Saturday, September 26, 2009


The Tumblebug fire Complex I mentioned earlier this week (here and here) continues to burn, as does the Boze Complex. A "complex" is not an idea that will be familiar to those living outside the west, or at least I wasn't when I moved here. In mountainous areas with dry summers, thunderstorms can boil up suddenly. They generally drop rain, but that rain commonly never reaches the ground; it evaporates as it falls through the warm dry air. Lightning associated with the storm, however, does not evaporate on the way down, and tinder dry forest floor litter and plants can be ignited.

Since the storms are often of limited extent both in time and space, quite a number of small fires can be started in a fairly restricted area. As the fire and the fire fighting run their courses, these smaller fires may or may not coalesce. Rather than worrying about naming maybe a dozen little fires that may or may not grow together to form one enormous fire, officials designate the whole mess as a complex.

The Tumblebug Complex has now burned over 11,000 acres according to the article where I found the vidclip below. The Boze Complex has also burned over 11,000 acres according to the Incident Information System. The video appears to have been made from a position between the two fires, so the first smoke plume (Tumblebug) is viewed in an eastward direction, with the plume moving south (right); the second plume (Boze) is viewed in a westward direction, and is also moving south, but to the left.

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