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Destruction from California wildfires now tops 1,000 homes

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posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:08 AM
It has been several days since two huge wildfires in Northern California peaked in their ferocity, yet the damage they did is still being revealed daily.
The tally of homes destroyed topped 1,000 on Saturday after authorities assessing damage in the Sierra Nevada foothills counted another 250 houses destroyed by flames still threatening thousands of more structures.
"Some of the homes are tucked back in rural areas, so it's taken time to reach them," state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.
The new count of 511 homes destroyed by one of the blazes — up from 252 a day earlier — comes as firefighters make significant progress against it.
The fire, which killed at least two people, was 67 percent contained. Another 6,400 structures remain under threat.
A separate blaze in Lake County, about 170 miles northwest, has destroyed 888 structures, at least 585 of them homes. It has killed three people.
Residents of Middletown, the area hardest hit by the massive wildfire in California, were allowed to return home Saturday afternoon. Evacuation orders for other areas in Lake County remained.
The Lake County fire tore through 62 square miles in 12 hours, causing thousands of residents to flee after it ignited a week ago. About 19,000 people were ordered to evacuate. The blaze had charred 116 square miles and was 50 percent contained Saturday.
A weekend of heat had descended on the wildfires after several favorable days, raising fears that major gains could be undone.
"We're looking at predicted weather of 100 degrees for the next couple of days, and at least mid-90s throughout the weekend," Scott Mclean, a battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said Friday.
That makes it essential that the smoldering remains of the two giant blazes be dealt with as quickly and thoroughly as possible, Mclean said.
"You've got some high temps, high winds that could stir up those ash piles and those ember piles," he said. "We have to do that mop-up to be sure this fire goes to bed."

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:16 AM
a reply to: openmind102

It is sad that people's desire to live in wooden areas to be closes to nature is becoming a hazard to them.

Real state has manage to sell land that while beautiful has the potential to become a danger to human habitation.

We all know that California always have their fair share of fire, but when is so many people living in the dangerous areas looking to be in tune with nature, nature can also become their worst enemy.

I wonder how many of the fires were by nature vs human accidents.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:19 AM
a reply to: openmind102

There has been so much bad news like this coming from out there for so long that folks around other places in the country are conditioned to it as run of the mill. Even though records are broken on several measures its ho hum here anyway. I haven't heard a single person bring up what is happening out there currently in a single conversation.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:25 AM
a reply to: Logarock

Yes, also how the state government can improve or at least control the amount of fires in the state, one thing is fires that are cause by the natural interaction of lightning and human interaction.

Overwhelming Cause of California Wildfires: Humans

Hopefully the ones that are cause by nature, el nino patterns will take care of that in the coming years, but the ones caused by human interaction is another story.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:31 AM
what about all the homes of the partridge, rabbits, deer, squirrels, birds, and other animals. They will all have to move into the cities now. Also remember that all the spiders and snakes will need to move into the cities

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:36 AM
a reply to: rickymouse

I always feel that before human spreading and building their cities it was all wild life living there.

Is something about us humans we love to spread and devastate, and we don't give a darn about it.

After all modern humans are nothing like natives humans, the first infest and devastate the natives use to respect nature and live in harmony.

Nature has become humanity biggest inconvenience.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:41 AM

originally posted by: marg6043
a reply to: Logarock

Yes, also how the state government can improve or at least control the amount of fires in the state, one thing is fires that are cause by the natural interaction of lightning and human interaction.

The state has been trying to assure people that there are means that can be implemented ect and have been in some cases. But with conditions as they are these assurances and suggestion look like so much flailing. And folks understand but officials still play the roll. Not to mention the politics of water distribution that have been reported.

When these communities rebuild they need to outlaw evergreen trees, go with hardwoods, install ceramic roofs and take other measures......but its just going to have to burn down first before anything gets done about it.
edit on 20-9-2015 by Logarock because: n

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:51 AM
a reply to: Logarock

You know how it is Logarock, people will do what ever they feel they are going do, after all they feel that as tax payers they have the right.

