Xtra News Community 2
October 17, 2018, 07:39:21 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to Xtra News Community 2 — please also join our XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP.
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links BITEBACK! XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP Staff List Login Register  

California is burning…


Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: California is burning…  (Read 121 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« on: July 29, 2018, 11:50:42 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Firefighters ‘throwing everything we can at it’:
‘I just pray for’ Idyllwild, resident says


Aggressive effort launched on 4,700-acre Cranston fire.

By ANGEL JENNINGS, ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN and ALEJANDRA REYES-VELARDE | Thursday, July 26, 2018

A fire crew fights the Cranston fire near Idyllwild on Wednesday. “It came up on us really, really quickly. Within a half-hour, the whole town was overwhelmed with flames,” resident Joe Achtner said. — Photograph: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times.
A fire crew fights the Cranston fire near Idyllwild on Wednesday. “It came up on us really, really quickly. Within a half-hour, the whole town was overwhelmed
with flames,” resident Joe Achtner said. — Photograph: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times.


JOE ACHTNER was unloading tools from his truck about noon on Wednesday when he noticed the sky above his Idyllwild home getting dark and flakes of ash falling around him.

Concerned, he drove down the street, where he saw a massive wildfire cresting a nearby hillside, threatening homes in his neighborhood of 30 years. By 9 p.m., the Cranston fire had charred 4,700 acres in the mountains south of Idyllwild.

“It came up on us really, really quickly. Within a half-hour, the whole town was overwhelmed with flames,” said Achtner, a 65-year-old carpenter. “All of a sudden, it was right there — and it was huge.”

By the time he and his family loaded up their trucks with their three dogs and suitcases full of clothes, Riverside County sheriff's deputies had swarmed the area. They ordered 2,174 homes evacuated in the mountain communities of Idyllwild, Apple Canyon, Lake Hemet, Mountain Center and Hurkey Creek while firefighters mounted an aggressive attack against flames.

“We're throwing everything we can at it,” said Lee Beyer, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service. More than 700 firefighters were battling the blaze, with several helicopters dumping flame retardant and water.

The Cranston fire broke out during a blistering heat wave and spread rapidly, sending a massive tower of smoke over the San Jacinto Mountains. The blaze, which was at 5% containment at 10:15 p.m., destroyed five residential structures and threatened hundreds of others.

Authorities said an arsonist set multiple fires on Wednesday in southwest Riverside County, including the Cranston fire. Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula was arrested on suspicion of five counts of arson to wild land, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The fires burned in southwest Riverside County and on federal land along State Highway 74 in the San Bernardino National Forest.

“I just pray for the town. We live in a beautiful town,” Achtner said.“The whole town is the trees and the town is the people and it's all jeopardized right now.”


River Martinez breaks camp at Yosemite park on Wednesday. The deadly Ferguson fire continued to rage near the park, and visitors had to leave by noon. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
River Martinez breaks camp at Yosemite park on Wednesday. The deadly Ferguson fire continued to rage near the park, and visitors had to leave by noon.
 — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.


Much farther to the north, the deadly Ferguson fire continued to rage about two miles away from Yosemite National Park, growing to more than 41,500 acres late Wednesday as firefighters achieved 26% containment.

Visitors were given until noon on Wednesday to evacuate Yosemite Valley, the heart of the 1,200-square-mile park. Officials have also closed Highway 41, the north-south artery that carries travelers from Southern California to Yosemite, and Glacier Point Road.

A stream of cars, campers and trailers flowed out of the park on Wednesday morning as the blaze inched closer. Heavy smoke has blanketed the valley and created air quality conditions worse than in Beijing, China's heavily polluted capital, said Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman.

“With this hot, dry weather pattern, you just got the smoke sitting here,” he said. “The air quality fluctuates throughout the day, but it's really poor at midday.”

Officials have handed out high-grade filtration masks and set up “clean air” centers around the park where employees and visitors can get a break from the smoke-filled air, Gediman said. Still, after days in the smoke, he said his voice has become raspy and he feels a dryness in his throat.

The scorching weather comes courtesy of a “heat dome” that settled over the desert Southwest this week and has shifted gradually toward Southern California. Though the coasts have been relatively cooler than inland areas, humid conditions have helped equalize the misery.

Relief may be coming by the weekend, but this heat wave is an early sign of what's to come: earlier, more frequent and more intense hot spells.


A firefighter keeps watch over the Cranston fire, crossing over Highway 74 toward Idyllwild. Riverside County sheriff's deputies ordered homes evacuated in Idyllwild, Apple Canyon, Lake Hemet, Mountain Center and Hurkey Creek. — Photograph: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times.
A firefighter keeps watch over the Cranston fire, crossing over Highway 74 toward Idyllwild. Riverside County sheriff's deputies ordered homes evacuated
in Idyllwild, Apple Canyon, Lake Hemet, Mountain Center and Hurkey Creek. — Photograph: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times.


Typically heat waves reach their peak in September, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist who formerly worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. But one this early and persistent is indicative of a warmer, more dangerous future for Los Angeles and the country, he said.

The weather will be more comfortable, though still humid, this weekend as temperatures are expected to drop into the high 80s through next week, said National Weather Service meteorologist Keily Delerme. “It's not unusual for it to be hot in July, because it's the summer,” she said. “What makes it potentially dangerous is that we don't have those cooling temperatures at night. If you have lower temperatures in the 70s, the next day, it's not going to take a lot for the temperatures to rise, because it'll already be warm and the air heats up faster.”

Those hotter night-time temperatures might also be due to Los Angeles' rapid growth into an “urban heat island,” with infrastructure absorbing heat longer. That makes cities significantly warmer than they have been in the past, Patzert said. “We've built this great megalopolis — more than a metropolis — and all this infrastructure that we've built creates its own heat,” he said.

Daytime high temperatures in July, August and September are about 6 to 8 degrees higher than they were 100 years ago. And that's on top of global warming, Patzert said. Of all meteorological phenomena, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, the far more common heat wave is the deadliest. It disproportionately affects the poor, the very young and the elderly, he said.

“The thing that's really saved us from this increase in the number, duration and timing of heat waves is the greatest invention of the 20th century — the air conditioner,” Patzert said. But not everyone can afford air conditioning, he said.

Patzert said he believes the heat will return next week after a short break. The “heat dome” that shifted its center to cover Southern California and caused this heat wave will probably return to its home in Las Vegas and Arizona, but wobble back and forth.

“Bottom line is, we're going to have to deal with it,” he said. And it wouldn't hurt to encourage the next generation to build careers in the booming air-conditioning business, he added. “Send your kids to college, it's debt forever. Enroll them in air-conditioning school, and they are guaranteed lifetime employment.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Angel Jennings is a reporter for the metro section of the Los Angeles Times. She covers issues that affect residents in South Los Angeles. Since joining the L.A. Times in 2011, Angel has written for the Business section and covered education. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and graduated from the University of Nebraska.

• Alene Tchekmedyian is a Metpro reporter at the Los Angeles Times covering breaking news in California. She previously covered Glendale and Burbank police for Times Community News. She received her master’s in journalism from Columbia University after graduating from UCLA, where she worked at the student-run Daily Bruin. She currently serves on the UCLA Communications Board, which oversees the university's student-run media publications. She grew up in Huntington Beach.

• Alejandra Reyes-Velarde started as a Metpro reporter at the Los Angeles Times in 2017. She previously wrote for the San Francisco Business Times and covered local news and crime for the Sacramento Bee. She received her bachelor's degree in communication studies from UCLA, where she worked at the student-run Daily Bruin. Originally from Duarte, California, Reyes is a native Spanish speaker.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=629483a9-c813-4d83-8622-3a02e7e6a606
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=28a7930b-51b4-48bf-bcbe-d1d72d5bbfc3
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

Social Buttons

Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2018, 11:50:55 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Mountain communities flee amid scorched earth:
‘It's all heat, toxins and smoke’


Raging fire cuts path of destruction in serene Idyllwild.

By JACLYN COSGROVE, LAURA NEWBERRY, CORINA KNOLL and JOSEPH SERNA | Friday, July 27, 2018

The Cranston fire believed to have been started by an arsonist, burned multiple structures along Deer Foot Lane in Idyllwild. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
The Cranston fire believed to have been started by an arsonist, burned multiple structures along Deer Foot Lane in Idyllwild.
 — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.


IT WAS little more than a grave of scorched remains.

Appliances burned beyond recognition, a charred bathtub, twists of metal pipe. Slabs of concrete that once served as walls stood next to a chimney of blackened stone.

Signs of a caring owner — a filled birdbath, potted plants — were suddenly stark symbols of the past, before the Idyllwild home had been consumed by the Cranston fire.

The massive blaze that has sent thousands fleeing as it continues to rage through the San Jacinto Mountains is believed to have been sparked on Wednesday by an arsonist, a troubling detail in a battle that has enlisted nearly 700 firefighters and threatened hundreds of homes.

“It's the scariest feeling you can have because you're helpless,” said resident Tamara Friemoth, 56, about the moment she watched the fire curl around the mountains in front of the gas station and auto shop she owns with her husband.

Friemoth has lived in the area for four decades and although she ran home to grab clothes and family heirlooms, she kept her business open for firefighters seeking drinks and snacks.

By Thursday afternoon, the fire was 7,500 acres and 5% contained, easily spotted by the billowy plumes of smoke expanding into the sky.

A dusting of crimson retardant atop a ridge marked where the flames had retreated from Idyllwild, an enclave of artists and musicians and a tourist draw. But officials worried the triple-digit weather coupled with a shift in wind could build momentum and undo any progress, even sending the blaze back on top of firefighters and into the beloved town.


A plane, seen from Highway 74, drops retardant on the Cranston fire Thursday in Mountain Center. The fire was easily spotted by its billowy plumes of smoke. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
A plane, seen from Highway 74, drops retardant on the Cranston fire Thursday in Mountain Center. The fire was easily spotted by its billowy plumes of smoke.
 — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.


Chief Patrick Reitz of the Idyllwild Fire Protection District said his biggest concern was whether the fire might push past a fire line or fuel break.

Over the last several years, staff from local, state and federal agencies have actively worked to build and maintain fuel breaks in the area. Those, mixed with an aggressive air assault team and firefighters on the ground, have helped slow down the Cranston fire and save most of Idyllwild, where five structures were destroyed.

“It was a lot of work yesterday and tremendous effort, and it paid off,” Reitz said.

But the mushroom-like cloud that formed nearby has added another element to the usual volatility of fighting fires. Pyrocumulus clouds form from fire and collapse onto themselves, causing the weather conditions to change.

“It's all heat, toxins and smoke,” said Captain Scott Visyak of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Fed by dry fuel on steep slopes, the fire headed into Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista, and new evacuations were announced for McCall Park, south of Pine Wood, Cedar Glen, Pine Cove and Fern Valley.

Steve and Suzanne Coffer were on their way to San Diego to hit the casinos when approaching flames made them return home to hurriedly pack up their belongings. They spent the night in their car with their cat, parked near a church.


Steve and Suzanne Coffer, longtime residents of Idyllwild, rushed home on Wednesday to see their house on Deer Foot Lane coated in a pink fire retardant. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
Steve and Suzanne Coffer, longtime residents of Idyllwild, rushed home on Wednesday to see their house on Deer Foot Lane coated in a pink fire retardant.
 — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.


When they saw their house again, it was coated in retardant. The mess was no matter for Steve Coffer, who had moved to Idyllwild 40 years ago, yearning for a place far from the city.

The elation at finding his home still standing was difficult for him to express.

“I can't put it into words.”

Many residents were without power, including Ruth Kleefisch, 52, who drove from her home in Pine Cove to Idyllwild in an attempt to charge her cellphone and try to get reception.

Kleefisch's husband has liver cancer and has been unable to eat for the last four days. She was desperate to reach his doctor to ask what she could do to help her husband's nausea.

She said she was less concerned about the fire, which hadn't reached Pine Cove, and more concerned about being without power, especially if it lasted more than a few days.

“The neighborhood's quiet, everything is quiet. There's nobody here. Once all the tourists leave, there's not that many left of us, really.”

Fires have also struck Northern California, where firefighters work in brutal 110-degree temperatures on the northern edge of the Sacramento Valley. Crews scrambled when a shift in the winds pushed the Carr fire three miles east in four hours, catching residents in Whiskeytown on their heels.

The blaze reached the edge of Whiskeytown Lake, where local news outlets reported that 40 boats were burned along with a number of homes.


Members of a hand crew fight the Cranston fire raging in Mountain Center. As of Thursday afternoon, the blaze had charred 7,500 acres and was 5% contained. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
Members of a hand crew fight the Cranston fire raging in Mountain Center. As of Thursday afternoon, the blaze had charred 7,500 acres and was 5% contained.
 — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.


Authorities placed 192 homes under mandatory evacuation orders, most of those in Whiskeytown and the community of French Gulch, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The blaze was 20,000 acres and 10% contained on Thursday morning. But most of that containment was on the fire's west and northwestern edge, not on its southern face where the residents are, said spokesman Chad Carroll. The blaze has been running along the north side of Highway 299 since a vehicle malfunction sparked it on Monday afternoon, he said.

While the Carr fire has been fueled by wind and topography, the Ferguson fire outside Yosemite National Park has been decidedly different, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jacob Welsh.

Crews in the rugged forests in Mariposa County have been dealing with an inversion layer that has put the Ferguson fire's smoke right on top of Yosemite Valley and other low-lying areas. Poor air quality and visibility have limited the ability for planes and helicopters to help fight the fire, Welsh said. At the same time, that smoky blanket keeps the fire from “getting a breath of fresh air” and growing, Welsh said.

One of the biggest obstacles to containing the fire continues to be the terrain, a mix of steep cliffs with deep, inaccessible canyons loaded with vegetation and slopes of standing dead trees — victims of a bark beetle infestation that's killed 129 million trees since 2010.

The Ferguson fire was 43,299 acres and 27% contained, officials said.

The strategy with the Cranston fire is to hack away at flammable vegetation along its perimeter to cut off the fuel supply, said Kate Kramer, a spokeswoman with the San Bernardino National Forest.

Farther out from the fire line, she said, firefighters are clearing flammable brush to prevent it from spreading.

The blaze is being directly attacked in areas covered in extremely dry grass, where the fire burns quickly and stays low enough to be extinguished safely.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jaclyn Cosgrove reported from Mountain Center; Laura Newberry from Banning; and Corina Knoll Knoll and Joseph Serna from Los Angeles.

• Jaclyn Cosgrove is a Metpro reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she worked as the health reporter at The Oklahoman. She was selected for a 2015-16 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. For her fellowship project, she explored the barriers that low-income, uninsured people with mental illnesses face in finding treatment. Cosgrove is originally from Arpelar, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University.

• Laura Newberry has been writing for the Los Angeles Times since she joined the newspaper's staff in 2012. Orignially from Central Florida, she worked as an environment and education reporter in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts before attending UC Berkeley. She is focused on narrative writing at the journalism school, with a special interest in environmental and human rights reporting. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the East Bay Express, the Indianapolis Star, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Orlando Sentinel and others.

• Corina Knoll writes for the Metro section of the Los Angeles Times. She was on the team that investigated corruption in Bell — which led to the newspaper's 2011 Pulitzer Prize for public service — and went on to cover the trials of the city's former officials. She later contributed to the paper's coverage of the San Bernardino terror attack that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. As a regional reporter, she wrote features about the San Gabriel Valley and the Westside. During her courts beat, she covered high-profile criminal cases and civil disputes, including the Jackson family versus AEG and Bryan Stow versus L.A. Dodgers. In her current gig she is called upon to rewrite breaking news stories and also writes long-form narratives. Recently, she and two colleagues investigated sheriff's deputies whose histories of misconduct landed them on the department's top-secret Brady list. Raised in the Midwest, she is a graduate of Macalester College.

• Joseph Serna is a Metro reporter who has been with the Los Angeles Times since 2012. He previously worked for papers in Orange County and Signal Hill, a 2.2-square-mile city surrounded by Long Beach. He was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack and is a graduate of California's community college and Cal State systems.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=aba1b355-3170-46ee-9972-179a756c24fc
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=2668c92a-9247-4e95-934a-9da612f95ada
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2018, 11:51:08 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Deadly fire uproots trees, roads, people

Thousands flee as Carr blaze kills 2, levels homes.

By JOHN MYERS, PHIL WILLON, JOE MOZINGO and JOSEPH SERNA | Saturday, July 28, 2018

A woman sees her grandmother's burned home among the dozens destroyed in the Carr fire. — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A woman sees her grandmother's burned home among the dozens destroyed in the Carr fire. — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

REDDING, CALIFORNIA — The fire came out of the dry pines of the Trinity Mountains with such intense heat that it created its own wind pattern.

Evacuating his neighbors in the River Ridge neighborhood, Redding Police Chief Roger Moore saw a towering coil of fire sucking debris in the sky like a tornado.

“It was just destroying everything in its path,” he said. “It was making a sound like a jet engine.”

As the Carr fire raced eastward, driven by fierce wind, it rushed down brushy canyons, up dry-grass ridges, through neighborhoods thick with trees and across the Sacramento River.

By Friday morning, a firefighter and a bulldozer operator were killed and 65 homes were destroyed, including Moore's. Officials identified one of the victims as Redding fire inspector Jeremy Stoke.

The Carr fire had burned more than 44,000 acres and was only 3% contained, officials said at a news briefing. About 38,000 people were evacuated in Shasta County.

“This fire was whipped up into a whirlwind of activity,” uprooting trees, moving cars and dislocating parts of roads, said Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Northern California will see high heat and low humidity over the next week to 10 days, he said, which will increase the likelihood of new fires starting and firefighters wearing out as they battle new and existing blazes. The agency has more than 7,000 firefighters working across the state, battling 45 to 50 fires a day, he said.

Firefighters struggle to contain fires when they face steep terrain, hot weather, dry brush and other vegetation that can fuel a fire, said Greg Bertelli, an incident commander at Cal Fire.

“Any one of those factors will make containing a fire extremely difficult,” Bertelli said. “The Carr fire, at times, experienced all three combined. This fire is moving, at times, three or four different directions.”

Three Marin County firefighters were trapped when a stand of pinyon pines lighted up.

Holed up in the fire engine as the fire roared through, they suffered minor to moderate burns to their hands, face, ears and nose, said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. One was taken to UC Davis Medical Center's burn center.

Temperatures in Redding were expected to hit 110 degrees on Saturday before a slight drop to 105 degrees by Tuesday, meteorologist Chris Hintz said.

The fire continues the most destructive span of fires in California history.

In October, the state's deadliest firestorm hit Northern California's wine country, killing 44 people. In December, the Thomas fire became the state’s largest fire on record, burning 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Few parts of the state have been unaffected this year.

Yosemite National Park is closed as the Ferguson fire burns well into its second week, taking a firefighter's life and consuming 45,000 acres. And the Cranston fire has forced the evacuation of thousands of people in and around Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains.

In Redding, the searing summer heat rising from the Sacramento Valley has been pulling coastal air over the mountains, creating a hard westerly wind.


A wildfire destroyed homes in the Lake Keswick Estates neighborhood near Redding. Temperatures in Redding are expected to reach 110 degrees on Saturday. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
A wildfire destroyed homes in the Lake Keswick Estates neighborhood near Redding. Temperatures in Redding are expected to reach 110 degrees on Saturday.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


The fire started in the Trinity Mountains on Monday and didn't cause much alarm until Wednesday night, when dry wind drove it to Whiskeytown Lake, burning boats in a marina.

The next night it was poised to run into the west edge of Redding, a city of 90,000 just south of Shasta Lake.

Erica Bade and her family didn't think they were in danger as they sat at the dinner table after watching the news. The fire was on the other side of the Sacramento River, about a mile away.

Then the power went out, an eerie sign the fire was coming.

Erica, a 17-year-old incoming freshman at UC Santa Barbara, started grabbing whatever clothes she saw and shoving them in a suitcase. She looked out the window.

“I see flames, there's fire!” she screamed.

She loaded the car in a cloud of smoke as ash drifted down.

Police officers shouted at residents to leave immediately.

Frantically, Erica and her family kept packing, making sure to take important documents, laptops and the family computer that stored many childhood photographs. Finally, an officer walked into their home through the garage and told them they had to go.

The Bade family drove away in tears, watching their rear-view mirrors as the flames reared up behind their home.

Erica figured it would be the last time she saw it standing. “It was just huge flames,” she said. “It did not look good at all.”

Just a few hours later, a Redding detective and family friend sent a photograph and called the family to deliver the news — save for a front porch pillar, the home was gone.

“We don't really know what we're going to do,” Erica said Friday. “We're just trying to get through the day. It's surreal to us all. We're just going through the day, taking it as it comes.”

After evacuating the night before, Ron Mhoon, 44, went back to the neighborhood on Friday to check on the home he bought five months ago.

He called his son on FaceTime and showed him what was left: a gas main, still burning, and the tiled shower stall from the master bathroom. Mhoon tried to comprehend why the fire had destroyed his home and his neighbor's but left the homes just next door untouched.

