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Mysterious underground fire has been burning near Yosemite

Scorpio

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#1
Mysterious underground fire has been burning near Yosemite for 5 years



Mike Moffitt

4 hrs ago

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For at least five years, a fire has been burning underground in the Stanislaus Forest west of Yosemite, and foresters say they have no idea what started it or exactly how big it is.

The blaze is smoldering near Rosasco Meadow, roughly seven miles west of Yosemite National Park and 12 miles southwest of the town of Twain Harte. It lies under terrain scorched by the massive Rim Fire in 2013.

Groveland District Ranger Jim Junette, who oversees the Stanislaus Forest's southern area, told the Modesto Bee last week that that rangers are baffled by fire, which has consumed tree roots in a circular area with a 400-foot diameter. Junette said they aren't sure how deep the fire goes or what is fueling it because it's too dangerous to get a close look.

In 2015, the Union Democrat reported that the "Rosasco Fire," described by the Forest Service as a "holdover heat signature from the Rim Fire," was burning over 3.4 acres. The article did not mention it being underground.

Junette said wildfires sometimes flare up after a year, but never this long. He ruled out lightning as a possible ignition cause after checking weather records.

An old logging railroad grade winds by to the east of Rosasco Meadow. Junette told the Bee that it's possible that the remains of creosote-treated ties could be a fuel source for the fire.

Subterranean fires have been known to burn for decades, but most are in coal-mining areas. For example, the Centralia mine fire has been smoldering for more than 50 years under the now abandoned town of Centralia in Pennsylvania's anthracite region.

Since the Rosasco Meadow fire has flared up at least twice since 2014, igniting dead vegetation and tree falls, U.S. Forest Service crews are performing controlled burns in the area to reduce woody fuels and lessen the chance of an out-of-control fire. The burns are reportedly expected to continue through Thursday.

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Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: moffitt@sfgate.com. Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/m...mite-for-5-years/ar-AAH5Wjc?li=BBnbcA1#page=2
 

Buck

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#2
It's forest that hasn't been burned for a thousand years, covered by strip mining for gold, then overgrowth by overcutting of the forest, then regrowth for a thousand years, then the volcanoes, then coal, then oil, then Olhauser, then Pelosi, Feinstein and Boxer draining the Central Valley, and literally, it's all the bullshit these people have buried in California all these years, festering and boiling over...

today?
Blame it ALL On the loser:
Harris, Kamala

aka:
Camel Toe Harris
"weren't nothing but a wee Willie, got me where I belong"
 

Alton

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#3
Could be Yellowstone overreach from it's magma plume.

Where I live over the decades and centuries the headwaters of the Kankakee river have shifted down toward the southwest. As the local watershed has drained it left behind organic matter in the western part of the county. This peat has dried and from the 70's on into the late 90's it burned. A decades long underground, year round fire ensued. Every once in a while it would get excited and emerge near the surface and burn crops, melt asphalt roads, burn roots and topple trees, burn barns. Kept the township fire departments and volunteer firefighters busy and property insurance rates high.
 

Pyramid

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#4
Agree with Alton. It's a peat and/or humus fire where underground organic matter is slowly burning.

The stock photo in the OP is a surface fire and is fake news. "Rosario Meadow" indicates a wetland where peat accumulations may occur. "A circular area with a 400" diameter burning 3.4 acres" after 5 years is microscopic and indicative of a slow-burning peat fire in a perfectly circular pattern where wind and weather have no impact. Seen a couple of these and they have the exact same pattern.
 

hammerhead

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#5
Could be Yellowstone overreach from it's magma plume.

Where I live over the decades and centuries the headwaters of the Kankakee river have shifted down toward the southwest. As the local watershed has drained it left behind organic matter in the western part of the county. This peat has dried and from the 70's on into the late 90's it burned. A decades long underground, year round fire ensued. Every once in a while it would get excited and emerge near the surface and burn crops, melt asphalt roads, burn roots and topple trees, burn barns. Kept the township fire departments and volunteer firefighters busy and property insurance rates high.
Lighting a fire under your feet.
 

JayDubya

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#6
Do a web search for Centralia Pennsylvania.

In 1962 the town decided to clean up the landfill. The volunteer fire company set it ablaze, just like they had done in previous years. But the landfill had been in a different location in those years.

This time something went horribly wrong. No matter what they tried, they could not fully extinguish the blaze. Somehow the fire entered into the maze of abandoned coal mines beneath the town and it is still burning to this day.