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Angora fire structure damage map

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#1
Sky Schemer

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This is a very, very, very quick-and-dirty map that I threw together for a family member that lives near Lake Tahoe and was evacuated on Sunday due to the fire. It shows streets where damage reports were available (or not available) and a rough estimate of the extent of the structural damage. They used it to show other family members where their house sat relative to the burn areas as of Monday afternoon.

Damage reports were as per the El Dorado County Sheriff's office on Monday at 11:15am, and I matched street addresses up against TIGER 2006 SE data. Many roads were still not listed as of that time, and some were listed but tagged with "no report available".

As of today, our relatives who were evacuated still don't know whether their house is standing or not, as the area is too dangerous to allow people in and local officials are too busy to check on many of these roads.

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#2
MapMedia

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Good job Sky. Your family is lucky to have an on-hand mapper. Since it is for family use, accuracy is high on the list, and less is aesthetics/style. Yet, both seem to be present in reasonable quantities!
Does the map get updated on any basis (or is hosted online)?

-Possible the legend could be re-organized: swap two columns, keeping text right-justified. Then color coded streets could fit closer to their description.
-Cochise Cir is a little 'loopy' :) Simply flip text on path should fit it.
-Looking at the map I was wondering where the prevailing winds were bearing and their strength, though I generally understand it is north-ish.

I hope your family's place is spared. Its hard to imagine some of my favorite backcountry skiing places around Fallen Leaf Lake have been scorched.

#3
frax

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Maybe you should share the map with local media? I am sure they would be interested in this - depending on what they have access to...
Hugo Ahlenius
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#4
Sky Schemer

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Thanks for the notes, Chris. Quick-and-dirty were the operative words so I let Manifold do auto-labeling and the legend. I'd really like to clean it up for the next rev. I found an updated list of affected streets/homes late last night and I think I can get a better map made today. We're traveling right now so the working conditions aren't so great, but it's for family so I'm motivated.

Good idea on showing the prevailing winds. I also found a map on InciWeb that shows the fire perimeter that I could integrate onto here, as I am sure people would be interested in that as well.

Hugo, I don't know if this is something that's ready for local media. The source data is very inconsistent, some reported as house number ranges that are damaged, others as absolute counts of houses along entire streets. My scheme for assigning colors to roads from this mish-mash is a little sloppy. Good enough for people far away, certainly, but probably not for people who live there. But, I've given our family in Tahoe permission to share.

As for their house...they are encouraged by a recent eye-witness report. It's believed their house is still standing, and they have a photo to show it. Assuming a spot fire didn't occur since the picture was taken, they will be okay. The fire perimeter did come dangerously close to the home, though, and a few houses were on fire as they were evacuating. Fortunately, it never hopped the ridge behind their neighborhood, and an early drop of fire-retardant (as they were loading the car...they got covered in it) seems to have prevented floating embers from igniting more homes.

Cheers,
John

#5
Sky Schemer

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Some quotes from my father-in-law:

We were on the very edge of the fire -- were evacuated in a hurry. In fact, while loading the dog and a few odds and ends, I was “bombed” by a borate (fire retardant slurry) bomber trying to stop the exploding fire on the ridge immediately behind our house. He covered me and the car completely with a wet slop – which we welcomed with great glee.

We have neighbors and friends who have lost everything. They range from distraught and tearful, to tickled to be able to build themselves a new home. For now we’re living in a hotel room in South Lake Tahoe, near Stateline (sneaking the dog who is “not allowed”) in and out to the elevators through a back door… Isn’t life weird?

I’ve learned three minor lessons so far. First, forest fires are loud – sounding more like a torrential waterfall than anything else. Second, when such a fire hits a mature Cedar tree, it makes a very satisfying explosive “boom” when the tree ignites. And finally, watching 2,500 acres of some of the most beautiful flora on earth go up in smoke makes you cry.



#6
Hans van der Maarel

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Let's hope their house survives. I spent a few days camping on the campground at the north end of Fallen Leaf Lake a few years ago, shame to see such a beautiful area go up in flames.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#7
Jean-Louis

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I was in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia after the devastation of similar fires in 2003. What struck me was how weirdly and randomly a big fire spreads. For instance, I would see 5 houses in a row burned to the ground with the one in the middle left untouched. Great and useful map you did, Sky. I wish I would have thought of that for the Okanagan.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#8
zeke.lunder

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hello,
this is my first post -
i have created a damage map that is a google earth overlay of parcel polygons linked with the el dorado sherrif's department damage assessment data.
To download it, visit the NorthTree Fire GIS Website

http://www.northtree...gis/virtual.php

#9
zeke.lunder

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links to google earth map with parcels overlaid colored by level of damage or ownership.

http://www.northtree...gis/virtual.php

the story told by the map:

we helped to map fuels in this area in 2005. check out the subdivision
that was burned through- there are many vacant lots.

most of the unbuilt lots were bought by the us forest service or 'california tahoe
conservancy' (shown as 'state lands) after the land had been subdivided, as a way to limit the
impacts of development in the tahoe basin - authorized by the
Santini-Burton Act - more info on this at:

http://www.fs.fed.us...ni_burton.shtml

in the absence natural fires, and without thinning, forests in this area tend to become thick with undergrowth; if these lots were unthinned, they may have helped to drive the fire's rapid spread.

we are looking for data on how much lot thinning had been undertaken before the fire, and would like to show this info on future versions of this map.

#10
DaveB

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we are looking for data on how much lot thinning had been undertaken before the fire, and would like to show this info on future versions of this map.


Yesterday's L.A. Times had an article with a map showing thinned areas, as well as the fire perimeter and the streets and other features.
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek




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