Damaging forest Fires and other fires in California, who’s responsible?
Democrat Governments run by governors who want conservation of land containing trees, bushes brush, forest, left in their natural state, have to bear the blame when they catch fire and destroy towns, residential areas, buildings, etc.
PG&E shouldn’t have to bear the blame in California for fires caused by their power lines. There is the law supporting conservationism that won’t let PG&E cut trees, bushes brush, away from their power lines.
Where areas subject to catching fire having PG&E power lines, that power line should have clearance of yards from the danger. The clearance area should be kept clean around the power line, dried grass, bushes, trees, etc.
Potential areas subject to wild fires need to be cleaned up, subject to good maintenance, by that county.
The Carr fire
The Carr fire started on January 23 2018 at Whiskey Town lake near Redding, California. The Car electrical generating power house, located on Whiskey Town lake, who’s name came from a former Politician in the area, produces electricity for the surrounding needs.
Giant water pipes coming down a mountain in back of the power house turn turbines that rotate generators to generate electrical power. A tire blew on a trailer being pulled by a vehicle, near the power house. The rim rolling on the pavement caused sparks that set dried vegetation on fire near the pavement, which spread into the unbelievable Carr fire.
The Carr fire has destroyed some 223,000 acres, leaving in its path destroyed, 22 commercial buildings, 1,079 residential houses, along with 503 out buildings. destroyed consisting of, sheds, wood storage, separate garages, etc.
Eight people have been killed or more, and so far 3 or 4 firefighters have died.
An interesting note about some of these fire fighters, one home that had to be evacuated, a fire fighter watered their garden, another one fed their cat, another went into the house and fed their goldfish.
Destroyed homes have been the less expensive to, the million dollar, and more homes. The Redding’s Chief of Police and his parents, lost their home.
Reported the Carr fire is the seventh biggest fire in California history. The Carr fire damage has been estimated to be around 11.15 billion in residential property and business buildings destroyed, etc.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he was amazed at how powerful this firestorm was. Winds got up to 160 miles an hour, blowing down two large towers, supporting high voltage tower line, completely destroying them, pulling them out of the ground with their cement foundations, and twisted them up like you would twist an aluminum beer can.
They were built to withstand 200 mile an hour winds. The winds damaged another large tower supporting electrical transiting power also. The Carr fire was finally, fully contained on August 30, 2018. The Carr fire burnt all the way to the shore of Shasta Lake.
The potential problem now is land erosion and its effects on this massive area. Where the land area is vulnerable, possible some kind of grass or other fast growing plants can be seeded that will grow and help prevent land erosion.
The Delta fire very near the Shasta Dam lake is where an arm of the McCloud river empties into Shasta lake, and it has consumed some 11,000 acres, in 24 hours it consumed 1,272 acres.
Another forest fire close by, closed the I 5 freeway for a time and what was left from the fire was remove, some of the trees that escaped fatal burns, could still be salvaged for their wood content, within the next two years before a fungus sets in and starts destroying them.
Another fire, the Mendocino County fire, largest in area in California has taken its toll.
A road called the Camp fire is where the disaster fire that destroyed the city of Paradise started.
Reported some P G and E power lines were down. This Camp fire road is believed to of been were this fatal fire started, and the disastrous fire is called, Camp fire.
The Camp fire went through the city of Paradise, destroying the whole city and surrounding residential areas. At one time the death toll there was 88.
A close personal story. The Camp fire also demolished a home close friends were going to buy 30 miles or so, above northern Ceco in the low Sierras.
It was contingent on selling there home in Fremont. This house in the SF Bay area would of sold for say, 2 million or more, but in the area above Ceco was offered around $650 thousand.
Besides 5 or 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, fabulous kitchen, 6 car garage, cameras everywhere, what a loss.
The cause of California forests being fire traps can be related to the environmentalists, wanting the forests to stay in their natural habitat, leaving undergrowth to remain.
Another faulty plan by the environmentalists was to keep logging companies from cutting down fir trees for lumber. The tree-huggers and the girl living in a tree for a year were for trees to remain in their natural habitat.
Lumber trees can be looked as a crop, cut them down for their lumber products, 2 by 4s, 4 by 4s, 6 by 6 and bigger, plywood etc. Then replanted for the next crop, which would be harvested many years later.
Large machines that can go into a forest or brush area and cut down under brush can be easily built. The undergrowth, along with stripping low hanging tree branches, 15 feet on some trees, and 5 to 6 feet from the ground on others, where this mixture can be chopped up, and mostly removed then leave some what’s left is what’s needed.
There are companies that burn material like this to generate steam to turn turbine that produce electricity to run their plants. Coal burning power plants may be able to use this material also.
The tremendous cost of fighting these destructive fires, residential and commercial buildings, value lost, barren land left to erosion by rain, loss of lives, what ever else, the California state should be responsible for not doing something years earlier.
The save the Spotted Owl yarn was introduced many years ago , and it became favored. Logging companies had to shut down, and the mills fabricating the lumber had to shut down, because of no logs to work with.
