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tv   Second Look  FOX  September 15, 2013 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT

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up next here on a second look, the fires and floods that ravaged yosemite national park get ready for a six month period seven years ago. plus could it be another yosemite. the push to drain hechhechie. rein how rain came and went in the sierra. it is all straight ahead on a second look. good evening and welcome to a second look. i'm frank somerville. tonight wildfires in yosemite.
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since it began, the rim fire has burned more than a quarter million acres in and around the national park making it the largest wildfire own record in the sierra nevada. and that reminded us of another fire 17 years ago in that same area. it was called the ackerson fire and it burned nearly 60,000 acres and had a devastating effect in that area for months to come. here's ktvu's john fowler as the ackerson fire burned. >> drew to a close as twilight descended on the sierra. this helicopter one of four spent the day in the river valley. it is steep, inaccessible and dangerous and the site of just one of the sierra forest fires now raging out of control. extremely difficult for ground crews. the battle here has been from
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the air. >> these helicopters that we have here and these air tankers are what's keeping these helicopters in shape. >> reporter: into a forest that hasn 't burned in a century. it now flames up intensely. >> we have heavily logs, older brush, older trees that kind of thing. >> burns hotter. >> reporter: burns hotter. this ash indicates the fire was too hot to survive. >> it's also consuming some old trees. much of what we call old forest and it's a habitat for animals and that type of thing. >> reporter: more than 3,500 acres have burned in the two biggest fire. 14 structures lost including this one yesterday belonging to a forest service fire officer
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but no structures were threatened today. fire crews took a break at lava flat which hours ago had been an inferno. these crews came from as far as alaska and california. the strategy is now to let the ground crews left during the day while helicopters hit the hot spots. these helicopters are far less expensive than ground crews would be. >> the ground crews have to go behind the aircraft to make sure the drops they make are effective. six days later, lloyd lacuesta traveled to the yosemite area to update us on the progress in fighting the ackerson fire. >> reporter: the 2 -week-old ackerson fire continues to burn in the north western corner of yosemite national park. 12 lightning caused fires merged into this one big blaze.
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crews from as far away as puerto rico and florida. between camp mather there are only a few registration -- residents but there is one resident that is highly known. bill clinton was scheduled to stay here just a few weeks ago. san francisco firefighters make up the strike team sent here to protect the building. >> got four lines flowing at this time, we have two. >> reporter: this afternoon firefighters were testing out the way they would protect the chalet and other structures here. there is no shortage of water with the near by 1 million- gallon reservoir.
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>> we're drafting out our reservoir so we have a good amount of water. >> making a few little runs. >> you don't want to lose the chalet either. >> we won't lose the chalet. >> reporter: it will cost close to $1 million to finally put this fire out. from fires to floods. and could it be another yosemite. the controversy over the call to drain hetchhechie reservoir.
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welcome back to a second look. tonight naturalty -- natural disasters in a natural wonder. it forced evacuations it also closed the park for three months.
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ktvu's rob roth brought us this report at the time. this is the south fork of the merced river in the southern part of the park one of the few bodies of water that haven't flooded at least not yet. the rest of the merced is so flooded that some 2,000 visitors and park employees are virtually trapped at yosemite national valley. roads are under four or 5 feet of water no one can get into the valley or not. >> the roads are completely inpassable which was a creek and not a river was reported to be 1-1/2 high. this is the first flooding in yosemite in possibly the last 100 years they say they don't know for sure because the
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area that visit. >> if they become threatened at this point that's not a problem yet. >> reporter: with almost all the roads closed just beyond this bridge there's not much to do except watch the river run. >> i'm having a fun time. i have a coloring book, crayons. i'm going back. >> you came all the way over here to color. >> yeah. >> reporter: we always wanted to stay at riwona here this gives us an excuse to stop. we're going to be really good at yachts. >> we're going to watch some kid vivid owes and hope the weather clears all thoeu e don't think they will be. in yosemite nation, there is the breathtaking and the
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hard breaking. this is why highway 14 near el portal is closed. this popular hiking and biking road in happy isles on the east side of the valley looked like. >> i have seen picnic tables up in trees. a storm also came through. that scream reveals how high the water was here. south of the valley, a teen beautiful river now flows under a foot bridge damaged almost beyond recognition. this is only some of the destruction at yo sam tee. there are also problems with yosemite's waters, sewage and electrical system but the
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storms could not touch yosemite's beauty. >> what you have is a disaster in terms of infrastructure. as a huge human toll and it's an click ka tas trty. it's a natural event in a natural park. >> it is how not fit for humans right now. today almost all of the remaining employees had to be evacuated. many were trapped for many days without water or sanitation. >> we've been locked out. shut down. can't use any toiletries. i haze a problem, the by came by on fly. this morning employees left in a huge caravan only about 100 people working to restore the
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park remain. with no guests to serve effort, residents have decided to leave. >> i don't want to leave. yosemite is my home. i'm lad,. >> bill: there will be no fix. a year after the 1997 flooding, kim hunter drives to yosemite national park is at rest. peaceful, still there is little to reveal what traáps if perked it buzz yosemite's worse flood a warm tropical storm dumped rain on a deep snow pack
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sending torrents of water. camp sites flooded and all three access roads shut down. >> we have 1,200 or so vehicles. were moon rooms for a petter part of the weep. >> the poárpbt remains closed for three months. it was a wenter more severe and is sigh. now much of the destruction is gone. this picture was taken at the lower river catch. tense but tipped over with the noose are gone.
