My status, and the status of WUWT

NOTE: This will be a “top post” for a day or two, to be sure that most regular readers see it. New posts will appear below it, scroll down.

I have received a number of inquiries from around the world related to my welfare due to the #CampFire that destroyed the town of Paradise, CA on November 8th, and threatened Chico, CA where I live, on the same day.

I can tell you, I’m a bit beaten up, but I’m OK. More on that in a moment.

This is what the sky looked like at my home and office about an hour and a half after the fire began. It was surreal, and looked like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” Photo by an employee, Rick Anderson. Those are smoke clouds, and the black dots are birds fleeing the fire. The fire was over 15 miles away at that point. Click to enlarge.

This is what it looked like from space at 10:45AM November 8th, about an hour after the photo above was taken, we were on the north edge of the plume, and it had shifted south in that time.

I know some were concerned because I haven’t been posting much in the way of updates on WUWT. The reason for that is simple, I was busy in my job as a member of the media. I spent Thursday doing special reports for local radio station KPAY about weather and wind conditions, and I spent the night on the front-line of the fire as it threatened Chico, sending in reports, photos, and forecasts based on what I observed.

The death toll continues to climb, at least 23 confirmed so far with 110, possibly more, missing. Some people were burned alive in their cars while trying to escape. I’ve seen video that doesn’t make it on the news, and I wish I could unsee it.

Since that horrible day on November 8th, I’ve continued that process of reporting on radio, and also spent a lot of time on local Facebook groups as well as my own FB page, providing information to people in a different way, un-sensationalized like TV news does. Mainly, I’ve sought to calm people with accurate information. As a result, I got the highest complement I have ever received on Facebook: (I’ve never met this lady, we are only acquainted on FB)

I’ve continued doing that sort of dual role reporting on Facebook and radio since the beginning, while also dealing with personal issues related to the fire, just like so many others have. Every police officer in the town of Paradise lost their home, many state police officers and some Sheriff officers lost their homes. Yet, they are still on the job, protecting the public. There’s no words to describe that sort of dedication.

I have never seen such strength and courage and compassion in the face of total devastation. It is surreal, much like this photo of the flag amid the wreckage taken by Action News reporter Spencer Joseph.

One of the most stunning images I’ve ever taken. This is in the town of Paradise after the #CampFire swept through. All that is left of this street of homes is this American flag, still waving, still unburned. Photo and text by Spencer Joseph.

Many friends of mine lost their homes, including one who purchased a home in Paradise I used to live in. Many of my friends have lost people. I can’t begin to understand their level of loss and grief.

Two of my employees and their family members ran for their lives to escape the fire, and ran the gauntlet of flames, smoke, exploding transformers, and downed power lines. It is a miracle they survived. In a surreal twist, a daughter of one of them had taken video of their escape, and it was leading TV newscasts all over the world.

There are lots of cars used in the escape that looked like this after the fire:

Photo by Julie Lucito, Nov 8th, 2018

Two for certain, and possibly three of my employees have lost their home in Paradise. A fourth employee who live in Forest Ranch, CA has been evacuated from his home, and it remains under threat.. On Friday, there was so much smoke that people were using flashlights. Streetlights and car headlights were on, and the local EPA air quality monitoring station peaked at 995 for particulates (it doesn’t go any higher) and stayed there a good portion of Friday, November 9th.

These people are part of my extended family, some have worked with me more than 20 years. It’s like a gut kick, but at the same time I’m incredibly grateful that we are all whole and unharmed. But they have nothing but the clothes on their backs, a vehicle each, and some personal belongings they packed in a “go bag”.

Now, I’m faced with the task of keeping my weather business whole while my employees deal with their losses and grief. I’ve told them that they can lean on me, that their jobs are secure, and we’ll get through it together.

But, that requires I step away from WUWT for awhile, there’s no other way.

To that end, I made contact with Charles the Moderator (Charles Rotter) who was instrumental in Climategate, and he’s agreed to take over as editor for as long as I need. I’m in his debt.

For those of you that want to help, there’s always the tip jar. But you can also help by contributing guest posts, tips (see the top menu-bar for links) and most importantly (and this costs nothing but a few seconds of time) please SHARE WUWT ON SOCIAL MEDIA. This gets us exposure, and it’s something we need. Many of you know what Google, Twitter and other media platforms have been doing, and this is a way to fight back.

[I’ll post an update for a charitable organization to help victims of the fire that I trust in the coming days, right now I have to find out details.]

[~ctm long time contributor Kip Hansen has set up a fund. This is for money that Anthony can direct to appropriate people or agencies.  You can find it here.]

The fire threat is diminishing, and you can see below, the fire has stopped growing significantly:

It is time for me to take a break. I have a meeting with all my people coming up, and I need some rest so that I can be strong for them.

My thanks to all of you, as I sign off for awhile.

Over to you, Charles, with gratitude. – Anthony

 

 

 

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188 thoughts on “My status, and the status of WUWT

    • A sobering experience. I note the photo of Chico (deciduous trees) and the two burn area photos (coniferous trees) that puts me in mind of a fire that destroyed over 500 homes in the town of Slave Lake, Alberta. The part of town that burned was a relatively new area carved in a pine forest. We lived in the original town site in the 1930s where there were meadows and deciduous trees, no pines. I was told that the day after the fire, if you went to our old home, you would never know that there had been a fire.
      It would be useful for use to relearn the knowledge of the natives and our pioneers. Don’t build your community in or adjacent to a coniferous forest. A study of Banff National Park, Alberta found that pre-white man, the pine forests burnt, on average, every 60 years. Not very good odds for a community.
      If my home was in the pines or other coniferous trees I would start a program of replacing these with fewer deciduous trees. Then there is the grass that has to be harvested or control burn’t each year.
      Good luck.

      • Yes looking at the pics of burnt tree trunks, they reminded me of the fairly common sights of burnt eucalyptus trees around the Australian bush every summer.

        So I was wondering about the composition of species in the California fires.
        Lots of eucalypts?

        • The forests are composed of various pines, redwoods, and firs. Eucalyptus trees are not native there and grow best in places like the lower Colorado River desert, where they were grown as an experiment in producing lumber many decades ago.

          What makes the fires such a problem in California is that the trees are not thinned, nor undergrowth removed to limit the fast spread and destruction. You are also limited in most places as to how far away from your home you can remove vegetation. These forests burn regularly, and if you live there, you will get hit sooner or later by a forest fire. The Western Forests of the U.S. are lovely places to live, but deadly.

          • Exactly Ernest – The root cause of the California conflagrations is the legal inability to clear dead wood, underbrush and other collections of extremely flammable vegetation as well as not being able to clear cut around residences. The Enviro-Wackoes have complete control in Kalifornia, which is NUTS, because they claim that “disturbing” the vegetation hurts the natural habitat of so many creatures. I guess they prefer them to “naturally” burn to death and have their habitats totally destroyed instead! Pre-White Man Native Americans knew that these forest routinely burn extensively every few decades due to dead wood and undergrowth and so DID NOT SETTLE in those places.

        • The BIG difference between coniferous trees and deciduous trees is that deciduous tree saplings can grow in the shade of other trees and coniferous tree saplings only grow in direct sunlight. For coniferous forests to replace dead trees with new trees, the dead trees must be removed. As coniferous trees become especially flammable after they die, dry needles on the forest floor also burn, and the female cones of some conifers only release their seeds after a scorching, forest fires sweeping away the dead wood is the evolutionary ‘strategy’ conifers have selected for.

          Along with creating open spaces for new trees to grow, forest fires also weed out undergrowth that compete against the conifers for soil nutrients and even recycles those competitors. Forest fires may even be a method of dealing with parasites. While burning is very detrimental to individual trees, it is clearly beneficial to the success of coniferous forests, as a whole.

          Where conditions allow deciduous tree saplings to get big enough to survive the next forest fire, they wipe out the conifers by not burning, shading out the coniferous saplings, and crowding out the old trees.

          If you must live among the trees of a coniferous forest, you have two options:

          Option 1: Whenever conditions will prevent the healthy trees from burning, set fire to every other plant in the woods near your homestead (but not all at once).

          Option 2: Build your home to tolerate wildfire. Sheath it in fired porous clay and have a setup that can keep the cladding supplied with water so evaporative cooling can prevent temperatures on the inside from reaching its kindling point.

          Of the two, option 2 really is the best choice, as it allows the forest to burn naturally. Coniferous forests are supposed to burn. If structures are built to survive the fires, the forest can just burn as dictated by circumstances, and life can return to normal, once the smoke clears and the evacuees return. If you cannot stand the heat, stay away from coniferous forests.

      • The heavy bark of pines down our way (Southeast US) are for their protection in their frequent fires. Foresters down here have learned that if the fires are not frequent enough to take out the undergrowth the fires get hot enough to burn through the bark, kill the trees, and burn houses even through fire breaks.

        We had a controlled burn yesterday in my neighborhood.

      • There’s a guy named blancolirio who has videos about the Oroville Dam who
        lives in that area and has a good video about the fire.
        ‘Camp’ fire UPDATE Day 3 10 Nov-The likely cause
        should take you there.

    • In the White Mountains of New Mexico, the Indians cleaned their part of the forest many years ago and it looks like a park. The evil Forest Service stopped the county from cleaning that part of the forest and when it burns it will take Cloudcroft because the forest comes up to the back yards of homes.

  1. It’s been an incredible few days. The first I heard about the Camp Fire was here, the morning it started, and I was astounded at how large it was in your first reports. Thank goodness it started at dawn, had it started at midnight there could be 1,000 people missing from sleeping through what good escape time the area had.

  2. Keep up the good work. Rejoice in every person safe. All things in their time. Watch out for signs of PTSD. Things will get better. God be with you all.

  3. My goodness Anthony. I was in Sacramento Friday through this AM and was huffing the smoke. I can only imagine the devastation in Paradise. Stay strong. Best wishes.

  4. Anthony,
    Your priorities are your family, your employees, your friends and your community.
    I can only admire the selfless way in which you serve.
    We will still be here when you get back, you must first now help those you love.

  5. Good luck and stay safe, and thanks to everyone at the edge of that fire, and condolences to everyone who had to flee from it.

    I’m some distance away but the smoke was like pea soup fog yesterday and I’m still pretty sick. Even with a filter mask it was like having a flu and even today I’m comparatively weak (I have a condition that this affects badly).

    Obviously nothing compared to your whole city burning down.

    P.S. The flag photo is amazing. Going to remember that for a long time.

  6. Good Lord, Anthony, I’ve had disagreements with you in the past but I have nothing but best wishes for you and your employees and your neighbors, and all the people affected by this terrible tragedy. I’ll hit that tip jar and I’ll put a FB share in for WUWT.
    Don132

  7. Good luck to everyone. Keep safe and don’t worry about wuwt. You and your community are much more important

    Tonyb

  8. All the best to the victims but why oh why do people leave it until it is too late to evacuate.
    The same mentality existed in Victoria during the 1983 Ash Wednesday and 2012 Black Friday fires when whole towns were obliterated.

    • Moderator (Charles) – when the vetted charity or charities are available, please make sure they are pinned to the top. (You probably would anyway, I just want to make sure.)

      With the right (wrong) conditions, these fires can move faster – much faster – than you can get out of the way, even if you just grab your go bag and run.

      Forecasting just which way they will go is also difficult, although people (like Anthony) do the very best they can. I’ve seen one (from a distance, which I was grateful for) go roaring in one direction, and then make a 180 degree turn and roar off in the other. All depends on the wind, both what is blowing normally and the wind that the fire makes for itself.

