Western US is on fire - the 2020 Version

MacMadame

Staying at home
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37,736
Yesterday I was driving to go swimming and ended up surrounded by fire trucks and pickups. They were from all over the country!

From today's briefing:

14,200 firefighters. This is less than previously as fires get put out and people go home.

900 fires across the state
1.5 million acres burned
8 deaths
3100+ structures destroyed

LNU - 76% contained, 375k acres
CZU - 46% contained, 85k acres
SCU - 72% contained, 391k acres

Mentioned some other fires. Sheep: 71% contained, SQF: only 1% contained and growing (I missed the others)
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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37,736
Here's an update.


In case you don't have a subscription:

CZU Complex Fire, in the Santa Cruz Mountains:
86,509 acres and 61% contained.
The fire has killed one civilian and destroyed 925 single-family homes, six multi-family, and mixed residential and commercial housing complexes, and 171 commercial buildings.
The fire is the 10th-most destructive in recorded state history.
Residents have been allowed back to their homes everywhere except in some parts of Bonny Doon, Cal Fire officials said. As of Saturday afternoon, the evacuation orders were reduced to warnings for areas of Santa Cruz County, including the community of Pineridge, portions of Ben Lomond, and Boulder Creek.

SCU Complex Fire, in parts of Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa counties, and beyond:
396,624 acres and is 86 percent contained.
Second largest in state’s recorded history
On Saturday morning, officials lifted all evacuation orders in Santa Clara County. (Alameda evacuation orders/warnings were lifted earlier)

LNU Complex Fire, in Sonoma, Napa, and Solano counties:
375,209 acres and 89% contained.
The fire has caused three deaths in Napa County and two deaths in Solano County.
Destroyed 1,491 structures, including 786 single-family homes
Ninth-most destructive and third-largest wildfire in the state’s recorded history
Crews continued expanding containment zones, and many of the repopulated communities remain under an evacuation warning, according to a Cal Fire incident report.

Statewide, crews are working to contain 22 major fires and lightning complexes.
Since the lightning storm, 900 wildfires have burned 1.5 million acres, caused eight deaths, and destroyed 3,300 structures.
More than 10,500 people remain evacuated throughout California.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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49,855
Just talked to a friend who lives just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. She said the air quality is horrible and there is so much haze that they cannot see the bay from their terrace, which they normally do.
My sister in Silicon Valley said it is not as hot as it was yesterday, but they are staying home.

I looked up AirNow.gov for CA info and the BAAQMD sites yesterday. SF and SJ looked pretty bad- Orange AQI. One had to go to Santa Rosa for an AQI in yellow. Green was rare.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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37,736
Governor Newsom reported on the fires today and I noticed that the August fire is now the August Complex.

Our fires in the Bay Area are actually winding down but in SoCal there seem to be a lot of barely contained fires. The air is bad everywhere though.
 

annie720

Well-Known Member
Messages
824
My son in Los Angeles had booked a cabin in Wyoming for a few weeks beginning yesterday in order to escape the L.A. C-19 madness as well as the fires and heat. He left on Sunday, driving in 115-degree temps most of the way to Salt Lake. Arrived yesterday only to to find that their cabin is only 30 miles from the now largest Colorado fire that just quadrupled in size over the past two days. When he got there last night it was 85 degrees. It's now 20 degrees and snowing, with a forecast of 18 inches.
 
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Lacey

Well-Known Member
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11,505
For anyone who lives near fires in whatever western US states, please understand that someone from east coast US doesn't understand fires, but know that our intentions are the best in asking about your situations. I cannot imagine what any of you are going through. I wouldn't begin to understand how to evacuate or in what direction to go to get safe. They seem to be everywhere. The national news stores are positively frightening. Scary. We don't have them here.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do, if there is any way to contribute goods or $$$.
 

Peaches LaTour

Well-Known Member
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2,454
There are plenty of lists on the internet. My issue is: where to go if I do have to. And can I get to where it's safe or will all the roads be closed?

I do have an invite to visit a friend in Portland though I don't know if she realizes we have 2 cats and a dog. :lol:

A friend of mine lives in the Santa Cruz area though exactly where I am not sure. They were told to evacuate so they moved a bunch of stuff to their second place in Scotts Valley and then went to stay in a hotel in San Jose. At which point they had to back to Scotts Valley and retrieve a bunch of it (things like cars and propane tanks that you wouldn't want to catch fire) because then they evacuated Scotts Valley.

I live just outside Portland, West of the city, and we are getting ash from the Gorge fire, near Mt. Hood. Yesterday we had a windstorm all day long & the air quality was so rancid that we had to completely shut down the house, no open windows or doors. The sky was completely yellow, tree debris is everywhere & some trees are completely down. Today is a bit better.

So if you come to Portland, I hope you will be safe but don't count on totally clear or clean air.

I lived in Southern California for 20 years. In all that time, I heard thunder only once, never saw lightening & so I was really surprised to learn some of the California fires were started by lightening.

Stay safe. It is all so heartbreaking.
 

skateycat

Shortest One in the House
Messages
2,626
The Slater Fire that started this morning in Happy Camp, 40 minutes by car to the Oregon border, has already grown to 22000 acres and burned a bunch of houses. We sold our house there 5 years ago, but Happy Camp, which is also the administrative center of my tribe, is also where the village is that my family is from.
 

aka_gerbil

Rooting for the Underdogs
Messages
2,184
This is my second stint in California. The first was during grad school in the aughts. There were wildfires during that time, but not so many, not so close, not so big, not so destructive as the ones we have had in the last several years.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,314
I-5 was closed at the Oregon/California border today. There is a fire that started in the Ashland area and spread to Talent then Phoenix then Medford:cry:. (They had fire on both sides of the freeway).
 
