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#138689 - 07/04/08 09:22 PM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: Burncycle]
JIM Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 1032
Loc: The Netherlands
Well, it DID attract attention... wink
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''It's time for Plan B...'' ''We have a Plan B?'' ''No, but it's time for one.'' -Stargate SG-1

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#138690 - 07/04/08 09:23 PM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: Burncycle]
Joy Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/21/08
Posts: 67
There are 2 huge fires burning in Big Sur. One is 95% contained, the other is burning out of control and is only 5% contained. This last one is the one that is burning homes and threatening businesses. The Indians fire just south of Big Sur was started by a campfire that escaped. I read that it is 95% contained. That is all I know at the moment.

Big Sur is where we went camping, hiking and swimming when I was a little girl. We also took our girls hiking and camping there when they were growing up. We especially loved camping at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park at a camp site in the trees above the waterfall (from what I understand, this area is now burned). Scroll down to see the waterfall above the cove: http://www.pelicannetwork.net/jpb.statepark.htm

The large Big Sur fire was started by lightening. The Basin fire is the the Big Sur fire that is only 5% contained the last I heard. Here is a page that has a good map of the 2 fires (click on the map): http://www.kusp.org/fire/sur.html

Most of the fires in California have been started by lightening.

Joy

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#138746 - 07/05/08 05:03 PM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: Joy]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
I'm waiting for the news article like this:

"Lost Hiker Sets Signal Fire, Dies in Resulting Conflagration".

Or, "Lost Hiker Sets Wildfire, Killed by Distraught Victims".

Many years ago, an idiot set a fire in tinder-dry Santa Barbara by pulling the string of a downed kite hard enough to bring two power lines together. The authorities refused to identify the fool, for the actual fear that he would be lynched by homeowners who lost their beautiful, expensvie homes.

Reading Doug's original link, the five guys had only been lost the one day. I would hardly have said it was a life-or-death emergency. And you would think that they could have found SOME place on bare sand or bare rock where they could have set a fire without starting a wildfire.

Vigilante justice is starting to look more and more reasonable. Culling the gene pool, as it were. The chlorine obviously isn't working.

Sue

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#138865 - 07/07/08 01:07 PM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: Susan]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Susan
And you would think that they could have found SOME place on bare sand or bare rock where they could have set a fire without starting a wildfire.


Or have cleared the burnable matter from an area before lighting it. Heck, you should be able to clear a decent pack of dirt just kicking stuff away from where you intend to start your fire. I know I've cleared a decent area using my foot as a broom.

However, if it were a choice between me dying in the woods or lighting the fire and risking burning down the whole forest, I'd light the fire.

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#138875 - 07/07/08 02:18 PM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: Dan_McI]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


We're just assuming they didn't take adequate precautions. They very well may have. Just because you're careful and do things by the book doesn't mean it can't go south on you and light a blaze you can't stop.

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#138895 - 07/07/08 05:01 PM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: ]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
I agree with Hacksaw. Let's wait until we can look at the official investigation report before jumping to a conclusion about these folks.

As folks interested in emergency preparedness and survival skills, it seems to me we want to take to heart being more deliberate than the crowd. What we can observe already is that the crowd gets very excited and runs with their first impression, eager to condemn someone. Probable lesson: try not to come to the attention of the mob.

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#138997 - 07/08/08 06:41 PM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: dweste]
Paul D. Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Porkopolis
This thread would be more useful if it turned into a "What would you do in that situation?" thread.

If you are lacking a phone that works, or a personal locater beacon, what would be the best action to take if you are lost in a dry area where natural wildfires have not been allowed? You can't signal a plane that isn't there, so a mirror is only useful at times.

Besides "Don't get lost in the first place," or "I'm always prepared so I wouldn't have to light a fire," what should these folks have done?
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Paul

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#139000 - 07/08/08 07:19 PM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: Paul D.]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Some thoughts.

Preparation: Get map, compass, gps, maybe satellite image of area. Study the map and image. Plan the hike. Consider what to do and where to go if an unforseen event occurs. Take enough gear to sustain you for longer than the planned hike if need be. Leave a hike plan, with schedule and contact numbers, with a trusted relative or friend, or the appropriate park official.

Take your survival stuff, including signalling gear and perhaps a reminder card of what to do if you realize you are lost. Typically, sit and prepare a snack or hot beverage; eat and drink the snack while thinking through the situation and formulating / re-visiting your unforseen event plan; usually stay put, stay together, and signal for help.

If you decide a signal fire is appropriate, plan it carefully, build it carefully, assemble what you need to put it out before you light it, and tend it carefully to generate either smoke or flame depending on which is going to be most visible.

Have your signal mirror ready if overflights are in the area, and for when you think rescue is in the air near you.





Edited by dweste (07/08/08 07:21 PM)

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#139028 - 07/09/08 02:51 AM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: dweste]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Assuming dry grass, slide your foot sideways to rake the grass out of the dirt (or at least most of it), making an area much much larger than the size of the planned fires (you will have three, right Chris?). If there is any wind, make that "bare" area larger in the downwind direction. Be ready to stomp out anything that starts to burn outside of your bare area. Pray a lot...
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OBG

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#139242 - 07/10/08 03:52 AM Re: Once Again, a Signal Fire Out of Control [Re: Paul D.]
JCWohlschlag Offline
Some guy who wandered in…
Old Hand

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 724
Loc: Dallas, Pennsylvania, United S...
Originally Posted By: Paul D.
Besides "Don't get lost in the first place," or "I'm always prepared so I wouldn't have to light a fire," what should these folks have done?

Well, for the purposes of creating a long-lasting distress signal, how about just writing a huge “SOS” or “V” on the ground using available material, whether that be orange trash bags, rocks, brush, etc.? That would cover aerial search pretty well, and be completely passive once established, unlike a fire. For nearby ground spotting, the best thing I can think of to replace the smoke from a fire as a long-term signal would be a whistle.

Nighttime would be more difficult, and a strobe is the first thing to come to my mind… combined with the aforementioned whistle.
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“Hiking is just walking where it’s okay to pee. Sometimes old people hike by mistake.” — Demitri Martin

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