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Breaking News
posted by takyon on Tuesday October 10, @08:02PM   Printer-friendly
Live updates: 15 dead from fires in Wine Country, Northern California

The death toll from Northern California's wildfires now stands at 15, officials say, with a total of nine confirmed fatalities in Sonoma County. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said on its Twitter page that the number of dead had increased from seven to nine. Three others are dead in Mendocino County, two more in Napa and one in Yuba, officials say. In Sonoma County, more than 200 people have been reported missing, and 45 of those have since been located, officials said.

The fires have burned 115,000 acres statewide and destroyed at least 2,000 homes and businesses, Cal Fire Ken Pimlott said Tuesday. More than 4,000 emergency workers have been deployed to help battle the fires, including a massive effort at McClellan Air Park, where a record 45 missions were flown Monday that dumped 266,000 acres of retardant on the blazes.

Vice President Mike Pence visited the state's emergency operations center at Mather Air Park Tuesday and announced that President Trump had approved the state's request for federal assistance in the counties of Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba.

Also at CNN, The Washington Post, KQED, LA Times, and NPR.

2017 Statewide Fire Map.

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  • (Score: 2) by Snow on Tuesday October 10, @08:23PM (14 children)

    by Snow (1601) on Tuesday October 10, @08:23PM (#580021) Journal

    Is an acre a measure of volume now?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @08:25PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @08:25PM (#580022)

      That or propaganda to make the fire fighters look bad: 266,000 acres of retardant on 115,000 acres of fire and its not out yet?!

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday October 10, @08:49PM (1 child)

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @08:49PM (#580048) Journal

        Because we all know its 100% effective and always lands exactly where its needed.
        We also only sent one firefighter to each fire for the same reason.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:54PM (#580097)

          ...and if you look at the word (which is not "extinguisher"), you would probably equate that with -prevention-.
          As such, ALSO putting it on adjacent unburned areas could keep things from getting WORSE should an airborne ember travel outside the already-burning area.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @08:26PM (10 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @08:26PM (#580024)

      They likely meant 'acre-foot [wikipedia.org]': The acre-foot is a unit of volume commonly used in the United States in reference to large-scale water resources, such as reservoirs, aqueducts, canals, sewer flow capacity, irrigation water, and river flows.

      • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @08:31PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @08:31PM (#580029)

        Because the metric system is 'too hard' for y'all yokels...

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by bob_super on Tuesday October 10, @09:03PM (4 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday October 10, @09:03PM (#580060)

          Don't you know that the imperial system reduces unemployment? It takes three people to double-check any math, and anyone trying to reduce that budget gets told about lost space probes.

          • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Tuesday October 10, @11:13PM (1 child)

            by DECbot (832) on Tuesday October 10, @11:13PM (#580144) Journal

            That argument only works when the rest of the world uses a different measurement system. Otherwise, there would be no need to double check conversions and even then, if there were another region of the world that did use the same measurement system, the double-checking math jobs will be outsourced to the cheapest labor market.

            --
            cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday October 10, @11:17PM

              by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday October 10, @11:17PM (#580148)

              > the rest of the world uses a different measurement system. Otherwise, there would be no need to double check conversions

              The imperial system is so internally messy that you need three people to check the math even if you don't try to convert to metric.

          • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Wednesday October 11, @05:47AM

            by captain normal (2205) on Wednesday October 11, @05:47AM (#580306)

            Yeah...well we we can actually count on more than our 10 fingers.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:07AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:07AM (#580325)

            Imperial? The USA uses US customary units. Imperial is what is used by the Brits. They are not the same, for instance the number of fluid ounces per cup differs and also the size of the fluid ounce. All of the volume units differ because of this.

      • (Score: 2) by Snow on Tuesday October 10, @08:41PM (2 children)

        by Snow (1601) on Tuesday October 10, @08:41PM (#580037) Journal

        45 missions... 266,000 acre-feet?

        That is an ass-ton of water. 328 million tons actually. That must be one huge water bomber.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @08:47PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @08:47PM (#580043)

          "That is an ass-ton of water. 328 million tons actually. That must be one huge water bomber."

          That must be one huge ass.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Tuesday October 10, @08:47PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @08:47PM (#580044) Journal

        No they didn't mean acre-foot.

