Monday, August 31, 2009

Incredible Fire Photo

Just had to share this photo of odd fire behavior.. Or maybe not so odd. Fire can create it's own wind and weather patterns... The speed limit sign says 25mph.. How fast do you think the fire is "moving"?

Photo source: LA Times

Traveling Again... Fires... And Losses...

Yesterday, I spent the day with my parents out in the car for a day trip. This time my Step-dad decided on going up to Nevada City for breakfast and then on up the hill to Truckee for window shopping and lunch. When we arrived in Grass Valley on Highway 20, we heard sirens and then saw an ambulance and a fire truck racing up behind us, then we saw off to one side of the road a large column of smoke rising up through the trees. We couldn't see what was burning, and with my folks in the car, I wasn't about to go chasing the smoke with my camera to get photos. Also, we weren't able to get over to the side in traffic so that could step out of the car to get a photo of the column of smoke. So, once the emergency vehicles were clear of us, I took the turn onto Highway 49 so that we could get up to Nevada City.

GrassValleyFire08302009 *Skipping forward in time, when we got back to Yuba City and my parents home, I got on their computer to look up some information and found that the smoke was saw in Grass Valley was a fully involved apartment building. Two people were injured and about 13 were left homeless. (Source of photo and information: The Union) One of the injured was a woman who was apparently in the apartment where the fire started. She suffered burns and injuries from exploding oxygen tanks. I haven't been able to find information on how she is this morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

After breakfast in Nevada City, we traveled on up to Truckee and spent a few hours wandering around the town, window shopping and enjoying the cooler weather. There are a lot of very interesting little shops and lots of friendly shopkeepers. After wandering through the shops and having a little lunch (No comment on the lunch nor the restaurant we ate at beyond the fact that I doubt if we'll be going back there.. lol), we headed back down I80 towards home. I'd say about half-way down from the summit, I saw flashing lights in the rear view mirror, and it wasn't a cop. It was a fire vehicle (Not a fire engine, it was a supervisor vehicle. An SUV type.) and he literally flew past us and we lost sight of him rather quickly. A couple miles after we lost sight of him, we saw off in the distance between the trees a very large column of smoke billowing up. It was nearly impossible to tell at that point where the fire was because the road twists and turns so much. We got a few more glimpses of the growing column of smoke as we traveled down the highway. And we saw a lot more fire vehicles, engines, crew trucks and supervisors. As we got near Applegate, the color of the smoke suddenly turned from the brown/tan color of a brush or wildland fire to thick black smoke. We knew then that there were structures involved. And from the amount of smoke, we thought there a lot of buildings involved.

DSC02096 After we got off I80, we drove down near the town of Lincoln so we could get a clear view of the smoke and stopped so that I could get out of the car to take a couple photos. In the photo to the left, you can see the thick, dark color of the smoke. At this point we were less than 10 miles (as the crow flies) from the fire. DSC02097In the next photo, you can see a wide shot of how the smoke was "laying down" and being blown to the north. Even during the few moments we were stopped alongside the road while I took those few photos, we saw another fire truck go by with lights and sirens.

*Skipping forward in time again to us looking up the fire information on the computer at my folk's house, we found out that the smoke we'd been watching on our way down from Donner Pass was the "49er Fire" in the northern part of the city of Auburn. And the black smoke we saw was coming from 50 to 60 structures that were being destroyed. Businesses and residences both. I haven't seen a full official count of structures lost yet. There are still a lot of trucks and firefighters out on the fire this morning, and the last I saw, the fire is still just 60% contained.

The rest of the drive home was uneventful, thank goodness. We unloaded our goodies from Truckee and sorted things out and watched some of the news coverage of the fire in Auburn. I DSC02100headed for home then, but on the way, I decided to stop and take one more photo looking back towards Auburn and that column of smoke. I picked a spot where the highway climbs up a levee on the Sutter Bypass and pulled off to the side of the road. At this point, all you can see of that black column of smoke we saw earlier is a smudge against the horizon because of the haze in the valley.

The latest information from the CalFire website says that the 49er fire has burned 275 acres (Down from the 500 acres the news stations were reporting yesterday due to more accurate mapping of the fire today.) The CalFire website is also reporting that 60 structures were either damaged or destroyed.

More information, videos and photos from the 49er fire in Auburn can be found in these links:
Fox40 News

In other fire news, the Station fire near Los Angeles doubled in size overnight to 85,750 acres burned. And it took the lives of two Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters yesterday.

The official release about the deaths of the firefighters is here:

Firefighter Line of Duty Deaths

It is with our deepest regret to inform you the media of the Line Of Duty Deaths for Fire Captain Tedmund "Ted" Hall and Firefighter Specialist Arnaldo "Arnie" Quinones. These two members tragically lost their lives when the where overran by a fast moving fire which approached Fire Camp 16 on the "Station Fire" Incident.

Fire Captain Tedmund "Ted" Hall was 47 years of age and was a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department for 26 years and lived in San Bernardino County, California. Firefighter Specialist Arnaldo "Arnie" Quinones was 35 years of Age, and was a member of the Los Angeles County Fire department for 8 years and lived in Palmdale, California.

