Global doom and gloom.

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 13, 2018
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The Sunny San Joaquin
In Central California, I live in Clovis, which is The Gateway to the Sierra. The "Creek Fire" is going on uncontained, 30+ miles to the northeast of us, and is burning up the west face of the Sierra Nevada. Most of the small town of Big Creek has burned down, though the store, school and powerhouse were saved. This was the extent 2 days ago, and it has grown, uncontained. 2 million acres had already burned here, and I think this fire could add another 2 million.
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My house is about where I've added a red X on the map.

The town of Shaver Lake has been saved, but the forest around and up past Huntington Lake is gone. I think all the cabins and the stores at Huntington are gone.
North fork & Auberry, just 25 miles north, has been evacuated, and hundreds of people were evacuated by the Fresno Air National Guard when Mammoth Pool was surrounded by fire. FANG helicopters and sky tankers are flying over us from Fresno-Yosemite Intl at odd hours, as rescue and fire fighting continues.

Mostly the fire is moving up hill to the east, and to the southeast, with the prevailing winds, towards King's Canyon. Unless there is a strong shift in winds downhill to the southwest, I don't think we are in any danger. There has been no talk of evacuating Clovis, and the natural geography is in our favor.

But I swept up a fine coat of ash from my boatyard today. It's been blowing down for 4 days now.

Clearly, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite, Cedar Grove, & Sequoia could all burn, though the giant sequoia trees are nearly fireproof themselves.

My house is not fireproof, though it does have concrete stucco, slumpstone fascia, and concrete tile roof. I have Redwoods, a Eucalyptus, and a Modesto ash, and they are all mature. I would hate to lose them. But if the Creek fire gets to me, hundreds of houses and thousands of trees will have to burn first.
 

pacu mom

Goliath Tigerfish
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Jun 8, 2006
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Nasty ash. After five days, the Level 1 evacuation warning (be prepared to leave) was lifted for my area. The Slater Fire is 10% contained and is still threatening communities in Oregon and California and has burned 131,000 acres. With so many fires everywhere, fire fighting resources are stretched very thin. At one time there were only 10 fire fighters, but now there are 635 people coming from all over including other states. About the most they can do is work on fire lines, helped in places by old fire lines from previous fires.

There are fires up and down the west coast.
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Jexnell

Redtail Catfish
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Jul 17, 2017
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I live in Vancouver Washington and last 4 days of hazardous air, fires surrounding my area it's been so very creepy.
I live in the city so by time it got anywhere near me there would be major evacuations ordered. It's just that each year it's getting worse and worse. Just 2 years ago there was a major fire in the gorge that nearly got to Portland.
 

skjl47

Potamotrygon
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May 16, 2011
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Hello; I saw a report that a hundred plus or so years ago wildfires commonly burned a million and a half acres each year or so. The report stated that is about what has burned at the time of the report this season. I gather from this and just being alive seven decades that parts of the west coast have always been prone to some level of drought. I also saw in the report that since the areas have become populated the practices of prevention have not been used or at least not much.
I rented a room from a forester for two years near Wilmington NC. His crew did regular things such as preventive fires on federal land near the Sunny Point military depot on the Cape Fear river.

I gathered the areas now burning have done fire suppression for some time and have not kept fire lanes. I know there is an unusual drought the last few years for sure, but have the impression some level of drought is not uncommon over time. My area had a stretch of serious drought a few years ago that lasted a few years. Now we are in the third year of excess rain with historic flooding.

I hope everyone could avoid disaster but know so many have lost everything. This is scary and I am a couple thousand miles away. Our weather reported a local haze from the fires out west. Best wishes to all of you in the area.
 

esoxlucius

Redtail Catfish
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Dec 30, 2015
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Hello; I saw a report that a hundred plus or so years ago wildfires commonly burned a million and a half acres each year or so. The report stated that is about what has burned at the time of the report this season. I gather from this and just being alive seven decades that parts of the west coast have always been prone to some level of drought. I also saw in the report that since the areas have become populated the practices of prevention have not been used or at least not much.
I rented a room from a forester for two years near Wilmington NC. His crew did regular things such as preventive fires on federal land near the Sunny Point military depot on the Cape Fear river.

I gathered the areas now burning have done fire suppression for some time and have not kept fire lanes. I know there is an unusual drought the last few years for sure, but have the impression some level of drought is not uncommon over time. My area had a stretch of serious drought a few years ago that lasted a few years. Now we are in the third year of excess rain with historic flooding.

I hope everyone could avoid disaster but know so many have lost everything. This is scary and I am a couple thousand miles away. Our weather reported a local haze from the fires out west. Best wishes to all of you in the area.
It seems these forest fires aren't going to go away any time soon, in fact they're getting worse every year. It also seems that people living in the thick of the forest, or in clearings in the forest, or on the edge of the forests, or generally too close for comfort, are also not going away, in fact these "danger" areas are probably becoming more and more populated as the decades pass.

What can you do for human safety in this situation? Make millions and millions of acres of forest into national parks and stop humans living there? Then fires will be viewed upon as natural regeneration, a good thing in nature? Or do we slowly but surely cut down all the forests? I think I know the outcome of that one.

