Monday, September 21, 2015

BLUFF CREEK NOW OPEN AGAIN. Nickowitz Fire Still Burning, but Now Mostly Contained.


Just in time to be open for a couple of weeks or so before the seasonal Fall closure (technically set for October 1st, if it starts raining), Bluff Creek is open again. The Nickowitz Fire has moved west and north, and is mostly contained. At one point it came to about half a mile from the PGF site, and easily could have burned through the creek basin had the winds changed and blown it down from Lonesome Ridge (see image below). Here are the current orders for closure around Blue Creek, Nickowitz Peak, the upper G-O Road, Onion Lake area, and the edges of the Siskiyou Willderness. Bluff Creek via 12N10 is apparently impossible, but access can be had through the lower G-O Road, Slate Creek Road, or Cedar Camp Road. It appears that Fish Lake/Onion Mountain ("Bluff Creek Road") is closed at the top, before Onion Lake and Onion Mountain. So, access to the PGF site and Louse Camp is only possible from the northern/eastern side.

Merv George, head of Six Rivers National Forest, and friend of Bluff Creek Project, signed the new orders a few days ago. Click the images to enlarge and read them.

This image shows just how close the fire burned to the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site, indicated by rule and red dot at right.

Nickowitz Fire Line, in mid-August, near BLuff Creek.
Click Image to Enlarge.



Friday, September 11, 2015

Nickowitz Fire Still Burning above Bluff Creek and Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot Film Site


Burning since lightning struck on August 1st, the Nickowitz Fire is still active right above the historic Bluff Creek Bigfoot area. It burned within only a half a mile of the Patterson-Gimlin Film Site, as you may see in the following graphic. This was the closest the fire burned, in mid-late August.

Currently the fire has been largely contained, but is still active in hot, dry conditions, with occasional winds coming off the coast to the inland. It will likely burn until the first heavy rains of fall. Here is the current official ops map for Sept. 11th. The PGF site is a small red dot to the right.

Bluff Creek itself remains closed, with heavy penalties if you go up there (so don't). The roads away from the fire and the creek basin, The G-O Road to 12N12, Slate Creek, and Cedar Camp are still open, as is the Fish Lake/Onion Mountain (Bluff Creek) Road up almost to Onion Lake (which latter is in the closure zone).

Here is the map detailing the road/area closures that are still in effect indefinitely.


Friday, August 21, 2015



Bluff Creek has been closed, and the PGF site is under threat with fire burning within about a mile of the historic location. Due to the NICKOWITZ FIRE burning in Six Rivers National Forest and at the edge of the Siskiyou Wilderness, Bluff Creek is now closed indefinitely in all of the upper watershed area and surrounding ridges and ridge and basin roads. This fire is burning just west of the Patterson-Gimlin film site and the location of the cameras deployed by BLUFF CREEK FILM SITE PROJECT.
Click to enlarge map. Note location of P-G film site at lower right of fire perimeter.

A slighly older satellite view of the area showing status last week.
Get updates on the fire incident here:
The USFS closure order. Click to Enlarge.
Click to Enlarge map.
Obtain the PDF files of the alert notice on this fire here:

Here's a Google Earth view of the Film Site to lower right, and the fire edge along 12N01 Road to upper right. Just count the trees. It's very close to the site.
"Overnight humidity on the fire increased to levels much higher than in the past several days. Today a light inversion is expected to lift in the late morning. Steady progress is being made on line construction. Holding and securing the Soapstone Gulch area on the south flank is a priority for Friday as is holding and securing the west flank. Partly sunny skies with areas of smoke is expected for today. The fire is currently 4,818 acres. Please remember that there is a temporary forest closure in place around the Nicowitz fire including a portion of the Siskiyou Wilderness. All roads and trails within the closure area will be restricted to authorized personnel only until the fire is declared out."
Members of the Bluff Creek Project visited the area above the film site and all the way back to the end of the G-O Road at Elk Valley on Sunday and Monday, camping at Bean's Camp, just before the closure order. We could not get down to the PGF site without violating the "Road Closed" sign at the top of 12N13.
Leiterman holding down the law at the 12N13 gate road closure, 
above Bluff Creek and the PGF site. 
Smoke from the fire is seen behind him, Sunday evening.

Here is the view down into the Bluff Creek headwaters, toward the film site, on Sunday evening.

The Gasquet Complex fire burning near Doctor Rock as seen from Elk Valley.

In any case, our cameras should survive, and that could produce some very interesting photos and video of animals and maybe even the site burning.