Funeral arrangements are pending and information relating to services will be made available in the near future.

For additional information, please contact Captain Mike Brown, Public Information Officer at (323) 881-2413.

I've said many times that firefighters are heroes. We have two more fallen heroes now. Please say a little prayer or have a good thought or two for these two heroes as well as for their families, friends and co-workers.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after two Los Angeles County firefighters died while fighting the Station fire:

“Our hearts are heavy as we are tragically reminded of the sacrifices our firefighters and their families make daily to keep us safe. This is a devastating day for firefighters everywhere and Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our gratitude and sadness. Our hearts go out to their loved ones.”

The other blog that I post on has information as well: California Fire News


So many firefighters out there on all of the fires that are threatening people, homes and wildlands. Please take a few minutes today and think of the thousands of men and women who choose to protect you and yours.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A few thoughts about anonymous comments...

My blog suddenly has gotten a lot of attention because of a post from last December about a photo of Rachelle Spector posing with a gun. I'm not going to speculate about what has suddenly drawn people to that photo. (Over 300 visitors clicked into the blog just to look at that stupid photo since Thursday!) It has also generated some comments that I guess were supposed to be insulting towards me. Idiotic comments, for the most part and were good for a laugh before I deleted them. I've added one last comment to that particular post and I will repeat what I put in the comment here because it pertains to all of the insulting comments from people who don't like what has been written on my blog.
I don't know why this particular post has attracted so much attention in the past few days. The post is OLD, people! Csn't you read the date on the post? Why on earth are people just NOW finding this post and sending insulting comments to me about it? If you want to insult someone, try emailing Rachelle. After all, it was HER photo posing with a GUN that started things.

I personally don't care if this post or her photo offends her or her husband's groupies. If she had any brains at all, she would never had someone take a photo of her with a gun DURING HER HUSBAND'S MURDER TRIAL.

To all the anonymous commenters who object to this post or any other post I have on this blog. Don't bother trying to insult me or anyone else on this blog in an idiotic comment such as the ones I deleted today. The comment moderation has been enabled for quite a while now and it will stay that way for a while longer. If the garbage keeps coming in, the next thing that will happen is that the ability to post anonymously will be GONE.. Got it?
The thought of having to censor the comments on my blog is disturbing to me. But then having anonymous idiots jumping in and posting insults to me or any of the other readers of my blog is even more disturbing. I never had any problems with the anonymous posters until I posted about Rachelle Spector. Even the previous posts I wrote about Phil Spector didn't get the attention from the sick idiots that apparently follow Rachelle around. So, just in case one of Rachelle and Phil's groupies read this post, pass the word. Rachelle nor her or her husband's groupies can NOT going to scare me into removing her photo, nor are they going to make me stop posting to my blog.

If any readers object that strongly to my writings, my opinions or my sense of humor so much that they feel compelled to write a stupid insulting comment complaining about what I have written or how I've written something, I suggest that you just click on through to another blog somewhere and stop coming back to mine and trying to insult me in more comments that will not be published. If you think your ideas are so much better than mine, then start your own damn blog. Got it?

Finally, I apologize to the readers of my blog that don't complain and insult in a comment... It seems that it's the childish actions of a few that always ruin things for the many......... I'm sorry, folks.. I really am.

Monday, August 17, 2009

CALIFORNIA FIRE NEWS: Yuba Base Camp at Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds

I went out taking more photos today, only this time I took pictures of fire trucks and firefighters. There is a large fire burning in the hills east of where I am and they set up the base camp at the fairgrounds in town. I spoke to a lot of firefighters over there from all over. There were trucks from Reno and Sparks up in Nevada, there were trucks from Northern Oregon and from all over California. I even found a bunch of them at a car wash cleaning up their trucks.. lol.. Go check out the pics..

CALIFORNIA FIRE NEWS: Yuba Base Camp at Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds

The photo above is of a truck that is down here in our area from Reno. The crews from the Reno/Sparks area were fun to talk to. They gave me a whole line about how one of the fellows on the top of the truck (filling the ice chest with ice and bottles of water) was a "world class weight lifter" among other things... And of course the fellows on the top of the truck were adding their own little tales... I should have taken my boots with me.. The stuff was getting pretty deep out there around the Nevada Strike Team... lol

Heros, I tell ya... They're all heroes. Even tired, dirty and hungry, these guys took the time to talk and joke around with this old lady. Heroes, I tell ya. Thats what they all are. Tell a firefighter "Thank you" the next time you see one.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Eureka, Fort Bragg and More

My Stepdad was getting bored sitting around the house, so he came up with the idea of going up to Eureka for a day or two. So I headed over to Yuba City early Thursday morning and parked my car in their garage, transferred my suitcase to their car and off we went... As we headed north, and then west through the coastal range, the weather changed from bright and sunny in the valley to cloudy up in the mountains. It actually rained on us a bit on our way down from the summit. The weather on the coast was very changeable from one hour to the next. Cloudy now and an hour later it was sunny. I took a coat with me, but never even got it out of my suitcase... lol

