Breaking News: The West coast is on Fire

California, as you may have noticed, can be highly flammable. A few nights back we had a lightning storm, which was cool as these things go, but also very, very bad. We are now on fire. I’ll include a brief list of the major fires below.

LNU Lightning Complex: includes fires in Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties. 46,000 acres burning. Vacaville has active evacuations going.

SCU Lightning Complex: includes fires in Santa Clara County. 85,000 acres, 1400 structures at risk.

CZU Lightning Complex: San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. 10,000 acres burning in coastal redwoods for the most part.

The Cal Fire pages have crashed due to traffic. Here is a link to the CNN latest news feed on this.

I am about 5 miles or so from the SCU Complex Fire, but it is burning away from me. I think danger is minimal. The air quality is shit however. Apparently the smoke is blowing all the way to Texas and down into Mexico.

If fires are impacting you, or you have more information, please jump in. We’d love to know you’re ok.

I live in Alameda county, and we have a fire in Sunol. I just got an air quality alert.
At least these fires were caused by nature not by idiots camping.

To non-Californians, thunderstorms are rare here, unlike the East. Especially in August.

The governor just said that there are 367 known wildfires in the state. It doesn’t usually start raining here until Halloween. I hope Fall comes early this year.

Time to start raking those forests folks!

Ugh. In San Jose it’s so smoky that it’s actually keeping the heat down a little bit.

Yesterday I tried to escape by taking a drive along the coast, but I ran into the Waddell Creek fire which is burning right up to the bluffs along Highway 1.

Google Photos

Google Photos

I just pulled up the Cal Fire map and it looks like someone just decided to decorate it with a whole bunch of little flame emojis!

Usually, the Bay Area is generally damp enough to just get smoke form other fires. Looks like this year, it’s dryer than usual.

A lot of my immediate family is in Mendocino County, which has gotten hit hard over the past few years. I hope they can avoid any big outbreaks this year, but history is against it.

Big fire in Lassen County. Smoke so thick at my place, you can brush your teeth with it.

That’s right! I was going to ask how you were doing. I hope the wind changes and you get some relief.

Those are the bluffs that you see in time lapse photos during the Loma Prieta quake, right?

Ash is falling on my house in Santa Cruz county

Yes, right there where the trailhead going up into Big Basin is and the beach is on the ocean side where the kiteboarders hang out. When I drove by I could see flames in the trees and a smoldering branch slid about halfway down the bluffs towards the road.

Map from Sacramento Bee. Holy shit.

Actually, the wind changed and it got markedly worse! I’m down to about a mile visibility. Got a real nice taste in my mouth, too.

Yeah. It’s fun. I had to use my inhaler. Stupid fires.

Sacramento Bee story that shows detailed maps of all three lightning fire complexes in the Bay Area, as well as other fire areas around the state.

East of Sacramento this morning the sky gray/brown at sunrise, but not smokey. Ash falling most of the day out here, but smoke smell is light/none, oddly. We are nearing the end of a heat wave where it’s been 106F - 111F every day for the past week. This is going to be a messy week ahead now.

Being on fire is bad! My sympathies. I hope you get some rain and cool weather in the next few days to damp everything down

Y’all stay safe. Got masks or kerchiefs? I hope.

That map is insane.

Rain? In California? In August?


We don’t generally get any measurable rain in July or August and no real rain until October or November.

Average Precipitation Map by month for the US

In SoCal, it doesn’t look like there will be any significant change in conditions for the next 7-10 day. We’re just hoping for no more dry lightning.

The LNU fire at Vacaville has jumped I-80, and is now burning in Fairfield. Fairfield is home to Travis AFB.

The fire has reached Big Basin State Park, which runs from Skyline to the Sea (near the cliffs we were discussing above). My understanding is that the old growth redwood is doing fine. This is in the Santa Cruz mountains, very close to where I lived for many years. The area is fairly remote and fire fighting will be difficult.