        Retardant is not dumped a foot deep. You load the plane with the retardant, which is either a powder or a slurry, with a quantity measured in acres, (the amount necessary to cover one acre). Gallons make no sense in this context.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_retardant#Forest-fire_fighting [wikipedia.org]

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Tuesday October 10, @08:46PM (7 children)

    by sjames (2882) on Tuesday October 10, @08:46PM (#580041) Journal

    What, no comments about owing Wall Street money or how much they're costing the economy?

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday October 10, @09:14PM (6 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @09:14PM (#580066) Journal

      On the contrary, this was an enormously profitable area, not burdened with loans they could never pay back.
      There's no Wall Street arms for the President to twist for debt forgiveness.

      With at least some wineries burned to the ground and vineyards broiled (weeks before harvest) it remains to be seen if there will be much of a crop this year. Somebody's going to pay. Anyone who likes a glass of wine.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:27PM (#580075)

        Actually lots had to harvest early, but if the fields burned then their storage was probably acrewed as well.

      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by sjames on Tuesday October 10, @09:29PM (3 children)

        by sjames (2882) on Tuesday October 10, @09:29PM (#580076) Journal

        Are you sure [sfchronicle.com]?

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday October 10, @09:39PM (2 children)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @09:39PM (#580081) Journal

          Sanoma and Napa is not the same as California.

          But I do notice a similarity of party affiliation between California and Puerto Rico.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Tuesday October 10, @10:01PM (1 child)

            by sjames (2882) on Tuesday October 10, @10:01PM (#580101) Journal

            ...And Sanoma and Napa counties.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:48PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:48PM (#580130)

              a similarity of party affiliation between

              [Sonoma] and Napa counties

              Bay area counties [wikimedia.org]
              2012 election [wikimedia.org]
              2016 election [wikimedia.org]
              Rule of thumb: As you go inland, things get less Blue-ish.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday October 10, @09:29PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @09:29PM (#580077)

        On the contrary, this was an enormously profitable area, not burdened with loans they could never pay back.

        Wall Street rejoice - they will be burdened by loans - from now on, all your profits are belong to us!

  • (Score: 2) by Techwolf on Tuesday October 10, @08:53PM (10 children)

    by Techwolf (87) on Tuesday October 10, @08:53PM (#580053)

    This is why Smokey the Bear was a bad idea. Look the fires we are having compare to 1800s.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:07PM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:07PM (#580106)

      Yup. Decades and decades of mismanagement of forests.

      In nature, fires happen all the time.
      The undergrowth (kindling) burns away in small chunks and big fires rarely happen.

      The various forestry services' no-fires-ever policy allowed large amounts of brush to build up, causing a fire hazard.

      They finally figured out the prescribed burn thing, but they've go decades of wrongheadedness to undo.

      IOW, It's not nice to fool (with) Mother Nature. [google.com]

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday October 10, @10:43PM (8 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @10:43PM (#580129) Homepage Journal

        This happens every goddamn year in California, like 5 huge fires all literally start within a day or two of each other and yet there's still no talk about why that is so goddamn suspicious -- especially since it happens every goddamn year.

        Firefighters, like the FBI, have to justify their existence and the occasional dumpster-fire or mall shooting is not enough justification to gobble like pigs from the trough of public money. That being said, I'll leave it up to all you super-geniuses to figure out what I meant in saying all that.

        The only difference is that this year the fires are hitting places that the rest of California doesn't give a shit about, except maybe a couple who are worrying about the property values of their vacation homes. Napa folks are the ones who still throw Blacks off trains for "being too loud."

        • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Tuesday October 10, @10:59PM (7 children)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @10:59PM (#580139) Journal

          Those winds with the racist name happen every year at about the same time.
          That might explain one fire. Maybe two. Maybe three if embers blow a loooooong way (which they typically don't).

          But more than 14 fires ravaged eight counties all started simultaneously in countryside that is relatively dry all summer around (and could have caught fire long before the winds).

          Its highly suspicious that the first night of the winds fire springs up in over 14 scattered places. All pupulated by people that go through this every frikin year and know damn well you can't burn anything this time of year.

          Its almost like somebody was waiting for the winds. Need an insurance payout? Don't start just one. Too suspicious. Wanna stick it to the man? Burn baby burn. Ala Akbar!

