CA Dept of Transportation                        (enter hwy# for road closures)
Red Cross People Locator                                      (safe & well program)

211 General Help Line                                      (bay area 24/7 help line)
707.967.4207    CalFire LNU 24/7 Info                              (see note*)

* CF 24/7 Info NOTE: the St Helena dispatch command center is handling these calls and is already stretched thin from coordinating CF’s dozens of fire engine crews. The voicemailbox may be full when you call andif it’s very busy there may be nobody able to answer, but: a 911 operator may call you back to make sure you’re not in imminent danger, so please call only w/serious issues.

NIFC.gov                                            (National Interagency Fire Center)
Wildfire Intel Forum                   (community wildfire intelligence forum)

Nixle Alerts:                                                Text JOINLCSO to 888777

Nixle Alert • 19 Aug 2020 @ 9:42 PM Pacific
LCSO has issued Evacuation Orders for Residents in…

FaceBook Scanner Groups:                         (from Mel / Siegler 001)
Public Safety Scanner Lake County CA
https://www.facebook.com/OnTheScannerLakeCounty
Lake County Public Safety Scanner and Awareness
Lake County, California Emergency Warnings and Preparedness


• Other Useful Links…     (WIP)
Get Started as a CA.VERN Volunteer Emergency Radio Network Operator…

Webcams over the Fires

Various mountaintop/tower cameras —with views over the Kincade and other fires— are accessible at: http://www.alertwildfire.org/northbay/

191029: Kincade Fire seen from Cobb Mtn tower cam.
191027: Kincade Fire from Mt St Helena webcam.
Oct 2019: a CalFire Air Tanker dropping retardant over the Kincade Fire in Lake County, CA. (Carol Leigh Photography)

Konocti Fire Lookout Closed

State Inspector shuts down Mt Konocti Tower on Wright Peak.

“Saint Helena, this is Konocti Tower… out of service.”

2019.10.04 • I may never again get to say that… at the end of a long shift, after looking out over all of Lake County’s green and blue magnificence, to keep my fellow citizens safer from fires and other disasters. It is with concern for the safety of Lake County’s people, animals and natural splendor, that I must report sad news to you. Today, a CA State Inspector has shut down the Mt Konocti Fire Lookout Tower on nearby Wright Peak. Mark your calendars, friends. It might be a long wait. 🙁

The details will be available through the local Forest Fire Lookout Association (where I volunteer for shifts on the tower), but the preliminary information is that the Inspector locked us out —well before the end of Fire Season— for what he deemed to be unsafe conditions related the tower’s physical state (dry rot, weakened steel, cracking concrete). At first, I wondered if they were talking about me. 😉

Personally, as a volunteer lookout, I don’t mind an appropriate level of risk — if it saves lives and property. Sure the tower is old and worn (who isn’t?), but it’s not statistically likely to fall down until after fire season 2019. To add some perspective, I’m pretty sure the firefighters who go and actually put out the fires are willing to accept a similar class of risks (to a higher degree, of course) and for the same reasons.

As a community, we are suddenly less safe, but a few dozen volunteers will be safer, so… consider that logic. On the bright side, we could now become more dependent on one PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) Security Camera mounted by CalFire on the northeast corner of the tower. You can see the images here. As you will see, the difference between those PTZ cameras and human beings with brains and powerful binoculars is… significant. Peripheral vision, a human brain and way better magnification will beat a camera any day.

Now, we as a community must find a way to compensate for this loss. The tower closure could last somewhere between “a fairly long time” and “never coming back online”. We’ve been metaphorically poked in the eye with a stick and left half-blind as a community to eruptions of smoke, flames and human foibles all around Lake County and beyond. We need more than ever to focus our collective energy on keeping each other safe. That starts with talking to each other, as do many other solutions to what ails our society. Talk. Get to know people. Feel comfy calling them for help or going to help when they call. Learn the emergency protocols, like our “directed net”. Join a FireWise group (we have SIX all around Cobb!). Know where the places people talk about are located (yes, we need better maps on this website!).

So, if you’ve been sitting on the fence, waiting to see how this whole “volunteer emergency radio network” thing works out… well, it’s time now for you to step up, for your own safety and that of others too, including your loved ones and friendly neighbors. Get a radio and join us on the radio checks. There was talk of going back to one radio check per week, but now that Konocti Tower is going “out of service” indefinitely… I think we might go to three radio checks a week. Vigilance plus readiness equals life.

It’s easy to get involved and be part of the solution