Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Crazy, Hazy Days of Summer
While the northeast watches tropical storms and hurricanes (not to mention all that Republican bluster down in Tampa!), the west is watching fires, temps and winds. Hoping that any rain will NOT be accompanied by lightening. Locally, I'm hoping the the evacuation in the Seiad Valley (Goff Fire), will prove to be unnecessary. Nationally, thoughts and prayers are with those facing Hurricane Isaac. Having lived on both sides of the country, left and right (and in Texas too), I know there are vast differences in weather experiences. I had no idea how big a big fire was or how absolutely frightening and far reaching its effects can be.
My experience with fires was mostly burning buildings or homes seen on the news, not acres and acres of torching trees. I had no clue but I had some questions.
How do fires get their names? For that, this article from Slate in 2005 provided my answer.
How are wildfires fought? It can take months to get a wildfire under control. The infamous Biscuit Fire smoldered in Oregon for close to 8 months before finally being dead
sometime in the middle of January when all those burnt acres succumbed to winter rains and snow. The mechanics of wild fires are explained in this wiki article and an overview of fire fighting techniques in this one. It sure doesn't cover the sweat and hard work our nations fire crews; private, public and volunteer, put in to save forest areas, lives and homes.
As to how to stop forest fires from happening; clearing, fuel reductions, controlled burns and the like. I have no comment.
These are hot button topics out here and I think they probably all have their place. Other than lightening, carelessness is the biggest fire starter, here in the woods and in the cities.
Lastly, where are the fires this year? Oregon and Washington stats and for the visual the big map can be seen here. For all the fires burning in the nation right now and the acreage involved you can go to the Incident Information System.
By the way, all the pictures in this posting were taken yesterday. Don't think for a minute I am not fall on knees grateful that I'm showing pics of haze and bad air quality instead of fire. I am very thankful.
Parting shot: Osprey