California sets new record for longest ever wildfire warning

Thomas Fire Still Growing Under Longest Running Red Flag Warning

Brown smoke continues to spew from the Thomas Fire in this image captured by the Aqua satellite on December 14, 2017.  A red flag warning which has been active for the last 14 days, the longest in California’s history, continues today.  The Thomas Fire now stands at 252,500 and if the fire spreads another 2,000 acres, it will move into the number three spot.  Not an auspicious record to hold.  Close to 1000 structures have destroyed and another 218 damaged during this outbreak and one firefighter fatality has been attributed to the blaze according to CAL FIRE.  The fire is 35% contained and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

That was written by NASA Goddard on December 15th, Bold mine. Today, that concern came true and the fire is at 269,000 acres:

The weather continues to be the catalyst for this fire.  The worst possible conditions for fire growth are still in place.  High winds  with gusts up to 40 mph in Santa Barbara and up to 55 mph in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties with low humidity at the 10-20 percent range will continue through Sunday evening.  These conditions cause extensive fire growth, not to mention poor air quality due to smoke and ash in the area.

NASA’s Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS, instrument. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner with information from Inciweb and CAL FIRE.Image and information via NASA Goddard

From KTLA on December 15th:

“We put out plenty of red flag warnings, but we haven’t seen them out 12 days in a row. That’s unusual,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan. “This has been the longest duration event that we have had a red flag warning out without any breaks.”

Definition of a Red Flag Warning:

A red flag warning is a forecast warning issued by the United States National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire combustion, and rapid spread.

Here is are the current warnings from the Los Angeles National Weather Service:

While California Governor Jerry Brown wants to blame “climate change” for the fire, suggesting that the weather is a direct result of climate change, it should be pointed out that we have only about 150 years of good weather data for California, and dry, drought like conditions existed for extensive periods long before the catch-all boogeyman of “climate change” entered the political blame-game. For example:

If “red flag warnings” had been invented in the past for weather during those dry periods, I wonder how many days the actual record would have been.Probably a lot longer than 14 days.

Politicians who throw out “climate change” as blame for any “out of our current experience” weather pattern are simply ignorant of climate history and banking on the electorate being ignorant as well.

Note: about 10 minutes after publication, this article was updated to reflect new acreage values on the Thomas Fire from CalFire information, along with updated wind gust information.

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December 17, 2017 9:19 am

Aren’t dry conditions in winter in CA typical of La Ninas?

Reply to  icisil
December 17, 2017 9:47 am

That would be southern CA…

Reply to  icisil
December 18, 2017 7:26 am

That would be where the fires are. “Southern California”. I know as my house is just barely out of danger there in Santa Barbara County.

tom s
December 17, 2017 9:31 am

Jerry Brown? You are the lowest of the low. Ignorant fool.

December 17, 2017 9:34 am

ALL that matters with any and all fires in CA is the ORIGIN of the ignition. If we want to SAVE our State, we need to stop the Global Warming nonsense, and find those responsible for the terrorist act of arson and bring these people to justice … even IF their defense attorneys are able to convince the jury that it was an “accident”. Smokey Bear needs to grow some teeth and put a STOP to the firebugs wandering around in our Golden-turned-burnt State.

Reply to  Kenji
December 17, 2017 9:54 am

You just can’t punish the arsonist harshly enough. For real. The only solution is to get rid of the fuel, by burning controllably during wet periods and collecting the most dangerous fuel away. Controlled fires are common around the world, I wonder why Full Moonbeam hasn’t heard of them.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Hugs
December 17, 2017 12:03 pm

But…But…What about the Kangaroo Rat!?

Don K
Reply to  Hugs
December 17, 2017 5:10 pm

I suspect that controlled burns are unduly risky in California because if anything goes wrong, the fire control folks will be sued for 100 gazillion dollars in damages. If, OTOH, they just allow nature to take its course, they won’t be sued at all.

Reply to  Kenji
December 17, 2017 1:14 pm

Actually, fuel is more important than ignition. No fuel – no fire. And fires aren’t always started by intent or carelessness. Clear those eucalypts and pines well back from houses, then control the vegetation between the houses and the flammable trees, eg. mow and/or graze, and you have a vastly reduced problem.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 17, 2017 6:15 pm

Good luck with that in a state that believes … “every oak is sacred”. There isn’t a single municipality in CA that doesn’t have a vicious “Tree Ordinance” that carries heavy cash$$$ penalty for harming any of a long list of CA native trees. Yes, it is just as ridiculous as Monty Python singing “every sperm is sacred …” Time to remove draconian ordinances and replace them with common fkcuing sense!!!!!

