Friday, July 11, 2008

It's Friday and We Still Have Yucky Air

The sun was still orange when it came up this morning, but the air doesn't seem quite so hazy. Thank goodness we aren't having to deal with the crud in the air that the firefighters see as in the photo above. I can actually see the trees on the next block today! They're not obscured by the smoke haze the way they were yesterday morning. The weather might be improving! I hope! It's not supposed to be quite as hot today either. They're still predicting triple digit temperatures, but this time the weather thingy is saying it'll only get to 101 today instead of the 108 we had the other day. We've actually got a bit of a breeze blowing out of the southwest this morning too.

The Cal Fire website was updated at 9pm last night, nothing new yet this morning on their information page, but some of the news was good on there last night. The total number of active fires has gone down for one part of their report, but for the statewide total, the number is the same. Of course, the lower number for the Cal Fire active fires could be because some of the fires have merged again. Check out the numbers below:

Statewide Fire Overview - Lightning Series

Current Situation: Firefighters continue to make progress in containing wildfires throughout California. Over fourteen hundred fires have been contained due to the endless efforts of firefighters from California, as well as from throughout the nation. Red Flag Warnings in northern California remain in effect tonight. Ten California National Guard fire crews began their assignment on the Mendocino Complex today. The priority of firefighting is for the protection of life, property and natural resources.
Download the latest fact sheet. (Updated 7/10 at 9 p.m.)
Download the latest statewide map.
  • Statewide Fire Statistics
  • Total Fires at Peak: 1,781
  • Total Fires Contained: 1,459
  • Total Active Fires: 322
  • Total Acres Burned: 725,421
These numbers are total fires and acres that have occurred from state, local and federal firefighting agencies beginning June 20, 2008.
  • CAL FIRE Statistics
  • Total Fires at Peak: 1,005
  • Fires Contained: 815
  • Active Fires: 55
  • Acres Burned: 239,418
These numbers are total fires and acres that have occurred ONLY in CAL FIRE jurisdiction since June 20, 2008.
The number of contained and active fires will not equal the total due to some fires merging together.
  • Statewide Resources Committed
  • Personnel Committed: 20,018
  • Fire Engines: 1,507
  • Hand Crews: 429
  • Dozers: 282
  • Water Tenders: 418
  • Helicopters: 108

Highway closures: State highways, county and local roads are closed throughout California due to wildfire activities. Closures and delays remain in place for State Highways 1 (Big Sur Area), 32, 70, 96 and 299. Travelers are advised to seek current information from local law enforcement.

Evacuations: Areas of Butte, Kern, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Shasta and Trinity counties are under evacuation orders at this time. Precautionary evacuation orders currently exist in areas in Butte, Kern, Mendocino, Monterey, Plumas, Santa Barbara, Shasta and Trinity counties. Residents are advised to monitor their local fire situation, check with local law enforcement agencies for information, and be prepared to evacuate when necessary.

Threatened : 13,358 residences, 141 commercial, 2,612 outbuildings.
Destroyed : 100 residences, 1 commercial, 116 outbuildings.
The Chico Record has a good update of what is happening on the Camp Fire (Butte Complex): 8:10 a.m.: Summary: Fire news mostly positive. The firefighters have managed to get more lines cut around the fire and the weather actually cooperated last night/early this morning. They were expecting "down canyon" winds of up to 40 mph, but when the morning winds came up, they weren't as strong as expected, so the fire didn't "take off" on runs as much. The areas that were evacuated the other day are still under mandatory evacuation orders though. Fire officials are still concerned about the areas of the fire that caused the evacuations in the first place.

Another tidbit of news about the fire up there came from Mike, my landlord, last night. He called and asked me to get a hold of some of the TV news organizations that are covering the fire up there. His internet gives him a lot of trouble at times and he knows I've got a good connection and use it all the time. So, I surfed around to some of the news sites and sent off some emails for him with sort of a news tip. He said that he's got some friends that live up near the Camp Fire, not in one of the evacuated areas, so they're still there. Anyway, the woman friend of Mike's called and told a story of a bear that had come into her yard. From what I gathered from Mike, the bear was going after her chickens. When she stepped outside, the bear, who was injured/burned made a move towards her. She had to shoot the thing. So, the emails I sent to the news media was sort of a suggestion that they might put a warning on their newscasts about the wildlife that will be coming out of the burned areas, injured and probably angry and what to do about them. Bears, mountain lions and who knows what. This morning I had a reply from one of the stations asking if they could contact Mike. I called Mike and got his permission to give them his phone number and off went another email to that station. I've heard nothing back from the other 3 stations that I emailed last night. I'll update later if I hear more on this story.