    • The fire started at 6:15AM when most people were asleep. By 7AM the town was on fire. There was no warning and some probably didn’t know about the fire until it was too late.

  9. Some of the autos pictured to me indicate the probability of Directed Weapons.

    [That has to be the stupidest comment I have ever seen in my over 10+ years of running this website. Go away. – Anthony]

    • Anthony, lots of conspiracy videos on YouTube after fire events like this claiming directed weapons attacks. These people are as crazy as flat-earthers.

      Hope you are all ok. Certainly looks scary situation to be in.

      • The people spouting this stuff didn’t look out over their backyard and into flames. Nor did they dodge fire all the way to Chico.

      • They are NOT crazy – they are simply poisoning the well.
        “See – look at some of the wacky ideas the audience around here believes.”
        That’s the point of the posts. Those responsible should be punished severely, preferably with some kind if “directed weapon” – a phrase that can mean anything you like.

    • They always come out of the woodwork at the worst possible times. Having seen wildfires for over 3 decades, many in 50mph winds, I can tell you the devastation is incredible, the speed amazing and one cannot imagine what the scene looks like. There’s no conspiracy ideas needed. I’ve only had to evacuate once, but keep “go” boxes in the closet ready to run at a moment’s notice.

      Take a long rest, Anthony. You deserve it.

    • How ridiculous…sorry you have to deal with this right now.

      I saw “Terry Harnden” commenting elsewhere that anthropogenic climate change was a hoax, and any temperature increases we are experiencing are due to natural variation. He further said something about sun spots, and that climate scientists are falsifying data for research funding. There is no limit to the crazy!

      God bless.

    • Build a city in one of the three worst places on the planet for bushfires and wait for a dry spell and gale force winds.
      What else could it be but Directed Weapons?
      Probably find Donald Trump was behind the plot.

      • What seems more likely…

        Build a timber town that thrives for decades harvesting the rich forests around it, then restrict logging to build up the fuel load, wait for a drought to kill millions of trees and gale force winds to down a few power lines.
        Who needs Directed Energy Weapons when abysmal forest management will do?

        • Should someone ask Jerry Brown how much CO2 has been generated by Califorlornia wildfire mismanagement? Is it causing Globull Warning?

    • Terry Harnden November 11, 2018 at 3:26 pm
      Some of the autos pictured to me indicate the probability of Directed Weapons.

      [That has to be the stupidest comment I have ever seen in my over 10+ years of running this website. Go away. – Anthony]

      maybe he just watches “The Storm Channel” too much?
      “Arctic air invades….”, “Severe storms target….”, Furious flurries focus on …..
      (OK. I made that last lead-in up.8-)

    • That comment is likely made by a paid flame thrower designed to rile citizens and create massive disharmony. The person behind it may or more likely may not be a believer in their comment. But is instead a believer of causing foment within our borders. The style and breavity looks too much like something found on a talking point list flame throwers use. Which leads me to believe that any replies are not read by the flame thrower as they are too busy throwing flames into multiple social sites.

  10. Sweet Jesus, brother! Take a break for however long you need!!!!! I love your site for balanced opinions on every subject and even more for the HUMAN element that is lacking from most “news” sites.

    I’ve been following your site since 2008 and have always admired the sensibility that is maintained here regardless of the horse excrement spouted everywhere else!

    Be safe my internet friend and report back when safe for everybody!

  11. Glad you and the extended family are all safe Ant. We have terrible fires like that in Australia too so understand the extent of the trauma inflicted.
    Best wishes to all in ‘your circle’ and a big thanks to Charles for taking up the reins.

  12. Thanks for taking the time to post.
    Thank God you’re safe.
    And thanks for providing an inspiring example of being a pillar of strength to others around while under such pressure and threat yourself, just like the police officers you mentioned. This will be remembered for a very long time. May your community find peace and healing.

    • Virtually nothing survives in the radiant heat of a firestorm if it’s near enough as in what we saw in Marysville, Vic. Added to radiant heat are the flying embers.
      And yet… that flag survival is a miracle, like the Lolly Shop sign on its picket fence in Marysville.
      So glad you are safe Anthony…you’ll be completely exhausted when you can finally relax…look after yourself…love and prayers from us.

    • Agree 100%.
      It is usually wildfire embers that turn a combustible house into an inferno.
      They say steel collapses, but not if the house does not burn IMO.

      • At Marysville they found bodies of two people that were killed by radiant heat 300 metres from the fire.
        In the Ash Wednesday fire it was estimated the temperature reached 2000C, nothing survives a fire storm.

    • About ten years ago I saw a photo of the only house on a hillside road in SoCal that survived one of their bad brushfires. It was built of stucco or rammed earth and had a metal roof. Maybe it had metal shutters too, which would have helped.

      • My son built a rammed earth house with a metal roof, shutters on the windows etc and, after a Bushfire went through, the house was still standing and first responders thought it was ok – but everything inside (except metal) was reduced to ash. It looked like the inside of a pottery kiln. God knows what happened but he and his family weren’t inside it thank goodness. I really don’t think anything survives if the fire gets it.

        With all good wishes to Anthony and the team, it’ll be a torrid few months getting back on top of all this carnage but that’s what you have to focus on.

    • Mick,
      Annie points us to “radiant heat” and this is something worth reading about. When the embers begin to cool, fire researchers will move through, taking notes and photos. Next year reports will be available from which we can learn much. By then most media types will have moved on, so one has to look for these things.
      Our house was built 40 years ago. It is too late to build it out of concrete. We have been asked to evacuate twice. Closest fire was 2.6 miles. Each time the wind was changing just about the time the police got to our place. We had a pickup & small camper parked in the driveway but our local contacts kept us informed, and we did not go. We watched Ponderosa Pines “candle”, watched embers sail onto the next ridge, and a DC-10 make repeated trips, turning over our property to drop Phos-Chek on the ridge.
      Many non-combustible materials can, on the outside, make a place safer. Windows and radiant energy can cause the house to get an instant burn going inside.
      For more, look up ‘Firewise’ and ‘fire adapted community’ for how folks are going about making things safer.

