Sunday, June 29, 2008

I See Blue in the Sky... But....

The sky is almost blue when I look straight up this morning. The key word there is "almost". Yesterday in the early evening I could actually see a couple fluffy little clouds in the sky above. But there's still an overall gray/brown cast to everything. The bad news is that there are even more fires. The number of fires burning as of 9:00pm last night has risen to 1,395 now. Here's the news according to the CalFire website:
Current Situation: State, local and federal firefighters continue to battle hundreds of wildfires throughout California. Fires are actively burning and continue to spread. Firefighters are prepared for the potential of new fires due to the predicted dry thunderstorm activity through the weekend, with reported numerous lightning downstrikes throughout Siskiyou County and Southern Oregon. The priority of firefighting is for the protection of life, property and natural resources.
Download the latest fact sheet.
Fire Statistics
Total Fires: 1,345
Total Acres Burned: 333,858

Resources Committed:
  • Personnel Committed: 18,039
  • Fire Engines: 1,356
  • Hand Crews: 466
  • Dozers: 310
  • Water Tenders: 368
  • Helicopters: 92
(These numbers are totals from state, local and federal firefighting agencies. Updated 6/28 at 9:00 p.m.)
I visited the website that has the satellite photos of the smoke (and other phenomena that can be seen from space... The site is called Modis Rapid Response System and I've linked to the image gallery portion of the website.

It's fascinating to look through the satellite images in that gallery. One of the images is a view of fires in Southeastern Russia!

We've had a couple days of "mild" weather so the firefighters have been able to get a handle on some of the fires, but the weather forecast is for a bit more wind, and more thunderstorms in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Which is bad news. The increasing winds will make it harder for the crews to contain the fires and more thunderstorms mean the possibility of more fires. One of the headlines I read this morning in the Sacramento Bee said "Fire season may get worse". I think that's an understatement. There's no "may" about it.

No comments: