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LA fires proving the need for preventive water bombing

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posted on Dec, 10 2017 @ 08:21 AM
a reply to: stormcell

Yep, it's ironic too. All these tree huggers and environmentalists get all up in arms about clearing dead-fall and performing prescriptive burns, but then when a big fire breaks out they scream bloody murder about people not doing enough. It's pretty hypocritical (super hypocritical actually).

I have a colleague who almost lost a really nice cabin in the High Park Fire here in CO back in 2012. His story was pretty miraculous, but he predicted the event well in advance of the actual fire. All the Greenies were raising hell about efforts to eradicate the pine beetle, about how it was a natural phenomenon ('mother nature'), but then when the fire started there was so much fuel it just exploded...and then they all screamed bloody murder even more..."DO SOMETHING!, Government".

Then, in the biggest hypocrisy of all, the state then allowed counties to pass legislation and ordinances which demanded landowners remove beetle-killed trees from their properties at their own cost! Even though they had been prevented from doing just this in the years before the fires (back when it would have actually made a difference). Lunacy! Absolute political lunacy!!! Hypocrisy of the highest order!

(and you can't just cut them down either, you have to cut them down and remove them! For my buddy, who's cabin is on a steep mountainside imagine the logistics of that! Whereas, if he'd been allowed to cull the trees over the years to use as firewood there wouldn't have been nearly the issue.)

I could write a book on this subject. And after having also been through the Yellowstone fire back in '88 up in WY (which had many of the same ingredients), the whole fire management and government interference thing just makes a fella want to vomit (over and over)!

posted on Dec, 10 2017 @ 08:49 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Yourself and Zaphod are both right.

Yes water bombers are used for containment not as an extinguisher-but there needs to be a more versatile aircraft and more of them-like the ones that Zaphod suggested. Fire is quicker than most people think, they can jump highways, reach ten stories high, and can outrun small cars. These planes could also assist in controlled burns which have gotten out of control, or lack of controlled burns due to government inactivity.

As for using C-130's- my mind is boggled.

posted on Dec, 10 2017 @ 08:50 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

youd think they would have learned something after all we had the same situation up in tahoe and they also enacted the same measures after terrible fires. always punishing the people for their inept policies.

posted on Dec, 10 2017 @ 08:56 AM
a reply to: TheScale

It's infuriating! It's like punitive legislation on the people for being right in the first damn place! Prove us wrong...and we'll punish your ass!!

edit on 12/10/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 10 2017 @ 09:05 AM

originally posted by: TheScale
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

youd think they would have learned something after all we had the same situation up in tahoe and they also enacted the same measures after terrible fires. always punishing the people for their inept policies.

That would require them actually admitting their enlightened policies were wrong, and those lowly "uneducated" conservationists were right.

There's probably a better chance of them voting for Trump in 2020.

posted on Dec, 19 2017 @ 05:03 PM
Thought I'ld drop this off here.
Air Force Drone on the Thomas Fire

For several reasons, the Thomas Fire exploded from the beginning. It started early evening, after darkness had fallen, preventing even land crews and not just air crews to effectively fight it (other CA Santa Ana fires started at better times of day to quickly get on them). It was whipped along hills by high, dry winds. I was in the area when it started, 13 miles away. My husband woke me up after I had gone to bed and said to look out the window. I kept asking him what was the name of the NEW fire, until I realized it was the one from only a few hours before!

The strong winds kept fixed wing on the ground for I think at least a couple days at the beginning. Helicopters were making spot drops. It seems retardant aircraft were eventually up in the air, and Bombardier water scoopers have been used. There are reservoir lakes where aircraft (helis and scoopers) can fill up. There are Forest Service pages with pix at the above link.

The Thomas Fire has been devouring coastal hills, extremely dry grassland and chaparral (the forests are further inland). It is set to become CA's largest wildfire.

Fire retardant is definitely used in CA. I live near an air attack base, and, yes, jet aircraft are also used. But aircraft are only as good as conditions allow. One local canyon fire this summer had smoke so bad, that at first aircraft couldn't be used due to poor visibility, then high winds. That forest fire in the Sierras, even with drought dead trees, was only 36,500 acres (5 weeks), compared to now almost 272,000 (two weeks). Forest fires are all different and each needs to be managed differently. Oh, the local one involved inaccessible areas for crew backfires, so helis dropped ping pong ball fuel containers (developed in Colorado).

