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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,224
Registered: ‎01-26-2013

A question regarding Ca. fires

I don't and never have lived in Ca. but I don't remember these types of devastating fires except in recent years.  Did you have them 20 years ago, to this extent?  If so, OK I just don't recall them but, if not, what's changed in that time?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 56,547
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires

I'd assume the drought in the West has a lot to do with it.  Everything is extremely dry and brittle, just tinder for a fire.  We have the same here in New Mexico and have been getting just a small amount of what should be our average rainfall.  Fortunately good snowfall in the mountains has kept forest fires down.

New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,896
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires

My understanding:
More extremes swinging between rain and drought .
Greater population densities in high fire risk areas.
Debate over how to handle thinning out dead under growth due to drought and bark beetles. (Environmental debate plus incredibly expensive.)
Also, criticism leveled at Pacific Gas & Electric for not doing more to upgrade their infrastructure in recent decades - Fires caused by sparking power lines in high wind events. The wind event right now is particularly bad.
That being said, large wildfires have always been around but, yes, they seem to be more frequent and due to the population growth, affecting more than just forests but people as well.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,193
Registered: ‎05-30-2010

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires

Tyak, have your heard about climate change, global warming?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 38,108
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires

i live in southern california part time because i own a business there and have a s/o there, but i was there during the 2003 and  2007 fires in san diego area. had never experienced anything like it before. gray skies, ash, poor air quality, roads shut down,  homes lost, people and animals evacuated......

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,152
Registered: ‎02-05-2018

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires


@Tyak wrote:

I don't and never have lived in Ca. but I don't remember these types of devastating fires except in recent years.  Did you have them 20 years ago, to this extent?  If so, OK I just don't recall them but, if not, what's changed in that time?


The climate.

 

I grew up in CA and still have family there. The summers have been getting increasingly warmer where my parents are and the rain has been increasingly scarce. The house they live in has no AC and they didn't need it, but in the last 20 years, summer days have been getting hotter and longer. It used to be rare that temperatures would get over 92 and now that's more common. Days over 100 are also more common than they were when I was a kid in the east bay. Five years ago, they had to buy an AC unit to stay cool during the day.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,616
Registered: ‎09-22-2010

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires

I grew up there and we did not have fires like this then but with all the people moving to CA over the last 20-30 years they have built large housing developments in canyons and areas that are fire prone.  Add that to the drought conditions in the west and you have a recipe for disaster.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,355
Registered: ‎01-03-2012

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires


@iceberg wrote:

Tyak, have your heard about climate change, global warming?


Nothing new.  I grew up in San Diego, Ca when we HAD forest management.  We still had fires especially around the time of Santa Ana winds, but they weren't as bad.  It really upsets me when I hear it's all about global warming, which is obviously caused by us right?  I went to college next door to Paradise, CA where they had a horrible fire.   I suggest you watch the Nova special about this subject.  We will always have cycles in the weather according to my geologist dad.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 35,688
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires

[ Edited ]

@Tyak  Draught or not, that area is always dry in the summer, and has been known for fires forever, but people took the chance and bought in that area, knowing sooner or later this might happen, but doubt anyone predicted this devastation.  I could actually smell the fire and see the smoke in my area last night, and we are far away from the fires, blown all the way down here by historical winds on Sunday.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,193
Registered: ‎05-30-2010

Re: A question regarding Ca. fires

[ Edited ]

QGirl2, it is new for No. California. Never, have fires that destroyed entire towns nor 90+mile/hour winds. It's new for No. California.