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by slinches on Tuesday October 10, @11:27PM

            by slinches (5049) on Tuesday October 10, @11:27PM (#580154)

            Or it could be that small fires start all of the time in the dry parts of summer. The difference is that when there's relatively little wind they can be put out quickly and it isn't until the higher sustained winds come that they spread too quickly to be easily contained.

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 11, @12:58AM (5 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @12:58AM (#580193)

            That might explain one fire. Maybe two. Maybe three if embers blow a loooooong way (which they typically don't).

            But more than 14 fires ravaged eight counties all started simultaneously in countryside that is relatively dry all summer around (and could have caught fire long before the winds).

            Lighnting can happen on clear skies conditions - happens quite frequent in Australia on windy dry days (hot air blown from the center desert) - it is called dry thunderstorm [wikipedia.org].

            Once started, bush/forest fires create a weather of their own - the so called firestorm - including:

            • thunderstorm clouds - which can lit other fires at hundred kilometer distances. [abc.net.au]
            • embers hot enough to advance the fire front can (and will) travel by hundred of meters in windy days - the so-called ember attack [fireandbiodiversity.org.au] (PDF with study case and modelling).
              Frequent case in which kilometer-wide fire containment lines were bypassed by amber attacks.
            • radiation heat from intense fires can advance the fire-front by itself to distances of 100m - here's an example [smh.com.au] "We prayed and we worked bloody hard. Our house was lit up eight times by the fire as the front passed," Mr Sheahan said. "The elements off our TV antenna melted. We lost a Land Rover, two Subarus, a truck and trailer and two sheds.
              (the family had cleared the forest around their home for some 200m. I've seen the home and cleared area before and after the fire, I liked the area well enough to go have a late Sunday breakfast around there)
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:36AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:36AM (#580210)

              Yeah, but that's Australian bushfires. They're also venomous.

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 11, @01:43AM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:43AM (#580216)

                Yeah, but that's Australian bushfires. They're also venomous.

                Heh, I was conservative in the distance live embers can travel, an this to account for the wimpy Californian conditions.

                In Australia, on a good day, embers can start fires at up to 30 km away [abc.net.au] (this, of course, on top of being venomous - grin)

                The key fuel element that does that in a forest like this is the bark on the trees… they can ignite at one end and be lofted by the convection column and actually travel many many kilometres, up to 30 kilometres downwind of the main fire, and start another fire.

            • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @01:33PM (2 children)

              by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:33PM (#580451) Journal

              You beat me to the punch. I grew up in the Rockies and fires would start every summer through lightning strikes alone. Only rarely would campfires, for example, be to blame because locals are all aware of the forest fire risk and there are signs all over the place that report the forest fire risk. In short, you don't need to impute nefarious motive behind fires starting in dry areas in the summer. They happen all on their own.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @02:06PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @02:06PM (#580470)

                So if the fires will happen regardless, what is the fucking point of all the signs and BS?

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:53PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @07:53PM (#580744)

                  Because who the fuck needs MORE fires?

  • (Score: 4, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday October 10, @08:58PM (15 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday October 10, @08:58PM (#580057) Journal

    I'm glad our president is focusing on the real issues that matter: what pose footballers take when a song is played. And not on a historically unprecedented disaster that's killed 15 people!

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:18PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:18PM (#580070)

      The wildfires are God's punishment for NFL players taking the knee. President Donald John Trump was trying to prevent this disaster by appealing to America's sense of morality. Unfortunately, the liberals continued to resist and now have this burnt blood on their hands.

      • (Score: 1, Redundant) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday October 11, @02:07AM (1 child)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @02:07AM (#580232) Homepage Journal

        I’m still open-minded. Nobody really knows. No one really knows for sure. Look, I’m somebody that gets it, and nobody really knows. It’s not something that’s so hard and fast. I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, how everybody was 100% certain that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? That led to one big mess. They were wrong and it led to a mess. I do know this: other countries are eating our lunch. 🇺🇸

        • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday October 11, @02:14AM

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @02:14AM (#580236) Homepage Journal

          Cyber is hard! That was my tweet about global warming. My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible California fires. God bless you! 🇺🇸

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Tuesday October 10, @09:27PM (2 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @09:27PM (#580074) Journal

      It isn't historically unprecedented.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_firestorm_of_1991 [wikipedia.org]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffith_Park_Fire [wikipedia.org]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedar_Fire_(2003) [wikipedia.org]

      The fire is typical when the hot inland winds blow seaward this time of year, which they do every year regardless of who is in the Whitehouse.

      But nice try idiot.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday October 10, @09:51PM (1 child)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday October 10, @09:51PM (#580094) Journal

        Well, we'll know for sure in a couple week. It's already larger than 2 out of the 3 you listed, though.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday October 10, @11:02PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @11:02PM (#580141) Journal

          I just listed the high death toll ones. There are many longer ones every single year. And more property damage too.

          Point is, its not unprecedented, and not the President's job to do anything about it.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:42PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:42PM (#580082)

      Pence is a total douchebag.
      Trump sent him to the game so that he could walk out when any player would "take a knee".

      The stunt cost the taxpayers nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
      what [a] useless, dunderheaded clown he is [deadspin.com]

      What is it with this administration and ultra-expensive air travel?

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday October 10, @09:49PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday October 10, @09:49PM (#580089) Journal

        So Pence is wasting taxpayer money, is a paid protester AND is protesting at a NFL game. That's the hypocrite trifecta!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @12:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @12:36AM (#580182)

        Pence and his grandstanding was mentioned in TFS.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by takyon on Tuesday October 10, @09:47PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday October 10, @09:47PM (#580088) Journal
      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday October 10, @10:49PM (1 child)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @10:49PM (#580131) Homepage Journal

        Too little, too late. And we have yet to see what the players and teams will actually do if such a rule goes into effect. My prediction is that they will continue to act like babies in some other way, like when mommy tells you to stay out of the candy jar so you go for the cookie jar instead. And I'm saying this as a guy who both loves to play football and used to love watching it until everybody else started taking Kapernick's "ha-ha, the won't fire me after this" little save-his-ass stunt waay too seriously.

        You just watch. They'll lock arms, raise fists, wear clown makeup, fly North Korean flags, spit at fans, smoke crack, but hey -- at least they'll be standing for the anthem!

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @02:17PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @02:17PM (#580472) Journal

          Personally I hate football. I hated playing it and couldn't bear to watch it. It's too static and boring. Rugby was my game.

          Football is an American institution, though, and it's sad to see it shattered like so many others, in such a short span of time. And it was one of the last left where politics were kept mostly out of it. You didn't have to declare your place on the ideological spectrum to partake. Even given that you'd have to be a fool as the NFL to not know that the preponderance of your fans are on the red end of the spectrum. Those people are the very same ones who have fought flag burning all these decades. So firing players for not standing during the national anthem should have been a no-brainer, as a purely business decision.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Wednesday October 11, @02:09AM (1 child)

      by t-3 (4907) on Wednesday October 11, @02:09AM (#580235) Journal

      Historically unprecedented?! That area has had seasonal wildfires for many millenia, it's a necessity for the ecosystem! Humans built homes in areas where "disasters" are a regular occurence... and now whine that a few die.

      • (Score: 2) by Kromagv0 on Wednesday October 11, @01:11PM

        by Kromagv0 (1825) on Wednesday October 11, @01:11PM (#580437) Homepage

        What I am wondering is how long has it been since these areas have burned or been cleared of undergrowth? This seems to be a problem in CA where the dead undergrowth has accumulated for decades because every small fire was suppressed and no one logged out an area out so now 50 years later we end up with fires that cause massive devastation. It was either the fires last year or the year before where there was a bad on and it was mentioned that the area hadn't been burned or cut in the last 70 years. That sort of thing seems to be a problem in a lot of these places and they really need to practice fuel management by getting the dead stuff out and clearing some of the undergrowth.

        --
        T-Shirts and bumper stickers [zazzle.com] to offend someone
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @01:36PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:36PM (#580453) Journal

      "Historically unprecedented disaster?"

      Oh my goodness, no. Wildfires burn every summer in the West. They're as regular and as expected as winter snow in Buffalo, or hurricanes in Florida, or tornadoes in Kansas, or Hell Night in Detroit. It's something you live with. You take the precautions you can, hope for the best, and help out your neighbors when they get hit.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday October 10, @09:09PM (1 child)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday October 10, @09:09PM (#580063) Journal

    Now is not the time to talk about how AGW increases the frequency and severity of wildfires.

    • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday October 11, @02:37AM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @02:37AM (#580243) Homepage Journal

      I don't know how to move my tweet. I tweeted under the wrong tweet. I want to say, I’m still open-minded. But nobody really knows. No one really knows for sure. Look, I’m somebody that gets it, and nobody really knows. It’s not something that’s so hard and fast. I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, how everybody was 100% certain that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? That led to one big mess. Big, big, mistake. They were wrong and it led to a mess. I do know this: other countries are eating our lunch. I can fix it. I can fix it pretty quickly. 🇺🇸

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:10PM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:10PM (#580064)

    We know how to build houses that won't burn. Building with wood frames and asphalt shingles is dumb.

    Head over to www.monolithic.com and order a house. Choose the style with recessed windows and pick good materials (triple pane coated glass in an aluminum frame is OK) to avoid that failure path. Add some metal hurricane shutters too. If you want the outside to remain nice, choose the stucco option or add fire bricks.

    If you insist on having landscaping that will burn for a long period of time, add a solution for the air quality issue. It could be on you like SCUBA, or whole-house. Eh... fix the landscaping.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday October 10, @09:34PM (2 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @09:34PM (#580079) Journal

      If you want the outside to remain nice, choose the stucco option or add fire brick

      https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/HSVW7BW6TY7IPKAVHCFJHVOZIE.jpg [amazonaws.com]

      We know how to build houses that won't burn.

      No we don't. Not in a firestorm.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:09PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:09PM (#580109)

        Your picture shows the result of stone over a wood frame with a wood roof. It seems to have had asphalt shingles; there is no evidence otherwise.

        I was suggesting to add stucco or fire brick to a www.monolithic.com house, which is a solid concrete dome. The extra layer would be just to protect a layer of foam insulation that is normally on the outside. If that foam were to burn off, you'd need to replace it.

        Solid concrete domes are quite good at withstanding firestorms. The only serious concerns are the windows and the air quality.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @01:45PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:45PM (#580458) Journal

          As important as your house construction is, so is the buffer you create on your property between the treeline and your house. In the Rockies people who build homes out in the further reaches of a drainage take the trees down as far as they can and sometimes hire a bulldozer to set up a fire break at the edge. In the chaparral around San Diego people plant succulents instead of grass or flammable shrubs to stop wildfire. Nothing's foolproof but you can increase your chances.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @09:36PM (#580080)

      Because most houses are old, and making new construction fire proof cists a huge amount.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:24PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:24PM (#580118)

      In an earthquake zone (like California), wood frame houses are smart.
      They absorb stresses very well.

      ...and, as frojack notes, stucco improves things fire-wise (which is 1 reason why you a lot of that in Cali).

      asphalt shingles

      Now, that's a valid point.
      A bunch of places have banned them.
      Wood shingles too.

      frojack also nailed it that with a big-ass fire like this, there ain't much that's gonna survive.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:57PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, @10:57PM (#580137)

        You people in California didn't build your nuclear power plants with wood frame construction, did you?

        Granted, if the alternative is unreinforced masonry, wood might be less awful.

        These days, you can do better. You can get a steel frame home. You can go the www.monolithic.com route with the concrete dome. You can buy from a competitor that does prefab concrete triangles that attach to form a geodesic dome. (bolted, then gaps filled with fresh concrete) You can even go back to masonry if you reinforce it; that is one reason why there are holes in the blocks. Another option, popular for building things like supermarkets, is tilt-up construction. Pour concrete walls flat on the ground, then tilt them into place and attach them well.

        All of that will hold up fine, resisting earthquakes and firenadoes.

        For the designs that need a separate roof, be sure none of it is wood. Steel works, bolted or welded or riveted. Reinforced concrete works, ideally as a dome but flat also works.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @12:32AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @12:32AM (#580181)

          [houses built like] nuclear power plants

          ...then again, most homes don't contain stuff that could poison the entire region.

          ...and a nuke costs billion and takes a decade to build.

          ...and we haven't allowed a nuke to be built here in decades.
          ...and we got San Onofre shut down.

