Roswell Ridge, which burned today, August 25, is a central hub within our wireless network and our webcam network. For years, we have maintained webcams to provide real-time information on conditions at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Viewers can get a sense for current weather, road conditions, or the progression of the seasons. For example, our floodcam points at Lookout Creek and viewers can watch the water in the stream, and the wood in the stream, rise in the winter rains. The Lower Lookout riparian camera shows the changing of the seasons, as trees bud and leaf out in the spring, and drop leaves in the fall and winter. The headquarters camera shows activities at our research facility. This year, just after the Lookout Fire ignited, our site staff raced to the communications tower at the top of Roswell Ridge and trained three webcams on to Lookout Ridge, to track the fire and give an overlapping panoramic view of the south bounding ridgeline from Lookout Mountain to above the Headquarters site. The web cams have tracked the progression of the fire and smoke across the forest. As of today, August 25, the fire reached the forest west and south of the tower base (perhaps also north, but we are camera blind on that side). Should the tower succumb to the heat and fire, we will lose telemetry from almost all our weather and stream stations as well as the primary internet connection for the headquarters site. Check out our webcams online, especially the new timelapse videos of the Lookout Fire, linked at the top of the webcams page. Today's 8/25 Lookout Ridge Central timelapse video captures the fire coming up and over Roswell Ridge: fireworks of bright flames approaching in the dark of night, a yellow sunrise over green trees, an intensely smoky period with wind and airborne detritus, orange flames licking at the camera, and, lastly, defoliated trees standing in thick smoke. Another cam to keep an eye on: the Road 130 cam is on the ridge just above headquarters and faces Roswell Lookout ridges; it is generally too smoky too see far but this camera has given glimpses of the fire front as it crossed over Roswell Ridge, and will have a front-row view should the fire progress to the lower portions of the Lookout Creek basin.
First posted August 25, 2023