Reply to  Kenji
December 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Smokey Bear needs to be eliminated (by a sniper). “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires”, resulted in a century of fire suppression and massive fuel loading.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Kenji
December 18, 2017 3:54 am

How much “global cooling” will the climate science “experties” be claiming will result from all the burning biomass “smoke” particulate that has been emitted into the atmosphere by the Thomas Fire?

F. Leghorn
December 17, 2017 9:35 am

I lived there in 1982 (in Middletown, north of San Francisco) and the whole year there were fires within a hundred miles or so. To this day when I think of my time there I can still smell smoke.

Coming from the Deep South I didn’t think twice about tossing a cigarette butt out the car window but boy did the lady riding with me. She made me turn around and pick it up, yelling at me like I had stomped her puppy or something. I never did that again.

Reply to  F. Leghorn
December 18, 2017 7:16 am

You’re lucky I didn’t see you do it. I’ve been known to toss still-smoldering butts back in the car of the idiot that tossed it out the window.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Kenw
December 18, 2017 3:35 pm

Your moral superiority is only overshadowed by your arrogance. You people trashed your own state and go around preaching like you’re better than others. You’re not.

Bill Powers
December 17, 2017 9:35 am

“Politicians who throw out “climate change” as blame for any “out of our current experience” weather pattern are…banking on the electorate being ignorant as well.”

The operative words here are “Banking on” our politicians have a financial stake in this CAGW Flim Flam and to insure it they have invested in a rigged Public School system to “dumb down” the populace and then they have bribed the Universities with taxpayer funding to translate their mythology into horror fiction all the while clamoring that the end is nigh and it is all our fault. The media can’t resist a good horror story as horror stories draw viewership and sell advertising.

December 17, 2017 9:40 am

Next the econutts will have altars and sacrifices to the great Climate Change god.

Reply to  LdB
December 17, 2017 10:00 am

They arenot human enough for that. They’d rather just cut the throat, in the name of social justice or something. There is much equal with present day econuttism and the hatespeechy You Den Frage’s in the thirties.

J Mac
December 17, 2017 9:55 am

Ahhh California. Your tribulations are mostly self induced……

December 17, 2017 9:59 am

Love California, shame about its administration applying solutions to non-existent problems and creating more problems in the process.

Reply to  andrewmharding
December 17, 2017 12:55 pm

There is an old saying about doing things right, but ensuring you are doing the right things. They do neither.

December 17, 2017 10:05 am

Heavy rains to begin the year brings a spurt in the growth of annual vegetation which then dies and dries out in the fall. Proliferation of imported Eucalyptus trees which shed their highly flammable bark annually. Highly populated semi-arid coastal land. And people wonder why they have dangerous wild fires?

Reply to  RAH
December 17, 2017 4:06 pm

Eucalyptus trees are an invasive species. Surely someone could design a power plant fueled by their highly flammable wood. New Hampshire has a wood-fired power plant.

Reply to  Caleb
December 17, 2017 7:13 pm

I could but the Sierra Club would file in the 9th circus to stop any project that kill ‘baby’ trees.

There was an actual project near where Anthony lives that was stopped in the 90s.

We were working with local utilities, the forest service, foresters, ans environmental groups in Washington state on forest health issues including removing excess biomass to use for power plants.

Priorities changed on 9/11/2001.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
December 18, 2017 2:36 am

Retired Kit P,
I’d like to learn more about the project. Any links?

Reply to  Caleb
December 17, 2017 10:43 pm

It’s not the bark that is the problem ….. it’s the highly flammable oil in the leaves. Once the fire gets up into the forest ‘canopy’, that’s when you have catastrophic, near uncontrollable fires.

Trust me, I’m an Aussie.

