Fire Earth

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Archive for October 24th, 2008

SoCal’s Godfather Brush Fire!

Posted by msrb on October 24, 2008

submitted by a reader

Sepulveda Pass brush fire closed 405 Freeway for several hours

400 firefighters and nine water-dropping helicopters took 8 hrs to extinguish 100-acre Sepulveda Pass brush fire

Sepulveda Pass brush fire was the mother of all brush fires of late. It  must have been. It took 32 firefighter-hours to extinguish each acre [one acre is about 4,047 m².] In other words, it took each firefighter an average of one hour to extinguish an area measuring about 11.25 x 11.25 meters (12.3 x 12.3 yards, or 1,361 ft²), about 7.7 full-size car spaces (20′ x 8′ parallel parking, one-way aisle – Off-Street Parking Design Standards, San Jose, California).

And of course nine water-dropping helicopters from the city and Los Angeles County helped douse the flames with their massive loads.

How long will a tumbleweed take to burn out?


A helicopter drops water as drivers make their way over the Sepulveda Pass on the 405 Freeway. An early-morning brush fire temporarily closed the interstate. Photo: Gus Ruelas/Associated Press. Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice.

Sepulveda Pass brush fire was also a very intelligent fire! It started at about 12.50 am trying to catch the  brave firefighters off guard. The fire started west of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles and crept toward the Getty Museum, a college, a cultural center as well as some of the most expensive homes in SoCal.

This was a fire to capture the attention of the well-heeled, grabbing their private parts so that their hearts and minds would follow, softening the attitude of anyone [without a wild imagination ] who might have doubted the seriousness and prevalence of California fires. This was a fire with a message for the wealthy elite [who didn’t strike it rich through the fire industry] and lawmakers alike: No amount of money, not even a zillion dollars, is too much to pay to fight the flames.

Can you imagine, god forbid, the Getty Museum going up in smoke because there wasn’t enough money to fight the flames?

Call it Sepulveda Pass brush fire, if you must, but this brush fire was no ordinary fire. It had blood from the severed head of Khartoum splashed all over it!

An excerpt from Brush Fire Burns 100 Acres near The Getty Center

Date: Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 12:51 AM,

  • 69 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters,
  • 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances,
  • 1 Heavy Rescue, 4 Arson Units,
  • 3 Rehab Units,
  • 8 Helicopters,
  • 7 EMS Battalion Captains,
  • 16 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams,
  • 2 Division Chief Officer Command Teams,
  • LAFD Dozers, [unspecified numbers]
  • Water Tenders, [unspecified numbers]
  • Mobile Command Post,
  • 2 CERT Team Coordinators,

and companies from

  • Los Angeles County,
  • Orange County and
  • State Office of Emergency Services Fire Departments

all under the direction of Assistant Chief Craig Fry responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire at the South Bound 405 Freeway near Getty Center Dr. in Bel Air.

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Posted in brush fire, Fire Service, I 405, Khartoum blood, Sepulveda Pass | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

4.5 times more NF3 in atmosphere than thought

Posted by feww on October 24, 2008

Scripps News Release
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Potent Greenhouse Gas More Prevalent in Atmosphere than Previously Thought

NF3, a greenhouse gas used in manufacture of computer displays, flat panel televisions, microcircuits, solar panels is 17,000 times more powerful at warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide

Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego

Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), a powerful greenhouse gas, is about 4.5 times more prevalent in the atmosphere than previously thought, say researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

[A 3-d Space-filling model of nitrogen trifluoride. ]

Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), a potent greenhouse gas used in the plasma etching of silicon wafers, has a global warming potential (GWP) 17,000 times greater than CO2 over a 100 year period, and with an estimated atmospheric lifetime of about 750 years.

Atmospheric measurements of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) were made using new analytical techniques by a team at Scripps shows that the amount of the gas in the atmosphere in 2008 was about 5,400 metric tons, 4.5 times higher than previously thought,  and was increasing at about 11 percent per year.

Geochemistry professor Ray Weiss who lead the research team said: “Accurately measuring small amounts of NF3 in air has proven to be a very difficult experimental problem, and we are very pleased to have succeeded in this effort.”

The research will be published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) on October 31.

Previously, emissions of NF3 were considered too low to be a significant contributor to global warming and were therefore omitted from the Kyoto Protocol, the agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions signed by 182 countries in 1997.

Environmental Impact of NF3 Gas at Current levels

  • NF3 is about 17,000 times more effective a global warming agent than an equivalent mass of CO2.
  • Persists five times longer in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
  • [Fortunately] Contributes only about 0.04 percent [at its current application levels] to the overall global warming caused by the anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

Nitrogen trifluoride has been the industries’ preferred alternative to perfluorocarbons, also potent greenhouse gases, as it was thought industrial applications broke down about 98 percent of the NF3 and only about 2 percent of the gas escaped into the atmosphere.  (Source)

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Posted in Climate Change, CO2 Emissions, Global Warming, Kyoto Protocol, Scripps, SF6 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »