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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:47 pm 
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There are two fires in Southern California; the Thomas fire in the L.A. region and the Lilac fire in San Diego County. It's the Lilac fire that's 100% but don't misinterpret what the word "contained" mean the fire's over. According to Cal Fire, "A fire is contained when it is surrounded on all sides by some kind of boundary but is still burning and has the potential to jump a boundary line." Even though a fire could be 100% contained it could still be burning and has the potential to continue to spread.
Thanks for the explanation. I thought they said the Thomas fire was 35% contained. I could have misheard.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Containment is a line all the way around the fire. The fire continues to burn actively, but does not grow beyond the perimeter. Fires can break containment.

Control is when the lines are reinforced, fuel near them is removed by whatever means, and there are no hot spots near enough to the line for the fire to spot out and break containment. The fire is not out.

Out is when there are no hot spots within the entire perimeter. Fire fighters search the entire area for anything that looks like it's burning or might burn. The process is called cold-trailing, and it is extremely labor intensive. The biggest fires can smolder underground for many months. Sometimes small patches re-ignite in the next dry spell, usually the next summer.

-----------

The Thomas Fire was listed as 35% contained as of noon today. It goes up and down, depending on how much line is around it. I believe the Lilac Fire in San Diego County is up to 98 per cent containment, at around 4000 acres. San Diego did a good job of fighting this one. It could have been catastrophic.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:27 pm 
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Another day, another fire post.

The Skirball Fire is 100% contained. The fire just doesn't seem to be active any more, even though containment does not equal "out." The LAFD did an incredible job keeping it on the east side of the freeway. That thing could have run the ridges clear to the ocean, burning many thousands of properties, including Rupert Murdoch's vineyard.

The Lilac Fire also shows as 100% contained. Ditto. They avoided a far worse catastrophe than the one they had.

-------------------

The Getty has the most advanced fire fighting system in the world, along with defensible space and its general fort-like construction. Even so... nervous times.

-------------------

Red Flag goes back up tonight, or maybe it's tomorrow. Everything's a blur.

-------------------

The zoo has one of those signs where you can change the fire danger arrow to point to low, moderate, high, or extreme. It's never pointed to extreme. Until this month, anyway. Now it's stuck there.

The Thomas Fire was kept out of the condor refuge. There would be no condors to have a refuge, had the zoo not bred them. They were extinct in the wild. Were, because now they're back.

I can see why a lot of people don't like zoos, but the problem facing us now is that most of the species in them are endangered or at least threatened in the wild.

-------------------

Today's Thomas Fire stats:

259,000 acres - 40% contained
1,009 Structures Destroyed, 240 Structures Damaged
Assets and personnel largely unchanged

In the "conditions," note how many other fires are mentioned as old burn areas. One more good reason not to live there.

Santa Barbara: Firefighters will continue constructing direct fireline where possible with support from air resources, working to tie in to the Tea fire and Jesusita fire footprints. Crews will remain engaged in structure defense operations. The threat to the communities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito will continue.

Ventura County: In the east, firefighters will improve the fireline that has been established to keep the fire out of the outlying areas of Fillmore. Indirect line extending north from Fillmore will continue, in preparation for future firing operations. To the north, fire spread within the areas of Bear Haven and the Day Fire will be closely monitored. Fireline construction north of Camino Cielo connecting to the lighter fuels of the Zaca Fire footprint will continue. Fire growth to the west, north, and east will continue where lines have not been established. On the north side of the fire, direct line construction and firing operations will continue in Rose Valley.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:49 pm 
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I vaguely recall the Day Fire. They're running out of good names for fires, and the Day Fire started on Labor Day, so there you go.

Problem was that, like this one, it went on forever. It became the week fire, then the month fire.

There was also one called the Old Fire. It looked like a pretty new fire to me.

Thomas Fire is probably the first wildfire ever named for St. Thomas Aquinas.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:06 pm 
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I vaguely recall the Day Fire. They're running out of good names for fires, and the Day Fire started on Labor Day, so there you go.

