Wildfires and stuff..


#121

It smells like a campfire in our entire neighborhood today. Gross.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em!


#122

@Nesrie’s picture above is how things are here. We have foothills not far from my house and they are currently invisible in a cloud of smoke.

And yes, for the last several days the air has smelled like a campfire is burning upwind from where ever you are.

Things like this do make me appreciate how nice it is that smoking is now illegal in public places. I can remember when bars were like this.


#123

I know my smoker friends and family hated it, but removing the bulk of that habit from the public was… awesome. And yes, it smells like a campfire as soon as I open the door.


#124

Campfire is being generous - I don’t mind that smell. This is not as nice (yeah, I got it now too).

So awesome. It’s always a shock when I go overseas and realize the rest of the world hasn’t caught up yet.


#125

Yeah, I can’t stand smoky bars now. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of campfire smoke either, lol.


#126

Every time I think about Vegas, I think how awful it was in Reno to be in casinos just full of smoke and how small and lame the non-smoking areas are. It’s probably saved me a ton of money, but when I got stuck in an elevator with a chain smoker… I remember thinking if we get trapped in here I will be near death when they get us out.


#127

You know, when you sit around a campfire and poke at the fire with a stick, doing marshmallows or something its cool. But the next day when you smell those clothes you realize how much they reek.

We wandered into an Indian Casino up the hill from us a few years ago. It was new, it was big and glitzy, and it smelled of smoke because smoking was allowed. That was enough for us.


#128

We’ve got some smoke advisory alerts today. They’re evacuating parts of Lake Elsinore now. And some pics from the front of our house from a few minutes ago.


#129

You didn’t take the sepia filter off.


#130

Going nationwide!


#131

All the cars outside here are covered in ash today. It’s a combination of white and black ash… like someone asked a giant cigarette over all the cars.

This kinda makes me wanna move. It’s gonna get worse every year.


#132

Didn’t Lake Elsinore have a large fire last year?


#133

Or the year before, memory is hazy on it.

We only have a set number and areas of forests, so it would make sense that the same areas will burn time and time again. I think they just protect and divert from humans and let the rest burn itself out?


#134

I spoke with someone who went to high school with me today. He visits the city we actually went to high school more often than I do and he said he saw a lot of people, around that age, wearing masks as they went about their day. Neither one of us remembers ever doing that as teens. I mean not just because we were too stupid or the public wasn’t aware, like the necessity to do that… never happened. It’s just really bad these last oh. 10 years or so.


#135

Conservatives like to blame the seeming influx of fires on a change in the way forests are managed. It’s possible that may play a role in some areas. I think for most of the Sierra Nevada’s the effect of the drought combined with the bark beetle killing trees has played a major role, and I think maybe allowing loggers to go in and get those might have been a good idea.

Southern Cal Edison, which owns a lot of property to the east of here in the mountains is going thru now and removing as many of the dead trees as they can get to. If you haven’t seen the damage done by the bark beetles google some pics of areas like Shaver Lake. The green is liberally sprinkled with brown from the dead trees.


#136

I can actually see the beetle problem right out my front door and most the windows. The trees are kind of easy to spot. The ones that are not just completely dead, are half brown and just leaking sap as they try to fight the things that burrowed into them. There are several species of trees that my neighbors suggested I not plant because of them.

I am a bit of a fish out of water in my liberal circles here because I do see trees as a renewable and manageable resource, and I think the select cut loggers should go into the USFS managed lands and thin them. I also think our weather is not helping, but these fires do seem more numerous and almost every year too whereas before, not as much.


#137

It’s a combination of many factors; beetle-infected and -kill trees are numerous in the Sierras (I believe an aerial survey got a lot of attention about a year ago). Trees stressed from drought and other environmental factors are also much more vulnerable to bark beetles. People are not only living in more woodland areas but are living in areas where there have not been fires, have high underbrush (ie. excessive amounts of fuel), homeowners refuse to create defensible areas around their homes, and homeowners and homebuilders refuse to use defensible materials in homebuilding.

And not only has there been years of drought, but it was coupled with an extremely wet year and followed up by a fairly dry one. This means… lots of fuel on the ground, then the wet weather came along and there was an enormous sprout of vegetation. However it all quickly dried up, leaving us with what we have today.

Oh and it’s getting warmer, which drives out moisture content from vegetation, and windier conditions, which can drive the spread of fires exponentially. Dry conditions also lead to dry thunderstorms which lead to more fires–though most large fires these days are typically caused by people, not lightning.

Back to the beetle-killed trees, a lot of it is on USFS and NPS land. I don’t know exactly the mechanisms in place to cut them down or if it’s restricted as part of a larger strategy of leaving the wilderness as is (an extension of the “let it burn” strategy as part of wildfire management, excepting when it starts to threaten life and property).

— Alan


#138

Agreed. It drives me a little nuts when people are against any kind or land management If could change one thing about environmentalists, that kind of mentality would be it (well, maybe irrational fear of nuclear power, but top 2). The same logic applies here as my support for targeted, cobtrolled big game hunting to help fund African nature preserves.

I am for preserving some virgin forest in a primeval state…but there’s precious little virgin forest in the US.


#139

Year ago we drove down Highway 1 from the top of Washington state to San Francisco. While driving thru the Olympia National Forest (it was around there) we came upon an area of forest that looked like it had been literally bombed out. Nothing standing. Nobody wants that kind of logging, but select logging, clearing the obviously dead and dangerous trees in areas and thinning where advised are good things.


#140

The most recent 99% Invisible seemed to suggest that at least part of the problem with Montecito was NIMBYism from residents who didn’t want firebreaks and flood barriers ruining their view. As a Brit, it boggles my mind they would have any real say in the matter, but still.