P.S. Google why Australia’s Blue Mountains are ‘blue’. 😉

Reply to  BruceC
December 18, 2017 2:37 am

Bruce C,
Is the wood good for heating?

wayne Job
Reply to  Caleb
December 17, 2017 10:52 pm

Caleb I am an Aussie and have been through the odd serious bushfire, it is not the wood nor the bark that is the problem.Hot dry weather and the leaves exude very flammable eucalyptus oil vapour, with high winds fire balls skip from clumps of trees to the next clump, they often explode when the fire balls hit them blowing the branches off.

Very frightening experience to be under the airborne fireballs, worse still if your house is surrounded by these trees and they explode. Bad decision to import gum trees, cal should call them a noxious weed and eradicate them.

Reply to  wayne Job
December 18, 2017 2:49 am

wayne job,
Amazing. I recall reading about a fire in an old Nevil Shute novel and thinking he had to be exaggerating.

I wonder if leaves could be put through some sort of refinery, and the gas extracted.

Here we use eucalyptus oil vapour for chest-colds. Just last week I was advised to rub some “Vick’s VapoRub” on the soles of my feet when I had to work out in the cold with a cough and bad congestion. Seemed like weird advice but I was so miserable and desperate I tried it. I’ll be darned if it didn’t seem to do some good. (Psychosomatic?)

Reply to  Caleb
December 17, 2017 11:33 pm

Another irony regarding the eucalyptus flower, it relies on fire to regenerate and spread.

Reply to  BruceC
December 18, 2017 2:50 am

Bruce C,

It will be spreading fast, in California, after these fires.

Reply to  Caleb
December 18, 2017 11:25 am

“It’s not the bark that is the problem ….. it’s the highly flammable oil in the leaves. Once the fire gets up into the forest ‘canopy’, that’s when you have catastrophic, near uncontrollable fires.”

The fires start on the ground. The bark is fuel just like the dried underbrush and other deadfall is, except it’s more flammable than most.

Here in the US in the south east we have a thing we call lighter-knot. When some of the various pine species that have sap from which turpentine is distilled die the sap concentrates down in the stump and roots. Excellent natural tender/fire starter.

Reply to  Caleb
December 18, 2017 2:05 pm


Although the fires started at ground-level, once the fire reaches the forest ‘canopy’ it will spread from tree-to-tree in an explosive manner, a ‘fire-ball’ as explained by Wayne above.

Trust me, you don’t want to be on the ground when one of these ‘fire-balls’ come through ….. you cannot run fast enough.

Reply to  Caleb
December 18, 2017 2:10 pm

Have been using the ‘Vicks on the feet remedy’ for years when I come down with cold or flu. Don’t know what it does, but it works.

December 17, 2017 10:06 am

I believe that Brown also blocked the clearing of underbrush in forested areas. How about removing the fuel
that supports the fire? I suppose that underbrush was “natural” and therefore sacred.

December 17, 2017 10:06 am

The ignition cause will be interesting. Apparently more than 1/5 wildfires are now malicious – arson – and of course people willing to do that will wait for ideal conditions before lighting a match in order to cause maximum damage.

It’s an easy low risk way for nutters of all ilks to cause chaos, be it Islamic terrorists, eco-terrorists (to ‘prove’ the dangers of climate change), or just any malcontent on the margins.

Reply to  MrGrimNasty
December 17, 2017 10:26 am
Reply to  icisil
December 17, 2017 2:18 pm


Downwind is the direction the wind blows towards.

Upwind is the direction the wind blows from.
Fires don’t spread upwind easily.

That’s one of the roles of spitting.
Spitting allows one to visualize wind direction. Throwing slop upwind just brings it right back to the thrower.

Reply to  MrGrimNasty
December 17, 2017 12:57 pm

In my country the mentally ill are the culprits about half the time

December 17, 2017 10:09 am

State is lost to liberals…..moonbeam just past a minimum wage law…to put more minimum wage earners out of work

…today’s word is kiosk

Reply to  Latitude
December 17, 2017 10:51 am

Many people don’t know,
some collective-bargaining agreements,
especially unions in the service, retail
and hospitality industries,
peg their base-line wages,
to the minimum wage.

Some union contracts may trigger
automatic wage hikes,
if the minimum wage rises.

Baseline union wages are sometimes
set as a percentage above the state
or federal minimum wage, or they mandate
a specific wage premium above the minimum wage.

Other union contracts,
require reopened wage talks,
after a minimum wage hike.

And of course, minimum wage hikes,
eliminate the cheapest competition,
for expensive union workers.