Third and forth generations workers had to be let go, resulting in them having no jogs, they had to move, and with no experience in other types of work, suicides were reported and alcoholism.
The Sierra Club takes part in environmentalism. Saving the Spotted Owl allowed for trees not being able to be cut down, which allowed for undergrowth to accumulate, hence giant fire traps.
Probably at least four different sized machine or more could be built on wheels that an operator could ride. A very small one for small areas, a larger one for bigger areas, an even larger one for tough growth like manzanita, this snarly growth can cover a large area that grows fairly close to the ground or higher with branches some 2 inches or more, thick, if it can’t be used for anything else it needs to be pulverized.
Very large machines for example that could cut low hanging branches from trees, keeping fire hazards down need developing too. What’s needed could be brought before companies that can make these machines, and come up with the needed machinery.
The Mendocino County Fire, Largest in Area
The Mendocino Complex comprises two vegetation fires that burned within miles of each other near Clear Lake, in Northern California. The first of the two fires reported was the Ranch Fire, which was reported on July 27, 2018 at 12:05 PM.
It was off Highway 20 near Potter Valley. Two firefighters around one hour later were injured. The River Fire was reported on Old River Road one hour later, some six miles north of Hopland. It was south of the Ranch Fire.
By that evening, the River Fire had burned 4,000 acres, destroyed two buildings, including a home. According to a report, the Ranch Fire had inadvertently been started by a rancher while hammering a metal stake while trying to find a wasp nest.
Sparks caused by hammering a metal stake set the dry grass on fire, and the blaise traveled into poorly run kept growth. The fire threatened the University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center. Rugged terrain challenged control of the fires, gusty winds caused both fires to grow.
Five more firefighters were reported injured. By next morning, the two fires were organized under the “Mendocino Complex” name. The River Fire had grown to 3,500 acres and the Ranch Fire had burned 6,000 acres.
Both were at only two percent containment, some 386 structures were being threatened. The first mandatory evacuations began in Hopland and included residents along Highway 175.
Mendocino College became an evacuation center. By the afternoon, the community of Lakeport and additional areas of the County were placed under mandatory evacuation.
Later that evening, Potter Valley and potential hazardous parts of Upper Lake were evacuated. July 29 Dry and windy conditions persisted, and there was the lack of available fire fighters, as they were fighting other fires burning in the state
Communities of Witter Springs, Finley, Saratoga Springs, Nice, Bachelor Valley, Scotts Valley, and Big Valley Rancheria were evacuated. The fires, uncontrolled, rapidly growing, with the Ranch Fire consuming 35,076 acres, and the River Fire reaching 20,911 acres.
July 30, had the fires at 10 percent containment. In the afternoon of July 30, the evacuation orders were lifted for Hopland, and the Hopland Rancheria, also the area just north of Largo. Evacuation orders were put in place for Kelseyville and Finley.
The containment of the fire declined to five percent as the fires grew in size. Another home was destroyed and one damaged. Potter Valley Evacuation orders were lifted in the afternoon of July 31. By that evening the fires had burned a combined total of 80,408 acres, and were 12percent contained.
The two fires continued their burning into August, with the Ranch Fire at 59,014 acres, and the River Fire at 31,898 acres. Remaining at 15 percent containment, was the destructive Ranch Fire, while its other not controllable River Fire was at 38 percent containment.
Some crews were directly fighting the fire when conditions permitted. Support of additional fire fighters arrived from the US Forest Service.
By the morning of August 2, the two fires had burned a combined total of 110,168 acres, and were 39 percent contained. The Ranch Fire burned into the Mendocino National Forest and south of Lake Pillsbury. The fires remained most active in higher elevations.
Mandatory evacuations were put in place for Western Lake County, including for areas west of Lucerne and north of Clear Lake. By the evening of August 4, the combined acreage was 229,000 acres. By the morning of August 5, the combined acreage was 271,172 acres, with 152 buildings destroyed.
The two fires have become the largest wildfire complex in modern California history. On August 7, 2018, officials announced that they predicted the Mendocino Complex would last through August and into early September, compared to the earlier prediction of mid-August.
By then, the fire complex had destroyed 143 structures, 75 of them residences. By late August 7, the fire complex was 34percent contained. Of the two fires, the Ranch and River Fires, the River Fire was 78 percent contained, while the Ranch Fire was only 20% contained, with flames on the northern flank still pushing towards Snow Mountain Wilderness.
By the night of August 7, the combined acreage was 283,800 acres, with 169 buildings damaged or destroyed. By the morning of August 8, the fire had destroyed 221 buildings, while damaging another 27. By Wednesday morning, on August 8, 2018, the Mendocino Complex Fire had burned 300,086 acres, and was 47percent contained.
Cal Fire estimated that containing the entire fire complex could take until September 1, over a month after it ignited on July 27. By Thursday, August 9, 2018, the total area burned had grown to 302,086 acres. By Saturday morning, on August 11, 2018, the Mendocino Complex Fire had burned 325,226 acres, was 67percent contained, and had destroyed 258 buildings.
On the morning of Sunday, August 12, the Ranch Fire grew to 282,479 acres, and was only 62percent contained, surpassing the Thomas Fire as California’s single-largest modern wildfire.
Meanwhile, the River Fire remained at 48,920 acres, with 93percent containment with the Mendocino Complex Fire having burned a total of 331,399 acres. During the evening of August 13, the River Fire was fully contained, at 48,920 acres, leaving the Ranch Fire as the only active fire within the Mendocino Complex. However, the larger Ranch Fire continued to expand.
By the evening of August14, the Ranch Fire had grown to 305,990 acres, and only 64percent containment, increasing the size of the Mendocino Complex Fire to 354,910 acres. It was reported that the Ranch Fire had killed a firefighter from Utah.
Two other big fires in California, the massive Rush Fire in 2012, which burned across California into Nevada, and the Santiago Canyon Fire of 1889, which was believed to have been California’s all-time largest wildfire, estimated at about 300,000 acres.
On August 28, the Ranch Fire reached 410,182 acres, and was at 93percent containment, increasing the Mendocino Complex Fire’s burn area to 459,102 acres. On the same day, it was reported that the Ranch Fire had stopped its forward spread.
On September 19, the U.S. Forest Service reported that the Ranch Fire had been fully contained during the evening of September 18, bringing both of the fires in the Mendocino Complex to full containment.
The Ranch Fire was not out completely yet, as hotspots continued to smolder deep within the containment lines of the fire. The hotspots persisted until November 7, 2018, when the Ranch Fire was declared to be inactive.
Wildfires in Sonoma County and on the North Coast
Kincade Fire, largest fire in Sonoma County history 2019
It burnt approximately 77,758 acres in Sonoma County, destroyed 374 structures. It was big and hard to put out, . Many days went by, people in a close proximity of the area that weren’t touched smelled smoke for days
Tubbs Fire 2017
Burned approximately 36,807 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties, destroyed 5,636 structures and killed 22 people.
Nuns Fire 2017
Burned approximately 54,000 acres in Sonoma County, and 20,025 acres in Napa County), destroyed 1,355 structures and killed 3 people.
Atlas Fire 2017
Burned approximately 51,624 acres in Napa and Solano Counties, destroyed 120 structures and killed 6 people.
Redwood Valley Fire 2017
Burned approximately 36,523 acres in Mendocino County, destroyed 546 structures and killed 9 people.
Pocket Fire 2017
Burned approximately 14,225 acres in Sonoma County, destroyed 6 structures.
Sulphur Fire 2017
burned approximately 2,207 acres in Lake County, destroyed 162 structures.
Valley Fire 2015
Burned approximately 76,067 acres in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties, destroyed 1,955 structures and killed 4 people.
North Pass Fire 2012
Burned approximately 41,983 acres in Mendocino County.
Rumsey Fire 2004
Burned approximately 39,138 acres in Napa and Yolo counties.
Geysers Fire 2004
Started around Geyserville and burned approximately 12,525 acres and destroyed 33 structures in Lake County.
Fork Fire 1996
Burned approximately 83,057 acres in Lake County. Much of the devastation was focused in the Mendocino National Forest.
Porter Creek Fire 1996
Burned approximately 300 acres in Sonoma County.
Atlas Peak Fire 1981
Burned approximately 23 thousand acres in Napa County.
Cow Mountain Fire 1981
Burned approximately 25,534 acres in Lake and Mendocino counties.
Creighton Ridge Fire 1978
Burned over 11,000 acres in Sonoma County.
Hanly Fire 1964
Burned approximately 52,700 acres in Sonoma and Napa counties. 84 homes, 24 summer cabins, and countless farm buildings destroyed, including the historic Tubbs Mansion.
Nunns Canyon Fire 1964
Burned approximately 7,000 acres in Sonoma County.
Guerneville Fire 1961
Burned approximately 5,800 acres, destroying several structures including 18 homes, and 500,000 dollars worth of timber. 500,000 dollars worth of timber in 1961 was quite a bit of money. In today’s economy, 2019 you could multiply that by 10 or more, by 10 would be 5 million.
Wild Fires can happen in counties kept cleared of unnecessary brush, trees, etc. by lightning, camp fires out of control.
Also the purposely set fires sometimes do happen.
Even though counties can keep there areas cleared of unwanted brush, trees, fire blocks, etc., fires by Lightning, camp fires out of control, purposely set fires, can occur.
Fire blocks are a must in forest areas, the wind can be an insurmountable problem, and there is no control over it. The wind if it becomes big in a wild fire may blow cinders past a fire block, starting a fire in other forest areas.
So in the case of an unpreventable wild fire in a certain counties it will be that counties unfortunate happening. But a state that’s counties do maintain their areas, a wild fire cause by lightning for example, won’t be a huge blemish on the whole state.
The purpose of this article is for the wakening of California’s counties to maintain their land to the point of keeping wild fires down as must as possible. The party that controls the state has to bear the blame.