Home | About | Donate

California Wildfires Rage in Shadow of Warming Planet


California Wildfires Rage in Shadow of Warming Planet

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

California Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday declared a state of emergency in two counties over some of the fastest-burning wildfires in decades which have overtaken several communities in California's northern Valley and Butte areas, forcing thousands to flee and killing at least one person over the weekend.

This year's fire season in the West has been particularly bad—and has potential to be the region's longest and most devastating—after an ongoing historic four-year drought has left the state inundated with dry brush and high temperatures.


That is a superb photo of a forest fire. It shows people just how incredibly dangerous and awesome a forest fire can be. People should look at the fire line and ask themselves just how would they stop this thing? That is what firefighters have to do. Severe conditions can make fires outrun a man so that they can jump ahead and come back around behind you or encircle you. Armed with a shovel and chainsaws (to cut firebreaks) there are no fire engines to bring to bear on a forest fire. Aerial drops of water and fire retardant are all there is on that score.

Imagine yourself looking at that fire in the photo and trying to put that out.

God bless and keep the firefighters one and all.


First came the Bark Beetle, which weakened the forests, then the lack of rain/snow and bingo, giant fires that no one can really fight, a little by air but there aren't enough tankers. From CA to AK that beetle has done great damage. The last I heard AK had some 300 fires going at one time. Even rain forests in the north western states are on fire. Without the protection that these forests bring GW/CC will only speed up more. A real scary part of a very negative feed-back loop.


Can you interpret the photo? It seems poorly composed in that I cannot even figure ground from sky in it.


Mountains in back. What you are seeing are called hot spots and persistent fires, mostly trees and trunks, whole stumps glowing as if a single cinder. Small area fires like of downed trees and groves. Embers when lightly buried will continue to smolder and can re-erupt into fire days later. A cinder stump may be a hot spot and underneath the blackened charcoal stump may be intensely hot coals which firefighters have to dig out/put out lest they reignite the fire.

Look to the upper left and you'll see the hot points of fire (likely trees) as they run up along the ridge line. What you see is mountainous terrain at the top of the photo... it gives you a clear picture of the three dimensional front of the fire. In the day time those fires (behind the fire line down below) would be obscured by smoke. You wouldn't see all the hot spots and myriad fires that you do at night.

Below (from what I see on my laptop) you see how fires do not burn in uniform ways. Winds and terrain change the course of fires and leave large areas intact that never burn. It appears that way to me but the photo is at night so I can't tell about the lowland terrain.


Looks like Middletown (pop. 1,300) had been pretty much wiped out. All the people were evacuated. The fire was moving so fast, that the fire fighters decided to move people in the area out, rather than fight the fire. Some were moved as far away as Calistoga, fifty miles south.Today,they begin to fight the fire, which is out of control. They've got 1,000 fire fighters on the job, backed by air tankers and helicopters. The wind has dropped,and declining temperatures and cloud cover are predicted for this week. Eventually they will prevail. There was another fire in the area about three weeks ago-even larger-but in a less populated area, and there was no loss of life and minor property damage.


There are also huge fires in Siberia and Canada is also having a devastating fire season. An excellent post about a "...very negative feed-back loop'' in action.


Hi Wereflea,
* I went back and took another look at the photo. The resolution is not too good, but I think that part in the middle is a pretty well burned out town. That string of fires on the nearer hillside to the lower left is a row of houses, I think.
* I spent over twenty-five years in the fire service and got my nose rubbed in several big forest fires during that period. You cannot imagine fighting one of those things unless you've actually had to do so.
* Makes me glad I'm retired and probably too old to be accepted as a volunteer. My heart and prayers go out to those guys,(and nowadays, gals). Watch your back and move fast when necessary.!


I did fight forest fires in my youth in Washington state. Was commended for an incident too but that was before the dawn of recorded history when dinosaurs still walked the Earth. Outstanding brother and thank you for your many years in the service.

Yeah make sure it doesn't encircle the hill and cut off your way out. We had a National Guardsman driving those huge trucks barreling down the fire road (a scratch made by a bulldozer and not much of a road) cursing and moaning about how he didn't want to get trapped up on that damn mountain just to get us guys who should have left when everybody else was evac'ed out a couple of days before. I swear I was more afraid that he would pitch us over the side going down that road than I was of anything else. Trust me it was a helluva ride. Lol!!!

God bless the firefighters one and all.


What is never mentioned is the loss of wildlife and their habitat...guess that is something best left unsaid when it comes to being newsworthy. Only see blurbs about domestic animals left behind by those evacuating/fleeing the fires.

Prayers go out to the brave firefighters!!!