      • Even concrete isn’t the answer in a firestorm. We have friends whose concrete block house in Marysville was lost; luckily they weren’t in it. Most houses exploded as the fire swept through; one we used to own was totally gone but the two gas bottles outside were intact…some very bizarre things happen. A month after the fires plants were pushing through again. Mother Nature is very robust and Marysville is looking wonderful now.
        I feel very much for the people in this firestorm…keep strong…recovery will come but it takes time.

        • IIRC…their concrete house blocks just pulverised. The wooden churches both went but The Crossways Inn (wooden) survived. The rectory (brick veneer) by the Anglican church survived but a mudbrick house in Falls Road didn’t. Sometimes there seems no rhyme or reason to it. Most properties were utterly destroyed.
          Metal window shutters will help as will clear gutters and sprinkler systems on the roof, this supposes you have a source of power for pumps, water available and hoses not burnt or melted. As commented elsewhere, in a bad firestorm there isn’t much chance of saving homes.

    • From a news story in the LA area fire, they described fronds from palm trees catching fire and blowing away, but falling house roofs. Some burn long enough to ignite the wood under tile roofs!

      I get more and more convinced that people really need to control multiple aspects of fires in areas at risk of Santa Ana style hot, dry winds.

  13. Thanks for the update Anthony.

    We’re choking on the smoke nearly 200 miles away in the Bay Area. I can’t begin to imagine the devastation in Paradise and the surrounding area.

    Keep up the good work, especially the outstanding reporting you are providing to help your neighbors in and around Chico.

    But, above all, stay safe!

  14. As always, you are doing top notch work. Take care of yourself and we will see you when you are available.

  15. I have seen some disasters in my day (I used to live in Oklahoma and have family in Oklahoma City area like Moore and Del City) and I can tell you the resilience in many neighborhoods is just staggering. They come together first to save, then to help, and finally to rebuild a community. Its the same in Texas where I have been able to observe.

    I hope they get this fire out and people can start healing soon. It seems overwhelming at first, but if you have help, it soon turns a corner.

    I have been lucky of late, so I can afford a donation. I’ll send half to the WUWT site and half to your community once I see a link for it.

  16. I know it’s not the most important issue just now, but I can’t find anything on how this fire got started. Anyone know?

    • Let me guess: decades of poor or actively harmful forest management because The Environment?

      Glad to hear Anthony is OK. Let’s hope the fire is out soon.

      • You’d think that prisoners wearing unremovable GPS ankle bracelets could be put to work clearing brush.

        • Glad to hear your story, Anthony and that you are all right!

          But sincerely, I am wondering what kind of fire planning and management you have developed in California? Obviously, there is too much combustible material lying around and too many tall trees next to populated areas, for any comfort.
          When I last visited those areas, I noticed the amount of the very dangerous tree: Gum Tree or Eucalyptus, that was growing there. To my knowledge, this is a very dangerous tree, that produces abundant oils and vapors, in dry weather….?
          If this is the case, then – why haven’t they been cut down. Obviously it is well known that there will be dry winds half the year in the area.

          • I don’t live in CA but, from what I understand, there have been numerous small things done that have contributed to the fires being as bad as they actually are.
            For example, years ago I remember reading about restrictions imposed brush from around home because the dead brush was the habitat of the endangered Kangaroo Rat….even if a Kangaroo Rat hadn’t been spotted in the area in over a decade.
            Another example. The (only the Northern?) Spotted Owl. Allowing loggers to clear dead trees from forest was declared illegal because old growth forest were their nesting habitat. Despite the fact that one pair nested in a broken K-Mart sign. (not sure if it was a “Southern” or “Northern” spotted owl)
            Just a couple of examples I know of.

            OH! And if I’m not mistaken, in some parts of CA you can be taxed or fined if you collect rainwater in a rain barrel?

            LOTS of goofy regulations in CA that people feel good about until…………reality strikes.

          • Commenting from privately-owned acreage surrounded by National Forest in Southern California. Because of endangered species (southern spotted owls, yellow-legged frogs, and arroyo toads), power companies, and forestry agencies are not allowed to clear brush and deadwood around us.
            A couple of years back, a county funded program allowed clearing on ours and neighbors property at the top of a steep hill for a fire break. In the middle of the about 30 foot wide break, they left a 4 foot high woodrat’s nest and the brush surrounding it untouched which would allow a wildfire to jump the break, making it useless.

            We are being put at life risk because of animals which we have never, ever encountered in 21 years of residence. Apparently the slim chance of them existing makes them more important than our lives and property.

            And the rest of the country wonders why California is burning?

    • Perhaps too busy with fires and fire related issues to investigate? And there still may be hot spots in burned over areas?

      My condolences to all who have been caught-up in this tragic event.

    • There are credible reports that:

      1. PG&E detected a line break shortly before the start of the main fire.
      2. A small fire was reported at about the same time, right under some downed power lines.

      Seems to me, PG&E needs to clear the area under their power lines of all fuel to prevent further tragedies of this type.

    • reports ive read said the powerco reported an outage in the area it started
      another mentioned “line slap”?
      i guess thats strong winds or falling branches making lines touch or arc?
      I do hope it was pure accident and not arson

      May people find their lost ones alive , be able to recover and resume.
      bless you Anthony for a calm voice and support in the madness of the media
      fare thee ALL well

  17. Anthony, you’re the best! May God bless you, your employees and all those who have lost family members, friends and homes in this tragic fire. Thanks to Charles for being willing to step into your shoes while you take care of your business and your employees.

