Author Topic: California burning again  (Read 971 times)

littleman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4270
    • View Profile
California burning again
« on: November 09, 2018, 01:20:04 AM »

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4616
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 03:30:51 AM »
Ran to the bluff today and it looked smokey and I wondered if there was a fire. Winds *are* out of the NW right now, though, so it could be.

rcjordan

  • I'm consulting the authorities on the subject
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7861
  • Debbie says...
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 12:10:16 AM »
/r says this was taken while trying to escape the Paradise fire.

https://i.imgur.com/3CwV90i.gifv

littleman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4270
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2018, 01:49:09 AM »
That video is incredible.

The air quality is extremely poor here today, they passed out masks at the kids school.  Its been looking like sunset all day long, everything has an orange hue.

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4616
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 02:29:49 AM »
There's a firm that came up here and felled a bunch of dead trees, chipped debris and did a significant portion of the work that allowed our neighborhood to survive our fire this summer.

I just found out that 20 of them lost their homes in the Camp fire and the crew chief did not lose his home, but his whole extended families lost theirs.

littleman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4270
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2018, 02:39:02 AM »
That's too bad.  So many sad stories coming out.

Here is a satellite photo of Camp Fire


Rupert

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2368
  • George in a previous life.
    • View Profile
    • SuitsMen
Re: California burning again
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 11:06:29 AM »
Seriously, this seems the most out of control this year, or have I not been listening properly?
... Make sure you live before you die.

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4616
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 07:34:01 PM »
I think they are the fastest moving and I also think they are the most urban, which makes things seem worse and makes it actually worse.

Fast moving: the two fires burned 100,000 acres in a day. Our big fire burned 96,000 acres between July 13 and Aug 20, and a fairly sizable amount of that acreage was burned on purpose by the firefighters.

Seems worse: a hospital burned down! From the perspective of fire behavior, a hospital is a the same as a warehouse which is the same as a barn which is the same as a forest. But from a perspective of shock and loss and human tragedy, that's a lot worse, so a lot more media.

Actually worse: when a fire breaks out in a very rural area and the first few hundred firefighters show up, they basically just defend the important structures and let the fire run until they get more support. When it breaks out in a heavily inhabited area, they have to have a very different strategy and it makes it complicated to figure out where to draw lines, what to defend and what to let go.

DrCool

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 547
  • I know you all want to know what I think
    • AOL Instant Messenger - drcool1973
    • View Profile
    • What Does Joe Think
    • Email
Re: California burning again
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2018, 05:25:43 PM »
Not sure if you guys know Declan Dunn but he has been in the affiliate and online marketing industry for as long as any of us. He lost his house, his pets, and the only thing he has are the clothes on his back. Lost pretty much everything in the fire. Rare that you see a whole town destroyed like this.

buckworks

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1009
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 09:42:54 PM »
Declan Dunn was a big motivator for me when I was just getting started as an affiliate.

Sad to hear!

littleman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4270
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2018, 01:52:15 AM »
I don't know Declan, but he seems like a nice guy.  I hope he rebounds alright.

 

littleman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4270
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2018, 08:27:55 PM »
Quote
PARADISE, Calif. — The wildfires that have laid waste to vast parts of California are presenting residents with a new danger: air so thick with smoke it ranks with the dirtiest in the world.

On Friday, residents of smog-choked Northern California woke to learn that their pollution levels now exceed those in cities in China and India that regularly rank among the worst.

In the communities closest to the Paradise fire, an apocalyptic fog cloaked the roads, evacuees wandered in white masks and officials said respiratory hospitalizations had surged. Nearly 200 miles to the south, in San Francisco, the smoke was so thick that health warnings prompted widespread school closings. Even the city’s cable cars were yanked from the streets.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/air-quality-california.html


Quote
The smoke from California's deadliest fire is so thick that it's blotting out the sun and lowering surface temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (6 Celsius), according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

https://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Smoke-from-California-fires-is-so-bad-that-it-s-13395205.php

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4616
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2018, 07:16:33 PM »
Quote
‘‘Of the hundreds of persons who visit the Pacific slope in California every summer to see the mountains, few see more than the immediate foreground and a haze of smoke which even the strongest glass is unable to penetrate.’’

-- CH Merriam, 1898, cited in Stephens, "Prehistoric fire area and emissions from California’s forests, woodlands, shrublands, and grasslands" (Forest Ecology Management, 2007).

Unpleasant though it may be, Californians are going to have to get used to lots more smoke. Most Californian's are used to the unnaturally low mount of fire and smoke that characterized the 20th century. That low amount of fire, however, was historically off the charts and entirely the product of human tinkering in the ecosystem.

If you look at acres burned, we find...

2018: 1.7 million so far
2017: 1.2 million
Average since 2000: 705,174
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_California_wildfires

But what was the average acreage burned before 1800, according to the best estimates of forest ecologists?

4,5 million acres per year on average (Stephens).

So our "bad" fire years in the 21st century are burning roughly 1/3 of what an average year burned pre-1800. Our average year is one sixth of what the California ecosystem expects and needs to stay healthy.

In addition to all that, throughout most of the 20th century, those numbers were much, much lower. For example, in Yosemite the pre-1800 average is estimated at 15,000 acres per year. From 1931 to 1971, a total of 4,700 acres burned. That means that for 40 years, we were letting burn roughly 1% of the historically normal burn acreage. I don't know how that corresponds to the state as a whole, but I bet it's similar.

We've now reached a point where we've pushed suppression-based management way past the breaking point. What we've been doing is equivalent to solving floods by never letting any water flow out of the dam. When it springs a leak, we patch it. Every year, we add another couple meters to the dam to hold in this year's flow. After 100 years, you end up with a lot of very tall, very dangerous dams.

And then of course, this is all compounded by people (like me) moving into the Wildland Urban Interface, warmer climate causing longer fire seasons, and so forth.

What we're seeing this year is what we should expect for the foreseeable future. We completely borked the ecosystem and now we're finding the old adage is true: Nature bats last.

littleman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4270
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2018, 01:55:25 AM »
Its weird to think of this as the new normal -- even weirder to think that this was the normal not that long ago.  My wife and I were talking about how many days out of the year we would deal with smoke filled skies before considering a relocation.  Right now we think the limit is sitting at about a month spread over the year.  I learned that the local schools shut down when the air quality hits 200.

ergophobe

  • Inner Core
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4616
    • View Profile
Re: California burning again
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2018, 05:35:45 AM »
Another one for you

Quote
On the following Sunday, the 8th of said month [October, 1542], they drew near to the mainland in a large bay which they called Baya de los Fumos, because of the many smokes which they saw on it. Here they held a colloquy with some Indians whom they captured in a canoe.
https://www.kcet.org/shows/lost-la/why-did-a-1542-spanish-voyage-refer-to-san-pedro-bay-as-the-bay-of-the-smoke

The normal state of California in Aug - Oct for thousands of years was smoky skies. The clear skies of California late summer and fall are the outlier, not the norm.

Not to be all doom and gloom (so to speak), but I think the more people who understand this, the more realistic and practical our conversation about fire will be.