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the her session river can: only this sign tells the story of what happened here. and near thewet entrance of the park a section of highway 140 which was completely washed away has since been repughed. one the next 50 years this wash could see sweeping changes with the result of an army relocation process. many were originally locate right in the middle of floodplain. >> it's a natural process. it changes the communities. the park needs everyone once in a while. >> when we come back on a second look. is
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hech hechey has long been called the twin. the recent rim fire in and around yosemite threatened to contaminate that water supply. from time to time people have suggested draining hetch hetchey has more. >> reporter: here inside yosemite national park a place that might just have a monopoly on beauty supply. what if this monday looks more like this. and only whau happen but should happen. >> cowering can i have, sur
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roupding baseball. most people have been to yosemite national park it's a pretty special play. >> it's a bad idea. it's a bad idea. >> reporter: the bad oár good idea depending on my perspective, it seals you have. perhaps a decade or so more, hetch hetchey. >> it's a neighborhoods as a national park system.
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people can't go to. some people say why go through all the trouble. >> el shamali drove this to drink it. you would have to redo the big situation. you would have to big build builts, big comation systems under the plan the water stored in hech hechey. the remainder could be purchased if nieced. >> those are the same strategies that water agency throughout california has impresented successful in 18 years,. >> we had to go into delta and
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then come back the -- opponents take issue with almost aspect of the plan, the cold cost water under the new proposal would need water. the puc remarks proponents claim that the battery could be increased by june. >> this is not he tkpwos. this is an elegant walls system that provides water for 2-1/2 million pieces. it's not like you can give. >> it may have affected the air quality and lots. >> senator dianne feinstein and some bay area business organize nigh saáeugs. >> the possibility that these companies as well as drinkers
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are going to go from having the pewest water to it's recallly rare and then we get to play for that millions of the dollar. >> if you live in san francisco, you turn on the tap, you're not going to know the difference. if you go to yosemite national park however you are lowe the december tapbs. what is the pub health cares. the flood of lawsuit so the decision to drain or not to drain will most likely be up to judges. or as mark twain once said, water is for drinks. >> a back in time. when loggers clear cut the forest south of yosemite national park.
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tonight on a second look we've been looking at natural
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-- natural disasters. it was the clear cutting of forest in 2000, george watson brought us this story on what it was to be and how it disappeared. >> reporter: it was symbolic, by whatever means necessary men would pursue the dream. >> we were cutting the trees
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away. then you chop it off so it don't kick back ward and what not. >> reporter: from the buckers to the riggers to the loaders for $4 a day they brought the trees down from the mountain. they were cutting 4,000 feet of luck we are. >> they heard about the gold rush and they could not get the boat. so thrát people from all over the world. >> they went through the frustration to the back breaking work. in the beginning the operation was painfully snow. toppled trees falled by ago cht the's toot taos fire. >> it wouldn't be up to the scene into the 20s surgery reu. >> currently to the one that we
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have here and they were real forces and that really revolutionized crime under way. logging camps were built right at the source of the lumber when the trees were gone the losses would just trau a ran, the lockers and everything would move by train. the whole camp to the next forest always just beyond the ridge. the idea of running out of trees never crossed anyone's mind. >> sugar pine company of ma derek ra was one of many kanes scattered throughout the car and it said 95. so command center of all this
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swell. there were bachelor dormitories and cab bets and children. this little town sugar buy just the remnants. the first 30 years of this several reu, this mill was the hug of lobbying in the sore ya syria. it was from this place that the lumber of the southern sierra hold the biggest move. they raised by tresz -ld tresser from sugarland to pasadena. this is all that's left of the
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great hráfr but there is another rewinder of that by too yosemite national sugar pine railroads still haul the launch today. tourists raurbed to gel thet out. the loco motive traveled to his tor now covered with a timber of second growth trees. sure the the forces of the great depression would finally close the milling plant. whatever assignments of oysters, logging sound of timbers cut in process here for the building of america. >> and that is it for this week eastbound second look. i'm frank somerville.
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we'll see you again next week.
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the 2013 fox fall preview. your first look at our new season. fox monday starts with the return of "bones." "bones" is about to start its ninth season. ninth season. can't believe it's been that long. we've been on, i think, monday... tuesday... ...wednesday... ...thursday... did i say tuesdays? and we're supposed to start fridays in november. we've pretty much covered every day of the week. it's pretty incredible that we have


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