Camp_Fire Jumps Lake Oroville

While it’s looking pretty good for PG, in that the fire is running more south and east and generally away from him (other than one isolated bit that ought to be put out soon), this map looks like a big ongoing disaster.

The fire has gotten away from them up slope and toward the hills behind Oroville, and it looks like the bit near Big Bend has jumped the narrow part of Lake Oroville. This puts it in position to NOT die out, but run further behind the lake where it is much harder to reach. Most of the historical roads into that area ran along what is now lake bottom. I have no idea if any decent replacements exist.

Camp_Fire 12 Nov 2018

Camp_Fire 12 Nov 2018

When the winds had died down and it had become a fairly thin ring, I figured a good aggressive effort could knock it down; and kind of went on to other things.

Now we’re under a new Red Flag warning and this thing is as big as ever, but more of a line fire over a long reach in rugged and remote terrain.

It may have left the news as the Talking Heads move on to Malibu and the Glitterati, but for the folks back in those remote areas this is an ongoing disaster.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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63 Responses to Camp_Fire Jumps Lake Oroville

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    There is also a new fire right offf H 118 moving south west toward 1000 oaks which will be pulling off resources as well.

    I am seeing news items of Colorado fire fighters preparing to do mutual aid in California. I am sure your teams are totally fried at this point.

  2. Sad about all the people killed. However, on the map can not see much evidence of backburning. I did it a my place. You light a fire into the path of the oncoming fire to widen the cleared area. This gives more time to hit the spot fires. Normally it is done from a clear line such as a road. Very rarely does trying to stop a firefront by spraying water with fire engines.or even water bombing with planes work. These should be there to put out spot fires. At one of the fires at my place a fire engine drove in to fill up from my swimming pool but their pump did not work so they drove off just as the fire came. We backburned the paddock and the bush so the fire went around the sides of the property along the fence line. We have pictures of the bitumen in the road burning where it crossed to be stopped by a fire coming in the other direction. We used buckets of pool water to put out spot fires around the house.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    If you live in a rural fire prone area you certainly should have a high capacity water pump (self powered), some water cistern like a large wading pool or swimming pool or pond and the tools necessary to do efficient back burning.

    That could range from a can of charcoal lighter and a BBQ lighter to a road flare on a stick or a piece of oil soaked rag and a piece of wire (light the rag and drag it through the grass).

    Unfortunately in Paradise it looked like it was a community of small narrow roads and lots of underbrush and not much open space. I got on google maps and did a virtual drive around and not a lot of good places to make a stand.

    For folks in California I don’t understand why more people don’t have cement or spanish tile roofing, real fire shutters for the windows and a defensible barrier of xeriscape or a driveway etc, around the main structure.

    California has some really nice handouts published as pdf on line telling folks how to make a fire safe home but it appears most don’t listen or the architects which laid out the communities use such small fire break gaps between buildings and small lots that in subdivisions it is nearly impossible to create a fire safe home unless you can spend millions on an estate property.

    After my experience with wild land fires and grass fires in rural areas I would never have a home is those sorts of terrain without those basic protective measures.

    Back burning is really very simple but you do need to do a bit of reading to understand the intended result and the techniques which work in different situations.

    Like you said mow the lawn really close near the house then burn off a band a few feet wide just outside the mowed area. The do another larger band and another until you get what you need for a safe black buffer on the upwind side of the house.

    You also need to have considered falling trees and such. A 6′ high growth of brush if dry can throw a 20 ‘ long fire plume if the winds are high.

  4. jim2 says:

    CBS This Morning just went there – blamed it on “climate change.” Said Cali used to have cool weather this time of year, but does no longer. That temps in general had risen 1-2 degrees over the last century, and that the rainy season is always a month later now.

    No mention of natural variability or crappy forest management.

  5. jim2 says:

    Although, I have to credit them for not blaming on “man-made” climate change, but at this point, that’s just a given in the minds of liberals and even some others.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    Why Trump was right about why California became the land of raging infernos.

