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Strathclyde Eagle 26-10-2003 10:55 PM

California Forest Fires
 
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Just got an e-mail from some friends of mine in California. You hear about things like this and get pretty blase about it, but then you see the pictures and hear the experiences.

What's more, apparently some of these fires were started deliberately. :grrr:

Here's the text of the e-mail:
Quote:

You may know that Southern California is currently experiencing some very unseasonably hot weather (100 F), and there are a number of bad brush fires. Unfortunately, it appears that some were started on purpose by mindless idiots. Anyway, I took these pictures at about 10am this morning. On a normal day we would have clear sunny skies. The smoke and ash from the Rancho Cucamonga fire (about 20 miles north east of us) has caused this very surreal effect to our sky. The white spots on the pictures are caused by the cameras flash bouncing off the ash floating around. By the end of the day my car was blanketed in ash. We pray for rain, which we haven't had in months, to help the 1000's of firefighters. We also pray that our local hills are spared fire themselves.
Scary stuff.

Hedgehog, Nobby, and any other BBSers out that way - let us know you're alright. :(

Hedgehog 26-10-2003 11:25 PM

Thanks for the concern Strathclyde Eagle, much appreciated.

Iím pretty safe where I am, but can actually see a lot of smoke. The nearest fire is about 5 miles away, but in a pretty remote area. I would think Nobby is OK to, I havenít heard of any around where he lives (so far).

The wind is blowing the smoke away from our home at the moment, so no ash or smell (yet!). I walked to the bank this morning, and was amazed at all the smoke around the hills and in the skies to the west of us. Weird thing to say, but with the blue skies, and the way the sun was shinning on the smoke, it looked incredible, I was actually lamenting not having a digital camera, as I would have loved to have posted some pictures on here.

I hope your friend is OK Strath, he looks a lot closer than I would ever care to be. And yes there is a pretty good chance that most of these fires have been started deliberately, you can almost see a pattern forming in where they start.

Hedgehog 28-10-2003 01:47 AM

OK this is geting a little scary now! People I work with are losing homes, and the fires are getting closer.

AshfordianEagle 28-10-2003 01:50 AM

Is it heading your way? :eek:

Hedgehog 28-10-2003 02:02 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by AshfordianEagle
Is it heading your way? :eek:
Kind of surrounded by them tonight. Was very odd watching the sun go down through the smoke. It was a huge red ball!

AshfordianEagle 28-10-2003 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Hedgehog
Kind of surrounded by them tonight.
Are you mad, run away :D

Must say I'd be pooping it if I was there, are you in a wooden house. On the news coverage there seem to be quite alot of timber houses.

Hedgehog 28-10-2003 02:38 AM

Thanks Ashfordian. Actually it's not that bad where I am, and I stretched the truth a little! About 120 degrees of my horizon is burning. I actually live in Yuppiesville suburbia. I don't believe the fires will come down here into the land of the Stepford wives and SUV's!
We are "down wind" and very concrete around here, but it is kind of surreal seeing the night sky glowing red when I look out of the window.

palacenil 28-10-2003 03:09 AM

No danger to me yet but still too close for comfort. Not letting the kids play outside because of the ash coming down. Sky is full of smoke and the sun is bright red.

kyrieagle 28-10-2003 04:33 AM

im by the coast,instead of a cool breeze it's very hot and the smell of smoke is everywhere.this reminds me of the 9-11 aftermath.
the sky is all lit up orange+grey.

tragic for those close by.
very sad.

Hedgehog 28-10-2003 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by palacenil
No danger to me yet but still too close for comfort. Not letting the kids play outside because of the ash coming down. Sky is full of smoke and the sun is bright red.
I just looked up on a map where Rancho Santa Margarita is, you really are "down wind" of all the foothill fires!

Del Martian 28-10-2003 07:00 PM

Strathclyde Eagle - thanks for your concern.