In the River Ridge Park subdivision, Austin Bramson, 16, had spent months working with his father in the garage to restore a 1965 Chevrolet Nova. The classic car was almost finished, ready for the coat of paint to make it look new. They had to leave it behind in the garage as they evacuated.

“All that work — gone,” Austin said, almost in tears, as he looked over the shell of his home.

Like many in fire country, Rick Plummer, director of marketing for Dignity Health's Mercy Medical Center, had imagined evacuating so many times before but couldn't believe how hard it was.

“I don't think you can 100% appreciate walking through your home and deciding what to take and what not to take,” Plummer said, his voice cracking with emotion.

He drove to work, where he watched doctors, nurses and hospital administrators work through the night even as they got word their own homes had burned.

The fire was still moving through other parts of the city on Friday. In southwest Redding, a spot fire broke in the hills above Cedars Road. Residents watched nervously as they packed in the 101-degree heat. Helicopters thrummed as a voice from the loudspeaker of a police cruiser told residents to get out.

“I just kept watching things,” said Crystal Harper, who stood in her driveway with the car packed. “And it’s time.”

“This is the worst I've ever seen,” said Steve Rice, who has lived here for 55 years.

Rice watched as a young man kept driving and stopping — unsure of how to proceed.

“There's all kinds of people walking around that shouldn't even be here,” said Rice, who had left garden hoses watering down his RV camper alongside his house.

A nearby resident could be heard yelling at a neighbor, wondering why he hadn't made preparations to leave.

Rice had family members sitting in a vehicle ready to caravan away with him. He didn't have time to get all he wanted from his home.

But he left one item intentionally — an American flag flying on a pole by his front door, a plea of sorts to firefighters.

“Hopefully they'll see that and protect it,” he said.


__________________________________________________________________________

John Myers and Phil Willon reported from Redding; and Joe Mozingo and Joseph Serna from Los Angeles. L.A. Times staff writer Laura J. Nelson in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

• John Myers joined the Los Angeles Times as Sacramento bureau chief in 2015 after more than two decades in radio and televisionnews, much of that as an award-winning reporter covering state house policy and politics. During a decade of work for San Francisco's NPR affiliate, his unique online projects included everything from one of Sacramento's original politics blogs to California's first politics podcast. He also served as the moderator of gubernatorial debates in 2014 and 2010. Often cited by state and national news organizations as one of Sacramento's top journalists, he's a graduate of Duke University and the University of California, Berkeley.

• Phil Willon covers California politics from the Los Angeles Times' state capital bureau in Sacramento. Before heading north, Willon roamed Southern California's mountains and deserts as the paper's state correspondent in the Inland Empire. He previously covered Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

• Joe Mozingo is a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He won a Robert F. Kennedy Award for covering the earthquake in Haiti and the ASNE Punch Sulzberger Award for Online Storytelling for his in-depth look at a federal investigation into relic poaching in rural Utah that led to three suicides. Mozingo helped lead the L.A. Times' coverage of the Isla Vista killings in 2014 and a Miami Herald investigation into the space shuttle Columbia crash in 2003; both were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. His book, “The Fiddler on Pantico Run: An African Warrior, His White Descendants, a Search for Family”, was a 2012 “Discover Great New Writers” pick by Barnes and Noble.

• Joseph Serna is a Metro reporter who has been with the Los Angeles Times since 2012. He previously worked for papers in Orange County and Signal Hill, a 2.2-square-mile city surrounded by Long Beach. He was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack and is a graduate of California's community college and Cal State systems.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=19213178-b81c-435d-9496-fd2fcd2a1ab2
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=e9d9d3b7-708a-4501-a7ea-26661ea71767
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2018, 11:51:22 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Flames create own weather

Driven by wind or plume, flames go where they want.

By BETTINA BOXALL | Saturday, July 28, 2018

A home is consumed by the Carr fire in Redding. The blaze has destroyed 65 residences, sent panicked homeowners fleeing in the middle of the night and caused the deaths of a firefighter and a bulldozer operator. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
A home is consumed by the Carr fire in Redding. The blaze has destroyed 65 residences, sent panicked homeowners fleeing in the middle of the night
and caused the deaths of a firefighter and a bulldozer operator. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.


THE tower of billowing cumulus clouds and smoke rising above Northern California's Carr fire said it all. The flames jumping around Redding's western edge had created their own micro-weather system, tossing fire brands helter-skelter across the baking landscape.

California's big, destructive wildfires tend to come in two varieties: wind-driven, such as last year's deadly Santa Rosa conflagration and December's Thomas fire in Southern California; and what is known as plume-dominated, when a fire's plume of smoke and ash is big and hot enough to exert control.

Wind gusts were a factor in the Carr fire, which destroyed 65 residences on Redding's edge, sent panicked home-owners fleeing in the middle of the night and caused the deaths of a city firefighter and a bulldozer operator. But fire experts say the explosive growth of the Carr blaze was more a function of extreme heat and dried-out fuels that stoked flames intense enough to generate their own weather.

“This is not what I would call a wind-driven fire,” U.S. Forest Service meteorologist Tom Rolinski said. “It's more of a plume-dominated fire. It creates a lot of erratic fire behavior.”

The quickly moving blaze jumped the Sacramento River and raced in different directions, making it impossible to control. “It was moving all over the place,” said Mike Mohler, deputy communications director for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Redding is a city of 90,000 people hugging the Sacramento River on one side and a landscape of oak trees, grasslands and chaparral. Cal Fire officials said the burned homes were on the city's edge — an interface of flammable wildlands and buildings that over the years have been the scene of the state's deadliest fires.

As is often the case when flames encroach on developed neighborhoods, photos from the Carr fire showed houses in smoldering ruins while nearby trees appeared untouched by flames — evidence that flying embers set the buildings on fire rather than an advancing wall of flames.

Although fierce winds that have driven many of the state's biggest blazes — such as Santa Barbara's sundowners and Northern California's diablos — were not a key factor in Redding, other ingredients that fuel big fires were abundant.

Always brutally hot in the summer, the area was hit by record-breaking temperatures this week. On Thursday it was 113 degrees.

“The summertime temperatures have been really extreme,” said Dave Sapsis, a state wildfire specialist.

The heat not only sucks moisture out of live plants, but it also further dries out dead limbs and brush. The state's punishing five-year drought and record Northern California rains in 2017 left plenty of fuel. An ignition and the right weather conditions are all that is needed to send flames racing over hills and up canyons.

Summer in California is wildfire season, but Sapsis said the level of fire activity so far this month, especially in Northern California, is more typical of late August.“The entire northern part of the state has been besieged by fire for about a month now,” he said.

It's difficult to gauge the effect of climate change on wildfires, as the reasons for more blazes include more human-caused ignitions, a history of fire suppression in the Sierra Nevada and development’s push into formerly empty wildlands.

But scientists say higher temperatures are a factor in the growth of wildfires in the West.

“I think the warmer temperatures are making them more extreme,” UC Merced professor Anthony Westerling said.

Pyrocumulus clouds — such as the one towering above the Carr blaze on Thursday — form when the atmosphere above a fire plume is unstable, usually in the heat of the afternoon.

The collapse of the clouds as temperatures drop at night creates downdrafts that can create dangerous conditions on the ground.

“The fire goes in all different directions” Rolinski said, though he did not know whether that was the case with the Redding blaze.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Bettina Boxall covers water issues and the environment for the Los Angeles Times. She shared the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting with colleague Julie Cart for a five-part series that explored the causes and effects of escalating wildfire in the West. She began her journalism career as a photographer at a small Texas daily and reported for newspapers in Vermont and New Jersey before joining the L.A. Times in 1987.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=08a696f6-4b71-42d9-91e5-fc420bd7d2f4
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2018, 11:51:40 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

How Idyllwild geared for worst and averted disaster

Years of preparedness helped prevent a wildfire calamity within the community.

By LOUIS SAHAGUN, LAURA NEWBERRY and JAVIER PANZAR | Saturday, July 28, 2018

A plane drops fire retardant on the Cranston fire along Highway 74 as seemingly uninterested cows graze on Friday near Lake Hemet. — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.
A plane drops fire retardant on the Cranston fire along Highway 74 as seemingly uninterested cows graze on Friday near Lake Hemet.
 — Photograph: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times.


PATRICK REITZ can't say his isolated, mile-high community of Idyllwild was fully prepared for the Cranston fire, a blaze authorities say was caused by an arsonist and which continued to burn out of control on Friday.

But in a place where fire authorities have been sounding alarms for years about the buildup of tinder-dry trees and brush on all sides, residents had learned that an important part of facing a wildfire is getting ready for it.

“Idyllwild was saved by years of pre-planning,” said Reitz, chief of the Idyllwild Fire Protection District. “That includes removal of thousands of dead and dying trees, construction of miles of firebreaks, and evacuation plans” drafted by at least a dozen mountain camps that cater to thousands of young people, town organizations and fire authorities.

“Before we pulled the cord on a formal mandatory evacuation shortly after the Cranston fire began,” he said, “most of the youth camp folks were already off the mountain.”

Following close behind were an estimated 6,000 residents who found themselves on traffic-choked, two-lane roads that wind down the ragged northern flanks of the San Jacinto Mountains, where suburbia meets the wilderness — a classic Southern California landscape that has long lured people to build homes in forests and brushlands despite the threat of wildfires.

The community's disaster plan was based on a variety of fire scenarios that identified staging areas for firefighters, equipment and safety zones, as well as escape routes for evacuees, officials said.

By Friday morning, the Cranston fire had scorched 11,500 acres, destroyed at least five homes and forced the evacuation of more than 4,000 residences. The fire is only 3% contained.

Brandon N. McGlover, the Temecula man authorities say started the Cranston fire, was charged on Friday with starting nine separate fires. All were set on Wednesday in the Idyllwild, Anza and Sage areas. He faces 15 felony counts: one of aggravated arson, five of arson of an inhabited structure and nine of arson of forest or wildland.

McGlover, 32, pleaded not guilty to all charges and a judge set his bail at $3.5 million, according to the Riverside County district attorney's office. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to life in prison.

By Friday evening, the Cranston fire appeared to be spreading east of Mountain Center and into the San Jacinto Wilderness.

The blaze was expected to keep growing, especially in the wilderness and the Rattlesnake Spring areas, according to Chad Cook, operations section chief with the California Incident Management Team.

“The fire is laying down now,” Riverside County Fire Chief Dan Talbot said during a briefing on Friday. But “it looked like that yesterday morning too, and then it roared back to life.”

Response teams are keeping a close eye on the communities of Apple Canyon and Vista Ranch, which are threatened by the spreading flames. Fire-control efforts have been hampered by the extreme heat and low humidity, as well as resources stretched thin by other fires around the state.


An Orange County firefighter douses hot spots along the road above Highway 74 while battling the Cranston fire in Idyllwild. — Photograph: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times.
An Orange County firefighter douses hot spots along the road above Highway 74 while battling the Cranston fire in Idyllwild.
 — Photograph: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times.


This isn't the first time that Idyllwild — a community known for its schools, and art and music foundations — has been shaken by fire. The first time the town was totally evacuated was in July 1996, when the Bee fire crept up the mountain. Residents returned to their homes on the Fourth of July weekend and held a parade led by local firefighters.

A decade later, the arson-caused Esperanza fire triggered an explosion of heat and flames that killed four local firefighters and critically injured another.

Relatives and neighbors in Idyllwild responded to their loss with strong emotions, flags at half-staff and an army of volunteers to help the affected families.

The town was evacuated again in 2013 because of the Mountain fire.

On Friday morning, authorities were cautiously optimistic that the Cranston fire “had moved on, away from the community and into sparsely populated areas,” Reitz said.

“The preparations we did with the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Riverside County and others enabled us to get defensive lines in place ahead of this fire,” he added.

He worried, however, about the safety of stragglers who defied the evacuation order to leave the tourism-driven community's tightly packed cottages, modest chalets, gift shops, restaurants and watering holes.

“We cut the power in Idyllwild due to the approaching fire,” Reitz said. “A few hours later, the main power lines into town were downed by the blaze. So, the whole community is without power, and we're working off generators.”

Fire authorities expressed guarded optimism on Friday afternoon that the alpine resort had been spared three days after it was forced to evacuate.

“In the next day or two, we should have full containment of this fire in the community of Idyllwild,” said Lee Beyer, a spokesman for the San Bernardino National Forest. “But we still have a ton of work to do before … residents and visitors can return safely.”

He added: “Firefighters are doing heavy mop-up operations in hot spots. Power poles and power lines need to be replaced. Highway guardrails are in need of repair.”

As he spoke, helicopters and air tankers doused flames on ridgelines a few miles north of Lake Hemet and about 15 miles south of Idyllwild.

Much of the black smoke that had filled the air a day earlier had turned to more benign shades of gray.

“Idyllwild and all its charms will still be there when the evacuation is lifted,” he said. “But the views along Highway 74 will be different because a lot of the green is gone.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Louis Sahagun and Laura Newberry reported from Idyllwild, and Javier Panzar from Los Angeles. L.A. Times staff writers Jaclyn Cosgrove and Joseph Serna and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

• Louis Sahagun is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. He covers issues ranging from religion, culture and the environment to crime, politics and water. He was on the team of L.A. Times writers that earned the Pulitzer Prize in public service for a series on Latinos in Southern California and the team that was a finalist in 2015 for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. He is a CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California board member, and author of the book, “Master of the Mysteries: the Life of Manly Palmer Hall”.

• Laura Newberry has been writing for the Los Angeles Times since she joined the newspaper's staff in 2012. Orignially from Central Florida, she worked as an environment and education reporter in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts before attending UC Berkeley. She is focused on narrative writing at the journalism school, with a special interest in environmental and human rights reporting. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the East Bay Express, the Indianapolis Star, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Orlando Sentinel and others.

• Javier Panzar is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He was born and raised in Oakland. His reporting has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, the Orange County Register and UC Berkeley's independent student newspaper, the Daily Californian.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=6c9d80bd-4496-468e-bf73-fa278f7bd98d
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=ccea6b28-5b28-4d4b-a36c-72be9d84be0b
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2018, 11:57:02 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Carr fire rages on: Fast-moving fire kills great-grandmother, two children

Fueled by wind and heat, fast-moving blaze claims three more lives.

By RUBEN VIVES and HARRIET RYAN | Sunday, July 29, 2018

A firefighter sprays a backburn on Cloverdale Road near Igo on Saturday as scorching heat, winds and dry conditions persisted. — Photograph: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee.
A firefighter sprays a backburn on Cloverdale Road near Igo on Saturday as scorching heat, winds and dry conditions persisted.
 — Photograph: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee.


REDDING, CALIFORNIA — Two young children and their great-grandmother are the latest victims of a massive and fast-moving wildfire in Shasta County that officials acknowledged on Saturday they were making little progress in controlling.

Melody Bledsoe, 70, and her great-grandchildren, Emily Roberts, 5, and James Roberts, 4, died when their Redding home burned on Thursday night, their family said. The death toll from the blaze known as the Carr fire stands at five with more than a dozen other residents reported missing.

With the unyielding 100-plus degree temperatures and bone-dry vegetation, authorities said there was no end in sight to the fire and expressed particular alarm about its rapid expansion. Between Friday night and Saturday morning, the fire doubled in size to more than 80,000 acres with only 5% containment. Despite the efforts of 3,400 firefighters aided by bulldozers and helicopters throughout the day, the blaze continued spreading toward residential areas west and south of downtown Redding.

“We understand the anxiety you are going through,” Shasta County Fire Chief Mike Hebrard told the community at an afternoon briefing. “We are doing everything in our power to bring an end to this chaos.”

The deaths of Bledsoe and the Roberts children underscored one of the fire's most devastating features — speed.

Bledsoe's granddaughter Amanda Woodley confirmed the news about their deaths on Saturday afternoon in a public Facebook post written just after she left the Shasta County Sheriff's Office.

Woodley said Bledsoe did everything she could to save the children.

“She was hovered over them both with a wet blanket,” she wrote.

“My heart is crushed,” she said. “I can't believe this is real. I just keep seeing all of their beautiful faces.”


Emily Roberts, 5, died in the house fire. “My heart is crushed,” Amanda Woodley said. “I just keep seeing all of their beautiful faces.” — Photograph: Amanda Woodley. James Roberts, 4, was killed when his Redding home burned on Thursday night, relatives said. Great-grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, also perished. — Photograph: Amanda Woodley.
LEFT: Emily Roberts, 5, died in the house fire. “My heart is crushed,” Amanda Woodley said. “I just keep seeing all
of their beautiful faces.” | RIGHT: James Roberts, 4, was killed when his Redding home burned on Thursday night,
relatives said. Great-grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, also perished. | Photographs courtesy of Amanda Woodley.


Bledsoe and her two great-grandchildren were reported missing late on Friday by a family friend. They hadn't been seen since their Redding home burned on Thursday night.

Bledsoe's husband, Ed Bledsoe, wasn't home when the fire struck, according to an online fundraiser site created by another family member.

The family did not believe their home was under evacuation, and Ed went out to get supplies. The family was renting and did not have insurance.

According to news reports, the children called their great-grandfather while he was at the store saying the fire was approaching.

Speaking to the Sacramento Bee, Ed Bledsoe wept as he recounted trying to get back to the house.

“God almighty, I don't know what I done wrong,” he said. “I talked to them until the fire got them.”

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said no bodies had been found yet, but his investigators are “overwhelmingly sure that there are decedents at the scene.” He said access to the home has been difficult as the walls collapsed during the fire.

The fire, started on Monday by a vehicle mechanical failure on Route 299, previously claimed the lives of Redding fire inspector Jeremy Stoke and bulldozer operator Don Ray Smith.


Homes leveled by the Carr fire line the Lake Keswick Estates area on Friday in Redding. With triple-digit temperatures and bone-dry vegetation proving to be unyielding, authorities said there was no end in sight to the blaze and expressed particular alarm about its rapid expansion. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
Homes leveled by the Carr fire line the Lake Keswick Estates area on Friday in Redding. With triple-digit temperatures and bone-dry vegetation
proving to be unyielding, authorities said there was no end in sight to the blaze and expressed particular alarm about its rapid expansion.
 — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.


In responding to questions about the Bledsoe family’s fate, the sheriff implored residents to promptly obey evacuation orders.

More than 38,000 people have been displaced due to the mandatory orders.

The sheriff said 260 National Guard soldiers called into the area on Saturday will help staff roadblocks to keep residents from danger and assist local law enforcement in ensuring those ordered to leave do so.

Authorities are investigating 13 other missing persons cases connected to the fire. Redding police Sergeant Todd Cogle said that there are indications that some reported missing are safe. When officers went to their addresses, he said, they found homes still standing and doors locked. In some cases, he said, people may have fled their homes without cellphones and might be unable to connect with relatives.

“My hope is that we are able to find all of them eventually, however, the possibility does exist that there may be far more grave situations for some of them,” Cogle said.

In addition to the human cost, at least 500 homes and other structures have succumbed to flames, authorities said. High winds are driving embers beyond the fire lines and igniting roofs and trees.

Near midday on Saturday, firefighters patrolled Placer Road for small fires. The flames had already reached Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, which spans Clear Creek in rural Igo. The fire left the bridge “compromised,” the California Highway Patrol said.

Evacuees filled the region's hotels as well as several facilities set up by the Red Cross.


The wildfire swept through and destroyed property and structures on Saturday in Shasta. “We are doing everything in our power to bring an end to this chaos,” Shasta County Fire Chief Mike Hebrard said. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
The wildfire swept through and destroyed property and structures on Saturday in Shasta. “We are doing everything in our power to bring an end to this chaos,”
Shasta County Fire Chief Mike Hebrard said. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


An evacuation center at Shasta College in Redding reached capacity before 9 a.m. The 500 people bunking down in the campus' cafeteria and gymnasium included residents of three senior care facilities, many of whom are not mobile, said Peter Griggs, the college's director of marketing and outreach. The campus is east of the 5 Freeway and “at a very safe distance,” he said.

On Saturday afternoon at Alta Mesa Elementary School, dozens of evacuees sat on folded chairs and bleachers in the school's gym, listening to updates from fire officials during a town hall meeting.

Unified Incident Commander Chief Brett Gouvea told them the fire had grown on multiple fronts. He said in five days the Carr fire had burned through the footprint of at least five major wildfires in the last 50 years in Shasta County history.

“I've never seen anything like that happen,” Gouvea said.

Ricky Young, incident commander for the National Park Service, said several wildfires burning across the state made it difficult to throw additional resources at the Carr fire.

As a result, the state has requested assistance from other agencies outside of California. He said about 150 engines were en route to help battle the huge blaze.

Attending the town hall meeting was Lance Starin, 60, who recently purchased property in Redding. He said his home was not in danger and that he came to the meeting to offer it as a shelter for families who may be looking for a place to stay.

Starin said he was impressed with the number of top-level fire officials who attended the meeting.

“I think it was brilliant to bring the commanders,” he said. “It shows they are united.”


