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Fires - not to be trifled with!
Yet again Californians fail to learn.  Years of bad environmental decisions (Excessive laws, no burning or cutting breaks, too many people for the water amount, etc)  lead to more destruction.

But enough on idiocy.

Fire is a beast!  You can certainly have far less time than in a Hurricane, but you still have time.  And after, oh, say the 10th year of fires ( a lot more actually) you should have your personal items prioritized, packed and ready to go in minutes.

I have smelled smoke in Tampa before - drought + flame can mean trouble anywhere!
They were talking about the Santa Anna winds this morning in relation to the fires.  Those winds can whip up to almost Cat 1 levels!  Combine that with the fire itself and yeah, it's not a joke.  And yeah, a LOT of this they did to themselves through asinine 'environmental' regulations.

Now here's another twist I heard this morning.  ISIS has issued a statement about how happy they are the fire is out of control.  They aren't taking credit, just that they're happy it's causing so much damage.  That begs the question;  if a terrorist organization wanted to do a lot of harm, tie up a lot of resources and first responders they don't have to go to the lengths of a dirty bomb or cyber attacks or even physical attacks.  Instead they can go the route of causing a fire such as this one.  Sobering thought of little physical effort with a huge potential yield.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
What does Isis do these days? Sit around and watch YouTube and clap when er something bad happens? They need to get a life.

Anyways - no doubt the Santa Ana winds really mess with the speed of the spread - but that's the point.

Guitar world is all in tears about a custom builder (as in built guitars for Van Halen, etc...) lost "Everything"

But at the end of the day - he has lived there forever and could have easily hired a Haul to load up his shop and store it for a month or so. He lost a lot of irreplaceable one of a kind tools, jigs, etc....

Just goes to show you - money doesn't make you wise or safe.
We had a close call in 2015, our state's biggest fire year.

Not the view you want above your cabin.
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Fire is part of the landscape here. You are correct that decades of suppression have amplified the fires we have experienced lately. Policies are changing and that was vary apparent this year. When weather is favorable the are letting the fires burn up fuel in undeveloped areas. Mitigation is being promoted and more funding is available for those efforts than ever before.

In 2010 I thinned 6 acres around my cabin and I've continued those "fire safe" efforts ever since on the rest. Many of my neighbors have too. None of use are under the impression we're fire proof though. When the conditions are dry and the wind is blowing we know by experience there ain't nothing we can do to stop it.

Most of us did evac our families and valuables in time. It was started on BLM land by lightning and burned for five days without response. We were not allowed access to fight it. When the wind picked up it blew it 10 miles north and then blew back on top of us. A number of my neighbors lost homes and property.

The official response was overwelmed with all the fires. We have resident Wildland Firefighters who came off their paying gigs to help protect their neighbors. We formed our own volunteer fire fighting force and did what we could and then supported the official response when they arrived is subsequent weeks.

I took this picture when the firefighter on the left visiting his home that had burned a few days earlier. We were out doing mop up when he decided he was up to seeing how bad his place was hit. Complete loss. The fire fighter on the right also lost his home that same night. He had a pretty heroic escape with two rigs and all of his livestock - Drive a rig 1/4 mile, run back to get the other rig and drive it ahead 1/4 mile, run back... repeat for 7 miles. Saved all of his stock and his two rigs. Lost everything else.

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I had worked fires as a younger man. I'd never seen anything like this though. I learned a lot about how folks act when the SHTF - amplified versions of whatever they were when things are "normal." Good folks are GREAT. Folks that are lazy, prone to hysterics, bad actors etc are a HUGE P.I.T.A. and put others at risk. I was amazed that we had "looters." That got an immediate armed response by the locals and some volunteer militia from the other part of the state. Things got a lot more polite with everyone open carrying.

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Mostly the community rallied and worked together, evacuating, rounding up cattle, providing aid and shelter...

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There will be a next time. I know I'll be better prepared. The beauty and lifestyle make it worth it.
Great post! The part where "we cleared six acres, and kept it up" almost brought a tear to my eye!

"The beauty and lifestyle make it worth it."
- I feel the same way about the Gulf of Mexico!!!
CA - for a number of years now, you cannot re-roof or originally roof with wood shake shingles. I replaced by roof with a fire retardant roof.

When, I inquired, I was told that it was possible to install a roof water suppression system and be able to activate it by telephone call. When time came to do it, the company that told me it could do it, said it could not be done. I am sure now that it could be done. However, i went ahead and put in manually operated sprinkler systems on the roofs.

I removed the Italian cyprus and weed and clear out junk periodically.

I have no control over the fact that the roof a a neighbor's garage on one side is about 4 feet from my garage roof or that the roof of a different neighbor is about 8 feet from my house roof.

I measured, but the nearest fire hydrant is too far away for me to hook up a hose and rely upon the water pressure in that system.

I fully understand that if my water supply is cut off, I am potentially toast.

Bob: there else that can be done (I have fire extinguishers in each room). Some of the old timers up in Paradise did not have the money/health/friends to help clear brush. Moreover, with flying sparks and heat waves, everyone is exposed.

When my mother and I went to Malibu Creek to look at property, it was after a fire. Every shake shingle house was 18 inches of gray sick ash. The tile roof houses were standing. Yet, with a wind blowing and a wall of heat, windows will explode and houses will combust without being physically contacted by a spark.
Always wondered why a sprinkler type fire suppression wasn't placed on the roofs... ( in fire prone areas )
Can't be over technical to have a trash pump for water to come on line with sensors and/or remote just like a generator
( of course thinking there is a water source ... cistern if needed)

Along with the normal fire resistant type roof and other techniques
(11-26-2018, 01:49 PM)Tom Mac Wrote: Always wondered why a sprinkler type fire suppression wasn't placed on the roofs... ( in fire prone areas )
Can't be over technical to have a trash pump for water to come on line with sensors and/or remote just like a generator
( of course thinking there is a water source ... cistern if needed)

Along with the normal fire resistant type roof and other techniques

Because California water laws are as ridiculous as the logging restrictions.
And I thought NY was bad ! Smile
For Tom: I am not a fireman. I will relate my understanding. In my neighborhood, the fire hydrants are not on the same line as the water going to a house. If I were within 100 feet of a fire hydrant, had the tool to open the fire hydrant and had the proper hose, there would be enough water pressure in normal times to be able to use the hose. Of course, the water pressure might be down for any number of reasons. The more rural areas normally do have this kind of set up. Moreover, unless you have a pumper, it would difficult to drag a hose uphill and expect it to function with just the pressure from the hydrant.

I put an inverted sprinkler system on the roof tops of the house and the garage.

The way this type of fire suppression works is as follows. A sheet of water comes dripping off the roof. Hopefully the sheeting action protects the eves under the roof and absorbs the heat (not the flames ) of an approaching fire. An actual flame or spark may not be necessary to cause items to combust in a room which had the windows blown out by the heat wave.

If you had a fire system on the roof of your mountain cabin and could simply call to activate, you could start things rolling minutes or hours before sparks or fire might approach your place and the water pressure gone.

I am fully aware that I am very vulnerable to fire. My city banned any kind of wood shingle roof in 1989. They still exist as wood shingle roofs last at least 30 years. You can still see victorian houses in portions of the city, and that makes some wood roofs over 100 years old.

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