The San Diego County fires seem to be the worst in terms of lives lost and houses levelled. Eleven dead and upwards of 800 homes gone. The worst damage done in the Scripps Ranch area which is only about 9 miles to the ocean, so it's worryingly close to the center of town. As you may know, the Chargers game was moved to Arizona last night as Qualcomm Stadium is being used as an evacuation center.
My house is on an east > west canyon about 4 miles from Scripps Ranch so if the wind picks up and starts blowing NW, I'll be very concerned. We do have cases packed, pet carriers at the ready and sentimental stuff boxed in our cars, just in case.Come to think of it, where are my old Palace programmes?
I'm at work now but I think I'll leave at lunchtime as the Air Quality stinks. There is a smokey tinge to the office. The Bill Bryson "living in tupperware" line is appropriate - in our case the light grey/ burnt yellow model. Ash has settled, and continues to fall, all around us.
If the wind cooperates and the humidity levels increase, I believe we are looking at total containment in TEN days. I guess golf's off again this week! Rain -no chance. San Diego hasn't seen a drop for about six months.

c_block_lad 28-10-2003 08:33 PM

I saw the fires on the news, it doesn't look nice :(
Keep safe guys

Hedgehog 29-10-2003 01:04 AM

Well the winds have changed direction. My house is now under thick ash filled smoke, and it's dark an hour before it should be. I now have a better appreciation of what the people west of me have been going through for the last 2-3 days.
I knew you were down San Diego way Del, I just couldn't remember your name to wish you well. Hope things continue to be OK for you down there.

Del Martian 29-10-2003 05:59 PM

HH

Thanks...we are o.k , but the Cedar Fire continues to burn Eastwards and according to the paper today has consumed 230,000 acres and is 0% CONTAINED.

Anyone wanting updated local coverage should try this web site.

www.signonsandiego.com

Check out the NASA satellite photograph.

philaire 30-10-2003 12:07 AM

Del and Hedgehog

Hope all is well for you and your communities. Your reports bring back memories of the Aussie fires last summer. It is unnerving the way that fire can attack suburban communities for whom the threat of fire was never considered a real possibility. The speed with which areas considered under minor threat can be engulfed is awesome. And sadly, our human condition is such that a lot of these fires will always be deliberately lit. Thoughts are with you.

Hedgehog 30-10-2003 12:49 AM

Thanks Philaire, I was thinking about what you guys went through in Oz over the last few years. I'm sure it was a lot worse than anything we are seeing here, but you know how everything in the US is bigger and better than everywhere else!

philaire 30-10-2003 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Hedgehog
Thanks Philaire, I was thinking about what you guys went through in Oz over the last few years. I'm sure it was a lot worse than anything we are seeing here, but you know how everything in the US is bigger and better than everywhere else!
Cheers Hedgehog. While there is a healthy scepticism here about the propensity for anything in the US to be broadcast far and wide - and onto our TV screens - nevertheless there would be a lot of sympathy here for what people are going through in your fire-threatened areas.

Hedgehog 30-10-2003 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by philaire
Cheers Hedgehog. While there is a healthy scepticism here about the propensity for anything in the US to be broadcast far and wide - and onto our TV screens - nevertheless there would be a lot of sympathy here for what people are going through in your fire-threatened areas.
Yeah, it's hard to know how to act sometimes. I feel relatively safe, yet the fires are getting very close, and as you said, hard to imagine a suburban area getting hit, but it happened to you guys. Most of what you are seeing on TV is bush/forest/mountain communities. There are people dieing, and loosing their homes and all that entails. But then I go to work in thick smoke, with my eyes burning, and a tickle in my throat, like nothing is happening. I feel a little like Nero fiddling while Rome burns, or is it my British "stiff upper lip?"
I do have to say thought, the firemen here are incredible. Their persistence and endurance is heroic. Without them, and the pilots of the water dropping aircraft, I am convinced I would not be here right now writing this.

Hedgehog 19-07-2004 01:08 AM

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They're baaaaaaaack!

This is taken from my back yard. This one is about 2 miles away right now.

Hedgehog 21-08-2004 09:00 PM

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Just went for a little hike over the back of where I live. Pretty desolated, and the scale of it all, and the smell does not come over in a picture, but here is one I took anyway:


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