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    A few years ago they outlawed all burning in BUTTe county without special permission, In Paradise/Megalia you had to get special permission to remove trees and brush. The local Ecoloons created the roots of this disaster, by their constant demands of Preservation and Return to Wilderness Conditions. The land MUST be periodically burned off, many little fires or one big one. take your choice, but it MUST happen. after over a hundred years of accumulation it was over due. One area that the fire is approaching to the south east has not been burned in 120 years.The fire crews are being warned to be specially cautious in that area….pg

  8. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yep sooner or later it is going to burn the only control you have is to choose when it burns or to remove the fuel.

  9. E.M.Smith says:



    To remove BRUSH on your own land you need a PERMIT? Oh My Gawd.

    The end result of that is impenetrable brush filled with ticks and rodents with endemic plague (yes, we have plague in the rodents of the Sierra Nevada).

    Then, once suitable density is reached, an incredibly hot fire with no way to penetrate the brush with crews to put out the fire.

    That’s just a lethal idea in so many ways.

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Excellent article discussing fire safe practices and how they can protect communities from these sorts of wild fires.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Is there more needed than:

    House made of cinder block or reinforced cement (stucco over it for looks) with tile roof and steel fire shutters / doors. Vehicles in a separate garage of similar construction (not parked outdoors).

    No trees or shrubs inside fall distance to the home.

    Ice plant or similar high water content plantings near the house and at the property perimeter. Alternatively, broad bare ground firebreaks.

    Large water supply (swimming pool, fish pond, lake, whatever) with self powered pump and sprinkler distribution system (including rooftop).

    Keep your property neat and clean up the “forest litter” or leaves as soon as possible after drop. Thin your brush as much as possible and trim the bottom limbs off trees up to above ground fire height. You want to be able to walk easily around and under all trees without stooping and without going around “brush” and without kicking up “forest litter” with your feet. Make sure any “trimmings” that get piled up are piled far from structures in the usual downwind direction.

    OK, that’s my list. Now I’ll go read the article ;-)

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and sidebar on packing houses close:

    One of my complaints about the Agenda 21 / 30 crap is the desire to build blocks of 3 and 4 story tall townhomes either directly attached to each other or close packed. Aside from being butt ugly, it ignores the admonition in that article to put SPACE between houses so one burning does not make all burn. 30 feet preferred.

    Well the developer of the land wants as many / acre as they can pack in as then they sell more units and get more profit. It is building codes / requirements that stops going too dense and zero set-back. The Agenda Stupid folks take over and “BINGO!” zero setback is just fine…

    Then instead of 4 or 6 to the acre ( usual 30 years ago) we now get 8 / acre at the low end and much more in the townhouse builds. All just waiting for The Bad Thing that will then be impossible to contain to one structure.

  13. H.R. says:

    @p.g. – If you need a permit to clear brush, now would be a great time to get one while the fire is occupying everyone’s minds.

    If a tree gets cut down in a forest, and nobody heard it but you…

    …do you really give a rat’s (_i_) about permits?

    P.S. If the fire does get too close, dispose of all flammable liquids, starting with the blackberry brandy. I’m confident you’ll find some way to get rid of it.

  14. beththeserf says:

    Reposted P.G Sharrow’s comment ,7.28 pm at Jo Nova, 14th November.
    Thx P.G.

  15. Larry Ledwick says:

    The only items you missed E.M. is to screen all soffit and foundation opening so small burning animals and blowing embers cannot get into those openings. Those are two prime methods of ignition here in the West. Bunnies catch fire and run to hide under your cabin. Also keep gutters and roof valleys clean of leaves and litter.

    Also do not store firewood under the porch as many do, and do not store firewood up hill from the house/cabin, as if it catches fire the pile can collapse and all roll down the hill toward the house.

    Likewise if you live on a slope having a low wall in strategic places can effectively increase the width of a fire break. When fire runs up a slope the flames tend to cling to the ground, and a low wall helps break that self reinforcing draft pulling the flames up hill.

