September 8, 2020
At this writing, it is believed to be an arson fire started in North East Ashland on a day of unusual weather. An East Wind, the same as the famed Santa Ana Winds, had
temperatures, by late morning, up to 82F, relative humidity to 8% and winds of 23 MPH with gusts to 37 MPH. By afternoon, winds increased to more than 45 MPH and
temperature climbed to near 100F. The wind driven fire traveled the 6 miles to a manufactured home park just a 1,000 feet east of where these pictures were taken in a
few hours. When the fire began to surround the hemp fields to south, it was time to evacuate to a friends house and therefore, no pictures of that portion were taken.
The fire burned about 3,200 acres, and 2,800 structures. Three of the four manufactures home parks in the small city of Phoenix were destroyed.
|The Almeda Fire started around 11:00, and the picture on the left was taken at 11:50. Near the right edge of the third photo, you can see some of the hemp fields that
diverted the fire around the homes in the foreground. On the right is a DC-7 retardant tanker.
|Photos in this row were taken between 3:16 and 3:27 p.m.
Compare the first three above with the three below taken
less than an hour later.
|The left two photos are of a recycling company that refined restaurant waste grease and oil into diesel fuel.
|A tanker lead plane.
|A DC-10 air tanker turning to final and dropping retardant, left, and an MD-83 dropping in the right two photos.
|Creekside Estates, a manufactured home park in the first three photos and at right another business next to the fuels place.
|At left, another retardant drop on the hills east of Phoenix.
The last photo I shot before evacuation, right.
|It was 10 days later, September 18, that the smoke from fires
around the area cleared enough to take a few "after" photos.
Above is the remains of Creekside Estates.
|The red fire retardant on the hills just below a home on top. Left, three shots are more of the homes in the Creekside Estates.
|Burnt fields beyond the hemp farm
and burnt hills South and East.
|For comparison, these two photos look
east, springtime on the left and late
summer on the right, well before the fire.
|The homes and businesses this side of South Pacific Highway were spared here, but not further into town where the Post Office, restaurants, and other businesses did not.