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Western US under High Fire alert

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posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 04:05 AM
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From Associated Press


BOISE, Idaho -
International wildfire crews could be called to help fight blazes in thebone-dry West as U.S. officials on

Wednesday boosted the nation's wildfire alert to its highest level.

"It's driven by a couple of things: The number of large fires we have, and also the fires are occurring in several

states and in several geographic areas," Randy Eardley, a spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center here,

told The Associated Press. "The resources we have are being stretched thin."


Full Story from Forbes.com


This past winter was dry.
It was followed by a Spring that followed suit.
Then, the Heatwave. 2 weeks of extreme heat, with humidity in the single digits.
Now, The West is a giant tinderbox.

The matches were supplied by mother nature, in the form of Dry lightning storms.
These storms actually produce rain, but it evaporates before it hits the ground.
A phenomenon known as Virga.

Here, in and around Northern Nevada we've had a series of spectacular fires.
South Lake Tahoe experienced The loss of over 200 homes.
The week after produced antother dozen or so blazes in less populated areas.

Including This one uncomfortably close to my own home.

This one, was out by the end of the day.

But on ethe same day, at approximately the same time, a different fire.
Just a mile or so away, sparked by the same lightning storm.

This one consumed 5000 acres, and is still smoldering a week later.

Here's how it looked that night

The whole sky was aglow, and it smelled like you were sitting on the wrong side of a campfire.

Just a couple of days ago, it happened again, closer to town.
However, there was no lightning this time. It appears this one is man-made.
Possibly by someone using a grinder on metal. (I think this guy might be in trouble)

This fire has consumed 3000 acres, and is threatening a neighborhood of more than 300 homes. It has recently been upgraded in status, and is being managed by a Type-1 fire team. This is done in the case of the more dangerous and complicated fires.

The smoke is very thick, and the winds are very strong.

These are not Sunset photos.
The sky took on an eerie, ominous cast.






How about other members in the Western US, whats happening in YOUR area?



all photos by "spacedoubt"



[edit on 19-7-2007 by spacedoubt]




posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 04:14 AM
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spacedoubt,

We've been in the middle of a serious drought here in Arizona.

Our monsoon season only started a few days ago...It was a few weeks late...

Its been very very dry this whole summer and extremely hot.

Not to mention all the radiation we've been receiving due to the increase in solar flare activity and strength.

SE Arizona Drought Monitoring

Arizona Drought Resources

AZ central water worries


AZ drought map:



[edit on 19-7-2007 by biggie smalls]



posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 06:02 AM
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Hey biggie,

Do these monsoonal storms leave much moisture behind?
Today was our first day of lower temps in a while..It almost felt cool.
But it's back to near 100 in a couple of days. And the winds, Just confusing for the firefighters. One of the fires changed directions so many times, they had no idea what to tell the property owners.



posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 08:40 AM
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My sympathies SpaceDoubt; we went through this last year and although my home was never in danger seagull's was as well as a bunch of good friends. Here in southeast Washington it's been dry and we've had some lightening and wheat field fires. However, we got rain last night not alot but perhaps the firefighters onthe fires that were already burning got some help from it. It's been really hot and dry here.

I hope you're staying safe and I wish you all the best of luck.



posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
Do these monsoonal storms leave much moisture behind?


Yes they are supposed to. The plants seem to be reborn after a 'monsoon' day.

Two days ago there was a few hours of thunderstorms. The place felt much different. It was actually habitable for a day.

Then yesterday it was cloudy and humid...

Hopefully today it will rain.

I would say there isn't a whole lot of moisture in the air/ground, but we surely need any last drop of water we can get.

There's been a brushfire warning for some time now. You can't even cook on an open fire when camping! That's half the fun.



posted on Jul, 19 2007 @ 09:15 PM
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Cali's hot. The Chem dropping in the sky definately's not helping either. We definately are under condition for mass fires here...



posted on Jul, 21 2007 @ 01:14 AM
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I live in southern Utah.. It is normal to have hot dry weather here, but this summer has been extreme to say the least. We have had months of extremely dry weather, humidity levels consistently in the single digits, and for several weeks high temperatures well over 100 degrees fahrenheit. Most of that time the temps rage from 105 to 115.. There were early warnings of extreme fire danger, and it has lived up to the threats, in fact record breaking fires in Utah.