Sorry if this is boring,
and off topic,
but economics and finance
are my main interests.

My climate blog
for non-scientists:

Shanghai Dan
December 17, 2017 10:19 am

Skirball started by homeless people cooking. Thomas looks like it started by careless SCE/utility workers and shoddy maintenance. And CA continues to flush half its fresh water out to sea for a handful of smelt. It’s pretty much the policies set on Sacramento that are burning this State. At least the brown haze to the North of my house (I live just south of Ventura) isn’t so strong today…

Reply to  Shanghai Dan
December 17, 2017 12:04 pm

Too often people say policies set in Sacramento as a sort of a dodge from the fact the people setting the policies were sent to plague us all by voters in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Reply to  papiertigre
December 17, 2017 1:00 pm

Same everywhere. I have lived in 3 countries now and troubles always emanate from the capital.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
December 17, 2017 12:41 pm

And policies set that prevent landowners from clearing dead brush from their property.

Maybe Governor Moonbeam should mandate that all his voters should move to …New York? Mexico” (To escape Trump)
Then those that remain can vote to undo the Man-made element of these naturally occurring fires.

Reply to  Shanghai Dan
December 17, 2017 2:57 pm

Please don’t exaggerate. We only flush 40% of our water out to sea, and that is by agreement with the EPA, who would sue us if we broke the deal.
Another reason I hate the EPA.

Larry Hamlin
December 17, 2017 10:22 am

An article in the L A Times addresses action finally taken by the CPUC on Friday December 15, 2017 to allow the California utilities the ability to trim or remove brush and trees that are considered a fire risk. The article states:

“In a unanimous 5-0 vote Thursday, commissioners passed new rules that include:

• Keeping trees and branches farther away from utility power lines in parts that the state consider to be at high risk of fires.

• Keeping newly installed wires farther apart from one another to help prevent them from touching and igniting a wildfire when winds are high.

• More extensive inspections of power lines, phone lines and power poles.

• Inspections of overhead power lines at least once a year in most areas.

• Giving utilities the right to cut power from property owners who refuse to allow crews to come onto their premises to trim trees in high risk, fire-prone areas.

Utilities will be required to make the improvements in areas with the highest risk within six months, provided there is no immediate fire danger. In areas determined to have elevated risks, the companies will have 12 months to complete the jobs.

Some commissioners acknowledged that the new rules would likely lead to higher costs for ratepayers but said, given the rise in the number and severity of wildfires in the last few years, stricter regulations were needed.

The CPUC is saying, Wolak said, “OK, we think these fires are certainly occurrng more frequently so we need a higher level of standard to either prevent them or make their impact less severe.””

Perhaps the forest service will in the very near future be allowed to deal with excessive brush and trees in high wildfire risk areas without interference from environmentalists who have been fight these efforts for decades.

This action by the CPUC clearly shows the “human influence” on recent wildfires but has absolutely nothing to do with nebulous claims of “climate change” which is being used to cover up the policy failures of government agencies in taking relevant and effective actions to address the increasing risks of wildfires.

Governor Brown must take responsibility for ignoring actions that could have been taken long ago to decrease wildfire risks. Instead he and his government agencies wasted time and resources pushing flawed “climate change” politics that did nothing but allow California fire risks to continue to grow.

Reply to  Larry Hamlin
December 17, 2017 7:39 pm

I am so old. How old am I?

I remember when everyone knew that utilities had to keep lines power lines clear to prevent outages and wild fires.

It so good that consumer protection groups protect us from greedy utilities.

December 17, 2017 10:39 am

There haven been 2 published reasons for the current fire: an ISIS supporter claimed he started the fire in retribution for President Trump ordering death to the ISIS barbarians and the second was a story on the FNC that some homeless people started it with an illegal fire. Both overlook the main reasons: the prolonged drought and poor forestry management.

December 17, 2017 10:52 am

The EPA should give the State of California a hefty fine.

There are strict regulations for the burning of wood chips, turf or coal. And California has not even attempted to transport the under brush to certified installations or to construct exhaust gas treatment systems over the wild fires.

Reply to  RLu
December 17, 2017 11:24 am

Hell they haven’t even paid any of the damage claims resulting from the Oroville Dam fiasco.

