[Natural Disasters] redux: Fires, Hurricanes, Floods, and everything else

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  • EddyEddy Gengar the Bittersweet Registered User regular
    "and the morning stars I have seen
    and the gengars who are guiding me" -- W.S. Merwin
  • thatassemblyguythatassemblyguy RESIST. ಠ_ಠRegistered User regular
    Eddy wrote: »
    https://twitter.com/Dildine WTOP/status/1304153036164608000

    In the related/replies - this is my kind of bus driver:

    painfulPleasanceGiantGeek2020ElvenshaeSorceDavid WalgasNitsuaAbsoluteZero
  • BullheadBullhead Registered User regular
    Eddy wrote: »
    https://twitter.com/Dildine WTOP/status/1304153036164608000

    In the related/replies - this is my kind of bus driver:


    Stupid of that driver, and he just caused those cars to move around and smash into even more things/each other (though they're a total loss anyway).

    camo_sig2.png
    thatassemblyguydispatch.oOrcaCouscousElvenshaeGnome-InterruptusSkeithNobeardAbsoluteZeroMosati
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Nobeard wrote: »
    How many tons of material is drifting away as ash and how, if at all, does that affect regrowth in burned areas? All that matter getting removed from the ecosystem has to have an effect.

    It will probably have a fertilizing effect over a wide area. Old dead, fallen trees are kind of useless without enough moisture for fungi to really eat into them. Fires are good for these forests as long as they don't burn so hot that they kill everything. Some trees require fire to reproduce.

    --

    Creek Fire is up to 166,965 Acres.

    Yeah, the forests in California evolved in a way that has summer burnings act as part of their life cycle and the growth of new trees and brush. One of the major reasons that these fires are so bad is because we constantly fight and contain the fires, and all of this underbrush that's suppose to burn away every year or two has just built up more and more. Its all just been waiting for a tipping point and eventually we'd get fires so large they could not be contained or controlled. It seems like we might have finally hit that point.

    A question regarding this: with how many fires there have been lately, will it ever come to a point where fire frequency dies down due to lack of available fuel because it's already been burnt recently?

    How fast is this underbrush growing?

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
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  • thatassemblyguythatassemblyguy RESIST. ಠ_ಠRegistered User regular
    Bullhead wrote: »
    Eddy wrote: »
    https://twitter.com/Dildine WTOP/status/1304153036164608000

    In the related/replies - this is my kind of bus driver:


    Stupid of that driver, and he just caused those cars to move around and smash into even more things/each other (though they're a total loss anyway).

    I couldn't stop giggling about what the driver was thinking
    Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads!
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    In the case of an emergecny your floatation devic..., haha, this is a city bus if we evacuate y'all better be able to swim!

  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    Bullhead wrote: »
    Eddy wrote: »
    https://twitter.com/Dildine WTOP/status/1304153036164608000

    In the related/replies - this is my kind of bus driver:


    Stupid of that driver, and he just caused those cars to move around and smash into even more things/each other (though they're a total loss anyway).

    Problem being once he got in to the point they started doing that you really can't stop you have to keep going if you can to get to higher ground or you are going to get swamped or worse.

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    Aegis wrote: »
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Nobeard wrote: »
    How many tons of material is drifting away as ash and how, if at all, does that affect regrowth in burned areas? All that matter getting removed from the ecosystem has to have an effect.

    It will probably have a fertilizing effect over a wide area. Old dead, fallen trees are kind of useless without enough moisture for fungi to really eat into them. Fires are good for these forests as long as they don't burn so hot that they kill everything. Some trees require fire to reproduce.

    --

    Creek Fire is up to 166,965 Acres.

    Yeah, the forests in California evolved in a way that has summer burnings act as part of their life cycle and the growth of new trees and brush. One of the major reasons that these fires are so bad is because we constantly fight and contain the fires, and all of this underbrush that's suppose to burn away every year or two has just built up more and more. Its all just been waiting for a tipping point and eventually we'd get fires so large they could not be contained or controlled. It seems like we might have finally hit that point.

    A question regarding this: with how many fires there have been lately, will it ever come to a point where fire frequency dies down due to lack of available fuel because it's already been burnt recently?

    How fast is this underbrush growing?

    When it's as dry as California (on top of the droughts there's a lot of places where the clay in the water table has settled and won't take water anymore, so when it does rain it floods and runs off quickly) the only thing stopping fires is ALL the plants dying.

    It'll likely never go full desert, even with aquifer collapse and persistent droughts there's still surface and air moisture. The worst places will more likely settle in into an arid scrub or grass land, which burns very quickly (fires might not be as spectacular but they'll be fast moving and hard to contain and once they hit a city the difference is gone) and recovers fast enough for the next season.

    Hevach on
    Incenjucar
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    I posted on Monday how this year's P and S storms were the earliest by ten and eleven days, respectively. The good news is neither one is a threat to anyone.

    There is bad news. Right now the National Hurricane Center is tracking three systems with a chance to develop, main one being behind Rene with an 80% chance to develop within 5 days, likely to become a depression over the weekend. The earliest S storm on record is October 1, there's a high chance we'll see one more than 15 days earlier than that this year.

    Accumulated cyclone energy (the measure of how much total storm power there's been) for the year is not as high as 2005 (more storms but inconsistent power) but we are on track to destroy the number of storms from 2005 and are ahead of the record for the most storms making landfall on both North America as a whole and the Continental US in particular.

    JragghenBullhead
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    I posted on Monday how this year's P and S storms were the earliest by ten and eleven days, respectively. The good news is neither one is a threat to anyone.

    There is bad news. Right now the National Hurricane Center is tracking three systems with a chance to develop, main one being behind Rene with an 80% chance to develop within 5 days, likely to become a depression over the weekend. The earliest S storm on record is October 1, there's a high chance we'll see one more than 15 days earlier than that this year.

    Accumulated cyclone energy (the measure of how much total storm power there's been) for the year is not as high as 2005 (more storms but inconsistent power) but we are on track to destroy the number of storms from 2005 and are ahead of the record for the most storms making landfall on both North America as a whole and the Continental US in particular.

    So... That's fire, water and air just fucking shit up right now.

    So... Mudslides, quakes or volcanoes for the quadrella?

    Captain InertiafurlionElvenshaeShadowfireForarGiantGeek2020RingoNobeard
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Nobeard wrote: »
    How many tons of material is drifting away as ash and how, if at all, does that affect regrowth in burned areas? All that matter getting removed from the ecosystem has to have an effect.

    It will probably have a fertilizing effect over a wide area. Old dead, fallen trees are kind of useless without enough moisture for fungi to really eat into them. Fires are good for these forests as long as they don't burn so hot that they kill everything. Some trees require fire to reproduce.

    --

    Creek Fire is up to 166,965 Acres.

    Yeah, the forests in California evolved in a way that has summer burnings act as part of their life cycle and the growth of new trees and brush. One of the major reasons that these fires are so bad is because we constantly fight and contain the fires, and all of this underbrush that's suppose to burn away every year or two has just built up more and more. Its all just been waiting for a tipping point and eventually we'd get fires so large they could not be contained or controlled. It seems like we might have finally hit that point.

    A question regarding this: with how many fires there have been lately, will it ever come to a point where fire frequency dies down due to lack of available fuel because it's already been burnt recently?

    How fast is this underbrush growing?

    When it's as dry as California (on top of the droughts there's a lot of places where the clay in the water table has settled and won't take water anymore, so when it does rain it floods and runs off quickly) the only thing stopping fires is ALL the plants dying.

    It'll likely never go full desert, even with aquifer collapse and persistent droughts there's still surface and air moisture. The worst places will more likely settle in into an arid scrub or grass land, which burns very quickly (fires might not be as spectacular but they'll be fast moving and hard to contain and once they hit a city the difference is gone) and recovers fast enough for the next season.

    We don't have to burn all of CA to stabilize. Just an area the size of Maine:
    Academics believe that between 4.4 million and 11.8 million acres burned each year in prehistoric California. Between 1982 and 1998, California’s agency land managers burned, on average, about 30,000 acres a year. Between 1999 and 2017, that number dropped to an annual 13,000 acres. The state passed a few new laws in 2018 designed to facilitate more intentional burning. But few are optimistic this, alone, will lead to significant change. We live with a deathly backlog. In February 2020, Nature Sustainability published this terrifying conclusion: California would need to burn 20 million acres — an area about the size of Maine — to restabilize in terms of fire.

    But it seems basically impossible that we could do that with prescribed burns:
    When asked how we were doing on closing the gap between what we need to burn in California and what we actually light, Goulette fell into the familiar fire Cassandra stutter. “Oh gosh. … I don’t know. …” The QFR acknowledged there was no way prescribed burns and other kinds of forest thinning could make a dent in the risk imposed by the backlog of fuels in the next 10 or even 20 years. “We’re at 20,000 acres a year. We need to get to a million. What’s the reasonable path toward a million acres?” Maybe we could get to 40,000 acres, in five years. But that number made Goulette stop speaking again. “Forty thousand acres? Is that meaningful?” That answer, obviously, is no.

    The only real path toward meaningful change looks politically impossible. Goulette said we need to scrap the system and rethink what we could do with Cal Fire’s annual budget: Is this really the best thing we could do with several billion dollars to be more resistant to wildfire? Goulette knows this suggestion is so laughably distasteful and naive to those in power that uttering it as the director of a nonprofit like the Watershed Research and Training Center gets you kicked out of the room.

    Propublica: https://www.propublica.org/article/they-know-how-to-prevent-megafires-why-wont-anybody-listen/

    So basically we need to fail. There's no path to burning 20m acres in a year deliberately, or even the million we would need to get to steady state maintenance. We have to not put out some of these fires and let them go. Unfortunately it's also gotten so bad that this likely means writing off several small cities as well :(

    OrcaNobeard
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    Hevach wrote: »
    I posted on Monday how this year's P and S storms were the earliest by ten and eleven days, respectively. The good news is neither one is a threat to anyone.

    There is bad news. Right now the National Hurricane Center is tracking three systems with a chance to develop, main one being behind Rene with an 80% chance to develop within 5 days, likely to become a depression over the weekend. The earliest S storm on record is October 1, there's a high chance we'll see one more than 15 days earlier than that this year.

