Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stonyford Fire Update - July 12 @ 11:00am

Photo (July 11 - afternoon): Looking at OHV Area from
Lodoga/Stonyford Rd.

Here is HQ’s July 12 am report based on intel from a 1900 briefing last night.   Fran Peace from Congressman Wally Herger’s Office was in attendance. 
 With luck they will keep the fire below Miner ridge, saving the Goat Mt. area.  Also, Little Stony is spared for now. That's the good news.  The bad news is that the fire will double in size.  They will start firing out along Stonyford/Lodoga Road today at 1100 (HQ will have its reporter on scene for that), bringing the fire on around the new cat-line to the Goat Mt. Road.  This will burn out all the front country fuels that are a threat to East Park Estates, Century Ranch and homes along the main road.
It appears their plan for the canyon is to use fire (probably a helitorch)  to light off as much as will burn along the rim of the main canyon, which would include all trails and side canyons up to Big Sullivan or Pine Ridge.  They cannot burn out from the road because of serpentine and spotty fuels, but want to remove as much vegetation as possible on the north side of L. Stony Road to prevent rekindling in the event of a wind or weather change which could send the fire possibly to the south side of Little Stony canyon (a bad thing) and on to Lovelady, Goat Mt. and Lake County.  
Everything up to Mill Valley, south to Crackerbox and on the north along the M10 corridor is slicked off. The fire is currently 16,800 acres, but it is estimated to be closer to 30K when finally contained if the plan is executed flawlessly. 
HQ believes the media has not covered what the fire's impact will have on special events such as motorcycle enduros and casual OHV use this fall and winter.  As many of you know, the Fouts Springs OHV Camping area often becomes the largest “city” in Colusa County during the Christmas/New Year Holiday Season with up to 2-4 thousand people camping and riding there.  The fire may have a serious impact on that activity this year.
HQ thanks local Stonyford resident and former FS OHV program manager, Jeff Applegate, on the Grindstone RD  for his excellent feedback on the progress of the fire.
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  1. Really appreciate the updates and those of us that love to ride up there wonder if this will be a turning point that gives the fanatics the wedge to drive between us and the trail riding mecca. We noticed a less than usual effort to keep the trails groomed last year and wondered if that was symptomatic of a managerial change of heart.

  2. Actually, the OHV staff and crews have been doing a lot of trail maint this spring. The unit is still working hard to provide quality OHV recreation. The fire does not stop that.

  3. Thanks for the updates, Don.

  4. If 1 in 10 of those who would be riding the 3 fall events run out of Fouts Springs would show up at some organized support days, to put in erosion control and help with cleanup, we can make sure our favorite recreation area does not become a sanctuary of dope farmers and hippies setting up 'farmer's markets' and sacred meditation trips locking out OHV.
    We can make it better than it ever was if we step up and get it done.

  5. Really appreciate your work here Don. Thanks for keeping us updated

  6. Hey guys thanks! We also have to give a big shout out to Jeff Applegate for his reporting and photos...

  7. Whats the best way to get involved and help at the event days?

  8. Do you have a more current update on the Stoneyford Fire? Any hope for Thanksgivng and if so what should we expect to see?

  9. Lisa,

    After the rains start and post-fire rehab starts with professional trail contractors and volunteers, HQ will have a better idea of when the area will reopen for public use. My guess right now is that we will not see the area reopen for
    traditional OHV use of the trail system until next spring. HQ will post updates as they come in. Happy Labor Day!

  10. is stonyford available for riding yet?

  11. You can camp at Fouts/Davis flat but there is no green sticker riding. If you have dual sports.. you can go up M10 about 6 miles and ride the upper elevation trails and it is open all the way over to Upper Lake. Around the 1st of May, the FS should open the gate up to St. John's Mountain and that is open to green sticker. The main trails are supposed to open June 1. Just got back from a vol. trail weekend up there installing barriers.