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UPDATE #2 – California Fires

Posted by feww on July 12, 2008

California Inferno Rages On

Wildfires are an indispensable tool in Nature’s cycle-of-life toolbox. But … the fires must not be allowed to burn naturally!! Click Here!

What People Said:

  • California is reaching a “tipping point.” We need federal help, including military resources, said the mighty Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declared a state-wide drought in June amid two years of low rainfall.
  • Humanoids’ ignorance of Nature’s defense mechanisms hasn’t improved in 12,000 years! Take the California’s wildfires, for example. Tackling the wildfires has become strictly a Freudian affair. ~ A Member of Creating A Sustainable Future (CASF).

A firefighter with the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District talks on his radio as a spot fire burns through trees and brush July 10, 2008 in Concow, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

  • About 1,300 square miles (3,366 square kilometers), or 0.8 percent of the entire state, an area larger than Rhode Island, has been consumed in California since June 21, said Cal Fire. [The scorched land area is the largest in size in California’s wildfire history.]
  • For first time in 30 years, California National Guard lends hand against wildfires, said abc News.
  • “I am ordering 2,000 additional California National Guard personnel to boost our firefighting forces,” said Schwarzenegger.
  • Burning embers – pinecones and bark chunks as big as baseballs – were thrown a quarter of a mile ahead of the primary wall of flames, creating spot fires. “You can’t see out a quarter mile,” Brown said. “When you find the new fire, it’s already a big fire.” Said SFGate

  • “In my district, about 40 more homes were confirmed destroyed and there has been at least one death where a person refused to evacuate,” said Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly.
  • “[The California’s fires] are unprecedented in size and number … [State authorities] have essentially exhausted all of their internal resources; eighty percent of all the federal resources are committed to California right now.” Said Glenn Cannon, assistant administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A mountain bike is one of the few items recognizable at a home in the Camelot subdivision in Concow, Calif. Chronicle photo by Paul Chinn. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

  • The fires have killed two firefighters, injured 262, consumed 752,944 acres and have costs $325.7 million to fight. The fires threaten about 15,500 homes and structures across California, according to the state and federal fire reports.
  • Some 19,704 firefighters and support personnel from 41 states are quenching 322 fires across California, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Cal Fire.
  • Mexican and Canadian crews are also helping the US firefighters, said Mark Rey, undersecretary of natural resources and the environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • The Butte blaze threatens 3,800 homes and structures, said Justin Scribner, a spokesman for Cal Fire. “We were trying to conduct a planned burning operation, with crews in place to hold the lines, but the winds picked up, and we weren’t able to stop it.”
  • The Butte fire has scorched about 49,000 acres (19,600 hectares), 60 structures, and caused $40.5 million in damages, according to Cal Fire and the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.


This image of the combined fires was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on July 10, 2008.

Carbon Dioxide Is a Fire Retardant (!)

  • Homeland Security (!) Sec. Michael Chertoff held a conference call with Gov. Schwarzenegger, Sen. Feinstein, a staffer for Sen. Boxer, Interior Sec. Kempthorne and Agriculture Sec. Schafer to discuss California’s needs, said DHS spokeswoman. [She did not specify whether the conference was held in French or in English!]
  • It has been decided that to create more CO2, which might help put out the fires, firefighters from Australia, Greece and New Zealand should come to the U.S. </dark humor>
  • State officials are trying to get all the fires declared as major disasters, to enable increased access to federal funds, said California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi.
  • Forest fires have broken out in nine states, including two in Washington yesterday, which destroyed [thirteen] homes [some were multimillion-dollar homes] in the Spokane Valley [Friday], said Don Smurthwaite, a spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

Numerous major wildfires continued burning Friday in Eastern Washington, prompting Gov. Chris Gregoire to declare a state of emergency for the entire state. That freed equipment, firefighters and funding for efforts to quench the flames.

Fire crews from across Washington were battling blazes in Chelan, Douglas, Stevens, Adams, Ferry, and Spokane counties. With hot and dry conditions statewide, Gregoire said the proclamation ensured any affected area would have sufficient firefighting resources. (Source)

  • “It would do us no good to send everything to California and then see fires ignite in three or four other states,” Smurthwaite said.
  • So far, about 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares), [an area roughly the size of Connecticut,] have burned in the U.S. this year, exceeding the 10-year average of 2.5 million [by 20 percent,] Smurthwaite said.
  • “Hand crews and bulldozers were (in Concow) all night, posted at individual homes” trying to retard the flames, said Joshpae White, an engineer for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
  • High temperatures and low humidity have hampered efforts by crews trying to contain another fire advance near Carmel Valley, north of Big Sur. said Susan Zornek, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman on loan from Missouri.
  • Because this fire season started so early, the firefighting conditions have been among the worst in memory, even among longtime crews, said Terence McHale, policy director for CDF Firefighters of Cal Fire, the union representing the firefighters.
  • “We have firefighters who’ve been working nonstop since mid-May, who haven’t seen their families or homes, who are working 24-hour shifts, 21 days on, sometimes putting in 36 hours in the initial attack of a fire,” said McHale said. “It’s an incredible challenge.”
  • “You almost feel like somebody is out to get you,” said Nancy Henphill, 61, a Concow resident.

California Must Decide: Life or “Lifestyle?”

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3 Responses to “UPDATE #2 – California Fires”

  1. […] Must Be Punis… on UPDATE: California FiresNature Must Be Punis… on UPDATE #2 – California Fi…Alaska’s Okmok… on Volcanoeskurt kamm on UPDATE #2 – […]

  2. […] California Inferno Rages On […]

  3. kurt kamm said

    [Multiple entry. Edited by Moderator: FEWW]

    See comment and reply at: https://feww.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/california-fires/#comments

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