A deer smothered in fire retardant stands in the road as the Carr blaze threatened structures on Saturday near Redding. At least 500 homes and other structures have succumbed to flames, authorities said. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
A deer smothered in fire retardant stands in the road as the Carr blaze threatened structures on Saturday near Redding. At least 500 homes and other structures
have succumbed to flames, authorities said. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


Signs of the fire were unavoidable throughout the region. Ash rained onto the heads of fire officials during another midday presentation to evacuees.

Before taking questions, Sacramento firefighter Chris Harvey warned them that no one could answer the question on everyone’s mind: When can we go home?

“This fire is a disaster,” Harvey said. “This fire still has very explosive behavior…. It's likely to continue that way.”

There was sporadic looting of evacuated homes, Redding Police Chief Roger Moore said. Patrols had stopped several suspects, he said, but made no arrests.

“We have an idea who they are,” said Moore, who lost his home earlier in the week.

One man crossing the evacuation lines was Jerry Kirk, a ferrier in Anderson. When the fire kicked up on Thursday, Kirk wrote a Facebook post offering help evacuating livestock.

“I've had two or three hours of sleep since then,” Kirk said at noon on Saturday.

With his Dodge pickup and a trailer, Kirk said he had rescued about 200 animals from rural ranches and farms, including 50 horses and numerous goats and sheep. Many times when he pulled onto a property, the flames were nearby and the residents and the animals panicked, he said.

“They aren't going to leave their animals, and they are just waiting on me,” he said.


Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in an area outside Redding. A vehicle mechanical failure on Route 299 is said to have started the fire on Monday. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in an area outside Redding. A vehicle mechanical failure on Route 299 is said to have started the fire on Monday.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


When he arrived in Igo to pick up animals at 5 a.m. on Saturday, the fire seemed 10 miles in the distance, he recalled.

“Nobody was concerned or really moving that quickly,” he said. By his third trip, at 9 a.m., “there was fire right there in town.”

While this year's fire season has already devastated California, it seems unlikely to relent, said climatologist Bill Patzert.

Several cities set all-time heat records this year — in July — but the most serious heat waves, Patzert said, typically don't arrive until September.

“The dog days are not here yet,” he said. “We're in for a long, hot summer.”

Or rather, many long, hot summers.

“The large picture, of course, is that we're living in a warmer world. Temperatures are much higher this summer — next summer — than they were 50 or 100 years ago,” Patzert said.

And that heat sets a dangerous groundwork, said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain. Vegetation across much of the Golden State has already dehydrated to “explosively dry” levels not typically reached until September.

“It's a lot easier to get bad fires under these conditions,” he said, “because you don't need as much of a push from the winds.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Ruben Vives reported from Redding and Harriet Ryan from Los Angeles. L.A. Times staff writers Andrea Castillo, Marisa Gerber and Alejandra Reyes-Velarde contributed to this report.

• Ruben Vives is a general assignment reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A native of Guatemala, he got his start in journalism by writing for the L.A. Times' Homicide Report in 2007. He helped uncover the financial corruption in the city of Bell that led to criminal charges against eight city officials. The 2010 investigative series won the Pulitzer Prize for public service and other prestigious awards.

• Harriet Ryan is an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Since joining the paper in 2008, she has written about high-profile people, including Phil Spector, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, and institutions, including USC, the Catholic Church, the Kabbalah Centre and Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin. She previously worked at Court TV and the Asbury Park Press. She is a graduate of Columbia University.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=5aeaef3a-0e6f-42f6-8a8a-840eb6ed7578
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=8e9dc403-ba13-4bec-83c8-e1c4a8ea84af
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2018, 01:16:16 am »


from a PHOTOGRAPH GALLERY at The Washington Post


A structure burns as the Carr Fire races along Highway 299 near Redding, California. July 26, 2018. —Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press .
A structure burns as the Carr Fire races along Highway 299 near Redding, California. July 26, 2018. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.

The Carr Fire burns along Highway 299 in Shasta, California. July 26, 2018. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
The Carr Fire burns along Highway 299 in Shasta, California. July 26, 2018. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.

A woman hoses down a building in Whiskeytown, California as the Carr Fire burns in the distance. July 26, 2018. — Photograph: Hung T. Vu/The Record Searchlight/Associated Press.
A woman hoses down a building in Whiskeytown, California as the Carr Fire burns in the distance. July 26, 2018.
 — Photograph: Hung T. Vu/The Record Searchlight/Associated Press.


The hulks of boats burned by the Carr Fire remain on a lake in Whiskeytown, California. July 26, 2018. — Photograph: Hung T. Vu/The Record Searchlight/Associated Press.
The hulks of boats burned by the Carr Fire remain on a lake in Whiskeytown, California. July 26, 2018.
 — Photograph: Hung T. Vu/The Record Searchlight/Associated Press.


In this still image taken from a video obtained from social media, smoke and flames from a wildfire spreads through Redding, California. July 26, 2018. — Photograph: Cody Markhart/Reuters.
In this still image taken from a video obtained from social media, smoke and flames from a wildfire spreads through Redding, California. July 26, 2018.
 — Photograph: Cody Markhart/Reuters.


Smoke from a wildfire rises over a highway in Mountain Center, California. July 26, 2018. — Photograph: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press.
Smoke from a wildfire rises over a highway in Mountain Center, California. July 26, 2018. — Photograph: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press.

The moon rises over Apple Canyon as the Cranston Fire rages near Idyllwild in San Bernardino County, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: National Wildfire Coordinating Group/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Shutterstock.
The moon rises over Apple Canyon as the Cranston Fire rages near Idyllwild in San Bernardino County, California. July 27, 2018.
 — Photograph: National Wildfire Coordinating Group/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Shutterstock.


A home burns along Sunflower Road in Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
A home burns along Sunflower Road in Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

A firefighter uses a drip torch to light a backfire while battling the Carr Fire in Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
A firefighter uses a drip torch to light a backfire while battling the Carr Fire in Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Smoke from the Carr Fire turns the setting sun red in Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Fred Greaves/Reuters.
Smoke from the Carr Fire turns the setting sun red in Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Fred Greaves/Reuters.

Charred cars bear testament to the Carr Fire's destructiveness in Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
Charred cars bear testament to the Carr Fire's destructiveness in Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Smoke from the Carr Fire hangs over Whiskeytown Lake, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
Smoke from the Carr Fire hangs over Whiskeytown Lake, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Wade Brilz looks at what remains of his Redding, California home, which was destroyed by the Carr Fire. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Wade Brilz looks at what remains of his Redding, California home, which was destroyed by the Carr Fire. July 27, 2018.
 — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


A woman surveys damage to her grandmother's house after the Carr Fire burned through Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
A woman surveys damage to her grandmother's house after the Carr Fire burned through Redding, California. July 27, 2018.
 — Photograph: Noah Berger/Associated Press.


Helicopters drop water on hot spots of the Carr Fire burning in the hills west of Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Fred Greaves/Reuters.
Helicopters drop water on hot spots of the Carr Fire burning in the hills west of Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Fred Greaves/Reuters.

The Carr Fire burns through trees along a highway near Whiskeytown, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
The Carr Fire burns through trees along a highway near Whiskeytown, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Fire trucks pass by approaching flames from the Carr fire near Whiskeytown, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Fire trucks pass by approaching flames from the Carr fire near Whiskeytown, California. July 27, 2018.
 — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


A firefighter uses a hose to douse hot spots while battling the Carr Fire burning along a highway near Whiskeytown, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
A firefighter uses a hose to douse hot spots while battling the Carr Fire burning along a highway near Whiskeytown, California. July 27, 2018.
 — Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.


Trees burn with flames from the Carr Fire near Whiskeytown, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Trees burn with flames from the Carr Fire near Whiskeytown, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

A large pyrocumulus cloud, or cloud of fire, explodes outward from the Carr Fire near Redding, California. July 27, 2018. — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A large pyrocumulus cloud, or cloud of fire, explodes outward from the Carr Fire near Redding, California. July 27, 2018.
 — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 12:33:54 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Death count rises as blazes expand: Firefighter killed near Yosemite

Two more fatalities, including a firefighter, push toll to 8 across state. The largest fire torches 874 structures.

By RUBEN VIVES, DAVID ZAHNISER, ANGEL JENNINGS and ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN | Monday, July 30, 2018

A firefighter from Los Angeles douses hot spots in the Carr fire near homes in Redding on Sunday. About 12,000 firefighters from within California are battling 17 wildfires burning over 200,000 acres across the state. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
A firefighter from Los Angeles douses hot spots in the Carr fire near homes in Redding on Sunday. About 12,000 firefighters from within California
are battling 17 wildfires burning over 200,000 acres across the state. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


REDDING, CALIFORNIA — The death toll from the state's wildfires continued to mount on Sunday, with eight fatalities now reported from blazes burning in Shasta County and near Yosemite National Park.

In Mariposa County, where firefighters have spent weeks battling the Ferguson fire, officials reported that a firefighter based at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks died after being struck by a falling tree. Meanwhile, crews attacking the Carr fire in and around Redding said they had found another body — the fourth civilian to perish in that blaze — and reported that hundreds more structures were destroyed.

Firefighters are battling 17 wildfires across the state, which have consumed more than 200,000 acres combined in terrain stretching from Southern California to the Oregon border, said Jonathan Cox, battalion chief and information officer with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. With so many burning near populated areas, “resources are obviously stretched thin,” he said.

“We've had 17 fires before,” Cox said. “But these are impacting communities — and they're large fires, not small.”

About 12,000 firefighters have responded to the wildfires from within California. An additional 800 personnel have been deployed by the California National Guard. And 150 fire engines were on the way from as far away as Florida, officials said on Sunday. “There's a finite number of resources in California, and obviously we're employing them at the highest-priority incidents,” Cox said.

The Carr fire — the largest wildfire currently burning — has consumed more than 95,000 acres, destroyed 874 structures — including 657 residential structures — and damaged 175 others. Six people, including a 70-year-old woman and two of her great-grandchildren, ages 4 and 5, were killed in the fast-moving fire. Two belonged to the crews fighting the blaze. Authorities were also investigating seven missing persons cases.

The devastation astounded Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty, who represents much of the area that burned. “I've been a lifelong resident of this community. I've never seen a fire with such destruction here in this area ever before,” said Moty, appearing at a news conference with other public safety officials.

One of those who experienced the destruction first-hand was Redding resident Hannalora Lewis, who was woken up by her mother Thursday morning and told to evacuate.

While her parents grabbed photos and corralled their dogs, the 16-year-old scooped up her phone, an outfit and a new pair of sneakers she bought while back-to-school shopping. She said she almost grabbed a box of mementos — trinkets, diaries, ticket stubs from her favorite movies — but then thought it would take up too much room in the car.

Within days, she learned the family's house had been destroyed. “I didn't think for a second that we would lose our home,” she said.


Los Angeles firefighters battle the Carr fire near Redding on Sunday. The blaze has burned more than 95,000 acres, destroyed 874 structures and killed eight people. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles firefighters battle the Carr fire near Redding on Sunday. The blaze has burned more than 95,000 acres, destroyed 874 structures
and killed eight people. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


Firefighters on Sunday offered their first optimistic assessment of their battle against the Carr fire, which has forced more than 38,000 residents to evacuate. Cal Fire unified incident commander Bret Gouvea said cooler temperatures and increased humidity had given firefighters a window of opportunity to attack the massive fire.

The blaze, which was 17% contained on Sunday evening, was mostly burning north into remote and inaccessible areas. Fire crews also managed to halt the spread of the Carr fire within the city of Redding, Gouvea said.

“We've had no movement on the fire over the last day inside the city limits, so things are looking very good,” he added.

Craig Shoemaker, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's Sacramento office, said temperatures right over the fire are expected to reach highs of up to 105 degrees Monday, a few degrees cooler than it would have been without thick smoke acting as a cloud cover.

“An incredible amount of smoke has been put into the air, and that's helping to hold down temperatures a little bit,” said Tom Dang, another meteorologist with the weather service.

While the smoke provided some relief for crews on the ground, it complicated the aerial assault on the fire being waged by helicopters and air tankers, limiting their visibility. “There's a lot of low-level smoke, which means missions are having to be aborted,” said Cox, the Cal Fire spokesman.

Investigators said on Sunday they had recovered a sixth body from the Carr fire. Although he declined to identify the person, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said the latest victim had been where residents had been told to clear out for their safety.

“We have confirmed that the person did receive evacuation notices and did not evacuate,” he said.


On Sunday, cooler, more humid conditions gave firefighters a window to attack the massive Carr fire. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
On Sunday, cooler, more humid conditions gave firefighters a window to attack the massive Carr fire. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.

Officials also said there have now been two fatalities in the Ferguson fire, which has consumed more than 54,000 acres near Yosemite. That blaze, which started on July 13, claimed the life of a Cal Fire bulldozer operator, whose vehicle tumbled down a hillside during the building of a defensive line.

On Sunday, Brian Hughes, captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots, was killed when he was struck by a tree while he and his team were setting a backfire in an area with many dead trees on the east side of the fire, according to the National Park Service. He died before he could be taken to a hospital. He was 33.

Hughes, originally from Hilo, Hawaii, had worked with the Arrowhead hotshots for four years. It is an elite crew of 20 firefighters based at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

“They go into the steepest of the steep, the most rugged of the rugged areas,” said Mike Theune, a parks spokesman. The Arrowhead team, one of two hotshot crews within the National Park Service, was working on a two-week rotation when Hughes was killed, he said.

“The team at Sequoia and Kings National Parks is devastated by this terrible news,” parks Superintendent Woody Smeck said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to the firefighter's family and loved ones. We grieve this loss with you.”

The Ferguson fire has left seven others injured. Yosemite National Park remains closed while thousands of structures are threatened.

In Mendocino County, two other wind-driven wildfires had grown to more than 30,000 acres by Sunday evening, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate. The Ranch and River fires, known together as the Mendocino complex fires, began on Friday afternoon and exploded over the weekend, destroying six homes as residents in Mendocino County and some neighboring Lake County communities were told to flee, Cal Fire officials said.

Authorities said 10,200 structures were threatened. By Sunday evening, the Mendocino complex fires were 10% contained.


__________________________________________________________________________

Ruben Vives reported from Redding; and David Zahniser, Angel Jennings and Alene Tchekmedyian from Los Angeles.

• Ruben Vives is a general assignment reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A native of Guatemala, he got his start in journalism by writing for the L.A. Times' Homicide Report in 2007. He helped uncover the financial corruption in the city of Bell that led to criminal charges against eight city officials. The 2010 investigative series won the Pulitzer Prize for public service and other prestigious awards.

• David Zahniser covers Los Angeles City Hall for the City-County bureau. He joined the Los Angeles Times in 2007 and previously wrote on local government for the Claremont Courier, Pasadena Star-News, the Daily Breeze, the L.A. Weekly and the San Diego Union-Tribune. He is a graduate of Pomona College and lives in Los Angeles.

• Angel Jennings is a reporter for the metro section of the Los Angeles Times. She covers issues that affect residents in South Los Angeles. Since joining the L.A. Times in 2011, Angel has written for the Business section and covered education. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and graduated from the University of Nebraska.

• Alene Tchekmedyian is a Metpro reporter at the Los Angeles Times covering breaking news in California. She previously covered Glendale and Burbank police for Times Community News. She received her master’s in journalism from Columbia University after graduating from UCLA, where she worked at the student-run Daily Bruin. She currently serves on the UCLA Communications Board, which oversees the university's student-run media publications. She grew up in Huntington Beach.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=47716c7a-c156-4b76-928d-0aed2379e6cd
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=262fbef3-e1fb-4652-8fc1-7b1c62de6df9
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2018, 07:44:12 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

A blistering connection: Drier land fuels hotter wildfires

The link between heat and tinder-dry vegetation can't be ignored, experts say.

By RONG-GONG LIN II and RUBEN VIVES | Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A firefighting helicopter drops water near Redding, California, where the Carr fire erupted last week amid triple-digit temperatures. — Photograph: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee.
A firefighting helicopter drops water near Redding, California, where the Carr fire erupted last week amid triple-digit temperatures.
 — Photograph: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee.


REDDING, CALIORNIA — The northern Sacramento Valley was well on its way to recording the hottest July on record when the Carr fire swept into town on Thursday.

It was 113 degrees, and months of above-average temperatures had left the land bone-dry and ready to explode. Within a few hours, hundreds of structures were lost and six people killed.

The destruction adds to California's worst wildfire year on record — dozens dead since October, with more than 10,000 structures lost from San Diego to Redding.

There are many reasons for the grim totals, but experts say one common denominator connects the disastrous fires: California is facing extreme heat, the likes of which it has never seen in the modern historical record.

“The temperatures have just been almost inexorably warmer all the time,” said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain, and fires “burn more intensely if the fuels are extremely dry.”

In the past, there has been some reluctance among scientists to cite climate change as a major factor in California's worsening wildfires. Human-caused ignitions and homes being built ever closer to forests have played a large role. But the connection between rising temperatures in California and tinder-dry vegetation is becoming impossible to ignore, according to experts who study climate and wildfires.

“The regional temperatures in the western U.S. have increased by 2 degrees since the 1970s,” said Jennifer Balch, director of Earth Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “You're seeing the effect of climate change.”

Neil Lareau, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno, said unusual warmth is now routine, and that heat “leads to drying things out quicker.”




Vegetation can have various degrees of dryness — a wet log in the woods could smolder before puttering out, while tinder-dry chaparral on a 110-degree day could explode when ignited, Swain said. Extremely flammable vegetation can create a particularly intense fire with the potential to grow much faster — leaving less time for firefighters to get a handle on a blaze and for people to escape.

“What that means is the fire has to do less work to ignite the vegetation right next to it. And it can spread faster, and it releases energy more quickly,” Lareau said.

The Carr fire is the most destructive of 17 major blazes burning amid the current hot conditions. Fires in Mendocino County, in the San Jacinto Mountains and near Yosemite National Park exploded in the last few days, eating through dry wildlands. Authorities said they hope to gain more control over the Carr fire as temperatures cool off this week.

Swain said California is seeing more fires spreading much faster than what was customary. “It's just that much easier for fires to escape initial control,” he said.

An ominous warning sign before each of the major fires of the last year — including last fall's catastrophic Santa Rosa blaze — was alerts about record or near-record dryness in the vegetation, Swain said.

The effect of temperature — and how dry the vegetation is — can matter more than how much rain or snow fell the previous winter.

Northern California saw its wettest winter on record in 2016-17, followed by its warmest summer. That led to extremely dry vegetation by the fall — just before the devastating Santa Rosa fire hit, Swain said.

“Temperature can clearly out-influence the precipitation,” he said.


The Carr blaze is the most destructive of 17 major wildfires in the state. Authorities say they hope to gain more control of it as temperatures start to cool this week. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
The Carr blaze is the most destructive of 17 major wildfires in the state. Authorities say they hope to gain more control of it as temperatures start to cool this week.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


Hot, dry conditions and aridity of vegetation are translating to increased wildfire risk worldwide, said John Abatzoglou, associate professor of geography at the University of Idaho.

Abatzoglou was the lead author of a recent study that concluded human-caused climate change was responsible for more than half of the increase in dry vegetation in the western United States since the 1970s — which doubled the area of forest charred since 1984. The influence of human-caused climate change on the extreme dryness of vegetation “is projected to increasingly promote wildfire potential across western U.S. forests in the coming decades, and pose threats to ecosystems, the carbon budget, human health and fire suppression budgets,” Abatzoglou wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Making matters worse, nighttime temperatures generally are not dropping as low as they once did, meaning the chance of a blaze weakening overnight is reduced. California's average summer minimum temperature was at a record high last year at 61.9 degrees, up from 56.5 degrees from the first year on record in 1895.

“Some of these fires burn into the overnight hours — that's typically the time of day fires calm down and firefighters get a better handle on these things,” Abatzoglou said.

By many measures, literally and figuratively, California has been burning up.

As the Carr fire rapidly expanded, the Redding area was experiencing record-tying temperatures. In Southern California in October and November — in the middle of a punishing spate of wildfires — the average temperature was the hottest in more than 120 years of record keeping. San Francisco hit its all-time heat record in September, with a downtown reading of 106; in July, temperature records shattered throughout Southern California, with Burbank hitting 114 and Van Nuys 117.

Redding's temperature of 113 on Thursday wasn't unheard of for that time of year, but Swain said it was the accumulation of intense heat over the previous months that added to the problem.


The state is having its worst wildfire year on record as warmer temperatures and extremely dry land help fires burn more intensely, climate experts say. — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
The state is having its worst wildfire year on record as warmer temperatures and extremely dry land help fires burn more intensely, climate experts say.
 — Photograph: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


The resulting dry vegetation was a key factor in the Carr fire, Swain said. There was no wind preceding the blaze in Redding — no Santa Anas or Diablos whipping it up. Instead, the exceptionally dry vegetation produced intense heat that shot hot air up to 39,000 feet into the sky at speeds of up to 130 mph, Lareau said. That air was replaced by air moving in at the base of the fire, in a movement that appeared like a tornado.

