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'New normal' ferocious winds whip up deadly California fires

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'New normal' ferocious winds whip up deadly California fires

By Stephen Lam

 

2018-11-11T101928Z_1_LYNXNPEEAA0EL_RTROPTP_4_CALIFORNIA-WILDFIRES.JPG

The Camp Fire burns near Big Bend, California, U.S., November 10, 2018. Picture taken November 10, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

 

PARADISE, Calif. (Reuters) - Two deadly wildfires fuelled by "devil winds" tore through opposite ends of California on Sunday, with residents urged to heed evacuation orders by officials forced to leave their own homes.

 

In northern California, the Camp Fire is one of the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history, killing at least 23 since it broke out on Thursday northeast of Sacramento and consumed much of the mountain town of Paradise. More than 100 were reported missing.

 

Hundreds of miles to the south, at least two people died in the Woolsey conflagration threatening the wealthy beach community of Malibu, near Los Angeles.

 

Looting was reported in the southern fire area and arrests were made, police reported.

 

Hot dry winds expected to blow until Tuesday whipped up the flames and heightened the urgency of evacuation orders, officials said.

 

"We are entering a new normal. The rate of spread is exponentially more than it used to be," said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen, noting at a press conference that California's fires in 2018 grow far more quickly than they did even 10 years ago.

 

Several officials urged residents to heed evacuation orders, noting they themselves had followed orders to leave their homes for safety.

 

"Winds are already blowing. They are going to blow for the next three days. Your house can be rebuilt but you can't bring your life back," said Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

 

Crews pushed forward to achieve 25 percent containment of the Camp Fire in northern California, which had burned 109,000 acres (44,000 hectares) at the edge of the Plumas National Forest, according to Cal Fire's website. In Southern California, where the Woolsey Fire scorched 83,275 acres, the blaze was only 10 percent contained.

 

The Camp Fire burned down more than 6,700 homes and businesses in Paradise, more structures than any other California wildfire on record, and the death toll, which could rise, also makes it one of the deadliest.

 

Only the Griffith Park Fire in 1933 and Tunnel Fire in 1991 have claimed more lives.

 

Several of the bodies discovered earlier this week were found in or near burned out cars, police have said. The flames descended on Paradise so fast that many people were forced to abandon their vehicles and run for their lives down the only road through the mountain town.

 

More than 110 people were reported missing in the fire-scorched area.

 

Winds of up to 40 miles per hour (64 km per hour) were forecast to blow in the north and gusts of up to 70 mph (113 kph), the so-called Santa Ana "devil wind," were expected in Southern California.

 

The Woolsey Fire doubled in size from Friday night into Sunday threatening thousands of homes after triggering mandatory evacuation orders for a quarter million people in the upscale beach city as well as other communities in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

 

Governor Jerry Brown asked U.S. President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster to bolster the emergency response and help residents recover.

 

"We're putting everything we've got into the fight against these fires and this request ensures communities on the front lines get additional federal aid," Brown's letter said.

 

Trump, on a trip to France, said in a Twitter post early Sunday, "With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!"

 

The Republican president has previously blamed California officials for fires and threatened to withhold funding, saying the state should do more to remove rotten trees and other debris that fuel blazes.

 

State officials have blamed climate change and said many of the burn areas have been in federally managed lands.

 

(Reporting by Stephen Lam in Paradise; Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis, Dan Whitcomb and Dana Feldman in Los Angeles, Rich McKay in Atlanta, Barbara Goldberg in New York, and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Alexandra Hudson, Lisa Shumaker and Andrea Ricci)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-11-12

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I lived in Paradise at one time.....Its high between canyons.....The craggy canyons are lightly treed but full of highly combustible sage & tall hard wood brush, mesquite, manzanita.....The canyons are not approachable by land for fire fighting......It's the worst possible scenario to fan the flames of the dry pine & fur trees as well as brush that sits in the peninsula plateau where Paradise & Magalia are......

I used to love playing ball at those fields surrounded by forest - gone now.....

 

Socal has many of the same conditions with the sage, manzanita, mesquite, etc....Fast fuel.....