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jamesy

cake boss
Messages
13,006
The Bear Fire in Plumas County apparently grew overnight. :( I woke up and my room was so dark I thought it was still the middle of the night. The sky is a disgusting hazy orange color I haven’t seen since the Camp Fires in 2018.

I am safe but I have some friends in the next town over who are close to the evacuation zones so I’m trying to keep updated on all the alerts.
 

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
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17,152
It's overcast here, and fifty minutes after sunrise, it is still quite dark, and the sky is orange, which must be because of how smoke filters sunlight.
 

Vagabond

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17,152

“It feels like the end of the world, or like Mordor. But I guess it’s just a weird mix of smog and smoke and haze,” said Catherine Geeslin, snapping cell phone pictures of the dark sky in West Portal in San Francisco. “It was alarming to see it’s still dark. And it will be strange to have lunch in the dark. But you still have to get on with your day.”

She's not the only one thinking these things.

And it's getting darker. 😟
 

Dobre

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Messages
8,314
I'm not sure where to post this since this is the only fire thread but my post is not @ California. Hopefully, it isn't necessary to start a whole other thread for other states.

But as I mentioned earlier, there is a fire in Jackson County in southern Oregon just north of the California border. It just started yesterday, but in the midst of the awful windstorm we had, the fire spread from Ashland through two other small communities and up into the outskirts of Medford. It is still going, and no one has had time to assess damages yet. The two small towns in the middle, Talent & Phoenix, are small communities, largely populated by poorer working families that cannot afford to live in the pricier cities. According to the New York Times, the mayor of Phoenix believes 1,000 homes may have been destroyed.:eek: I didn't even know that there were a thousand homes in Phoenix. And they believe hundreds of homes may have been destroyed in Talent as well. It's just awful. I hope the numbers are exaggerated, and even if they are it's tragic. That the people who could potentially afford to lose the least have possibly lost everything:(. This isn't a case of building too near a forest or anything. The area around Talent & Phoenix is mostly grassland.

In normal weather, you could fight a fire in Southern Oregon. Oregon doesn't normally get high hot winds in late August, early September. We get thunderstorms, but they usually come with rain. This storm--over 10 hours of fierce dry wind--made fighting fire next to impossible.

The community of Bonney Lake up in Washington had to evacuate as well. I had a number of former students who grew up there posting about it.

Then we have family friends in the Silverton area, which was asked to be prepared to evacuate as well.
 

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
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17,152
The sky here has turned from orange to yellow. It's been dark all day, and many lights in homes in my neighborhood are turned on. The cars parked on the street are covered in soot.

ETA:

There's trouble in Paradise. Again.
An explosive wildfire tore across Butte County Wednesday, threatening Paradise, a town nearly destroyed two years ago by wind-fueled flames.

High winds and dry vegetation fueled the North Complex Fire, which raced toward Oroville, growing by an estimated 230,000 acres in a 24-hour period in the Plumas National Forest, officials said Wednesday.
:scream:
 
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Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
Messages
49,855
Things are so horrible on the west coast that the images seem like scenes from movies. My painting teacher is in Oregon right now. She and her husband were visiting their daughter ( I don’t know name of the town). They had to evacuate due to fires. They drove six hours to Bend to stay with their relatives. They are safe now but according to her they are sitting on pins and needles.

My heart goes out to everyone on the west coast. Climate Change - nature is sending us a message.
 

SkateSand

Cat Servant
Messages
826
People are on edge where I live. We have no fires close to us, but the smoke from fires south, north, and west of us created an eerie pall over the valley. It was clear on the ground at my house, but just above was heavy, heavy smoke. As the day progressed, the smoke dropped down and now it's pretty smoky outside. Your eyes sting. Luckily, our power came back on tonight so we can run the air purifiers and evaporative cooler as we can't open the windows due to the smoke. But I heard three helicopters over our house before the power came back on and I always wonder if we have a new fire. We had a devastating fire here two years ago and everyone is scared of a repeat. And it's only September. We have a long way to go before we get our usual rain in November.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,314
Here are a bunch of updates on fires & evacuations in Oregon:

Live updates: 3 people confirmed dead in fires ravaging Oregon

They haven't been able to track people. Evacuations in some places had to happen so fast. They are afraid we will find people have not survived. There are now three confirmed deaths, one in Ashland and a 13-year-old boy & his grandmother who were in a car trying to evacuate from the Santiam Fire in the Salem area. Along with the two towns in southern Oregon, the small town of Detroit--which is in the mountains east of Salem, has been devastated.

Part of Lincoln City on the coast had to evacuate.

And three prisons in the Salem area, which is scary because of the ***** risk.


"The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center said Wednesday morning that fires in Oregon and Washington burned 515,135 acres in a 24-hour timespan, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said in a tweet Wednesday that 27 large fires are burning more than 900,000 acres in the Northwest currently.

There are roughly 4,000 firefighters working in both states, but personnel is moving from fire to fire so quickly the NWICC could not give details on how many people were working a given fire at the moment."


The weather has been much calmer today than yesterday here on the east side. Hopefully that will reach the west side of the state now. (We also have a smoky haze here again, which is probably a sign that wind patterns are returning to a more normal pattern).
 

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
17,152
Greetings from Mordor-by-the-Bay. There's no orange sky today, just an unpleasant gray haze, and the Air Quality Index stands at 160 (Unhealthy), about twice as high as it was yesterday.

:blocjudge

ETA: There are two construction workers in front of the house across the street. One is not masked. They are not keeping six feet apart. AirNow says that the AQI is now 178, but according to Purple Air, the monitors within two blocks of me show readings between 225 and 260 (Very Unhealthy).

:wall:
 
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