“This fire vortex, this pretty terrifying tornado-like feature, and I don't say that lightly … was made possible by the extreme heat produced by this fire,” Swain said. “To see that in the brush- and mixed-forest region immediately adjacent to a city of 100,000 people in California was pretty extraordinary.”

Such “fire whirls,” also known as plume-dominated fires, are particularly dangerous because the direction of the blaze is far more difficult to predict and embers can spread far away. It's believed to be a factor in the number of lives lost in the fire, including firefighters. The Carr fire jumped the Sacramento River, which in a typical blaze would be seen as a natural barrier.

“The fire has much more of a mind of its own when it has more of these dynamics,” Lareau said.

It's virtually unheard of for a fire whirl to last as long as the one in Redding did — it started about 7 p.m. on Thursday and lasted for about an hour and a half. “It's remarkable in size, strength, duration and depth,” he said.

The fire whirl was so intense that it appeared to blow down large trees and strip tiles off roofs in areas untouched by fire damage.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the state's wildfire season is now 78 days longer than it was more than a generation ago.

“You don't get a record hot July by accident right now. It's just the whole background state of the climate is hotter. The entire Earth is hotter than it used to be,” Lareau said.


__________________________________________________________________________

L.A. Times staff writers Rong-Gong Lin II reported from San Francisco and Ruben Vives from Redding.

• Rong-Gong Lin II is a metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, specializing in covering statewide earthquake safety issues and Northern California. He won the California Newspaper Publishers Association's Freedom of Information Award and the University of Florida's Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award. He was a finalist for the Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting and the Knight Award for Public Service. A San Francisco area native, he graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004.

• Ruben Vives is a general assignment reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A native of Guatemala, he got his start in journalism by writing for the L.A. Times' Homicide Report in 2007. He helped uncover the financial corruption in the city of Bell that led to criminal charges against eight city officials. The 2010 investigative series won the Pulitzer Prize for public service and other prestigious awards.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=64458b6e-b354-45a4-a88e-c41b5c4118a4
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=2fa66462-2263-4340-b7ab-3d28b56c26cf
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2018, 08:00:43 pm »


The Los Angeles Times editorial board “gets it!”

Unfortunately, Donald J. Trump and his stupid administration “don't get it!

Nor do the stupid anti-warmalists and human-induced climate-change deniers.




from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

EDITORIAL: When fire season lasts all year

It's not just nature doing its thing. Wildfires, climate change and our own actions are all connected.

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD | Tuesday, July 31, 2018

THE devastating Carr fire in Northern California continues to ravage the countryside, nearing or even surpassing 100,000 acres, destroying at least 874 buildings and, even more tragically, killing six people with an additional seven people unaccounted for. To the southeast, two men — one a firefighter and the other a bulldozer operator — died fighting the 57,000-acre Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park. There were 15 other fires raging elsewhere in California, including two fresh fires forcing evacuations in Mendocino and Lake counties. And it's not just California that’s burning. As of Monday morning, at least 90 large fires were reported nationwide, all in the West except for a blaze in Florida.

Such fires are nothing new in this part of the country. But the fire season this year has begun much earlier than usual, and while scientists warn that specific weather conditions cannot be tied directly to climate change, these are just the sorts of impacts we have been warned to expect from a warming planet.

In fact, prolonged drought is a major factor in the current fires. Years of drought, broken by a rainy 2016-2017 winter followed by an unusually dry winter last year, have left the countryside covered with dead or dormant plants. In the mountains, drought damage has been augmented by bark beetle infestations that have left more than 100 million trees dead on their roots in California alone. All of that material is kindling and fuel for an errant spark or a bolt of lightning. And if heavy rains come in the aftermath of a fire, the charred landscape becomes the setting for deadly mudslides like those that flowed through Mendocino earlier this year.

The loss of life has been heartbreaking. Three of the Carr fire victims were 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe and two great-grandchildren who perished near Redding as a wall of flames sped through their neighborhood. In the Sierra Nevada, 33-year-old Brian Hughes, a “hotshot” firefighter, died when he was struck by a falling tree as he and colleagues raced to set a backfire to stanch the Ferguson blaze. Firefighters found another unidentified body on Sunday in the ashes of a different home near Redding, and it seems likely that more remains will be found elsewhere in the days to come.

Few areas of the state are immune from wildfires, and no Californian watching the smoke and rising death counts can shake the sense that there but for the grace of the prevailing winds go I. We know what we're supposed to do: Maintain brush-free areas around homes in fire-prone areas, have an escape plan, resist the urge for heroics and flee when authorities say so. But as the world continues to burn fossil fuels and climate change becomes more pronounced, we have to recognize that this isn't nature just doing its thing. We have endangered ourselves, a reality we must recognize and rectify as quickly and forcefully as possible.

Part of the responsibility falls on state and local officials, who must deal with the rising cost of fire prevention and suppression. State lawmakers recently began hammering out a more balanced approach to assigning liability when power lines cause a fire. Under current law, homeowners can collect from utilities even if the utilities were not negligent. With the state's fiery future, that's likely to lead to financial ruin for the power companies. Local planners and developers can also do more to consider wildfire risks as they make land-use decisions, and we need to adopt policies that make it easier to develop urban areas more densely.

But such moves only help address the aftermath of the wildfires and mudslides. To get at the root of the problem we must more radically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for energy and transportation. The Trump administration's “burn, burn, burn” approach to fossil fuel is no help on that front. The evidence of the horrible effects is right before the nation's eyes, yet the administration is looking at ways to undo California's efforts to reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicles.

At the moment, there is mourning to be done over the lives lost in the current conflagrations, and there are fires to be contained as well as damage to be assessed and dealt with. But we also must not lose sight of the fact that we can mitigate some of the dangers we face in the future by acting now. We just need the political will to do so.


http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=d60cace4-18ad-4fb6-8a09-08908f056708
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2018, 08:38:49 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

‘All these fires are so hard on towns’: Firefighters face ‘long road ahead’

Progress crawls as 17 blazes cut path of destruction.

By ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN, RUBEN VIVES and SONALI KOHLI | Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Firefighters from S&R Contracting in Oregon perform mop-up work on Monday near Redding, California. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters from S&R Contracting in Oregon perform mop-up work on Monday near Redding, California. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.

REDDING, CALIFORNIA The neighborhood looked like a patch quilt of destruction. One home, reduced to a heap of smoldering rubble. Next door, another home stood unscathed.

The pattern continued until Elizabeth Barkley, acting commander of the California Highway Patrol's Northern Division, drove up to her own property in Redding and confirmed what she'd already heard: Her home was gone.

“I realized I'm just one of the many that is going to be in this situation,” Barkley said from a hotel room. “All these fires are so hard on towns.”

In all, the deadly Carr fire had claimed six lives, devoured 818 homes and burned more than 103,000 acres by Monday night, leaving behind a trail of devastation as firefighters struggled to get a handle on flames. Crews had increased containment to 23%, marking significant progress on the largest and most destructive of at least 17 wildfires burning across the state. In some areas, thousands of weary residents were allowed to return home.

“We're starting to feel good about where we are going,” Bret Gouvea, incident commander with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told more than 300 residents at a community meeting on Monday afternoon. “Things are getting better, but we have a long road ahead. But trust me, we will get there.”

A day before she lost her home, Barkley spent hours frantically knocking on doors imploring residents to pack up and go. Covered in ash and sweat, she helped direct traffic out of the city. She said her fiance, an emergency room doctor, treated people with burns and elderly residents who had broken bones in falls while evacuating.

Still, she never thought the blaze would actually hit her neighborhood.

She was on her way to a briefing on Friday morning where she'd help decide where up to 200 CHP personnel would be deployed that day. Her phone buzzed — a lieutenant was calling.

“I don't know how to tell you this,” she recalled him saying. “Your house is gone.”

“Shut up,” she told him. “No way.”

“Chief,” he said, “your house is gone.”


A plane drops fire retardant near a home west of Lakeport, California. A pair of wildfires in Medocino County exploded to more than 68,000 acres. — Photograph: Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee.
A plane drops fire retardant near a home west of Lakeport, California. A pair of wildfires in Medocino County exploded to more than 68,000 acres.
 — Photograph: Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee.


When the loss set in, she thought of things she'd never see again. The christening gowns of her two daughters that she hoped to one day pass down to their girls. Her grandmother's china that came with years of memories from Christmases and Thanksgivings.

“Things you can't replace,” Barkley said, later adding: “At the end of the day, it's just stuff.”

When she drove up to the rubble, Barkley noticed one thing that didn't burn: Her American flag was still flying outside her home, untouched.

Officials said they expect containment on the Carr fire to increase in the next 24 hours, though crews were hampered by searing temperatures and dry weather. Winds were also expected to pick up overnight. On its west flank, firefighters were setting back fires, a tactic used to stop the fire from spreading. To the north, the fire continued to burn in wilderness, while the eastern flank was not as active.

“The terrain is just awful and difficult to access. It's just inaccessible in a lot of areas,” said Dominic Polito, a spokesman for the Carr fire. “If you were to walk up it, you'd be looking at your knee on every step.”

Among those killed in the Carr fire were a woman and her two great-grandchildren. The woman's husband, Ed Bledsoe, told CBS News that he did not receive an evacuation warning before the blaze tore through their home, raising questions about how authorities alerted residents.

“If I'd have any kind of warning, I'd have never, ever left my family in that house,” Bledsoe said.

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said his department was looking into whether a deputy had knocked at the woman's home. He said authorities notified residents of the fire danger in several ways, including tapping a system that makes 911 reverse calls on landline phones.

In Mendocino County, a pair of fires exploded to more than 68,000 acres. By Monday night, they were 5% contained.

The Mendocino Complex fires are “the most active” in that county right now, said Scott McLean, deputy chief with Cal Fire. “The smaller fires we had going are starting to wrap up, which is good news.”

In Southern California, the Cranston fire near Idyllwild was 82% contained on Monday, after burning 13,139 acres and five homes since it started last week. A brushfire that erupted in Santa Clarita on Monday afternoon scorched 10 acres and partially burned a residential complex before firefighters got a handle on it.


Firefighter Wyatt Belden from Gold Ridge Fire Protection in Sonoma County monitors a blaze west of Lakeport, California. — Photograph: Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee.
Firefighter Wyatt Belden from Gold Ridge Fire Protection in Sonoma County monitors a blaze west of Lakeport, California.
 — Photograph: Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee.


In Redding, authorities are patrolling the empty town and arrested two men on Sunday night on suspicion of unauthorized entry into an enclosed area,  police said.

Authorities also arrested two other people on Sunday afternoon in Shasta County on suspicion of looting, after deputies found that the front door to a home in an evacuated area had been forced open. Electronic items were stacked by the door, according to a Shasta County sheriff's statement. Redding residents Jack Fannin, 19, and Jade Ball, 25, were arrested and booked at Shasta County Jail.

News of possible looters had shaken some residents.

Lake Redding resident James Anderson placed multiple motion sensors throughout his yellow wood-frame home on Hartland Drive. “I put one by the porch so that I know who's coming,” he said on Monday. “I put one on the side gate. The other day it had been left open and I had it closed.”

Anderson, 74, said home burglaries are already a problem in the area. Although evacuations were ordered for his neighborhood, Anderson said he decided to stay to make sure his home was safe. He said firefighters brought him cans of soup during the first few nights of the fire, but now his food supply was dwindling.

He's now contemplating using his mountain bike to take side trails into town to pick up food and sneak back in. He's not sure what will happen if he runs into any authorities.

“If they hassle me, I'm just going to tell them to go to hell,” Anderson said.

Shasta County District Attorney Stephani A. Bridgett said her office has received 60 complaints about price gouging and intends to investigate. The state's anti-price gouging statute prohibits businesses from raising the price of many goods and services by more than 10% during an emergency.

Robert Seals, 71, said he looks forward to when things go back to normal in Redding.

“They don't want to let anyone in until they checked the entire neighborhood,” he said. “I'm patient, but it's frustrating not to go in where there's no problem.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Ruben Vives reported from Redding, Alene Tchekmedyian and Sonali Kohli from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

• Alene Tchekmedyian is a Metro reporter at the Los Angeles Times covering breaking news in California. She previously covered Glendale and Burbank police for Times Community News. She received her master’s in journalism from Columbia University after graduating from UCLA, where she worked at the student-run Daily Bruin. She currently serves on the UCLA Communications Board, which oversees the university's student-run media publications. She grew up in Huntington Beach.

• Ruben Vives is a general assignment reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A native of Guatemala, he got his start in journalism by writing for the L.A. Times' Homicide Report in 2007. He helped uncover the financial corruption in the city of Bell that led to criminal charges against eight city officials. The 2010 investigative series won the Pulitzer Prize for public service and other prestigious awards.

• Sonali Kohli is a reporter covering educationfor the Los Angeles Times. A product of Southern California, she grew up in Diamond Bar and graduated from UCLA. She worked as a metro reporter for the Orange County Register and as a reporter covering education and diversity for Quartz before joining the L.A. Times in 2015.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=e7c39915-d358-4f1b-b019-4156e72a2496
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=69df7afd-141e-493a-b9d2-fe3a1befe5d6
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2018, 12:23:51 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Combating fire and exhaustion

Year-round season is pushing firefighters to their limits.

By LOUIS SAHAGUN | Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Firefighters from Oregon mop up hot spots on the Carr fire near Redding, California, where 3,600 firefighters gathered to take on the deadly blaze. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters from Oregon mop up hot spots on the Carr fire near Redding, California, where 3,600 firefighters gathered to take on the deadly blaze.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


REDDING, CALIFORNIA — It’s exhausting, dangerous and seemingly endless labor: tracking down hot spots still smoldering in the sage and pine west of Redding, then ripping through thickets until axes and shovels turn over the bare earth needed to form a firebreak.

But most of all, it is terribly hot.

Just ask the dirty and weary ground pounders who have been attacking the Carr fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest all week, beating back flames with hand tools and hoses where the smoke is so thick that breathing is difficult, temperatures soar above 100 degrees and the relative humidity hovers at a parching 15%.

Brian Rodriguez, 22, of Moreno Valley tried to pace himself as he heaved aside shovelfuls of leaves and chopped roots while humming to the tempo of Johnny Cash's rendition of “John Henry”.

“But it still gets hotter than hell,” said Rodriguez, part of a California Conservation Corps crew assigned to cut a defensive line 4 feet wide and 10 miles long.

Rodriguez and the other 14 members of his crew were starting a 24-hour shift in one of the last patches of woodlands where the Carr fire still rampaged, threatening the modest wood-frame homes and businesses of Lewiston and nearby French Gulch.

Their workday began at sunrise at a sprawling base camp south of Redding, where 3,600 firefighters from as far as Florida gathered to combat a blaze that has already destroyed at least 818 homes and burned more than 110,000 acres.

The mood is at times somber.

Firefighters and law enforcement are paying tribute to eight fatalities reported from blazes burning in Shasta County and near Yosemite National Park by wearing black mourning bands on their badges.

“It's been a very tough month. Four firefighters lost their lives, along with four civilians,” said Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, as he ended a morning briefing at the base camp Tuesday.

“Pace yourself,” he added. “This job will get done.”

The Carr fire is the largest and most destructive of 17 major blazes roaring across the state that are stretching resources to the limit in what fire authorities are already calling one of the worst — and earliest — fire seasons in decades.

Firefighters are resigned to more long hot struggles to come: A trend toward large, severe, year-round wildfires has been brewing throughout California and across the Western U.S. for over a decade, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.


California Conservation Corps members battle the Carr fire near Redding. Crews have been beating back flames in areas where temperatures soar above 100 degrees and the smoke is so thick that breathing is difficult. — Photograph: Brice Bennett/California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
California Conservation Corps members battle the Carr fire near Redding. Crews have been beating back flames in areas where temperatures soar above
100 degrees and the smoke is so thick that breathing is difficult. — Photograph: Brice Bennett/California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.


California fires no longer seem to arrive only in August and September. More massive conflagrations are spawned year-round by a confluence of familiar factors: drought, withering heat, gusting winds, dense brush, runaway campfires, vehicle sparks, downed power lines and arson.

In 2015, about 80,000 acres burned statewide between January 1 and July 30, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. More than 180,000 acres burned during the same period the following year; 199,000 acres were consumed by that point in 2017.

So far this year, about 409,000 acres have been lost to fire, the agency said.

“There's no end to these tragic fires now,” said Gabriel Lauderdale, a Cal Fire spokesman assigned to the Carr fire command post at a fairgrounds south of Redding. “I didn't get home from the Thomas fire [which burned more than 280,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties last year] until Christmas Eve.”

Earlier in the week, crews were concentrating on areas where homes and other structures were in jeopardy. Now, with the fire 27% contained, the front is moving through sparsely populated valleys northwest of Redding that had been untouched by fire for decades.

Thick reddish-gray smoke hung over the region's active fires like a lid on a pot because of a stubborn inversion layer, officials said.

Residents who defied evacuation orders sat on front porches and roadside retaining walls watching fire engines and trucks loaded with firefighters, bulldozers and cranes speeding past toward columns of smoke on surrounding slopes.

High on a ridgeline overlooking Lewiston, a California Conservation Corps crew led by Cal Fire Capt. Ben Sitter lined up beside an immense earthmover parked along a winding road.

“This is one of the few areas where fire is still actively devouring landscape,” Sitter, 45, said. “Our goal is to stop the flames from marching down the mountain into the community of Lewiston.”

The crew was psyched up for the job at hand: chopping shrubs and stumps with axes, rolling boulders aside with pry bars, and clearing a smooth path that would be roughly 4 feet wide and grow longer by the minute.

Armed with shovels, axes and chain saws, they marched in single file up into a stand of Douglas firs more than 100 feet tall.

Ricky Williams, 21, of West Covina planned to keep his stamina by sticking with the rhythm of a mantra: “We're going to get through this. This will end.”

Brice Bennett, a spokesman for Cal Fire, would not go that far.

“I'm afraid nobody will be going home for a while,” Bennett said. “Looks like we'll be hopscotching from one fire to the next.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Louis Sahagun is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. He covers issues ranging from religion, culture and the environment to crime, politics and water. He was on the team of L.A. Times writers that earned the Pulitzer Prize in public service for a series on Latinos in Southern California and the team that was a finalist in 2015 for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. He is a CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California board member, and author of the book, “Master of the Mysteries: the Life of Manly Palmer Hall”.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=8a8f532a-7d62-423a-a305-c3336a772972
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=403f2517-ec12-4066-82a1-f317f1e1bd02
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2018, 12:49:18 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Fire and fury as state burns

Seventeen wildfires rage in ‘a horrendous battle’ in California.

By SONALI KOHLI | Wednesday, August 01, 2018

A helicopter drops water on the River fire, one of two blazes in Mendocino County, California. Together the two fires have burned more than 80,000 acres since Friday and neither is more than 12% contained. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
A helicopter drops water on the River fire, one of two blazes in Mendocino County, California. Together the two fires have burned more than 80,000 acres
since Friday and neither is more than 12% contained. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


THIS IS the new normal: There are 17 serious wildfires burning throughout California, including one of the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history.

Firefighters this month have been laboring under triple-digit temperatures and dry conditions to gain control over fires that have burned indiscriminately through residential neighborhoods, rolling hills and steep, forested terrain. The flames are stoked by dry brush and areas of dead trees, some of which haven’t burned in decades.

As of Tuesday, more than 12,300 firefighters were on the lines battling infernos that have burned more than 280,000 acres across the state.

“It's a horrendous battle,” said Scott McLean, a deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Four men have died fighting the wildfires, and each of their deaths has highlighted the difficulties of fire containment.

Two died in the Ferguson fire, weeks apart: one when his bulldozer overturned and another when a falling tree struck him. In the Carr fire, an 81-year-old private bulldozer contractor and a fire prevention inspector died in Redding after flames swept through parts of the city Thursday night. The flames and heat were so intense they created their own weather system and tornado-like winds. Four civilians died in the same conditions.

The Carr fire in Shasta County had burned 112,888 acres by Tuesday evening, and crews increased containment to 30%. It has destroyed at least 1,378 structures — more than last year's Thomas fire in Southern California — making it the sixth most destructive and the 13th-deadliest wildfire in California history, according to state figures. The majority of the damage was in west Redding and some surrounding areas. McLean expected the fire's ranking to climb even higher as damage assessments continue.

About 22,000 Carr fire evacuees were allowed back into their homes by Tuesday night, but 15,000 remained displaced, McLean said.

Crews continued to build containment lines on Tuesday night, hampered somewhat by shifting winds and steep terrain. Most of the fire activity now is on the northwest corner of the fire, McLean said, and the rising containment is a positive sign.

Of the largest fires in the state, firefighters have the least containment over two blazes in Mendocino County — the Ranch and River fires. Together they have burned more than 80,000 acres and are 10% and 12% contained, respectively. The two fires have destroyed 10 structures so far.

Those fires both ignited on Friday and are burning largely in rural areas that include some rolling hills as well as rugged slopes. Firefighters are battling “a little bit of everything,” including dry fuel, weather and terrain, McLean said.

