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Madras smoked out

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#26 astrobug

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 05:03 PM

The Whitewater fire is burning in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area. The USFS's general policy for wildfires in wilderness areas is to monitor and let them burn...it's very hard to build containment lines around a fire in areas without roads, and much more dangerous for firefighters traveling on foot. When the fires break out of wilderness areas or threaten structures, firefighting efforts increase. They are particularly concerned with this fire getting to the highway and jumping the road. BTW, this is on the westward/windward/wetter side of the Cascades, but probably in the mixed conifer forest that is really dense with small trees stressed by competition & drought stress.

 

Here's the incident info on this fire: https://inciweb.nwcg...incident/5420/#

 

The October 31st 'containment' date most likely means that they expect this to smolder all summer until the fall rains come and extinguish it for good. How active it is before then will depend on weather & fuel availability at the edge of the fire. I am moderately hopeful that it will quiet down after it burns through all of the most flammable fuels and runs into natural barriers (wetter vegetation, creeks, ridges, previously burnt areas, etc.), so that little smoke is produced. Failing that, I hope we get some easterly winds to keep the smoke out of Madras (where I will be for totality cool.gif ).


Edited by astrobug, 06 August 2017 - 05:04 PM.


#27 CCDMan

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:01 AM

It doesn't matter whether that is clouds or smoke.  It would make for lousy eclipse viewing if similar conditions exist on the 21st.  Come on blue skies!

 

Very true, it may turn out that the fire is irrelevant. The long term forecast for clouds right now does not look good, we seem to be getting into a weather pattern where the NW is cloudy. I have checked forecasts for places along the path all the way into Idaho and the forecast is much the same - increasing clouds. Uncommon for this time of year.



#28 adlibitum

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:29 PM

found a web cam for Camp Sherman - have to monitor this  - hard to tell if there is smoke mixed in with this morning's clouds

Hi Myles and all,

 

We will be at Black Butte Ranch not far from Camp Sherman, they have a webcam:

 

http://www.blackbutt...bout-us/webcam/

 

Also searching "Madras webcams" gives results including Redmond airport and Lake Billy Chinook in the area. All seem today to show a lot of haze from smoke and clouds too. I'm trying to make a Plan B as well but if clouds are widespread I don't know how effective an early am drive would be, not to mention the traffic. Still, two weeks means a lot can change.

 

Clear skies,

 

Dan



#29 CCDMan

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:16 AM

Second Fire - new thread:

 

https://www.cloudyni...re-near-madras/



#30 CCDMan

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:45 PM

Nasty bad smoke here (Prineville - 60 miles away) this evening. The Whitewater fire has apparently blown up big time today and we are getting small particles of ash falling on us. Eclipse would be shot under these conditions. Of course, since the eclipse is in the AM it is less likely we would see this then.



#31 SKYGZR

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:52 PM

Yup, weather change is pushing in from the west...will have to give this a few days to settle out & see what it's like on about the 17/18/19th....



#32 newbie2017

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 06:29 PM

Hello CCDMan  - Thanks for keeping us updated. Had I not stumbled upon this thread, I would have never  even thought of Plan B. Considering all this, would Salem or someplace closer to the coastal Oregon be a safer bet?  Or would going towards Idaho provide a higher chance of successful viewing?

 

We ended up getting a hotel reservation at the border of Washington and Oregon. Plan was/is to drive to Madras around Sunday night. But since we are not tied to Madras and in any case we have to drive, why not to go where probability of success is higher. 



#33 CCDMan

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:28 PM

Hello CCDMan  - Thanks for keeping us updated. Had I not stumbled upon this thread, I would have never  even thought of Plan B. Considering all this, would Salem or someplace closer to the coastal Oregon be a safer bet?  Or would going towards Idaho provide a higher chance of successful viewing?

 

We ended up getting a hotel reservation at the border of Washington and Oregon. Plan was/is to drive to Madras around Sunday night. But since we are not tied to Madras and in any case we have to drive, why not to go where probability of success is higher. 

Ideally (if it were not for traffic), one would wait until Sunday afternoon and look at the forecast for both Central Oregon and The Valley (Corvallis, etc) and go where it looked best. The problem with that is that traffic by Sunday afternoon probably will be truly awful and even

more so on US 26 to Central Oregon/Madras than on I5 to the Valley/Corvallis.

 

No really good choices until the last minute and then there is the traffic, which itself is a bad choice.

 

The smoke has gone away here for now - very little at all, but lots of regular clouds at the moment.



#34 newbie2017

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:45 PM

 

Hello CCDMan  - Thanks for keeping us updated. Had I not stumbled upon this thread, I would have never  even thought of Plan B. Considering all this, would Salem or someplace closer to the coastal Oregon be a safer bet?  Or would going towards Idaho provide a higher chance of successful viewing?

 

We ended up getting a hotel reservation at the border of Washington and Oregon. Plan was/is to drive to Madras around Sunday night. But since we are not tied to Madras and in any case we have to drive, why not to go where probability of success is higher. 

Ideally (if it were not for traffic), one would wait until Sunday afternoon and look at the forecast for both Central Oregon and The Valley (Corvallis, etc) and go where it looked best. The problem with that is that traffic by Sunday afternoon probably will be truly awful and even

more so on US 26 to Central Oregon/Madras than on I5 to the Valley/Corvallis.

 

No really good choices until the last minute and then there is the traffic, which itself is a bad choice.

 

The smoke has gone away here for now - very little at all, but lots of regular clouds at the moment.

 

Thanks. Any chances that sections of US 26 from Portland to Madras may have to be closed because of these fires? I am not familiar with that area at all and don't know how close the fires are to that freeway. I am also guessing that it is a single lane freeway going through the wilderness for the most part, which is not going to help with the traffic conditions. 



#35 CCDMan

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:52 PM

Thanks. Any chances that sections of US 26 from Portland to Madras may have to be closed because of these fires? I am not familiar with that area at all and don't know how close the fires are to that freeway. I am also guessing that it is a single lane freeway going through the wilderness for the most part, which is not going to help with the traffic conditions. 

Well, I guess there is always a chance and they did close it a couple years ago for a fire but that one was right on and both sides of 26. This one is not, at least now. I would say that most likely it will stay open barring new and closer fires. Of course the traffic will be pretty much a parking lot if what I keep hearing is true. The fire in question for 26 is not the Whitewater fire, of course, that is too far away to close 26. The Nena Springs fire is closer, although has not reached 26 yet and hopefully will not.

 

https://inciweb.nwcg.../incident/5489/

 

For what it is worth, last night here was awful. Actual ash was falling on us lightly. Tonite - the least smoke we have had in a week, very nice if with some high clouds. Just shows that one day and the wind can go from terrible to great.


Edited by CCDMan, 13 August 2017 - 09:56 PM.


#36 newbie2017

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:34 PM

Thank you CCDMan, for keeping us updated. Let us hope for the best.



#37 jrbarnett

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:06 AM

found a web cam for Camp Sherman - have to monitor this  - hard to tell if there is smoke mixed in with this morning's clouds

You can definitely see the smoke.  Look at the mountain range on the horizon; all that brown smog/haze is smoke.

 

Regards,

 

Jim



#38 KiwiRay

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:19 AM

Looking much better today at Lake Billy Chinook, where I'll be camping.  I hadn't seen Mt Jefferson from this webcam before yesterday as it was obscured by smoke.

Attached File  weather3rv.jpg   81.18KB   2 downloads


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#39 Chris Boar

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:50 PM

Any local Oregon folks enlighten me as to access off HW26 from Portland to Madras? Looks to be open desert with loads of little side roads from Google maps? Accessable? I was planning on setting off from Portland at 3am and setting up somewhere just north of Madras....?

 

Thanks.



#40 SKYGZR

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 02:09 PM

You and 50,000 others....



#41 CCDMan

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 02:52 PM

You and 50,000 others....

Indeed, and that number is probably low. News reports say that PDX has rent 15,000 cars that weekend. They had to cancel some and bring in lots of cars. And that is just a few of the visitors. 

