Rim Fire Update – Endeavor Team Challenge

Competitors, Volunteers, and Supporters,

We are monitoring the Rim Fire closely.  It has currently set the record for the 7th largest fire in California history, burning 184,481 acres, and the Governor of California has declared a state of emergency in the neighboring County of Tuolumne.  It is currently 20% contained, and it is still over 30 miles South of the event site.

There is no concern of the fire reaching Bear Valley, CA.  The roads to the event should remain clear as well, both from the East and the West.  The only major concern we face is the air quality during the event.

Local authorities have informed us that today was the worse smoke day so far, which fits what we have found in our research of the wind patterns over the last few days (the winds have shifted from pushing the smoke towards the Northeast to slightly more Northeast and directly at Bear Valley).  The smoke has tended to be thicker in the morning than in the evening due to the temperature inversion that keeps the heavy smoke filled air near the ground during the late night and early morning.  We spent the last day up at Bear Valley with no notable discomfort, though we were not engaged in extremely strenuous physical activity.  We were outside most of the day working on setting up the course.

There is cautious optimism in the town that once the fire is more contained and some weather moves in that the skies will be clearer.  That being said, it no longer seems likely that we will be completely free of drifting smoke from the Rim Fire during the planned event date.  We are working closely with local agencies that monitor air quality to determine what effects the air may have on competitors.
Currently we are exploring 3 courses of action:
  • 1. Hold the event as scheduled. If necessary, we can shift events around to keep competitors from being at the highest cardiovascular exertion during peak smoke times.
  • 2. Reschedule the event to a tentative date of October 5-6.  The fire will most likely be contained by this point, but this will require our competitors, volunteers, and supporters to have to make major changes to their schedules and flights (something we would like to avoid if at all possible).  We also encounter the risk of more variable weather conditions, with snow expected by mid-October, and reservoir draw-down, impacting the waterborne portions of the event.
  • 3. Pushing the event off until the Spring.  Option 3 will only be entertained if option 1 and 2 fall through due to a major change in the progress of fire containment, or a new disaster presents itself.
We have set a decision date for the 3rd of September (next Tuesday).  We wanted to give you a heads up on the situation so that you could start planning accordingly.
Once we make a decision on the 3rd of September we plan to stick to it so that as folks start flying in and driving up they will not arrive at Bear Valley without an event to participate in.  That being said we, the safety of our competitors and staff remains our top priority
If you are interested in keeping an eye on things two good websites are:
Please keep CAL FIRE and all the brave men and women relentlessly fighting this fire in your thoughts.  They are doing great work.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we figure this out.  Keep up the mental and physical preparation for the event.  As of now all is on track for a monumental event.
Best Regards,
Kent Keirsey
CEO, Co-Founder
Always Endeavor, LLC