Firefighters faced wind gusts up to 17 mph Monday night and could see westerly gusts of up to 20 mph through Tuesday evening, National Weather Service meteorologist Cory Mueller said. On Monday night, firefighters worked to extinguish spot fires, according to a fire incident report.

Firefighters were also contending with two new wildfires that ignited on Tuesday afternoon. The Eel fire charred 865 acres in a sparsely populated area east of Covelo in Mendocino County, while the Butte fire scorched 800 acres northwest of Yuba City in Sutter County, McLean said.


Firefighters near Lakeport in Mendocino County try to keep a home from being destroyed. A common thread in the California fires this year is extreme heat, the likes of which the state has never seen in the modern historical record. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters near Lakeport in Mendocino County try to keep a home from being destroyed. A common thread in the California fires this year is extreme heat,
the likes of which the state has never seen in the modern historical record. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


The Ferguson fire, near Yosemite National Park, has burned through 58,074 acres. The fire has raged in rugged forest terrain, with pockets of dangerous dead brush, grass and trees that have not seen flames for close to a century. As of Tuesday, the fire was 33% contained. Although only one structure had been lost in the fire, two firefighters were killed and nine others injured, according to authorities.

There will be a slight cooling of temperatures over the Carr and Mendocino fires on Wednesday and Thursday that will be barely noticeable to firefighters but could help them continue to gain control of the wildfires, authorities said.

The rapid spread and high level of destruction of these recent fires is “a new normal,” McLean said. Of the state's 20 most destructive wildfires, a quarter of them ignited in either October or December of last year. Topping the list is last year's Tubbs fire, which killed 22 people and destroyed 5,636 structures when it sped through the city of Santa Rosa.

Nationally, there are more than 60 uncontained large fires burning in the Western United States, according to federal authorities.

In Southern California, the Cranston fire near Hemet was 89% contained on Tuesday evening after burning 13,139 acres and destroying five homes.

A common thread in the California fires this year is extreme heat, the likes of which the state has never seen in the modern historical record.

In the past, there has been some reluctance among scientists to cite climate change as a major factor in California's worsening wildfires. Human-caused ignitions and the construction of homes ever closer to forests have played a large role. But the connection between rising temperatures in California and tinder-dry vegetation is becoming impossible to ignore, according to experts who study climate and wildfires.

And it's not just the biggest wildfires statewide that are taking a toll on firefighters — they're also dispatched to quickly extinguish smaller brush fires and prevent them from spreading, McLean said.

“Last week alone, during the week, you had over 1,000 wildfire responses,” he said. “Commonly this time of year it's maybe 250 to 300.”

In the Railroad fire, a 10-acre brush fire in Santa Clarita that ignited on Monday afternoon, three firefighters suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation. It was 95% contained by Tuesday evening, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Concerned residents across the state have asked how they can help, offering to bring water and food to base camps. But that's not what firefighters need from the public, McLean said.

“The best thing you can do for the firefighters is to be prepared — be prepared to leave, make sure your family's educated on what to do,” he said. “And when it's time, leave. Do not stay.”


__________________________________________________________________________

L.A. Times staff writers Alene Tchekmedyian, Ron Lin and Ruben Vives contributed to this report.

• Sonali Kohli is a reporter covering education for the Los Angeles Times. A product of Southern California, she grew up in Diamond Bar and graduated from UCLA. She worked as a metro reporter for the Orange County Register and as a reporter covering education and diversity for Quartz before joining the L.A. Times in 2015.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=b42c89ac-7889-4cf7-b119-7a5d2aa6e57d
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=721945a8-dc5e-4c2e-bceb-b5ffd36f59eb
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2018, 03:41:40 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Little time to flee the flames: Disasters reveal flaws in alerts

As fires burn faster, emergency alerts fail to keep pace

By JOSEPH SERNA and LOUIS SAHAGUN | Thursday, August 02, 2018

Scorched earth remains after the Carr fire swept through Shasta, California. Six people have died in the blaze, including four civilians. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Scorched earth remains after the Carr fire swept through Shasta, California. Six people have died in the blaze, including four civilians.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


REDDING, CALIFORNIA — It was Thursday evening when the Carr fire barreled out of the foothills and took aim at this city, with hot winds launching embers well ahead of the main blaze and engulfing neighborhoods along bends in the Sacramento River.

When the flames approached western Redding, Shasta County officials issued mandatory evacuation orders. But those warnings may not have reached everyone amid the chaos. A woman and her two great-grandchildren were trapped in their home when the fire hit. She placed a wet blanket on the kids and huddled over them, but that was no match for the Carr fire. All three died.

Authorities said they did everything they could to alert residents to the coming danger — using social media, reverse 911 calls and public announcements. But, officials acknowledged, there may have been shortfalls given the ferocious nature of the fire that night.

“It's highly possible they didn't get a notification,” said Sherry Bartolo, operations manager for Shasta County's emergency dispatch system. “In my 38-year career, I've never had anything that was that devastating to my staff. Now I know what Napa and Santa Rosa and those agencies went through. I couldn't imagine it until I went through it.”

The four civilian deaths in the Carr fire — including a man on Sunday with serious medical problems whose family said he was unable to get out without assistance — add to an unprecedented year of loss.

With temperatures ever warming and blazes burning faster and hotter, California has never recorded a more destructive fire year: More than 10,000 homes have been lost and dozens of people killed since October. More than 40 died that month when fires swept through wine country, sparking debate about why the government could not do more to warn people in the path of the flames. Similar concerns were voiced in January, when mudslides killed more than 20 in Montecito, an area primed for devastation after the Thomas fire burned through a month before.

Officials and experts say California needs to figure out how to improve its emergency alert system.

“This is not a perfect world, but people like me think there’s a way to lessen the loss of life,” said Richard Rudman, vice chair of California's Emergency Alert System. “We need an overall learning strategy so everyone is reading out of the same playbook.”

Officials are still assessing the evacuation process for the Carr fire, but the disasters in wine country and Santa Barbara County revealed serious flaws in the warning systems.

A state report released last year found that Sonoma County emergency managers failed to use all means possible to warn residents during October's deadly fire siege. Evacuation orders went to only a fraction of residents, and managers quickly lost track of the fast-moving blazes, leaving entire communities in the dark about their danger.

A Los Angeles Times investigation of the fire response found problems that included a lack of coordination among various agencies and vendors, the use of outdated landline lists to send emergency calls and serious flaws with a federal cellphone alert system.

In the wake of the disasters in Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties, lawmakers have pushed for reforms, including mandates that authorities use up-to-date warning systems and a plan to automatically enroll residents in emergency notification systems, leaving it to residents to opt out.

When the Carr fire moved toward Redding, authorities sent out updates through reverse 911 calls — a method that has proved unreliable in the past — as well as text messages to residents who had subscribed to the county's emergency warning system. When they had time, authorities posted the latest news to social media. The county used Amber Alert-style messages three times, records show.

But not everything worked out as planned. A citywide evacuation order was issued for Shasta Lake, though only the community of Summit City on the town's west side was notified, authorities said.

Farther south, along Quartz Hill Road in Redding, Ed Bledsoe said he never got word that he and his family were supposed to flee. Not long after he left his home to run errands on July 26, he got a frantic call from his wife back in their trailer. The fire was fast approaching her and their great-grandchildren, and they begged Bledsoe to come back to rescue them.

But he was too late.

The fire, driven by gale-force winds and feeding on timber dried out by days of triple-digit temperatures, overwhelmed Bledsoe's neighborhood. His family was lost.


Mark Peterson, one of hundreds who lost homes in the Carr fire, rescues his goats with the help of a friend. More than 1,500 structures have burned. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Mark Peterson, one of hundreds who lost homes in the Carr fire, rescues his goats with the help of a friend. More than 1,500 structures have burned.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


Elizabeth Barkley, acting commander of the California Highway Patrol's Northern Division, was at the intersection of Placer Street and Buenaventura Boulevard when the fire shifted its direction to the northwest. Officials began mass evacuations about 7 p.m., she said, and she raced door-to-door imploring people to leave. Traffic was sent out of the city on wrong-way lanes. Dispatchers began fielding 911 calls for rescues.

Officials left one flag at the front of homes where residents agreed to leave and two flags if they didn't or if no one was home, said Shasta County Undersheriff Eric Magrini. Bledsoe's property was too badly scorched on Wednesday to determine if it had been visited.

“I know we were in that area conducting evacuations. We had saturated that area, everybody was leaving,” Magrini said. “It was very chaotic. But we were managing the chaos at the time.”

But he also stressed that the area was faced with an unprecedented situation. “If you told me a week ago that this fire in the French Gulch area was going to downtown Redding, I would've called you a liar,” Magrini said. “I've never see anything like it. I hope I never see anything like it again.”

The Bledsoes lived in a hideaway kind of neighborhood, in oak-and-hill country of northwest Redding.

Their property, like many others in the area, was large and decorated with vintage farming equipment fronting a slender two-lane road.

The night the fire arrived, its embers quickly leapfrogged from house to house as the oak trees that gave them cool shade this time of year became fuel.

Several structures on the property were reduced to piles of twisted metal siding, brick and metal bed springs and shattered pottery.

Among the few things unscathed by the firestorm were half a dozen basketballs and kickballs — some of them decorated with silver stars — stacked beneath a tree. A few feet away, a 10-speed bicycle leaned against the skeletal remains of a shade tree.

There was a burned-out hulk of a pickup truck, and a roof collapsed to the ground. Geese, roosters and chickens waddled through the rubble.

The areas hardest hit by natural disasters in the state last year relied mostly on third-party companies to handle their emergency messaging and operated on a subscriber-based model that has little success reaching the majority of the public.

If residents want to be safe during an emergency, Rudman said, public agencies need to clearly communicate where the disaster is located and residents need to take them seriously.

“When these things happen in the middle of the night — social media, emergency alerts — short of knocking on your door, those may not work,” he cautioned. “And lives will be lost.”

Being faced with the unexpected is something Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea knows about. Last year, he was given about an hour's notice to evacuate the county when authorities feared a structure at the Oroville Dam was going to fail and flood the town.

“No matter how much you prepare, there’s always the possibility that there will come along an event that outpaces your resources,” Honea said. “The best plan often doesn't survive first contact. You've got to be prepared for the situation to change.”

Since then, the county has revamped its entire evacuation process, setting up safety zones and giving residents specific meeting points.

“These kinds of potential mega-disasters seem to be happening with greater frequency, and law enforcement, fire, EMS and our public safety agencies I think have to look at public safety in a much broader context,” Honea said. “When I first got into this business, I thought my job was to enforce the law, investigate crimes and arrest criminals. But it's so much broader than that.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Louis Sahagun reported from Redding, and Joseph Serna from Los Angeles. L.A. Times staff writer Alene Tchekmedyian contributed to this report.

• Joseph Serna is a Metro reporter who has been with the Los Angeles Times since 2012. He previously worked for papers in Orange County and Signal Hill, a 2.2-square-mile city surrounded by Long Beach. He was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack and is a graduate of California's community college and Cal State systems.

• Louis Sahagun is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. He covers issues ranging from religion, culture and the environment to crime, politics and water. He was on the team of L.A. Times writers that earned the Pulitzer Prize in public service for a series on Latinos in Southern California and the team that was a finalist in 2015 for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. He is a CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California board member, and author of the book, “Master of the Mysteries: the Life of Manly Palmer Hall”.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=e5da30ab-01df-4231-ac9e-138a1ee0a75d
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=9c2a855d-f16a-438e-bd54-247150b72c77
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2018, 03:51:48 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

More fires ignite, giving a glimpse of grim future:
New fires strain thin resources


Next decade of blazes will cost billions, says Brown: ‘We're going to have to adapt’.

By JACLYN COSGROVE, JOHN MYERS, LOUIS SAHAGUN and SONALI KOHLI | Thursday, August 02, 2018

Firefighters watch as air tankers drop flame retardant ahead of the River fire in Lakeport, California, on Wednesday. The blaze, one of 16 large wildfires burning across the state, was 33,398 acres and 38% contained. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters watch as air tankers drop flame retardant ahead of the River fire in Lakeport, California, on Wednesday. The blaze, one of 16 large wildfires
burning across the state, was 33,398 acres and 38% contained. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — As fire crews struggled to gain containment on more than a dozen wildfires raging across California on Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown told reporters that large, destructive fires would probably continue and cost the state billions of dollars over the next decade.

“The more serious predictions of warming and fires to occur later in the century, 2040 or 2050, they're now occurring in real time,” Brown said at a news conference at the state's emergency operations center outside Sacramento.

State officials said more than 13,000 firefighters are on duty fighting 16 large fires that have burned a total of 320,000 acres and displaced more than 32,000 residents. Seventeen states have offered assistance to California during the last week, sending help from as far away as Maine and Florida. Though the state has the resources now to combat the large wildfires, fighting them and keeping people safe will become harder, Brown said.

“Things will get much tighter in the next five years as the business cycle turns negative and the fires continue,” Brown said.

New wildfires broke out on Wednesday, including two threatening homes in El Dorado County, further straining the efforts of overloaded firefighters who are trying to keep up.

The Omega and Bumper fires sparked evacuations, with residents being directed to a shelter at the Diamond Springs Firefighters Memorial Hall at 3734 China Garden Road. The blazes had burned 120 acres west of Pilot Hill and east of Frenchtown, respectively, and officials were hitting flames with water-dropping aircraft.

Brown, who met with top fire and emergency response officials, said the state would spend whatever is needed to combat the blazes. But he said the current conditions are part of a long cycle that began with the rapid rise in greenhouse gases caused by human activity.

“People are doing everything they can, but nature is very powerful and we’re not on the side of nature,” he said. “We're fighting nature with the amount of material we're putting in the environment, and that material traps heat. And the heat fosters fires.”

The Eel fire, which broke out in a remote area Tuesday afternoon in northern Mendocino County, was 0% contained after burning 1,000 acres as of Wednesday evening, said Punky Moore, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire is traveling through quick-burning grass and oak in a rural area of rolling hills that can become steep and difficult to access, Cal Fire Deputy Chief Scott McLean said.

“It's going to keep growing, hopefully not very much more, but we’ll find out,” he said on Wednesday morning.

Another blaze that ignited on Tuesday in Mono County north of Mammoth Lakes, called the Owens fire, was 312 acres and 80% contained as of Wednesday evening, authorities said.

The largest and deadliest of the wildfires currently burning in California is the Carr fire, which as of Wednesday evening had burned 121,049 acres and was 35% contained.

Fire crews have been battling the blaze in triple-digit heat. On Wednesday, however, forecasters said temperatures will return to normal, or close to it, by this weekend. Temperatures will reach the high 90s and humidity will hover around 20%, said Roy Skinner, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

“Any break in the weather is appreciated — we're at 35% containment,” he said. “However, we don’t want people to be complacent, or on edge. But the fact is, this fire was started by just one little spark off a vehicle.”

Still, as a low-pressure system approaches from the west, the area could see shifting winds and gusts of up 30 mph, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Dang.

“This fire has a very unique personality,” said Jason Shanley, a spokesman for the Carr fire incident response. It's been active at night, while a stubborn inversion layer has kept smoke low to the ground and hindered air support during the day. Conditions also spawned a fire tornado that ripped through parts of Redding. “Every day there's a new challenge.”


Firefighters monitor the progression of the River fire on Wednesday. Low humidity, heat and wind challenged crews, although containment increased on the southern Mendocino County blaze and another nearby. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters monitor the progression of the River fire on Wednesday. Low humidity, heat and wind challenged crews, although containment increased
on the southern Mendocino County blaze and another nearby. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


The fire is now mostly burning on its western flank. On the eastern end, more and more of the 38,000 fire evacuees have been allowed to return to their homes — or what is left of them — in and around Redding.

The Carr fire has claimed six lives so far — those of a Redding fire inspector, a private bulldozer contractor and four civilians. It has also destroyed more than 1,500 structures, becoming the sixth most destructive wildfire in recorded state history.

“Steep terrain, erratic winds, and previously unburned fuels” on the western edge are challenging crews and increasing potential for spot fires, according to a Cal Fire incident report.

Containment is also increasing on two fires in southern Mendocino County: As of Wednesday evening the Ranch fire was 15% contained after burning 64,514 acres, while the River fire had scorched 33,398 acres and was 38% contained.

“Low humidity, heat and wind will continue to challenge firefighters throughout the day” on Wednesday, a Cal Fire incident report said. Firefighters hope to fully contain both blazes by August 7, the report said. The low-pressure system will have a similar effect on the weather around these fires and on the Carr fire, Dang said.

Fire officials anticipate that the Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park will intensify and spread farther into the central Sierra Nevada, a change in behavior caused largely by the shifting weather patterns expected in the next few days. As of Wednesday evening, the fire had scorched 63,798 acres and was 39% contained.

For the last several days, a high-pressure system has remained over the region. This has created an inversion, which acts like the lid on a pot of boiling water, keeping smoke from rising. As that pressure system lifts, and the inversion disappears, officials anticipate the fire will be fed fresh air and intensify.

Now in its 21st day, the Ferguson fire still threatens to ignite a massive number of dead trees that have been killed off by five years of drought and a bark beetle infestation.

“This fire has amazed me in its ability to do things I've never seen before,” fire behavior analyst Robert Scott, with California Interagency Incident Management Team 4, told a large group of firefighters gathered for the daily morning briefing on Wednesday. “Be extremely careful down there.”

Safety remains a concern for firefighters. Two have died battling the fire, while nine others have been injured. Between Oakhurst and Ahwahnee, smoke hangs in the air, and poster boards strapped to road signs and mailboxes along California 49 have messages of support for firefighters, with many reading, “Stay safe!”

The features that make the region appealing to tourists and nature lovers — large canyons, tall ridge tops and plunging cliffs — have made the fire more than challenging for firefighters by creating unpredictable microclimates.

“Unless you're out there on the ground, feeling the wind and listening to the needles crack underneath your feet,” Scott said, “you can't give a really precise prediction of what the fire is going to do.”

During the news conference on Wednesday, Brown said that he had spoken with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and that the federal government was an important partner in firefighting efforts.

The governor urged residents in fire-prone areas to stay on alert and said he planned to soon visit some of the state's devastated communities. But he pointed out that major changes — from firefighting needs to environmental policy — are needed for the future.

“We're going to have to adapt. We're going to have to change our technology,” Brown said. “But in the meantime, we're going to spend a hell of a lot of money and there’s going to be a lot of unpleasant events.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Jaclyn Cosgrove reported from Yosemite, John Myers from Sacramento, Louis Sahagun from Redding and Sonali Kohli from Los Angeles. L.A. Times staff writer Alene Tchekmedyian contributed to this report.

• Jaclyn Cosgrove is a Metro reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she worked as the health reporter at The Oklahoman. She was selected for a 2015-16 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. For her fellowship project, she explored the barriers that low-income, uninsured people with mental illnesses face in finding treatment. Cosgrove is originally from Arpelar, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University.

• John Myers joined the Los Angeles Times as Sacramento bureau chief in 2015 after more than two decades in radio and televisionnews, much of that as an award-winning reporter covering state house policy and politics. During a decade of work for San Francisco's NPR affiliate, his unique online projects included everything from one of Sacramento's original politics blogs to California's first politics podcast. He also served as the moderator of gubernatorial debates in 2014 and 2010. Often cited by state and national news organizations as one of Sacramento's top journalists, he's a graduate of Duke University and the University of California, Berkeley.

• Louis Sahagun is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. He covers issues ranging from religion, culture and the environment to crime, politics and water. He was on the team of L.A. Times writers that earned the Pulitzer Prize in public service for a series on Latinos in Southern California and the team that was a finalist in 2015 for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. He is a CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California board member, and author of the book, “Master of the Mysteries: the Life of Manly Palmer Hall”.

• Sonali Kohli is a reporter covering education for the Los Angeles Times. A product of Southern California, she grew up in Diamond Bar and graduated from UCLA. She worked as a metro reporter for the Orange County Register and as a reporter covering education and diversity for Quartz before joining the L.A. Times in 2015.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=f2b3ebb7-bba9-4a28-86bc-c4e60035a3f9
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=53b267cb-c537-4040-9382-3f350112b8e7
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2018, 03:57:07 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Record month for heat: A July for the record books

July brought historically high temperatures to many Southland areas.

By  MELISSA ETEHAD| Thursday, August 02, 2018

Adrian Valdivia gives Acacia Valencia a ride on an ice cream cart Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles, which endured its third-hottest July on record. — Photograph: Photograph: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times.
Adrian Valdivia gives Acacia Valencia a ride on an ice cream cart Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles, which endured its third-hottest July on record.
 — Photograph: Photograph: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times.


SEARING TEMPERATURES plagued many parts of Southern California during the month of July as a massive heat wave set records in Death Valley, Van Nuys, Long Beach and other areas, according to the National Weather Service.

All-time average record highs in July were reported at Long Beach Airport (77.8 degrees), Van Nuys Airport (83.6), Lancaster Airport (87.2) and Oxnard (73.1), according to the National Weather Service.

