Huge #CampFire seen from space by GOES satellite

Here is a short video of the satellite imagery of the extremely dangerous, fast-moving “Camp” wildfire in wildland-urban interface currently burning through Paradise, California at an estimated 80 acres per minute.

It went from ignition at 6:30AM to over 17,000 acres as of this writing.

Some videos of narrow escapes can be seen here.

h/t to “Weather_West” on Twitter

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Pop Piasa
November 8, 2018 4:37 pm

Godspeed those who are fleeing.

goldminor
November 8, 2018 4:38 pm

Bad news, what a terrible time of the year to have to run away leaving everything behind. The winds have been steady with strong gusts at times here on the other side of the valley. Temps have dropped down to 27 F for the last 3 nights. This is not a good time to be without power.

brians356
November 8, 2018 4:45 pm

I hope everyone gets out of its way. No home or property is worth saving at the risk of your life, that’s why you have insurance in place.

Alan Tomalty
November 8, 2018 4:50 pm

Is this some intrinsic mistake in software for this satellite? What is going on? It doesnt show other wildfires that must be happening.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 8, 2018 5:04 pm

This one appears to be quite large, and enough to show up on the satellite from what I glean.

Steven F
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 8, 2018 5:40 pm

There are only 5 forest fires today in california 4 are in south california hundreds of miles away. The sattilite image only shows central california. Also the camp fire alone is about 2 times the size of all the others combined.

November 8, 2018 4:56 pm

T he title says “Camp fire”, so was it a camp fire that went wrong ?

MJE

OweninGA
Reply to  Michael
November 8, 2018 5:06 pm

They usually name them for the place they start. In this case I understand it started along Camp Creek, so they are calling it the Camp fire.

My Great Grandfather used to live up in Paradise. I wonder if the old folks mobile home park he lived in has been engulfed. Of course he died in 1983, so I don’t think I have any relatives up there now. My cousins all moved to the real mountains or down to the valley floor but I know that area as it was 35 years ago anyway. I hope everyone is able to escape and may they come back to intact homes (though little hope for most).

Steven F
Reply to  Michael
November 8, 2018 5:32 pm

No it started near camp road. Cause of the fire is currently unknown.

November 8, 2018 5:11 pm

It is very smoky in San Francisco now.

flyfisher
November 8, 2018 7:05 pm

I grew up in Paradise and still have family there. I believe my parents were some of the last residents out of the evacuation. They and others were in the local Kmart parking lot waiting to be released to evacuate out of town. They said how shocking it was to just watch everything burn so quickly. I don’t know if many of you have been to this neck of the woods – lots and lots of pine trees with even more pine needles all over the ground. The news said something about 1000 houses burned, that has to be several 1000 looking at where the fire started and is currently moving. I’ve got a before/after picture of the local McDonalds, the sign is still up but the building has just been vaporized. Just crazy how quickly this moved. Praying for all those who lost family and friends.

November 8, 2018 7:05 pm

All those marijuana grow plots… up in smoke.

Regular thinning of the forests and undergrowth would expose those.

Javert Chip
November 8, 2018 9:16 pm

I realize this is crazy, but it’d be good if the government of CA could manage its forests (underbrushing & controlled burns). The same general comment could be made about the Oroville damn.

Obviously the high=speed train to nowhere has priority. Federal taxpayers will help pick up the pieces (AKA pay for it).

Steven F
Reply to  Javert Chip
November 9, 2018 9:59 am

coltrolled burns and clearing underbrush is bing done. But it requires a lot of people and a lot of money and time to do one small area. If you took the entire federal forest service fire fighting budget and multiplied it by 10 and devoted all that money to thinning and controlled burns it would not even be close enough to keep up with the increase in fuel load that is occurring every year on the west cost.

I have relatives in oregon and I live in california I see controlled burns and thinning all the time. but it is not nearly enough and the cities and states on the west cost are finding it difficult to find the money to increase the area cleared by only a small amount.

As to to oroville dam the spillway has been complexly replaced and is now ready for use.

