John & Anne Wiley

2016/06/21

Sherpa Fire Origin?

**New Update 6/22: I found another view of the NW corner, and added it below.

Note: *Update below with pix of another possible fire origin location.

We love flying, and snapping & sharing pix. Like this view from the North edge of the Sherpa Fire, looking along the mountain ridge toward the East. My imagination can see it as the olive green leopard-spotted back of an ominous giant beast, that luckily as of this writing has been nearly tamed.

7738 Green Meanie

7738 Green Meanie

Beyond flying & pix, I have the additional attribute of wanting to figure things out. I doubt there was anything criminal about this fire, but I was still curious where it originated. Using info found on Edhat & Noozhawk, I found approximately where the Sherpa Fire started. Comparing that with my 6/19 aerials it’s at the Northwest corner of the burned area at the bottom-middle of this pic from my post here yesterday, looking to the South.

7736 NW Corner S to Beach

7736 NW Corner S to Beach

More carefully examining other pix of that area looking more toward the East at closer zoom I spotted curious tiny white dots (inside the blue circle I added).

7747 White Dots

7747 White Dots

Looking even more closely I also saw lots of fire vehicles parked in the area, and buildings that had very nearly been burned but probably saved by that PhosChek and determined firefighters.

7743 Signs Of Struggle

7743 Signs Of Struggle

Here’s a wider view of that area including the white dots, looking more toward the South-southeast. This shows how close the fire came to those buildings as it leapt down the slope driven by the wind and blown embers starting fresh blazes ahead of the main flames.

7736 Close Call

7736 Close Call

Finally, here’s another view toward the Southeast at full resolution of what’s probably a white square table with three people standing around it near a white rectangle that’s apparently a pop-up tent (top-right corner).

7746 Sherpa Fire Investigation?

7746 Sherpa Fire Investigation?

The shadow of the square object is smaller, so I deduce that it’s closer to the ground than the larger rectangle. The latter looks like the pop-up tents I’ve seen firefighters using on the news coverage of the firefighter rest area. I don’t know anything about fire origin detection, but this looks similar to scientific investigations I’ve seen on PBS. My guess is there’s a white tent there to protect the fire origin plus maybe give shade and wind protection to investigators, with a table nearby for them to work on.

I may not be the only one who likes to figure things out, because one of Edhat’s most popular features is the contests to name where random enigmatic pix of locations around town were taken. The contestants are many, incredibly skilled and knowledgeable, and tireless in deducing an exact location until they can accurately identify where in the world it is. We are it seems, a curious species. 🙂

*Update:

Thanks to helpful Edhat comments and Ray Ford’s excellent reporting in an Indy article, there’s another possible origin location for the fire. Here’s a pic of that area, circled in red.

7746 Indy Area

7746 Indy Area

A closer view of that area shows how the fire could have started near the building and raced up the slope in a thin burned area before spreading out at the top where the blue circled area is in the other pic.

7746 Indy Area Closeup

7746 Indy Area Closeup

**Update 6/22:

I found this additional view of the Sherpa Fire burned area’s Northwest corner. Since it provides a little more context on that area I’m adding it despite the fact it was taken from North of the ridge and is thus of lower quality. I like that it better reveals some of the small spot fires there, because the small smoke plumes are more visible than from more overhead as in the other pix. There seems to even be active flame visible near the top-left corner of the pic. Near the bottom toward the right is the probable spot where the Sherpa (aka Scherpa, Chirpa, Sharpa, etc.) Fire started.

7725 NW Corner from N

7725 NW Corner from N

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