It was the third warmest July in downtown Los Angeles since records began in 1877, with the average temperature for the month reaching 79.9 degrees. The warmest July for that area was in 2006.

It was also the warmest July on record in Fresno. For 26 consecutive days temperatures were above 100 degrees, said Brian Ochs, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. Ochs said the previous record was set in 2005 with 22 days in a row of temperatures above 100 degrees.

Bakersfield also saw broiling temperatures that set records. Ochs said it was the second warmest July on record, with temperatures exceeding the monthly July average by about 6 degrees.


Ashley Moore plays in the pool with her 2-year-old son, Alijah, in Highland Park on Wednesday. — Photograph: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times.
Ashley Moore plays in the pool with her 2-year-old son, Alijah, in Highland Park on Wednesday. — Photograph: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times.

Bakersfield saw 21 days in a row in July of temperatures above 100 degrees — the ninth longest on record. The record was set in 1906, when temperatures exceeded 100 degrees for 50 consecutive days.

Death Valley also set many records.

Toward the end of July, Death Valley had three consecutive days of temperatures reaching 127 degrees, said meteorologist David Sweet with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The average temperature for the month of July in Death Valley was 108 degrees, which is the warmest on record. Before that, the record was set in 2017, with the average reaching 107.4 degrees.

The blazing heat is the result of persistent high pressure over the Western U.S., meteorologists said.

“It's basically a stable dry air mass that develops, and it means stable, hotter and dry,” Ochs said. “We knew it was going to be a warmer-than-average July but not necessary to the degree that it was so, so I'd say it’s a little bit of a surprise but not entirely unexpected.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles Times Metro trainee Melissa Etehad is an Iranian American who enjoys writing about national and international issues. She received her master's in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor's in international affairs from UC San Diego and has reported from the Middle East and Europe. She previously worked at Al Jazeera English and The Washington Post's foreign desk, where she covered the intersections of politics, religion and gender. She's a native Farsi speaker. On her free time, you can probably find Melissa petting dogs and reading the news.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=094961ac-64f6-4f49-830a-6799d0a310d3
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=03a7e7b7-b362-4197-870d-68daf5e20495
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2018, 02:42:42 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

‘It was like nothing I've ever seen or heard of’

‘One massive death machine’.

By RONG-GONG LIN II, JOSEPH SERNA and LOUIS SAHAGUN | Friday, August 03, 2018

Fire destruction in the rural areas outside Redding, California. Last week's fire vortex adds a layer of unpredictability and danger. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Fire destruction in the rural areas outside Redding, California. Last week's fire vortex adds a layer of unpredictability and danger.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


REDDING, CALIFORNIA — As authorities sifted the rubble from the fire that burned more than 1,000 residences in Shasta County, they were startled by what they encountered.

A soaring transmission tower was tipped over. Tiles were torn off the roofs of homes. Massive trees were uprooted. Vehicles were moved. In one spot, a fence post was bent around a tree with the bark on one side sheared off.

This was not typical wildfire damage. Rather, it was strong evidence of a giant, powerful, spinning vortex that accompanied the Carr fire on July 26. The tornado-like condition, lasting an hour and a half and fueled by extreme heat and intensely dry brush as California heats up to record levels, was captured in dramatic videos that have come to symbolize the destructive power of what is now California's sixth-most destructive fire.

It may take years before scientists come to a consensus on what to exactly call this vortex — a fire whirl, as named by the National Weather Service, or a fire tornado. Whatever it's called, it's exceptionally rare to see a well-documented fire-fueled vortex leap out of a wildfire and enter a populated area with such size, power and duration.

It's believed to have lasted from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on July 26 and struck some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in Redding.

This kind of fire twister has been documented before, but only a handful “at this sort of scale,” said Neil Lareau, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno, who was among those comfortable calling it a fire tornado. “You're starting with a rare event to begin with, and for it to actually impact a populated area makes it even rarer.”

The National Weather Service on Thursday said a preliminary estimate of maximum wind speeds in the vortex were in excess of 143 mph. That would make it equivalent to a twister with a rating of EF-3 out of a maximum of 5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

“Depending on the final number, this might actually be the strongest ‘tornado’ in California history, even if it wasn't formally a tornado,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said by email. There have been a couple of marginal EF-3 twisters in California's past, “but this fire whirl was almost certainly longer-lived, larger in spatial scope and perhaps even stronger from a wind speed perspective.”

It's too early to say whether the vortex contributed to the deadly ferocity of this blaze, which killed six. But with climate change playing a factor as California enters a worsening era of wildland fires, last week's fire vortex adds a layer of unpredictability and danger.

“Not all big fires are going to result in these big fire whirls, even in a future that's much hotter and drier,” Swain said. “This won't be the primary risk associated with wildfire ever. But under the right atmospheric conditions, all else being equal, the increasing intensity of fires themselves will play a role in producing these localized fire weather conditions that can be quite extreme.”




Radar analyzed by Lareau clearly shows a spinning vortex in northwest Redding as the Carr fire rapidly expanded in the evening of July 26.

Lareau roughly estimated the vortex as being as perhaps 500 yards in diameter at its base before possibly contracting. “It's covering blocks,” he said.

“It was definitely a massive one, and that just speaks to how intense the heating was,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Kochasic. “It created such a massive whirl that it looked like a tornado … and it takes an impressive amount of heating and local wind swirling up to create something like that. It was quite a monster.”

It's possible for fire vortexes to “move fairly quick out in front of the main line of the fire — it can spread a little bit quicker compared to the main fire,” Kochasic said.

Wind damage was also reported in areas untouched by flames.

A team of officials led by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is looking into the vortex as part of its investigation of the blaze.

This vortex is dramatically different from the garden-variety whirls that have been more of a curiosity in past fires, which are more like dust devils in terms of scale, rising for perhaps two stories and lasting for less than 10 minutes.

Lareau's radar data show that one of the worst-hit areas was on Quartz Hill Road, around a Y-shaped junction of electric transmission lines — a matter of hundreds of feet from where Melody Bledsoe, 70, and her great-grandchildren, Emily, 4, and James Roberts, 5, died as the fire swept through their home.




Half a mile west from the Bledsoes' home is Lake Keswick Estates, where Justin Sanchez, 37, fled in the back of a pickup truck with irreplaceable photos lining its bed, as his father, Greg, 69, drove them away from what he called a fire tornado.

“Oh my gosh! Oh my God!” Sanchez wailed as he sought to record what he expected would be the last few moments of his neighborhood before his home burned. His phone camera captures a giant vertical, cone-shaped cloud — appearing with an orange glow at the base — spinning counterclockwise. Flames can be seen in the foreground.

“It was like the movie ‘Twister’,” Sanchez said in a telephone interview. “It was a massive, massive, huge tornado…. It was spinning so slow on the outside, but there were heavy, massive pieces of shrapnel just floating around with the fire.”

Sanchez said he could see the blaze earlier that day, but it wasn't traveling particularly fast. Then he heard his neighbor shout, “It just jumped the river! It's headed our way!”

“Within a matter of 10 minutes there, once the ‘fire-nado’ started almost inching on our neighborhood, the winds had to have been 40 to 60 mph winds … the sky got dark,” said Sanchez. “I didn't understand how a fire and tornado could combine into one massive death machine.”

He said he dashed into the house a couple of times to grab some photos, but the second time he came out, the fire had come probably within a football field away. Sanchez said the vortex traveled three to four miles in just 15 minutes.

A late gust was so intense that the last keepsakes he nabbed were blown out of his arms.

“I knew everything was going to become lost, and it was going to end up killing people on the way. It was nothing like I've ever seen or heard of in my life,” he said.

As Redding Police Chief Roger Moore evacuated residents from the River Ridge neighborhood east of the Sacramento River, he watched the growing flames and smoke plume approach the western bank of the Sacramento River, hop over it, grow, then come together as what he called a “plume tornado.”

Trees appeared to be levitating, and branches and sheet-metal roofs seemed to orbit the column, Moore said. Uprooted objects were launched into the air and ignited mid-flight. Vegetation and homes hundreds of feet from the column caught fire before the twister arrived, he said. It was as loud as a roaring jet engine.

“Wherever the center of the tornado went, it decimated it. You're looking at this whole column of fire, and it's just monstrous,” Moore said. The swirl of fire and smoke destroyed sections of the Stanford Manor community. “The only things left standing were the homes on the edges. Some would ignite; some would remain standing.

“I don't know how fast that tornado was moving, but it was probably faster than a human can run,” Moore said.




Spinning vortexes of fire can be deadly, whether they're called a fire tornado or a fire whirl. What's common in both is that they are driven by an exceptional amount of heat being released into the air — heat probably fueled by record or near-record vegetation dryness caused by the state's persistently high temperatures.

Other factors are important, though, said Craig Clements, an associate professor and director of the Fire Weather Research Laboratory at San Jose State University.

“It's really too early to tell what caused it, and there still needs to be a lot of scientific investigation.”

The rising heat can reach speeds of up to 130 mph, Lareau said, send smoke up beyond its normal limit of about 15,000 feet and form its own fire-fueled cumulus cloud, rising to as high as 39,000 feet. The creation of the puffy cloud means that more heat is being dumped into the column of hot, rising air. That air is replaced by winds rushing in all around the chimney of rising air.

The lowest part of the vortex often takes an orange glow from combusting gases rising within its core, according to a 2012 study by the U.S. Forest Service.

Fire whirls can range from less than 4 feet to as large as 1.9 miles in diameter, the study said, and can be especially hazardous by increasing fire intensity, triggering spot fires from burning debris floating from the vortex, and causing an unpredictable mix in the speed and direction of the fire.

In 2008, a whirl caught firefighters by surprise in the remote Indians fire that burned in extremely dry chaparral in the Los Padres National Forest, causing serious injuries and forcing the deployment of fire shelters.


__________________________________________________________________________

Rong-Gong Lin II reported from San Francisco, Joseph Serna from Los Angeles and Louis Sahagun from Redding.

• Rong-Gong Lin II is a metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, specializing in covering statewide earthquake safety issues and Northern California. He won the California Newspaper Publishers Association's Freedom of Information Award and the University of Florida's Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award. He was a finalist for the Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting and the Knight Award for Public Service. A San Francisco area native, he graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004.

• Joseph Serna is a Metro reporter who has been with the Los Angeles Times since 2012. He previously worked for papers in Orange County and Signal Hill, a 2.2-square-mile city surrounded by Long Beach. He was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack and is a graduate of California's community college and Cal State systems.

• Louis Sahagun is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. He covers issues ranging from religion, culture and the environment to crime, politics and water. He was on the team of L.A. Times writers that earned the Pulitzer Prize in public service for a series on Latinos in Southern California and the team that was a finalist in 2015 for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. He is a CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California board member, and author of the book, “Master of the Mysteries: the Life of Manly Palmer Hall”.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=d63e6c2f-89de-4268-86da-0bcf2cbd0fab
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=b7ddf8c9-50b4-4537-9cd0-e4ece5813273
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2018, 02:53:01 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Conditions threaten to stoke already vast wildfires:
Red flag conditions threaten to stoke fires


Firefighters across the state prepare for wind as a red flag warning is issued for parts of Northern California.

By JACLYN COSGROVE and SONALI KOHLI | Friday, August 03, 2018

An air tanker drops fire retardant ahead of the River fire in Mendocino County, California on Wednesday. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
An air tanker drops fire retardant ahead of the River fire in Mendocino County, California on Wednesday. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — Firefighters throughout the state were bracing for strengthening winds forecast this weekend that threaten to fan the flames of multiple Northern California wildfires, including the deadly Carr fire.

As of Thursday, there were 18 wildfires burning across the state. Although a number of them had scorched less than 100 acres, those smaller fires are contributing to the drain on critical resources, especially as firefighters from around the state and nation are being called to battle the big blazes.

A red flag warning was issued on Thursday for parts of Northern California, including Redding, which has already been devastated by the Carr fire. The warning, covering the fire's entire burn area, begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday and will be in effect until 11 p.m. on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Red flag conditions are declared when sustained winds are predicted to reach 15 to 20 mph, combined with high heat and low humidity.

The Carr fire, the largest fire now burning in California, grew to 126,913 acres and was 37% contained as of Thursday evening. The fire has killed six people in Shasta County, including two firefighters, and destroyed 1,555 structures.

The blaze is spreading northwest, mostly in hard-to-access, forested areas with dry brush and timber that burn intensely and quickly, said Scott McLean, deputy chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

But that could change with a low pressure system that's expected to move through the area from the north, officials warn. It could create wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour on Saturday in valleys where the fire is burning, said weather service meteorologist Mike Kochasic. Such winds could push flames to the south or southeast, toward more populated areas.

“That's a different wind pattern … so it could turn the fire around and come in a different direction,” McLean said.

Firefighters are preparing for that potential shift by strengthening their containment lines on the southern end of the fire, fighting the flames directly where they can, and adding contingency lines, said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Potter.

As the low pressure system moves south, gusty winds could also affect the two largest fires in Mendocino County, where a red flag warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. on Friday until 11 p.m. on Saturday, Kochasic said. A red flag warning is also set for Saturday for northern Sierra Nevada ridge tops, where gusts could reach 35 mph.

The River and Ranch fires in southern Mendocino County have scorched a combined 115,168 acres and were 50% and 33% contained, respectively, as of Thursday morning, according to Cal Fire. In those fires, 14,600 residents have been evacuated and 14 homes destroyed, according to Cal Fire.

Four new fires ignited on Wednesday and blazed through a rough total of 940 acres in Northern California, McLean said. By Thursday evening those fires were at least 80% contained. The Eel fire, which started on Wednesday in northern Mendocino County, had burned 1,000 acres and was 25% contained.

“Very steep terrain and fire intensity on the fire front make it difficult to insert crews in certain areas of the fire,” a Cal Fire report said.


Firefighters monitor the progression of the River fire in southern Mendocino County, California on Wednesday. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters monitor the progression of the River fire in southern Mendocino County, California on Wednesday. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.

The Ferguson fire, which started three weeks ago near Yosemite National Park, is expected to burn more intensely as an inversion layer that has hovered over the central Sierra Nevada lifts this weekend.

The northern tip of the 69,440-acre fire grew overnight toward Moss Creek, nearing the Merced Grove. That area contains the smallest of Yosemite's giant-sequoia groves, and is located near Yosemite's Big Oak Flat entrance, according to authorities.

Spot fires have sprung up in that area, fueled by dead trees. Bulldozer operators surveyed the area on Wednesday night and determined it wasn’t safe for them to start building a fire line until daylight. Because of smoke in the area, officials closed Highway 120.

Although the western flank of the Ferguson fire is largely dormant, the fire remains active on its eastern side, near Yosemite West. Officials chose to evacuate the small community of Wawona on Tuesday when the southern end of the fire grew as well.

A forecast of wind gusts of up to 40 mph this weekend could continue pushing the fire east toward the park, Kochasic said.

Hand crews have labored with chain saws, axes and shovels for the last several days to clear brush and remove low limbs from trees. They have also conducted back burns in an attempt to build strong fire lines near homes and communities.

Those fire lines will be especially important in the next few days.

During daily briefings, incident leaders have emphasized to firefighters that, when the inversion system lifts, the Ferguson fire will probably start burning hotter and faster.

The inversion “keeps the fire from burning aggressively, and if you all of a sudden take that off, it takes an hour or two, but the fuels respond to changes in their environment and start to dry out rapidly, and then the fire is in a free-burn stage, and then it burns like the other fires you've seen in other parts of the state,” said fire behavior analyst Robert Scott, with California Interagency Incident Management Team 4.

The terrain of the Sierra — high ridges, canyons and large, steep cliffs — poses significant and dangerous challenges to fire crews.

Officials are asking residents not to start recreational fires and to practice fire safety.

“We just can't get complacent,” McLean said. “We've got a long way to go.”


__________________________________________________________________________

L.A. Times staff writer Alene Tchekmedyian contributed to this report.

• Jaclyn Cosgrove is a Metro reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she worked as the health reporter at The Oklahoman. She was selected for a 2015-16 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. For her fellowship project, she explored the barriers that low-income, uninsured people with mental illnesses face in finding treatment. Cosgrove is originally from Arpelar, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University.

• Sonali Kohli is a reporter covering education for the Los Angeles Times. A product of Southern California, she grew up in Diamond Bar and graduated from UCLA. She worked as a metro reporter for the Orange County Register and as a reporter covering education and diversity for Quartz before joining the L.A. Times in 2015.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=1486f842-1b2e-4187-b900-c972a278c378
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=4366d8c3-cd1b-4f8f-aee2-21434ccc15c0
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2018, 01:49:00 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Draped in smoke, eerie silence: From boomtown to ghost town

Fire threat leaves Yosemite a ghost town during peak summer season.

By JACLYN COSGROVE | Saturday, August 04, 2018

“In talking to people, no one has ever seen smoke this heavy,” Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said of the massive Ferguson, California fire. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
“In talking to people, no one has ever seen smoke this heavy,” Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said of the massive Ferguson, California fire.
 — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.


YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — Scott Gediman was explaining how the poolside and patio of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel would usually be full of politicians, dignitaries and others lapping in its luxury when his eyes beheld a sight made possible by smoke and fire.

“Big bear — really big bear,” Gediman whispered excitedly as he scurried through bushes to get a better view.

Near the hotel's wedding lawn, two male black bears cavorted. A 3-year-old bear climbed into an apple tree and lumbered up a branch for a snack while a 5-year-old bear explored the nearby field for insects and other snacks.

Normally, two male bears wouldn't be spotted playing together, but park biologists said that since Yosemite Valley closed on July 25, bears, deer and other wildlife have been more comfortable walking about the park, enjoying the lack of human beings.

After thick smoke from the massive Ferguson fire, which has burned more than 73,560 acres and destroyed 10 structures, made its way into the most iconic region of Yosemite National Park, officials decided it best to close Yosemite Valley — home to granite giants El Capitan and Half Dome, and striking views of Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America.

“In talking to people, no one has ever seen the smoke this heavy,” said Gediman, a park spokesman.

The desolation of Yosemite Valley, where 90% of visitors go when they come to the park, is simultaneously eerie and peaceful. And beautiful.


A 5-year-old bear strolls about the meadow behind Majestic Yosemite Hotel on Wednesday. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
A 5-year-old bear strolls about the meadow behind Majestic Yosemite Hotel on Wednesday. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.

The only occupants of Cook's Meadow, a lush green area that Gediman describes as the heart of Yosemite Valley, are monarch butterflies and honeybees, enjoying pink California thistle and other wildflowers.

The only sounds are the river running and wind blowing as fluffs of dandelions and ash float through the air. Cyclists, people fishing in the Merced River and scampering children in school groups are nowhere to be seen.

At sunset, Sentinel Bridge would normally be filled with dozens of photographers trying to capture the orange sun coating Half Dome. Now, the sound of snapping comes not from a camera shutter but from a gray squirrel cracking into a pine cone.

At the Tunnel View overlook — where throngs of tourists snap thousands of photos a year of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls and Half Dome — only a single person sits in the parking lot.

A wooden chair where a park ranger would usually give presentations at the Half Dome Village amphitheater collects dust on the stage. The green and yellow open-air trams used for Valley floor tours guided by a ranger sit idle.

Campsites booked five months in advance are deserted. The campground in Lower Pines, where Oprah Winfrey once stayed, is empty. Nearby, a pile of firewood sits abandoned close to a fire ring, the sign of a trip likely ended sooner than planned.

On average, 592,990 people visit Yosemite National Park in July, and an additional 600,349 visit in August.


Dead trees are shrouded in smoke from the blaze, which has burned more than 73,560 acres. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
Dead trees are shrouded in smoke from the blaze, which has burned more than 73,560 acres. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.

But in recent days, the only people have been a skeleton crew of park staff and concession workers who live at the park, along with the occasional firefighters working on building a fire line nearby.

Without the $35 entry fee collected from visitors in cars and trucks, the park loses thousands of dollars every day.

More than 3 million people have visited Yosemite National Park every year for the last 30 years. Last year, it was the fifth-most visited national park in the country.

Gediman is less worried about the impact to the park, albeit significant, than he is for the small-business owners scattered throughout the region.

“Once the valley opens, people are going to come back,” he said. “There's certainly a loss of business and loss of revenue [for the park], but one of our concerns is the gateway communities. You have Oakhurst, Sonora and Mariposa, whose economies are mostly or fully dependent on the park.”

For the last three weeks, the cancellations at local inns and tourist attractions have begun to pour in, with some even canceling reservations made for late August.

Along local highways, vacancy signs, a rare sight for the summer months, are placed outside inns and hotels. Some of the business has been made up by firefighters and evacuees, but it's not equivalent to the tourists' bookings.

“When it comes to hotels and lodges, July is probably the busiest month,” said Mark Choe, whose family owns Pines Resort on Bass Lake.


Benjamin Chevelle and Celia Leonardo ride the Sugar Pine Railroad, which normally carries hundreds of guests in the summer. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
Benjamin Chevelle and Celia Leonardo ride the Sugar Pine Railroad, which normally carries hundreds of guests in the summer.
 — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.


