Cranston Fire

UPDATE Saturday 28th July at 1245

Sorry if this pattern is starting to sound familiar, but as with the previous two days, the major aerial water bombing campaign has been effective, and the hotspots I described earlier today seem to be under control. Regrettably, the weather has been less cooperative than anticipated, with a slightly cooler day not materializing, and its already 92 degrees F in Fern Valley. There was also a moderate south-west wind in the high country early this morning which is not helping (although winds have been far less dangerous than they could have been throughout this whole incident).

UPDATE Saturday 28th July at 1030

Cranston Fire slopping over South Ridge just south of Tahquitz Peak, 28th July at 1015. Note the helicopter dumping water above the left hand smoke column.

Although the overall spread of the fire has greatly diminished, for the first time it broke through the line along the top of South Ridge in several places overnight. I was up hours before first light, and could see trees and bushes burning on the Idyllwild side of the ridge in at least three places, which was both dramatic to see, and somewhat disconcerting. With binoculars I could see that one of the spot fires was a bush right next to Tahquitz Peak fire lookout, but by first light it had burned itself out and was just smoldering.

Fire crews had a well deserved rest first thing, and aerial activity didn’t commence until 0800. Since then the helicopters have been working incessantly to douse the hotspots.

These continuing challenges with the fire may – I emphasize may – have delayed any prospect of the evacuation order being lifted imminently. Incidentally, rumours that the power in town is intermittent (or even off again) are untrue.

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