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Fires and smoke


balzaccom
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How bad is it in Napa?

At 8 a.m. this morning, I tried to take a photo of our backyard. On the one hand, it looked as if it were snowing...as ash fell from the sky at a steady pace. But it was difficult to capture the scene on my camera. because it was so dark that the camera's auto-flash deployed. 

Yes, in what would normally be broad daylight, any outdoor photos required a flash. And that flash lit up the flecks of ash falling from the sky. It was so bad that when I got up this morning I thought I had misread the clock, because it was dark outside...

Absolutely apocalyptic. 

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This doesn't show smoke but it is an excellent interactive map from the NY Times showing where the West is burning

nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/fires-map-tracker.html

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Thanks for the link.  Just got back from a short jaunt into the Colorado backcountry.  Turned back by snowpack at 12,200 feet, but the good news was that the storm/weatherfront  that dropped it on Wednesday pushed all of California's smoke south to Arizona and New Mexico.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The hills east of the Napa Valley are on fire again...this time towards the Adventist communities of Deer Park and Angwin, which are being evacuated.  800 acres burned so far, with the fire described as aggressive, and red flag warnings for the area through tomorrow night. 

Very sad. 

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What is it like to live in Napa these days?  You never really get used to the strange sunlight through the smoke.  You dread the weather forecast, with its high temps, high winds, and low humidity,  And every hour your phone pings with yet another notice from the Office of Emergency Services:  new evacuation orders, new evacuation warnings:  That's where Mark and Ann, live, that's where Fred lives.  I hope Sheldon is OK.  They've even evacuated the hospital...

And you think through, one more time, what you would take with you if you have to leave in a hurry...

This is the image from this morning.  Heartrending.  

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=83d73b75423c4201aecd08e15fa8e6e7&extent=-13659550.3695%2C4639276.2578%2C-13602069.7242%2C4670156.8172%2C102100

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City of Calistoga is now under mandatory evacuation orders.  Napa Valley College, where I teach a few classes, is now an emergency shelter for refugees from the fires.  68,000 people in Napa and Sonoma counties have been evacuated.  

My own home is fine, the fires are a good ten miles north of us, but so many friends have been affected.  

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  • 1 year later...
Michael aka Mac

It is sad to see how many people have lost their homes due to fires and earthquakes in California. 

So many of these horrible forest fires could have so easily been avoided if people were taught and practiced fire safety procedures.  It is a shame these practices have nearly been lost generation by generation over the centuries. 

Of all of my friends  I was the only one that ever was in the Boy Scouts, or that was properly trained how to handle knives and guns and to treat fire as if it was a weapon, handling it cautiously with care vs. precariously.

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A lot of the fires here began as a result of deteriorating infrastructure and corporate negligence rather than individual activities.  

And as a friend of mine who is a fire official says, in normal conditions, I am a firefighter. When the humidity is under 20% and the winds are 40moh, I am a spectator.

Edited by balzaccom
Grammar
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