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DONNELL FIRE: SEPT 8, PCT FINALLY OPEN-CARSON ICEBERG-OPENING


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By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 20 September 2018


DONNELL FIRE INFORMATION
Updated September 16

 

DONNELL FIRE, InciWeb

 

Serious SMOKE Hazard Conditions
DISSIPATED
ALL SMOKE RESOURCES 

 

All Regional Trail Maps

 

September 16

EXCELLENT HIGH SIERRA BACKPACKING CONDITIONS
Fires Suppressed, Smoke Light or Cleared, Mosquitoes Diminished, Temps looking very comfortable-cool.

TYT-PCT
Trail Map South
Kennedy Meadows & Sonora Pass South across Emigrant Wilderness

TYT-PCT
Trail Map North
Carson Iceberg Wilderness Backpacking Map

 

Stanislaus National Forest Contacts & Information

Stanislaus National Forest Alerts, News, & Information

 

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station in Full Operation

 

September 8

CURRENT SITUATION: Effective Immediately -
The Pacific Crest Trail is FINALLY Open
(Sonora to Ebbetts Passes)

 

CARSON ICEBERG WILDERNESS
Gradually Opening

"The forest plans to shrink the size of the closure order boundary, effective tomorrow morning. Please check tomorrow’s update for all the details. Fire activity has been minimal during the past week, with an overall fire growth of only 150 acres since Sunday September 2."

 

DEVOLUTION and EVOLUTION
of TRAIL STATUS
in the
CARSON ICEBERG WILDERNESS

 

September 8
CURRENT SITUATION: Effective Immediately
The Pacific Crest Trail is open to public use.
(Sonora to Ebbetts Passes)

Though the fire order does not specifiy, we're going to say, here, that the lines of fire up Boulder Creek, to Boulder Lake and on to the PCT just beyond and above, are secured. Additionally, the run of the fire up Highland Creek towards the PCT at Wolf Creek Pass were days ago secured.
Thus, "they," opened the route of the PCT between Sonora and Ebbetts Passes, and are now opening swaths of the Carson Iceberg, as containment is assured:

CARSON-ICEBERG WILDERNESS OPENING
"The Stanislaus National Forest will be reducing the closure area starting Monday September 10, 2018."

GO FOR IT
The smoke diminished days ago. Excellent Fall backpacking oppertunities are now opening up, up and down the Sierra Crest between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney.

 

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station in Full Operation

Go hike through KM, into Emigrant and North Yosemite, to show the cowboys our backpacker support...then spend some money in Tuolumne County on our way out of the mountains, to share the love down there, after their fires...

 

 

September 5
As of September 5th the PCT is still closed between Sonora and Ebbetts Passes, as is the whole of the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Evolution!

OPEN August 30
On the Summit Ranger District, (revised Forest Order) opens up the south side of Hwy 108 between Kennedy Meadow and Sonora Pass, the Sonora Pass Trailhead, and the trail from Kennedy Meadow to Relief Reservoir (Trail 20E11).

TYT-PCT
Trail Map South
Kennedy Meadows & Sonora Pass South across Emigrant Wilderness

 

Highway 108 to Open, August 19 at 4pm

 

Highland Lakes Road to Tyron Meadow Opened, August 17. Trail Map

 

Devolution

Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and Spicer Lake CLOSED, the 10th.

HIGHLANDS LAKE ROAD CLOSED, the 9th.

Many West Flank Trails CLOSED by TRF, the 7th,
the rest under too much smoke...

PCT CLOSED between Sonora & Ebbetts Passes, the 6th

 

 

Latest
DONNELL FIRE
News

September 7, 2018

Visit  Kennedy Meadows and the Emigrant Wilderness while there's nobody there!
Smoke-free, cool conditions are complimentd by the declining mosquitoes, making this an idea time to visit the Emigrant Wilderness into the North Yosemite Backcountry,

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station in Full Operation

Open Terrain South of Highway 108

TYT-PCT
Trail Map South
Kennedy Meadows & Sonora Pass South across Emigrant Wilderness

 

 

September 5, 2018

85% Contained

"CURRENT SITUATION"
Flash Flood Warning
"Yesterday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the Donnell Fire area. All personnel were notified of the incoming thunderstorm, and efforts were made to notify any public that may have been in the area. The fall rainy season is upon us, and severe mountain thunderstorms can develop quickly with little to no warning. The recent fire in conjunction with rainfall has the potential to produce landslides over the affected area."

Mountain Safety Article

 

September 2

"...85% contained and the remaining structure threat has currently been mitigated."
Union Democrat Article

 

August 30

Trails South of Hwy 108 Opening

Revised Forest Closure Order
"On the Summit Ranger District, it opens up the south side of Hwy 108 between Kennedy Meadow and Sonora Pass, the Sonora Pass Trailhead, and the trail from Kennedy Meadow to Relief Reservoir (Trail 20E11)."

