Wildfires and stuff..


#141

I think a few posts up someone mentions the number of people who are living in areas that are fire hazards now. I do think that is part of the problem. These people are supposed to help mitigate the potential of fire damage but when you get dry conditions in a forest and some wind there is probably little you can do.

The fires around Redding in California are burning in what are normally this time of year very hot (100+) dry conditions. Brush and oak trees with pines a little higher up. Add some wind and presto.

This is purely anecdotal but I do think the winds are different today compared to 10-20 years ago. A little more, a little stronger.


#142

IIRC, part of the reason the Houston flooding was so damaging this Hurricane season is that there are areas that have traditionally been unoccupied (due to flood damage risk) that people have started moving into because the land was cheap, and there hadn’t been significant flooding there in recent times (flood insurance shenanigans may have played a part as well). If cities are allowed to grow without keeping these things in mind, this kind of thing becomes more or less inevitable.


#143

The planning and development of housing has never been based on logic. It is based on profit.


#144

Houston was built on a swamp, has all the ambiance and climate of a swamp, gets regularly flooded all the time, every year, and is extremely vulnerable to extreme rain events. I mean, if it looks like a swamp, quacks like a swamp and feels like a swamp, it’s a swamp. More people are living there and they’ve been lucky they hadn’t taken a direct hit from a hurricane until recently for quite a while.

I’d also suggest that wildlife tourism and local economies benefit more from conservation work than the supposed “killing to save the species” tactic the trophy hunters posit.

— Alan


#145

I’m not sure what this tactic is in reference to? Obviously, the point would be to use targeted hunting as one small part of an overarching general conservation strategy. Allowing trophy hunters to cull, say, individuals that are sick, or over-populating, allows an additional revenue stream for animals that would likely have been killed one way or another anyways.


#146

Sandy was the same way. NJ had rules about how close you could build your house to the beach, then they lifted them, shrinking the beach area but expanding their prime real estate and tax revenue… guess which houses took the brunt of the water damages.


#147

My wife and daughter are on the way to LA. A couple of pictures heading toward Redding.


#148

I spoke to a woman who had drivin here from Olympia thru Redding. She said the smoke starts about Rogue, Oregon. My neighbors returned from Bandon Oregon a week earlier and they said they literally had to take detours around the fires at that time.


#149

I am guessing you mean Rogue River, Oregon. They might be getting a piece of the Taylor Fire.


#150

Yeah, I’m confused too. Are recreational fishermen “trophy hunters?”.


#151

She said Rogue, but yea, the only name like that I know in Oregon is Rogue River.


#152

Did I say sport fisherman? Sport fisherman don’t shoot endangered species in the name of conservation, though policies to appease sport fisherman has certainly led to the influx of certain trout species in non-native waters that has almost irreparably damaged multiple ecosystems long-term.

Interestingly I learned today that state and federal agencies have been slow to embrace the use of prescribed fires and “let it burn” policies that fire management agencies in California for a variety of reasons. It is something they are doing more often, but it really depends on the situation. The article noted that fires had typically swept through stands of trees in the Sierras once every ten years or so. Areas that the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite burned hadn’t burned since record keeping in the 30s, so you can imagine the level of undergrowth there. Prescribed burns are risky though; one of the largest wildfires in Arizona history was caused by one.

Today Zinke, visiting California, essentially blamed environmental policies for the fires. The essential argument is that if there were less trees, there wouldn’t be as many fires. In a fairly simplistic way this is true, but the policies regarding fire suppression in federal lands (ex: the Smokey the Bear campaign) was brought about by corporate interests, not treehuggers. After all, if a fire sweeps through a forest, the timber industry can’t cut them down.

— Alan


#153

Speaking of trout, um, fishiness:


#154

Actually, Zinke is wrong. The fires thrive on the brush and underbrush, and of course, the winds.


#155

It’s pretty rare when he’s right.

Another firefighter has died as a result of the Ferguson Fire up near Yosemite (died of injuries apparently); Yosemite Valley itself is due to open today, but there are still a lot of restrictions and closures (southern entrance via Highway 41 from Wawona probably closed all the way to at least the Glacier Point road junction, Glacier Point road is also closed still as is the Merced Grove). Air quality in the Central Valley remains poor, though cooler temperatures will be prevailing across the coastal region until the weekend looks like.

Meanwhile Glacier NP itself is seeing another large, potentially damaging fire near Lake Mcdonald (Howe Ridge Fire). Fires here and a couple around the Yellowstone area are all lightning-caused apparently.

— Alan


#156

Nice, a fire just started within a quarter mile of the last fire we had in the city. Lovely smell. Looks like they already have it contained though judging by the differences in the past 30 minutes.

Perfect timing because the Holy Jim smoke just cleared out of our area completely, so we didn’t want to go 24 hours without having to smell smoke.


#157

I have actually had blue skies the last couple days.

I haven’t seen any news on it today but we have a new fire near the city of North Fork, up in the foothills. They warned yesterday that an evacuation but might be required.


#158

Yeah it’s not in the Modesto Bee or Inciweb yet.

— Alan


#159

I literally just made a grilled rainbow trout and salmon buffet for my parents a few weeks ago. They are NOTHING alike in texture, taste, nor how they cook up.


#160

I was thinking the same thing. Although there are salmon with light flesh, you still should be able to tell them apart.