          ...and Diablo Canyon is built on the confluence of several earthquake faults.
          We're trying to get that place shut down before one of those faults gets any ideas and we then find out just how inadequate that construction is with a direct hit.

          unreinforced masonry

          Yeah. We figured out that stuff in the 1930s.

          steel frame

          Sounds good.
          ...but there are all the legacy structures which have already been mentioned.
          ...built before AGW and the resulting 100-year droughts which now come every decade, increasing the frequency and size and intensity of wildfires.

          a separate roof [...] Steel works

          You're making me think of the galvanized sheet steel things in Puerto Rico. 8-)
          You also made me think of the fancy copper/bronze roofs that affluent folks have.

          Tile is popular here.
          In some upscale areas there's slate.

          We previously mentioned solar shingles that look like slate.
          One wonders how those would do with embers falling on them.

          Yeah. I can't imagine someone replacing a worn out asphalt/wood shingle roof with something that isn't fireproof.

          concrete [...] dome

          Sounds expensive.
          One also wonders how long would it take to cure before a family could move in.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:03AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:03AM (#580280)

            You pay a bit more for materials, and a bit less for labor. They go up quickly.

            The labor difference matters even more if you have to use American workers like you should.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:09AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:09AM (#580197)

        Wood framed buildings can do well in earthquakes. When they have a soft storey [iitk.ac.in] (usually with a garage on the ground floor) they don't do well. Post-and-beam wooden construction doesn't do well.

        Gas lines broken in an earthquake can result in fire.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:36AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:36AM (#580209)

          The biggest danger is from water heaters and, for a long, long time, folks have known what to do about that. [google.com]

          Some folks even install a earthquake gas shutoff valve. [google.com]
          (A ball gets jarred from its perch and falls into the orifice at the intake.) [google.com]

          ...and you seem to be saying that there's nothing -inside- a non-wood frame house that's flammable.
          (Cabinetry, furniture, carpets)

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Wednesday October 11, @06:34AM (1 child)

            by captain normal (2205) on Wednesday October 11, @06:34AM (#580319)

            EQ shutoff valves have been required for at least the last 12~15 years in many California cities and counties. Many are so sensitive that they go off when a garbage truck goes by. I have direct experience with one going off every week by being bumped by the landscape crew every week. Until I figured out what was causing my lack of hot water (on demand) and heat in winter.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:08PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:08PM (#580795)

              Yeah. I imagine those can be a pain in the butt.
              (My place is grandfathered in.)

              Many are so sensitive

              I have direct experience with one [...] causing my lack of hot water

              Makes me wonder if some folks kludge up an alarm with a thermocouple poked into the pilot of their water heaters to give them a warning.

              I recently made a comment about a morning in my youth when my (electric) water heater tripped its circuit breaker and gave me a morning surprise.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:29AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:29AM (#580208)

        L.A. Times [latimes.com] on possible effects of a large earthquake in southern California:

        Thousands could be forced to evacuate as fires spread across Southern California; 1,200 blazes could be too large to be controlled by a single fire engine company, and firefighting efforts would be hampered by traffic gridlock and a lack of water from broken pipes. Super-fires could destroy hundreds of city blocks filled with dense clusters of wood-frame homes and apartments.

        The death toll could mount as hundreds of people trapped in collapsed buildings are unable to be rescued before flames burn through. Possible locations for the conflagrations include South Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Ana and San Bernardino.

        “If the earthquake happens in [hot] weather ... or in a Santa Ana condition, the fires are going to become much more catastrophic. If it happens during a real rainy time, we’re going to have a lot more landslides,” [eismologist Lucy] Jones said.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by hendrikboom on Tuesday October 10, @09:50PM (12 children)

    by hendrikboom (1125) on Tuesday October 10, @09:50PM (#580091) Homepage

    Billions for disaster recovery, but not a penny for prevention.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Tuesday October 10, @10:19PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday October 10, @10:19PM (#580114)

      It's easier being the guy telling someone they'll get a new home, pinkie promise, than being the guy telling them that the pine tree shading their roof has to go.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday October 10, @10:34PM (4 children)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @10:34PM (#580124)

      I live east of the mississippi so we have more water than we know what to do with rather than living in a desert tinderbox.

      The point is we intentionally set wildfires to burn out the brush which helps grow trees because the grass doesn't shade the seedlings and with like 4 feet of rain per year we're not exactly in danger of fire, more like in danger of moss. Its actually kinda hard to have planned burns out east because everything is usually too wet.