Family members have been/are in evacuation zones but, unlike others we met, have not suffered any structure damage. I rely on the Forest Service website for frequent updates and fire maps, and was pleasantly surprised at the Reaper's use.

posted on Dec, 19 2017 @ 05:22 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58
Zaphod; I've shared a pre-cogged dream of a neighbor lady, back in her childhood days, growing up in Diamond Bar, Cali. My friend in Anaheim, has pooh- poohed me. How does Diamond Bar fit into the fires around L.A. I did see one 27 acre one, near Diamond Bar Blvd. but since I'm up in Idaho, its pretty much Greek to me. Right now, what's the worst that can happen in or around Diamond Bar, California??

posted on Dec, 19 2017 @ 05:45 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Exactly. Phos-check is the only company producing LC-95 retardant. There are a couple of other new companies trying to get in but they are producing water enhancers, gels, or foam.

posted on Dec, 19 2017 @ 09:19 PM
a reply to: carpooler

Here's the Cal Fire website. Under Incident Information on the right, click below, on "Google Statewide Fire Map". There is a Ca map to zoom in to scale to see the recent Santa Ana winds fires around the Southland. Diamond Bar was away from them, thank goodness.

The Orange County Register newspaper has an article which includes a link to a website that has some information when the Santa Anas kick in. More Santa Ana winds coming, but new government website could save your life

This last bout with the Santa Anas was horrible; a relative in the Thomas Fire area said she had never had winds that bad where she lives. When we left the So Cal area, I looked back as we started up the pass, and, with the smoke clouds and smoke, it looked like bombs had dropped. I was never so glad to get home.

I'll never say a place is completely safe, but if Diamond Bar survived the last winds, they should be ok.

I think it was in the early 1980s when the Santa Ana winds moved fire rapidly across blocks of wood-shingled apartment buildings in Spring in Anaheim, about 15 miles from Diamond Bar. It was after that that wood shingles were banned form new construction. Houses that have been built in the last 30 years under fire safety codes do better than older ones under fire conditions.

Then there are just areas, like around Santa Barbara, that have a history of destructive fires, although none near as big as the current one. In fact, they're using the footprints of older fires to steer the Thomas Fire into.

posted on Dec, 19 2017 @ 10:49 PM
one more drop...

Super scooper aircraft a new resource being used to fight the Thomas Fire

Nice read with vid.

This part gives an idea just how large this fire got... (from where it started on the east side to where it is on the west is about 50 miles as the crow flies)

On Monday, the scoopers were not present at Lake Cuchuma. Instead, they were flying about 30 to 40 miles east, at a burnout firefighters were working on in the Highway 33 region.

posted on Dec, 19 2017 @ 11:10 PM
You cannot extinguish a forest fire. You just can't, there is way too much energy. It has to extinguish itself. Most do not understand this. You can only hope to 'manage' it. Probably 75% of big fires are unmanagable until the later stages of the burn, after there a whole season and the winds dies down the the snows start. People think you can "put out" a forest fire, and this is FAR from the simply cannot.

It doesn't matter what tactical equipment (aircraft, etc) you bring into the fight, you cannot "put out" a forest fire, you just can't. You can only hope to 'steer' a fire away from populated areas. Even if there were a "million" water bombers, it still wouldn't matter.

This is why you have to remove (and/or exhaust) the fuel in fire areas BEFORE the fires start. Fires are actually a natural cycle in forests, and some say they should be left to burn. In some ways I actually agree, but people live in these areas now...big dollar homes. They have a lot of pull. Look at Yellowstone since the fires of '88. It's a whole new landscape, one rich in flora and fauna, better than ever...but the Yellowstone fires were some of the worst ever in the history of forest fires. They devastated large areas of the park (boo hoo for tourists), but the forest was dead...and now it's alive.

Fire management is a very interesting topic. For most it defies imagination the scale these fires are. When you compare the amount of energy a fire has , in comparison to the amount of energy a water bomber can control, it's stunning. It's like 1,000 orders of magnitude less, like a single drop of water into a flaming 10,000 gallon tank of gasoline. It's almost laughable..if it wasn't for how "strategic" it is, and what it's really attempting to do (which most have no idea of how to understand).

posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 12:13 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Yes. Forest fires are managed. And each fire can be different; a crown fire, where the fire spreads from tree top to tree top, might be a mile out in front of the fire on the forest floor. That happened on one big fire a few years ago; the best scenario for how that fire would end was to steer it up into higher elevations of the Sierras, where there was less vegetation and large areas of granite exposed rock. And because that fire still had smoldering areas in the containment area (during drought years, hardly any snow), it was declared officially out a year after it was contained. Crazy.

Years ago, a fire started in Summer in one national forest near here and was allowed to burn its way into an adjacent national forest, where it was put out by the Winter snows.

The local fire I referred to above was amazingly managed. Even though it came within a quarter mile of a town and several mountain communities (it did cross a road right into one community!), not one residence was lost, only a utility's water tank was destroyed, and one cabin's deck was singed on a corner. God bless those firefighters!