Problem was that, like this one, it went on forever. It became the week fire, then the month fire.

There was also one called the Old Fire. It looked like a pretty new fire to me.

Thomas Fire is probably the first wildfire ever named for St. Thomas Aquinas.


It wasn't named for Thomas Aquinas, it was named what it was because it started near the Thomas Aquinas College. It was a toss up whether to call it the Steckel fire or the Thomas fire. Folks would have misspelled Steckel. :|

They name fires after the closest road, there is a certain practicality to that during the early stage of the effort, the firemen know where to go if it's named after a road.


The Day fire started in the Sespe Wilderness, there wasn't a road near where it started, so they used the day it started as the root of its name. The Old fire was so named because it started near the Old Waterman Canyon Road.



The stats on the Thomas Fire don't show very many new acres being added the last few days. It seems like it was 230,000 acres several days ago, almost a week, and for it to be at 259,000 acres now is only an additional 30,000. A lot of that increase can be from straightening the fire lines and back burns.

Today we got some smoke and haze from it up here. That was the first time that has happened. That would mean the wind has shifted some and it will tend to cause the fire to box itself.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:26 am 
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Some of Santa Barbara under mandatory evecuation order.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:14 pm 
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The wind shifted, briefly, but the Santa Ana came back this morning. L.A. dropped the Red Flag warning yesterday, but put it right back up again. It never dropped at all north of here. Weather forecast is for calming in a few days, but they've been consistently wrong since December started. The Ph.D.s don't understand it any better than we do.

Indeed, a lot of the acreage is intentional backfiring of fuel near the containment lines. The main problem with uncontrolled fire spread is on the western point near Santa Barbara. If you've ever been in Santa Barbara, you are aware that the the problem is decidedly non-trivial.

I could be writing about the impending firing of Mueller instead. Unfortunately, the best response to that would be a general strike and shutdown of all commerce until Congress gets off its ass and impeaches. Since this will never happen, I'm stuck with this wretched December, its wretched weather, its wall to wall angst, and its damn fires for anything halfway interesting to post about.

All of rich-ass Montecito is mandatory evacuation. Some of Santa Barbara in the hills is ditto. Quite a bit of Santa Barbara near the ocean is voluntary evacuation. I believe that the voluntary was expanded yesterday.

Map here:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mi ... 82815&z=11

--------------

It could be worse. You could be a UCSB student.

The administration has clarified that Fall quarter 2017 is now extended until January 12, 2018. The final exam schedule will be same, only in a different week, and after everyone gets back from the holiday break. The winter quarter starts four days after the fall quarter ends.

I get depressed just reading that.

--------------

The Day Fire was called that because it started on Labor Day. The Station Fire was called that because the nearest landmark was a ranger station. The Skirball Fire is named for a museum on Mulholland, on the wrong side of the 405. There might be a Skirball Street, but if so it's essentially a driveway. There are several little residential streets nearer the fire than that. Mulholland twists around for miles in the hills, and it would be kind of a shitty name for a fire. And the 405 Fire is just silly.

The St. Thomas Aquinas Academy was close enough for rock and roll when they named the Thomas Fire. The academy is a small Catholic liberal arts college right on a main road. The road is not named Thomas Road.

The academy was named for St. Thomas Aquinas, and the fire was named for the academy. It's indirect. I realize that physicists prefer to think more precisely than that, but what do you want when my degree is in movies? We're story tellers.

--------------

The Thomas Fire is now the 3rd largest in California in modern times.

Stats for Sunday morning:

269,000 acres - 40% contained
1,020 Structures Destroyed, 242 Structures Damaged
8529 total personnel, other numbers similarly down slightly

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"One bomb was shown on TV, and the American people bought that war. War is show business."
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Voluntary evacuation south of 101 in Santa Barbara. This includes the zoo, which is crating animals up and preparing to evacuate many if not most of them. A few have already come to the L.A. zoo for safekeeping until they can go back.

The voluntary evac comprises most of the city.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Not much new on the Thomas Fire. The official count of structures destroyed was increased by four. The wind died down, and fire fighters expect to make gains.