    Accumulated cyclone energy (the measure of how much total storm power there's been) for the year is not as high as 2005 (more storms but inconsistent power) but we are on track to destroy the number of storms from 2005 and are ahead of the record for the most storms making landfall on both North America as a whole and the Continental US in particular.

    So... That's fire, water and air just fucking shit up right now.

    So... Mudslides, quakes or volcanoes for the quadrella?

    Everyone always forgets fuckin Heart

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  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Western coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    Hevach wrote: »
    I posted on Monday how this year's P and S storms were the earliest by ten and eleven days, respectively. The good news is neither one is a threat to anyone.

    There is bad news. Right now the National Hurricane Center is tracking three systems with a chance to develop, main one being behind Rene with an 80% chance to develop within 5 days, likely to become a depression over the weekend. The earliest S storm on record is October 1, there's a high chance we'll see one more than 15 days earlier than that this year.

    Accumulated cyclone energy (the measure of how much total storm power there's been) for the year is not as high as 2005 (more storms but inconsistent power) but we are on track to destroy the number of storms from 2005 and are ahead of the record for the most storms making landfall on both North America as a whole and the Continental US in particular.

    So... That's fire, water and air just fucking shit up right now.

    So... Mudslides, quakes or volcanoes for the quadrella?

    Everyone always forgets fuckin Heart

    There is definitely a myocarditis disaster happening, don't you worry

    thatassemblyguyHahnsoo1Marekdispatch.oShadowfireLucedesArdolBullheadForarMorganVMillGiantGeek2020Captain InertiaSmrtnikshrykeTynnanRingoHacksawNitsuaTicaldfjamTetraNitroCubaneNobeardDark Raven XAbsoluteZero
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 10
    MorganV wrote: »
    Hevach wrote: »
    I posted on Monday how this year's P and S storms were the earliest by ten and eleven days, respectively. The good news is neither one is a threat to anyone.

    There is bad news. Right now the National Hurricane Center is tracking three systems with a chance to develop, main one being behind Rene with an 80% chance to develop within 5 days, likely to become a depression over the weekend. The earliest S storm on record is October 1, there's a high chance we'll see one more than 15 days earlier than that this year.

    Accumulated cyclone energy (the measure of how much total storm power there's been) for the year is not as high as 2005 (more storms but inconsistent power) but we are on track to destroy the number of storms from 2005 and are ahead of the record for the most storms making landfall on both North America as a whole and the Continental US in particular.

    So... That's fire, water and air just fucking shit up right now.

    So... Mudslides, quakes or volcanoes for the quadrella?

    Everyone always forgets fuckin Heart


    "By your powers combined, I am... Oh no. No no. No. I'm done. Fuck all of you and your monkey, too."

    Hevach on
    Captain InertiaElvenshaeMorganVHappylilElfGiantGeek2020NitsuaTicaldfjamTetraNitroCubaneHavelock2.0AbsoluteZero
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    2020 is such a hell year. Turns out Hurricane Laura has led to such a plague of mosquitoes that they're killing livestock. Not from the actual blood loss but because the animals keep moving around to try and avoid them and the activity in the heat does them in. Although death from exsanguination by mosquito would be fitting for this timeline.
    Swarms of mosquitoes have killed cows, deer, horses and other livestock in Louisiana after rain from Hurricane Laura led to an explosion in the pests' population.

    Thousands of mosquitoes have attacked animals as large as bulls, draining their blood and driving the massive creatures to pace in summer heat until they were exhausted, according to a Louisiana State University AgCenter veterinarian, agent and press release.

    I am legitimately thinking I should take a time-out from following current events because shits just gotten dark.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Jesus christ

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Hevach wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Nobeard wrote: »
    How many tons of material is drifting away as ash and how, if at all, does that affect regrowth in burned areas? All that matter getting removed from the ecosystem has to have an effect.

    It will probably have a fertilizing effect over a wide area. Old dead, fallen trees are kind of useless without enough moisture for fungi to really eat into them. Fires are good for these forests as long as they don't burn so hot that they kill everything. Some trees require fire to reproduce.

    --

    Creek Fire is up to 166,965 Acres.

    Yeah, the forests in California evolved in a way that has summer burnings act as part of their life cycle and the growth of new trees and brush. One of the major reasons that these fires are so bad is because we constantly fight and contain the fires, and all of this underbrush that's suppose to burn away every year or two has just built up more and more. Its all just been waiting for a tipping point and eventually we'd get fires so large they could not be contained or controlled. It seems like we might have finally hit that point.

    A question regarding this: with how many fires there have been lately, will it ever come to a point where fire frequency dies down due to lack of available fuel because it's already been burnt recently?

    How fast is this underbrush growing?

    When it's as dry as California (on top of the droughts there's a lot of places where the clay in the water table has settled and won't take water anymore, so when it does rain it floods and runs off quickly) the only thing stopping fires is ALL the plants dying.

    It'll likely never go full desert, even with aquifer collapse and persistent droughts there's still surface and air moisture. The worst places will more likely settle in into an arid scrub or grass land, which burns very quickly (fires might not be as spectacular but they'll be fast moving and hard to contain and once they hit a city the difference is gone) and recovers fast enough for the next season.

