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  #21  
Old 10-10-2017, 04:53 PM
HB of CJ HB of CJ is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: 42N -123W OR USA Kinda
Posts: 1,190
Default Bad Things May Always Happen ...

I'm retired fire service from a small very good agency. Stuff like this should not happen, but for whatever combination of events seems to. In lots of folk's cases HAS happened to. No matter how much fire suppressive force can be applied, it CAN NOT all be applied instantly. Or in one small area.

Thus the rub. I do not have the particulars in this horrible on going affair. Could the whole thing have been prevented? Probably not. It does not matter how much fire department you have or can possibly or economically provide, at some point in time and space events like this will happen. Non avoidable.

The insurance industry calls stuff like this "Acts Of God". Goes way back. Mother nature at times will bite us in the arse and let us know who is boss. This is one of those times. The first thing a rookie firefighter learns in the fire academy is that no matter how much you do, folks will die and property will be lost.

Sad, but there you have it.
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2017, 05:36 PM
pmclaine pmclaine is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Why does this occur?

Is this a "Do not touch the forest issue". People do not want management of debris and fire breaks to prevent these catastrophes? Don't people realize that fire is natures way of containing fire and by ensuring no set controlled burns that would otherwise be started by lightning the fire is all the worse when it comes.

Is it a budget issue? No money to manage the forest and too few resources to attack the fire before it gets out of hand.

Is it just too many houses in the woods issue?

Just a perfect storm fire, wind and right conditions?

I was hoping with the reports of California getting a surplus of precipitation the people of California could get a break.
Sorry for all that had losses. Scary pictures coming from that area.

Last edited by pmclaine; 10-10-2017 at 05:39 PM.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2017, 06:40 PM
ACampComLegacy ACampComLegacy is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Snow Hill NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclaine View Post

Is it just too many houses in the woods issue?
I'm thinking this ^

Wealthy [understandably] develop remote areas, to be away from urban riff-raff. Whatchagonnado???
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  #24  
Old 10-10-2017, 07:19 PM
DJEinConcord DJEinConcord is offline
 
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Location: Concord, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapriester View Post
No sprinklers would have made a difference Sunday night. Winds were unprecedented gusting to 80 MPH and yes, most houses in Santa Rosa have tile or composite shingles. Nothing would have helped. Like a fire hurricane. The scary part was it was mostly urban with mini malls, pavement, parking lots, motels, industrial and residential. The fire went from 200 acres over the hill to SR to 20k in about 4 hours.
No kidding on the wind. I am just on the south side of the Carquinez Straits from Napa. Was relatively calm at dinner time, then rip roaring gusts around 10pm or so, then around midnight the power went out.

I went outside with my 2 meter ham radio trying in vain to find out any info with no replies to my radio calls. Only lights I saw were the antennas on Mt. Diablo. The repeater was working but not a soul replied. Meaning no emergency communications had really started.

There were calls for six ham radio volunteers at lunch yesterday. When they call out the fat old guys it means it will take awhile...
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  #25  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:11 PM
HB of CJ HB of CJ is offline
 
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Location: 42N -123W OR USA Kinda
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Default Series Of Rare Converging Events ...

A unfortunate series of converging powerful events. Urban interface. That means too many people and properties in or near the woods. Too much population. Too much fire fuel. Lots of other stuff comes time on target. Drought. Fuel. Hurricane force wind gusts.

No practical fire preventive measures would have worked. The fire actually blew through the windows and walls of homes and businesses. Nothing would have stopped it. Nothing. The only way to live is to run as fast as you can as far as you can. That or die hard.

Roof sprinklers? Not in those conditions. The water spray would be instantly turned to steam which fires sometimes like. Even heavy 2" tip water monitors at 100 psi pressure flowing 1000+ gpm would be useless. It is hard to imagine such fire conditions. Sad.

Firefighters are only human. Lots of places they might have held their ground and made their stand but they would have burned and died. Even 50 fire companies and 200 men heavily concentrated with an ultimate water supply would have also just roasted. Wow.
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  #26  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:18 PM
DaveHH DaveHH is offline
 
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I suspect that the people at Cal Fire have been cutting back on air tankers. One old time guy said on tv today that he has never seen so little resources to fight these fires. My friend says that the state has been hassling the air tanker folks about having recip engines and the aircraft in general. So the tanker people have just stopped doing this stuff in a lot of cases.
My two sons are being evacuated from Bennett Valley as we speak and coming over here. They had 75 houses burn out near Oakmont. and there just isn't any fire response. I've not seen any air tankers yet. I'd bet the loss just from Fountaingrove and Larkfield will be $1B. The State stepped in the $hit big time on this one. Multi million dollar wineries are being burned up with no response. You wonder how a city can just let 100 houses burn? We have lots of cops to stand around and hassle people, no shortage of that. Nobody to man a hose.
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  #27  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:51 PM
lapriester lapriester is offline
 