Svend Ferdinandsen
Reply to  RLu
December 17, 2017 11:42 am

Wonder how it could be allowed with that much smoking. How many cigarettes does it equal?

Gunga Din
Reply to  Svend Ferdinandsen
December 17, 2017 12:43 pm

I suspect that not all the smoke is from tobacco….

Reply to  Svend Ferdinandsen
December 17, 2017 12:58 pm

Are you saying that certain “crops” might have been destroyed?

California doesn’t grow that sort of “crop” does it 😉

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek
Reply to  Svend Ferdinandsen
December 18, 2017 1:00 am

A cigarette gives the smoke about 45 milligrams of PM2.5 each. Some say it is 40 mg. Breathing 200 microgrammes per cubic metre air (PM2.5) is the same as smoking about 1/4 to 1/2 a cigarette. Unless inhaled directly in a high does, like a ciggie, PM2.5 exposure should be averaged over 24 hours because single high episodes are quickly overcome by the body. Smoke particles larger than 4 micrometers are coughed out, eventually.

The health outcomes from breathing smoke have not been quantified – all figures for ‘safe’ or not are estimated based on several layers of other estimations. There are perhaps 600 investigations ranging in duration from a few minutes to a day to two days to a year in one case. They used different equipment, protocols, calculations and are in general incompatible, unfortunately. Estimates of the global burden of disease are just that, and they are estimated for populations, not individuals.

All claims that breathing city air is ‘like smoking 2 packs a day’ are nonsense. Utterly false. There is obviously a connection between smoke and a variety of diseases, but quantifying a relationship has not been done. Estimates for asbestos and tobacco are better than for random sources of smoke particles. The flippant estimate by the EPA that all PM2.5 particles are equally toxic is thus disproven. Asbestos is far worse than the average. So are lots of other things.

December 17, 2017 10:52 am

Jerry “Jefferson Davis” Brown presides over an independent , one-party nation-state resulting from an illegal invasion by foreign nationals he and his party and media enablers label as “immigrants”. The big lie named Climate Change is a natural extension of the deception and propagandizing of the population and won’t end till portable, energy dense resources are “left in the ground” . It’s past time to grab the torches and pitchforks, I’m afraid, but we could call out the lawyers, or vote with our feet.

Reply to  Wharfplank
December 17, 2017 4:29 pm

Are you envisaging the secession – unilaterally – of 49 states (or a majority of them?) from Kalifornia?

Just asking.

Peta of Newark
December 17, 2017 11:01 am

Oh for a life where we get to be, what, maybe 10,000+ years old?
Possibly then we’d see what goes on. What gives. How stuff works.

Because then, our own version of Edna Krabappel might have felt safe to tell us that, apart from CO2 and water, plants actually eat rock. We’d laugh her out of class saying “Hahaha, loony old bag. Just look at all them mountains made of rock. They’re not being eaten by anything. Mountains are forever”

She doesn’t tell us/them now probably because she herself was never told and due to lifetime of a diet containing too much sugar and not enough protein, never had the ‘proverbial snowball’s chance in he11’ of working it out. Same for all her students so that’s all hunky dory.
So it is.

But the veteran of 10 millennia might realise that that is what does actually ‘give’.
Not least as mountains are like ice-bergs. Cut 12” off the top of one and it’ll bounce back by at least 10” so they do seem to be ‘forever’ when they’re actually not.
Acidic rainwater does the initial ‘eating’ then the water washes the broken up bits down to where the plants can get their roots down into the assorted dust, powder, tiny grains etc etc

But in many places of the world, especially where there’s no regular ice-age event, the ground up rock the trees & plants were initially provided with doesn’t get replaced or renewed and gets old.
Just like the current human diet, the rock-diet of the plants gets lower and lower in real and available nutrition.

They get malnutrition and hence grow weak, grow slowly, catch disease easily, cannot repel parasites and generally become like old (human) people. If something hits them, they struggle to recover quickly or completely.
Maybe think of the trees as a fighter in a ring. Keeps getting punched, hit or knocked down but if he’s well-nourished, he’ll get right back up again. But as his food/energy supply ebbs, he takes longer to do that.
The occasional fire, the occasional drought etc will count (on the 10 millennial timescale) as just spells of bad weather.
A particularly sharp right-hook? But a well-fed forest (fighter) could recover, grow back strongly and defend himself against the worst of everything.
Especially fire.
Simply via fast and lush growth that creates a dense and really thick mat of dead stuff underneath. Dead stuff that remains permanently soaking wet with water. Very hard to set fire to. And the big strong canopy overhead would protect that from the drying effects of sun and wind. Soaking wet stuff that will puff up a few Cumulonimbus and a thunder storm if things get especially heated, one day, some day, any day.

But the forest we have now (in SoCal) is old.
It can get hit, it always will, but cannot now recover fast enough to protect itself before the next punch comes in. It keeps getting set back to square one ever more often.
Eventually it will not get back up. When that happens, we give those places names: Sahara, Australia, Middle East, Syria, Kalahari etc etc
The 10,000 year old person would see that – something more akin to the scale that ‘climate’ actually operates on. Ma Nature must be laughing her socks off at us thinking that 30 years ‘makes a climate’.
That’s the duration of a playground fad.
Remember clackers. Stilts. Tanks made of bobbins & elastic band for the boys and The Partridge Family for the girls? Bay City Rollers for our Scottish friends

Back inside to lessons. Mrs K is going to explain how deserts work.
Can you *now* hear Ma Nature’s laughter?

Scary innit.
Ten Thousand Years Old
What *could* anyone get you for your birthday

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 17, 2017 3:22 pm

“Peta of Newark December 17, 2017 at 11:01 am
But in many places of the world, especially where there’s no regular ice-age event, the ground up rock the trees & plants were initially provided with doesn’t get replaced or renewed and gets old.
Just like the current human diet, the rock-diet of the plants gets lower and lower in real and available nutrition.”

Rock weathers and decomposes. Acid rain is normal, constituting a small portion of the process.
Those clay formations on the sides of mountains? They’re the end result of rock weathering.
The reason(s) volcanic soil is considered so beneficial for lush growth is that volcanic materials are relatively complex and mineralize quickly.
The rock soils considered deficient are those soils lacking complexity. But even the most impervious long lasting minerals eventually mineralize and decompose. e.g. The Appalachian mountains are covered in ancient mineralized soils. While the Rocky and Sierra Mountains are still undergoing uplift building.

Plants using sunlight and CO2 construct carbohydrates, incorporating minerals and nutrients; then when dead, supply nutrients towards regrowth.
No matter how many times elements and minerals get used, they’re never truly used up. They may change molecular composition and be flushed further downhill.

“Peta of Newark December 17, 2017 at 11:01 am
Simply via fast and lush growth that creates a dense and really thick mat of dead stuff underneath. Dead stuff that remains permanently soaking wet with water. Very hard to set fire to. And the big strong canopy overhead would protect that from the drying effects of sun and wind.”

A description that does not apply to arid forests.
In low humidity environments, dead stuff dries out and is easy to initiate combustion with.

Nor does that description apply to many temperate medium to high humidity forests.
Even within high humidity environments, unless material, such as branches and fallen plants is solidly covered, it will still dry out and become quite flammable.
Rainforests are susceptible to forest fires, even severe forest fires.
Which is one of the reasons, people practice maintenance and clearance fires is to reduce forest floor combustible burden and minimize chances for the severe tree killing and soil baking fires.

Forests do not eliminate wind movement. Trees may reduce wind, especially brief wind gusts, but forests typically experience good air movement; otherwise, plants that are not deep swamp denizens would succumb to fungal infections and stagnant soils.

“Peta of Newark December 17, 2017 at 11:01 am
Scary innit.
Ten Thousand Years Old
What *could* anyone get you for your birthday”

Who better to lunch on thousand year and century eggs?
Chocolate, lollipops and quality ice creams are always welcome. 🙂

Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 17, 2017 4:45 pm

A very interesting – and unusual – perspective.
And an admirable one.

Unhappily much of the political weather – recently – has been made by folk who generally look no further than the next election.
In fairness, the Chinese Communists have long been playing an extended game.
And whilst most of the watermelon stupidities – controlled burns, CO2, demonisation of atomic and coal power (and even of hydropower!) – get pretty short shrift in China (firing squad?) the effects in the West are appreciated.