    We don't have to burn all of CA to stabilize. Just an area the size of Maine:
    Academics believe that between 4.4 million and 11.8 million acres burned each year in prehistoric California. Between 1982 and 1998, California’s agency land managers burned, on average, about 30,000 acres a year. Between 1999 and 2017, that number dropped to an annual 13,000 acres. The state passed a few new laws in 2018 designed to facilitate more intentional burning. But few are optimistic this, alone, will lead to significant change. We live with a deathly backlog. In February 2020, Nature Sustainability published this terrifying conclusion: California would need to burn 20 million acres — an area about the size of Maine — to restabilize in terms of fire.

    But it seems basically impossible that we could do that with prescribed burns:
    When asked how we were doing on closing the gap between what we need to burn in California and what we actually light, Goulette fell into the familiar fire Cassandra stutter. “Oh gosh. … I don’t know. …” The QFR acknowledged there was no way prescribed burns and other kinds of forest thinning could make a dent in the risk imposed by the backlog of fuels in the next 10 or even 20 years. “We’re at 20,000 acres a year. We need to get to a million. What’s the reasonable path toward a million acres?” Maybe we could get to 40,000 acres, in five years. But that number made Goulette stop speaking again. “Forty thousand acres? Is that meaningful?” That answer, obviously, is no.

    The only real path toward meaningful change looks politically impossible. Goulette said we need to scrap the system and rethink what we could do with Cal Fire’s annual budget: Is this really the best thing we could do with several billion dollars to be more resistant to wildfire? Goulette knows this suggestion is so laughably distasteful and naive to those in power that uttering it as the director of a nonprofit like the Watershed Research and Training Center gets you kicked out of the room.

    Propublica: https://www.propublica.org/article/they-know-how-to-prevent-megafires-why-wont-anybody-listen/

    So basically we need to fail. There's no path to burning 20m acres in a year deliberately, or even the million we would need to get to steady state maintenance. We have to not put out some of these fires and let them go. Unfortunately it's also gotten so bad that this likely means writing off several small cities as well :(

    We're looking at close to 3mil this year, so it's taking care of itself?

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  • kijunshikijunshi Registered User regular
    Is there room in this thread for just... a bit of... emotion? And I guess local on-ground reporting, there's that too.

    I'm right next to the fires in Oregon, which fortunately are not currently threatening my home or place of work, but have created a pall of smoke so horrific that I can't even see the hills or the bridges from my 11th floor downtown office. The local communication around them has been fragmentary - there's maps of the fires and evacuation zones, but not very clearly labeled, and not updated as frequently as it seems they should be. Everything is weird, even weirder than it already was - traffic lights in our suburb blinked out while we were dropping our kid at daycare, requiring my husband to navigate a surprise 8-lane four-way stop while hacking his lungs out from the smoke (I immediately turned off the air conditioner, thankfully that helped). The Starbucks we usually get our breakfast from was closed - no sign. Thankfully we've started to pack lunches, so we had something to eat.

    I went onto a social media blackout last week, because I was fed up to the gills with misleading and inflammatory crap targeting my part of the world, which was suffering multiple calamities, yes--but not any more than anywhere else, as best as I could tell. It was a blissful 5 or so days of regrouping, regaining a sense of calm, working on a romance novel, making meaningful local connections at the farmers market (where everyone was wearing a mask)... and then... the smoke began to roll in from the south.

    So, I had to break my blackout just to go and see whether or not my neighborhood was in danger. It isn't - but all I see, ALL I see everywhere I look online, is this... bewilderment? I guess is how to put it. Some people are evacuating, some people are wildly asking whether they should evacuate, some people are begging for the protesting to stop (I'm pretty sure it's already f*ucking stopped in every meaningful way, because we are ACTUALLY ON FIRE), some people are begging others not to spread rumors - there are pretty clearly arsonists out there, and opportunistic looters, and idiots who still want to have group BBQ in the middle of the tinder-dry forests, and Andy Ngo aiming for being the worst human being currently alive trying to convince everyone that antifa (????) are setting the fires (??????????), and... so on and so forth. I wanted to get away from this shit, and I almost did. But then... there are the fires. They are real, and there's no escape.

    My husband is a nervous wreck, asking me several times today "kijunshi, our house isn't in danger, right?" My father is getting automated calls to fix ATMs - his job - from machines that are CLEARLY inside of evacuation zones, so he is balancing his salary with his personal safety and making a real-time decision on whether to attend to each and every call. The f*cking automated system doesn't know whether or not the roads are closed, or the building literally on fire! Our toddler is a pretty good kid but he's having a case of the Terrible Twos - no doubt in part from the stress he's feeling from each one of us. And I... am kind of... furious? In a sort of generally numb but still extremely real way??

    OK, it got long and went beyond natural disasters, so I am putting the rest of this behind a spoiler tag for everyone's sake:
    So - the most common response I'm hearing - on social media, Facebook, my own family, everywhere - is to say "This is climate change!" and "Something something Trump!" And - yes, of course, this is climate change, you are technically correct, sure. And Trump continues to be the actual worst human being alive, he will certainly not bail us out with federal money, if we want even a hope of any of the thousands of evacuees being made whole again we HAVE to vote for Biden, yes, none of this is wrong. None of this. And yet.