  18. Thank the Gods you are safe: we and the world need you and WUWT – more than ever in these crazy times. Kudos to Charles for taking over.

    Your story is unimaginable… Please try to get enough sleep, hard though I know that will be.

  19. I hope the call to do something new and significant about how fire safety is handled in California is realized. Clearly there are fundamental problems about how this whole matter is approached.

    If the answers are not immediately known then a suitable consultation is required, and sensible new methods employed. I don’t believe this is an impossible problem to solve.

    We can do it now, or after L.A. burns.

    • One good thing.
      I saw a story that firefighting 747s are finally being used. They can deliver in one pass what it would take 10 to 18 passes of other firefighting aircraft.

  20. Thank God you’re safe and thank you for helping in this terrible time as a weather expert, business owner and friend. You’re a true mensch. Stay safe.

  21. I can’t begin to imagine what this is like.

    We have nothing approaching it in the UK, but we still moan, fret and whinge about the climate.

    Good luck mate, and to all those affected by the fire;
    and to all who sail on the good ship WUWT.

  22. I can only echo the sentiments of the majority of decent posters above, Anthony. I wish you and your community the best of luck in this disaster that has befallen you all and hope those worst affected receive the help & support they will need in the coming weeks & months ahead. I am certainly happy to contribute through this site with a donation.

    In the meantime, Anthony, get some rest and concentrate on those who are nearest & dearest. Sincere thanks, from the other side of the planet, for this site and for all you have done to shine a light through the darkness.

  23. Good to see it was a miss, a near miss, but a miss. I live in a fairly wooded area, and the thought of a major fire is scary. I had an acquaintance who was burned out in the Oakland Hills fire some years ago, and she had to go out a back window to escape.
    I hope you have a swift recovery, and that all the unknowns turn out to have been on the good side.

    • Sadly, one person’s near miss is another person’s direct hit when you’re talking wildfires in populated areas.

  24. Anthony,
    Once again the light of your high ethics, compassionate community service, and moral standards shine brightly, in a time of tragedy. May God bless you and yours.
    Mac

  25. FUND RAISRR ==> AnyOne have crowdfunding experience?

    Can WUWT raise funds to help Anthony’s emloyees? To help Anthony help them?

    I have a hundred bucks to throw in if someone can set it up.

  26. Stay safe, and a bit of advice. Move perpendicular to the fire to get out of it’s path, not with it. You’ll never out run it.

  27. Photo (flag amid wreckage) taken by Action News Spencer Joseph.
    This photo is all anyone needs to think about.
    It exemplifies the tragedy of not understanding environment.
    Melbourne (AU) has similar fire problems and here’s a sensible solution:
    https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/documents/20143/98991/V2_clearing_vegetation_10-30_10-50.pdf/9be8e4a6-6633-50d3-f35e-ffff0a0d11e0
    Note local green groups fought tooth & nail to stop these sensible measures (they lost).
    Hot climate suburbs in (or adjacent to) a forest need special measures.
    Lobby hard to save life and property; it can be done . . .

  28. Thanks for all you do, Anthony. Some initial help is on the way via the Donate tab. Will look forward to a list of charitable organizations vetted by you. Stay safe.

  29. Man and I thought tornadoes were terrifying. The damage on those cars and the speed this thing was moving is truly unsettling.

  30. Many thanks along with thoughts and prayers with you and yours Anthony, as well with all those affected!

    God bless!

    Joe

  31. Anthony, you have my deepest sympathies in regard to seeing things that no one should have to see. I hope that those images will fade with time.

    Please do whatever you have to do to get through this tragic event. We’ll be here when you get back.

  32. Anthony,

    Thank you for all you do here in the blog and in the Chico, Paradise area, it is a benefit when people support and care for others in time of need. Bravo for your dedication for the help and logistics you provide to many who seek welcoming news.

  33. Anthony,

    Our thoughts are with you and your community. May God bless.

    Charles the Moderator, thank you for stepping in to help with this site. You are greatly appreciated.

    Contributions will follow.

    Jtom

  34. Anthony, your community and the whole world owe you something that can never be repaid. It is that elusive quantity called the truth. This wildfire event shows all of us that mankind is just a tenant on this globe where Mother nature rules as the all powerful ruler. The power of mother nature’s tools; wildfires, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms, hailstorms, lightning, snowstorms, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, droughts, heat waves, killer frosts, and ice ages, show us that we will forever be at their mercy. Your fight against the climate establishment on the CO2 scam is really a fight for the truth against evil forces that don’t care if they damage the structure of science itself. Our hearts go out to all the families that have lost loved ones, their homes … etc. to this wildfire. Take care of your family and business in this time of distress and hope to see you back fighting for the truth.

  35. Be well Anthony.
    Living in California will always keep you fighting, no matter where you live. From the Inland Empire to the NorCal forests to the parking lot freeways of LA, it is a fight… every day. And if it isn’t nature, it’s now the Liberal, public union-run governance coming out of Sacramento, with a new tax and regulation every time you turn around. As the Eagles song has said to me since the late 1970’s “Life in the fast lane, slowly makes you lose your mind.”

    I live in Tucson Arizona precisely because I was done with 52 years of living with hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes, and Earthquake threat and the power outages that comes with them. But I never lived anywhere with a wild fire threat that could also level a community and take many lives. All that kind of fighting is okay when you are young, but past middle age (>55), it is tiresome.

    Nothing weather or natural disaster (like earthquakes, tsunamis) unexpected happens here in Tucson. Sure there are wildland forest fires in the various high mountain ranges around here. But unless you choose to live in one of those small distant Arizona mountain communities (and by small, I mean like a < 1000 people.) nothing but hot summers, and a big pool, and AC awaits. And today, was absolutely gorgeous.

    And I'll take a 110 deg F with 15% RH Tucson summer day over a Houston or Florida 92 F with 95% RH day every time. About 2 times a weeks so my dogs can run through the forest in the summers, I make the 50 minute (garage to mountain top parking lot) drive up to 9,000 feet to escape the heat and get to the cool mountain air and forests around Tucson.

    Life is about choices. There is always a choice. Even if you don't see it.

    • OCO-2 doesn’t take “pictures” or images in the sense of a large surface area camera-like image with a high pixel CCD. The LandSat images and the GOES 15/17* images in various spectral bands are what you want if you want a near-real time picture of the smoke plume over a large area, which will have a high level of [CO2] relative to ambient.
      (* GOES-17 images are limited by a cooling failure of its imager)

      OCO-2 requires about 16 days with its 90 minute polar orbit to complete a single global coverage data set using its 3 spectrophotometers to measure absorption at 1610 nm (weak CO2 band), 2060 nm (strong CO2 band), and 0.765 nm (O2) as the ground passes beneath it. The O2 absorption reading is the reference (after calibration) for the other two CO2 read-outs. Extensive computer processing turns the level 1 (raw data) into customer-usable Level 2 data that a knowledgeable person can download free and create CO2 maps with GIS software. Since the time resolution (time between frames) is 16 days, the OCO-2 data team includes two complete global coverage to increases the density between ground tracks and each “validates” the other reading. This 2 point data produces a temporal average CO2 read-out from the top of the atmosphere down to the surface for the period.

      In July 2017, there were a number of forest fires burning in the SW US, specifically Arizona.
      https://wildfiretoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SE_AZ_fires_7-2-2017.jpg

      Now compare that ground-truth knowledge with the OCO-2 product from that month (July 2017) here:
      https://ocov2.jpl.nasa.gov/galleries/gallerydataproducts/index.cfm#images-1
      The red dots (higher CO2) are the extent of the OCO-2 CO2 resolution that extend across eastern Arizona and New Mexico, as the winds in July in are generally west winds.

      NASA / JPL OCO-2 data team makes all of its currently processed data available here:
      https://ocov2.jpl.nasa.gov/galleries/gallerydataproducts/index.cfm

  36. I was in Canberra in 2003, when four died. Remember, Canberra is the capital of Australia. People aren’t meant to die from bushfires here. The cause, I suspect was the same as for Paradise: very high temperatures, very high winds and very low humidity. And the biggest in Canberra (others can provide information for Paradise if they have it) – very high fuel load because of a consistent failure by environmental groups to allow basic fuel management activities (aka regular burn-offs).

    You have my deepest sympathies.

  37. Question, it was called a “Camp Fire, “was that how it started. Does that area have any fire roads for dealing with such blazes, and were any back burnings carried out in the cool and damp times.

    MJE

    • The Camp fire is named from Camp Creek Road. Although it sounds like the fire started from an out of control camp fire, the name is misleading.
      The cause of the Camp fire is still under investigation.
      Link

  38. Anthony, thanks for the update…we were all very concerned about you.

    You have your priorities right…we’ll look forward to your return when things settle down. Our thoughts are with you all as you come to grips with this terrible event.

  39. Just donated $30. Please share some of it with your employees/family/friends in need after this terrible disaster. Best wishes to all of you.

  40. I am so heartbroken to hear of all the death and suffering from this devastating fire, now esp. for your employees and friends, Anthony. I pray for you and all the victims of this sickening fire. Yes, pray. Go ahead … mock me for sending words and thoughts to my “sky daddy”. Your mockery doesn’t change a thing, but prayer does.

    At the same time I am angry beyond words that this state is being consumed in flames. And while California burns … our Gov. Nero fiddles about and sings of global warming. It’s almost as if these fires are stage craft for his pathetic performance. We’ve discussed the causes and remedies here before … but I am 4th generation Californian and in my own 63 years I’ve never seen anything like the incessant conflagrations and devastation as in the past several years. It doesn’t “feel” right to me. Something is just “off” about the conditions and coincidence that there seem to be fires just happening to ignite at the same time extremely high winds begin blowing. How is it possible that PG&E lines are now causing fires that weren’t doing so any other time in my 63 years (in any significant way)? There is something REALLY WRONG going on in this State … my home State.

    The worst of it (for me) is that the fire just swept through one of my old fishing spots on the west branch of the Feather River where it hits lake Oroville. Very steep, nearly inaccessible canyons. Burned beyond recognition. Global Warming my ass. I am sad … and Angry!

  41. You are a champion Anthony caring for others while you are in danger. I live in a country beset by wildfires too and keeping everyone informed. God bless. Douglas .

  42. So sorry to hear of (and see the horrific video captured) of the Paradise devastation and its surroundings. I hadnt realized at the time that Chico was in the vicinity until a day and more had gone by. You are an admirable man of action Anthony and compassion for your fellow human beings. Hearing about looting tells you that unfeeling jackals are never far away from an opportunity to profit from grief suffered by good people.

    With all that you do for humankind around the world for which there are many more brick bats than bouqets and your jumping into this fray to help your community, God Bless.

    Kip Hansen above suggests a crowdfunding approach to help the community. With all the world outpouring of concern it should be a successful vehicle. Even if one has insurance there is huge additional costs. I’ll be hitting the tip jar and will also donate to a l
    charity you suggest or a crowdfund account.

    Right now, its about -8C here at night in eastern Ontario if Jerry Brown would like to investigate some variability.

    Take care, Anthony.

  43. Anthony–I have admired your dedication for a lot of years now.

    I see that just a few minutes ago, Purpleair reported an AQI of 690 or so in Chico. Not as high as the 995 you reported, but the timing shows some heavy smoke still coming your way. The actual PM2.5 was something like 780 ug/m3 as I recall. PM2.5 outside my house is normally on the order of 5 or 6 ug/m3 and 2 or 3 indoors. However, here in Santa Rosa in the last two days it has been typically 200 ug/m3 outdoors and 75 or so indoors.

    https://www.purpleair.com/map#11.13/39.7817/-121.9787/-3.4

  44. The map below shows that the so-called “Stratospheric intrusions” is a real phenomenon, which occurs in autumn-winter period, especially during La Niña.
    https://files.tinypic.pl/i/00974/021ghj9yhz1o.png
    In satellite imagery, Stratospheric Intrusions are identified by very low moisture levels in the water vapor channels (6.2, 6.5, and 6.9 micron). Along with the dry air, Stratospheric Intrusions bring high amounts of ozone into the tropospheric column and possibly near the surface. This may be harmful to some people with breathing impairments. Stratospheric Intrusions are more common in the winter/spring months and are more frequent during La Nina periods. Frequent or sustained occurances of Stratospheric Intrusions may decrease the air quality enough to exceed EPA guidelines.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_int/

  45. May the Lord keep & protect you & yours, Anthony, keep safe & well. My good wishes to all those affected by this ghastly event! AtB

  46. Keep up the good work.

    You could not pick a better helper than Charles, saved my bacon more than once.

    995 pm25, dang thats like beijing air

  47. As a volunteer firefighter on Black Saturday these images have brought back terrifying memories and fear that arises every time the pager sounds through summer.
    Best wishes and prayers are with you Anthony

  48. Stay safe Anthony, and of course for all those exposed to this threat. Fire is frightening, especially when it is driven by high winds.

  49. Pre burn: OFTEN. Much better to burn deliberately on a cool calm day. Every square centimetre of Planet Earth has been on fire several times, plan ahead firebreak the entire town. Manage fire don’t let it surprise you.

  50. The best people are those who balance reason and compassion.
    You are among the best.
    Thank you for the update.
    You and yours, as well as all impacted by this terrible fire, are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Stay safe.

  51. I have waited for a chance to donate. I like the fact that it will help Anthony and his people— never know how major charities distribute the money. You folks have helped my sanity since inception. I hope many more will provide assistance. God Bless.

  52. Thanks for the update, Anthony. Many of us wondered and worried about you and our other CA family and friends.

  53. What is going on is horrifying and I can only echo the best wishes for you and your community so eloquently made by your many supporters on this website. Take care, we will be here when you feel you are able to get back. All best wishes.

  54. Take care of yourself and those who are close to you, it’s good that you can give fact based information not just at WUWT but also for your local community it’s sad when so many are running about screaming and not helping the situation.

    “Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.
    In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.”
    Psalm 86:6-7

    God Bless
    James Bull

  55. Thank you Anthony. You are a distillation of those qualities that would make the most ardent cynic sit back and smile…there is fundamental good in the world. One of my previous “careers” was as an accident investigator. I also have read hundreds of accident reports, survival stories, etc. In over 40 years of investigating and reading, I note that there is a very common quality to those who survive, those who help, those who are remembered for lifetimes after horrendous events. Those people see what is actually around them. Their world is not defined by what they internally conceive (relatively unchallenged by reality) or imagine, but by a steely determination and ability to see, decide and act based on their best assessment of what is really there. Since this is not how most humans behave, they seem to perform miracles, from the perspective of those that can’t, won’t or don’t see what is really happening. Ultimately they subjugate their egos to the harsh and uncaring world around them and do what needs to be done. Most of us, at some time, likely owe our lives, our lively hood, our well being ,to those people.

    Thank you for being one of them.

    Ethan Brand

  56. Thanks, for the update, Anthony. I had noticed the lack of postings and was quite worried about what it might mean. The scope and speed of this fire is hard to absorb. Best wishes to you and all the good folks in the area.

  57. Damned glad to hear you and so many others are alive, one helluva mess to be caught in. Will be hitting the tipjar and donating to Mr Hansen’s effort. Posting this to FB immediately.

  58. Anthony – My prayers and best wishes to you and your employees and all respective families. The loss of “things” is a tremendous blow, but so thankful you all are safe. I can’t imagine the pain/sadness for the loss of those who were unable to make it out of Paradise and surrounding areas.

    Keep up the good fight!

    – Gordon

    • Probably just have to wait for an answer.

      If there still are hot -spots, can’t walk or drive over large hot-spots. If tree roots catch on fire, their roots can burn for several days.

      Best to stay safe in this situation!

    • A dry forest with dense undergrowth in many areas without controlled burns to protected heavily populated areas.

      The 3-way product of 1) the 2016 El Nino producing a 2016-2017 rainy season rain driven growth (remember the nearby Oroville Dam overtopped its emergency spillway on 11-12 February 2017) and 2) a predictable drying out from Fall 2017 into 2018 of that new growth, and 3) a lack of forest management by state and local fire management agencies (bureacratic cowardice) to reduce risk to populated areas with controlled burns.

      Bureaucratic cowardice occurs because controlled burns sometimes become uncontrolled, thus it is safer for politicians and bureaucrats to do nothing and then use Climate Change as their “The Dog Ate my Homework” excuse.

  59. California’s fires occur frequently and for a rich state I’m surprised by it’s unpreparedness to deal with these terrible events.
    I hear governor is already blaming global warming, instead of spending money on useless projects he shoud consider having effective prevention by having one Galaxy C5 (useful load around 100 metric tonnes) located at LA and another at SF airports loaded with fire retardant on standby 24/7/7, ready to go into action at a report of even minor fire outburst.

  60. Thank you, Anthony, for the update.

    My thoughts are with you and others affected by the wild fire.

    https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article221448500.html
    Cal Fire has listed Pulga Road as the Camp Fire starting point.

    Cal Fire officials have not disclosed a cause for the Camp Fire, which by Saturday night had consumed more than 105,000 acres, destroyed more than 6,700 buildings and caused a reported 23 deaths.