270,000 acres - 45% contained.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:20 pm 
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271,750 acres - 50% contained

The Santa Barbara Zoo remains literally across the street from a mandatory evacuation area. It is not in one. I believe that it was in one of the voluntary areas, but a couple of these have been dropped.

Fire fighters say there has never been this long a period of Santa Ana wind. It seems gone now, but following an "inside slider" cold front, it is expected to return. "Inside sliders" are weather speak for the new normal in L.A.. Storm fronts come, but dry out over central California and ultimately slip into L.A. from the east, bringing only more wind.

You will notice on satellite pictures that a clear and dry area persists over SoCal regardless of what is going on around it. This is strange, but it's what's happening.

Grammatical and spelling errors come from unified fire command, not me:

Quote:
Regular diurnal flow will continue over the fire area, bringing a slight increase in relative humidity. Resources will continue fire suppression activities and tactical patrol in Montecito, and improve the fire perimeter. While the weather conditions are improving with an increase in humidity recovery, and decrease in wind speeds, fuels remain critically dry. Mop up and strengthening of containment line in the Gibralter Road area will continue. Direct and indirect fireline construction extending to the north of the Camino Cielo will continue, tying into the Zaca fire. The threat to Fillmore has decreased with the completion of line from town to Devil's Gate. Continued strengthening of control lines will help to further decrease threats. On the north and east flanks of the fire, the fire continues to progress further into the Matilija and Sespe Wilderness and toward the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Fire suppression repair and Damage Inspection will continue as appropriate based on fire conditions. Repopulation will continue as threats in previously evacuated areas decreases.

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"One bomb was shown on TV, and the American people bought that war. War is show business."
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:31 pm 
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The Inside Slider is here. You see it on the weather imagery. Right now it's cool and cloudy, but you can just feel that old NE wind building up. Wind advisory for tonight. This is when you make sure cell phones are charged and all work on the computer is saved.

-----------------

Total Acreage: 272,000 Containment: 60%
The Thomas Fire is now the 2nd largest in modern California history.

From Inciweb:

This afternoon, the forecasted strong north wind event will bring wind conditions similar to those experienced when the fire made its push into Montecito. With the introduction of these winds, critically dry fuels will be highly receptive to fire spread . Montecito will continue to be an area of concern, where north winds are funneled through the Santa Ynez Range. Resources will maintain a strong presence in Montecito, continuing with tactical patrol and improvement of the fire perimeter. Firefighters will continue strengthening fireline where line above the communities ties in to the Gibralter Road and the Tea fire and Jesusita fire footprints.

The area between Devil's Gate and Fillmore will be patrolled as will Ojai, Carpinteria and the area between Fillmore and Ventura along Highway 126. Fire spread in the Bear Haven area will be closely monitored. Contingency groups will continue to construct secondary lines to the west of Gibralter road and north of the Sespe drainage.

Fire suppression repair and Damage Inspection will continue as appropriate.

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"One bomb was shown on TV, and the American people bought that war. War is show business."
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:32 pm 
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We had a surprise rain this morning. We got about a quart inch. :)

It's clearing off now. :(

That brings our total up to about 2.25 inches for the entire fall rainy period to date. Ten inches would be a reasonable rain total for a fall period, twenty inches wouldn't be unusual or excessive.



I did some work toward preparing my tank for installation onto the pickup so I can haul water again. I need to buy a new transfer jet pump. The old one was beginning to leak badly when I finished with the hauling water the last time.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:49 pm 
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It "rained" in L.A. yesterday evening. There were perhaps two drops on my windshield. Some places might have gotten the ground slightly damp. People got all excited, like at the end of one of those movies about Great Plains droughts where it rains at the very end, everyone's happy, fade out, roll credits.

An hour and a half later, with the inside slider going through, the wind started back up. Blew out a bunch of power.

The Thomas Fire appears to be winding down. When and if the wind ever dies, fire fighters still plan some massive firing out of dry fuel to reinforce the lines. This will nudge the acreage up just enough to make the Thomas Fire the largest in modern times. There would be one larger one in the 19th century, but it's believed that its size was mostly due to bad mapping. Hence the "modern times" qualifier.