    I am beyond furious at the concept that what is happening - this, right now, for real, outside my literal and actual window, unavoidable, and more than anything else, crushingly local - is acceptable in any universe to be waved off on "Climate change!" and "Trump!" No. No. NO. NO, GODDAMMIT, NO. THIS. IS. OUR. FAULT. Every part of it, every last little motherfucking part of it - we MADE this happen. US! WE DID IT!! The forest are burning today BECAUSE THEY ARE INSUFFICIENTLY MANAGED and BECAUSE WE, THE CITIZENS, HAVE BLINDLY ACCEPTED THAT. Just - just fucking read this article if you don't believe me, okay???!?!

    https://www.propublica.org/article/they-know-how-to-prevent-megafires-why-wont-anybody-listen

    It's about California but as is mind-blowingly clear as I look outside my window, we're California now in all but name. Per the social media rumors, we're even going in for using the trained slave - oh sorry, I mean "prison volunteer" - labor on the fire lines. Just a few hundred today, but no doubt thousands more next year and every subsequent year, as the only politically-acceptable and affordable "compromise"!

    I'm utterly furious because unlike a lot of the systematic issues facing our civilization, I see what we have to do to make the fires manageable. It's pretty obvious! And also, I see that we probably won't do it. And the fact that we almost certainly won't do it, fills me with a rage that is so black and unspeakable, it is difficult even to type through it right now. I see what will happen. I see that we - by which I mean MY NEIGHBORS AND FELLOW CITIZENS - will accept that we will continue to send prisoners out there, unpaid, job prospects upon leaving the prison system still nil, in ever-increasing numbers, to utterly fail at solving the problem, and we will wring out hands and choke on smoke every summer and wail "Climate change!" and if he's re-elected, "Trump!" And if we do... if that comes to pass... all I can say is, fuck this civilization. Fuck America. May every, last, single, godforsaken part of it burn to the fucking ground and sputter meaninglessly out of history. And that INCLUDES my house, my city, my friends, and even my OWN FAMILY...! Who I still love very much, more than my own life, and I will fight to the bitter end for alongside, come what may. But honestly - we deserve this. We deserve every part of this.

    OK, to make this something other than a ragegasm--let me also write out the unbelivably obvious solution, too. We need to go all-in on controlled burning. We need to humbly ask the native peoples for their advice and guidance as to how they managed this environment before the white man came, and recompense them fairly for their time and expertise. Then we need to reorganize both the local Forestry Department and fire departments around controlled burning, with a specific focus towards locales near human habitation. There is no possible way we will be able to afford, at anything close to a sustainable level of taxation, to pay for enough labor to do all the work that will be needed, especially since a good deal of it will be seasonal (during the wetter seasons). So what we will need to do is, to highly train and properly recompense our officers, but supply the seasonal labor from... local volunteers. The volunteers will be made up from the local property owners. It should be made clear that it is their RESPONSIBILITY to spend a set number of their weekends and/or PTO days to participate in mass local controlled burning campaigns, under the strict supervision and training of their local forestry officers and fire departments. They will NOT be paid for this, not one dime. They will simply have to weigh the cost of spending some of their free time doing this task, versus taking their chances that their homes, and entire community, will go up in flames if they don't. The Forestry Department should be sent out first to the places that can provide the most volunteers, the fastest, period. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS. It MUST be considered MORALLY UNACCEPTABLE for ANY community to pay their way out of this one, the Forestry Department should simply refuse to provide their services if they are not volunteering IN PERSON, and local to the area. Rich second-home-owning fuckers can go fuck themselves with a rusty spork, the end. Laggard towns and regions will be put at the bottom of the list, and as the years tick by, the chances the yearly fires will engulf them will go up. Over time, the people who participate in this exercise will learn how to do it on their own, and will need less hands-on attention from the Forestry Department. Over the years, the culture will change to where the local people will PERSONALLY prevent any fires around their homes, before they can even begin. And the oncoming environmental changes that climate change will inevitably bring, will be dealt with in the only way that's really left to us.

    I am aware that saying this in an environment where those same people who need to be doing the controlled burning are actively fleeing from a wall of flames comes across as victim blaming - painfully aware. That's why I'm doing this rant here, instead of on Facebook or reddit or someplace where they might actually be reading. I am pretty sure there aren't too many people personally reading this from my region. I don't want to hurt them any more, but this rage is frankly hurting me, and this was the only place I could think of to express it. I hope after things have settled I can reframe it as "You can fix this!" instead of "You should have been doing this for the past 30 years, idiot!" Because... they're no less responsible than the rest of us, just unlucky.

    I spent part of my day going through the state budget, as it seemed like the only thing I could actually do that might have any meaning down the road... I will have to spend several days understanding it though, so it's a long-term task. It will come in handy for something, I'm sure, lol... and when I've calmed down, and the fires are no longer raging, I will try to more gently introduce these concepts to my network. And, obviously, volunteer to go out and do this labor myself ASAP. We HAVE to be more responsible. We HAVE to be more solution-oriented. We CANNOT make the perfect the enemy of the good, because we will just end up reintroducing slavery to America if we fall into that trap. (And anyone who thinks that's acceptable somehow, yet has the temerity to follow or support BLM in any way, can go and launch themselves into the motherfucking sun, thank you!) And we have to PERSONALLY PARTICIPATE in making our civilization work - or it, and everything we love that's a part of it, will be gone like tears in the fucking non-existent rain.

