#51  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:33 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
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Originally Posted by JackieLikesVariety View Post
that's really low
It's disgusting but it seems to be common; looters were pretending to be cops to trick people out of their homes during & after the recent hurricanes as well.
  #52  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:14 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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It's disgusting but it seems to be common; looters were pretending to be cops to trick people out of their homes during & after the recent hurricanes as well.
Wait till the "fake" contractors come in after the dust settles. They'll get you to put a deposit down and then skip town. There is going to be a huge demand for construction to rebuild, and a shortage of legit contractors.

I hope you're staying safe, DT. Keep us updated on things around where you live.

I'm quite a ways south of all the fires, but it reminded me of Blade Runner yesterday (without the rain). I can hardly imagine how bad the air must be north of SF.

Last edited by John Mace; 10-12-2017 at 09:15 AM.
  #53  
Old 10-12-2017, 10:18 AM
snowthx snowthx is offline
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I'm quite a ways south of all the fires, but it reminded me of Blade Runner yesterday (without the rain). I can hardly imagine how bad the air must be north of SF.
I was in Walnut Creek yesterday for a meeting, and the air was like a smokey fume.

Here you can see a map of the air quality for the Bay Area (you can also enter your zip code for elsewhere). The area around Fairfield was in the "Hazardous" category yesterday.

I appreciate all the updates from local Dopers (esp Jumpbass) - please be safe and take care.
  #54  
Old 10-12-2017, 11:22 AM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
Here you can see a map of the air quality for the Bay Area (you can also enter your zip code for elsewhere). The area around Fairfield was in the "Hazardous" category yesterday.
.
Right now (Thursday 8:00 a.m. PDT) the map shows the air quality being worse in the central Bay Area than in the fire areas. For instance, the Air Quality Index for most of San Francisco and much of Oakland is in the Unhealthy range, while Santa Rosa itself is shown in the Moderate range. I find this hard to believe.

Here is the five-day forecast from Spare the Air. Today's forecast predicts the North Bay (including the fire areas) as Very Unhealthy, while the rest of the Bay Area is shown as Unhealthy. This seems more reasonable.

On the other hand, for yesterday it shows the air quality in the Eastern District (which includes Walnut Creek) as better than in the Coast and Central Bay (which includes El Cerrito, where I live). I was also in Walnut Creek yesterday morning, and my eyes (and nose) told me the smoke was much worse there than at home. I suspect the reporting zones are large enough that, in conditions like we have now, the average for a whole zone doesn't tell much about the air quality at any one point.
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  #55  
Old 10-12-2017, 12:21 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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Here's another site with more localized data about air quality. Unfortunately, the only place in Sonoma County that it shows is Sebastopol. It surprised me that Sebastopol now has better air quality than most of the Bay Area, even though it's only about 8 miles from Santa Rosa as the crow flies.
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  #56  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:28 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Sorry as I am that the air quality is so bad elsewhere, today here in Napa the sun came up it's normal yellow color and the sky is blue. We're totally ready for a break and breathe normally for a bit.

Last night was a bit of a nightmare, though. I was at my gig feeling a bit guilty for leaving the house, but doing okay, when I get a text alert from the sheriff's office that my neighborhood is under an "advisory evacuation" notice. Ruined my night, it did. No reason given, just advice to get out if you have no good reason to stay. Certainly not mandatory.

So I beat it home and find out, hey, no big deal. I couldn't see any fires glowing on the ridge or visible flames. Well, WTF? Took a drive up the road to have a look and did see some flames on the ridge and more a little closer that ended up being a back fire the firefighters set. (I found that out on the local radio later) OK, then, cool. We stayed home for the night.

Ends up that they were worried that the wind may kick up again and blow the fire at us. THAT was why the timing seemed odd. It looked a hell of a lot more dire on Monday and Tuesday. Nobody really emphasized that, just said get out if you can. Panicked a LOT of folks including me.

(By the way, a big fuck you to the drama queens and sowers of discord on the social media and calling in to the radio. We don't need that.)

At any rate, we're not out of the woods yet, but our situation isn't anywhere near as bad as in other areas. (Take care, you guys.) The community is kicking ass taking care of each other and all the animals that have had to be moved.