I grew up in an Island, houses are not made like here in the US, they are made of blocks and cement, this ensure that when hurricane season come by our homes will survive.

Is common sense, but most people think that they know better and we all know how much we hate government intervention.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 10:52 AM
Wonder if someone could do some calculations for me or maybe already have the answer.

What Temps are we talking about, and for how long.?

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 12:55 PM
Whenever people move into certain areas (tornado, river flood plains, forest, etc), there is a risk. And these fire areas have been areas where a lot of people have moved to. Normally, it's not a big problem, but in these drought's bad.

The vegetation has been tinder dry, no moisture in the undergrowth especially, ready to explode with a spark, whether from a match or lightening strike. It's the difference between trying to light dry newspaper vs wet newspaper. The fire just takes off as if there were gasoline spilled all over the place. Add to that any's bad. One local newscast was interviewing a resident from one of the fires, and I was horrified to see her hair whipping around in the wind, as that much wind means the fire rages on. The vegetation in those areas is a mixture of oak, low elevation pine, scrub brush, and grass.

Wood shake roofs are no longer permitted in California, after a fire destroyed numerous apartment complexes some years ago in Southern California, when strong seasonal winds blew embers everywhere.

Besides the loss of wild animals, some people were unable to get their farm animals out in time, just turning loose sheep, chickens, etc in hopes they could somehow avid the fire. Some did, some didn't. Because of so many fires in recent years, there has been more coordinated responses to helping shelter animals (with even veterinarian care), especially horses, that are brought in. One bunch of exotic cats found homes in other shelters.

Not only were temperatures in the upper 90's-low 100s, but humidities ranged from 15%-39%.

The smoke was bad in areas miles from the fire, making for very unhealthy air quality. I thought I might drive up into Sequoia Nat'l Park Tuesday, because the air was pretty clear the last two days, but today it's starting to look smoky again.

Here's an article with some Q&A

Q. So just how bad are the fires?
A. Around 700,000 acres have burned this year in California, compared with about 500,000 in a typical year, and the fire season is nowhere near over. Right now, 15,000 people are deployed fighting wildfires across the state. But what has officials on edge is less the total acreage than how readily new fires start, and how quickly — and unpredictably — they grow. “We’ve had fires in California since the beginning of time,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the governor’s Office of Emergency Services, “but what we’re seeing now that’s different is the extreme rapid spread of the fires, and the extreme volatility.”

Q. Why is it this bad?
A. Two words: Drought and heat. Vegetation in California, from the mesquite scrub in the desert to the tall pines in the Sierra Nevada, is as dry as kindling after a yearslong drought, the worst in the state’s recorded history. So fire catches more easily, spreads faster, and carries farther on the wind. The state’s major reservoirs hold less than half as much water as they typically would at this time of year, many wells have run dry, and underground aquifers are so depleted that in some places, the ground has been sinking as much as two inches per month.

Q. With such a severe drought, do firefighters have enough water to do their work?
A. Yes, but it requires some creativity. Ordinarily, pumper trucks and helicopters with water buckets can tap into the streams, lakes and reservoirs closest to the flames. But in many places, those sources are now too low to rely on. Firefighters are making more use of tanker trucks and big, portable plastic water basins to do what is known as “water shuttling” — moving water close to the fires. And helicopter pilots are often having to travel farther to find places to dip their buckets.

Q. How bad have the drought and heat been?
A. Last year was the hottest on record in California, and this has been a hot summer. But even the hottest weather would not have created the extreme fire danger the state is seeing if there had been enough rainfall. California is in the fourth year of a severe drought. One important indicator of just how severe it is came this spring, when state scientists measured the Sierra snowpack at 5 percent of normal — that is not a misprint — the lowest ever recorded.

Q. But haven’t people been conserving a lot of water?
A. Yes, and that spells something of a reprieve for the people and farms that use water, but it doesn’t water all those millions of acres of wild land. Only nature does that.


Yep, conserving water won't help the Land. Only rainfall will.

edit on 20-9-2015 by desert because: source

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 01:40 PM
a reply to: desert

Texas drought lasted 5 years it ended this year with el nino, hopefully California will end too, el nino is showing to become very strong.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 03:50 PM
a reply to: marg6043

Oh, marg, I hope you are right! My best friend recently heard that maybe El Nino actually will drench only Southern California, not doing much up here. I'll take any rain up here, but I do hope for better forecasts of more widespread heavy rainfall.

I do remember the heartbreaking pictures and news reports of dried up lakes and cracked ground in Texas. The ranches in distress. And they had fires, too!

I remember when Florida had a drought, making the Everglades dry. It sounded crazy, because how could Florida be dry, but they were, and they had fires, also.

You know, going through all this out here makes me think about the Dust Bowl and all the immigrants who came to California then. I was born in Calif, and I remember, that before I learned where Oklahoma was on a map, I heard the term "Okie". It was an insult back then.

Where I live now was also one place where Dust Bowl migrants settled. As I came to know the locals, even now in conversation, when I would ask how long their family had been here, there was always a distinction made that "MY family was here before the 1930s". In other words, THEY were not those "Okies" and "Arkies". One sweet woman I knew did tell me one day that her family HAD lived in the Labor Camps near here, and she remembers them picking the crops.

Will Californians have to leave someday? Who knows. But here is what the Dust Bowl migrants faced.

the half-million Okies met new hardships in California, where they were unwelcome aliens, forced to live in squatter camps and to compete for scarce jobs as agricultural migrant laborers. They displaced Mexican workers, but despite the initial fears of landowners that they would demand better working conditions, these conservative, self-reliant, and persevering folk proved even easier to exploit. With many more willing hands than jobs, wage rates dropped. Crowded, filthy squatter camps rose up along the roads and streams of the San Joaquin Valley, leading Californians to attribute the scene to the refugees' own regionally derived ignorance and sloth. Federal relief in the form of labor camps (such as Steinbeck's "Wheat Patch"), dubbed "Little Oklahomas," were hardly effective.


All together, over 1,000,000 Americans migrated westward from the southern Great Plains.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:10 PM
Some friends of mine just got evacuated from their homes this past week because of the fires. They had it contained at first then it jumped the fire line. I've been keeping watch on the fires using google earth. They have a live map coverage of it's location and progress.

I hope El Nino pours down in biblical type fashion. We need the water. However, what is really needed is snow pack. Loads of rain will be good too but a lot just gets wasted as run off. Plus you have to account for flooding damage and mudslides as well. But without snow pack to hold the water somewhere most of it just runs off into places where it's not used.

It's been dry and super hot here this past year and it sux. I hope for a change soon or Cali may be the next Egypt.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:15 PM
a reply to: mOjOm

I hope all goes well for your friends! That sux when it jumps a fire line, but I'm not surprised with these fires.

Check this out, when even rocks were "on fire"...and that used to be a "natural fire line"...

Sierra Nevada fires normally sputter when they hit expanses of granite rock. But drought and a number of other factors have made the Rough Fire — burning along the Kings River northeast of Kings County, messing up local air quality and derailing mountain vacation plans — do things Sierra fires typically don’t do.

Sierra National Forest Spokeswoman Iveth Hernandez said some people reported the rocks as being “on fire.”

Flames would come to the edge of a bare granite expanse, burn across via the super-dry moss and flare up anew in the woods on the other side.

“We’d never seen fire activity in that way,” Hernandez said. “This fire has gone far beyond what we ever expected it to do.”


Correct, it is the snow we need most here. And then, if the snow is not at the right time or melts early, that is "wasted" run off, although, I'll even take that now to recharge groundwater!

For people who might read this and think, "Why not just build more damns?", Sierra Nevada run off is already damned somewhere, held in until released for agriculture use downstream or to recharge groundwater. There are hydroelectric power stations up and down the range, using the water before it continues downward. A damn can only hold so much before water must be released, so some water is indeed "wasted", but I think that really means "wasted for agricultural use", as any water released recharges groundwater.