Carol Foster
November 9, 2018 12:47 am

My brother and sister-in-law live in Paradise. Hoping and praying for them.

The fire also seems to have spread to Chico … that’s where Anthony lives. Let’s keep him in our prayers, too.

mikewaite
November 9, 2018 12:52 am

Some questions.
1. Is it universally accepted that a large , uncleared , burden of tinder dry undergrowth will fuel the massive fires that are a regular event, with loss of life and enormous damage to property?
2. Is it true that the State authorities have refused any attempts to remove the undergrowth for many years , if not decades ?
3. If 1 and 2 are true , is there not an “existential threat” of fatal and destructive firestorms that are the result of the deliberate policy of the authorities?
4. If 3 is true, can the federal government prosecute the Governor of California for pursuing a policy that he has known , for many years , will kill people and destroy property?

Steven F
Reply to  mikewaite
November 9, 2018 11:07 am

1 is true. 2 is false.3 is also false this is not a deliberate policy of the authorities. Also keep in mind most of this forest land is owned by the federal forest service. That means Washington DC is responsible for most forest fighting and forest management for most of the west cost (Oregon, Washington, California and all western states. yes the news and blog are full of stores of people trying to block a controlled burn or thinning. But in truth these are the exception. Most people and politicians understand the hazard and don’t object to it being done.

For 50 years it has been the federal and state policy to put out any forest that occur as quickly as possible. That has worked for about 40 years. But now the fuel load has grown so much that everyone if struggling to find the money for more fire fighting equipment and personnel while at the same time putting more money into thinning and controlled burns. right now most of the new moneys being used to fight the fires we have now.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/08/08/california-fires-battling-wildfires-year-round-new-normal/930394002/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/communities-want-trees-thinned-timber-companies-want_us_5bd09483e4b04d1f9a5582d7

mikewaite
Reply to  Steven F
November 9, 2018 11:50 am

Thank you Steven for putting matters into true perspective . But if the richest state in US cannot find the money for what the community wants and needs then what is the long term answer?

Steven F
Reply to  mikewaite
November 9, 2018 8:52 pm

The long term solutions that I can see are:

1:find a market for the collected fuel. The best one I see is to use it as fuel in power plants

2. Do controlled burns over a much larger area just before the weather service predicts a 90% chance of rain. This would involve dropping flairs or fire bombs just before the rain arrives. These fires would then be put out by the rain. Done this way a much lager area could be burned with less risk.

3 Let the unplanned fires burn as much as possible. If the fire is not close to any property don’t waste a lot of money fighting it. In many national parks lightening caused fires are often allowed to burn. IN places that have been managed this way for a long time the fires seldom get big or produce much smoke and the forest is not over grown.

ren
November 9, 2018 7:00 am

Sorry.
The center of the arctic high is located over North Dakota.
comment image

Phil R
November 9, 2018 7:04 am

I posted this on the last Campfire thread, but probably more appropriate here.

Just curious, on the GOES west satellite imagery, there is also a bright white spot in southern CA, around the LA area. Is there another fire down in that area?

Linky:

https://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/sw/flash-ir2f.html

Phil R
November 9, 2018 7:12 am

Not to minimize the devestation of the Camp Fire, but there is also another fire, the Hill Fire, near LA that’s large enough to see from satellite imagery.

https://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/sw/h5-loop-ir2.html

Phil R
November 9, 2018 8:53 am

Apologize for the (sort of) double post. I didn’t see the first one posted, and subsequently found the answer to my question.

Gamecock
November 9, 2018 3:03 pm

I ran from the Shultz Fire above Flagstaff in 2010. It was beyond my comprehension how quickly it spread. Started by an abandoned camp fire.

I spent the night at Grand Canyon, 55 miles away. The smoke looked like it was just a few miles away. “Mushroom cloud” was all I could think. Next night in Cortez, CO. The smoke from the Shultz fire was over Cortez, 220 miles away.

https://youtu.be/dIyy-53KGO4

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