Fires in California

Old Oct 1st 2020, 7:21 pm
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Default Re: Fires in California

Recorded history is not that long and back then there were many more small fires, so yes if you let things build up what do you expect?
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Old Oct 1st 2020, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Fires in California

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Recorded history is not that long and back then there were many more small fires, so yes if you let things build up what do you expect?
Do you think climate change has a role in this?

What's amazing is that grasslands - not forests - but burnt only a few years ago are now causing huge fires again.
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Old Oct 1st 2020, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Fires in California

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Do you think climate change has a role in this?

What's amazing is that grasslands - not forests - but burnt only a few years ago are now causing huge fires again.
Grass grows back in one year, grass fires are common, last one around here was apparently somebody using explosive ammunition. Not that worried about those.

Last couple of years we have had passable snow levels, and the dry lightening has been missing, that seems to be the most common natural cause.

I do know that in the forest around here there is a lot of dead standing and downed wood and it is only a question of when,.

There are only records where I am for 150 years and they certainly have had dry period, no snow winters followed by mega dumps. The amusing thing is looking in the old photos was the lack of trees, fires, harvested?. Do not know.
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Old Oct 1st 2020, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Fires in California

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Grass grows back in one year, grass fires are common, last one around here was apparently somebody using explosive ammunition. Not that worried about those.
Grass fires often spread into forests where they explode when finding more combustible material. And with climate change, more and more trees are either dying outright or being attacked by beetle infestations that eventually kill them. That just adds to the potential fire load.

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
I do know that in the forest around here there is a lot of dead standing and downed wood and it is only a question of when,.

There are only records where I am for 150 years and they certainly have had dry period, no snow winters followed by mega dumps. The amusing thing is looking in the old photos was the lack of trees, fires, harvested?. Do not know.
You didn't answer my question regarding climate change.

Here in California, the dry season - and hence the fire season - is at least a month longer than it was at the end of the last century. That's a pretty alarming and quick change. Additionally, the mean temperature continues to rise.
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Old Oct 2nd 2020, 12:06 am
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Default Re: Fires in California

It's not even really forest that burns much of the time in So. California where the only forests really are in the higher elevation mountains. This is often the type of vegetation burning in So. California, not many trees, but this stuff burns hot and fast when dry. Historically fires would occur in longer intervals, the last decade the fires are more common, and bigger. There are generally more and larger fires now than there was when I was a kid in the 80's and 90's, sure there were fires back then, but not on the scale or frequency there are now.

20 largest fires in California since 1932.

17 of the 20 occurred after year 2000.

5 of the 20 biggest have occurred this year.

In an 88 year period, 17 of the 20 largest fires occurred in the last 20 years.







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Old Oct 2nd 2020, 12:26 am
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Default Re: Fires in California

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
It's not even really forest that burns much of the time in So. California where the only forests really are in the higher elevation mountains. This is often the type of vegetation burning in So. California, not many trees, but this stuff burns hot and fast when dry. Historically fires would occur in longer intervals, the last decade the fires are more common, and bigger. There are generally more and larger fires now than there was when I was a kid in the 80's and 90's, sure there were fires back then, but not on the scale or frequency there are now.

20 largest fires in California since 1932.

17 of the 20 occurred after year 2000.

5 of the 20 biggest have occurred this year.

In an 88 year period, 17 of the 20 largest fires occurred in the last 20 years.





The population of California in 1900 was less than 2,000,000. The population of Colorado in 1850 was most likely less than 10,000.

The studies I have seen suggest that the bigger fires in Colorado at least are due to there being more material to burn, which makes sense.

I remember going down to Mesa Verde and reading about the sudden disappearance of the inhabitants and why, climate change was the likely cause.

There was an article in the Graun about the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, basically saying that even if the Paris accord was enacted it is too late. Now of course Greenland got its name from a very different period, and everything I have seen suggests there was a major and pretty sudden climate change.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Fires in California

I'm slowly building up a collection of 'air quality' websites. I'm sometimes seeing a dramatic difference between the accuracy / timeliness of data on them. Anyone out there have a clear favorite? Note I'm talking about browser-based websites on a laptop, not smartphone apps on a phone ...
Here's my go-to for local AQ - https://www.airnow.gov/?city=Walnut%...CA&country=USA
And this map was the one I started with but now wonder if it's the best:
https://gispub.epa.gov/airnow/?xmin=...mlayer=ozonepm
Another one recently discovered - https://www.purpleair.com/map?opt=1/...8133/-122.3113
and another one - https://www.iqair.com/us/usa/california
and the last one I found - https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects...p/air-quality/

I'm still hanging out in AZ, waiting for the air to clear in the Bay Area before returning ... but I really need to return soon ...
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Fires in California

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I'm slowly building up a collection of 'air quality' websites. I'm sometimes seeing a dramatic difference between the accuracy / timeliness of data on them. Anyone out there have a clear favorite? Note I'm talking about browser-based websites on a laptop, not smartphone apps on a phone ...
Here's my go-to for local AQ - https://www.airnow.gov/?city=Walnut%...CA&country=USA
And this map was the one I started with but now wonder if it's the best:
https://gispub.epa.gov/airnow/?xmin=...mlayer=ozonepm
Another one recently discovered - https://www.purpleair.com/map?opt=1/...8133/-122.3113
and another one - https://www.iqair.com/us/usa/california
and the last one I found - https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects...p/air-quality/

I'm still hanging out in AZ, waiting for the air to clear in the Bay Area before returning ... but I really need to return soon ...
It's supposed to rain in the Bay Area this weekend. I'll believe it when I see it.

The air quality here has been moderate, at best. Anywhere to the east of the Oakland Hills is consistently worse.

I use Purple Air because its readings are polled every five minutes, whereas the Airnow readings may be hours old and come from a single location. You do need to apply a conversion factor to Purple Air's numbers though. Partial explanation here:

https://thebolditalic.com/understand...n-562923a55226

Last edited by Giantaxe; Oct 7th 2020 at 12:27 am.
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