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Fire season 2011 begins

Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    And then there's Florida:


    http://www.news-journalonline.com/n...-service-monitoring-massive-flagler-fire.html
     
  2. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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  3. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Elizabeth, CO
    An interesting note on the Arizona fire, earlier this week the smoke at ground level was so thick as I was going home I quickly checked the news to see where the fire was. Not finding anything local I didn't worry about it, it wasn't until Friday that it was reported that a fire 1000 miles away was causing the smoke issues. It hasn't been bad at ground level since, but there is still enough up higher to filter teh sun. Friday morning was a very red sun
     
  4. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    Wow, that Slave Lake story is sad.

    Yes, I have trouble keeping up with the wildfire stories. It used to be that this was mostly an annual California summer headline. I guess that was because we were the first to build thousands of homes creating an urban-wildlands interface in an area that is mostly temperate desert.

    But the past 20 years of drought and population growth and population shifts have brought the scourge of wildfire to the front door of millions more North Americans.

    Edit: The Slave Lake wildfire has a Wikipedia entry. I didn't even know it happened. Sorry, neighbors to the North.
     
  5. Galaxie6411

    Galaxie6411 Icon

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    AZ smoke made it here this morning, thought it was some clouds moving in at first but then it got real thick and finally I stepped outside and could smell it. It is pretty bad at ground level but we also have a stiff west wind that may blow it away. It is enough to irritate your eyes and make you cough.
     
  6. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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  7. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/22/wildfires/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
     
  8. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    IMHO we have a disaster that no one is giving adequate attention. Homes and other buildings lost notwithstanding, losing that much vegetation is going to create some significant other problems for many of these areas particularly beginning in the rainy season. And the damage to wildlife habitat and therefore wildlife populations will be significant.
     
  9. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    Not to mention all the particulate matter going upwards.
     
  10. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    Wildfire approaching Los Alamos National Lab


    [​IMG]

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43544283/ns/weather/


     
  11. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    That picture is simultaneously impressively beautiful and truly scary.
     
  12. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    [​IMG]

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/07/20/forest-fires-ontario-evacuations-smoke.html
     
  13. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    While the rest of the country and Canada are having a tough fire season, California's has been relatively mild compared to prior years. But because of a big State budget controversy over a $150 per parcel fire fee the Legislature adopted this year, the Sacramento Bee has published an interactive map that shows shows areas burned in over 7,000 of the largest wildfires between 1950 and 2010. Since I've lived in California for all but five years of my life, I found it very interesting to recall the wildfires that affected me one way or another.

    The whole parcel fee thing is one of those stupid issues. The anti-tax ideologues are attacking it. We pay a $50 parcel tax to our local fire department, but I realize that in the Summer particularly our department is never dispatched without a large dispatch of equipment and manpower from CalFire including a couple of engine companies, a bulldozer, a helicopter and "bombers", plus if it is actually a significant fire there is a followup dispatch of ground crews from the region's Department of Corrections/CalFire fire camp.

    The State has cut the size of engine companies and made some other cuts. So we'll happily pay the $150 a year to keep that response from being further depleted. In fact we would have been willing to pay more, but I know my idiot neighbors think they already pay enough to the local (mostly volunteer) department. What I know is that without outside aid, in a serious wildfire the local department could help us evacuate rapidly, maybe.
     
  14. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    [​IMG]
    You can pick from numerous headlines, but basically Texas is on fire as the official map indicates.

    The basic story is 63 Fires, 32,936 Acres, No Containment. In northeast Texas, one of the fires killed a 20-year-old woman and her 18-month-old daughter, who were trapped in their mobile home by flames.

    Again, pick your source, but Justice Jones, Information Officer for the Texas Forest Service, commented:
    As Jones explained in this story:
    And from the Austin Statesman:
     
  15. klang

    klang Hall Of Fame

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    Near...
    Fire fighters in TX should have a better time today, cooler and much less wind. :up:
     
  16. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    This is sad:
     
  17. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    And this is a sadder story:
    We in California in the first half of the 20th Century wrote the book on how not to develop into the wildlands. In the last few decades, much of the Southwest has followed our foolish plan.
     
  18. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dripping...
    We wouldn't have dried out plants and trees if we'd get the normal, or even close, to the amount of rain that we should. Between no rain and 80 days of 100+ temps, normal is 13, the hottest July and August on record and matching the highest temp ever recorded in Austin, 112, no wonder that all we have is dried out plants and trees.

    That said, yes people have built some homes in areas that aren't the best place to build. But just like people eat bacon (because it tastes gooooood), people will build homes on a ridge with a nice view not thinking about what might happen in the future if we get weather like this.
     
  19. sum_random_dork

    sum_random_dork Icon

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    It's a tough call, people want to live in the woods because it's quiet and peaceful but then you also have the danger of a massive fire. Things didn't really change until a few "firestorms" overtook parts of CA. Starting with the Oakland Hills firestorm, then the many fires in So Cal, and finally the Angora Fire in So Lake Tahoe. After that fire depts lead by Cal Fire and various HOAs started to enforce and expand fire saftey requirements. In our area the HOA via their in-house Forestery Dept will inspect homes and if they are not in compliance with the laws the HOA will give you 45 days to fix it otherwise they will hire a company to do it and send you the bill. We have seen a HUGE change in how yards are maintained here now, trees trimmed 10-20 ft up, yards free of pine needles, no more clumps of bushes etc. It makes a real difference when you talk to fire officials they really look for the homes they can save safely and pass by those that are covered in pine needles and various overgrowth. If anyone has ever burned pine needles or pine cones you can see how fast a fire could take off, it's not the tall trees that cause the fire to move forward it's whats on the ground that is the real issue.
     
  20. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    My post above wasn't meant as a criticism of folks wanting to live in the woods. In fact, I do.

    And at one time I was responsible for fire safety for the community. The greatest irony was when we and CalFire jointly hosted a fire safety meeting and the CalFire Captain and I joked that in the room we were probably the only two who had homes there with old shake roofs. We already knew we'd have to put ours among those to be ignored in a serious wildfire.

    Since then he's moved on and my home now has a metal roof making it more fire resistant.

    Our community has had a fire hazard abatement program for years to remove ground level hazardous vegetation. While crown fires can occur, most wildfires do spread at ground level with embers causing them to jump firelines.

    If you live in what is known as an urban-forest interface area, you live with a high fire loss risk. We feel it is worth the risk, but take fire safety seriously.

    As I noted in the Hurricane Irene thread, disaster preparedness has a hierarchy of responsibility. At the top is "you", then "local government", then "state government" and last, but not least, the "federal government."

    Particularly in the case of wildfire, if "you" don't do your job, you could be putting firefighters and neighbors in harms way.

    Again I'm not criticizing people in Texas or anywhere else. The situation in Texas is reminiscent of the 1930's drought period that created The Dust Bowl. I would suspect we're pushing the record of the 1936 North American Heat Wave which followed the 1936 North American Cold Wave.
     

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