posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 05:38 AM
Originally posted by observe50
The News (Fox) was talking DRY lightning in Cal. are they stretching it. I don't think 800 fires would be caused by this do you???? Maybe, maybe
Sadly to admit you are all doing the hard work and I am only trying to observe everything I can and throw it into the mix to see if any connections
can be made.
Observe, you are giving us ideas to follow up and that's vitally important, so we're grateful for your posts.
About the fires...When I was in Australia I lived in the country most of the time, and fires were pretty common. I spent some time with the Country
Fire Service (the CFS -- volunteer firefighters), and whenever there was lightning around in the drier months we would get some call-outs -- but no so
many. This was partly because "dry lightning" (meaning without storm rainfall) is fairly rare in that part of Australia. I understand that although
Cal has a similar climate it does get more dry lightning...
Another factor is what we call "spot fires". These are fires that start ahead of the main fire front as a result of burning material like leaves
being carried on the wind. If the winds are strong then one fire can produce many spot fires, and these in turn produce more... So yes, I can well
believe reports of 800 fires, especially in those vast, tinder-dry regions in California.
Yet another and very scary factor is when a fire "jumps". Back in Feb 1983 I was with a volunteer fire unit in the Adelaide hills (South Australia)
and we were heading along a narrow ridge road up towards a major fire front. There were over 180 major fires reported that day...It was very windy,
with gusts up to 60 mph, and the mercury was well over 100 F.
The fire we were heading for was burning along another ridge across a valley about 1/2 a mile east from us. Then there was a roaring sound like 100
Jumbo jets taking off and the flames leapt over the valley and touched down on the ridge we were driving up, only a few hundred yards in front of us:
the wind had suddenly changed and now we were facing a firestorm and there was no way we could stop it...it was so intense that even the tarmac on the
road up ahead erupted into flames -- something I'd never seen before and never want to see again... It was bloody terrifying... Our driver somehow
got the truck turned around and we got out of there as fast as we could. Several volunteer firefighters died that day, including the crew of a truck
only about 3 miles from us...They also tried to turn around but the smoke was so thick they were completely blinded and the truck got stuck in a
roadside ditch. They had no chance...
I know this seems like a digression but it's another aspect of how nature can affect us... and for me, it's another reason why I'm motivated to
contribute to finding ways to predict quakes. When people are lost in these tragedies it always means insufferable grief for so many others...
"If you save one life, you save the whole world."