October 17, 2020 | 11:40 a.m. PDT
We are trying something new on Wildfire Today — creating a Google Map containing the perimeter of the Creek Fire. One of the main differences from our usual maps is that you can zoom in to see more detail. But keep in mind the perimeter is the approximate location, and can rapidly change as the fire spreads. The data came, as usual, from an overnight USFS fixed wing mapping flight. Let us know your thoughts about this type of map.
The 346,477-acre Creek Fire is the largest fire in the recorded history of California, when comparing fires that are not part of a complex or multiple fires that merged. It is about 22 air miles northeast of Fresno.
Most of the spread of the fire over the last two days has been on the northeast side, which compared to the overall size of the blaze seems like a relatively small area, but it is generating large quantities of smoke affecting much of Central California.
Firefighters make firelines by removing vegetation, so that the fire will burn up to the line and stop, since there is nothing left to burn. Roads and natural barriers can also be used. On October 12 there were 600 miles of fireline on the Creek Fire:
- Dozer Lines: 363
- Handline (constructed by hand crews): 87
- Roads as Line: 150
Resources assigned to the fire include 19 hand crews, 43 fire engines and 13 helicopters, for a total of 983 personnel.
The incident management team reports that 105 residences and 508 other structures have been destroyed.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Ken.