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
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.