Wildfires in the US

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geron
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Wildfires in the US

Post by geron »

On the BBC TV news last night we saw scenes of people fleeing the town of Medford, Oregon, which was in flames. I hope that Mandy, of Purple Rain Adventure Skirts, has managed to stay safe.
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denimini
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by denimini »

Yes, and everyone else. I can feel for them. We had similar in Australia last year and federal government was reluctant to mention the "C" word.
They are fire storms with wind charged temperatures similar to a blacksmiths forge.
We used to be able to get firefighting aircraft support from the US but the fire seasons overlap now.
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Pdxfashionpioneer
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Re: Wildfires in the US

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Tonight's weather report predicted smoky, hazardous skies tomorrow in the Portland area. But they're predicting showers or rain Monday and Tuesday, a hot sunny day Wednesday and then more rainy days Thursday and Friday.

While the fires aren't even in the actual county that includes Portland, the skies in the City limits have been surreal! Red or orange Sun. Smoke so thick you can't see more than a half-mile or so.

Finding out that the fire seasons in the US and Australia are now overlapping is really saying something scary!
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by rode_kater »

The fires in America are giving us redder sunsets here in NL and even keeping the temperature lower than expected. Only two days, but it's weird to think that something so far away could have an impact here.
6ft3Aussie
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by 6ft3Aussie »

Yes the situation with the fires is one to keep a close eye on. It was certainly pretty bad here downunder from November to February.
I've heard about it from some of my wife's family that live in the Southern California area, at least they've been OK.
Hoping that all our US members are safe away from the fires.

Around Brisbane in November last year we had about 6 weeks when we could see the smoke in the air, varying from a light haze to visibility down to about 1km.
I was in one of the areas close to Brisbane last week that was significantly affected by some very intense fires, and I'm pleased to report that the trees are sprouting plenty of new growth, there's a healthy amount of grass on the ground, life is bouncing back. Those fires caused us problems as we were doing some radio network coverage surveys for a new digital radio network that we had just switched on and commissioned, in some areas that were seriously affected, one of the reasons that we needed to prove coverage was for emergency communications for the area council. We proved later on when we could access the area that coverage in those areas was extremely good.
I was up that way today and the fire fighters were conducting the fuel reduction burns, so the risk is being managed this year, a lesson learned.

Around the middle of December 2019 I flew to Melbourne for the day (2 1/4 hour flight each way) and by the time we had been off the ground more than 2 or 3 minutes, you could barely see the ground, while in Melbourne it was a clear and warm morning until the wind shifted to the north, bringing the smoke and 44° (111°F) heat, before we departed for the flight back to Brisbane.

When I lived in New Zealand we often used to see the very golden sunlight from the Australian fires 2400km away, and I remember well the moon appearing almost blood red when it was almost overhead at night as it's light was filtered through the smoke.
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Re: Wildfires in the US

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by geron » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:43 am

On the BBC TV news last night we saw scenes of people fleeing the town of Medford, Oregon, which was in flames. I hope that Mandy, of Purple Rain Adventure Skirts, has managed to stay safe.
Now you've got my curiosity up. The Rogue Valley (region of Medford) was our home for a quite a few years; in fact we still "own" property there; and this past week three personal friends have lost their homes in the fires. At least two more folks whose names are known to us, have also lost homes; and a large apartment complex we lived in briefly many years ago, no longer stands. Shops we patronized burned -- but I was unaware that Purple Rain came from there, though Ashland is a very progressive town and it would not surprise me. I'll have to inquire a bit.

For a couple of years another chap and I contracted out fire tenders; working the Silver Complex fire and the Yellowstone Fire among others (now I'm dating myself) and as frightening as these were, they pale in comparison to what is happening now. Seeing out-of-control fires on the edges and into the towns is pretty shocking, save in the mountain valleys. My brother in Vacaville saved his home only by the presence of several friends in violation of the evacuation order; and now my brother in Scotts Mills was almost as close. Parents in McMinnville (near Portland/Salem) are in air quality that registered 527 a couple days ago -- well off the charts. We also lived in AU for a time, and the fires there this past year have exceeded all recent past history. Yet folks continue to deny we humans are responsible for any climate change impacts? That too is truly shocking. OK, sorry for the thread drift disconnects -- I'll check out Purple Rain -- nice to think another good things came from the that delightful valley.
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Pdxfashionpioneer
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

The news, this evening and last, reported that Portland, OR, USA bears the very dubious distinction of having the worst air quality of any city in the world. And not by a few points on the Air Quality Index, but by 100 points or more. In 2nd is Vancouver, BC, Canada. Again, by over 100 points above Seattle, WA, USA, which right now is 3rd. In fact, most of the 10 major cities in the world with the highest AQI's are all along the West Coast of North America.

If you include Northernmost counties of California in the Pacific Northwest -- which makes geographic sense -- then all 10 of the small towns and cities with the worst air quality are in that region. And number 10's Air Quality Index is far above Portland's.

When it's all said and done, we will probably find that misguided forest management practices, along with the erratic weather resulting from man-made climate change, is at the root of the problem. For decades people have talked about how overgrown the Western forests have become because we have tried to suppress forest fires. While the practices that lead to the abundance of undergrowth are being refined and new ones being experimented with, the bottom line is that it's too little, too late, to paraphrase a certain famous British Prime Minister.

