Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wildfire near Yosemite burns into fourth week

By
From page A2 | September 08, 2013 |

By Tracie Cone

SACRAMENTO (AP) — As a gigantic wildfire in and around Yosemite National Park entered its fourth week Saturday, environmental scientists moved in to begin assessing the damage and protecting habitat and waterways before the fall rainy season.

Members of the federal Burned Area Emergency Response team were hiking the rugged Sierra Nevada terrain even as thousands of firefighters still were battling the blaze, now the third-largest wildfire in modern California history.

Federal officials have amassed a team of 50 scientists, more than twice what is usually deployed to assess wildfire damage. With so many people assigned to the job, they hope to have a preliminary report ready in two weeks so remediation can start before the first storms, Alex Janicki, the Stanislaus National Forest BAER response coordinator, said.

Team members are working to identify areas at the highest risk for erosion into streams, the Tuolumne River and the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, San Francisco’s famously pure water supply.

The wildfire started in the Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 17 when a hunter’s illegal fire swept out of control and has burned 394 square miles of timber, meadows and sensitive wildlife habitat.

It has cost more than $89 million to fight, and officials say it will cost tens of millions of dollars more to repair the environmental damage alone.

About 5 square miles of the burned area is in the watershed of the municipal reservoir serving 2.8 million people – the only one in a national park.

“That’s 5 square miles of watershed with very steep slopes,” Janicki said “We are going to need some engineering to protect them.”

So far the water remains clear despite falling ash, and the city water utility has a six month supply in reservoirs closer to the Bay Area.

The BAER team will be made up of hydrologists, botanists, archeologists, biologists, geologists and soil scientists from the U.S. Forest Service, Yosemite National Park, the Natural Resource Conservation and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The team also will look at potential for erosion and mudslides across the burn area, assess what’s in the path and determine what most needs protecting.

“We’re looking to evaluate what the potential is for flooding across the burned area,” said Alan Gallegos, a team member and geologist with the Sierra National Forest. “We evaluate the potential for hazard and look at what’s at risk — life, property, cultural resources, species habitat. Then we come up with a list of treatments.”

In key areas with a high potential for erosion ecologists can dig ditches to divert water, plant native trees and grasses, and spray costly hydro-mulch across steep canyon walls in the most critical places.

Fire officials still have not released the name of the hunter responsible for starting the blaze. On Friday Kent Delbon, the lead investigator, would not characterize what kind of fire the hunter had set or how they had identified the suspect.

“I can say some really good detective work out there made this thing happen,” he told the Associated Press.

Delbon said the Forest Service announced the cause of the fire before being able to release details in order to end rumors started by a local fire chief that the blaze ignited in an illegal marijuana garden.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

 
Yolo makes hydrogen connection

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

USA Weekend calls it quits

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

UC Davis debate team wins national championship

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

College sees benefits in loan guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

.

Forum

This cat is on life No. 7

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

 
 
It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Say thanks to the caregivers

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Commission’s list needs vetting

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rifkin’s statement is offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Bombing is not the answer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

 
Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Writer’s arguments fall flat

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Kings cruise past Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

Ruth Allen Barr

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8