MGIO News Briefs (by John Ratje)

June 28, 2004 : 08:00 MST Because of the Nuttall fire and the extensive fire fighting efforts underway, the mountain is closed to the public -- University crews are allowed through the closure upon showing their red squirrel permit.  More...
June 29, 2004 : 11:00 MST The fire briefing went well this morning. The fire stayed relatively quiet yesterday -- not a lot of spread -- calculated at 322 acres this morning. More...
June 30, 2004 : 11:00 MST The fire is now at 450 acres with more than 75% of indirect fire line constructed around its perimeter. The Incident Team expects to complete the indirect fire line construction today. More...
July 01, 2004 : 11:00 MST At the briefing this morning we were advised the burned areas were 926 acres (800 acres reported in the news release). Except for a very small "slop over" area, the fire is inside the cut line perimeter. More...
July 02, 2004 : 11:00 MST The fire report this morning is good news -- the burned acreage is up to 1,720 acres -- BUT all is within the cut fire line -- a perimeter line around the main fire area. More...
July 02, 2004 : 18:30 MST The Incident Management Team has advised us to evacuate the mountain. The mountain is closed to all non essential University personnel. We are sending a 3 person structure protection team to the site. More...
July 03, 2004 : 11:00 MST The Gibson Fire has expanded rapidly -- yesterday morning it was 10 acres and blew up in the afternoon to 100+ acres. It was reported this morning at 112 acres but the infrared images last night show maybe 300+ acres have burned. More...
July 03, 2004 : 14:00 MST The Gibson Fire has worked its way north almost around High Peak. We were ordered to evacuate the MGIO site earlier this afternoon -- fire fighters and all -- 4 people remain on site awaiting the final evacuation orders. More...
July 04, 2004 : 23:59 MST The Gibson Fire has not crossed west of Forest Road 507 -- aerial tankers have dropped about 24 loads of retardant slurry along the road and it seems to be holding. More...
July 06, 2004 : 13:00 MST We have 2 dozers cutting line from the north side of the Utility Area to the access road in the saddle just east of Peak 10,298. This line is to protect the Observatory's north and west side. More...
July 06, 2004 : 23:00 MST If you were in Safford today watching the mountain burn you would have thought you were in an inferno. See the attached photos. More...
July 07, 2004 : 13:00 MST So far so good -- a day at a time. The fire maps marked up for the IR image last night are attached to this report. There is intense activity to protect the Columbine and Turkey Flat Cabin areas today. More...
July 08, 2004 : 11:00 MST Attached is the Southwest Area Incident Management Team news release. You will note the fire is 25% contained and the Observatory is in a very defensible position. Back firing operations occurred last night and continue this morning on an east-west dozer line on the north side of the site. More...
July 08, 2004 : 13:00 MST The Observatory is in excellent shape -- all perimeter lines have been burned out and it rained a bit on site today. The high humidity and low wind on the mountain reduced the intensity of fire considerably. We are in a very defensible position (and that's for years in the future). More...
July 09, 2004 : 12:00 MST It is drizzling on site right now. The fire activity, other than the back firing in progress, is very low intensity. Governor Napolitano's visit to Safford is scheduled for this evening. Congressman Renzi will visit with cabin owners tomorrow around noon.
July 10, 2004 : 10:45 MST We are in excellent condition! I will upload the fire maps early this afternoon after Congressman Renzi's visit. The IR map is interesting and shows the perimeter line being connected between Columbine and the Observatory.
July 10, 2004 : 13:55 MST The Southwest Area Incident Management Team is beginning to demobilize the equipment and some of the hot shot crews. We are down to 6 helicopters today. I understand the Type 1 Team will turn over responsibility to a Type 2 Team on Tuesday (maybe Rich Kvale's team). More...
July 11, 2004 : 12:25 MST It rained... 0.4 inches at the site. We also had a lightning caused ignition at Clark Peak -- the Team has it in check. More...

 



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