The ghost town feel is apparent at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, only 10 minutes from Yosemite’s southern entrance off Highway 41.

On Thursday afternoon, the black Shay locomotive sat ready for the hour round trip it would soon take, pulling three covered red and green cars and two cars made from logs.

Usually in the summer months, up to 150 passengers would be boarding the train. On this day, there were 10 people, more than half of whom were from Europe and booked their trips months in advance.

“We want to feel the American life,” said Benno Herzog of Munich, Germany, whose family, unable to see Yosemite Valley, planned to leave the area in their rented RV and head to San Francisco. “We want to experience the American way of life, with the markets and the food and the nature.”

As the train got ready to leave, the railroad's general manager, Larry Jensen — who started his job two weeks ago — looked at the mostly empty train and joked, “I guess I'll go into my office and cry.”

The Ferguson fire isn't the first blaze to threaten the railroad's business.

In late August 2017, the Railroad fire started right next to the tourist attraction at 12:19 p.m. Passengers were evacuated and told to head north to Yosemite.

Train conductor Randy Rank was one of about 10 employees who spread out along the hillside with water hoses and shovels, putting out about eight spot fires until firefighters came down to the railroad. The workers saved the facility, which was founded in 1965.

“The ones of us that stayed here, we're invested,” Rank, 57, said. “We love coming to work. We love doing what we do here.”


Yosemite Valley the national park's most popular destination, has been closed as a precaution since July 25 due to threats from the massive Ferguson fire. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
Yosemite Valley the national park's most popular destination, has been closed as a precaution since July 25 due to threats from the massive Ferguson fire.
 — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.


Wildfires are becoming a much more common part of life in the region.

In Mariposa, the Detwiler fire, which burned almost 82,000 acres and destroyed 131 structures, including 63 homes, is fresh on many people’s minds, as the town had to evacuate during the fire in July 2017. Like the Ferguson fire, the Detwiler fire was fed, in part, by dead trees killed by drought and bark beetles.

On the road to the Mariposa-Yosemite Airport, the remnants of that fire are part of an all-too-familiar landscape — scorched trees burned down to their stumps and charred logs scattered along the ground.

In the Skydive Yosemite hangar, owners Julie and Paul Wignall have spent the last few weeks, between jumps, listening to firefighting helicopters leave the airport. When the choppers aren't there, they can hear the cattle mooing as they graze in the airport's pasture.

The Wignalls opened Skydive Yosemite in March. Like many people who move to the area, the Wignalls have a connection with Yosemite. They met there in 1996 when Julia was working as a lifeguard at the Curry Village pool and Paul was working in the high country, setting up and tearing down camps in Tuolumne Meadows.

Business was going great, the couple said, until the fires.


Without its rush of summer visitors, Yosemite and nearby towns are suffering financially. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
Without its rush of summer visitors, Yosemite and nearby towns are suffering financially. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.

The Wignalls usually fly guests through the Merced River canyon, up toward Tunnel View at Yosemite, but as the river canyon has been on fire, they've rerouted. Although Yosemite is the region's darling, guests have still enjoyed the view they get of the Sierra at 10,000 feet.

“It's nerve-racking for other small businesses, but luckily, we're able to stay open year round,” Julie Wignall said. “So I'm thinking, with the new fire season being the norm, maybe our busy seasons are going to be more in fall and spring.”

In downtown Mariposa, Kara Inman has placed a sign outside her store, Brick Wall Boutique, reading: “Welcome, we are open.”

It's a message Inman wishes the entire town could shout to the rest of California.

The last three weeks have been slow, but the town of about 2,200 and the thousands of people who live in the surrounding communities of Bootjack, Midpines and Lush Meadows have remained strong, she said.

“We had the big fire last year that took out a lot of homes, so when this fire started, a lot of people started evacuating,” Inman said. “It was hard for people not to have a little bit of PTSD, but I think the one thing that really keeps our community going is we are a community that really sticks together.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Jaclyn Cosgrove is a Metro reporter at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she worked as the health reporter at The Oklahoman. She was selected for a 2015-16 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. For her fellowship project, she explored the barriers that low-income, uninsured people with mental illnesses face in finding treatment. Cosgrove is originally from Arpelar, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=5d7012c2-acaa-4da8-a948-052dbf8b45da
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=c4e8d82a-d051-4575-a063-2d672b3065cf
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2018, 01:49:14 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

A troubling pattern of drought and heat:
Study sees more frequent wildfires


UC Irvine researchers find that temperatures rise faster during drier periods,
a complex loop leading to risks for human health and safety.


By AMINA KHAN | Saturday, August 04, 2018

A home in Lakeport, California, burns on Tuesday. In hot weather, some heat can be carried away by water, as moisture in the soil evaporates. But soil with little moisture, as in a drought, leaves the heat nowhere to go. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
A home in Lakeport, California, burns on Tuesday. In hot weather, some heat can be carried away by water, as moisture in the soil evaporates.
But soil with little moisture, as in a drought, leaves the heat nowhere to go. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


DROUGHTS don't just make a place drier. As new research shows, they also make it hotter.

A team from UC Irvine that compared temperature changes across the U.S. found that temperatures rise faster in places under drought conditions than they do in places with average climates. This relationship could also raise the risk of concurrent heat waves and wildfires, the researchers say.

As global warming continues its upward climb, the phenomenon described in the journal Science Advances highlights another complex feedback loop that contributes to more extreme weather events — which could have serious implications for human health and safety.

“They talk about the ‘new normal’,” said Michael Wehner, a climate scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who was not involved in the study. “The problem of course is that ‘normal’ keeps on changing. But I think it's fair to say that the new normal is that we'll have a lot more fires and, as such, a lot more poor air quality days.”

Study leader Felicia Chiang, a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering, said she and her colleagues got an inkling of this as they were comparing temperature increases in the Southwest. Overall, they found there was a 0.6-degree Celsius rise in the average temperature between the early and late 20th century. But when they focused on the drier months in the two periods, the increase was twice as large. In other words, droughts appeared to be getting significantly hotter than they used to be.

“We wanted to expand this analysis to the entire U.S.,” Chiang said. “And we also wanted to explore, what are the drivers of this shift?”

So the researchers expanded their inquiry. They compared temperatures and rainfall from two periods, 1902 to 1951 and 1965 to 2014. They also used projections from climate models to compare the future period of 2050 to 2099 with a historical baseline of 1951 to 2000.


The sun sets among trees burned in Whiskeytown, California, near Redding, where the Carr fire has been raging since late July. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
The sun sets among trees burned in Whiskeytown, California, near Redding, where the Carr fire has been raging since late July.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


The scientists found that drier periods went hand in hand with greater increases in average temperature in large parts of the United States. The observations showed that in the Northeastern, Midwestern, Southeastern and Southwestern United States, drought-stricken regions warmed more than four times as much as those with average weather conditions. The models backed up the temperature spike in the South.

There may be a fairly straightforward explanation for this phenomenon, Chiang said. When it gets hot, some heat can be carried away by water, as moisture in the soil evaporates. (Human bodies take advantage of this process: We sweat, and as the sweat evaporates it helps cool us down.)

But if there's less water in the soil because of a drought, the heat has nowhere to go, so it sticks around and the temperature rises.

This leads to a vicious cycle: Drier periods lead to higher temperatures, which further dries the soil, which raises the temperature, and so on. It's potentially making droughts more severe, and jacking up the risk of heat waves and wildfires during these dry periods.

“It fits into what's going on in the Western United States right now,” Wehner said.

More than 100 wildfires are burning in states including Alaska, California, Montana and Texas, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. In California, the Ferguson fire has forced the evacuation of Yosemite Valley and the Carr fire has killed at least six people.


A firefighter monitors a controlled burn in Upper Lake, California, on Tuesday. The Mendocino Complex fire is one of about 100 fires burning in the West. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
A firefighter monitors a controlled burn in Upper Lake, California, on Tuesday. The Mendocino Complex fire is one of about 100 fires burning in the West.
 — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


Beyond the damage and death that these events can cause, wildfires last year led to poorer air quality across California, Washington and Oregon, and to a lesser extent British Columbia, Wehner said.

“We expect the concurrence of droughts and warm events to physically manifest in more frequent wildfires, reduced air quality, and stressed agricultural crops and livestock,” the study authors wrote.

And if the more extreme wildfires that are supposed to occur only rarely become far more frequent, it can fundamentally alter major ecosystems, Wehner said. In the greater Yellowstone area, for instance, tall, old-growth forests could become a thing of the past because frequent fires may destroy growing trees too rapidly.

It's also important to take human influences into account, Chiang added. While the observations showed the Northeastern states to be experiencing the same dry-heating effect as the Southern states, the models actually showed some of the Northern states experiencing a relative cooling effect during drought.

This was a surprise to Chiang until she looked further into the research literature. Other work has shown that ramping up agricultural production was linked to cooler extreme temperatures in the Midwest during the summer months. And areas that rely on rainfall instead of irrigation don't appear to experience this cooling effect. Figuring out whether that's partly responsible for the patterns they observed in the North will require further study, she said.

Scientists should also study the influence that people have on this vicious climate cycle, Chiang said.

“We need to also consider human activities,” she said. “We're pumping significant amounts of water into certain places that didn't have that water before, and that can definitely have impacts.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Amina Khan is a science writer covering a broad range of topics for the Los Angeles Times, from Mars rovers to linguistics to bio-inspired engineering — but she's perhaps best known for her repeated and brutal attacks on the office snack table. She surfs and snowboards in her spare time.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=28be95fa-83b7-4b1b-94bb-913067b2fafa
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=d702bd78-adfd-4da8-9fd7-ae3d03a806cf
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2018, 01:49:27 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Fire crews brace for gusting winds

Red flag warnings take effect in burn areas as state's firefighting resources are strained.

By SONALI KOHLI | Saturday, August 04, 2018

A West Covina firefighter pulls a hose as the River fire consumes a barn near Lakeport, California, on Tuesday. Containment is increasing on the 42,200-acre blaze, though another nearby grew quickly to 115,250 acres. There are 16 large wildfires burning throughout California. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
A West Covina firefighter pulls a hose as the River fire consumes a barn near Lakeport, California, on Tuesday. Containment is increasing on the 42,200-acre blaze,
though another nearby grew quickly to 115,250 acres. There are 16 large wildfires burning throughout California. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


WINDS kicked up in Northern California on Thursday night, bringing red flag conditions to areas where massive fires are already raging.

Temperatures will be slightly cooler over the weekend, but gusting winds remain the looming threat for the next few days, officials said. The winds could pose fire danger as far south as Kern County, where gusts are predicted to reach 40 mph, fire officials said.

This week, firefighters across the state battling blazes including the Carr fire in Shasta County and the Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park used bulldozers and hand tools to widen containment lines and strengthen weak spots in preparation for winds that could shift direction and push the fires toward populated areas.

It's not just the largest fire commanding resources — there are 16 large wildfires burning throughout California, ranging from 35 to almost 132,000 acres. More than 14,000 firefighters from around the state and country are working to contain the conflagrations, which have scorched over 410,000 acres and displaced around 40,000 residents.

The Carr fire, the largest of those blazes, grew to 133,924 acres and was 39% contained as of Friday evening. The massive blaze has killed six people and destroyed 1,567 structures when it sped through the city of Redding and surrounding areas, becoming the sixth-most destructive and 13th-deadliest wildfire in recorded state history.

A red flag warning took effect in Shasta County on Thursday night, and officials expect strong winds from the west and north to continue through Saturday night, with gusts up to 30 mph, National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Dang said. Temperatures are expected to be slightly cooler over the weekend, possibly dipping into the 80s, but humidity will stay low and air quality will continue to suffer.

As a low-pressure system travels through the region, “winds will continue to develop and become stronger,” said Scott McLean, deputy chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “It's an issue that we have to address and it's definitely a challenge.”


Fire retardant coats a pool in Lake County on Thursday. Winds threatened to push the Ranch fire south, spurring evacuations in Lake and Colusa counties. — Photograph: Kent Porter/Press Democrat.
Fire retardant coats a pool in Lake County on Thursday. Winds threatened to push the Ranch fire south, spurring evacuations in Lake and Colusa counties.
 — Photograph: Kent Porter/Press Democrat.


Evacuation orders are still in place for thousands of residents in the Carr fire burn area. A center has been set up at Shasta High School for evacuees who have lost their homes to receive services, including housing, mental health, cleanup and DMV help.

A red flag warning took effect at 11 a.m. on Friday in Mendocino County, where two large fires have been burning since last week. While containment is increasing on the River fire, the Ranch fire grew quickly to the east and southeast to 115,250 acres. It was 28% contained on Friday evening, while the River fire to the south was 42,200 acres and 50% contained.

The Ranch fire has moved into an area that previously burned in June during the Pawnee fire. Officials said that was a good sign.

On Thursday night, as winds threatened to push the fire south, officials ordered mandatory evacuations in Lake and western Colusa counties, as well as Mendocino National Forest campgrounds. The fire had not reached populated areas as of Friday morning, Cal Fire spokesman Mike Wilson said.

Mendocino County was expected to see temperatures in the 80s and 90s on Friday and wind gusts up to 30 mph, Dang said. The winds will probably become even stronger on Saturday, he said.

The Ferguson fire near Yosemite had burned 77,207 acres and was 41% contained as of Friday evening.

“Warmer and drier conditions persist in the area, resulting in increased fire behavior and spotting,” an incident report on the fire said. Crews are continuing to work on containment lines to prevent the fire from continuing its spread southeast into the park, according to the report.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Sonali Kohli is a reporter covering education for the Los Angeles Times. A product of Southern California, she grew up in Diamond Bar and graduated from UCLA. She worked as a metro reporter for the Orange County Register and as a reporter covering education and diversity for Quartz before joining the L.A. Times in 2015.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=ee877d69-b104-4732-b461-06b707116be8
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2018, 11:34:17 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Record heat in California is no fluke, experts warn:
July heat fuels fires, climate warnings


Rising temperatures have fueled wildfire conditions and blunt talk from scientists about climate change.

By RONG-GONG LIN II and JAVIER PANZAR | Sunday, August 05, 2018

Record-setting temperatures have contributed to destructive wildfires across California. Above, a Redding home and vehicle destroyed by the Carr fire. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
Record-setting temperatures have contributed to destructive wildfires across California. Above, a Redding home and vehicle destroyed by the Carr fire.
 — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.


SAN FRANCISCO — At Scripps Pier in San Diego, the surface water reached the highest temperature in 102 years of records, 78.8 degrees.

Palm Springs had its warmest July on record, with an average of 97.4 degrees. Death Valley experienced its hottest month on record, with the average temperature hitting 108.1 degrees. Park rangers said the heat was too much for some typically hardy birds that died in the broiling conditions.

Across California, the night-time brought little relief, recording the highest minimum temperature statewide of any month since 1895, rising to 64.9 degrees.

California has been getting hotter for some time, but July was in a league of its own. The intense heat fueled fires across the state, from San Diego County to Redding, that have burned more than 1,000 homes and killed eight. It brought heat waves that overwhelmed electrical systems, leaving swaths of Los Angeles without power for days.

Moreover, the extreme conditions — capping years of trends heading in this direction — have caused scientists and policymakers to speak more openly and emphatically about what is causing this dramatic shift.

A decade ago, some scientists would warn against making broad conclusions linking an extraordinary heat wave to global warming. But the pace of heat records being broken in California in recent years is leading more scientists here to assertively link climate change to unrelenting heat that is only expected to worsen as humans continue putting greenhouse gases in the air.

“In the past, it would just be kind of once in a while — the odd year where you be really warm,” state climatologist Michael Anderson said.

But the last five years have been among the hottest in 124 years of record keeping, Anderson said.

“That's definitely an indication that the world is warming, and things are starting to change,” said Anderson, who manages the California Department of Water Resources' state climate program. “We're starting to see things where it's different. It's setting the narrative of climate change.”

Governor Jerry Brown, who has made climate change a central part of his agenda, was more blunt last week when discussing the devastation in Redding.

“People are doing everything they can, but nature is very powerful and we’re not on the side of nature,” he said. “We're fighting nature with the amount of material we're putting in the environment, and that material traps heat.”

Signs of the trend are everywhere. California endured its warmest summer on record last year. All-time temperature records have been topped in recent months — San Francisco notched 106 degrees in September; downtown L.A. recorded its hottest Thanksgiving Day on record at 92 degrees.

On July 6, all-time temperature records were set at UCLA (111 degrees), Burbank and Santa Ana (114 degrees), and Van Nuys (117 degrees). Chino hit 120 degrees, the highest ever recorded at an automated surface observing system in the Ontario, Riverside or Chino areas.

It was the warmest July on record in Fresno; for 26 consecutive days that month, temperatures reached or exceeded 100 degrees — the longest continuous stretch on record, said Brian Ochs, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. (Maximum temperatures have continued to top 100 through the first several days of August.)

In terms of average temperature, it was the warmest July on record in San Luis Obispo (69.5 degrees), Oxnard (73.1 degrees), Camarillo (74.6 degrees), Long Beach (77.9 degrees), Van Nuys (83.6 degrees), Lancaster (87.2 degrees) and Palmdale (87.8 degrees). Anaheim saw its second-warmest July (81.3 degrees); Newport Beach, its fourth warmest (71.8 degrees); and San Diego, its fifth (75.2 degrees), said weather service meteorologist Samantha Connolly.

Of particular concern is how overnight temperatures continue to climb. The years with the top six warmest summertime minimum temperatures in California — defined as June through August — in descending order, are 2017, 2015, 2014, 2006, 2016 and 2013.

It's no coincidence that they’re all in recent years, experts say.

“We are seeing the impacts of climate change now,” said Nina Oakley, regional climatologist for the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno. “This is certainly it. It's happening.”

The effects are felt far beyond the record books. When the mercury hit 113 degrees, Redding tied its temperature record for July 26 — the day the Carr fire raced out of control and began killing people.

It was one day among months of above-average temperatures that had dried out the brush to such a degree that it helped fuel the blaze’s ferocious spread.


Dan Kissick, left, and his son Jeff sift through the remains of his home in Redding, California, lost to the Carr fire. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
Dan Kissick, left, and his son Jeff sift through the remains of his home in Redding, California, lost to the Carr fire. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.

And the lack of lower temperatures overnight has made fires harder to fight.

“You have greenhouse gases acting like a blanket and not letting things cool down as much — keeping things warmer,” Oakley said.

Take a look at a map of the world's temperatures years ago, and an old heat wave would be obvious to spot — just one spot on Earth that's anomalously warm, said Neil Lareau, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno. Now, “in pretty much the vast majority of the globe, it's hotter than normal,” he said.

July's exceptional heat puts the state on track to be in the running for the warmest summer on record, exceeding the record broken just last year, said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain.

“This is not some fluke. This is part of a sustained trend,” Swain said.

The excessive heat is already causing problems for wildlife.

In Death Valley, where daytime highs reached at least 120 degrees on 18 of the last 19 days of the month, about a dozen birds — including a raven, an owl and a brown-headed cowbird — have turned up dead in the last two weeks, the National Park Service said. The birds lacked signs of trauma, leading officials to believe they died from the intense heat. Birds lack the ability to produce sweat and instead cool themselves by puffing up their feathers and panting.

Park rangers have found groups of songbirds and ravens huddled around small puddles and in the shade of a maintenance building, spokeswoman Abby Wines said.

“This isn't normal for us,” she said.

Before this July, last year's was the hottest on record at Death Valley, when the average temperature hit 107.4 degrees. That one broke a 100-year-old record.

Off the Southern California coast, scientists say more record temperature readings could be broken in August, when maximum surface temperatures tend to be reached.

Warming water temperatures can alter the marine food chain in various ways — bringing about toxic algae that make crabs, for example, dangerous to eat. Researchers are also seeing more warm water animals off the coast like jellyfish and sting rays.

Researchers had wondered whether the last few years of unusually warm Southern California waters would drop back to normal. They blamed an unusually warm mass of water called “the blob” that parked itself in the Pacific Ocean from 2014 through about 2016.

Some experts thought water temperatures would return to more normal lower levels after El Niño faded, said Clarissa Anderson, executive director of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System.

But that hasn't happened. Though temperatures have been decreasing near the equator since 2016, temperatures have kept rising off Southern California, with near-shore surface temperatures a couple of degrees Celsius higher than average, Anderson said.

And the warm air temperatures are a foreboding sign for the rest of the fire season.

Projections show the next few months are likely to have well above-average activity in most of California's fire zones, particularly in Northern and Central California, where the worst fires are burning now, Swain said.

“The fuels up there are just explosively dry,” Swain said, “due to a combination of low precipitation last winter, extremely high temperatures this summer and also, still, the legacy of the long-term drought.”

“We're having peak fire season conditions in the off-peak time of year, and there's no real indication that things are going to get better before the peak of the season in the fall,” Swain said.

Barring an unseasonable period of rain, conditions will remain ripe for severe fires, he said.

