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Old 10-14-2017, 01:21 AM
Ohio Don Ohio Don is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: S Florida and SE Ohio
Posts: 3,724

Originally Posted by lapriester View Post
You also have to realize that in Oregon fire season is winding down and temporary extra assets are and were in the process of being disbanded. I'm currently in Central Oregon and on October 3 they re-opened debris burning season in the district I'm in. That means it's OK to burn open piles of pine needles and other debris in your back yard. Add to that is the fact that Oregon has started their prescribed/control burn burning season and assets are committed to those. Just last week they had multiple burns in progress. At least Oregon has the common sense to ignor the tree huggers and thin and burn heavy growth to create reasonable buffer zones and fire breaks. It's time for Californians to get a life and realize that trees don't hug back in a fire.
Florida also does prescribed burns. We never call them controlled burns because 9 times out of 10, they get out of control. When one did, the first thing they did was call our agency and ask if we could raise the water level for them. Then they'd bring in a chopper with a Bambi bucket. And dump fish on the fire.
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Old 10-14-2017, 12:10 PM
DJEinConcord DJEinConcord is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 1,057

Since the fires started Sunday night the entire SF Bay Area has been shrouded in thick smoke. From Concord to Oakland every day I traveled this week has been the worst air quality on record. You seldom see people wearing masks. But this week I saw many commuters donning them.

From my office in Oakland I could usually see the entire Bay Area, but this week visibility was a mile or two. SFO reportedly cancelled flights. Nasty.

This morning was the first time we have seen blue skies in almost a week
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:59 PM
fred peterson fred peterson is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1

Though registered on the forum since 2011 have only posted a couple of times, but felt I had to chime in on this subject. I've lived in Dry Creek Valley/Northern Sonoma County for the past 34 years and for 30 years have been a volunteer fire fighter with the Geyserville FPD and when in college spent 2 summers on a US Forest Service firefighting crew. Been to a few fires and went out on a couple of out of county strike teams. During the Oakland Hills fire storm of 1991, I spent that first night on a water tender up on the Geysers east of Geyserville, witnessing crazy fire and fire winds and listening on the radio to what was happening in Oakland. We had the same conditions, but without the thousands of homes. We lost some transformers and geothermal infrastructure and killed a few rattlesnakes and jack rabbits, but no humans were hurt or killed. In the hills east of town we have one of the 10 fires that started last Sunday night, when the close to hurricane force winds came down from the northeast. We also had another fire start at the same time off of Chalk Hill Rd in Alexander Valley that we were able to knock down that night. I agree with Larry P that most, if not all, of these fires were caused by the electrical grid. Either downed power lines, arcing power lines or power poles blown down. The winds were that strong (especially in the west facing hills above 1,000'). Once the fires were ignited the winds fanned the flames to create the firestorm. I calculated that it took the Tubbs Fire , the fire that has caused the most death and destruction,(started at corner of Tubbs Ln/highway 128/Calistoga) less than 3 hours to travel over 12 miles from the point of origin to where it ended up in Santa Rosa after jumping the 6 lane Highway 101. Just that fire would have overwhelmed the local fire resources, but when you add another 9 fires in the same region at the same time, it becomes impossible to manage. You cannot effectively fight "firestorms". You can get as many people out of the way as you can and make sure that you don't get burned over. The Pocket Fire in Geyserville (now over 13,000 acres) didn't receive any air attack or additional resources until 40 hours after the fire began. We had 2 Cloverdale engines, 1 Geyserville, two private dozers, two private water tenders and a Cal Fire utility pick-up with two firefighters until Tuesday evening when the cavalry starting arriving (first two strike teams were USFS and BLM, both from Eastern Oregon). The immediate need (adjoining counties) strike teams were going to Santa Rosa, Sonoma Valley and Napa, because thats where the people were and are a higher priority. We are pretty good in California (and rest of the western U.S.) dealing with big fires and have a whole organization in place to dispatch resources once requests are made (mutual aid system). But it isn't just the fire engines/bulldozers/air tankers/hand crews, it is also overhead (management teams) and logistics (food, fuel, etc). Then you throw in the law enforcement portion for traffic control, road blocks, dealing with looters. It really is like a large military operation and like those, often doesn't go smoothly. The IAP (Incident Action Plan) for todays operation in northern Sonoma (Pocket and Tubbs Fires) ran 50 pages, with objectives, resources, assignments, air ops, logistics, LE, radio frequencies etc. Geyserville had 1 engine and our water tender in Santa Rosa for the first 36 hours and seeing video and hearing the stories, it was crazy. There was no command/control happening (and really, how good could it be with what was going on that first night). They did a lot of good, both getting people evacuated, as well as keeping the Luther Burbank Center (music venue) and the Kaiser Hospital from burning up. As of today on the Pocket Fire near Geyserville the forecast winds never developed and it looks like the fire lines will hold, keeping fire out of the Geysers geothermal complex and River Rock Casino (both big money sources for Sonoma County) and only having lost two homes.
South of us in Rincoln and Sonoma Valleys and Napa the fire still rage and continue to burn homes, businesses (including wineries). I hope I don't live long enough to see another one like this.
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