California is Burning

Katheryne Helendale

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Less than 72 hours since it started, the Creek Fire in the mountain areas of Fresno and Madera Counties has exploded in size once again to 78,790 acres, and is still burning completely out of control. Tens of thousands of residents around Big Creek, Auberry, North Fork, Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, and Bass Lake have been ordered to evacuate. Smokey conditions have hampered aerial firefighting efforts. Television station KFSN-30's transmitter site is also being threatened, which could take the station off the air. Winds have been relatively calm, but are expected to pick up within the next day or so. There has been a loss of structures in the area, but assessing the damage so far has been impossible. As many as 5,300 structures are being threatened. There is no containment of the fire at this time. Down in the Central Valley, smoke remains heavy, and air quality is in the "Unhealthy for All" range.

The CZU Lightning Complex Fire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Santa Cruz has been held to 86,509 acres while containment has increased to 76 percent. There has been one confirmed death and one injury as a result of this fire.

All told, wildfires in California this season so far have burned nearly two million acres of land - that's about 3,125 square miles. And there's still a few months of this fire season left.
 
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Jopsy Pendragon

That's it. F*CK 2020 with a rusty screwdriver.
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that canyon was semi-wild, with all sorts of wildlife (including, unfortunately, a madly squawking flock of escaped/released parrots

...

The plant life there has already adapted with deep root systems and other strategies.
I love the parrots! They're still around and their numbers have grown. Gods are they LOUD compared to all the other birds in the area. :)

And definitely right about the plants. San Diego's El Nina / El Nino cycles are (compared to our boring mild weather) pretty dramatic. Every 4-6 years our normal drizzly winter turns into a heavy monsoon deluge that has people scrambling with sandbags to keep the water out. The ecology is basically tuned for 'feast and famine' bloom & burn cycles.

Fortunately we're spared thunderstorms down here, so we don't have to worry as much about them starting blazes. We can seriously go 2 sometimes 3 years nothing more noticible than a tiny bit of distant rumbling way way up in the sky. The last time I saw anything like a groundstrike had to be more than 7 years ago.

San Diego really has two seasons: Cool(ish)/damp spring (december - july) and hot dry summer (august-november). And thanks to climate change, it's now "Hot Humid Summer". ugh.
 
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Katheryne Helendale

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This is the current air quality index in Roseville, a city east of Sacramento nestled in the Sierra foothills.


Thankfully, the air quality where I am isn't anywhere near that bad. It's currently at the upper end of the "Unhealthy for Sensitive" range (AQI 141). We're just south of where all the smoke is.

Edit: Just checked again, and we're now at 163, in the Unhealthy for Everyone range. Blegh.
 
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Jopsy Pendragon

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Air quality reports are 'good' to 'fair' down here... but man... the last two days have been very 'sunset'-gold like. It's like someone installed windlight into reality, cranked the gamma down and ambient light up to the point where, even in direct sunlight, shadows are kind of a joke.

 

Katheryne Helendale

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The news continues to be grim regarding the Creek Fire burning in the Shaver Lake area of Fresno and Madera Counties. The fire continues to rage completely out of control, and has more than doubled in size since yesterday - now at 162,833 acres. Evacuation orders continue to go out, particularly to communities to the south and west of the incident area, with communities as far south as Prather and Auberry receiving evacuation warnings. It is still too unsafe for inspectors to go in and assess fire damage, but it's been reported that "at least 365" residential and commercial structures have burned, and another 5,000 or more are threatened. The fire is also steadily approaching a site near Meadow Lakes where numerous radio and television transmission towers serving the Fresno area are located. Airborne firefighting efforts have been completely shut down by the smoke. Containment of the fire is not expected until at least October 15th. Around the floor of the San Joaquin Valley, the cumulative effect of this fire and others burning in the mountains surrounding the valley has been very detrimental to the air quality, with Air Quality Indices (AQI) at most reporting stations ranging from "Very Unhealthy" to "Hazardous", with several reporting stations reported as completely "off the chart", maxing out the AQI.
 

Beebo Brink

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In many of the accounts I've been reading of the rescue of hikers and campers from various locations where they were trapped by fire, there's reference to "two hikers refused rescue." wtf? Anyone know why they would refuse to be lifted out of a fire area and what happened to them afterwards?
 
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Katheryne Helendale

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Growth of the Creek Fire burning in eastern Fresno, Madera, and now Mariposa Counties has slowed significantly, only increasing by 4,132 acres, growing to 166,965 acres. This is likely due to several factors, including lowered temperatures, increased humidity, and a thinning of the smoke layer which allowed for an aggressive aerial assault on the fire with every tanker aircraft the fire service could get their hands on. Still, there is no containment at this time. More than 365 structures have burned, including Shaver Lake's iconic Cressman's General Store. An exact count of fire destruction is still not available. Approximately 45,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. An area of low pressure over the region that helped thin the smoke layer over the fire scene also helped clear out some of the smoke from the valley, allowing Air Quality Indices to fall into the red, or "Unhealthful for All" range valley-wide. Last night, most reporting stations were reporting hazardous air quality.
 
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Katheryne Helendale

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In less than a week, the Creek Fire in the central Sierras has become the second worst fire to ever hit the Sierras - and burned a place in California's all-time top 20. The fire has grown to 175,893 acres. However, mild weather allowed firefighters to be able to make - and hold - lines of containment, achieving 6 percent containment today, despite a heavy smoke layer grounding air attack crews again. More than 14,000 structures remain threatened, along with the television and radio towers located in Meadow Lakes. Approximately 45,000 Fresno and Madera County residents have been evacuated, with residents in the Mariposa County communities of Wawona and Fish Camp under evacuation warnings. Down in the Central Valley, high pressure reasserted itself, trapping smoke overhead. High temperatures originally forecast to be in the mid- to upper-90's today struggled to get into the mid-80's. Air quality was in the Unhealthy for All range throughout the Valley, with forecasts for tomorrow in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range, a moderate improvement.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Blade Runner 2049 is now!

Same as video above, but on Youtube with comments worth reading:

Best comment so far: Welcome to the new normal. 2020 is just the teaser trailer to the main event. We knew these events would happen, yet we did nothing to even try and stop them.
 
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Kamilah Hauptmann

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Overdramatic journalist born yesterday, news at 11:

 

Katheryne Helendale

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The Creek Fire burning in the mountains of eastern Fresno and Madera Counties has now charred 196,667 acres as of last night, though firefighters were able to hold containment lines established so far. Containment remains at 6 percent. An estimated 377 structures have beed damaged or burned, though that number will likely rise significantly as assessors are able to get into burn areas. More than 14,000 structures remain threatened. ABC affiliate KFSN-30, NBC affiliate KSEE-24, CBS affiliate KGPE-47, MyNetwork affiliate KAIL-7, and a handful of radio stations have gone off the air as fire disrupted power to the transmission towers in Meadow Lakes. Around 45,000 people remain evacuated, and officials state that it may be weeks before people are allowed to return to their homes.
 
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