View Full Version : California fires

10-30-2003, 09:12 AM
My prayers are directed to anyone who is suffering from the fires in california..

What a tragedy..


10-30-2003, 11:10 AM
Yes, it's making the fires this year in BC look trivial. They weren't, but nothing like the disaster in CA.

10-30-2003, 11:36 AM
The BC fires were big but there are just so many more homes involved here. And the major shame is that it looks like at least one of the major fires was set intentionally.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow, and we got our first little sprinkle of rain this morning...I hope it's enough to quell the fires but not too much tobring the mud off the charred hillsides.

Luckily I've only had to deal with smoke and ash...my prayers go out as well to those who have lost homes or loved ones.

L Webb
10-30-2003, 08:48 PM
These fires are bad.
The air quality is finally improving as the wind has blown the smoke over to Las Vegas.

Had to close the shop Monday as the smoke and ash were just too bad to work in.

The ways on every machine are covered with ash.
Had to clean the filter on the air compressor.

Just an inconvienience to me, a tragedy for others.


10-30-2003, 08:55 PM
No the situation out there isn't good at all,we are all praying.

Michael Az
10-30-2003, 09:07 PM
I live in southeastern Az very close to the New Mexico border and this morning the smoke was here. Visability about 10 miles. Wish the best for the folks in Ca.

10-30-2003, 11:28 PM
Let me first say that I agree with it being a tragedy, and I would be happy to string up any idiot who deliberately started one of them.

However, I think that much of the problem seems to be a variety of the "you knowed I was a snake" theory.

I will make a distinction between the close in suburbs and the "houses in the hills".

The latter are (having seen some of them up close and unburnt) often very expensive houses completely unsuitable to their area, and built in situations where they are simply going to burn.

Some of the areas actually have a local zoning law that requires a wood shingle roof "to fit in appropriately". Look-alike flameproof shingles are not accepted. A stupider thing I cannot think of. After a couple summers of hot weather, those roofs are like tinder.

I saw pics from the air where a bunch of houses were burnt to the foundation, yet the trees and even brush around them were intact. Obviously these were cinder-induced fires, probably wood shingle.

Unfortunately, some of these houses are very expensive, and the fire fighters may feel obligated to try to protect them.

I think that some (not all) of those areas are simply not worth it. A tinder-roofed house nestled in trees may be a great house for the upper class, but if trying to protect it risks lives and takes away resources from other densely populated closer-in areas, I would let it burn and concentrate on protectable areas.

Its a hard decision, and many will not agree. But "they knowed it was a snake when they built there".

L Webb
10-31-2003, 12:18 AM
OSO, I don't know of any communities that require wood shake roofs nowadays in this area. It would also be nearly impossible to get insurance in those areas with a new shake roof.

All of this part of California is a desert. It is only green because we import water.
Those areas that burned in the hills all had populations of Eucalyptus trees. Those darned non-native trees go up like crazy in a fire and throw lots of hot embers.

The problem up in the mountains has been a combination of drought, beetle infestation and forest mismanagement.
Between the tree-huggers and EPA and bad Forest Service policy, our national forests are in really bad shape.
The tree populations per acre are at least ten times what they should be. There are 500 trees per acre when there should be 40 trees per acre. Five years of drought have left the trees weakened and unable to fend off the bark beetles.
They just finally got serious about removing the dead trees in the last year. A little too late.

The fire dept says to clear brush. The EPA fines you if clear brush and damage kangaroo rat habitat. Can't make a logging road because you might disturb a butterfly, frog or a little fish. The tree-huggers don't want any trees cut.

What happened is a result of all that crap and the fact we have just way too many people here and have to build houses farther into the hills.

They caught a mental case guy in the act of starting a fire in the hills a couple of days ago. The fire bugs just wait for this time of year to get their jollies.

It will happen again next year.


10-31-2003, 09:23 AM
My info is admittedly a bit older....but I suppose there are a lot of those roofs left, even if they are not installed new anymore.

Hang the firebugs, or toss them right in....

10-31-2003, 03:59 PM
John McPhee's book "The Control of Nature" has a chapter about wildfires and mudslides in southern California, and the relationship between the two. Interesting reading. Apparently, the heat from the brushfires makes the hills more susceptable to sliding...so watch out when the rains come.

10-31-2003, 09:09 PM
I was watching the news and they interviewed a guy who out of something like 300 homes his was the only one left standing,the reason-he spent time and money clearing dead wood and brush off his property,put cement shingles on his roof and had misters installed alomg the ridge line of his house to keep the heat down-you think maybe he's on to something?Must have some of that common sense stuff like people used to have.

My nieghbor lady lived out there for three years,she claims that it was Grey Davis who lit the fires as the finally to his plan to leave Californians bankrupt and homeless http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

We have similar problems down here with the forrests,well actually the people,every time there is a little brush fire they trip over each other to put it out,this has lead up to having some areas of forrest impassable on foot the brush is just too thick.

The best part is the forresty service,the indian tribes and the conservation office all agree what needs to be done,but no one will step up and do it.