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"One bomb was shown on TV, and the American people bought that war. War is show business."
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:57 pm 
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AFAIK, all Thomas Fire evacuations have been dropped. There are none in Santa Barbara County, and I can't find any in Ventura County either.

4404 personnel, 274 fire engines, 26 helicopters, and 26 dozers remain on the fire.

Conditions:

The dry cold front moved through the area and was replaced by weak offshore flow. Winds gusting to 50 miles per hour produced no remarkable fire activity in the Montecito area, Camino Cielo or Fillmore. The firing operation was impacted by relative humidity of 90 percent and received a small amount snow. As the afternoon progressed, relative humidity decreased allowing firing operations to resume.

Crews are mopping the Camino Cielo to strengthen the fireline there. To the north of Camino Cielo, direct and indirect line construction is ongoing toward the Zaca fire,with cold trailing occurring as possible. Direct line construction is continuing within the Zaca fire footprint. Firing to Rose Valley will continue. East of Rose Valley crews will continue direct line construction, moving toward the Sespe Wilderness boundary.

North of the community of Fillmore fire behavior was minimal where it has backed into the Sespe drainage. To the north, the fire is slowly moving through the Sespe Wilderness and Bear Haven area, where it is being closely monitored. Carpinteria, the Ojai Valley area, and Highway 126 between Highway 150 and Fillmore are all in patrol status.

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"One bomb was shown on TV, and the American people bought that war. War is show business."
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:01 pm 
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The Thomas Fire is old news for the most part, but of course they'll be working on it for months still.

As predicted, firing ops put the acreage over that of the previous largest fire in modern times. At 273,400 acres - 65% contained, the Thomas Fire is now #1.

This is, as everyone has been saying, with the qualifier that larger fires have been recorded. They were measured at a time when the mapping was not as reliable as we like it to be now.

Merry Christmas to all those humping on the lines in the 35 degree night temperature, while we party it up at home. Thank you for what you do.

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--"Winning CNN Wars," Army War College

"One bomb was shown on TV, and the American people bought that war. War is show business."
--"Wag the Dog"


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:24 pm 
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The Thomas Fire is old news for the most part, but of course they'll be working on it for months still.

As predicted, firing ops put the acreage over that of the previous largest fire in modern times. At 273,400 acres - 65% contained, the Thomas Fire is now #1.

This is, as everyone has been saying, with the qualifier that larger fires have been recorded. They were measured at a time when the mapping was not as reliable as we like it to be now.

Merry Christmas to all those humping on the lines in the 35 degree night temperature, while we party it up at home. Thank you for what you do.

yeh, much gratitude to the humans whove been in the woods for months fighting a fire. or more.

i will say this: thanking a veteran for his/her service?...drives them crazy.
we all KNOW you want to say and thank and appreciate, some thing....im not sure who said to say
that phrase. stop.
when i see a fellow vet--ID by jacket, conversation, logo some thing like that i say...GLAD YOU MADE IT HOME.
vets dont mind that.

thanking us for our service makes us nuts becuz we didnt necessarily Like our service and
dont want to be Reminded of that. many KILLED STRANGERS and dont want thanks for that.
fwiw.

firefighters see how awful the conditions of the forests are and are sickened by what they see
which Causes the fucking fires. they too are apprehensive of being thanked..for their service.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:54 pm 
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Now something like 75% contained.

We're dealing with an area that, if superimposed over New York, would start out in New Jersey and go all the way to Hempstead, Long Island. The whole city and then some. The fire's footprint is shaped a bit better for L.A.. You can put that long skinny part out over Malibu and the Palisades, and the rest can start right at the coast and go down into Orange County and east to El Monte or thereabouts. That too is nuke scale damage.

There's been stuff from some fire fighters' association that the best way to thank them is make donations to people who lost property.

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--"Winning CNN Wars," Army War College

"One bomb was shown on TV, and the American people bought that war. War is show business."
--"Wag the Dog"


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