    Likewise blowing embers that could easily blow across a 30′ fire break will mostly get caught on a low stone wall. That same wall uphill of the house will keep burning logs and pine cones from rolling down to the house. Obviously slightly different risks in flat Florida but basic principles to keep in mind as some may apply in any given location.

    Next important option is to make your home inviting to the fire fighters as a safe place to stage, wide driveways with not close in tight underbrush alongside the drive and a large pad that they can turn the equipment around on and if necessary draft water from your pond/pool or dump water there from a shuttle tanker for other pumpers to pick up.

    It is all those little things that make a house site defensible and each has to be examined with local terrain, wind directions etc. in mind.

  16. p.g.sharrow says:

    Very first thing I did was examine stumps for fire damage.No real damage for at least 250 years. Place was an Indian village for some time and includes an extensive burial ground. tree and brush types indicates a wet area with spring fed streams on both sides. After buying began clearing brush, got rid of those pest pine trees and created a circular drive around the building area with gardens and vineyard out in the former brush areas. As to the County bureaucrats I do most of my clearing and burning in the winter months when dangers from fire and government intervention are low.. Bureaucrats hate to go out in marginal weather. fine with me I like that kind of weather…pg

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ beththeserf; does that mean I’m an internationally known commentator…;-)….pg

  18. jim2 says:

    I make a motion we rename all Cali fires the Jerry Brown Fire as he vetoed a fire management bill passed by all factions of the legislature.

  19. Larry Ledwick says:

    A story of survival in the face of the Camp Fire and the burning of Paradise Ca.

  20. Graeme No.3 says:

    @p.g. sharrow:
    I think that your comment meant all the more to her, being in a fire prone area where there was a very bad fire a few years ago (2009), with exactly the same causes making it deadly (180 dead).
    See or

  21. p.g.sharrow says:

    Now that my situation has stabilized I can point out the cause of this Camp Fire disaster. While poor fuels management caused by the Ecoloons of the area, specially those in the local government was a major factor. The fire storm that swept through Paradise/Magalia was caused by a rare fluke of geography and weather.
    To the south of me and to the north of Paradise/Magalia is a tall ridge that looms over the rolling hills that the town sprawl covers in a mature Pine forest. This DoeMill Ridge was in direct line to block and lift the North Wind that blew against it. causing an up draft that sucked air from the South where the fire started toward the north over the city. between that city and the ridge is a deep canyon that funneled the return flow to the west towards Chico over the only hiway leading down out of the area. A Fire Storm swept south to north and then east to west over the people fleeing the area in their normal directions on the normal way of getting into and out of the area.
    Now that the fire has traveled to the west and out of the shadow of the ridge the north wind is pushing the fire towards the south and Oroville…pg

  22. Larry Ledwick says:

    So this just showed up on twitter a little while ago.

    On a parallel note, I just got off the phone with the insurance company trying to find out why I have not heard from an adjuster on the accident that totaled my car, and they have set up a special hot line for California Fire claims so looks like the major insurance companies are going to be swamped for a while on those claims. Been a week since my car was rear ended at a stop light and so far not even a voice mail.

  23. Larry Ledwick says:

    Pssst don’t tell them is should read “shot on sight”

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    Perhaps they were just making a geographical statement. You know, shot on this side of the street, that other one is OK? ;-)

  25. Quail says:

    Several years ago I had a landscape design job in a rural area where the only access was off of miles of one-lane road. The house was on a steep, wooded, fire chimney of a slope hidden down a lovely tree-lined drive. The owners did not like my suggestions of clearing back the trees or opening up the drive. They had dreams of the firefighters using the water from their tiny pool to save them and didn’t want to add more water storage with a standpipe because, “The tanks are too ugly.” They didn’t want to mow because, “We love the way the dried grass ripples in the wind.” They didn’t want to expand the turn-around so a fire truck could use it because it would cut into the flower bed. They just wanted pretty. I designed what I could with fire-resistant plants and widespread irrigation, but without the basics those idiots are doomed.

  26. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hard to know if this is just propaganda to claim credit for a natural event or a sign of a possible intentional campaign. Just throw this out here for consideration.