It's essential that people understand that there is more than drought affecting the unprecedented number and behavior of these fires - climate engineering/geoengineering has greatly contributed via aerosols containing nano particulate metals (aluminum, barium, strontium...sprayed in our skies) that act as desiccants and fire accelerants. These end up in the soil, and are pulled up into the trees and vegetation via their roots. These toxins also saturate the atmosphere making it more conductive and prone to lightning (ignition), and decimate the ozone layer allowing mush higher UVB in to ground level (accelerating tree decline/death, and adding to the fuel load). Please investigate this - geoengineeringwatch (dot) org


I still cant make sense of the picture - what is the thing that looks like a sheet of fire seemingly floating in the air over the ground - like swash on a beach?

The photo needs some foreground objects or features. It still looks like an astronomers photo of a gas nebula to me.


In the upper left third you can see a diagonal line which is a mountain ridge. There is too much smoke on the right side for it to be clear. Look at just the upper left side third.


It is just horrible. I'm 57. I returned to school at a local community college (Winston Salem, NC). The newer generation around me at the school seems to be unaware and/or unconcerned about the many critical issues facing the world --and this country-- today.

Okay... so, 7 years into the future another round of fires has begun in the north except this time the Arctic Ocean has now warmed up a few degrees centigrade. A gigantic cloud of methane bubbles out of that ocean and is being fed even more by melted permafrost south of the ocean. Climate change has, as in recent years, caused winds to blow south out of the Arctic and thereby stretching the gigantic methane cloud south over the permafrost and eventually right into a massive forest fire. The fire ignites the methane cloud. The sky lights up with an horrendous fire like the world has never seen since it was first formed. The fire is of such magnitude that it sucks up half the world's oxygen in a matter of hours and burns such a gaping hole through the layers of atmosphere that it spews air right through into space at an incredible rate. Having been worried about pollution and starvation with some new efforts towards solutions, the human race suffocates to death.

I wonder if something like that is possible.


Your experience took me back to right after I got out of the service. I went to Brookings OR to help my Dad build his home. Big fire roaring out of the hills toward Brookings, call for volunteers, so of course I went. We had a Cat, a crew and some fallers and we cut a break up the mountain, which the fire promptly jumped. We and the cat made it out to the fire road and went down another mile or so and started cutting another. It was windy and dry and the snags kept burning and firing brands out with the wind. The fallers worked their butts off going back, sometimes into the fire itself to drop a snag. One or two of us with back pumps would go in with the faller. We'd squirt him a few times, then each other then him as he dropped the snag.
* Could make quite a yarn out of this, but the next line we cut, the Cat threw a tread and we all bailed out as fast as we could run. The Cat was toast.
* Suffice it to say, we did stop it at the outlying houses of Brookings. Warm work!
* About the time we got it totally under control, there was a big fire at Lost Creek!
* Volunteer call and away we went, but that's another story. I was a pooped pup after over 96 hours on the lines. I guess that's the difference between 21 and 78. :wink:


I hear that ya old coot! I was 20 and I'm... I'm... um? I'm not 20 now...lol. I'd make some joke about being a kid at the tender young age of 65 compared to you except that I am a decrepit old codger and need a memo list to remember all the things that are wrong with me...lol.

Glad I did what I did when I was young because there is no way to do that stuff when you are older.

These fires are real bad. Olympic is burning... geez is that a bad sign. Our West Coast Marine Rain Forest is burning. People don't realize that Olympic should get over a 100 inches of rain a year. I've seen many places that are gone, I hope Olympic will remain. I loved that place.


I dunno, a couple of years ago when they started talking about the methane out-gassing in Siberia, I wrote that, "Someday, some Russian scientist up there will light his cigar and FOOMPH! the whole Northern Hemisphere will disappear." :wink:


Yeah, I've been writing wake up calls on that subject for quite a few years. The response is mostly from trolls who tell me to get an aluminium hat. There are a lot of links out there who are documenting the Chemtrails and their effects..
* We watch those chemtrails over Western Washington. Nice clear beautiful day, then the tic-tac-toe game in the sky begins and pretty soon the Chemtrails spread and join and we are in an overcast. Sunsets on a chemtrail day are rather colorful. Sort of like watching sunset through a forest fire or a volcano.
* We watched three of those big airliners flying in formation one afternoon, each of them exuding several trails. The trail was almost opaque and spread out to probably a quarter of a mile in a very short time. It became a huge swath in the sky. I guess there have been enough complaints that, now, they break the trails up. They put a trail for a mile or three, then break it for a few miles then do it again. With a good set of binoculars you can keep an eye on the planes. They will curve off, then come back laying another pattern at a different angle. After an hour or so, as it spreads, it looks like clouds.
* That crap is linked to a lot of diseases, like the autism plague that is growing in children. COPD and cancers. Alzheimer and other brain diseases.
* What it is doing to us is being done to the wildlife as well. Between that and Fukushima, we're probably fuked.


You seem to be confusing structural fires (buildings) with wild fires. Wildland fires don't get "put out", forward progress is stopped, it gets contained at the outside edge, then it burns itself out.


Hot spots get put out.

I nitpick over words therefore I am a progressive? - Rene Descartes annoying roommate who thought he was a leftie.