    OK... that's all. I need to go back to earning my salary now. Spreadsheets... on a day like today! And yet life goes on. We don't get out of it. There is no Save button, and there are no second chances. Back, back to work... [/spoilers]

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  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Hevach wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Nobeard wrote: »
    How many tons of material is drifting away as ash and how, if at all, does that affect regrowth in burned areas? All that matter getting removed from the ecosystem has to have an effect.

    It will probably have a fertilizing effect over a wide area. Old dead, fallen trees are kind of useless without enough moisture for fungi to really eat into them. Fires are good for these forests as long as they don't burn so hot that they kill everything. Some trees require fire to reproduce.

    --

    Creek Fire is up to 166,965 Acres.

    Yeah, the forests in California evolved in a way that has summer burnings act as part of their life cycle and the growth of new trees and brush. One of the major reasons that these fires are so bad is because we constantly fight and contain the fires, and all of this underbrush that's suppose to burn away every year or two has just built up more and more. Its all just been waiting for a tipping point and eventually we'd get fires so large they could not be contained or controlled. It seems like we might have finally hit that point.

    A question regarding this: with how many fires there have been lately, will it ever come to a point where fire frequency dies down due to lack of available fuel because it's already been burnt recently?

    How fast is this underbrush growing?

    When it's as dry as California (on top of the droughts there's a lot of places where the clay in the water table has settled and won't take water anymore, so when it does rain it floods and runs off quickly) the only thing stopping fires is ALL the plants dying.

    It'll likely never go full desert, even with aquifer collapse and persistent droughts there's still surface and air moisture. The worst places will more likely settle in into an arid scrub or grass land, which burns very quickly (fires might not be as spectacular but they'll be fast moving and hard to contain and once they hit a city the difference is gone) and recovers fast enough for the next season.

    We don't have to burn all of CA to stabilize. Just an area the size of Maine:
    Academics believe that between 4.4 million and 11.8 million acres burned each year in prehistoric California. Between 1982 and 1998, California’s agency land managers burned, on average, about 30,000 acres a year. Between 1999 and 2017, that number dropped to an annual 13,000 acres. The state passed a few new laws in 2018 designed to facilitate more intentional burning. But few are optimistic this, alone, will lead to significant change. We live with a deathly backlog. In February 2020, Nature Sustainability published this terrifying conclusion: California would need to burn 20 million acres — an area about the size of Maine — to restabilize in terms of fire.

    But it seems basically impossible that we could do that with prescribed burns:
    When asked how we were doing on closing the gap between what we need to burn in California and what we actually light, Goulette fell into the familiar fire Cassandra stutter. “Oh gosh. … I don’t know. …” The QFR acknowledged there was no way prescribed burns and other kinds of forest thinning could make a dent in the risk imposed by the backlog of fuels in the next 10 or even 20 years. “We’re at 20,000 acres a year. We need to get to a million. What’s the reasonable path toward a million acres?” Maybe we could get to 40,000 acres, in five years. But that number made Goulette stop speaking again. “Forty thousand acres? Is that meaningful?” That answer, obviously, is no.

    The only real path toward meaningful change looks politically impossible. Goulette said we need to scrap the system and rethink what we could do with Cal Fire’s annual budget: Is this really the best thing we could do with several billion dollars to be more resistant to wildfire? Goulette knows this suggestion is so laughably distasteful and naive to those in power that uttering it as the director of a nonprofit like the Watershed Research and Training Center gets you kicked out of the room.

    Propublica: https://www.propublica.org/article/they-know-how-to-prevent-megafires-why-wont-anybody-listen/

    So basically we need to fail. There's no path to burning 20m acres in a year deliberately, or even the million we would need to get to steady state maintenance. We have to not put out some of these fires and let them go. Unfortunately it's also gotten so bad that this likely means writing off several small cities as well :(

    We're looking at close to 3mil this year, so it's taking care of itself?

    it was always going to eventually!

    hopefully we don't lose like... an entire bakersfield or something in the process

    HappylilElfDoodmann
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited September 12
    I think this might win for creepiest video of the month. Erg.



    re climate change vs brush clearing / forest management: Honestly? It's both. Hotter, dryer forests. More intense and shorter rainy seasons leading to more dry brush to burn. We would be having problems even if we hadn't cocked up forest management. And if we'd fixed climate change we'd still be having bad fires. The two just combine to make things much worse.

    Phoenix-D on
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  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    With the Australian bushfires, I think the conclusion was that hazard reduction burning wasn't the answer.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6794335/hazard-reduction-can-make-environment-more-combustible-experts/

    There were also stories of areas burning twice, where a fire or hazard reduction burn has been through a 6 weeks or so previously, only to have another fire come through and burn on the already burnt litter.
    Or cut grass giving off a 2-3 metre fire front.

    So now, at least here, when I hear people talking about it, I substitute it for 'desert doesn't burn' because that seemed to be the only way you could truly prevent the fires with only hazard reduction burns.

