SNF Fire above Shaver Lake

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clovisb31

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Big Creek and Shaver Lake fire under way .
I am hearing Aerial drop comms on 170.7625 > This frequency is not the designated channel for Sierra NF air ops and I do not find it in any database including
the NIFC listings. Anyone know about this 170.7625 frequency ???
 

norcalscan

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That’s the assigned Air Tactics for extended operations for the Creek fire. The regular assigned freqs are for initial attack only, typically that first day of fire. Overnight they’ll order a round of freqs for Air Tactics, Air Ground and Rotor Vic. They’ll be assigned the next operational period (today). That frees up the IA freqs back for new incidents.

Creek fire has 170.7625 Air Tactics, 167.0625 Air/Ground, and 119.075 for Rotor victor (the helicopters and any TFR.)
 

clovisb31

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OK great. Where is 170.7625 listed in the database ? I'm not showing it in the SNF list or NIFC list.
Is my list outdated?
Thanks.
 

norcalscan

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OK great. Where is 170.7625 listed in the database ? I'm not showing it in the SNF list or NIFC list.
Is my list outdated?
Thanks.
It’s not on any list anywhere, and it’s not something to submit. It’s a random federal freq assigned to the fire at that moment. It’s sort of like the NIFC Cmd repeaters above 20, an unused freq or pair in that area that can be spooled up.

There are usually a small pool of overflow freqs for extended Air Tactics or Air/Ground that you can likely find the extended attack on, however that well is bone dry with the number of fires in the state. With that, it’s anyone’s guess from 162-174.
 

clovisb31

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OK...if it's not on any list, how did you guys find it ?
I was given the frequency ( 170.7625) by a friend that was monitoring another air channel out of the Fresno CDF base and overheard a pilot tell another pilot to tune to this frequency. So, is this just a secret list of frequencies , not coordinated, that the pilot's just "go to" whenever they feel like it?
Not trying to be difficult, just trying to make sense of all the channels in my scanner that I thought I had confirmed as assigned in the Sierra NF.
Thanks guy's.
 

inigo88

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OK...if it's not on any list, how did you guys find it ?
I was given the frequency ( 170.7625) by a friend that was monitoring another air channel out of the Fresno CDF base and overheard a pilot tell another pilot to tune to this frequency. So, is this just a secret list of frequencies , not coordinated, that the pilot's just "go to" whenever they feel like it?
Not trying to be difficult, just trying to make sense of all the channels in my scanner that I thought I had confirmed as assigned in the Sierra NF.
Thanks guy's.
When the entire state is on fire like it is now and all the normal fire frequencies are tapped out, most of the fire crews don't know what frequency they'll be assigned either, since whatever is left is coming out of a federal pool of frequencies on a temporary basis. The ground units will find out what their tactical frequency is from their dispatcher or perhaps the IC/operations on the command channel or face to face when arriving at the incident, and fortunately they carry Bendix-King VHF portables which can be cloned or user programmed as necessary.

For the pilots, they answer to the South Ops GACC in your area (which I believe is who coordinates frequency requests along with tanker resources etc, but I could be wrong)... so no they don't have a secret frequency list they go to whenever they feel like, they're assigned in real time as these geographic area coordination centers attempt to manage the chaos with what little resources and frequency spectrum they have.

So you have a couple choices:

1. Monitor the known fire frequencies for new channel assignments on the incident (like your friend did).
2. Make a friend at the fire department and ask them.
3. Set up a custom band search or manually tune through the 160-174 MHz range, over and over, until you find what you're looking for.
 

norcalscan

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Air Attack reported a lot of interference yesterday on the air tactics, so they ordered up a new one.


For Sunday operational period:
Air Tactics FM 171.1125
Air/Ground FM 166.6125 (newly added, could be replacement to 0625, or addl for A/G cmd)
Air/Ground FM 167.0625
Rotor Vic 119.075
 

ecps92

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Might be worth getting folks invovled in editing the wiki for these, as they do [some] change annually.

It’s not on any list anywhere, and it’s not something to submit. It’s a random federal freq assigned to the fire at that moment. It’s sort of like the NIFC Cmd repeaters above 20, an unused freq or pair in that area that can be spooled up.

There are usually a small pool of overflow freqs for extended Air Tactics or Air/Ground that you can likely find the extended attack on, however that well is bone dry with the number of fires in the state. With that, it’s anyone’s guess from 162-174.
 

graymalexander

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I have heard a lot of traffic on 172.225, I usually listen in on a daily basis as I work in the area, but it was assignments only. Im searching for the main tac freq.
 

clovisb31

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Not hearing any comms on any of the 171.1125 and 166.6125 due to no air support being used at this time . Poor visability. Pilots can't even see the fire form above due to the smoke. This is a bad one.
 

norcalscan

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Not hearing any comms on any of the 171.1125 and 166.6125 due to no air support being used at this time . Poor visability. Pilots can't even see the fire form above due to the smoke. This is a bad one.
Yeah I haven't seen anything on the fire flight following. With a fire doing what this is doing, they'll only fly where it's immediate support for evacuation, and that's if they can even see still. They won't waste resources trying to make a stop on this until it settles down at first. Similar to the Camp Fire, whatever aircraft can get up, if they are still evacuating, it'll be to protect the evacuation routes and life safety. If everyone's out, they'll focus on critical infrastructure (SCE and PGE hydro generation and transmission I think is #1 up there, especially with our grid stability in the heatwave, and communication sites.) After that, it's point protection for residence and commercial.
 

zerg901

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broadcastify.com/listen/feed/2278

?chinook? enroute to China Peak to evacuate 200 - entering TFR now - no other aircraft over the fire - ground units are scouting road to see if people can be evacuated by motor vehicle - heard via Broadcastify - 808 pm edt
 

vagrant

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I have been monitoring the bigger picture using 160.545 (Fresno Co. Sheriff) and the 172.225 Fire command. Also, watching on my ADS-B stuff and nothing today as previously noted due to the smoke.

Chinook just advised they cannot make it to the evacuation site at China Peak due to the smoke. Actually the chinook pilot just said they made it nowhere close to the LZ on 255.800 MHz. Seven minutes ago 130+ people have started to drive down and will probably take Rock Creek Road, as earlier group did to avoid fire when it jumped Hwy 168, then take Dinkey Creek Road over to 168 below Shaver Lake. Fire crew is in front and behind them on the backroad. Sounds like they are able to come down on Hwy 168 directly instead of the backroad.

Fresno County Sheriff moved their command post down to Sierra High School over an hour ago. Fire crew is doing fire crew stuff and hanging out. Also, a couple of hours ago the fire hit the west end of Huntington Lake and it is moving east at least there.

One may need to make adjustments when you look at the following web page so that you see the satellite images from the day. Also, look tomorrow a bit after sunrise. There is also an option to view hotspots/fires. The smoke from this Creek fire is about to cover the Great Salt Lake.


Update: Fine ash has been falling for an hour or so here 30 miles SW of the fire. Smoke odor is present and I expect ash and smoke will increase overnight.
 
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clovisb31

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They just called out the Air frequencies for the day. 167.0625 Air Tac and 166.6125 A/G for what it's worth.
It's going to be a tough day for these guys. Electronic sites lost already above Shaver Lake include the Cable TV facility and an Amateur repeater site.
 

PluckyPleco

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Hearing traffic on that 7.0625 Air Tac and the Rotor Vic numbers above.
 

Paysonscanner

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It’s not on any list anywhere, and it’s not something to submit. It’s a random federal freq assigned to the fire at that moment. It’s sort of like the NIFC Cmd repeaters above 20, an unused freq or pair in that area that can be spooled up.

There are usually a small pool of overflow freqs for extended Air Tactics or Air/Ground that you can likely find the extended attack on, however that well is bone dry with the number of fires in the state. With that, it’s anyone’s guess from 162-174.
The lists I have show Commands 1-12 as the permanent NIFC commands, with 8-12 actually being National Interoperability Channels as listed in the NIFOG. I don't have any information showing fixed or permanent assignments for Commands 13-20. I thought those were drawn from the pool of local unused federal frequencies for one time assignments just like those labeled Commands 21 through 66 or whatever the highest has been noted by RR members. If you have a list showing Commands 13-20 as being permanently assigned I would like to see it or get the source. I would then add them to the "Federal Large Incident" list I have programmed into my PSR 500's/600's. Thanks norcalscan, you seem to be pretty well informed!
 

Paysonscanner

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Long Distance Spot Fire Ignition

I was speaking to a friend yesterday that lives in the Sierra foothills close to where Hubby and I used to live. Her husband was on the same small town volunteer FD my Hubby was on. He has some internet sources that I haven't had up to this point. I'm going to start checking and bookmarking those sites when I get time. I want to give you the source of this info and not just spread a rumor. What her husband read was that a "skateboard sized piece of lodgepole pine bark" fell from the sky in the area a briefing was being held 14 miles north of the Creek Fire." Hubby related reports of long distance spotting to me after hearing them from other firefighters on large fires he took Type I engines to on mutual aid. He also heard such reports from Cal Fire folks as we had one of those FD's that had a Cal Fire battalion chief supervising them. My impression is 5 mile spotting occurs and is documented, but has been unusual until 15-20 years ago. A CDF friend of ours was in Yellowstone in 1988 and said they confirmed 5 miles there. Over the hill from us in Mono County in 1992. the Rainbow Fire of 1992 was reported to have spotted 8 miles ahead of the fire front. 2-3 spot fires were reported a mile or two north of the main lodge area of Mammoth Mtn. Ski Area. Hubby and I drove there about 6 weeks after that fire. The fuels are sparse and the soil mostly pumice up there. This was the longest credible report of spotting we had heard of. Other reports of 10 mile ignitions were not as credible. Last summer, while in Mammoth, I heard the same report from a more direct source.

This 14 mile report happened at a shift briefing for a fire, I'm not sure if it was at the ICP for the Creek Fire. I need to followup to pin this down. Keep in mind that the witnesses to this are experienced firefighters. This large piece of bark was not reported as a fire brand, but was "smoldering" upon impact with the ground. In the right fuels a spot fire could have started.

I've gone into detail here because I'm beginning to hear wildland fire people express concern that as the years pass they are observing unprecedented fire behavior of increasing intensity. These are informed observers, not like the rest of us who read and watch media coverage and form opinions based on such. To carry a skateboard sized piece of bark 14 miles requires a very strong convection column, a major pryocumulus cloud. Also noted is that this occurred when the fire was around 12 hours from the time of its 1st report. Last summer I was in Mammoth Lakes for nearly 3 months fixing up a condo a late uncle of mine had owned. Someone in an adjacent condo is retired from the U.S. Forest Service and studied fire ecology beginning when he was still in high school, then in college where he got a B.S. - Forestry, during his 3 decade career and now into retirement. He was on over 100 wildland fires in his career, most as a "groundpounder, grunt type" as he described it. He was actually a qualified crew boss and strike team leader- crew. He related that increasing intensity is being documented from numerous data sets.

Just a thought I wanted to pass on. I don't intend to sound apocalyptic, rather to connect the dots on things I've been hearing.
 
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