Author Topic: The West is on fire  (Read 887 times)

sprout

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The West is on fire
« on: September 10, 2020, 12:36:25 PM »
Literally.

Anyone here dealing with wildfires, personally or professionally?  I'm in a safe area, but I have family who are too close for comfort. 

San Joaquin

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 12:46:01 PM »
We had the apocalyptic red sky and have been having wicked nasty air quality for a few weeks now.  But we are not in the fire zones per se, and we are grateful for that.

eigen

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 02:14:11 PM »
Yeah, it's bad here. Trying to keep teaching with the world on fire around us and keep track of students as they're moving around to help with fires.

Parasaurolophus

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 02:26:23 PM »
When I moved here a few years ago, it was in the middle of the Eye of Sauron. The Eye returned the next year, but has been mostly held at bay for the last couple. There've only been a few very hazy days.
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apl68

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 02:44:27 PM »
We live in a timber-growing area further east, so forest fire is something that concerns us here too.  But we've been wet enough not to worry too much this year.

Several posters here have been complaining about smoke lately.  How has it been today?

Hegemony

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2020, 03:15:47 PM »
Very bad out there today, and we are in the path of the fire, though we're not on the evacuation list yet. Several of my students have been evacuated or, worse, had their houses burn down. It is truly extraordinary out there. They're evacuating the first evacuation gathering point, and we're about to run out of safe places for people to evacuate to. We desperately need a change in the wind, more firefighters, and (least likely of all) rain.

polly_mer

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 03:23:56 PM »
We had snow and rain, which has helped with the smoke.  No one here is evacuating due to the fires themselves, but the air quality has been so bad that we have had stay-inside orders.  We can taste the air even inside, but it's worse outside.
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eigen

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2020, 03:41:02 PM »
Very bad out there today, and we are in the path of the fire, though we're not on the evacuation list yet. Several of my students have been evacuated or, worse, had their houses burn down. It is truly extraordinary out there. They're evacuating the first evacuation gathering point, and we're about to run out of safe places for people to evacuate to. We desperately need a change in the wind, more firefighters, and (least likely of all) rain.

Same. Students have been having to help family evacuate, or friends, or both.

Air quality is so bad here that the local station is broken from off-the-chart high.

Puget

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2020, 04:29:36 PM »
Thinking of all of you. Wildfire season is the only thing I don't miss form the Rockies.

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mahagonny

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 04:34:45 PM »
I wonder if there could be any way to detect them sooner. Technology? Of course I'm not the first smart person asking this.
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mamselle

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 04:45:29 PM »
Thinking of everyone in any way dealing with this, and hoping all will do well.

Best thoughts--M.
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polly_mer

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2020, 05:10:45 PM »
I wonder if there could be any way to detect them sooner. Technology? Of course I'm not the first smart person asking this.

Our wildfires are all lightning-caused and were detected almost immediately because it's wildfire season and we're in drought conditions.  However, we have great wilderness management, unlike California with the misguided lack of wilderness management and apparently a lot of careless people who keep setting fires.
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ciao_yall

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2020, 05:48:23 PM »
I wonder if there could be any way to detect them sooner. Technology? Of course I'm not the first smart person asking this.

Our wildfires are all lightning-caused and were detected almost immediately because it's wildfire season and we're in drought conditions.  However, we have great wilderness management, unlike California with the misguided lack of wilderness management and apparently a lot of careless people who keep setting fires.

Ours were also started by lightning.

A few years ago we discovered the hard way that our public utility, with private investors (what could possibly go wrong) was underfunding their capital maintenance programs.

Oh yeah, and there was a gender reveal party that went wrong, but those have happened in several states.


Parasaurolophus

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2020, 07:01:58 PM »
I wonder if there could be any way to detect them sooner. Technology? Of course I'm not the first smart person asking this.

My sister's research is on this topic. My takeaway from her work is that yes, you can absolutely do it with thermal imaging, although early detection requires some significant investment in resources...

...but there's a beetle out there that's even better at detecting distant early fires than thermal imaging is. All her research was scooped by a beetle.
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polly_mer

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Re: The West is on fire
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2020, 06:20:23 AM »
A few years ago we discovered the hard way that our public utility, with private investors (what could possibly go wrong) was underfunding their capital maintenance programs.

That's a dramatically underinformed statement of the whole reality.  Yes, some utilities underfunded, but they and other agencies were legally prevented from good land management that includes reducing what fires can do as they burn.

We have real land management here based on science that includes just letting things burn because we're not highly populated right next to overgrown fuel-rich forests.  California is the poster child for failure on science lessons from wild land and forest management because the environmental activists are not scientists and get enacted legal protections that are misguided in achieving the stated goals.
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