John & Anne Wiley

2016/08/13

Ghost Mystery

Filed under: Flying,Has Photos,Nature,People,Random,SB Region — John @ 01:30

My article on a white “ash fall” at the Pine Fire burn area in today’s Edhat outlines the mystery. In essence, the phenomenon seemed to have been caused by some freak wind event that deposited heavy white ash down this cliff face.

9926 Ash Fall?

9926 Ash Fall?

Here’s a cropped look at the lower area, showing how it heavily coated the trees and cliff face yet didn’t seem to cause any fire.

9926 "Flocked" Trees

9926 “Flocked” Trees

Looking thru the rest of our pix from that flight I came across another area with white coating the trees next to some orange PhosChek fire retardant.

9812 Another Flocking

9812 Another Flocking

This pic of a similar effect on less of a slope along with the fact that the cliff face was also coated, got me thinking. For it to stick on the cliff face and so heavily coat the trees like that, it must have been something wet rather than a dry blown ash. What if it’s a white fire retardant? Maybe some PhosCheck that didn’t have the orange coloring? Perhaps dropped by helicopter, thus landing on a smaller area in the last pic and in a vertical line on the first two? Maybe a special mix designed to help protect firefighters? Hopefully someone familiar with the fire fighting efforts on the Pine Fire (or another wildfire with white retardant used) can post a clarifying comment on Edhat.

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