Let me see if this link works. It's to a FaceBook post I made this morning for my non-Napa friends to give them an idea of what I'm dealing with. The photos are of my part of town. There are fire maps, too, with arrows pointing to about where I live.
  #57  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:40 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Quote:
Right now (Thursday 8:00 a.m. PDT) the map shows the air quality being worse in the central Bay Area than in the fire areas. For instance, the Air Quality Index for most of San Francisco and much of Oakland is in the Unhealthy range, while Santa Rosa itself is shown in the Moderate range. I find this hard to believe.
At least yesterday, the winds were blowing from north to south, so the smoke and particulates were blowing out of the fire area and into the Bay Area.
  #58  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:51 PM
eenerms eenerms is offline
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Carson City checking in. Air quality yesterday wasn’t great I the afternoon. Mornings clear, then the wind with. Pick up..we will get it.
  #59  
Old 10-12-2017, 06:57 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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The death toll continues to rise, sadly. Latest figure is 29.
  #60  
Old 10-12-2017, 07:46 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Finally called my lifelong friend in Santa Rosa. Had been calling his house phone for four days with no answer. Got his cell tonight. They're alive, the house is toast. They'll rebuild but his numismatic library is gone. One of the best in existence. Probably would take over $250,000 to replace and many works are almost non-extant except for a few copies.

Last edited by samclem; 10-12-2017 at 07:46 PM.
  #61  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:03 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is offline
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Jumpbass thank you for the updates. Your link isn't working for me, but I understand that Facebook is having issues.

samclem sorry to hear about your friend's losses.
  #62  
Old 10-13-2017, 03:05 PM
Folacin Folacin is offline
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Charles Schultz's house burned down. Some art work lost, but apparently most of it is in the museum in Santa Rosa, which so far is OK.
  #63  
Old 10-14-2017, 10:31 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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I'm over on the coast in Monterey area this weekend, and the air quality here doesn't seem to be any better than back home in the South Bay. What's different is the number of people here. Normally, this is the beginning of the slow season, but the area is inundated with "refugees" from up north as well as a lot of folks who would normally be visiting Napa. Restaurants and hotels are packed.
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:24 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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There has been talk of the Oakland Raiders moving their home game on Sunday due to the air quality, but it appears to be getting better. The Cal Bears played a home game last night.
  #65  
Old 10-14-2017, 04:49 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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The winds shifted in the central Bay Area today, and are coming from the south. The air here is much clearer than it has been since Monday morning.

In other news, the California PUC has ordered PG&E (the northern California power company for you non-locals) to preserve "all evidence with respect to the Northern California wildfires in Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties." There has been speculation that at least some of the fires were caused by downed power lines (from the high winds Sunday night) and exploding transformers. PG&E filed a statement with the SEC saying that their insurance might not cover the losses if they're found at fault, and their stock dropped by about 13%. The CPUC also ordered telecommunication companies to preserve evidence, but I don't know whether their stocks have taken any hit.
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  #66  
Old 10-14-2017, 06:29 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I was going to ask if anyone had any idea what was causing these fires, and I see that it could possibly be downed power lines.

This is just awful, on all levels. Seeing the Kmart burned to the ground illustrates just how ferocious these fires are.
  #67  
Old 10-14-2017, 07:05 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
The winds shifted in the central Bay Area today, and are coming from the south. The air here is much clearer than it has been since Monday morning.

In other news, the California PUC has ordered PG&E (the northern California power company for you non-locals) to preserve "all evidence with respect to the Northern California wildfires in Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties." There has been speculation that at least some of the fires were caused by downed power lines (from the high winds Sunday night) and exploding transformers. PG&E filed a statement with the SEC saying that their insurance might not cover the losses if they're found at fault, and their stock dropped by about 13%. The CPUC also ordered telecommunication companies to preserve evidence, but I don't know whether their stocks have taken any hit.
That's the first explanation that made any sense to me. I kept thinking: How did all these fires start at pretty much the same time?
  #68  
Old 10-14-2017, 10:30 PM
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The air of worry has lifted over Sonoma now that the wind gave us a break and bunches of water dropping helicopters have been at work all day. Air got pretty good this afternoon and driving back from Petaluma to the west this afternoon only a few hot spots were smoking on the hills east of town. Couple more days and I'm going to start to relax.
I kind of dread driving around after all this. I know a lot of my favorite roads and areas are going to be decimated and landmarks that were loved by the locals are gone forever. Some of the areas that were burnt I had ridden through on the way home from work on the bike only the week before. It's sobering as hell to realize that these idyllic scenes of grassy hills and gnarled oaks can turn into hell on earth in just a few minutes.
  #69  
Old 10-15-2017, 01:13 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Things are looking up here in Napa County. The fires are either getting contained or moving out of the area, but Sonoma and Solano counties still have a fight on their hands. The air was much better yesterday and I can feel the stress levels diminishing in myself and others.

