The Igo Ono Clover Fire of 2013

The Clover Fire burned parts of the communities of Happy Valley and Igo California the week of September 9, 2013.   More than 60 homes were lost and more than 100 other buildings destroyed by a fire that did most of it s damage in just a day and a half.  One person died as a direct result of the fire.  The damage surely would have been more devastating had it not been for a heroic fire fighting effort on the part of CalFire crews and others. To them, we offer our special thanks.

Here is a first view of the Clover Fire looking to the southeast or just east of Happy Valley, over the workshop toward Clear Creek Road.  It had probably consumed less than 10 acres at this point.

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Within 40 minutes of the first smoke, it was clear that the fire was moving to the southwest out of control.

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As the winds began to pick up the smoke cloud began to flatten and the fire began to move faster.  It continued to spread toward the southwest.

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By mid afternoon, the Clover Fire had spread a mile to the southwest from its eastern start point near Clear Creek Road and Happy Valley.

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As the smoke moved in closer, a small grass fire line became visible creeping over the hill.  It was the first proof that the fire was getting closer.

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It took only 10 minute for the fire to change from marginally in view to spread across the landscape.  As it advanced, more serious smoke boiled up behind it.

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The Clover Fire was now advancing rapidly.  In only a few minutes it transformed from a low crawling grass fire to a raging vertical inferno.

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Looking more to the east, the fire line was advancing from that direction and westward also. 

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About 300 yards north of the fire line, a single firefighter scouts an existing fire break looking for a place to hold the Clover Fire in check.

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On the Shasta County property just south of Clear Creek Road and just east of the landfill, the Clover Fire was progressing rapidly through thick Manzanita.  The County Department of Public Works generally does an awful job of fuel reduction, thereby putting adjacent land owners at risk.

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It is just visible that the Clover Fire was taking down everything including tall Gray Pine as it went along.

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A helicopter takes advantage of the large landing area to make quick adjustments to the water carrier about half a mile from the Clover Fire's western fire line.

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The noise of the raging Clover Fire only 3 to 4 hundred yards away was frightening to humans, yet some wildlife in the area seemed almost relaxed.

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Moving forward toward the smoke and our south exit, it looks suspiciously dense and feels hot.

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Less than 2 minutes after the picture above and only 100 feet down the road, the Clover Fire erupted.  There was no going forward from here.  This was the decision maker - to get away from the fire....

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The morning after the Clover Fire went through, the sun arose on a changed landscape over the area that had been ravaged only a few hours before, but the flames were mostly gone from this area.

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There were fatalities among the pines and oaks and some of those blocked the trails and pathways.

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There were survivors in the midst of the raging fire and those stood out defiantly on the charred landscape, some with little sign of harm.

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Looking east toward the water tanks at Cloverdale and Clear Creek Roads, there was evidence that the Clover Fire was still consuming fuel.  In this case, the base of a tall Gray Pine that will probably not survive.  Behind the water tanks is Happy Valley.

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About 8 hours after the Clover Fire's advance was halted in this area, there were still pockets of heavy smoke and occasional burning or smoldering stumps and other fuel.

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In places it looked as though only the grass had burned leaving the taller vegetation unharmed.

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The most enduring impressions came from the blackness of the land and silence that seemed as prevalent as the Fire Beetles that swarmed charred remains.

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