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Location: Cobb, N California
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Thumbs down

In defense, Cal Fire repeatedly stated they had to commit all their ground forces trying to save lives as the fire spread. Besides, there was simply no safe or prudent way to fight a fire driven by 50-80 MPH winds. It would have only resulted in the deaths of the first responders. Believe me, I understand the frustration in so many houses lost but, even with massive tanker support during the Valley Fire it didn't slow the fire progress one bit. It was also wind driven but not nearly as bad as the winds this fire was driven by. Property must always be secondary to lives. Judging the response based on observations from a narrow individual area is both unfair and probably highly inaccurate. Those guys are fighting around 17 fires in N CA and there simply are not enough resources to fight them all. There are multiple fronts on fires totalling some 80,000 acres with no containment in sight. Some firefighters were on the line more than 24 hours after the fires started. Thank them instead of criticising their efforts. They spent most of that 24 hours pounding on doors downwind of the fires trying to alert people in the middle of the night to evacuate. I suspect hundreds of lives were saved so screw the property loss.
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  #28  
Old 10-10-2017, 11:19 PM
USAF Sarge USAF Sarge is offline
 
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Location: Panama City, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapriester View Post
In defense, Cal Fire repeatedly stated they had to commit all their ground forces trying to save lives as the fire spread. Besides, there was simply no safe or prudent way to fight a fire driven by 50-80 MPH winds. It would have only resulted in the deaths of the first responders. Believe me, I understand the frustration in so many houses lost but, even with massive tanker support during the Valley Fire it didn't slow the fire progress one bit. It was also wind driven but not nearly as bad as the winds this fire was driven by. Property must always be secondary to lives. Judging the response based on observations from a narrow individual area is both unfair and probably highly inaccurate. Those guys are fighting around 17 fires in N CA and there simply are not enough resources to fight them all. There are multiple fronts on fires totalling some 80,000 acres with no containment in sight. Some firefighters were on the line more than 24 hours after the fires started. Thank them instead of criticising their efforts. They spent most of that 24 hours pounding on doors downwind of the fires trying to alert people in the middle of the night to evacuate. I suspect hundreds of lives were saved so screw the property loss.
Thank you and very well said, it is so easy for people to Monday morning quarterback a situation without complete understanding of all the pertinent facts. Sure the houses lost are expensive, but what is the value of the lives saved? A building can be replaced, whereas a life cannot!
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  #29  
Old 10-10-2017, 11:35 PM
microwaveguy microwaveguy is offline
 
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This is going to be a long painful event. I am beginning to wonder how much of Santa Rosa is going to be left when this is done. Evac area was just expanded and still reporting 0% containment
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  #30  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:09 AM
DaveHH DaveHH is offline
 
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I realize that the fire personnel had almost no chance to make headway in a disaster like this. As far as saving people's lives, most lives were saved by neighbors knocking or calling each other. That's how it was for me. This is the third day of this disaster and several friends have been watching how things are going. including visiting fire sites.
There was no local plan for a disaster of this size. There was a tremendous waste of resources with plenty of people driving around looking official and doing nothing. As an example, the 101 freeway was jammed, a parking lot, no lights worked at intersections across the area. There would be no one trying to control traffic flow at off ramps, just a bunch of civilians banging into each other and honking horns. A few hundred feet away would be an LEO standing around doing absolutely nothing. A small detail but multiply by 100 and see what you've got. Houses in areas where the fire had come through had survived and after 12 hrs or so would just start burning. Perfectly good undamaged homes just went up with no fire in the vicinity. Plenty of cops standing around yellow tape, nobody taking a couple of minutes to shut off the gas or put some water on a still burning foundation. My friend Mike, a Marine, observed people, NG, prisoners and Cal Fire doing close order drill in the Vets Memorial parking lot. Fire fighting vehicles parked all over. He said it looked like Camp Pendleton. Meanwhile 2 miles away the fire came over the mountain as the sun went down and the non existant air tanker support stopped for 12 hours. There were lots of my friends living up there and my family's house was squarely in the path. They had kicked everyone out of their houses by then "Saving Lives, not property".
We've had plenty of officials and congressmen holding press conferences to tell everyone what a swell job they are doing and at the same time making sure that everyone knows that their focus is on "Saving lives, not property". Well we damned sure know that. A plan would have helped a lot, but if there was one, it didn't go well. A person was observed throwing fireworks out of a moving vehicle into dry grass, starting even more fires. There are plenty of these mystery fires that just happened to start at places where there was no fire at all. There's probably a lot more to this than meets the eye.
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