We're still under an advisory evacuation (or is it evacuation advisory?) but we're unpacking anyway. The fires got through the winds last night without jumping lines, so we figure we're good. I do have to admit that there is that teeny tiny bit of worry in the back of my mind still. Probably good that it's there.

They're going to start letting people back into Calistoga. No homes or businesses were affected up there.

The fire has creeped over the hills to the west of Rutherford and Oakville in the middle of the valley. I have no idea how fast it's moving, but the prevailing winds are blowing back towards the burned areas.

I had an interesting moment at In N Out yesterday. I ordered a burger and while I was waiting for it, a guy came to the register to order 72 Double Doubles. I got concerned that it would delay my order, (I was late getting out of town for a wedding and was in a hurry) but then he said it was for three o'clock. The relief on the cashiers face was priceless.

I may not check in as frequently now that we seem to be doing so much better here. I'll let our Sonoma folks take over. Be safe over there, guys.
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:45 PM
JJOHNSON JJOHNSON is offline
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WOW!! It is hard to conceptualize conflagrations that are so immense in size and heat that the firefighters can't attack the blazes at all, only evacuate people. I hope that everyone gets out while its still possible and my condolences to those that didn't or couldn't. It is can be easy to replace material things but your own uniqueness can't be substituted.
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Old 10-15-2017, 02:31 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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I saw in a headline this morning that 217,566 acres have burned. That's equivalent in area to a circle with a radius of about 10.4 miles.

You can visualize this using this web page. First, enter 10.4 as the radius distance and hit enter. Then zoom in on the map and click on a point you're familiar with. You can then zoom out to see the whole circle.
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  #72  
Old 10-15-2017, 02:54 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Just a quick note that the Evacuation advisory has been lifted within the Napa city limits. That's me! Yay!
  #73  
Old 10-15-2017, 03:15 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Just a quick note that the Evacuation advisory has been lifted within the Napa city limits. That's me! Yay!
Nice to be hearing some good news! Rain is in the forecast later this week, but I don't think it's supposed to be much. Still, better than this super-dry weather we've been having. We are due for some rain, especially up north. We usually get one fairly decent rain event in Oct.
  #74  
Old 10-15-2017, 04:25 PM
N9IWP N9IWP is offline
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I had an Aunt and Uncle who lived in Santa Rosa (they died a few years ago) -- not sure if any my cousins are in the area.

Horrifying to see al the houses burnt to nothing

Brian
  #75  
Old 10-16-2017, 01:39 PM
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The heroic story of Odin the Dog...

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/201...torm-approach/
  #76  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:34 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is online now
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What's the update? Are the fires coming under control now?
  #77  
Old 10-16-2017, 05:23 PM
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From the news, the big fires are now 40 - 50% contained, and people are being allowed back to their homes in Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa, in a controlled manner, slowly enough to not cause congestion and with IDs being checked. The authorities are talking about a "new normal." One new fire blew up, but I think it was controllable. Just hoping for the rain Thursday and for the winds to stay down.
  #78  
Old 10-16-2017, 06:03 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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According to the Calfire statewide fire summary, the levels of containment are:
  • Tubbs Fire - 70%
  • Pocket Fire - 40%
  • Nuns Fire - 50%
  • Oakmont Fire - 15%
  • Atlas Fire - 68%
  • Redwood Valley Fire - 50%
  • Sulphur Fire - 85%

Of these, the Tubbs, Pocket, Nuns, Atlas and Redwood Valley fires are the really big ones. There are some other, smaller fires burning throughout the state.
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  #79  
Old 10-16-2017, 11:09 PM
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The heroic story of Odin the Dog...