  27. E.M.Smith says:


    I’ve notice there are folks where brain rules desires (rare) and folks where “I want it” rules all (most) and there is no way reason will ever move them off of “I want”. I make it my practice to “tell them once”, then say “Remember when I said Foo, you still want Bar?” Then I’ll say (the third time) “I said Foo was my recommendation but you have ordered Bar, so that’s what we’ll do. Please sign the work order here:”…

    @Larry L:

    Some of it will be true, but not all. Paradise was clearly power line driven (unless an Isis guy cut the wires…) but Malibu could easily have been set up on the ridge for the Santa Anna winds to send it down.

    IMHO it is just too easy a “big win” to NOT do it. One or two guys, some lighters. Scout the terrain then just wait for a strong wind a year or three later when the scouting video is expired… Does more damage than a flight of bombers (given the stupidity about leaving fuel load standing).

  28. Larry Ledwick says:

    Jerry Brown’s legacy of fire mismanagement coming home to roost.

  29. Larry Ledwick says:

    By they way if you folks have not seen it yet we have another off the wall conspiracy theory coming out of the California wild fires. Folks are claiming that melted cars are unusual (not when there are no fire fighters available to put out the fire 6 minutes after it starts) and they are claiming the vagaries of wild fire prove that the fires were started with directed energy weapons.

    Mike Tokes @MikeTokes
    3 hours ago

    Another highly unusual issue with the California wild fires is the melting of aluminum and steel.
    Forest fires cannot melt steel beams.
    Also, if you look in the first photo, only the car has been damaged, but all surrounding areas are fine?
    Can anyone explain this?

    The cannot understand that this was a wind blown fire in ground cover and because of the high winds the fire could not climb into the crowns of the trees but just created a low level fire storm as the flame front roared through shrubbery, and grasses and low brush below the tall mature trees.

    This includes pictures of lens flare artifacts on images which they are interpreting as the directed energy beams even though the Laser weapons they assume are being used operate in the IR and the beam is completely invisible to the human eye.

  30. Larry Ledwick says:

    Some of those images are also likely rocket attack images from the middle east or weapons tests and have no connection at all to California.

    But the stupid has gone viral and these folks are busy looking under rocks for things that make no sense based on their false assumptions about what fire does, and how it spreads.

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    If they watch closely some of these images they will see that fire fighters were actively putting out burning trees to prevent fire spread, but letting fully involved buildings burn to the foundation.

    (I must say as a photographer there are some absolutely stunning images coming out of these fires, it makes your heart ache what these people lost though.)

  32. Larry Ledwick says:

    A look at the disaster recovery process – people find a foot hold and begin the rebuilding process as best they can.

    Squatters camps are as old as civilization, in California we of course have the legacy of the 1930’s tent camps (Grapes of Wrath migrant camps)
    Kern migrant camp

    November 1936. Arvin migratory farm workers camp in Kern County

    Which raises the preparedness question for major disaster preparedness one of the critical supplies that should be considered is a high quality tent of sufficient size to live out of for a while.

    Saw the same thing post 1906 earthquake
    Market Street tents and shanties circa 1906 quake

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    I have a “pup tent” that’s part of my car kit when I’m away from home. Outside the house, I’ve got a family sized tent in a storage container. Kids used it in the yard for “play” (aka learning how to live without a house and cooking in the rough…) but now it’s just for That Day.

    In my minimal car bag / bugout kit I have a tube tent. Crappy, but better than nothing, if, for some reason, I needed to abandon the car and “walk out” from somewhere. Also a space blanket.

    On one occasion with an infant in the car, we set out on a vacation. Driving north on 101 to Oregon. Figured we’d just get some random hotel roadside when we got tired. Starting about at Eureka we found out they were all full… Seems some ‘event’ had filled up Northern California… A nice person ‘splained it to me in their hotel lobby. “All the way to Portland” I think they said… So we ended up at a KOA Campground, car seats reclined, kid asleep in parents arms, covered in a space blanket. It was a modestly cold night but that blanket plus our street cloths was enough to be comfortable. (Yes, from that point on we called ahead and made reservations a day or two out… and didn’t need to just turnaround and go home.)

    I now regularly have a space blanket or three in the car, bugout bag, my personal pack, and I’ll toss the pup tent in the car if driving into the unknown… Oh, and an inflatable air mattress lives in the car kit too. Spouse must be comfortable during disasters after all ;-)

    The whole idea being that if you just run out and jump in the car and go, you have the minimal stuff to live at a rough-camping level. Given 2 minutes to chuck a couple of extra bags in, you can live at the “comfortable and camping” level.

    This was done due to living in quake country where the house may not be standing and everything in it might be crushed, but generalizes. It was also partly due to the “Nuclear bugout plan” that had about 2 minutes pad between first notice of Aw Shit and last opportunity to survive. The rule was “if FOO happens – put kids in car and head down THIS road NOW.” No waiting for anyone, no loading the car. Whoever is there, lives. Wait and everyone dies. So looking for a bug-out bag was not an option.

    Spouse kept unloading her bag into the garage when getting the car cleaned, so once the kids were driving I stopped fighting it. Besides, the USSR had ended and the threat become near none. I have my bag and my car and we can meet up, or “whatever” post quake.

    Maybe I’ll make a bug-out bag for the kids ;-)

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have my Chevy Astro van that I used to go out to Bonneville and up to the Tetons a few years ago, has a cot in it and on the top cargo rack I have a cheap tent rolled up in black plastic tied to the rack. It also has all the basic stuff in it from an ax to a bow saw, small cooking stove with fuel and some rations etc along with some fishing gear a couple poly tarps space blankets and this time of year a military duffel bag full of cold weather clothing..

    All for the same reason I have too many times found myself not readily able to get a motel room or stranded some place. Much more comfortable if you have a safe refuge so you can get some sleep and then figure out what your next move is.

    Which reminds me I need to take that tent down unpack it and inspect it (probably needs some seam seal type maint, and repack it.

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    Now the analysis begins on how the evacuation was ordered and executed. Sounds like the town had a known problem but the logistics of a rapid evacuation and bottle necks inherent in their road network meant it was doomed to fail in a really fast moving fire.

    If the infrastructure will not allow rapid evacuation then you have to fall back to other options. For example community fire shelters or mandated open space features like ball fields or soccer fields fishing ponds etc to provide fire breaks or buffers to slow down the fire spread or give safe temporary shelter as the fire burns through the town.

    Urgent evacuations are one of the toughest emergency management problems to crack, it matters little if you are planning for a fire storm, a tsunami or a flash flood those emergencies only give you a very small time window to get to a safe location or make your location safe. Looking at the photos the community was immersed in a mature deep ponderosa pine forest with 40 – 50 ft tall trees all over town, narrow roads and no open space to speak of.

  36. E.M.Smith says:


    Desire for an “atmosphere” over practical and rational thought.

    A good 1/2 century ago my Dad and I drove through there and made the alternative decision.

    I remember saying how nice it looked while he said that in a fire it would be a bad place to be.

    I listened and learned.

    It looks like a lot of folks did not think about it, or did not care about practical issues instead of “looks”.

    Oh Well…. Darwin in action.

  37. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ Larry you are mostly right but, those 40 to 60 foot trees are new 30-40 year old trees growing in once pastures being towered over by 150 foot mature 120 year old forest trees all filled in with brush and other vegetation DRY from nearly 7 months of no rain.Much of the fire didn’t torch the old trees, Just the grass,brush and small trees. Now Paradise is again Park like much as it was when first settled in the 1840s except for the debris of burned out “civilization” …pg

  38. H.R. says:

    p.g. wrote: “Much of the fire didn’t torch the old trees, Just the grass, brush and small trees.”

    I’ve started to run across the “Death Ray Weapon” conspiracy that Larry L. brought to our attention. That picture of a car with its aluminum parts running out from under it while the surrounding trees seem to be relatively unscathed is usually the lead-in.

