Fires in Napa and Sonoma California

Vagabond

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I think it just seems unreal to me because so many of the fires are in residential areas.
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Except that what has happened is that residences have been built in fire-prone areas., not just in Napa and Sonoma Counties, but in the Berkeley Hills (the location of catastrophic fires in 1923 and 1991) and elsewhere. Now that these areas have been built up, more such incidents are only to be expected.
 

MacMadame

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I wasn't alive in 1923 or living here in 1991. :) However, I was living here during bad fires in the Oakland hills and I don't remember them being this bad. There were fewer fires and they were quickly contained.

So my experience is that fires that burn for weeks instead of days only happen in the wild. You see that a lot out in Tahoe, for example.
 

AxelAnnie

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Except that what has happened is that residences have been built in fire-prone areas., not just in Napa and Sonoma Counties, but in the Berkeley Hills (the location of catastrophic fires in 1923 and 1991) and elsewhere. Now that these areas have been built up, more such incidents are only to be expected.
The Santa Rosa neighborhood is NOT a fire prone area. Brush is where fires start and with the unprecedented winds this is what we got.
 

Vagabond

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The Santa Rosa neighborhood is NOT a fire prone area. Brush is where fires start and with the unprecedented winds this is what we got.
Balderdash!

Despite clear risks, Santa Rosa neighborhood that burned down was exempt from fire regulations

Surprising as it was to residents, the destruction of Coffey Park wasn’t a mystery to fire scientists. They view it as a rare, but predictable, event that has exposed flaws in the way fire risk is measured and mitigated in California. Because it was outside the officially mapped “very severe” hazard zone, more than five miles to the east, Coffey Park was exempt from regulations designed to make buildings fire resistant in high-risk areas.
“With a lot of hazard mapping, once you get into a density of development, it’s mapped urban and it’s considered unburnable,” Moritz said. “From its core, our whole approach to fire behavior modeling, we are not talking about burning in urbanized environments.”

The fire hazard zones now need to be recast with more consideration for the impact of wildland fire on developed areas, Moritz said.
As I posted upthread, the winds were in the range of 30-40 mph. Such winds are common in the Bay Area in September and October, which also happen to be hot, dry months.
 
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Vash01

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Fires are getting more frequent and worse due to climate change. Can't do anything about these particular fires but long term actions are needed.
 

AxelAnnie

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Selective quoting. The SR neighborhood was exempt from the fire regulations because it was not deemed to be inside of fire risk area.That will now change.
California fire officials developed hazard maps in the 2000s that for the first time, tied building codes to geographies based on risk. Max Moritz, a fire specialist with the University of California’s Cooperative Extension, said the maps were an important step forward in assessing fire danger.

“With a lot of hazard mapping, once you get into a density of development, it’s mapped urban and it’s considered unburnable,” Moritz said. “From its core, our whole approach to fire behavior modeling, we are not talking about burning in urbanized environments.”
As I posted upthread, the winds were in the range of 30-40 mph. Such winds are common in the Bay Area in September and October, which also happen to be hot, dry months.
It is difficult to get accurate information, so I can understand your mistake. I have looked at "live news updates" that are 3 days old.

The winds on Saturday/Sunday were:70 MPH, and in some spots more given that the fire storm creates it's own wind tunnel.
It’s the worst month possible for a fire to have started in the Golden State. October is the end of California’s dry season and the most vulnerable time for wildfires to spread. The culprit for this particular wildfire is a weather phenomenon called the “Diablo winds” in Northern California, after Mt. Diablo in the eastern Bay Area. (The same phenomenon is called the “Santa Ana winds” in Southern California, after Mt. Santa Ana.)
These winds are created because of high inland pressure, which pushes air down the sides of mountains. The winds warm up and dry out as they travel downward. Late Sunday night (Oct. 8), these winds reached hurricane levels, traveling at 70 mph (110 km/h). The fire started during the peak of the wind event, according to Jan Null, a meteorologist at San Jose State University and formerly with the National Weather Service.
 

MacMadame

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Okay, so everyone knows who I have on ignore now. :lol: (Message makes no sense once I showed the ignored posts so I'm deleting it.)
 
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aliceanne

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I talked to a vendor in Seattle by phone in August, I asked her about the fires in Washington/Oregon. She told me they hadn't had any rain in Seattle for 110 days. So it sounds like a very unusual circumstance for a lot of these people.
 

Vagabond

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It seems smokier to me today than it's been in five or six days.

Forecasts call for some winds to clean out the air a bit this afternoon and tomorrow.
 

MacMadame

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It was decent Sunday and Monday but today the sky looks overcast but it's smoke not clouds. And that's 2 hours south of the fires. It's probably even worse in Napa & Sonoma.
 

misskarne

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Forecasts call for some winds to clean out the air a bit this afternoon and tomorrow.
Wind is not a good thing. Wind is a bad thing. What the firefighters need are some calm, still days so they can get in there and beat this thing into submission. (They could probably use rain even more, but a still day will help.)

To be pleased for wind to "clean out the air" is a shortsighted view. Wind fans flames.
 

AxelAnnie

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And there is a fire in Sausalito - right near the freeway. Sausalito is the last town (going south) before the Golden Gate Bridge.. They closed down a portion of 101 fwy. Part of the lanes have been reopened. Two of the lanes are not yet open. My daughter who lives in Tiburon (which borders Sausalito) was on her way up the hill to get to the freeway to get to a class in the city that she was supposed to teach.............she saw all the billowing smoke, got up on the freeway, and 60 seconds later.......nope............no not so much.

Marin County (where Sausalito and Tiburon are) had opened the schools Monday. Grandson had tennis this afternoon. The smoke was so bad, the courts were all locked. You just can't be out in this stuff.

I saw my Dr. today. and am being referred to a cardiologist - the one he wanted me to see lost his house up in Santa Rosa.

This thing just ripples all over.
 

MacMadame

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There is also a fire in Sausalito and Dublin. (Which is about 20 min. away from me but there are foothills between us.) I really have never seen anything like this. Yes, this is fire season but to have so many fires and all over the state (there are fires outside of the Bay Area as well) is unprecedented.
 

skatingguy

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CBC did an interview with this man. He believes the goats and the dog hid in rock outcropping in a field where the goats feed regularly. The goats keeping the brush in that field down which might have saved their lives.
Loyal dog refused to abandon goat flock as CA wildfire approached
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoVU9xQ0-4Q
 

MacMadame

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It's foggy today. This is probably good for the fires. It's still supposed to rain a bit tomorrow (more up north where most of the fires are than down here) and even maybe Friday morning. So this is all good. Hopefully more fires won't break out.
 

AxelAnnie

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Amazing how clear those risks are in hindsight


As I posted upthread, the winds were in the range of 30-40 mph. Such winds are common in the Bay Area in September and October, which also happen to be hot, dry months.
Actually the wind gusts were in the 70 MPH Range. Residential areas are generally not designated as very severe fire hazard zones because they are not areas covered in brush and dead trees, etc.

LA Times

A key reason why the fires burning through Napa and Sonoma counties became so devastating was that the ignitions happened at the worst possible moment: when extremely dry conditions combined with so-called Diablo winds that fanned flames on the ridge tops with gusts as high as 70 mph.
 

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