I agree that most electors – in any jurisdiction – have no concept of time – a hundred years – a hundred thousand years – a hundred million years are all pretty much unimaginable to most.
Science education seems to be more for feelings that hard scientific methos. I am sure you have sene Feynman on scientific method – but others might not; and they should review – it’s only ten minutes – and possibly the best ten minutes you could spend: –

Appreciation – Auto

Reply to  Auto
December 18, 2017 12:06 pm

“If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.”

So far AGW theory does not disagree with experiment/observations. At least not with those made by the IPCC/mainstream science. Surface warming is on track to continue at ~ 0.2 C/dec over the two decades 2007-2027, per the IPCC 2007 projection (actually, quite a bit faster than that, as it stands).

Where observations strongly disagree is with the theories previously proposed on this very website by such notaries as David Archibald and Don Easterbrook; however, few here seem prepared to discuss, or even remember, these already wrong forecasts. (The sound of dust being rapidly swept under the carpet predominates here when these failed predictions are raised.)

Randy in Ridgecrest
December 17, 2017 11:05 am

i’ve no “wisdom” to add to this discussion, I absolutely agreed things have to get more practical regarding power infrastructure and homeless camps. And I think campfires should just be banned period. But I’m watching the fire carefully. My daughter who is a physics undergrad at UCSB basically evacuated a week ago when UCSB canceled/deferred finals (“yeah!”) and closed the campus. My brother in law and his wife evacuated for real (mandatory!) yesterday morning. They were burned out in the Montecito fire and instead of rebuilding there moved closer to town. Even though they have lived and worked (both architects) in SB their entire adult lives, and since retired there, I think they are moving away.

There is basically no smoke this morning on GOES sat images. Amazing considering what it looked like yesterday. Winds forecasted to return Wed, here’s hoping the effort has the break they need.

Here is a link

Don K
Reply to  Randy in Ridgecrest
December 17, 2017 5:32 pm

And I think campfires should just be banned period.

That’s a pretty good idea I think. Unless you somehow get into a survival situation in dangerously cold weather, they are more trouble than they are worth. Hard to start. Harder to properly exinguish. Only warm one side of you and blow smoke in your face while doing so. If you move to the upwind side of the fire to escape the smoke, the wind will shift. Unfortunately, ours is a minority opinion.

Randy in Ridgecrest
Reply to  Don K
December 17, 2017 8:21 pm

i like a little “indian” campfire once in a while, in a nice safe place. I live near and play in the South Sierra – Kern Plateau, and while it’s a soft version of the Sierra Nevada I love it. But I swear it’s all going to be burned down by the knuckleheads that just have to have a roaring bonfire no matter where they are, no matter how the wind is blowing.

Gunga Din
December 17, 2017 12:16 pm

The Thomas Fire now stands at 252,500 and if the fire spreads another 2,000 acres, it will move into the number three spot. Not an auspicious record to hold. Close to 1000 structures have destroyed and another 218 damaged during this outbreak and one firefighter fatality has been

A couple of grammatical suggestions. (They are in BOLD)

“The Thomas Fire now stands at 252,500 acresand if the fire spreads another 2,000 acres, it will move into the number three spot. Not an auspicious record to hold. Close to 1000 structures have been destroyed and another 218 damaged during this outbreak and one firefighter fatality has been”

(You know my own history of “typos”. I’m not being picky but they did distract as I read the post.)

Coeur de Lion
December 17, 2017 12:40 pm

Didn’t I hear that there hadn’t been a fire there for 100yrs thus plenty of fuel?

December 17, 2017 12:57 pm

Increase in fires in California due to invasion of non-native species-

“However, a few
ecosystem-changing grass species are
increasing the frequency of fires in
California deserts”

Randy in Ridgecrest
December 17, 2017 1:48 pm

“100 years of fuel” – I think I saw it called “decadent growth”

BTW, does anyone know how the fires show on the GOES images as reverse contrast (black pixels) at night? These are VIS band images but I guess it is detecting NIR at night by removal of a daytime NIR filter, and along with some image processing is rendering the detecting pixels as black. This is very helpful for tracking fires at night.

December 17, 2017 4:03 pm

This should be good for a few more miles of high speed rail line to nowhere.

December 17, 2017 8:28 pm

“Eucalyptus trees are an invasive species.”

I watched the Oakland firestorm of 1991 from my sailboat.

This reminds me, there are two kinds of boats. Those that have sunk, and those that have not sunk yet.