All it needs to speed up this process is for a natural disaster type event, a really really bad year where hundreds, maybe thousands of people lose their lives. Will people all of a sudden move away from these areas or will the bulldozers be out on a monumental deforestation programme, similar to what's going on in the amazon?

You can guarantee that the human decisions regarding this won't be beneficial to the planet.
 
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jjohnwm

Dovii
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Mar 29, 2019
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The fires are a natural thing, and part of the natural cycles and processes that kept things tenuously balanced until we (humanity) decided to pave the world. Then, when the portion of humanity who considers itself "green" moved out of the cities to live their lives "in harmony with nature", they were somewhat taken aback to find that nature was regularly trying to eat them, burn them up, freeze them, drown them, dessicate them or otherwise harsh their mellow.

Having been indoctrinated in the notion that they all somehow "deserved" to live long, healthy lives free of any danger or risk, they decided that nature's way was a bit too harsh for their tastes; fortunately, being humans, their innate genius allowed them to take over the task of maintaining what they love to call the "balance" of nature, while still allowing them to flit and flutter about in perfect safety, wringing their hands over the world's problems. Fires were prevented or kept in strict check...the tinderbox of dry forests built up larger, thicker, deeper and drier...and eventually nature said "Okay, that's enough of this crap! You idiots have had your chance...now we're doing it my way!"

And so here we are.
 

skjl47

Potamotrygon
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May 16, 2011
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Hello; In my area drought is not a regular thing. It does happen but more rarely so the really bad fires are not a common thing. However we do get some heavy rains from time to time and not just in the unusually wet years like the last few abnormal years. Because of the mountains there are two somewhat related conditions in play. There is a very limited amount of good flat land out of a flood zone. Over time in my 73 years I have seen how people have moved into all the better land and started putting either a business or a home on the flood plains.

Two stories. Back in the major flood of 1977 in Harlan and Bell Counties of Kentucky I watched some young men in the fresh produce business risk their lives. They had a run down produce stand. During the flooding I was isolated in my home for three days as the road (US HWY 119) was under a lot of water in two places. One place at Baxter KY. was where the three forks came together to form the head of the Cumberland River . Martins Fork, Path Fork and Clover fork if memory serves. At a spot on the flood plain in Baxter had stood a lumber supply 914 (77 Flood).jpgcompany for a long time. The flood of the spring of 1977 was a big one. Biggest I have ever seen. The water was very high at Baxter. I was able to drive down to the bridge overlooking parts of Baxter.

After the water receded some I could drive around the area. The roads were covered in several inches of mud. I set the fate of my favorite automobile ever at that time by driving around in that thick mud. In a small town, Loyall KY, a few miles down stream from Baxter KY there was a bridge over the river. Piled up against the bridge on the upriver side was a lot of stuff, including much of the lumber from that lumber yard I mentioned. There were mobile homes and big propane tanks in the mess as well with more new stuff being added to the pile up.

I watched the produce business brothers back their big produce truck onto the bridge where there was still maybe six inches of flood water coming over the road bed. They worked the cut lumber out of the pile and loaded it into their truck. New stuff was crashing into the pile all along. I expected the bridge to give way or one of the propane tanks to go off or some other bad thing to happen, but none of these things did. I am not sure how many loads of lumber those three brothers picked out of that jumble but the got enough to build a nice new produce building later on. Of course the lumber company tried to sue them but lost as once the lumber was washed out of their yard it was fair game. That lumber company moved their business to higher ground after that, but a carpet business moved into that spot. I worked for the carpet business some. Back then teachers had to hustle on the side.

The second story takes place in 2001or maybe the spring of 2002. I was teaching at Alice Lloyd College in Pipa Passes KY is how I can recall the time frame. I kept a house in Harlan County and came back to it on weekends. One weekend we had some flooding. Not a major flood but enough to get the small forks out of their banks. I was driving back to Pippa Passes and on the way from Baxter to Cumberland KY when I started to noticed all the flooded mobile home parks with high water. I had not paid that much attention to how many trailers were on the river bank before.

The point I am making is that when all the better places to live or put a business are taken and more and more folks need a spot, they will use the risky places and just hope for the best I guess. I cannot say that this is why folks are living in the fire prone zones out west. Maybe at one time they started living in these areas because of the views or such, but seems to me maybe it is time to rethink some of this.

Pacu mom I am glad you are safe and hope you continue stay safe.

The picture is of my 1972 Porsche 914 after having been driven in the flood mud. I could have saved it if I had understood how the mud had packed under the rocker panels. A few years later I discovered bad rust. These cars were prone to rust anyway but I was fighting a losing battle with the rust and eventually the rust won. most fun car I ever owned.
 

lp85253

Polypterus
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Mar 12, 2009
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well lets see... the west coast is on fire .. record # of named storms in the gulf... a % of unemployment that is so vast and so fluid that it isn't even counted.. a branch of congress that is watching democracy burn down while it worries about "future debt" instead of addressing current economic disasters.. even though the last package clearly worked... a current election cycle that doesn't bother with issues , just personalities,,, an electorate that gets it's news off of facebook and couldn't identify an actual fact with help from a guide dog.. uhmm , it's a perfect world....:popcorn:
 
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