Edited by pgrahmm
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Dear toll for Camp Fire at 29.

 

The Latest: Sheriff: 6 more bodies found; total of

PARADISE, Calif. — The Latest on the California wildfires (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Authorities have reported 6 additional deaths in a Northern California wildfire, raising the death toll to 29 and matching the deadliest wildfire on record in California history.

Butte County Sheriff Cory Honea said the human remains recovered on Sunday included five bodies found at homes and one in a vehicle in Paradise.

He also announced that 228 people remain unaccounted for since the fire began Thursday and incinerated the foothill town.

The statewide total of deaths from wildfires reached 31.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/t...odies-found-total-of-29/ar-BBPzPVX?li=BBnb7Kz

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Butte College on the south side where my granddaughter attends.

 

November 11th, 2018, 7:11pm

Dear Butte College Family,

As of today, there are 138 Butte College faculty and staff who have confirmed or presumed the loss of their homes. At this point we do not know how many students have lost their homes, but we can presume the number is very high. These are staggering losses.

On Thursday night, the main campus was surrounded by fire on three sides. Through the valiant efforts of firefighters, the campus was saved. However, there is some damage to our water and sewage treatment system, and solar arrays. The facilities staff are working hard on repairs. The campus is full of ash and debris and will take time to clean up. No one is allowed on campus.

Butte College and all centers are closed next week through November 16. However, we will open the Chico Center, 2320 Forest Avenue, on Tuesday, November 13, to Friday, November 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the following services will be offered:

  • Paycheck distribution to students, part-time employees, and associate faculty
  • Student counseling to include mental health and educational advising
  • Food and toiletries distribution for students and employees from the Roadrunner Hub
  • Computer labs with wi-fi and charging stations for phones and laptops
  • Referrals to local services
  • Employee Assistance Program service along with an EAP counselor

 

At this time, I understand that many of you are anxious to know when we will reopen. We are considering a number of factors in this evolving situation and will make a determination as soon as possible.

We have set up two Go Fund Me accounts to collect donations, one to help students and one to help faculty and staff.

Colleagues across the state are asking how they can help, so I will share these links far and wide, and I encourage you to do the same.

My heart goes out to all of you who have lost your homes. Words cannot express the pain and trauma many of you and your loved ones experienced in escaping the fires. It will take time to heal and rebuild. The Butte College family is a resilient and compassionate community and we take care of one another. I am hearing so many stories of how many of you are opening your homes and hearts to your colleagues. I am so proud to be able to lead and serve all of you.

A big thank you to all of you who have stepped up in so many ways to help those in need – opening your homes and wallets or volunteering your time and energy to evacuation efforts. A big thank you to the local businesses who are helping us get our campus infrastructure back up and running. And a huge debt of gratitude to all emergency service personnel who are working day and night to protect us all.

Take care,

Samia Yaqub

http://www.butte.edu

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These fires are nothing unusual! 

"The Santa Ana winds are strong, extremely dry downslopewinds that originate inland and affect coastal Southern California and northern Baja California. ... Also sometimes called "devil winds" in conjunction with Northern California's diablowind, the Santa Anas are infamous for fanning regional wildfires".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Ana_winds

 

WHAT ARE THE SANTA ANA WINDS, AND WHY ARE THEY SUCH A WILDFIRE HAZARD?

"The hot, dry winds turn drought-ridden areas of Southern California into a tinderbox in the fall".
IMG_2102.thumb.JPG.50d4caf230e4546e2bd9737ec74822ab.JPG

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3 minutes ago, riclag said:

These fires are nothing unusual! 

"The Santa Ana winds are strong, extremely dry downslopewinds that originate inland and affect coastal Southern California and northern Baja California. ... Also sometimes called "devil winds" in conjunction with Northern California's diablowind, the Santa Anas are infamous for fanning regional wildfires".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Ana_winds

 

WHAT ARE THE SANTA ANA WINDS, AND WHY ARE THEY SUCH A WILDFIRE HAZARD?