      But, I wonder if people with lots of guts do planned burns out west to clear out the flammable stuff before it turns into a firestorm. I would imagine a planned burn out west is just like one out east but much scarier.

      And the relevance to your comment is burned stuff doesn't burn again or firestorm, and its super cheap, cheaper than even using a brush hog because of labor costs.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:13AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:13AM (#580199)

        Yeah. After years of boneheadedness, that technique is becoming more common.
        Prescribed burns in California [google.com]

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @02:05PM (2 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @02:05PM (#580469) Journal

        They do prescribed burns in the West, but it's chancy. It's happened before that the things have gotten out of control and caused what they were trying to prevent, because the wind whipped up suddenly and exceeded the Forest Service's ability to tamp the burn down.

        It may have changed now but growing up the Forest Service cited logging on Forest Service land in part as a fire prevention and control measure, because clearcuts limit the spread of wildfires (ground cover doesn't create the crowning effect trees do) while networks of logging roads the Forest Service can use to bring in bulldozers and other heavy equipment to blaze fire breaks.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:20PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:20PM (#580798)

          [when I was] growing up[,] the Forest Service [sited] logging on Forest Service land in part as a fire prevention and control measure, because clearcuts limit the spread of wildfires

          ...for those who didn't grok the original.
          ...and thought that it was the Forest Service that was doing the growing up.
          ...and was led to believe that there was a website back then where you could log on and find a citation.

          I've seen you do better.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday October 12, @04:03AM

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @04:03AM (#580970) Journal

            Loose construction happens when you're writing colloquially. "I" was an implied subject of the sentence. For example, "Never had you figured for a traitor." A literalist might ask, "What are you trying to say, that you refused to model for traitors? That you wouldn't do sums for traitors?" But as a spoken phrase a native audience would clearly understand the speaker meant "[I] never had you figured for a traitor."

            I grant you it could have been phrased better. So let's eat grandma.

            But cited [merriam-webster.com] was correctly used:

            "4 :to bring forward or call to another's attention especially as an example, proof, or precedent

                    cited the weather as a reason for canceling the picnic

                    cited several studies that suppport his theory

            "

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday October 10, @10:50PM (5 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 10, @10:50PM (#580134) Homepage Journal

      Those shitbirds up there can afford it a million times over even without insurance or taxpayer help. Fuck 'em.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by mendax on Wednesday October 11, @12:08AM (1 child)

        by mendax (2840) on Wednesday October 11, @12:08AM (#580173)

        Fuck you. An entire middle-class neighborhood and a retirement trailer park was burned out in Santa Rosa. Obviously you are oblivious to that fact.

        --
        It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @01:59PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:59PM (#580467) Journal

          It sucks for those guys, to be sure. But that area is dry to begin with. And after how many years of drought it was even worse. I was in Petaluma a year ago and it felt like the place would go up if you stared at it too intensely.

          If you choose to live in the chaparral, sooner or later a bushfire will claim your property. If you're smart, you heed evacuation warnings and keep your life, and get insurance so you can recoup the damages to your property. Natural disasters are a fact of life there, and elsewhere. As much as we like to think we are masters of the Earth we are still nothing next to its power.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:39AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:39AM (#580213)

        With that tiny brain of yours, your head must rattle when you shake it.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:52AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:52AM (#580221)

          Nah, his brain is sublime.
          Sorry, I meant to say has sublimed quite a long time ago

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:11PM (#580540)

        Fuck off you ignorant piece of shit, can't you lay off the trolling for a major disaster? Or are you really so irredeemable?

  • (Score: 2) by mendax on Wednesday October 11, @12:15AM (2 children)

    by mendax (2840) on Wednesday October 11, @12:15AM (#580177)

    In the Sacramento area we know when the fires are bad when all the smoke blows out our way. It's bad. 'Nuf said.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @01:51PM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:51PM (#580461) Journal

      That's a fairly regular occurrence, though, isn't it? Wildfires and El Nino are the weather events that come around nearly every year in California. You're either dealing with smoke or mudslides. It's only shocking if you're new there. It's only terrifying if you disregarded evacuation notices. For everyone else you get insurance and hope it doesn't happen to you.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:34PM (#580805)

        There wasn't even an El Niño this year, yet September 2017 was the warmest September on record.
        Things are getting spooky.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

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