The "Pleasure Fire" broke out on the Quail Ridge peninsula
on Friday, September 16, about 5 PM. On Sunday morning, it was
declared 100% contained. The fire consumed 180 acres. It started
on BOR land at the lakeshore, traveled through DFG land, and onto
BLM land. No private, QRWC, or UC lands were burned. The entire
burn area was inside of the Reserve. See attached
map for a rough representation of the burn area.
There was a considerable fire personnel presence - 8 engines,
9 fire crews, 3 helicopters, 4 bulldozers, water tenders, and
early plane support. We tried to encourage minimal impact, but
as you can imagine with that amount equipment there was disturbance.
Most of the bulldozer disturbance was isolated to the roads in
order to allow for safe movement of the fire engines and crew
busses. However, the Ridge road was widened by bulldozers to serve
as a fire break. This was necessary to isolate the impact and
stop the fires spread onto other lands including private parcels
and Markley Cove.
It is believed that the fire was started by a boater who had a
barbeque on the lake shore. The fire moved quickly through oak
woodlands and chamise chaparral, pushed uphill by a southeast
wind. The extreme topography and difficult access made control
very challenging. Initially crews were shuttled by boat from Pleasure
Cove, hence the name "Pleasure Fire". Darkness fell
quickly and with it the air support was lost until Saturday morning.
The engines and crews worked throughout Friday night to keep it
A plan was developed to backfire from Decker Canyon up Fish and
Game Hill. However, we were very lucky and had favorable conditions
overnight. There was high humidity, a low pressure system, and
the wind died down. The fire "layed down". With daylight,
the returning helicopters were able to stop the head from spreading
further by dumping water from the lake. Hand crews were able to
work around it. The backfire that would have doubled the size
of the burn was not necessary.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera for any of this. The attached
photos are mostly aftermath.