lulu, hillsider companion

lulu, hillsider companion

Monday, August 3, 2015

Trinity fires double in area overnight, more dry lightning in forecast, and drought closes one of America;s great golf courses...

Okay, forget everything I told you yesterday concerning fire acreage in the Trinity Alps area; all those fires doubled in size overnight due to the tinderbox conditions and the fact that many of the individual fires are so remote that fire crews can't reach them at all,meaning that helicopters and air tankers are the sole means of fighting their spread. Several of the fires burning in the Hayfork/Hyampom areas have merged, creating new complexes that require complete re-evaluations of the firefighters' tactics and strategies. And, to top it all off, the Rocky fire, in Lake County, has turned into a true monster well over 40,000 acres all on its own, and is still nowhere near contained. It will likely be much larger by this time tomorrow. Not sure how many structures have burned to date, but here in the far North State the number of homes that have gone up is somewhere near 50 at present. I saw my first out-of-state commercial firefighting vehicles this afternoon, heading west on Hwy 299 toward the Trinity fires, probably Hayfork, a company called "Firestormers" with Oregon plates on their trucks. Not a good sign.

I just learned that Stevinson Ranch Golf Club closed its gates a couple of weeks ago due to a lack of irrigation water. The Stevinson family, almond farmers in the Turlock area for several generations, who built the course in the '90s with the assistance of the late architect John Harbottle, felt it was no longer a viable business model given the expense of acquiring water, and that they were far better off refocusing on their core farming. Don't know if there's any chance it will be brought back to life at some pint in the future, should the drought ever break, but I, along with thousands of others, truly hope that could happen. The course was a perennial presence on every "Best of..." American golf facilities listing almost from the day it opened, and the resort was first class, as well. We'll miss it.

Good night, and more soon...

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