The California Fire News blog hasn't been updated for a couple of days, so I am guessing that the blogger and his co-writers have been out on the fire lines. So, I'm going to copy paste the list of fires into my blog this morning. Here we go:

CAL FIRE Summary of Fires by County

Butte: The Butte Lightning Complex has burned 47,700 acres and is 45% contained. The Butte Fire Information Number is (530) 538-7826. Click Here for more information.

Mendocino: The Mendocino Lightning Complex has burned 52,200 acres and is 65% contained. The Mendocino Fire Information Number is (707)-467-6426. Click Here for more information.

Shasta & Trinity: The Shasta and Trinity Lightning has burned 66,115 acres and is 45% contained. The Shasta-Trinity Unit Information Number is (530) 225-2510. Click Here for more information.

Humboldt: The Humboldt Complex has burned 1,310 acres and is 90% contained. The fires are burning throughout Humboldt County, with the largest fire, the Paradise Fire, north of Shelter Cove and is 925 acres and 85% contained. The Humboldt-Del Norte Fire Information Number is (707) 726-1225.

Kern County: The Piute Fire has burned 34,852 acres and is 32% contained. Click Here for more information.

Lassen, Modoc: The Corral Fire burned 12,434 acres and is now 100% contained. Click Here for more information.

Mariposa: The Oliver Fire burned 2,789 acres and now 100% contained. Click Here for more information.

Lake: The Walker Fire burned 14,500 acres and is now 100% contained. Click Here for more information.

Napa & Solano: The Wild Fire burned 40,000 acres and is now 100% contained. Click Here for more information.

Santa Clara: The Whitehurst and Hummingbird Fires burned a combined 994 acres and are both now 100% contained. Click Here for more information.

Tehama & Glenn: The Tehama-Glenn Lightning Complex burned 22,907 acres and is now 100% contained.

Major Federal and Local Incidents
For information on major federal incidents click here or click here for the Inciweb list of fires.

It's nice to see those "100% contained" notes in some of the fires, isn't it?

Other Stuff
Hackers have been an active little bunch since all the mess with the InSessions forums going *poof* in the last few days. InSessions and TruTV weren't the only ones being attacked. Yesterday evening, the Help Find The Missing forums got hacked and taken offline with a page with arabic text put in it's place. They're back up again this morning. Kudos to the admins of that site for working into the night to get things fixed and back online. The Crime Library Forums were also experiencing some strange activity yesterday. But, since they are also run by TruTV, it was probably an offshoot of what happened to the InSessions forums and the TruTV forums. On a few posts on the Crime Library forum there were reports of other boards being attacked at the same time, including a Christion based forum. But we did get some news about the InSessions forums, yesterday evening a message from Coldwater appeared on the TruTV forums:
As much as I know:
I don't have too much info other than our Techs did trace it back to the hacker's original point. From there they then knew how to program and upgrade our security. It was easier to do it on Tru as the message board program is a new one. The difficulty with IS is it still has the old original program and trying to update it is being a problem, they 'think' they can but are not making factual statements at this time. They were hoping to have it up and running today but I see that didn't happen. Don't know if they will work over the weekend or not. But trust me, they have informed they understand how all of you feel and doing the best they can, and appreciate your patience & hopefully you will return when it's in operation again.
I think many websites were taken by surprise, all thinking they were too secure to be hacked. At first I thought it was an irate poster also & I still believe it was someone who had been banned that was deleting all the very long informative forums on IS. The reason I believe that after a certain change was made, the deletings stopped. This is a totally different situation and has been confirmed it started in Israel. As soon as I get further word I'll let you know, but at this point they are not talking about closing the IS boards for good. Just have to hope they can update the security. All have a good weekend. Check my "help" thread and give us some of your great ideas.
What makes hackers go after message boards and forums? Is it kids with too much time on their hands who think they're something special because they can get past the security on a forum website? Believe it or not, forums are extremely vulnerable to these kinds of attacks. Forums depend on the input of the people who post there, so there are "holes" that allow the input from the posters. Way back when, before the internet, there were "Bulletin Board Systems" (or as we called them back then; BBS's) that folks put up for people to visit and do things on. I had one of those, and hackers were a constant concern to any of us geeks who allowed people to dial into their home computer to visit those BBS's. In my opinion, the hackers back then were probably the same as they are now. Back then, they were kids with too much time on their hands and most likely it's the same now. If it's a truly destructive hack, like into a government or bank site, there's something malicious about those hackers. But the ones who attack forums.. Nah.. Not malicious. Just stupid.

And, again this morning, I'll end with a bit of humor...

more cat pictures

Quick Update
The Cal Fire website has just updated the statistics for the fires. The numbers haven't changed much, for the most part, the changes are in the resources section. Crews being sent off the lines to rest and the like, probably. But they've got the new fact sheet and map up.
Download the latest fact sheet. (Updated 7/11 at 9 a.m.)
Download the latest statewide map.

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