You bet, there could be mudslides and floods! Crazy! After drought, the deluge! All those fire evacuees might have to put up with mudslides this Winter if El Nino hits!

Hey, Lake Havasu bought the London Bridge for tourism. Maybe Fresno can build a Sphynx replica for tourism when it's desert all around.

Hate to end on a gloomy note, but now another fire broke out in Monterey County, near Salinas I think. Here we go again.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 06:43 PM
a reply to: desert

Everything have an end, over and over again you hear of drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and then everything change, for a while,. then when the drought stops like in Texas people can not get enough of the rain fall.

Hopefully it will end soon, I guess as more people move to areas and populations keep growing, resources become a problem when natural disasters happen like in Louisiana Katrina, the more dense the populations the more victims are caught in natures way.

The fires in California and in wooden areas are not rare but when is a long dry spell this makes the fires worse as they have more to feed on.

Is going to take a few years but I am sure that California will be back to normal.

posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 06:49 PM
a reply to: mOjOm

I have family in California in Los Angeles, My husband and I spend 3 years in the high desert 29 palms Military base, I always been used to the hot humidity from my Island and then southern US, but the dry air was something I could never forget, it took me a while to get used to the swamp coolers and then that first year we were in 29 palms was a rare occasion in whish it rained in the desert and the swamp coolers do not work when is humidity, then we had the Landers and Big Bear earthquake, it was a very interesting station for us.

I hope everything goes well with your friends and their properties.

posted on Sep, 21 2015 @ 12:54 AM
Imperial Japan attempted to ignite wildfires in the PNW. It's disconcerting how vulnerable the CONUS is to this as a national security issue. If the fire origins were suspected to be from arsonists, the public is unlikely to become informed.

posted on Sep, 21 2015 @ 12:10 PM
One of the things when one reads about wildfires, "containment" refers to placing a line around a fire (clearing out vegetation, back burn, laying down retardant). This is similar to encircling an enemy. Can fire still burn inside the contained area? Yes, but it is not expected to get out of the contained area, and fire crews can monitor any flare ups.

Can a wildfire eventually die out without being 100% contained? Yes, as sometimes full containment is impossible for several reasons. As long as the fire is no longer a threat to property or life, it might be allowed to continue to burn, until it dies from lack of fuel or weather slows its intensity or speed or deals it a death blow. As if an enemy is only partially surrounded with backs to a cliff or wall. Some major wildfires have met their end this way.

a reply to: marg6043

Thank you for staying hopefully positive. As I said somewhere else, I would die inside if I lost hope. Yes, this, too, shall pass. We'll get through it.

posted on Sep, 21 2015 @ 02:09 PM
Best of luck to all of the residents who have been affected or may be, and also best of luck to those firefighters. It's been a long hard season, I'm sure they are wiped out and missing their families.

Wildfire is a scary thing. It tends to almost take on a life of its own. Stay vigilant and ready to leave everything at a moments notice. Having a few things packed and by the front door until things cool off is never a bad idea either.

You're right, it will pass eventually. Things like this have a tendency to bring communities together. People will need help rebuilding homes and lives. Right now there is a temporary community of firefighters and smoke jumpers working their hardest to save life and property as well. It always feels good to be a positive part of a community effort. The summer before last my boys even got a personal tour of a smoke jumper helicopter because we stopped by to drop off a case of water and lunch fixings. Anything that can raise moral and a sense of community during a crisis can only help. With that many displaced there has to be a need for outreach right now.

posted on Sep, 21 2015 @ 02:18 PM
a reply to: desert

I believe most of the fires has been done with, the weather channel has been showing today that the fires are mostly taken care off, they are now allowing residents to go back to the burned areas to check on the properties, but now is another problems and that is with the lack of vegetation rain can become dangerous with mudslides, also the chemicals residues from the burn can be hazardous.

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