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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pagami Creek Wildfire, R is for RACE, fog and TWISTED METAL!!!

Weeeee, the debate continues on if the USFS did the right thing in not quelling the Pagami Creek wildfire sooner. Yes, it was in the BWCA to start with but where was the common sense in asking the question "if"? "If" as is if the fire jumps out of the wilderness and into the private areas? Um, one word: "drought". Not even taking the '99 blowdown area into account (which still might go up like a 370,000 acre book of matches this time), the arrowhead (northeast) area of Minnesota has been in a pretty significant drought. Lots of fuel on both sides of the BWCAW line up there. Bottom line is the fire fanned by winds gusting to 40 with a line of weak thunderstorms and associated cold front let the fire make a 16 mile run and got well out of the wilderness area. Huh, now the USFS decided to bring in Type II and Type I teams to help get this nearly 100,000 acre OOPS back under control.

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Here is the fire as of 9-17-11. The red line outlines the fire area. The blue line indicates the route we take in each September or October to access the BWCAW. The bright green dots date the following three photos taken last year from left to right.

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All three of these areas are nothing more more blackened earth with the charred remains of the trees pointing skyward. The middle shot is of the Pow Wow Trail. The fire was so hot and intense it burned off what little "topsoil" they have and left nothing but bare rock. It will take decades for enough material to once again accumulate (maybe never) to allow conifers to take root again.

I am a HUGE proponent of letting the fires burn under a controlled environment or the use of controlled burns. I worked for the USFWS in high school and totally understand the need for fire to clean the landscape. One thing which I find extremely irritating is the ignorance of the tree huggers who think the BWCAW needs to be preserved in it's current state FOREVER. Um, how do you think it got to be the way it is? I personally am fascinated by the way the landscape reshapes after a fire.

So my point is fire is good as long as it can be controlled and managed. The USFS should have acted quicker and had a "what if" plan in place. Since lightning started the fire back in August, they had plenty of time to think this through. Or are the people in charge incompetent? Relying solely on a computer model to tell you how the fire is going to act is sheer stupidity. What if chasers only went by model data and not real time data? Oh yeah, some do....

I will be up there in less than two weeks. Looks like there may be a prolonged period of south winds which is good for our annual trip, but bad for the firefighter as those warm southerly breezes will drive the fire north/northeast towards the worst of the blowdown area.

Onto other news. Our first real hard frost of the year has already occurred with a temp of 29.9° coming this past Thursday morning. On Monday is was 90°. The season of transition is upon us. Good news is historically we have a wonderful Indian Summer after an early freeze so hopefully there will be many beautiful fall days ahead.

With the cooler mornings comes fog in the low areas. Here is a handful of shots from the weekend of September 10th.

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Can you find the three ghosts in the image above? Melinda and the kids joined me for a moonlight hike while out looking for fog and auroras.

Birthday Bash 2011. Prior to enjoying dinner at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate Melinda and Cullen traveling around the sun again and Cailyn and myself reaping the chaser reward of a success tornado chase season, we stopped by Stockholm Motorsports Park in Cokato to let Melinda and Cullen get in a few laps on their super fast go karts. These are not the carts you see at the mini golf amusement centers! Cullen came out as the victor but both of them has a good time with Melinda getting to experience something new.

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Here is a little video I made shot in a "reality show" format...lol



..and rounding out this entry are a few shots from the 2011 Buffalo Demo Derby put on by the Buffalo Saddle Club. MUCH better this year and back on par with what we have come to expect after a dismal and very disappointing 2010 show.

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"CARnage"

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"TWISTED METAL"


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"Final Showdown"

The weather is not going to cooperate today to get out and shoot at all but we really need any rain we can get. Hopefully next weekend I can get out locally before heading into the wilderness for a few days the week after. That time can't get here soon enough.

1 comment:

cole said...

I don't know if you believe in chem trails or not looks to be some in the sky pictures 6,7,8

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