    What p.g. wrote joggled my memory of the discussion we had on woods for cooking and smoking. Manzanita was brought up and its nice flavoring and extremely high burn temperature was mentioned. Also, p.g. and E.M. discussed how ubiquitous Manzanita is to the point that it’s pretty much a bush-form weed.

    Add in high wind to the aforementioned observations and you have a Manzanita fueled blast furnace at ground level. That also explains the fact that the pavement the car is sitting on is relatively unaffected. With no fuel right at ground level, the extreme blast of heat was absorbed by the car, melting the innards, but moved across the pavement too fast to be absorbed by the pavement.

    The key to my thinking is the Manzanita. I believe it was/is sought out for for its high temperature burn to use in melting certain metals. At least, that’s what I recall of our discussion here and a bit of my own reading up on Manzanita.

    No “Death Ray” needed.

  39. cdquarles says:

    @Larry, yep. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt; from my EMA days. That you can’t evacuate a big city in a big hurry is a known factor. Why that’s so is partly economics and partly politics. A small enough city (under 10,000, better, under 5,000) or town (any incorporated area where I live is a town if the population is under 2500), it’s possible to do it on a shorter notice than any big city. For a really big city, you’ll need several days to weeks advance notice.

    Yep. People today are so ignorant of chemistry that they don’t realize that not only can an ordinary fire get hot enough to melt aluminum, it can also ignite aluminum. That said, the alloys modify that, somewhat. Ordinary fires can get hot enough to soften many steels, too; even though they don’t get hot enough to melt steel. Once structural steel is softened sufficiently, and depending on other factors, a steel building falls down; with no explosives needed.

    I got to look at a piece of low tension electrical cable once. It was mostly aluminum cladding with a bit of copper core, along with what looked like a carbon based outer coating. I don’t know what aluminum alloy was used, but I do know that aluminum is one of the best conductors of electricity, and that aluminum is way more common a metal in Earth’s crust. It isn’t quite as good as gold, silver, or copper; but it isn’t that much worse, unlike, say, iron. Now if you want magnetic conduction, iron is really good.

  40. p.g.sharrow says:

    @HR & cdquarles; You guys hit it right on. When our house burned, the cast Iron woodstove was gone totally! and the floor that it sat on was still there. The heat inertia of morning cold ground, 48F, and pavement would protect them from the air/fuel blast. Once tires of a car catch it is gone and modern cars are built lite, Aluminum and thin steel and lots of plastic. Aluminum electric wiring is nearly pure with some Magnesium. It makes a good welding rod for Aluminum. I have welded Coke cans with it as it has a bit lower melt temperature and good flow.
    Much of the under brush in that area was Manzanita. Old mature 10 – 15 feet high, too dense to walk through Blast furnace fuel. Easily able to melt steel. I am building a forge that will use chunks of Manzanita as fuel. Every bit as good as coal for heat. It should be charcoaled first to reduced the amount of Hydrogen in the blast and it burns very clean. .Even green, Manzanita burns well, I do my brush clearing in the winter and burn the slash as I cut and stack it…pg

  41. E.M.Smith says:


    I was surprised at how the photos looked so filled in. Most of my memories of Paradise are from 40 to 50 years ago and it was more scattered older trees and open between them.


    Remember that “heat rises” too. Fresh air rushes in at the bottom and the flames go up. Unless the pavement can burn, there isn’t much need for it to be ruined.

    FWIW, aluminum melts below the glow point. I’ve melted it in an iron pan on the stove. It’s interesting stuff. Many alloys have magnesium added to improve lightness. Once some friends & I cut some bits out of an old VW transmission case and set them on fire…

    Magnesium die casting

    Magnesium Die casting under pressure. The guaranteed availability and the combination of the positive properties of high purity magnesium alloys make the lightest metal structural material attractive for use in many industries, for example:

    Lightweight parts for the automotive industry.

    Cases for office machines, laptops, mobile phones and speakers.
    Machines for domestic work, etc.

    Properties and advantages of the method.