Last night, I saw an episode of PBS's "Nova" series on the geological evidence supporting and explaining the worldwide changes in our climate and that they are primarily driven by human activity. It was beyond scary. There's a reason some knowledgeable people think of human beings as the ultimate invasive species.

One of the overriding points of the TV show was that the planet will survive the damage we're inflicting. The real question is, will we?
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geron
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by geron »

Faldaguy wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:51 am
OK, sorry for the thread drift disconnects -- I'll check out Purple Rain -- nice to think another good things came from the that delightful valley.
Purple Rain's website is still up at purplerainskirts.com , though there's no reference to the present emergency. I hope that isn't a bad sign.

I've been out today in my Purple Rain skirt for an organised walk led by my wife. I asked beforehand whether it would be OK with her if I wore a skirt, since sun and high temperatures were forecast -- and besides, I hadn't worn anything but skirts since our lockdown began almost six months ago. She answered that she was immune to my skirts now -- adding after a pause that more men should try skirts because they are more comfortable and less sweaty. That's certainly true of my Purple Rain one, which is cool and airy and amazingly light -- just 165g. After the walk I was complimented on it by a couple of the other ladies :-)

So it can be worth persevering!
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by pelmut »

Faldaguy wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:51 am
...We also lived in AU for a time, and the fires there this past year have exceeded all recent past history. Yet folks continue to deny we humans are responsible for any climate change impacts?
We are being told by climate-change activists that the solution is to plant more trees, but that is a very short-sighted policy unless they have worked out what to do with all the wood it will create.  Leaving it standing as forests will just result in more fires in the short term and a lot of dead, decomposing, trees in the long term.  The fires will return the captured CO2 to the atmosphere and the decomposition will create Methane, which is an even more potent greenhouse gas that eventually decomposes into CO2.  Burning it as fuel or making items which will eventually rot or decompose produces exactly the same effects.

If there were a way of meeting our main fuel needs from wood and other plant material, that would at least reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and stop the rise in CO2 levels, but it wouldn't do anything to reduce them.
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by Fred in Skirts »

pelmut wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:21 pm
If there were a way of meeting our main fuel needs from wood and other plant material, that would at least reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and stop the rise in CO2 levels, but it wouldn't do anything to reduce them.
It is called Nuclear Power. Like it or not it is still the best way to go!!
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by pelmut »

Fred in Skirts wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:00 pm
It is called Nuclear Power. Like it or not it is still the best way to go!!
That's a bit of a surprise coming from someone whose avatar is a wood-burning locomotive.
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by Fred in Skirts »

pelmut wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:33 pm
Fred in Skirts wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:00 pm
It is called Nuclear Power. Like it or not it is still the best way to go!!
That's a bit of a surprise coming from someone whose avatar is a wood-burning locomotive.
They don't have nuclear locomotives yet!! :lol:

And as far as trains go, anything goes!!! :D
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Pdxfashionpioneer
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

I have to disagree with both of you on a few things.

Pelmut, growing trees and then cutting them down for timber or paper captures C02 for the life of the tree plus the life of the product. Longer if the product isn't disposed of by fire or above ground disposal.

Proper forest management, most importantly controlling the undergrowth and thinning will prevent forest fires.

Fred, you're correct that a properly shielded nuclear reactor, that is carefully constructed will produce heat without adding CO2 to the environment. However, building such a facility takes a great deal of people power and material all of which has to be delivered to the site and moved around once they have gotten there. And how will all of this transportation of people and materials, not to mention the production of said materials, be accomplished? By fossil fuel burning equipment.

Furthermore, the life expectancy of many nuclear plants have not been met and there still isn't an approved facility in the US for storing spent materials.

It will probably be a cold day in Hades before there is a nuclear railroad engine. Look at the history of the atomic bomber jet. Yes, the Air Force toyed with the idea of powering a bomber with a nuclear reactor. They even tested a prototype before someone figured out that the weight of sufficient shielding to make it safe also made it impractical. That's assuming it would get off the ground at all!

I expect an atomic locomotive would bump into the same constraint.

That's the bad news, the good news is that parked electric cars that are connected to the grid could provide the storage needed to fill in the gaps left by wind and solar produced electricity.
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by Faldaguy »

The article I am linking here veers from the sole issue of wildfires, but does address man's relationship with nature that is cogent to these times of CV-19; fires; massive displacement and the elements of economic impacts. It no doubt will ruffle a few feathers in its language and approach, but strikes me as one of the best presentation of our inter-connected world in simple language that hopefully provokes some thought.

https://thecostaricanews.com/covid-19-l ... lfs-teeth/
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Re: Wildfires in the US

Post by Shilo »

Faldaguy wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:51 am
The article I am linking here veers from the sole issue of wildfires, but does address man's relationship with nature that is cogent to these times of CV-19; fires; massive displacement and the elements of economic impacts. It no doubt will ruffle a few feathers in its language and approach, but strikes me as one of the best presentation of our inter-connected world in simple language that hopefully provokes some thought.

https://thecostaricanews.com/covid-19-l ... lfs-teeth/
It certainly rings many bells with me. When I have espoused a similar theory in the past people have reacted as though I was crazy. If true this pandemic could be the precursor to others as the planet, or Gaia if you will, strives to redress the balance.,
:roll:
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