Someone can check me on this, but from what I've read in newspaper fire reporting, fire retardant can be dropped directly on a small fire (which is what happened decades ago as we were driving up that same canyon and had to stop to allow a fire plane to drop retardant on the hill next to us, missing our car by feet) or used along unburned ridge lines as a firebreak.

Yes, those water drops on the Thomas Fire are catching hot spots, and there are lots of them, because of the wind. In fact, even though there is a containment line on one end, they are patrolling for flare ups and calling in water drops. The third day of the fire, as we were driving home and the winds had actually died down (which is why we wanted to get the heck out of So Cal at that time!), there were fire trucks and patrols a mile across the road from the main fire, putting out hot spots! More crazy!

Yes, forests do recover, often with striking beauty. Lightning fires are one thing, but I hate when human caused ones happen, from illegal campfires or other illegal activity. Word on the Thomas Fire has been that it probably started accidentally by power lines sparking in the 70+ mph winds.

posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 08:21 AM
Well, at least one of the wild fires was started on purpose by an arsonist. Seems like maybe directing some efforts towards that angle would help.

Also clearing dead brush and debris would provide major help.

They could also possibly dig channels along strategic lines to contain the fires to zones.

Doing things before the fires start and spread would be more desirable, no?

posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 09:45 AM
a reply to: jjkenobi

While other fires are still under investigation, the Skirball Fire indeed was human caused, not intentional (arson) but a campfire at an "encampment" (to me that suggests homeless, major societal problem, directing efforts towards that costs $$) that quickly got out of hand in the Santa Ana winds. Normally would not be a problem.

Visiting this link in Pacific daylight hours shows views of the fire terrain from tower webcams. Grassland, low brush, chaparral, not forest trees. Note the "defensible space" (cleared of brush) around the towers, that prevented fire damage. There was concern at the outset about communication towers, but it looks like they held. While one may not want to chop down all trees on one's property in a forest, the less low vegetation the better. And in rural grassy areas like this up and down CA, it often means one's home remains safe in a wildfire.

There are already many firebreaks in these areas, such as paved/dirt roads or actual dozed lanes, but in the extreme winds and dry/low humidity conditions of the Santa Ana winds, fires can easily leap across them. Dropped fire retardant can act as a firebreak once a fire has started. West of the Rockies has its own environmental concerns (dry climate and less water, making for wildfires), just as east of the Rockies can have its own (tornadoes, hurricanes, floods).

There are constant efforts in my local National Forests to prevent/lessen fires, from education to control burns. As far as harvesting all the dead trees due to the years long droughts, that timber is not always as profitable for timber mills to harvest. Plus, there are literally millions of them.

On the good news side, the Thomas Fire is now 60% contained, and yesterday's growth was only 239 acres. While no rain in the forecast for the western side, there is increasing humidity; there will be rain and snow north of the northern side, so that should help a lot. The original date of full containment was Dec 24, it was then set to Jan 7, but the worst seems over now, so I'm hoping for sooner full containment.

Even though there is a huge "donut hole" in the fire area, where fire did not come into the communities, one of the outcomes was smoke damage; one resort still cannot open for weeks, as they clean up from smoke damage. The fire, smoke, and evacuations put quite a damper on local economies.

posted on Dec, 20 2017 @ 11:41 AM
The photo in this Inciweb link wouldn't upload, but the pix from another fire (NC) shows retardant being dropped ahead of a fire to act as a firebreak. News today out here is that it is perfect conditions to do the same for the Thomas Fire. I think that would be on the northern side in the National Forest, as that remains uncontained.

Here is a pix from another Dec fire. The 747 Supertanker was perfect for the Liberty fire in Murrieta – but not for LA, Ventura [Thomas Fire] county fires

I think there was a DC-10 on the Rim Fire a few years ago. Flew over the extensive Sierra foothills up there but not into more rugged terrain.

posted on Dec, 21 2017 @ 04:39 AM
From July but interesting..Always liked watching them work online..
Martin Mars

posted on Dec, 21 2017 @ 06:17 AM
a reply to: Blackfinger
And a very rare and old bird indeed Blackfinger, from memory only a handful were ever made.

posted on Dec, 21 2017 @ 06:19 AM
Just out of curiosity, but do they carry out winter time back burning/hazard reduction fires in the US? We do in Aus and it works fairly well with Eucalypt forests.

posted on Dec, 21 2017 @ 01:19 PM
a reply to: thebozeian

They do in some places. I've come through Flagstaff several times when they were doing controlled burns and have smoke warnings up. Other places, that have huge fires, like California, not so much.

posted on Dec, 21 2017 @ 01:21 PM
a reply to: desert

They're turning to jet aircraft a lot more. Mostly smaller aircraft, like the BAE-146 (Avro RJ70) and MD-80 class aircraft, but they're proving to be more effective than they expected. They have a quicker turn around time, but also don't handle some terrain well.

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