    Due to very good fluidity, it is possible to produce even finer-walled or more complex parts than with aluminum die casting.
    New applications in the electrical industry due to good thermal conductivity, as well as electromagnetic shielding of the metal.

    So most of those car parts were likely a MgAl alloy with lower melt temperature, greater fluidity, and lighter weight. Plus burns well once started… but hard to ignite unless finely divided.

    Per Manzanita:

    There’s dozens of species and varieties of Manzanita and related. From small bushes up to things the size of big trees. Also Madrone that looks a lot like it:

    There’s a patch of Madrone near the fire area.

    It is also sometimes called “deer brush” and if you don’t have enough deer to keep it chewed, it will rapidly make an impenetrable wall. It survives a light fire (leaves and twigs burn off but the main stems are fire resistant to fast grass fires. However,in a big hot fire even the main stems will burn and then you have a big problem.

    The one fire I worked was mostly grass and some scrub pine with manzanita scattered in it. The litter would burn, and then the manzanita would smoke and smolder at the ends of the stems for days. Without water it was a royal PITA to “put out hot spots”. A lot of the pine just burned completely or it would scorch the bark but not catch into the crowns. Very strange thing, the way fire moves differently at different times.

  42. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; You are right about the scattered look of old time Paradise, but in the last 40 years a lot of those open areas were filled in with houses and trailer houses and small trees and brush. Last year about this time I did some Electrical work for a friend. I cringed to look into back yards and between houses. Everything packed with flammables right up to the eves. A real disaster just waiting for a match!…pg

  43. Larry Ledwick says:

    That is what I was noticing when I got on google maps street view and went through the town lots of ground cover everywhere. This was a brush fire in the ground cover under about 10 -12 ft, lots of fine fuels that burn explosively with high winds, it would have been like being in a blast furnace near the ground.

  44. Larry Ledwick says:

    An item on Paradise and the fire.

  45. Larry Ledwick says:

    Not a surprise to anyone who is paying attention but a good article on fire managment and misapplication of environmental laws in California to turn it into a fire storm waiting to happen.

  46. Larry Ledwick says:

    I just found out that one of my cousins lost everything in the Camp fire, the home she was renting burnt to the ground. Her brother has set up a gofundme account if anyone is inclined to help her get back on her feet.

    I am trying to get additional info on what her primary needs are etc.

  47. Larry Ledwick says:

    No big surprise here but confirmation that arson is being considered by extremists as a weapon.

  48. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well what do you know this fire finally got the California Governor’s attention.

  49. Larry Ledwick says:

    Images of over growth near power lines

  50. Larry Ledwick says:

    Rosie Memos @almostjingo
    2 minutes ago
    Magalia had a plan to remove the dead trees but it had to be approved by California environmental agencies. By law only 50 acres a YEAR could be treated with prescribed burning up to 500 acres over 10 years. WTF is wrong with you @JerryBrownGov

  51. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well they got their burn of underbrush but it was not exactly controlled per the plan, so sue the ashes and see what you get.

  52. E.M.Smith says:


    Some people never learn, and some folks only learn by running head long into a wall.

    IMHO it is best to avoid them if at all possible. Or point them at a cliff if that is an option.

    Unfortunately, many have now learned to form “organizations” and lobby for their Stupidity. Then they drive OTHER PEOPLE into the wall. The functional ban on controlled burns and logging are exemplary cases of Deep Stupid. Only after their own homes burn will they change their minds.

    FWIW, heard from the spouse that one of her workmates down here is scheduled for retirement in a few months… and had bought a retirement house in Paradise… It is now gone, but they had not moved out from here yet. Now they will be “retiring in place” while they figure out what to do…

    Hopefully a lot of the houses that burned were such “rarely occupied” structures… with few belongings in them and people out of town.

  53. H.R. says:

    E.M.: “Hopefully a lot of the houses that burned were such “rarely occupied” structures… with few belongings in them and people out of town.”

    I think that might explain a few names on the list of missing people, put there by neighbors who “haven’t seen so-and-so from two doors down.” I fear it won’t be many, though.