    Might be different in California though.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    With the Australian bushfires, I think the conclusion was that hazard reduction burning wasn't the answer.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6794335/hazard-reduction-can-make-environment-more-combustible-experts/

    There were also stories of areas burning twice, where a fire or hazard reduction burn has been through a 6 weeks or so previously, only to have another fire come through and burn on the already burnt litter.
    Or cut grass giving off a 2-3 metre fire front.

    So now, at least here, when I hear people talking about it, I substitute it for 'desert doesn't burn' because that seemed to be the only way you could truly prevent the fires with only hazard reduction burns.

    Might be different in California though.

    It strongly depends on the environment, as the article indicates. A good hint is probably how much of your dominant plant growth has fire-resistant or fire-requiring seeds..

    IncenjucarfurlionHahnsoo1SkeithInvectivus
  • furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    With the Australian bushfires, I think the conclusion was that hazard reduction burning wasn't the answer.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6794335/hazard-reduction-can-make-environment-more-combustible-experts/

    There were also stories of areas burning twice, where a fire or hazard reduction burn has been through a 6 weeks or so previously, only to have another fire come through and burn on the already burnt litter.
    Or cut grass giving off a 2-3 metre fire front.

    So now, at least here, when I hear people talking about it, I substitute it for 'desert doesn't burn' because that seemed to be the only way you could truly prevent the fires with only hazard reduction burns.

    Might be different in California though.

    It strongly depends on the environment, as the article indicates. A good hint is probably how much of your dominant plant growth has fire-resistant or fire-requiring seeds..

    Whenever I think about plants that require fire I think about the Culture novel Player of Games. The planet had a basically belt continent at the equator that circled the globe...and it was always at least a little on fire. See the plants required fire and because of how slow it normally burned the plants could grow in between burnings. But every now and then the thing would build up enough that it would explode into this massive 200 feet tall hundreds of miles across wall of fire.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    edited September 12
    furlion wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    With the Australian bushfires, I think the conclusion was that hazard reduction burning wasn't the answer.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6794335/hazard-reduction-can-make-environment-more-combustible-experts/

    There were also stories of areas burning twice, where a fire or hazard reduction burn has been through a 6 weeks or so previously, only to have another fire come through and burn on the already burnt litter.
    Or cut grass giving off a 2-3 metre fire front.

    So now, at least here, when I hear people talking about it, I substitute it for 'desert doesn't burn' because that seemed to be the only way you could truly prevent the fires with only hazard reduction burns.

    Might be different in California though.

    It strongly depends on the environment, as the article indicates. A good hint is probably how much of your dominant plant growth has fire-resistant or fire-requiring seeds..

    Whenever I think about plants that require fire I think about the Culture novel Player of Games. The planet had a basically belt continent at the equator that circled the globe...and it was always at least a little on fire. See the plants required fire and because of how slow it normally burned the plants could grow in between burnings. But every now and then the thing would build up enough that it would explode into this massive 200 feet tall hundreds of miles across wall of fire.

    That was... a very good part of the book.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    In non-fiction news, the Creek Fire is up to 182,225 acres, still 6% contained.

    The smoke in Seattle is currently at Very Unhealthy, the second worst category, with PM2.5 at 210. I feel super bad for folks without air purifiers right now.

    Ticaldfjam
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    In non-fiction news, the Creek Fire is up to 182,225 acres, still 6% contained.

    The smoke in Seattle is currently at Very Unhealthy, the second worst category, with PM2.5 at 210. I feel super bad for folks without air purifiers right now.

    I have two of the things plus the filters on the AC and it's still bugging my lungs

    Preacher
  • Stabbity StyleStabbity Style Warning: Mothership Reporting Kennewick, WARegistered User regular
    We hit 781 AQI here in Kennewick today. It's totally miserable out. I went to pick up some food, so I was in a car for like 6 minutes and outside for maybe a minute and I came away from it smelling like smoke and with my nose bothering me. It's very not good.

    https://aqicn.org/city/usa/washington/kennewick/metaline/

    SijLqhH.png
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  • furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    When the air quality gets that low are there any programs for people with respiratory issues? I mean there has to be a certain level where it is basically evacuation territory. So are those people basically just fucked unless they had the foresight to have a really good air purifier?

    sig.gif Gamertag: KL Retribution
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    Orca
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    When the air quality gets that low are there any programs for people with respiratory issues? I mean there has to be a certain level where it is basically evacuation territory. So are those people basically just fucked unless they had the foresight to have a really good air purifier?

    Damn good question. I had to drive an hour to get a box fan yesterday. I could still find filters within half an hour of me, so you can make your own $60 air purifier...if the parts are available.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    In California, the Creek Fire has taken 196,667 acres, so probably going to be hitting 200K soon.

    In Seattle, the sky is so orange it looks like an olde timey photo and is rated Very Unhealthy.

  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    furlion wrote: »
    When the air quality gets that low are there any programs for people with respiratory issues? I mean there has to be a certain level where it is basically evacuation territory. So are those people basically just fucked unless they had the foresight to have a really good air purifier?

    Yes, very much so, especially infants elderly folks with lung/heart problems.
    We hit 781 AQI here in Kennewick today. It's totally miserable out. I went to pick up some food, so I was in a car for like 6 minutes and outside for maybe a minute and I came away from it smelling like smoke and with my nose bothering me. It's very not good.

    https://aqicn.org/city/usa/washington/kennewick/metaline/

    At 781 ppm of 2.5 molecules everyone is at risk with even a short exposure. Headaches, coughing, etc. Definitely wear an N95 if you can get one.

