California Fires

Eric

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Every season it gets worse, today they said that 1.2% of the state is on fire. The severe drought has turned our large lakes into small rivers and many areas are now under reduced water mandates as a result, there is also no more "fire season" as it's year round now. We really need a good rain year, the entire state is in bad shape and mostly filled with smoke.
 

JamesMike

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Every season it gets worse, today they said that 1.2% of the state is on fire. The severe drought has turned our large lakes into small rivers and many areas are now under reduced water mandates as a result, there is also no more "fire season" as it's year round now. We really need a good rain year, the entire state is in bad shape and mostly filled with smoke.

My home state of Oregon is going through much the same thing as your state. What happened to rainy Oregon?! Amazing the change.
 

Eric

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My home state of Oregon is going through much the same thing as your state. What happened to rainy Oregon?! Amazing the change.
I actually left there years ago mostly because I couldn't stand the rain. It's still there for the most part though, just not in the summer months. What happens is people come and see all the lush landscapes and greenery then want to move there, then they realize that for an average of 222 days a year there's either rain or clouds. As Lewis Black once said "you have to cut your wrists to see any color in a place like that" lol.
 

Eric

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I smelled the smoke in the air yesterday and the closest fire was about 4 hours away.
We have the new Caldor fire a little ways up the road, it's grown exponentially in the last two days and they're evacuating a huge swath of people on HWY 50 and might even close it between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. Yesterday the sun was completely blocked out but the wind has shifted today a bit, the air quality is dangerous so they're recommending everyone stay in.
 

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Living here is getting increasingly depressing.

This year rainfall was only about 45% of average. The more the landscape dries out and burns, the more difficult it is for it to retain moisture that does fall. It’s a vicious cycle. Some forested areas that have burned may become grasslands and will not return to their forested state.

Last year 4 million acres burned, an all-time record. This year we’re on track to come in second place. It’s now normal for months of California having the worst air quality in the country during the summer and fall.

The drier and warmer the climate, the smaller the window for prescribed burns.

Everywhere I go, I see a lot of dead and dying trees. Even “drought tolerant” plants can only tolerate so much.

I don’t see anything getting better any time soon.
 

Eric

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Living here is getting increasingly depressing.

This year rainfall was only about 45% of average. The more the landscape dries out and burns, the more difficult it is for it to retain moisture that does fall. It’s a vicious cycle. Some forested areas that have burned may become grasslands and will not return to their forested state.

Last year 4 million acres burned, an all-time record. This year we’re on track to come in second place. It’s now normal for months of California having the worst air quality in the country during the summer and fall.

The drier and warmer the climate, the smaller the window for prescribed burns.

Everywhere I go, I see a lot of dead and dying trees. Even “drought tolerant” plants can only tolerate so much.

I don’t see anything getting better any time soon.
All true. We are due for a really wet year at some point though but who knows if/when that will happen. I remember the year before I moved back to this area in 2016 there were record floods.
 

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The Caldor Fire is getting uncomfortably close to South Tahoe. It’s almost 100,000 acres, been burning for 8 days, and there’s still no containment. I hope some progress is made soon because if it enters the basin that’s going to be pretty awful :(
 

Eric

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The Caldor Fire is getting uncomfortably close to South Tahoe. It’s almost 100,000 acres, been burning for 8 days, and there’s still no containment. I hope some progress is made soon because if it enters the basin that’s going to be pretty awful :(
Yeah it's smack dab between my house in the valley and Tahoe right now, there are shelters opening up in my area for the thousands of evacuees. The smoke makes being outside impossible and it's raining ash to some degree every day now. :(
 

Herdfan

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Yeah it's smack dab between my house in the valley and Tahoe right now, there are shelters opening up in my area for the thousands of evacuees. The smoke makes being outside impossible and it's raining ash to some degree every day now. :(

Is any of the ash still smoldering where it could cause another fire miles away from where it came?
 

Eric

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Is any of the ash still smoldering where it could cause another fire miles away from where it came?
Just ash in my area but closer to the fire it's been creating spot fires for miles in every direction, the news was saying the embers get pushed up thousands of feet into the air and spit out up to several miles away. So you see the main fire and a bunch of smaller fires around it caused by this.

It's also like a war zone over our house right now because we have helicopters and planes flying ball all day long, it's crazy but kind of cool to have DC10s anc C-130 Hercules rumbling by every hour.
 

Herdfan

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Just ash in my area but closer to the fire it's been creating spot fires for miles in every direction, the news was saying the embers get pushed up thousands of feet into the air and spit out up to several miles away. So you see the main fire and a bunch of smaller fires around it caused by this.

It's also like a war zone over our house right now because we have helicopters and planes flying ball all day long, it's crazy but kind of cool to have DC10s anc C-130 Hercules rumbling by every hour.

Not sure which emoji to use. I want to "Like" it for the info, but "Sad" that you are having to deal with it.
 

Eric

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Not sure which emoji to use. I want to "Like" it for the info, but "Sad" that you are having to deal with it.
We have it easy where I'm at, short of the air quality and loud aircraft we're pretty much unaffected directly. It's all those displaced that we should be thinking about, most of which lost everything and were in homes they could not get insured because of the high fire risk. It's all pretty sad.
 

Herdfan

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We have it easy where I'm at, short of the air quality and loud aircraft we're pretty much unaffected directly. It's all those displaced that we should be thinking about, most of which lost everything and were in homes they could not get insured because of the high fire risk. It's all pretty sad.

That's a thing? Even in CA? How do they get mortgages? There isn't some high-risk pool they can get into? Wow!
 

Eric

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The Caldor fire is now knocking on the door of Lake Tahoe, smoke here has been the thickest we've ever seen with AQI over 500 yesterday, bad enough that it permeated into the house and the smell gets all over everything. :(
 

SuperMatt

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I heard an enlightening show on the radio yesterday when I was running errands.


Many people are aware that controlled burns can help prevent fires. I was not aware that this was done for centuries by indigenous people in America. I also was not aware that the reason it’s not done now is twofold. First, there is little to no funding for making controlled burns. Second, the government cannot be sued for naturally occurring wildfires. However, they CAN be sued for a controlled burn that causes collateral damage… so controlled burns are very rare.

I love this kind of show where they get into the details of something like this and you get to hear stories about different aspects of the issue, from different viewpoints. I recommend listening for an hour if you have an interest in this. There’s also an interesting story on exceptions to evacuation orders for farm workers.
 
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