Cali is Burning

Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Drip_Torch » Nov 15th, 2018, 1:20 pm

(It always feels like a bit of a victory when I find these.)

SJM-L-LINES-1110-10.jpg


Camp Creek, just above the Poe Poe Dam. The fire was first reported at 6:33am under the transmission lines on the hill. This photo was taken on November 9th, the following day.


At about 6:33 a.m. Thursday, firefighters were dispatched to a vegetation fire “under the high tension power lines” across the Feather River from Poe Dam, where Cal Fire officials have pinpointed the fire’s origin, according to the transmissions.

The first firefighters arrived there at 6:43 a.m and noted the fire was being buttressed by 35 mph winds.
“We’ve got eyes on the vegetation fire. It’s going to be very difficult to access, Camp Creek Road is nearly inaccessible,” one firefighter told dispatch. “It is on the west side of the river underneath the transmission lines.”


At 7:23 am the town of Pulga just 1.5 km south of the fire is issued an evacuation order. At 8:03 am the evacuation order is issued for Pentz Road east (the east side of Paradise including Concow) to hwy 70. At 8:41 am the order is extended to all of Paradise, Magalia and Paradise Pines.

B-Scott-844.jpg


You might wonder why Mr. Scott waited until dark to start evacuating his house? He's put a time stamped video of his ordeal up and this frame was taken at about 8:45 am. Three minutes prior it was still a fairly decent looking morning and quite bright outside. Three minutes later and it is dead of night dark and he is encountering both grid lock and fire on the roads while attempting to get out of town.

Mr. Scott's house is approximately 12.7 kms away from the point of origin. The hospital is about 14.3 km.

Here's the short version:


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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby seewood » Nov 15th, 2018, 2:13 pm

Many Bell medium helicopters heading south ( over Penticton area) the past few days. Two things come to mind, heading to California or doing recurrent training at Penticton airport. However I have not seen or heard any heading back north if training was taking place.
Scary times down there. Hope for some rain in the next few days.
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Fancy » Nov 15th, 2018, 2:16 pm

A day before a deadly blaze destroyed a California town, the giant utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. got in touch with Betsy Ann Cowley, saying the company needed access to her property because its power lines were causing sparks.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. What is known is that it started Thursday near Cowley's property in the tiny town of Pulga, incinerated the neighboring town of Paradise and killed at least 42 people.

https://www.thestate.com/news/business/ ... 63790.html
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby GordonH » Nov 15th, 2018, 2:32 pm

Vast majority of California has been experiencing drought conditions for a number of years now, so basically it's a tinder box just waiting to go up in flames.

My condolences to those who lost loved ones
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Drip_Torch » Nov 15th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Why do I throw the numbers up for all to see? It's bad, does it really matter how bad?

I suspect anyone following this thread has noticed the trend with wildfires in the last few years. Without getting too deep into it things are moving the wrong way and by making you aware of the numbers I can also show you a little bit of the behind the scenes story.

10,321 structures destroyed. What does that mean, besides complete devastation and a huge loss for a large number of people? As noted above this fire moved quick, so when I see that number I start putting hypotheticals into play to consider if something could have, or should have, been done differently.

Each of those structures has a water supply line running into the house, typically between 3/4" to 1" pipe. Most will transition to copper and newer structures will have plastic (PEX). PEX melts at around 200 F, so we can anticipate some water leaking as structures start burning. Solder holding copper pipe together melts at 370 F - so safe to assume within 30 minutes of a structure catching fire there's a 3/4 to 1 inch pipe free flowing water. 10 houses burning, 7 to 10 inches of pipe flowing water out of your municipal water supply - the same supply that fire hydrant is hooked up to. How much water is left available to the fire department once, say 25 houses are burning?

How confident should the garden hose people in your neighbourhood be at this point?

Population, I do the same thing. 27,000 folks live in Paradise and the evacuation area was much larger than paradise alone. Let's be generous and suggest people car pooled - 2 to a car. That's 13,500 vehicles attempting to get out the same roads all the help is coming in on. Two lane road, good flow, approximately 2000 to 3200 cars per hour per lane - Ugh oh. I see a problem. Now consider the chaos theory behind traffic and consider all the distractions that would have slowed traffic. It's not every day you see a police car burning on the road, or an ambulance... See what I'm getting at? Throw in a blown tire, small accident, even a break down, and now you've got people fleeing their burning vehicles and the road is blocked.