    Last I read, it was just over 1,000 missing, but that was as of Saturday or Sunday. I haven’t read lately if the list of missing people is growing or shrinking.

    I share your “hopefully.”

  54. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ HR; latest figure is 79 fatalities and 700 missing and nearing 10 thousand houses burned. They are beginning to allow some of the evacuees to return. A pair of storms approach that will be cold and wet, tomorrow morning. A pair of my friends were moving to Lake Havasu this week, lost everything, He is now in the hospital with that nasty virus. He is in his 80s, not good at all….pg

  55. H.R. says:

    Thanks for the update, p.g.

  56. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yeah last I heard the list was down around 600+, my cousin or someone she knows got in a couple days ago to confirm her house is gone, she is living with family not far away but they almost got burned out in the Santa Rosa fire last year. That whole area is going to get burned off over the next decade or so until there is enough open ground to allow fires to be controlled.

    Insurance companies are going to pay out billions for these fires. If they are smart they will do like some flood plain areas do and buy up burned out property in strategic places and make it into permanent open space buffer areas and a few wide arterial roads that can serve as fire breaks and efficient evacuation routes, with active vegetation management along the edges of the evacuation corridors.

    The important thing is my cousin is okay and she is not living in a tent city at a walmart parking lot while she figures out what to do next.

    Bad news is the fire probably took out a lot of relatively affordable housing in the area and there are a lot of retired folks (looking at the missing list lots of older people probably in retirement) now have no place to live that they can afford.

  57. E.M.Smith says:


    In the end, we all lose everything anyway. I’m at the point where I’m more interested in giving my “stuff” to someone else. Rather than let some random go though and, say, toss out that old Mac, I’m going to give it to someone who wants to have the old original Macintosh as an antique.

    In a few years I’ll be down to “just what I’m using now”. That’s all stuff I don’t really care about anyway. All the tech stuff obsoletes in a few years anyway (and is now dirt cheap to replace). Most clothes need replacing every few years. Food and cookware are all consumables (except my 70 year old cast iron skillet … but it survives everything anyway ;-) Cars are about a 10 year item. 20 if lucky and you work at it. Mine are basically about a $3000 cost to replace. Some less.

    So what do I really really care about? People, pets, some photos (increasingly on disk drives), some papers, and maybe a few small items from the past. Our wedding cake topper. Some books from 50 years ago. Maybe a pocket full of USB disk drives. I could put it all in one car in under an hour.

    So yes, it is devastating to have it all “gone” in a flash. But worth remembering that it is just stuff that mostly anchors us in a time that’s already “lost”…

    @Larry L:

    Most of the insurance companies will have a modest and acceptable loss. The rest goes to “Re-insurance”, the largest provider being GEICO / Birkshire Hathaway.

    There’s lots of “affordable” places around N. California. The problem is that most of them are pretty crappy in comparison to what really was a kind of paradise of pines and mountain ambiance. A trailer park in Chico or “Section 8” housing in Oroville are just not the same…

  58. H.R. says:

    At least the list of missing people seems to be going down by lot more than the list of dead is rising.

    That’s a bit of good news.

  59. Larry Ledwick says:

    Officials will use health threat basis to deny home owners opportunity to return to their burned out properties except for brief visits – looks like no allowance for a rental RV on the property or camping while trying to clean up the property will be allowed.

  60. E.M.Smith says:

    Well once your Agenda 21/30 UN policies have led to massive fires from forest fuel accumulation, that would be a great way to keep people from returning and force them into high rise city pens…

    Makes perfect sense in their Globalist anti-individual paradigm…

  61. p.g.sharrow says:

    Two years of wet winters followed by long dry summer and fall was kind of a significant factor plus 40 years of government enforced neglect of fuels accumulation. Now add in a freak air movement condition and a fire bomb exploded! As to hazardest ash dust, well it is raining hard all day and will continue for the next 2 days. The County Officials have made all of their rules BUT the people have not yet spoken. 20,000 people will make a lot of noise and the Board of Supervisors will tell the Bureaucrats to stand down. They are Servants not masters…pg

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