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Reading Fire 8/19/2012 update

Feather Publishing
8/19/2012
7:00 a.m. update
The Reading Fire is now 27,814 acres and 51% contained

Hand crews continued direct line construction from the Cinder Peak area towards Prospect Peak. Crews continue to patrol from Hat Lake north towards Fantastic Lava Beds. Firefighters held, patrolled and mopped up from Hat Lake to the Fantastic Lava Beds following MIST tactics on all divisions inside the park. Crews began repairing the Pacific Crest Trail and other areas impacted by fire suppression. Snag removal continued today on the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway.

The Reading Fire is 51% contained. When referring to a fire, the difference between a fire being contained or controlled can be unclear. When a fire is contained a fuel break had been completed around the fire manually by hand line, and/or mechanically by dozer line. These breaks may also include the use of natural barriers such as rocky outcroppings. When a fire has been controlled, the fireline is secure enough so that flare-ups within the fire perimeter will not break through the line. Therefore, just because a line is contained does not mean that the fire is controlled.

Today, smoke and operations on nearby fires may present driving hazards. Drive slowly when visibility is low, and be cautious around emergency vehicles.

Crews are actively involved in backhaul operations on the northwest section of the fire. While firefighters make the final push towards containment of the Reading Fire, they must fulfill another extremely important task. Firefighters must be on the lookout for equipment in the field that is no longer needed by the crews that fought the fire. The Reading Fire is no exception. The list of equipment that must be retrieved includes; hose, pump kits; generators; chainsaw kits; collapsible water tanks; trash; and smaller items such as hose fittings and nozzles. To gather these items, firefighters will GPS the location of equipment and then crews are sent out to backhaul these items. Recovered and returned equipment must then be cleaned, repaired, and organized to be ready for the next incident.

Visitors wanting to access Lassen National Volcanic Park from the north, can drive the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway from the north entrance to Manzanita Lake. Visitors wanting to access the park from the south entrance, the road is open to Summit Lake. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead for current information. The park's most popular trails remain open. From the Southwest entrance, visitors can access the Bumpass Hell trail, Kings Creek Falls trail, Mill Creek Falls, and Brokeoff Mountain trail among others. Warner Valley offers visitors an opportunity to hike several trails including the trails to Devils Kitchen and Boiling Springs Lake, two of the park's hydrothermal areas. The Lassen Peak trail will be open to the summit Friday August 31 through Monday September 3. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular full moon hike up the peak on August 31. The trails around Manzanita Lake, Lily Pond, Crags Lake and Manzanita Creek are open in the northwest part of the park. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed.

Many local, county, state and federal agencies are working together to provide a coordinated response to the fire. Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the "Protect Yourself from Smoke" website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/. Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://airnow.gov/index.cfm action=airnow.main.

A Temporary Flight Restrictions, 2/8455, is in effect over the Reading Fire. Other TFRs exist in the immediate area.

Closures - Lassen Volcanic National Park Campgrounds: · Butte Lake · Crags · Lost Creek · Summit Lake North · Summit Lake South Roads:

Roads: Visitors wanting to access Lassen National Volcanic Park from the north, can drive the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway from the north entrance to Manzanita Lake. Visitors wanting to access the park from the south entrance, the road is open to Summit Lake. The Lassen Volcanic National Highway is closed from Manzanita Campground to Summit Lake Campground.

For additional information, please visit:

· Lassen National Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/lassen/alerts-notices

· Lassen Volcanic National Park: www.nps.gov/lavo/index.htm or on Twitter@LassenNPS

For Reading Fire information call: 877-384-7026

Location: Portions of the Lassen Volcanic National Park and Lassen National Forest

7:00 a.m. update

A public meeting was held last night at the Old Station volunteer fire department hall.

The Reading Fire is now at 51% containment. When referring to a fire, the difference between a fire being contained or controlled can be unclear. When a fire is contained a fuel break had been completed around the fire manually by hand line, and/or mechanically by dozer line. These breaks may also include the use of natural barriers such as rocky outcroppings. When a fire has been controlled, the fireline is secure enough so that flare-ups within the fire perimeter will not break through the line. Therefore, just because a line is contained does not mean that the fire is controlled.

Last night crews held, patrolled and mopped up from Hat Lake to the Fantastic Lava Beds following MIST tactics on all divisions in the park. On the eastern perimeter crews worked on completing direct line and prepared for firing operations. Crews continue to be positioned for initial attack response in the Lassen National Volcanic Park.

From Hat Lake north to the Fantastic Lava Beds the fire continued to creep and smolder with burning in the interior and potential for spotting over the line.

Air tankers have been used to drop retardant on the eastern edge of the fire the last couple of days. Yesterday the Reading Fire utilized the DC10 VLAT(Very Large Air Tanker) for a couple of drops. This part of the fire contains spotty fuels, patches of timber, grass and brush. The use of retardant in this area will hasten the control of this fire and shorten the duration of firefighters exposure to smoke and physical injuries. Yesterday the airtankers dropped fugitive retardant. Fugitive retardants contain a coloring agent that is designed to fade rapidly following retardant application in order to minimize the visual impacts of the retardant. This type of retardant is effective in slowing the progress of the fire, but within several days is no longer visible on the ground. Retardant is just one of the many tools used by firefighters in containing this fire.

Crews are actively involved in backhaul operations on the northwest section of the fire. While firefighters make the final push towards containment of the Reading Fire, they must fulfill another extremely important task. Firefighters must be on the lookout for equipment in the field that is no longer needed by the crews that fought the fire. The Reading Fire is no exception. The list of equipment that must be retrieved includes; hose, pump kits; generators; chainsaw kits; collapsible water tanks; trash; and smaller items such as hose fittings and nozzles. To gather these items, firefighters will GPS the location of equipment and then crews are sent out to backhaul these items. Recovered and returned equipment must then be cleaned, repaired, and organized to be ready for the next incident.

Smoke from other fires that are burning in northern California will also be present in the area. Due to smoke and firefighting equipment, driving in the area of the fire will be challenging today and over the weekend. Please be cautious when driving, watch for other vehicles, and drive slowly when visibility is low. Snag removal will continue today on the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway.

What can you do to help in the firefighting efforts, prepare your home, stay aware of the situation, and help your friends and neighbors where you can.

Due to smoke and firefighting equipment, driving in the area of the fire will be challenging today and over the weekend. Please be cautious when driving, watch for other vehicles, and drive slowly when visibility is low. Snag removal will continue today on the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway to prepare for the future opening of the road.

The Lassen National Forest and Lassen Volcanic National Park are working together and providing a coordinated response to the fire. Smoke will continue to pose health concerns for the public. Residents are encouraged to visit the "Protect Yourself from Smoke" website for smoke protection information at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/. Local air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://airnow.gov/index.cfm action=airnow.main.

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