These things all happened.

The where. It's hard enough to even consider these numbers, but where people are being found tells a story too. I have this theory that when people are found in their cars - somethings gone wrong during the evacuation. When 63% are found inside their homes that's not a good sign either. I believe the vast majority of people don't watch the sky go dark and their town catch fire and turn around to go back inside the house to watch Netflix. I tend to believe that's a last resort. Kind of like it was for this doctor, these nurses and paramedics in one of the last two ambulances leaving town.

It's an exercise in sense making, not fault finding that's important after one of these. Plan A worked for the vast majority of people, but there was failure. I never once got on an engine prepared to settle. The sticker on the helmet said firefighter, not fire attendant. That's not to say you don't expect losses, but you honour those losses by learning everything you can from them. If you know - you owe.

I've been looking at this thing for days - the work required to create better outcomes couldn't have been done on the day by firefighters, wildland folks, pilots or equipment operators. The work that was missing here needed to happen in offices and in the field in the months and years before this fire happened - and if it wasn't this fire, it would have been the next.

If evacuation is plan A - what is plan B?

Don't be afraid to ask that question before next fire season.
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Jflem1983 » Nov 15th, 2018, 9:35 pm

Id be quick to throw a sprinkler on the roof. I would suggest people consider doing what they can. Too many people are too quick to listen to evacuation orders. Gotta die from something.

Not sure i would ever evacuate .
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Drip_Torch » Nov 15th, 2018, 9:47 pm

Jflem1983 wrote:Id be quick to throw a sprinkler on the roof. I would suggest people consider doing what they can. Too many people are too quick to listen to evacuation orders. Gotta die from something.

Not sure i would ever evacuate .


Fair enough and 20 to 25 years ago that would have been a really good idea. Chance are good your roof is fairly flame resistant. Chances are even better your roof is water proof. That water is going to run down your eavestroughs and be virtually worthless. You'll also be taking water out of your community water supply system at a very critical time. If you watch any of the thousands of videos out there you'll see that with these wind driven fire events most of the embers are traveling horizontally, not dropping out the sky vertically .

The best advice I can give you Jflem1983 is don't be prepared to die trying to save your house. Be prepared to live, regardless of the circumstances mother nature throws at you. After the last few years, I suggest you learn to identify safer zones in your community that you could use to shelter in place during a worst case scenario - ask at your local fire hall if need be.

That's precisely what the folks at Point Doom, near Malibu ended up having to do during the Woolsey fire.


I wouldn't let a rodeo clown pull off this stunt on my watch.

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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Queen K » Nov 15th, 2018, 10:08 pm

Horrifying.
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby ferri » Nov 16th, 2018, 9:59 am

From facebook:

Steve Patterson NBC News: I had to watch multiple pieces of video and make several calls before I typed this and even now it still feels unreal... but @ButteSheriff is saying this:
-63 Dead
-631 missing.
That’s an increase of more than 500 missing people from yesterday.


Edited to add:

Fire death toll hits 63

https://www.castanet.net/news/World/242 ... ll-hits-63
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Catsumi » Nov 16th, 2018, 11:26 am

Let's hope that they are just missing and not burned to death.

Watching the videos of these horrific fires I feel myself choking on burning trees, cars, homes, wildlife and anything in the path of the flames. My anxiety level soars upward. It has only been a couple of months since our summer fires but it doesn't take much to revive the memories and sensations of the misery.

DripTorch is right. What is Plan B ?
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Drip_Torch » Nov 16th, 2018, 12:48 pm

I went searching for landsat 8 images, and the best I could come up with was Sentinel 3 shots. A company called Deer Creek Resources has just released some processed landsat images that show the fires progression into Paradise on November 8th.

These images would have been taken at 1:10 in the afternoon on the first day of the start. I'm not convinced the enhancements are accurate because the black smoke from the structure fires suggest to me it was burning a little further into town at this point.

Still, some dramatic images that show how the fire progressed quite rapidly.

20181108-1310a.jpg


Data processed and overlaid onto google earth pro...

20181108-1310b.jpg


20181108-1310d.jpg


(I need an upgrade to my satelite imagery access.)
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Drip_Torch » Nov 16th, 2018, 2:46 pm

Looking into my crystal ball, I'm going to venture a guess the final report, written about year from now, will read:

Summary of Foothill Roads
As outlined ..., all roads out of Paradise and the Upper Ridge, with the exception of Skyway below Paradise, have significant constraints, limiting their use as evacuation routes during a major event, especially another event of multiple fires.

Constraints include:
A single lane per direction
Moderate to sharp curves
Inadequate shoulders for parking disabled vehicles No surfacing to limited gravel surfacing
Fire hazard areas adjacent to the shoulders, due to dense fire fuel and steep slopes, which increases the fire danger and the possibility of being closed due to fire and or smoke

Even if passable, most of the roads have serious capacity limitations. A convoy of cars traveling bumper to bumper will necessitate all vehicles traveling the speed of the slowest vehicle in front of them. For example, Coutelenc Road has two sharp bends with a speed limit of 20 mph. A vehicle traversing the bends on this road will need to slow to 20 mph and, by chain reaction, all following vehicles on the entire length of the road will be forced to slow to 20 mph. Circumstances that may slow the chain of traffic are: merging traffic, disabled vehicles, and temporary closures to accommodate emergency vehicles.


Just as it does in the Grand Jury report written in 2009, after "wildfires in the foothills of Butte County during the summer of 2008 were the most severe in recent history".

The average speed of vehicles during the 2008 evacuation was calculated to be 4 mph.

History has a completely not funny way of repeating itself.
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Drip_Torch » Nov 17th, 2018, 6:50 pm

Some people outright suck at politics.

Take Julian J. Martinez for example, in the lead up to the November 6, 2018 election for town council in Paradise, California, Mr. Martinez ran on a straight forward platform with three top priorities:

- Create stronger communication between the Town Council and the public.
- Push for every possible effort we can imagine to increase public safety in regards to fire.
- Promote solutions that increase local economic activity and stability.

I think we’re prepared for minor disasters regarding wildfires – but in a worse-case scenario, I don’t think we are. The amount of overgrowth that’s inside of this town is dangerous… We’ve got a lot of elderly people in this town, we’ve got a lot of people who don’t have cars or worse, cars that aren’t reliable, and you get people breaking down in emergency situations.

I think maybe we’re prepared for what fires looked like 10 years ago, but I don’t think we are prepared for this season, or next season.


Bummer, that’s killing my buzz man.

He ran against five other candidates in the local election. The results were announced on November 7, 2018:

Martinez.jpg


Dead last.

Squashed in the polls to the popular messaging of balanced budgets, transparency and encouraging business development. One of the winning candidates even promised to make it easier for citizens to do business with the town on-line, to make it easier to get things like dog licenses and business licenses.

The fire of November 8, 2018 has left the town with a list of over 1000 people “unaccounted for” at this time. On that list are:

606 MARTINEZ Maria, 71, Paradise
607 MARTINEZ Arthur, Paradise
608 MARTINEZ Murray, Paradise

Now, I don’t have the time, or the inclination today, to track down those names to see if there is a direct connection between the council candidate Julian Martinez, and the three people with the same last name on the unaccounted for list.

Really, that’s not my point, as I’m not attempting to convey a grand irony.

My premise statement was "some people suck at politics" and when I look at this situation I can’t help but wonder - is it at all possible that society has evolved to the point that everybody sucks at politics?

Maybe a little quick to dismiss the things we don’t want to hear?
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Queen K » Nov 17th, 2018, 6:55 pm

Now if only any of those candidates had included in their platform, "raking the forest floor as they do on a regular basis in Finland."

A sure shoo in would have been had.

Suck at politics indeed.
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Re: Cali is Burning

Postby Jflem1983 » Nov 17th, 2018, 6:57 pm

Do not expect Californians to do anything to help themselves.
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