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/201...torm-approach/
That one deserved a tissues needed warning. What a good dog!
  #80  
Old 10-16-2017, 11:18 PM
puzzlegal puzzlegal is online now
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Glad to hear there's some good news. Best wishes to those of you near by. Jumpbass, this must be incredibly stressful.
  #81  
Old 10-17-2017, 12:21 AM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
According to the Calfire statewide fire summary, the levels of containment are:
  • Tubbs Fire - 70%
  • Pocket Fire - 40%
  • Nuns Fire - 50%
  • Oakmont Fire - 15%
  • Atlas Fire - 68%
  • Redwood Valley Fire - 50%
  • Sulphur Fire - 85%

Of these, the Tubbs, Pocket, Nuns, Atlas and Redwood Valley fires are the really big ones. There are some other, smaller fires burning throughout the state.
Yeah, the Honey Fire in Butte County is literally a block away from the house my aunt and cousin lived in, that they just sold about six months ago. Their neighborhood got evacuated. Where my cousin now lives, they're apparently safe, because they've been taking in strangers who have been evacuated. This is in Paradise, California.
  #82  
Old 10-17-2017, 12:56 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Glad to hear there's some good news. Best wishes to those of you near by. Jumpbass, this must be incredibly stressful.

Thanks. Yes, it's been stressful. I'm one of the lucky ones- my biggest problem is that I have to breathe the smoke around here. An awful lot of people have lost their homes, businesses and even lives. However, the fires did get close to my house, and the stress of dealing with that has affected us. School was out, my wife's work was out and five of us were stuck in our little house together all day every day. That alone is enough to send you 'round the bend. Add a generous slathering of imminent danger, and it gets really fun.

My wife went back to work today. She works at Silverado Resort, where they finished the PGA tournament the day before the fires started. (We're talking about pretty much where the Atlas Fire started.) There's cleanup to do, but she works in one of the administrative offices and they have to catch up from a week off. Red tape waits for no one.

The kids go back to school tomorrow, unless the school district decides the air quality is still too bad. It's smoky right now, but the last couple days have been pretty clear. At least, I think it's smoky. It might just be our normal marine layer fog along with the smoke. Hell, it always smells smoky anymore.
  #83  
Old 10-21-2017, 12:26 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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The New York Times has an article on the investigations into the origins of the fires, here. The second photo shows one spot that Cal Fire is investigating - I found it on Google Maps, here.
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  #84  
Old 10-31-2017, 11:53 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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As of tonight, all of the wine country fires are fully contained, 23 days after they started.
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  #85  
Old 11-01-2017, 12:34 PM
Jumpbass Jumpbass is offline
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Yay! And we're expecting rain later this week.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:27 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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Here's an article about a type of power-line device called a "recloser" that might have caused the wine country fires. A recloser seems to be a type of circuit breaker that automatically tries to restart a power line after it trips, by sending bursts of electricity down the line to see whether conditions have returned to normal. The idea is to recover more quickly from power failures. These devices have been implicated in wildfires before, and two California power companies other than PG&E now routinely program their reclosers not to attempt to restart lines during fire season. PG&E had been conducting a pilot program this year to do the same thing, but it hadn't been implemented in all of the North Bay, where the fires occurred.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:52 PM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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Here's an article about a type of power-line device called a "recloser" that might have caused the wine country fires.
The thing I found most interesting about that article is from the video. The power company in that area, that uses the reclosers, PG&E, has not yet been responsible for the costs from the fires, but the power company is looking for ways to pass part of any fines on to their customers, not to their share holders.

So the shareholders get the profits but no the liabilities.
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  #88  
Old 11-02-2017, 11:42 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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Originally Posted by Tastes of Chocolate View Post
The power company in that area, that uses the reclosers, PG&E, has not yet been (held) responsible for the costs from the fires, but the power company is looking for ways to pass part of any fines on to their customers, not to their share holders.
They tried the same thing with the San Bruno explosion, but they didn't get away with it. I don't think they'll get away with it this time, either (assuming they're held liable), although I expect years of legal and political battles. The gatekeeper on this is the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates PG&E's rates.
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