 

Yes, there are lots of side roads and most are private and everyone else will be trying to use them. Best bet at this time is to find a private party that is either renting space or a friend of a friend

of a friend that lives under the path. I do but we are already at capacity, many more and we would need a permit (well, OK, maybe not that many but we are at our personal max).  

 

I am already seeing a (very small) increase in traffic here and it is still a week.


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#42 treadmarks

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 03:19 PM

Any local Oregon folks enlighten me as to access off HW26 from Portland to Madras? Looks to be open desert with loads of little side roads from Google maps? Accessable? I was planning on setting off from Portland at 3am and setting up somewhere just north of Madras....?

 

Thanks.

If you're going to the Madras area, Solarfest is offering a "daytripper" parking area where you would be allowed to park and even sleep overnight. Might want to look into that if it's not full up by now. Considering the wildfire risk from just parking on the side of the road, it is the right way to do it.


Edited by treadmarks, 15 August 2017 - 03:28 PM.

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#43 Chris Boar

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:18 PM

 

Any local Oregon folks enlighten me as to access off HW26 from Portland to Madras? Looks to be open desert with loads of little side roads from Google maps? Accessable? I was planning on setting off from Portland at 3am and setting up somewhere just north of Madras....?

 

Thanks.

If you're going to the Madras area, Solarfest is offering a "daytripper" parking area where you would be allowed to park and even sleep overnight. Might want to look into that if it's not full up by now. Considering the wildfire risk from just parking on the side of the road, it is the right way to do it.

 

Thanks....I actually just scored a parking ticket for this thru a friend...!



#44 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 04:48 PM

 

 

Any local Oregon folks enlighten me as to access off HW26 from Portland to Madras? Looks to be open desert with loads of little side roads from Google maps? Accessable? I was planning on setting off from Portland at 3am and setting up somewhere just north of Madras....?

 

Thanks.

If you're going to the Madras area, Solarfest is offering a "daytripper" parking area where you would be allowed to park and even sleep overnight. Might want to look into that if it's not full up by now. Considering the wildfire risk from just parking on the side of the road, it is the right way to do it.

 

Thanks....I actually just scored a parking ticket for this thru a friend...!

 

I think there were previous posts on this forum that said the organizers won't let you set a scope up there... better check into it if you plan photography.

 

Jerry


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#45 CCDMan

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:36 PM

Still looking good tonite - no smoke except for a distant smudge on the horizon to the west, probably the Jones and Rebel fires. Even the clouds are parting.



#46 Tnwatts55

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 01:26 AM

Check out windy.com for a pretty good look at current at forecast conditions, including wind, visibility and cloud cover.

Five of us and a dog heading out Thursday morning in an RV from San Ramon, CA (just east of Oakland) on a road trip north.  Have relatives in Eugene and friends in Corvalis.  Hoping to get a decent view of the eclipse while we're up there.



#47 newbie2017

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 06:47 PM

Hello CCD Man -  How are the smoke/haze conditions coming along in Madras area? Any update will be greatly appreciated.  Thx

 

Today we drove from the Bay area to Portland. First half of the drive through Redding, Weed, Klamath etc. saw very smoky/hazy conditions till about 1PM.



#48 Buzzlatka

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 08:07 PM

Zero traffic and. zero smoke in madras. Heavy smoke south of bend all the way to California.
So far so good.

#49 newbie2017

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:42 PM

Zero traffic and. zero smoke in madras. Heavy smoke south of bend all the way to California.
So far so good.

Thanks for the update. Not sure where, but today I read somewhere that forecasters are predicting close to perfect conditions for Madras as far as weather is concerned. Smoke is the only wild card but they are predicting that starting today winds are going to change direction which will take the smoke (if any) away from that area. Keeping our fingers crossed. 



#50 rathijit

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 10:22 AM

According to this link, Madras’ “surface smoke” looks ok, but the “vertical smoke integration” is not ideal. What is the difference between the two readings? Will the vertical smoke integration numbers ruin the views? I plan on photographing the eclipse, so I am worried.

http://airquality.we...p?period=4#tabs


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