Of course we took a few side trips here and there. For instance, once we got to Eureka and got settled in our motel room, we headed out to Samoa so we could have lunch at the Samoa Cookhouse which is the last operating lumber mill cookhouse still in operation. If you ever have an opportunity to be near Eureka, I highly recommend you visit the Cookhouse for a meal. The Cookhouse serves meals "family style" even if you are there by yourself. In other words, they bring bowls and platters to your piece of the long tables and you serve yourself. Oh yeah, they bring pitchers of ice water and your choice of beverage to the table too. There was a man sitting by himself at the other end of the table and they served him with the bowls, platters and pitchers as well. The menu for Thursday afternoon's lunch was:

  • Vegetable beef soup (Definitely not canned soup!)
  • Salad Short Ribs in Gravy (Big chunks of meat along with chunks of carrots in gravy.)
  • Pasta (I'm sure there was a name to the pasta that I missed. It was lightly seasoned but was great with the gravy from the ribs over it.)
  • Calico Beans (A variety of types of beans cooked together with sort of a light barbeque sauce.. Yummy!)
  • Peas (I let my Mom and Stepdad have the peas and I stole all the carrots out of the dish of ribs.)
  • Chocolate cake with chocolate icing

After completely stuffing ourselves at the Cookhouse, we decided it might be a good idea to walk some of it off. So we headed over to the marina.


We wandered around looking at the boats, which are a mixture of commercial fishing boats, charter or private fishing boats and private pleasure boats. At one end of the marina, there is a monument that lists sailors lost at sea from that area. The dates on the names on the lists ranged from the 1800's clear up to this year. Across the sidewalk on the bay side, there is a statue dedicated to all the sailors lost at sea. It was sad to read through the lists and see how many of them had never been recovered after being lost. After walking around the marina for a while, we decided to go back over to the old part of Eureka and look at some of the Victorian homes that are scattered all over the old part of town. As we came down into that part of town, we could see the tower on the Carson Mansion, so we headed off the "main route" down one of the side streets in the direction of that tower we could see above the roofs of the other buildings. We didn't quite make it to the mansion when that street ended in a parking lot for the library. But that was fortunate, because the library had a lovely brochure with a map of points of interest in Eureka. We did manage to find our way to the front of the mansion though.


It's owned by a private club, so we didn't get a chance to go inside or even around the grounds and gardens. But, there are many more stately old Victorians within a few blocks.


Across the street from the Carson Mansion is another, smaller, mansion that was built by the Carson family that is called the "Pink Lady". The following pictures are of more of the Victorians that we walked past, some are offices and some are bread and breakfast inns or even a hotel.




After walking around looking at the beautiful buildings we got back in the car, thinking we'd go check out the "downtown" part of old Eureka. As we drove down the "main street" of the old part of town, we saw people carrying folding chairs and stuff towards the waterfront. Naturally we got curious and headed that direction.


We found a band on the waterfront getting ready for an open air free concert. They played a couple of tunes in between fiddling with the sound balance and stuff.. The music was kind of jazzy and had some of the folks that had gathered there up and dancing. By this time, my Stepdad's legs were about to give out on him, so we went back to the motel and settled in for the evening.

We got up the next morning and headed south down Highway 101 towards the redwoods and Fort Bragg. We had originally planned on grabbing some coffee and the "continental breakfast" that the motel advertised, but since the office was still locked up after 7am and we couldn't even see the coffee maker working we decided to head on down the road. We found a lovely little cafe in a small town called Miranda which is along the Avenue of the Giants. Breakfast was delicious and huge..

Silly me, I didn't take any pictures at all in Fort Bragg or down in Mendicino when we went window shopping and wandering. I guess I'd been there too many times.. lol.. I promise, blog readers, I will try to take some pictures in Fort Bragg and in Mendicino the next time I go over there.

I took a few pictures on the trip "home" yesterday. When we left Fort Bragg, we headed south down Highway 1 for a while. We saw some spectacular views and even went out to one of the lighthouses along the coast.





Point Arena Lighthouse in the fog.


Sun peeking through the fog at Point Arena.


Sea caves near Point Arena Lighthouse.

By the way, if any of my readers are from the area around Booneville CA, can you please tell me what was going on there yesterday? When we came into town on Mountain View Road, we saw a group of people standing by the fence at the end of the airport, then we saw all the people that were along the road next to the airport. We drove down that road to the point where it was roped off and all the airplanes were parked.. We were curious, but we didn't see anyone handy enough to pull over and roll down a window to ask.. lol, I figured I could find something on the internet... WRONG! LOL! So, if anyone knows what was going on at the Booneville airport, I'd sure appreciate it if someone posts a comment!

Hopefully this will work.. It's a map of our route (for the most part)...

View Yuba City, Eureka, Fort Bragg & Back in a larger map

Yay! It worked! LOL.. It didn't want to work earlier..