 

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station in Full Operation

Message from Matt Bloom at Kennedy Meadows:

Alex
We’re all open here. No smoke at all. Doing okay. Emigrant all open. Carson iceberg closed. Thanks for checking in, Matt

 

August 29

8 am
63% Contained

 

August 22

8 am
62% Contained

Kennedy Meadows
The latest fire map shows they've finally got fire lines around the fire running up the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus, towards Kennedy Meadows, and have established fire lines around the fire running up the mountain along Highway 108 above Kennedy Meadows.

The establishment of these lines may have assured the survival of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station and Resort!

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station

PCT
Today's fire map shows the fire has climbed up to Boulder Lake, with a tongue reaching up towards, and just below the PCT a bit South of Boulder Peak. I am really hoping they can nip it here, as it would be a real tragedy, and really-really hard to get to if it gets over into the canyon of the East Carson River sitting at the base of the Eastern Flank of the Sierra.

August 22 Fire Map

All Regional Trail Maps

 

August 21

Highway 108 to Open, August 19 at 4pm

8 am
51% Contained

Latest Fire Map, August 20

 

August 19

8 am
49% Contained

"Fire may also travel in a SE direction towards Kennedy Meadows within the Middle Fork Stanislaus River corridor at the confluence of Deadman Creek.

"24 hours: Fire does have potential to flank the Spicer Meadow Reservoir along the eastern edge and move further north into federally designated Wilderness."

"Dry, warm conditions may cause challenging conditions for several portions of the fire, potentially impacting infrastructure and recreational improvements in the Middle Fork Stanislaus River, Clarks Fork, Bennett Juniper/Sardine, and Haypress Meadow and surrounding wilderness areas to north and south."

All Regional Trail Maps

 

August 16

8 am
30% Contained

Latest Fire Map, same as 14th, below, on Facecrook. (This map shown here, Left, is more current than the map currently shown on the Facecrook page.)

"Hiram historic cabin has been wrapped with fire resistant material and vegetation cleared to protect the structure in the event fire continues to spread north. "

Hiram Cabin on the Trail Guide

 

All Regional Trail Maps

 

August 14

News Article of Interest

Donnell Fire Controversy Begins before Fire's Out

 

8 am
25% Contained

Today's Fire Map (Facecrook)

"...create a piece of indirect line from Haypress to Kennedy Meadow that would be utilized for a planed firing operation to halt the spread of fire towards several structures and a resort."

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station

 

August 11

8 pm
20% Contained

"Although fire activity was relatively moderate today, fire did progress towards Spicer Reservoir (trail guide) to the north, northeast towards Boulder Creek (trail guide), and east along Highway 108."

"Initial fire assessments have been completed for all recreation residence tracts along the 108 corridor. The main store and lodge of the Dardanelle Resort, 14 of 16 cabins in the Wagner Tract, 36 of 57 cabins in the Brightman Tract, 2 of 2 cabins in the Buena Vista Tract, and 1 of 10 cabins in the Bone Springs Tract have been destroyed by the fire."

Backpacking Map
Clarks Fork TYT, Arnot Creek, Highland Lakes, Boulder Lake & the PCT

 

8 am

14% Contained

Kennedy Meadows Still Stands!

Today's Fire Map

 

THE DEVOLUTION OF TRAIL STATUS
in the
CARSON ICEBERG WILDERNESS

Evolution

OPEN August 30
On the Summit Ranger District, it opens up the south side of Hwy 108 between Kennedy Meadow and Sonora Pass, the Sonora Pass Trailhead, and the trail from Kennedy Meadow to Relief Reservoir (Trail 20E11).

TYT-PCT
Trail Map South
Kennedy Meadows & Sonora Pass South across Emigrant Wilderness

 

Highway 108 to Open, August 19 at 4pm

 

Devolution

Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and Spicer Lake CLOSED, the 10th.

HIGHLANDS LAKE ROAD CLOSED, the 9th.

Many West Flank Trails CLOSED by TRF, the 7th,
the rest under too much smoke...

PCT CLOSED between Sonora & Ebbetts Passes, the 6th

 

 

All Local Trail Guide Information & Backpacking Maps,
below

 

 

August 10
Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and Spicer Lake CLOSED

Forest Order
Closure of Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and Spicer Lake

 


Previous Closures

HIGHLANDS LAKE ROAD CLOSED, on the 9th


Trails from HIGHWAY 108 to HIGHWAY 4
CLOSED
on the 7th

 

PCT CLOSED on the 6th

 

 

 

All Regional Trail Maps

 

 

August 9

6% Contained

2nd Donnel Fire Map, 8-8, at 9:17pm

AM Update

 

Dardanelle Store Burned
"Fourteen of 16 cabins in the Wagner Tract as well as the Dardanelle Store were destroyed in the fire."

"None of the cabins within the Riverside Tract were destroyed."

 

"The fire pushed further up the Arnot and Disaster Creekdrainages to the northeast."
HIGHLANDS LAKE ROAD CLOSED
"...closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highlands Lake Road..."

 

Trail Guide Maps
Highland Lakes
Connecting the PCT & TYT in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Second Highland Lakes Map

 

 

All Regional Trail Maps

 

 

TRAIL STATUS

HIGHLANDS LAKE ROAD CLOSED

PCT CLOSED between Sonora & Ebbetts Passes

Many West Flank Trails CLOSED by TRF, the rest under too much smoke...

