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Thread: California fires

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    California fires

    What ever the national news feeds say it's quite traumatic, but they always tend to sensationalize. Record breaking winds blowing embers up to a mile, power outages, evacuations, and close to both San Francisco and L.A. Anything close to first hand accounts or other news? There are fingers pointing at global warming.

    We really had just one big fire here, which is less than usual due to some drought relief. They had a new policy to let the big fire burn through beetle kill pine, which we have a lot of. Then the wind came up. It was in a relatively low population area, but I have country friends who were evacuated. I don't think I caused much damage other than leaving the burn scars which will be there for years, and maybe some runoff issues some time in the spring.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    We got activated last night, all the way up here on our little island on the US/Canada border, to send crews down to help. So I'll have first hand reports quite shortly.

    I do think there is a lot of sensationalism and politics going on.

    If you live in an area prone to wildfires, I strongly suggest investigating the "Firewise" program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar View Post
    What ever the national news feeds say it's quite traumatic, but they always tend to sensationalize.
    it was pretty bad, apocalyptic is how it seemed.

    So the weather has cooled down, and the humidity increased a tiny bit and it's much better than last week (I was counting down to the day the temps were scheduled to drop). One day last week, a new fire was starting all over the place, some I could see from here. The air was covered with smoke for many days, pretty toxic, I have an air filter mostly for such purposes. The whole sky was smoke.

    One big (but not huge) fire has been attributed to the homeless. So there is a park, kind of a natural area (not grass) in a flood plane, where hundreds of homeless people live (and also dart in and out of traffic), and they cook there etc. and a fire has been attributed to them by the authorities, and I don't know, but that's plenty believable an explanation to me, fire people had to clear out the homeless during the fire, you'll hear of some homeless getting killed by something like this someday. You see what I mean about neglected homelessness problems etc. being a crisis. And they escalate to the point where there was the possibility of evacuation and people's homes being threatened (who knew homelessness was a feedback loop and could threaten to create more homelessness ), thousands of motorists were blocked from getting home for hours etc. I mean homelessness is to the point where it is creating crises for thousands of people. All the people in the world want to live here (although yes population is dropping slightly in the last few years) and we don't build enough housing for them, makes me so angry, that this is allowed and somehow considered ok policy.

    Now the HUGE fires (50,000 people were scheduled for evacuation at one point in Santa Clarita) have not been attributed to homelessness as far as I know (although homeless are rumored to live in all the nearby mountains etc. so someday), but to things like power lines (PG&E, Edison etc. yes). Who is talking about this about the need to bury power lines or at the very least keep the things in decent repair. Any of the candidates, Washington DC etc.? I mean the big issue they need to talk about, and it's not just California, is climate change mitigation, that's the topic but you don't hear much. Yes our governor rants a bit (he's truly a political lightweight if ever there was one). But anyway power lines etc. is the proximate cause. Of course it's climate change ultimately. Of course. Then people will say "oh well that's California etc. it has always been that way". No. It has not always been this way. Not like this. Some fires sure, and noone argues otherwise. But not like this. And not these temperatures in October. It's the fricken apocalypse out here.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    We had a big fire here a couple of years ago and what they called a transients camp was to blame. I've actually had some dialog with our mayor about the homeless here. He said they have offered places for them to stay and rehabilitation services for mental and drug problems, but some of them just don't want the help. It's not an easy problem. They pretty much have to go somewhere when winter comes though. Slightly off topic maybe.

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    It is hard to know te scope of these fires if one is not near by. I am concerned that one of my nephews felt he had to take his family out of the Colestoga area but am unsure they were included in the group that had to evacuate. It's frightening when you hear of how many acres have burned but the number of buildings damaged doesn't seem huge. The media has given big play to the risk that celebrities may be effected in West Los Angeles. Here in the Philadelphia area, we are usually more at risk from heavy rainstorms so it is hard to relate to California and long droughts. I will just say I am concerned for everyone's safety out there!

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    Not all the fires are near population centers (but yea sometimes homeless encampments are another matter), so if the image expected was of everyone being roasted alive, well it's not the equivalent of Hiroshima or something (I'm trying to make sense of in what context the "sensationalizing" term makes sense, compared to everything that goes on in the world, oh sure, but it's still a completely crazy new normal for us). As in one day a fire had erupted on the route I take home, another fire on the route my partner takes home, smoke from a fire visible out the window at work, a coworker unable to come in because of another fire the next day, and of course always breathing smoke. Temperatures dropped (a bit California-cold actually) but winds are raging, and so it continues, and we live in dread, wondering when this will end.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Apparently the fires have been mostly contained. We're having odd weather though. Still no sign of rain in the forecast even though we're into November, well past the usual start of the rainy season. Hopefully that doesn't mean more fires are on the way. Or another drought winter. And especially odd today, fog rolled into san francisco mid-afternoon. That's much more a June or July weather pattern. Having fog in November is not totally freaky, but it's pretty uncommon.

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