"The hot, dry winds turn drought-ridden areas of Southern California into a tinderbox in the fall".
IMG_2102.thumb.JPG.50d4caf230e4546e2bd9737ec74822ab.JPG

"We are entering a new normal. The rate of spread is exponentially more than it used to be," said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen, noting at a press conference that California's fires in 2018 grow far more quickly than they did even 10 years ago."

 

 

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Anything attributed yet to the start of these many, many fires that are springing up on a more extreme & regular basis?

Edited by pgrahmm

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4 hours ago, riclag said:

Trump disagrees with you:

Trump threatens to withhold California fire aid, citing state's 'gross mismanagement' of forests

 

Just hours after President Trump issued an emergency declaration to provide funds to help firefighters in California as they battle at least three major wildfires across the state, the president threatened to withhold the federal payments -- citing the state's "gross mismanagement" of its forests.

Tweeting from Paris early Saturday, Trump wrote that “there is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly fires in California.” He added that “billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/trump-approves-emergency-declaration-for-california-as-wildfires-rage-across-state

 

kUuht00m_bigger.jpgDonald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump
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There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!

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Maybe someone finally told Dumb Trump just how much of the forests in California is under his Federal government. Hope he can eat some crow, and also gets his forestry people to step up and help California.   Geezer

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2 hours ago, Stargrazer9889 said:

Maybe someone finally told Dumb Trump just how much of the forests in California is under his Federal government. Hope he can eat some crow, and also gets his forestry people to step up and help California.   Geezer

Even if the forests were 100% under California's control it would be irrelevant. The fires aren't starting in the forests.

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14 hours ago, riclag said:

Wildfire responses to abrupt climate change in North America

"Although there are changes in biomass burning during the Younger Dryas, there is no systematic trend. There is a further increase in biomass burning after the Younger Dryas. Intervals of rapid climate change at 13.9, 13.2, and 11.7 ka are marked by large increases in fire activity. The timing of changes in fire is not coincident with changes in human population density or the timing of the extinction of the megafauna."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2650296/

 

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4 hours ago, Stargrazer9889 said:

Maybe someone finally told Dumb Trump just how much of the forests in California is under his Federal government. Hope he can eat some crow, and also gets his forestry people to step up and help California.   Geezer

 

Does this look like forest below. Many canyons in around the cities of my state look like this!Also they don't build mansions in federal gov. controlled areas.

"So what’s going on? Why are these fires such a costly perennial crisis? The most obvious issue is that the population of California is growing; it’s now nearly 40 million people, double what it was in 1970. With that many residents, it’s not surprising that some are pushing into rural areas, where folks are more vulnerable to the elements".

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/is-california-doing-enough-to-prevent-wildfire-deaths/

And how about infrastructure!

 

Power Lines Are Burning the West

"Human technology is responsible for more loss from fire than any other cause. But reducing fire’s impact will require changes to how people live, not just to the infrastructure that lets them do so".

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/05/power-lines-are-burning-the-west/561212/

 

IMG_2102.JPG

Edited by riclag

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23 minutes ago, riclag said:

 

Does this look like forest below. Many canyons in around the cities of my state look like this!Also they don't build mansions in federal gov. controlled areas.

"So what’s going on? Why are these fires such a costly perennial crisis? The most obvious issue is that the population of California is growing; it’s now nearly 40 million people, double what it was in 1970. With that many residents, it’s not surprising that some are pushing into rural areas, where folks are more vulnerable to the elements".

And how about infrastructure!

 

Power Lines Are Burning the West

Human technology is responsible for more loss from fire than any other cause. But reducing fire’s impact will require changes to how people live, not just to the infrastructure that lets them do so.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/05/power-lines-are-burning-the-west/561212/

 

IMG_2102.JPG

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article218803990.html

 

And along with that Jerry Brown signed into law legislation that allows the utility companies to charge consumers for fire damage costs....So - they can now start the fires + charge their customers for the repair costs for their negligence..... Apparently they were responsible for 17 fires in the Napa area alone.....

 

He also killed - vetoed a bipartisan bill in 2016 for Wildfire Management that might have saved lives & property in 2017 & 2018.....

 

A badly mismanaged state....

Screenshot_2018-11-13-09-24-24-54.png

Edited by pgrahmm
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