    However, PG&E submitted a report Thursday to the California Public Utilities Commission about an outage at a 115-kilovolt line on Pulga Road in Butte County at 6:15 a.m. that day, and noted that the site was near the Camp Fire.PG&E officials declined to comment. However, in a public statement, PG&E wrote that customer safety is its No. 1 issue and that the fire’s cause remains undetermined.

    “The cause of the Camp Fire has not yet been determined. PG&E has provided an initial electric incident report to the (PUC). The information provided in this report is preliminary and PG&E will fully cooperate with any investigations.”

    The utility had initially indicated earlier in the week that it might preemptively cut off electricity to parts of several Northern California counties, including Butte, as a safety measure because of fire danger. But company officials said they decided not to, saying weather conditions did not warrant it.

    The utility company has been criticized in the past year by residents and state officials after a bevy of wildfires tied to downed power lines swept through the state in October 2017.

    Investigative reports in May and June from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection linked PG&E to 16 fires in 2017 that killed 18 people and destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings.

    The PG&E service area covers much of Northern and Central California, and includes 18,000 miles of power lines. It will spend up to $70 million this year to clear vegetation near those lines, a spokesman said in an email.

  61. You have my best wishes in this horrible situation.

    I sincerely hope that these fires will be brought under control soon and the loss of life and damaged stopped.

    Our thoughts are with you and we all understand that WUWT is not your priority at the moment.

  62. I’ve lived in a war zone, helped those around rebuild. My daughter works in Ft Mac… a Canadian community where 80,000 evacuated in through the flames of a fire a couple years ago.

    May you and those with you continue to find heart and courage to move forward one step and one breath at a time.

    In my experience, the more mercy you give in times like yours, the more you find.

    As others noted, we are with you and will be here when you get back.

    Special thanks to Charles for stepping up.

  63. For the moment life goes on. Good luck rebuilding what was destroyed. Hopefully a lesson can be learned so this will not happen again.

  64. Best wishes Anthony and your employees. The thought of the speed with which it can go from nothing to devastation is frightening (as is the thought that some people start them deliberately on occasion). I hope all are well and get through this.

    The dedication of the Paradise police reminds me a bit of the Air Force Hurricane Hunter crew flying missions into Ivan in 2004 from Biloxi, Mississippi, as it was just about to wipe out their homes and threaten their families. The police often get criticised and even looked down on by some, but the reason they do what they do is because they care about their neighbours and neighbourhood. Serve and protect, indeed.

  65. Something tangential to the Apple ads thing that you/Charles may be able to answer: Would you receive a material amount of $ if we all clicked on the genuine adverts that appear on each page? I might not have any $ to spare, but if I can help this way I’m more than happy to do so at every opportunity.

  66. Beginning to have problems feeling sorry for Socals plight. They mired San Onofre in red tape and got it shuttered, loosing a significant amount of local capacity that had to be made up with shunting in power from elsewhere… and it is beginning to look like those high tension lines may be at fault for the Malibu fires…

  67. Sometimes the best, and only thing, someone can do for another is to let them know they’re in their thoughts.

    You are in my thoughts. Best wishes.

  68. WUWT is a treasure of democracy and free expression in a world that more and more stifles any form of dissent. I offer my condolences for all the losses and my prayer that there are no more. Best wishes.

  69. I thought blaming Trump for everything had temporarily replaced man made up global warming .
    Never the less Santa Anna winds are fierce when combined with un harvested kindling .
    Why is anyone surprised when we encroach more and more wilderness that there are devastating consequences .
    Sincere condolences to the families effected .

  70. I’m sorry to hear about the devastation in California, Anthony. I wish you courage at this difficult time.

  71. I would like to contribute to the tip jar but I live in the UK and don’t do Pay Pal etc. I just do plain simple cheques to a UK bank account. Any suggestions?

  72. Hi Anthony.

    Thank you for all the good work you do.
    This site is invaluable.
    I with you strength is this though situation and am looking forward to seeing you back here again.

    Robin Kool

  73. Best wishes, Anthony. It takes a certain toughness to withstand California. You have what I lack. I could only take 18 months (1982-84) but will admit I learned a lot living there.

  74. Thank you so much for this update, Anthony. It really paints a compelling picture of the human impact caused by this awful fire.

  75. LOOK > Look at Google Maps Satellite view of Paradice Ca in its former happy unburned state and You will see basically low rolling hills spread out mixed forest that just happens to have a lot of homes and businesses set down right in the middle of it ! ! !

    They have been living on borrowed time for possibly decades, the green belt descends right into town and carries through town, the town is clogged with forest interface-growth.

    I bet You could string up a continuous heavy duty zip line from the north of town to the south border and another one from east to west right through Paradice and connect it to a constant series of living reasonably mature Conifer’s with no need to install man-made steel poles to support it, that my friends is a recipe for, well for what just happened

    I lived in a high mountain so Cal town and could see we too were on borrowed time due to the predictable Santa Anna winds and being surrounded by a forest interface the went right up and right “into” town, well 90+ year later in 2003 it finally happened half the town burned down.

    Sure life is one big gamble and set of balancing stats, balancing ups and downsides but life in the western united states is changing, changing for the worse the stats are now against You loving out Your life in some community “Paradice’

    If You want to live in high wind , big forest with heavy spread out lower growth then You are pulling in a slot machine handle

  76. Tony, glad to hear that you are alright and your family is safe. I was wondering if you were caught up in any of the forest fires near Chico? Don’t you miss the changing of seasons,the rolling green hills of summer, and the snow of winter? Oh by the way, today 11/15/18, we just had our first ice storm here in the Ohio River valley. Not knowing your home address, I googled your name and found your blog. Drop a line when you can. John

  77. Meanwhile, your governor just committed another $30M+ for illegal immigrants, rather than aid to the communities ravaged by the fire. Sickening…

    Stay safe, man…

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