Where I live we are surrounded by fires, it seems like everything is burning, the heat and smoke has been oppressive, and unforgiving. Last Monday we had a fire north of town that burnt the two main power transmission lines that feed this entire area, and the whole county lost power for several hours, all the way down into parts of Nevada. It was surreal, many seemed to lose it, literally along with the loss of electricity.

I keep wondering if we'll ever get a break.

Yesterday I snapped a picture of one of the many nearby fires, to put it into perspective, the fire in the image below is about 18 miles from the camera.



It is literally so hot, and so dry here, it seems like only a matter of time until everything out there is all burnt. Ironically it is thunderstorms that cause all of these major fires, the rain rarely reaches the ground, as the extreme heat and low humidity make it nearly impenetrable to any precipitation, However lightning does reach the ground and where it does we have fires. One fire in central Utah has already burnt over 571 square miles, the largest in the State's history, others are growing out of control. The fire alert level is still at 5, which is as bad as conditions can be. There are so many huge fires in this area right now, it is literally too many to list. And likely I'd miss a few new ones if I did try to list them. The feds are taking over management of the larger fires, and even the national guard could be called in, if they haven't already.

All we can do is hope it ends, and rains and cooler weather will come.

[edit on 21-7-2007 by UM_Gazz]



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 10:54 AM
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I'm a fire fighter in Montana. Right now there is a 618 acre fire burning in the Dearborn county of Montana. I was there yesterday and snapped a few pictures.





The way the weather has been out here, I'd say this is just the beginning of these fires.
edit to add the pictures

[edit on 22-7-2007 by USAFSF]



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 11:07 AM
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Good thread.

I don't watch much news so I had no idea how prevaliant these fires were.

All the pics were good, but Spacedoubt yours were stunning!

Thanks for sharing



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 12:12 PM
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Well I moved back to Western Montana about a week ago and we have alot of smoke from the Idaho fires and we have about two i think. Maybe I'm wrong. But be safe and don't get caught in the fires.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 09:39 PM
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Originally posted by USAFSF
I'm a fire fighter in Montana. Right now there is a 618 acre fire burning in the Dearborn county of Montana. I was there yesterday and snapped a few pictures.


[edit on 22-7-2007 by USAFSF]


Were you working those fires?
Thank you very much for what you do. I know we've got guys from all over the US, helping out in Reno. It's going to be a tiring season for firefighters.

We're back under alert, starting Monday. Dry, windy..Chance of Afternoon T-Storms. The Dry kind.

Interestedalways,
Thanks for the kind words.


I'm waiting for an update on the guy that started one fire accidentally.
He owns a construction company, and was working on his own house at the time. He made a really bad choice that day. Running a grinder in those conditions.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 10:22 PM
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Yes, I was working on the fire yesterday. We were kind of waiting for the fires to come down some, because where they are would be pretty difficult to get to. Last i heard was the fire was making it's way down to some peoples' cabins. It's a shame to see peoples' homes destroyed. Indeed it is going to be very busy this season. Thanks for your kind words but, you don't have to thank me. I enjoy doing what I do, so it evens out.



posted on Jul, 23 2007 @ 11:46 PM
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we had rain in L.A. last night. Not sure how much it helped anything, but it sure was a good thing...



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 01:25 PM
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We have another fire going on out here now. This one is down by Halter Lake, and is a lot bigger than the last one. I was out there for the past 2 days fighting it, here's some pictures.





posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 07:02 PM
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USAFSF

Those are incredible photos. Thanks for contributing those.
Huge amounts of smoke..
What's the fuel? Are these heavily forested areas?
Or is this more like brush, and grassy fuels?




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