    Orca
  • Stabbity StyleStabbity Style Warning: Mothership Reporting Kennewick, WARegistered User regular
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    furlion wrote: »
    When the air quality gets that low are there any programs for people with respiratory issues? I mean there has to be a certain level where it is basically evacuation territory. So are those people basically just fucked unless they had the foresight to have a really good air purifier?

    Yes, very much so, especially infants elderly folks with lung/heart problems.
    We hit 781 AQI here in Kennewick today. It's totally miserable out. I went to pick up some food, so I was in a car for like 6 minutes and outside for maybe a minute and I came away from it smelling like smoke and with my nose bothering me. It's very not good.

    https://aqicn.org/city/usa/washington/kennewick/metaline/

    At 781 ppm of 2.5 molecules everyone is at risk with even a short exposure. Headaches, coughing, etc. Definitely wear an N95 if you can get one.

    I think our 2.5 maxed out at 285. Our 10's where most of the big numbers are coming from, peaking out at 860.

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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    edited September 12
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    furlion wrote: »
    When the air quality gets that low are there any programs for people with respiratory issues? I mean there has to be a certain level where it is basically evacuation territory. So are those people basically just fucked unless they had the foresight to have a really good air purifier?

    Yes, very much so, especially infants elderly folks with lung/heart problems.

    Thankfully there's not a massively contagious pandemic sweeping the nation that's being completely bungled, that directly affects the lungs and heart....

    Yeah, I'm thinking The Universe has had it with humanity. Sure seems to be giving us signs.

    MorganV on
    OrcaTicaldfjamShadowfireElvenshae
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    furlion wrote: »
    When the air quality gets that low are there any programs for people with respiratory issues? I mean there has to be a certain level where it is basically evacuation territory. So are those people basically just fucked unless they had the foresight to have a really good air purifier?

    Yes, very much so, especially infants elderly folks with lung/heart problems.

    Thankfully there's not a massively contagious pandemic sweeping the nation that's being completely bungled, that directly affects the lungs and heart....

    Yeah, I'm thinking The Universe has had it with humanity. Sure seems to be giving us signs.

    Or the US at any rate.

    TicaldfjamBullheadRingoElvenshae
  • TicaldfjamTicaldfjam Snoqualmie, WARegistered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    furlion wrote: »
    When the air quality gets that low are there any programs for people with respiratory issues? I mean there has to be a certain level where it is basically evacuation territory. So are those people basically just fucked unless they had the foresight to have a really good air purifier?

    Yes, very much so, especially infants elderly folks with lung/heart problems.

    Thankfully there's not a massively contagious pandemic sweeping the nation that's being completely bungled, that directly affects the lungs and heart....

    Yeah, I'm thinking The Universe has had it with humanity. Sure seems to be giving us signs.

    As a Human, I agree with the Universe outta fucks to give .

    We are the Virus.

    NobeardBullhead
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    The universe doesn't give a shit about us. There isn't some Other that's trying to rid itself of us. This is all our own actions causing reactions that we can't handle, setting off feedback loops of our own creation. Which is, frankly, worse.

    Speaking of reactions, all the extra heat in the oceans is setting off even more tropical storms. We've just reached Tropical Storm Sally, which is almost certainly going to hit hurricane strength and is headed for the Gulf coast, somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and Texas. Be on alert again, coastal folks.

    Gnome-InterruptusRingoHappylilElfthatassemblyguy38thDoeTicaldfjamLucedesSmrtnikSolar
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 12
    Been morbidly fascinated by the National Hurricane Center map lately. A tropical depression in the gulf now has a 60% chance of becoming a tropical storm before landfall in Mississippi, while that depression behind Rene is now almost guaranteed to make tropical storm by Wednesday.

    The S storm record is October 1, the T storm record is October 5. The S record is doomed (and will be beaten by at least 14 days, the widest margin yet this season), and the T record could fall by as much as 20 days if both storms develop.

    Still some good news: the gulf depression has no chance of becoming a hurricane, let alone a serious one, and the storm behind Rene is a long way out and neither Paulette nor Rene are heading anywhere bad. Storms are on average weaker than 2005, but we're still heading towards the Greek letters and on track to blow past Zeta.

    Hevach on
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Two days ago it was in the 90s here.


    "Most areas across western WA are in the upper 50s to low 60s this afternoon. Sea-Tac's high so far today is 59. The record low maximum temperature for today is 57 in 1980."

    Some of that is the weather beginning to shift. The rest? Is all smoke reflecting light.

    thatassemblyguyJragghen
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Holy crap. Does Seattle ever (normally) see a 30 degree shift in 2 days?

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Orca wrote: »
    Holy crap. Does Seattle ever (normally) see a 30 degree shift in 2 days?

    Not unless we have a heat wave follow by a major storm system at the end of summer, which this isn't

    (weather here is winter->spring->summer is a slow warmup, summer->fall is a light switch)

    Hacksaw
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Seattle can have some pretty sharp changes in weather, but this is obviously not related to normal weather. It often rains this time of year.

    HacksawElvenshae
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