 

 

Top

 

 

AUGUST 8

1st Donnell Fire Map

"Structure protection continues to be the priority along Highway 108 and the Eagle Meadow Road (5N01). Crews have made significant progress in these areas. Firefighters and bulldozers worked through the night improving and expanding containment lines on the south end of the fire, north of 5N01."

 

TYT
The North end of the fire has run up Clarks Fork Road, crossing the route of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail where it drops out of Woods Gulch to follow Arnot Creek down to the Clarks Fork Road.
This segment of the fire is burning terrain covered by the Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide:

 

Trail Guide
Jenkins Canyon to Boulder Creek

Map
TYT onto & up Clarks Fork Road

 

 

All Local Trail Guide Information & Backpacking Maps,
below

 

 

 

AUGUST 7

OVERVIEW
WHOLE UPPER WEST FLANK of HWY 108 CLOSED
Road
“The Highway 108 closure has been extended from Kennedy Meadows to Sonora Pass.“
Original Road Closure & Evacuation Orders

Road & Trail
TRF
"There is a Temporary Fire Restriction (TFR)...issued for a ten mile radius from the center of the fire in the Brightman area up to 11,000 feet Above Ground Level."

trail maps

Big Problems
“Due to the other large fires in the region and state, firefighters and equipment are extremely scarce. Handcrews, engines, and equipment have been ordered and are pending.”

 

OUTLOOK
BARE-BONES FIRE PLAN
Structure Protection Only

“Utilize the limited personnel for structure preparation and protection in front of the advancing fire front.“

“Arriving resources will be assigned to the Structure Group.”

 

NOTE
Our best wishes, prayers, and all the good winds and luck possible to Matt Bloom, his family, the extended family of his crew, all all the visitors, horsemen, hikers, and backpackers up at Kennedy Meadows Pack Station, straddling the boundary between the Emigrant and Carson Iceberg Wilderness Areas.

 

Top  

 

AUGUST 6

PCT CLOSED
trails from
HIGHWAY 108 to HIGHWAY 4

"The Pacific Crest Trail has been closed from Highway 108 to Highway 4 as of August 6th due to the proximity of the Donnell Fire."
Donnell Wildfire PCT Announcement, Inciweb, August 6, 2018.

OUTLOOK
AUGUST 6
"As of 9 am today the Tuolumne County Sheriff announced a mandatory evacuation from Dardanelle Resort to Kennedy Meadows."

Evacuation order of the 4th

 

Top

 

Inciweb Information
Donnell Fire

 

Stanislaus National Forest
News

Stanislaus National Forest
Contacts, Alerts, Weather

 

 

EARLIER
Previous Donnell Fire News

Donnell Fire Threatening Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Wilderness Areas

 

 

Highway 108 Closed

12 miles East of Strawberry to Kennedy Meadows
Caltrans Highway 108

 

 

SMOKE OBSERVATION, INFORMATION, & RESOURCES

 

  Top

 


Trail Guide Information

TRAIL GUIDE
Nearby Trails

The Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails.

 

TRAIL GUIDE

TYT-PCT
Hiking Across Sonora Pass,
Highway 108

Four Trailheads: Three at Sonora Pass, Fourth at Kennedy Meadows

 

MAPS

TYT-PCT Large Scale Trail Map showing Donnell Lake
Carson Iceberg Wilderness Backpacking Map
Click Red Dots for Trail Guide Entries, Black Dots for Detailed Maps, where available...

 

TYT Large Scale Trail Map showing Donnell Lake
West Carson Iceberg Wilderness Backpacking Map
Click Red Dots for Trail Guide Entries, Black Dots for Detailed Maps, where available...

 

PCT MAP across East Carson Iceberg Wilderness

 

SEGMENT Map
Highland Lakes
Connecting the PCT & TYT in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness

 

TYT
Detailed Map, Just a bit North of Donnell Lake

TYT Highland Creek at Spicer Meadow Reservoir to Clarks Fork Road

 

 

 

TYT-PCT
Trail Map
South
Kennedy Meadows & Sonora Pass South across Emigrant Wilderness

 

ROAD MAPS
Bottom of Carson Iceberg Map Page Above

 


 

PCT-TYT
Classic Resupply Spot

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station

BEST WISHES & GOOD LUCK TO KM

Hey Matt,
I'm concerned about you and yours, and I hope all's going as good as it possibly can be, under the circumstances.

I wish I was there, to give you a hand with all you must be doing, or getting ready to do.

Let me know if there's anything I can do.

Good Luck! My Best Wishes are looking for a quick and fast end to this threat.

 

 

Top

 

 

High Sierra & Major Fires of 2018

 

 

 

August Trail News

August Trail News Forum

 

 

 

 

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Donnell fire closes PCT between highways 108 and 4, then all the West Flank Trails within ten miles of the fire were closed, followed then by the closure of the road to Highland Lakes, and finally, the whole Carson Iceberg Wilderness and Spicer Meadow Reservoir were closed

 

Originally Published
2018-08-06 12:07:10
 

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