‘live with fire’

August 11, 2013

Life in the nowadays — dry-heat finds a spark.
Especially west of the Mississippi, including even up here along California’s north coast — although living right on the Pacific Ocean with sea breezes does keep temperatures down and the air fairly-clean of a smoke scent.
Last week, however,  more than a dozen fires in the forests abutting the narrow strip of living space along the coast were ignited by lightning strikes, happily, apparently somebody has been paying attention to encounters of dry-heat and a spark — from the Lost Coast Outpost yesterday:

Forest Service officials followed weather reports closely and tracked real-time conditions throughout Friday evening and Saturday morning.
By anticipating potential fire starts from lightning strikes, resources were able to quickly and aggressively respond to initial attack incidents.
Resources were pre-positioned and even before smoke reports came in, resources were sent to areas with lightning clusters.
This proactive approach, accompanied by support from CalFire and contract resources, made initial attacks extremely successful throughout Saturday morning.

So long as ‘resources‘ are available to do this choke-hold on a forest fire life will be cool. Major problem: Forest fires will only get worse, and then as time moves quickly along,  the situation will become much worse — downloading a huge burden onto those ‘resources.’

California_AMO_2008175Also last week, the OEHHA working with Cal/EPA released Indicators of Climate Change in California report, which “…paints a disturbing picture…” for the Golden State’s immediate future — along with other bad shit, noting the “dramatic” decline in fall-run chinook salmon in Central California, and since 2000, wildfires have burned more than double the acreage of the previous 50 years (via SF Chronicle).

A type of the dry-heaves for foliage.

(Illustration found here).

Already there’s been nearly twice as many acres burned statewide from a year ago, with 4,300 wildfires charring 71,000 acres or about 111 square miles — including the already-notorious “Silver Fire” 90 miles east of Los Angeles, creeping toward Palm Springs, with 18,000 acres and 26 homes burned, causing the evacuation of more than 2,000 residents.
As of late Friday, the fire was about 40 percent contained with people allowed back into most areas. And climate change is still coming on strong, more dry-heat with a spark.

In a most-excellent post at the Guardian last week by Duncan Clark, and along with graphs and charts, allowed this bottom-line: This context is why, in my view, people concerned about global warming should spend less time arguing over the relative merits of renewable, nuclear and gas and more time focusing on measures that directly stem the flow of carbon out of the ground and into the air.
Bill McKibben crafted a similar view earlier this year at Rolling Stone.
Climate change is a wicked-dry wind this way blowing.

Via The Equation blog (at the Union of Concerned Scientists):

As Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott pointed out at a UCS forum in Pasadena on June 28, “Twelve of the 20 most damaging wildfires in California occurred in the last 10 years.”
Pimlott said there will never be enough engines and firefighters to put out all the wildfires in the state — not now and not in the next few decades when global warming is expected to get much worse.
“We have to learn to be resilient and live with fire,” he said at the UCS forum.

An apparent moniker-phrase for California, ‘live with fire‘ — of course, we’re not talking about dry-heat and sparks in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, etc., etc.
They have to live with it, too.

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