Saturday, June 20, 2015

Parkhill Fire - Day One

This afternoon while working at the 55th Annual Cayucos Gem, Mineral, & Jewelry Show I received a phone call from mom. I missed it but 15 minutes later noticed she had called and left a message. On it she informed me there was a major wildfire burning somewhere out to the southeast of where she lives in Atascadero and she thought it might be the Parkhill area. As it turns out she was spot-on. I immediately left the show and drove to her house and from there we carpooled down to what turned out to be the Parkhill Fire which has burned about 1,000 acres as of this writing and destroyed an unknown number of structures including homes. What follows is a photographic account of our fire chase this afternoon.

Note: given I was not in a fire season frame of mind prior to the advent of this fire, therefore I did not have a scanner with me nor was my camera properly maintained. Consequently, many of my images have specks of dust or even a fiber on them. Also, many of my images were captured with the camera on the wrong setting. In any case I hope you get something out of these best images of the bunch which are shown in the order they were taken.

Update: damage assessment has revealed this fire destroyed 8 residences, 10 outbuildings, and 7 vehicles. 

View from mom's house... how often since my family moved to this house in 1983 have we seen something similar to this in that direction to the southeast out in the Parkhill area which is some of the most wildfire conducive real estate in the country if not the state with an overabundance of chaparral and innumerable spur ridges to support nearly constant running.
View from El Camino Real near Carmel Road.
View from Santa Margarita Lake Road at the KOA Campground.
Better view from further down the road.
View from River Road near the intersection with Parkhill Road looking north to northwestward as will the remaining images.
Notice the hawk?
Jet lead plane.
The convection column starting to get the barber-pole look as it rotates.
Unidentified CALFIRE S-2V air tanker approaching the fire for a retardant drop.
Santa Margarita Fire Department Type-3 engine.
Aside from the dirty lens artifacts notice the vultures circling below the CALFIRE S-2V air tanker.
Another CALFIRE S-2V retardant drop.
Tanker 105, a new MD-87 jet air tanker dropping behind the ridge to our north.
The same tanker exiting the same drop as previous image.
Tanker 105 on another retardant drop exit....
.... and yet another.
The sharpest image of Tanker 105 I was able to capture today.
The first flames we spotted today.
All images by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

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