Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wind, Weather and Fires.....

Updates below....

Another windy day here... The North wind has been blowing for what seems like days now. The wind dries everything out. This year seems to be working into being a really nasty one for fires here in California. The weather seems to be very odd all across the country too. Heat wave in the Northeast, floods in the upper Midwest, tornadoes in the rest of the Midwest and here in California, we have had many days of dry and warm North winds so far. And it's only the beginning of June!

Yesterday was a particularly bad one for fires here in the valley.
  • In South Sacramento fires burnt 6,400 acres and destroyed 10 buildings, including 2 homes. That fire also injured a firefighter when the wind changed direction and the fire overran an engine company. One man, the captain didn't manage to get inside the firetruck before the flames roared over. Firefighters have a control line around the fire. Hopefully the winds will not send it across the lines again.

  • In Stockton fires damaged or destroyed 32 homes and condos near I5. That fire is out for the most part now, but it's going to be hard for the people who lived in that neighborhood to go back and try to pick up the pieces.

  • Another fire near Palermo (Which is Northeast of where I am.) has burned 1,600 acres so far, and has destroyed 21 residences, 99 vehicles and 28 outbuildings. The picture below is from the newspaper in Oroville and shows flames coming dangerously close to a Cal Fire truck along Highway 70 as an air tanker drops retardant overhead.

  • Another fire I've been reading about is the "Indians Fire" and is down near Fort Hunter Liggett where my folks and I were a couple weeks ago. That one has been burning since Sunday and is only about 10% contained according to the InciWeb website. The image below shows a smoke column from a flare up.
I also just read about 2 more firefighters having been injured and sent to the hospital at yet another fire near the town of Lincoln this morning. This year, I fear, is going to be a really bad one for fires. With the drought conditions we have, and with the dry, hot and windy weather, the firefighters are going to have a very, very bad time. I try to keep up with fire news around the state, and around the country. Too many years of having been a firefighter's wife and also having family members in the fire service still, I guess.

Here are some good websites to check out for news about fires, especially wildland fires:
Update @12pm
Make that three firefighters injured in the fire near Lincoln now. The Sacramento Bee is reporting that two firefighters were transported by helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center's burn center and another was taken by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. They were apparently trapped by the fire according to a spokesman. And from what I can tell from the reports, the fire is still burning...

Update @6pm
Another fire burning.. This time it's North of where I am. This one is burning near Chico and it looks like a bad one too. The Chico newspaper has an article up as well as a lot of pictures, both from their photographers and from local folks who are uploading photos. Like the one below.

This one is named the "Humbolt" fire and as of 45 min. ago, it was at 1000 acres burnt, 1000 homes evacuated and 0% contained.

And yet another fire is in the news tonight. This time near Santa Cruz. Actually, its closer to the community of Bonny Doon. Here's a link to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Wildfire chases hundreds of residents from homes near Santa Cruz

Adding one more fire information link that I happened across:
Fire Information Engine Toolkit: California Active Fire Mapper

The sky above me is turning an ugly color with all the smoke in the air.. This is definitely going to be a very bad fire season......

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