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California fires 2017

 
 
Lash
 
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 09:21 am
How did today happen?

It seems too extreme not to be coordinated arson.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/storyline/western-wildfires/amp/one-killed-major-wildfires-ignite-overnight-across-northern-california-n809206

Gov. Jerry Brown declared an emergency in the affected counties, which include Napa and Sonoma, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to the state's request for federal funds to help the fires, the Department of Homeland Security said.

In Sonoma County, officials said they had received more than 100 phone calls to its missing persons hotline, although they believed some could be duplicates.

Marian Williams of Kenwood, in Sonoma County, told NBC Bay Area that she joined a caravan of neighbors driving through the flames before dawn as one of the fires reached the area's vineyards.

"It was an inferno like you've never seen before," Williams told the station.

The 15 wildfires — which also engulfed a hotel and a trailer park in the city of Santa Rosa and sent smoke spewing as far south as San Francisco — have collectively become among the most deadliest in California's history.
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 09:25 am
I'm following.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 11:20 am
@edgarblythe,
I'm very familiar with the wine country area - driven through it a hundred or more times, stayed with friends who lived in Napa back when I had my eye troubles, emergency eye surgery in Santa Rosa, went thrift shopping there with pals, and so on. My dad was born in Santa Rosa in 1906, and I once traced where they lived there back in the early 1900's. The house was still standing then, probably my tracing it was circa 2002 or thereabouts.

As a lot of people are saying, this is devastating.

Oh, and I liked a lot of the vineyards, not least Kenwood, I've a photo of myself, also of a friend, us standing in the Kenwood Vineyard. We ate at the Kenwood Restaurant, very good.

This is hard even to read about, but not as awful as it would have been to be there with the fires.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 11:40 am
@Lash,
As devastating as they are to human settlement, Wildfires are a natural part of the California environment. Redwoods have even evolved to exploit fire as a mechanism for the germination and spread of their seeds.

I'm not saying the fires are good or anything, just observing that it's natural and it's been a part of the California ecosystem for a very long time.

https://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/nature/fic_segi.htm
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 12:15 pm
http://www.sonomanews.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=h08M$YEaZZPM0ueJA$Tpl8$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYvzhQecIvy3i5Bq3XOJi6ihWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_CryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 12:43 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
As devastating as they are to human settlement, Wildfires are a natural part of the California environment.
The combination of high winds, dried-up vegetation and low humidity driving flames into neighbourhoods is more typical of Southern California.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 12:50 pm
@rosborne979,
This one is different, according to batches of experts. I've lived in California for something like 50 years and my profession as a landscape architect there involved designing wise planting plans in both southern and northern California. Let's say I was an old hand at it, learning from fire department people from the start of my training (Klaus Radke was very sharp about plants and fire), as well as very knowledgeable people re specific plants.

I think the best article I've seen so far was the one from the BBC. Those fires in the Napa Sonoma (etc) wine country were particularly unusual, with exceptionally dry soil and exceptionally unusual gusty winds happening. I hope this isn't going to be the "way it is" for the future. Long time Californians know about fire ecology, and this one was a surprise.

I'm not in California any more, but I sure do miss it.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 02:01 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Reply to myself, but it may be useful for someone in fire zones.

Once upon a time, I took lessons in italian at UCLA extension; a lot of us stayed for several quarters. It was a fairly friendly group as time went by, while still being a small class. Anyway, one of the students hired me to look at her Malibu area property that had just gone through a fire storm. This was sort of inland, and I remember being near terrified if I could get back out of there, as the paving (of a sort) around the cliffs scared the hell out of me. No guardrails, and what if someone came the other way?

Yi yi yi. I did it, got there and the land was hugely burned, but her house wasn't. The house had been facing the fire.
The house was frontally protected by tall white oleanders. True. I hadn't known that about them... Nerium oleander (Sister Agnes gets 20 feet tall). They also happen to be poisonous, something to be aware of.

I was glad to see the ocean again, being as I am afraid of cliffs while driving a car.. I could call it a panic attack, not sure, but glad to get away.
Anyway, I took the oleanders as helpful - no idea of the science take on this, just my eyes.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2017 08:52 pm
@rosborne979,
I do realize that, but 15!
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2017 09:25 am
@Lash,
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/10/11/us/northern-california-fires-factors/index.html

Excerpt:

Timing at night


The three largest fires started between 9 and 11 p.m. Sunday, according to Cal Fire, ripping into neighborhoods when many residents had started to go to bed.

• The Tubbs fire, which has burned 28,000 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties, started at 9:45 p.m.

• The Atlas fire, which has burned 26,000 acres in Napa and Solano counties, started at 9:20 p.m.

• The Redwood/Potter fires, which have burned 21,000 acres in Mendocino County, started at 10:36 p.m.

"A fire starting after 10 o'clock at night, under 50-plus mph winds, under absolutely dry, dry fuel beds, every one of those fires had a fighting chance to get going long before our firefighters could even be able to get there. So they all grew into major fires very quickly," Pimlott said.

Survivors said they didn't know a huge fire was bearing down on their houses until the last second.

Some have raised questions about whether early notifications and alerts were adequate.

"Understand these fires started after 10 p.m. around midnight on a Sunday night," Pimlott said when reporters asked about this issue Tuesday. "They burned so quickly. There was no time to notify anybody. These fires came down into neighborhoods before anybody realized the fires were occurring in many cases."
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2017 09:31 am
@Lash,
You could be correct about that. We may never know.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2017 10:13 am
The wind is blowing these fires through Calistoga now.

Moving so fast, people find themselves suddenly running for their lives.

So many quaint, beautiful towns... devastating.

—————

The arson aspect isn’t the most important aspect of what’s going on, of course. It just jumped out because of the timing. Most California fires are human caused—accidental and intentional, though a small percentage are weather-related.

It’s just hell on earth right now.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2017 10:43 am
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/10/10/us/california-wildfire-by-the-numbers/index.html

More than a dozen wildfires are scorching Northern California, aided by low humidity and high winds. Here are some eye-popping numbers that tell the scope of the tragedy.

Over 122,000 acres have been burned, much of it the lush, picturesque landscape of the state's beloved wine country. The area burned so far in Napa and Sonoma is three times larger than Washington, D.C.

The fires torched 20,000 acres in about 12 hours on Monday alone. This means the fires advanced at a rate of more than a football field every three seconds.
The smoke from the fires led to the worst air pollution on record for Northern California. Air quality is considered "very unhealthy" when the index reaches 201. At one point Tuesday, the air score in parts of Napa hit 486.


The fires were fueled by wicked hurricane force winds. The highest reported was a 79 mph gust in Sonoma County. That's similar to wind gusts recorded along the Gulf Coast as Nate made landfall.
With 571 structures burned, the Tubbs fire is the 12th most destructive wildfire in Cal Fire records, and it's threatening another 16,000 structures.

More than 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes; two hospitals were also cleared out.
At least 17 people are dead, including seven in the wine country city of Santa Rosa, but that number will most likely rise: Sonoma County alone received more than 240 missing person reports. Authorities have found 57 of those people safe.

Just over 53,000 customers are still without power throughout the state, most of them in the Napa and Sonoma areas.
————————

Horrific. I hope the missing are ok, maybe just lost communication.

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2017 06:39 pm
I am in California right now about 2 hours away from these fires. They are so bad and massive that today we could smell them and the sky looked overcast due to the smoke.

We know some people who had to evacute. They had only 10 minutes to get out. Fortunately they are safe and as of now their home has been spared.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2017 07:07 am
This is very sad-making.

It doesn’t appear that overworked, strung out firefighters have been able to get even a toe-hold on the spread. I see footage of firefighters in full gear, trying to sleep in burned out streets.

Deadly California Wildfires May Get Much Worse - TIME
https://apple.news/AeIkAxiW5QQShw85ZdApHoA
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2017 07:27 am
On TV, I heard that they are concentrating more on saving lives and property than containing the fires.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2017 03:07 pm
@edgarblythe,
I think I can understand that - not sure, matters can vary.
I speak as someone who had the Bel Air fire come about three blocks from our house. The firefighters were heroes. Long time ago, now, and methods may change in circumstances.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Oct, 2017 08:58 am
I'm in the Bay Area. The sky here has been hazy with smoke from the fires for most of the past three days - one can smell it in the air this morning.

It is ironic that we didn't see such widespread fires during the long drought that ended a year ago. Now after a year of unusually heavy rainfall which raised, but did not quite restore, former groundwater levels, we have these fires.

Based on annual seasonal patterns October is indeed the peak month for them. In October 1989 a similar fire burned over 2,00 homes in the Oakland. & Berkeley hills in just a few hours. Unusual strong, dry northerly winds in the Sonoma & Napa valleys were a significant factor in the rapid spread of these fires, as they were a few decades ago in the Oakland Hills.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2017 06:24 am
@georgeob1,
is the French Laundry still standing?
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2017 06:31 pm
@georgeob1,
I gather the rainfall improved plant growth, thus later to intensify the burning.
Don't trust me on all this, I'm just very interested.

My own worry is if the old house in Santa Rosa is still there... and I fully assume it is not.

I only saw it once, when I stopped on my way north. I think I left a small note for the owners, but didn't hear back and didn't really expect to, and not into bothering people. I'd never lived there, but my father was raised there. Did I take a photo of it? Maybe, as I used to photograph a lot (and am paying for it, with zillions of photos to make decisions about, re toss or save...). I used to be very orderly, but that instinct has waned.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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