May 26-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: May: May 26-09
West border    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by E. Neil Harri
Threatening homes    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by E. Neil Harri
Black River Falls    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by E. Neil Harri

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 05:52 am:

E. Neil Harri doesn't just take to the air for counting moose, spotting wolves or taking photos to compile DVD tours. Another aspect of his flying career and an extremely important one, is fire patrol. Neil shared today's photos that he took last week of the wildfire south of Ishpeming, from the Black River Falls fire. Here's what he had to say about the photos:

These two pics are from Wednesday at South of Ishpeming fire. The first one shows the west side of fire. It is only about halfway done by then. The second photo shows the fire along County Road 581. The house in the photo was saved.
I asked Neil about what it feels like to be flying up above the fire like that and he said that he's a part of the team and it's very intense up there flying, but also rewarding. The most important thing during this fire, was evacuation ahead of the flames and that's where Neil's reporting from the air becomes critical. The firefighters appreciate Neil's input, as he's up in the air reporting the perimeters of the fire, ahead of the special fire management teams that normally arrive an hour or two later than he can be up flying and spotting.

The latest I've heard on the fire now, is that it's burned 770 acres and is mostly contained. A total of 33 structures were lost, 12 of them being permanent homes. Besides Neil's eye in the sky, there were nine law enforcement and fire fighting agencies involved in fighting this fire... a big Thanks to all that helped in any way.

Coincidentally, a few days before this fire started, Neil had sent me the third shot, of the Black River Falls. It sure looks like a beautiful area. I have no clue if the fires were anywhere near this waterfall, perhaps Neil will chime in and let us know. It's been quite dry lately, which means the fire danger is high, so when you're outdoors, be extra careful as to what you are doing when it comes to making campfires, smoking or burning anything.
E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 08:06 am:

The picture of the waterfall is from Gogebic county. It is also a dry area.
The fire was in Marquette county where a smaller Black river joins the Escanaba river.
I work with the initial attack firefighters who did a fantastic job getting everyone out of harms way.The VFD's set up structure protection, and the DNR firefighters battle the wildfire.
When a wildfire reaches 100 acres, a special "Short team" is sent to manage a bigger incident which requires a lot more people.It is like watching a small city of firefighters and rescue workers pop up to respond to the fire.
We also used a P3 Orion retardant plane from Ely Mn to build a line across the head. That was three hours into the fire.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 08:11 am:

It's so amazing how much area these fires can cover in any amount of time.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 08:25 am:

I'll bet it was a tense time for the residents living near the fire.
This type of scene is always a heartache, but nature will reclaim itself in time.

By D. Clark (Dcclark) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 08:40 am:

I'm amazed how close the fires came to those houses! Thank goodness everyone came out OK. Very nice photos, I always look forward to seeing Neil's aerial shots. :)

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 09:19 am:

Great photography again Neil...your aerial shots give a super perspective of what we normally can't see onground, opening up a different world. Such devastation and the fire looks much more "invasive" than I would have thought. Thanks, again.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 09:29 am:

Good friends of mine had been evacuated from that fire. Fire is one nightmare I fear most. It is something even the most prepared cannot be sure they are ready for. All the basic papers, family photos, basic clothing, their beloved critters are so important! My friends were lucky to not lose anything, this time. Should make all of us think seriously about planning just in case.

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 10:02 am:

The main story here is that no lives were lost. We can always rebuild the homes and regret the loss of personal posessions but we can't replace life.
I am sitting here working on photo files for a fire report and I am so grateful that everyone got out safely.

By James Alain (Charlevoix) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 11:22 am:

A question for Neil.....WHICH falls are those in the Gogebic Co Black River pix? Thanks...

By Nate (Nalwine) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 12:10 pm:

James--that would be Rainbow Falls, the last waterfall before Lake Superior on the Black River

By Lisa R. (Sisugirl) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 01:07 pm:

It must very dry up there right now. When I visited in summer 2005, I was amazed that there were NO mosquitoes. That part was nice, but I knew it meant drought... not so good. Maybe this is more of the same. Wacky weather in many places, it seems. Here in Florida, we had two feet of rain last week. Maybe you all could use some of this up there. Our backyard is still flooded.

Keeping the victims of the fires in my thoughts... ~ Lisa

By Laurie B. (Ratherberiding) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 01:25 pm:

We were evacuated the night of the fire. Thankfully, the fire did not come near our home. It was still a very frightening time. I feel so badly for the families that lost their homes and all of their belongings. The fire fighters did an amazing job saving homes. They are to be commended. The Catholic churches on the west end of Marquette Co. are holding a spaghetti dinner fund raiser on June 3 at St. Joseph Church in Ishpeming.

By Rachel Schreiner (Mooselover) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 03:30 pm:

So sad to see folks lose their homes. But as someone said, it's good no lives were lost. For those of you who live near thick woods, do you keep a preparedness "kit" like those in hurricane-prone areas do? Important paperwork, that sort of thing? Is there any you do to lessen the chances of fires touching your homes?

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 03:54 pm:

When the big fires were happening in southern California a week or two back, the national news interviewed a homeowner who had an entire sprinkler system installed all around his house and garage just for this reason. It worked! Everything was burned to a char, except his home and garage. Pretty neat and it paid for itself the first use.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 08:49 pm:

News of the fire was "hot" stuff for our household last week. My
husband and I were very worried when we first learned about
the fire because our daughter, son-in-law and son live very
close to County Road 581. That road is our route to the cottage
that my father built by hand over fifty years ago, so he was
worried too. In fact, our UP family lives a mere three and a half
miles from the little Lutheran church, Faith Lutheran, where the
firefighters held the line. Many of our friends were evacuated to
the local high school. When the phone lines were down and we
were unable to get through to our family last Wednesday night,
we were grateful for two Yooper websites--WLUC-TV and the
Mining Journal.

How happy we are that no lives were lost and how impressed we
are by the resilience of "our" people. Fundraisers are underway
and the community is hard at work to help their neighbors who
lost their homes,

By Donna (Donna) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 10:31 pm:

Our local Volunteer Firefighters (and a whole lot of other folks) are to be commended for the outstanding WORK they've pulled off in our glorious little piece of the planet here!

CHEERS guys and gals!! Hat's off!! Well Done!!

(You too Neil! Fabulous as always!)

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 10:46 pm:

I heard a lot of really impressive, personal stories about this fire in the last couple of days.
I am sure there will be a lot of follow up press on it. I have some good video that will shown somewhere too. It shows what a fast moving and diffucult fire this was to manage.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - 07:27 am:

ggreat images and a job well done Neil :)
My wife and I had a great time hiking along the black river a few years ago. Great falls all along. Highly recommended.
You can drive and park at each falls and walk in on very good trails with bridges, walkways, and so forth, or go for the gusto.

By Norm Bishop (Riverdog) on Thursday, May 28, 2009 - 11:13 am:

If you get to rainbow falls the Bear Track Cabins
are a great base camp to view all the river action .I hike this area often.

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