“Time will tell, but it does look like this severe fire season is going to continue to be severe,” Swain said.


__________________________________________________________________________

Rong-Gong Lin II reported from San Francisco; Javier Panzar from Los Angeles.

• Rong-Gong Lin II is a metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, specializing in covering statewide earthquake safety issues and Northern California. He won the California Newspaper Publishers Association's Freedom of Information Award and the University of Florida's Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award. He was a finalist for the Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting and the Knight Award for Public Service. A San Francisco area native, he graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004.

• Javier Panzar is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He was born and raised in Oakland. His reporting has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, the Orange County Register and UC Berkeley's independent student newspaper, the Daily Californian.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=69ea299e-11c9-4ba9-8da1-701d9f3bd372
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=563bb378-ed11-4c2c-9709-51bacdaf7b20
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2018, 11:53:38 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Fire among largest on record in state: 450,000 acres have burned state-wide

Mendocino Complex fire grows to 229,000 acres, while residents affected by Carr fire begin returning home.

By JOSEPH SERNA and JACK DOLAN | Sunday, August 05, 2018

A memorial for Jeremy Stoke, a fire inspector for the Redding Fire Department, who died fighting the Carr fire. Six people have died as a result of the fire, including a woman and her two great-grandchildren. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
A memorial for Jeremy Stoke, a fire inspector for the Redding Fire Department, who died fighting the Carr fire. Six people have died as a result of the fire,
including a woman and her two great-grandchildren. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.


REDDING, CALIFORNIA — A massive pair of fires burning on either side of Clear Lake, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, exploded to nearly 230,000 acres Saturday night, making the conflagration among the largest on record in California and the most pressing of 17 wildfires across the state.

The Mendocino Complex fire, now the sixth-largest in recorded state history, has forced thousands of people to evacuate and has burned dozens of homes. Last year's Thomas fire, which burned 281,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, is California's largest.

Farther north near Redding, residents began returning on Saturday to neighborhoods ravaged by the Carr fire, which has killed six people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

Dan Kissick was among those returning. He said the fire had overwhelmed his neighborhood faster than anyone expected on July 26. After more than a week away, Kissick came back to the site of his home on Kellinger Street to find it gone, except for some portions of walls.

The night of the fire, Kissick and his family fled when the air filled with smoke and the sky turned an orange-red. They grabbed a suitcase and some shirts, but hadn't packed a proper “go bag” filled with important belongings or supplies, Kissick said.

“I basically only took clothes for two or three days, thinking I'll be back. That was obviously a misjudgment,” said Kissick, 60. “I knew it was bad, but I didn't think it was that bad.”

Nearly every home on the block was destroyed except for a two-story one with scorched palm trees in the backyard.

Kissick said he considered himself lucky in the grand scheme of things. He and his family had a relative to stay with the night they fled. The next day, they snagged a rental property nearby before those were all snapped up by the thousands of other evacuees.

“Nobody got hurt, so you've got to look at the good,” he said. “I know not everybody was as lucky.”

More than 4,500 firefighters stationed in two Shasta County base camps have battled the 145,000-acre Carr fire for nearly two weeks, facing triple-digit temperatures, winds up to 30 mph and desert-dry air.

Numerous media reports have blamed the start of the massive blaze on a vehicle towing a trailer with a flat tire, its metal rim creating sparks as it rolled along. In an interview on Saturday evening, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said the cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Governor Jerry Brown visited the fire command center at the county fairgrounds on Saturday. Increased year-round fire activity was “the new normal” for the state, he said. The governor said he had asked President Trump to issue a major disaster declaration to aid the firefighting and recovery effort.

“He has done it in the past; I am confident he will do it again,” Brown said.


Maureen Kissick in Redding, California looks through what is left of her china from her wedding 36 years ago. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.
Maureen Kissick in Redding, California looks through what is left of her china from her wedding 36 years ago. — Photograph: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times.

The Carr fire — which has affected communities around Whiskeytown Lake and the Sacramento River — was moving into areas where it will be more difficult to control, fire behavior analyst Don Boursier said. Years of drought have left California's forests more vulnerable, and so far this year the area around the fire has seen 33 days of 100-degree temperatures, the National Weather Service said. It hasn’t rained in the Redding or Anderson areas in 71 days.

“The calendar is saying it's August, the fuel is telling us its September,” Boursier told firefighters during a morning briefing on Saturday.

The fire was 41% contained and expected to burn north, deeper into Trinity County forest land around Blue Mountain, officials said.

Two firefighters have been killed battling the blaze, along with four civilians — including a 70-year-old woman who died trying to shield her great-grandchildren, ages 4 and 5, with a wet blanket as her house burned around them.

The forecast for the days ahead includes more intense, dry heat and wind — awful firefighting weather.

The large wildfires burning in the state have scorched over 450,000 acres, displaced around 40,000 residents and are being fought by more than 14,000 firefighters from around the state and country.

Among them is the Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park, which has burned more than 81,000 acres. Yosemite Valley has been closed since July 25.

Back in Redding, Marilyn and Nick Peters treaded lightly on top of their home's burned remains on Saturday, occasionally hunching over to sift through a pile of rubble.

Nick, 49, tried to find the silver lining in the situation. They had lost their home, one of at least 1,600 destroyed in a span of a few days, but they survived, were insured and managed to save a few mementos.

“I found my ring; it still has all the diamonds,” Marilyn said with a half-smile. Nick reached into a pile of stuff on the driveway and pulled out a round, flat piece of cement with Marilyn's handprint from when she was 5 years old. “I knew this wouldn't burn,” he joked.

Nick, who works for Pacific Gas & Electric Company, said he'd returned to the neighborhood with crews a week ago to begin restoring power. “Then, I was numb,” he said. “Today it hit me.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Joseph Serna reported from Redding and Jack Dolan from Los Angeles. L.A. Times staff writer Javier Panzar in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

• Joseph Serna is a Metro reporter who has been with the Los Angeles Times since 2012. He previously worked for papers in Orange County and Signal Hill, a 2.2-square-mile city surrounded by Long Beach. He was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack and is a graduate of California's community college and Cal State systems.

• Jack Dolan is an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A winner of several national investigative reporting awards, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for a series revealing the doctors with the worst disciplinary histories in the country, using records the federal government sought to keep secret. He began his newspaper career at the Hartford Courant in Connecticut, where he grew up, and worked at the Miami Herald before coming to the L.A. Times.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=a0581a88-7834-4dbb-bfd0-9b72bc615565
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=2445f057-0b5a-4de0-9c1a-aba546489b49
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2018, 12:04:20 am »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Blaze speeds toward record scope: Wildfire is likely to set record

Mendocino Complex fire became the state's fourth-largest ever in 10 days and could easily become No.1.

By PAIGE ST. JOHN, ALENE TCHEKMEDYIAN and RONG-GONG LIN II | Monday, August 06, 2018

Battalion Chief Matt Sully directs firefighting operations near Clearlake Oaks, California, on Sunday as the Mendocino Complex fire grew to 266,000 acres. It's being spread by shifting winds and brittle-dry vegetation. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Battalion Chief Matt Sully directs firefighting operations near Clearlake Oaks, California, on Sunday as the Mendocino Complex fire grew to 266,000 acres.
It's being spread by shifting winds and brittle-dry vegetation. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


MIDDLETOWN, CALIFORNIA — The massive Mendocino Complex fire jumped across at least four creeks, one major road and a fire line cut by a bulldozer in a single six-mile run this weekend toward Leesville, a tiny unincorporated way station in Colusa County.

Typically, any one of those breaks could have halted the spread of wildfire. But shifting winds and brittle-dry vegetation sent flames — up to 300 feet high in some areas — leapfrogging in all directions in three Northern California counties and on both sides of scenic Clear Lake, past these man-made and natural obstacles. The erratic conflagration has chewed through more than 266,000 acres and 68 homes in 10 days, making it the fourth-largest wildfire on record in California.

It was expected to become the third-largest by Monday morning, and fire officials say it could easily climb to the top of the list, surpassing the Thomas fire that burned 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in December.

“It is extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely dangerous,” said Scott McLean, a deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “Look how big it got, just in a matter of days…. Look how fast this Mendocino Complex went up in ranking. That doesn't happen. That just doesn't happen.”

The progression has been relentless. The Ranch and River fires, which may join at Clear Lake and are together known as the Mendocino Complex, are tearing through tens of thousands of acres a day, including overnight when fires normally calm down. The fire, which was 33% contained on Sunday night, is raging in remote areas and therefore hasn't been as destructive to property as some of the other dozen-plus wildfires burning across the state. But its sheer size and rate of spread is the latest signal of a remarkable fire year for California.

“We're at the mercy of the wind,” said Garden Grove Fire Captain Thanh Nguyen, who is acting as a spokesman for Cal Fire in Middletown in Lake County. “Tragically this whole area is really dry, and once you get the lighter fuel going, that preheats the denser fuel, and then it's really difficult for them to put out.”

Lake County has been particularly hard hit by wildfire in the last five years. Two years ago, the Clayton fire tore through almost 4,000 acres and 300 structures, many of them mobile homes and rentals. The blaze hit the town of Lower Lake particularly hard, destroying a 150-year-old church and a Habitat for Humanity office. The wildfire followed three that ripped through Lake County in 2015, including the Valley fire, which destroyed more than 1,300 homes and killed at least four people.

UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain cited several factors for the destruction in Lake County: explosively flammable vegetation, warm overnight temperatures and the lingering effect of years of drought.

“This is a part of the state that I think that overnight temperatures have played an enormous role,” Swain said. “It's sort of this middle elevation where you're above the marine layer but you're not high enough in the mountains to really cool down either. So you're sort of in this zone where fires can burn, with the increase in temperatures, as we've seen, all day and all night.”

A decade ago, some scientists would warn against making broad conclusions linking an extraordinary heat wave to global warming. But the pace of temperature records being broken in California in recent years is leading more scientists to assertively link climate change to unrelenting heat that is only expected to worsen as humans continue putting greenhouse gases in the air.

“In the past, it would just be kind of once in a while — the odd year where you'd be really warm,” state climatologist Michael Anderson said.

Over the weekend, fire crews tried laying contingency lines behind their fire lines, hoping to slow the spread of the fire. On Saturday, flames jumped a line of bulldozer-scraped dirt on Long Valley Ridge meant to protect the lakeside community of Lucerne. The breach set off a scramble of firefighters down Highway 20 to protect the community. Fire crews began bulldozing a second containment line outside the town, and firefighters were trying on Sunday afternoon to hold the line at High Valley Road.

“It's really taking off in a huge way,” Swain said.


A helicopter drops water on the Ranch fire, which is part of the Mendocino Complex fire, near Clearlake Oaks, California, on Sunday. The erratic blaze has burned more than 266,000 acres and 68 homes in 10 days. — Photograph: Noah Berger/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A helicopter drops water on the Ranch fire, which is part of the Mendocino Complex fire, near Clearlake Oaks,
California, on Sunday. The erratic blaze has burned more than 266,000 acres and 68 homes in 10 days.
 — Photograph: Noah Berger/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


The fire on Sunday moved into sparsely populated ridges to the north and east in Mendocino National Forest and crossed into Colusa County, prompting emergency officials in adjacent Glenn County to issue an evacuation advisory for people living a dozen miles away. Two fingers of the Ranch fire made a run toward Leesville, hopping bulldozer lines, creeks and roads.

At a reservation along the northern end of Clear Lake, an area that has been buffeted by major fires since 2015, including the devastating wine country fires last summer that blitzed through Napa Valley, some four dozen members of the Robinson Rancheria tribe of Pomo Indians took a stand against the burning mountain, plowing fire lines and cutting brush. They were armed with two tractors, weed whackers, borrowed water tanks and hoses — some of which were left behind by the Red Cross after the last fires.

Most of the men and women who stayed behind at the 720-acre reservation vowed to stay and fight if the fire crested Hogback Ridge and came at them, the casino, the gas station, gym and cluster of 55 houses. The rancheria is wedged between the ridge and the lake, and at one point with fire both to the north and south, it was in danger of being surrounded by flames with no escape route.

But in the past, those residents who vowed to stay had to fight back only small grass and brush fires that encroached on the tribal land, said E.J. Crandell, 41, chairman of the Robinson Rancheria tribe of Pomo Indians. “They are thinking like, this is a wild dog,” he said, referring to past fires. But the Mendocino Complex fire, he said, “is a wolf.”

Crandell said he would like to spend a summer reducing undergrowth and dead wood and creating fire breaks.

“Preventative measures — these things would be no problem,” he said. “But our county, there's been so many fires. After each one we do a plan to fix the conditions — and before we can do that, there's another fire. So we never get a chance to start from the bottom up.”

Farther north, near Redding, residents began returning to neighborhoods ravaged by the Carr fire, which has been linked to seven deaths, destroyed more than 1,000 homes and consumed more than 160,000 acres. Crews have reached 43% containment but have been hampered by steep, rugged terrain, blistering temperatures and bone-dry vegetation.

“Progress has definitely been slow on this fire because of the difficulties we've had,” said Gabe Lauderdale, a spokesman for Cal Fire. “But progress is still steady.”

More than 15,000 firefighters are battling 18 large wildfires across the state that have burned more than 559,000 acres and are threatening 17,000 homes. As of a week ago, Cal Fire crews had responded to 330 more wildland fires so far this year than by this time last year, McLean said.

In Mariposa County, the Ferguson fire has burned nearly 90,000 acres and has left parts of Yosemite National Park, including tourist draw Yosemite Valley, closed indefinitely. The blaze has burned dead trees that can become explosive and fall without warning, posing a risk to firefighters, park officials said. A firefighter battling the blaze was killed a week ago by a falling tree.

“They're working,” he said. “They're working hard.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Paige St. John reported from Middletown, Alene Tchekmedyian from Los Angeles and Rong-Gong Lin II from San Francisco.

• Paige St. John covers criminal justice and investigative stories for the Los Angeles Times from Sacramento. She won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2011. She hails most recently from Florida, where she covered state politics, disasters and property insurance.

• Alene Tchekmedyian is a Metro reporter at the Los Angeles Times covering breaking news in California. She previously covered Glendale and Burbank police for Times Community News. She received her master’s in journalism from Columbia University after graduating from UCLA, where she worked at the student-run Daily Bruin. She currently serves on the UCLA Communications Board, which oversees the university's student-run media publications. She grew up in Huntington Beach.

• Rong-Gong Lin II is a metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, specializing in covering statewide earthquake safety issues and Northern California. He won the California Newspaper Publishers Association's Freedom of Information Award and the University of Florida's Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award. He was a finalist for the Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting and the Knight Award for Public Service. A San Francisco area native, he graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=8e20f534-9982-4a76-b2da-12ffcedb9d3e
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=226e18e5-7205-40b1-aed5-6bea34aa6dde
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 29125


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2018, 12:04:32 am »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Migrant labor of pride: Crew knows tough labor

A crew of mostly Mexican-born wildland firefighters helps battle
the Carr blaze, more worried about rescuing homes than politics.


By RUBEN VIVES | Monday, August 06, 2018

Firefighters from R&R Contracting in Oregon perform mop-up work on the Carr fire near Redding, California. A 2007 report by the American Immigration Council found that a significant number of wildland firefighters were immigrants, mostly Mexican-born men. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Firefighters from R&R Contracting in Oregon perform mop-up work on the Carr fire near Redding, California. A 2007 report by the American Immigration Council
found that a significant number of wildland firefighters were immigrants, mostly Mexican-born men. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


REDDING, CALIFORNIA — Behind River Ridge Terrace in Redding, where the monstrous Carr fire had destroyed homes, a team of 20 men used shovels to stab the charred earth.

Under the blazing sun, the clinking of metal stopped when one of the men scooping dirt out from under a tree spotted smoke rising from the ground.

“Humo!” he shouted in Spanish.

From afar, the mop-up operation was typical firefighting work, with one exception — it was being done by mostly Mexican immigrants who spend their off-seasons picking oranges, lemons and cherries across Washington, Oregon and California.

Each year, thousands of immigrants work as wildland firefighters, plying the trade at a time when extreme weather is fueling larger and more destructive fires in the West.

“I'd say for the last 15 years, the Hispanic population started to get more involved in this kind of work,” said Federico Rocha Sr., a Mexican immigrant and the team's boss.

The private contract crew arrived last month in Redding, conducting control burns and mop-up work to help fight the wildfire that swept through Shasta and Trinity counties and killed six people, including two children and two firefighters.

The fire has devoured more than 1,000 homes and scorched 160,049 acres.

Officials said more than 15,000 firefighters from across the state and country are on duty, fighting 18 major fires that have burned more than 559,000 acres and displaced almost 45,000 residents across the state. Seventeen states have offered assistance to California in recent weeks, sending help from as far away as Maine and Florida.

Officials say the fire conditions and the amount of firefighting resources devoted to control wildfires may become the new norm.

For the first time in its 110-year history, the U.S. Forest Service has spent more than 50% of its budget to suppress the nation's wildfires. Fire seasons are also 78 days longer than in the 1970s, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Under these conditions, every bit of muscle helps — and field workers know hard labor.

A 2007 report by the American Immigration Council found that a significant number of wildland firefighters were immigrants, mostly Mexican-born men.

Shasta County is Trump country. The president won the county with 65% of the vote. In February, Shasta County voted to become a “non-sanctuary” zone for immigrants in the country illegally.

But for the fire crew of Mexican immigrants, politics never enters the mind. This isn't about Trump or his supporters, or about border walls. It's about the pride of protecting people’s homes. Rocha said residents have been grateful.

“When people appreciate what we do, it makes us feel good,” he said. “Even at stores, people thank us and they're happy we're here helping.”

The fire crew was trained and hired by R&R Contracting, a private company based in Salem, Oregon, and operated by one of Rocha's relatives. The company is also just one of hundreds in Oregon that are contracted by state and federal governments to fight forest fires.

Experts say Oregon is at the forefront of states that have created certification programs for contract firefighters. A sizable number of them are Latino immigrants.


Federico Rocha Sr., center, oversees a crew mopping up hot spots near Redding, California. “I'd say for the last 15 years, the Hispanic population started to get more involved” in firefighting, says Rocha, a Mexican immigrant. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.
Federico Rocha Sr.,  center, oversees a crew mopping up hot spots near Redding, California. “I'd say for the last 15 years, the Hispanic population started to get
more involved” in firefighting, says Rocha, a Mexican immigrant. — Photograph: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times.


The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection could not immediately say what percentage of its firefighters were immigrants.

From an observational standpoint, Mike Mohler, deputy director of communications for Cal Fire, said the department is pretty diverse.

“I know we have Russians and we have Mexicans represented up and down the state,” he said. “We should have a decent influence, but now I'm curious.”

The overall population of immigrant firefighters in California appears to be growing.

It nearly doubled in the last five years, according to data from the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-profit and non-partisan research institution. There were 2,408 immigrant firefighters in California in 2016, compared with 1,288 in 2011.

Many fire agencies and organizations don't keep track of the number of immigrant firefighters, but according to 2016 data from the institution, immigrants made up 7% of the firefighter population in California. There was a total of 35,499 firefighters that year in the state, and of that number 33,091 were native-born firefighters and 2,408 were immigrant firefighters. The data include municipal, county, state and wildland firefighters.

Leaning on his shovel, sweating, 46-year-old Juan Cisneros, a Mexican immigrant, said it was his second year with the crew.

In the off-season, he's out picking mostly oranges in Visalia, earning money to help care for his wife and four daughters.

“This job is hard and a little dangerous,” he said. “But you have to do what you can for the family.”

Cisneros, who is from Michoacán, said the work is difficult because of the heavy gear and intense labor.

“It can get tiring,” he said, adding that while it is physically challenging, it is rewarding.

“I feel important when someone says thank you for the work we do,” he said. “When we're walking around, people say thank you to us for being here and fighting a fire.”

Cisneros said he doesn't like what he hears on the news about immigrants, but he tries to simply ignore it. He hopes critics of immigrants will pay attention to the work he and others do.

“I want them to see our contributions here,” he said.

Pablo Araujo, who picks cherries in Washington during the off-season, said the job has been growing on him.

“I've spent most of my life picking cherries,” he said. “But now, I don't know. This job is interesting.”

Along Quartz Hill Road, where the men were trying to scrape dirt away to get to the smoldering roots of a tree, a man in a white truck drove by with his head out the window.

“Good work, guys!” he yelled, giving a thumbs-up. “Thank you!”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Ruben Vives is a general assignment reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A native of Guatemala, he got his start in journalism by writing for the L.A. Times' Homicide Report in 2007. He helped uncover the financial corruption in the city of Bell that led to criminal charges against eight city officials. The 2010 investigative series won the Pulitzer Prize for public service and other prestigious awards.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=cbb9ecd5-b36c-41ec-8f85-867560364025
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=fa942bd4-03c0-4e92-80f2-669c8868f324
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Open XNC2 Smileys
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum

Buy traffic for your forum/website
traffic-masters
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy
Page created in 0.39 seconds with 12 queries.