The point is natural disasters are inevitable. The record I like is that few people die because of emergency planning.

Fire and floods are part of our world. We have learned to mitigate somewhat but too many people add more fuel for the fires.

Paul Johnson
December 17, 2017 9:43 pm

I noticed there is a lot of talk of embers being blown long distances by strong winds. Is there an issue with asphalt or cedar shingles versus tile? Perhaps there’s a reason why a “Spanish tile” roof is a hallmark of California Mission-style architecture.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Paul Johnson
December 17, 2017 11:22 pm

A recent fire (set by teens with fireworks) on the Oregon side of the Columbia River carried embers to the Washington side, perhaps a mile away. I haven’t seen any reports, if it was measured.
Tile is heavy and more costly.. Metal costs more,

One of the reports of a house that burned in CA included a “before” and a “during” set of photos.
It was above a hillside with small trees and shrubs. There were overhangs, such as a bedroom balcony and a deck. The down hill area should have been cleared and covered with gravel. Otherwise the building can’t be protected.

Reply to  Paul Johnson
December 18, 2017 1:40 am

Flammable roofing shingles are the stupidest possible material for roofing in a fire prone area. Tiles or preferably metal roofs (no gaps for embers) with metal gutter guards offer the best protection, together with a generator powered sprinkler system.

December 17, 2017 10:33 pm

As long as California’s EPA rules prohibit/severely limit controlled-burns of hillside undergrowth, there will ALWAYS be huge wildfires in California as decades worth of underbrush builds up until HUGE wildfires occur through massive uncontrolled wildfires…

Global Waaaarming isn’t causing these wildfires, Loony Leftists are.

It’s also looking like sick arsonists started many of these raging fires…., which, I guess, could be construed as “manmade”…

Reply to  SAMURAI
December 18, 2017 2:58 am

Or maybe: “terror” inspired…

kevin a
December 18, 2017 12:34 am

How much CO2 was produced from all the fires?
Solar panels and wind turbines where meant to stop all of this?

December 18, 2017 1:19 am

In the 2009 busfires in Victoria , Australia over 1 million acres were burnt with extensive loss of life. Reading some of the stuff above about power line maintenance and clearing and general brush clearing, its depressing to think that lessons hard learned elsewhere dont seem to travel at all.

Best of luck to those involved.

December 18, 2017 2:56 am

I still say maybe they should bring in the “big guns” when the small fire(s) is/are first reported and eradicate it initially.

Randy in Ridgecrest
Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
December 18, 2017 8:42 am

I agree with your statement 100%, my heart gets broken every time the NFS drags their feet on a “natural” fire up in the forests. But look at the progression map for this fire. There was nothing the authorities could have done at the time that would have prevented this from becoming a monster. There was also the “Creek Fire” that same early morning that basically became an instantly out of control monster. And over the next couple days other fires. So resources on hand were diluted. And resources from central and northern California and neighboring states take at least a day or two to get on the scene and deployed.

Sun Spot
December 18, 2017 9:08 am

October 1999 I was in Milpitas California, at a company named Hybrid Communications learning about thier wireless WAN technomlogy and it’s O.S.S.’s . At noon one day we stepped outside the front door and the class instructor pointed up to the green hills and said, “see all those houses and mansions they’er buiolding up there they are all going to burn, those green hills turn brown in the summer and the dead grass bulds up over the years then grass fires sweep through the hills and those hills are black and chared”.
Ignorant people building where they should`nt !!
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Joel Snider
December 18, 2017 12:10 pm

Between Jerry in California and Kate in Oregon, we can just refer to the west-coastal governor’s as the ‘burn it down Browns.’

These are the leaders we’ve got out here – who actually get elected on platforms like: ‘things are never going to get better, there’s nothing we can (or will) do about it, and just get used to it.”

Because, after all, they have a higher morality – they’re saving the planet – so what’s a few thousand acres, and people’s property, not to mention culling out a few of those over-populated humans.

My guess is that the next script they follow will be something out of ‘Logan’s Run.’

December 18, 2017 8:06 pm

“Retired Kit P,
I’d like to learn more about the project. Any links?ing ”

Sorry Caleb. By the time the feasibility study was done, the only winners were lawyers litigating the California energy crisis.

The basic process is to find the root cause of a problem and find a corrective action. In this case one solution is producing power with excess biomass.

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