Brad Welton of Paradise, considers himself a survivor, not a survivalist. The other night he saw flashlights scanning his neighbor’s property & knew, “A sure sign of looters.” He pumped his shotgun, & the tchick-tchick echoed through the burned forest. “They know what it is. They take off.”
His blind mother, Norma, age 90, didn’t want to leave. He & his mom’s caregiver, Michiel McCrary fought the blaze together. –East Bay Times based article
photo- by Randy Vasquez for EBT
About this same time last year people were stuck in traffic, frustrated & panicked. Residents were evacuating the areas facing flooding by the cave in of Oroville Dam. Officials had empathically claimed the spillway could handle the load of the punishing rains, only to rethink the situation and order an evacuation.
Now in 2018, people faced a similar circumstance. Rather than facing the possibility of a wall of water, evacuees faced walls of fire in the fast-moving, wind-driven fire named Camp Fire in Butte County. Being forced into an epic-traffic jam with the threat of being overrun by a wall of water any minute, is sobering. In Paradise, people were able to see what they were up against with fire bearing down on them. -East Bay Times
The Oroville spillway has been repaired and is now curing; the process requires a month. The spillway is anticipated to be fully ready for rain the first of December. The repair of the emergency spillways is continuing. With on-going wildfires in CA, many people need & will need time to grieve their losses from fire devastation. The spillway will soon be ready to hold the rains we need to help put out these fires and water the dried vegetation that is fueling them. Californians unite in dealing with these issues facing our state: water preservation, our aging infrastructure, and our all-year fire season. -East Bay Times
photo top– Oroville Dam Spillway by The Associated Press
Construction crews with their trucks & equipment are shown within days of completing a new-cement pour. Now, the spillway needs a month to cure. Contractors met their deadline of having it ready by Dec. 1.
photo bottom- from thetimescouk by getty images
People were forced to evacuate the fast-moving Camp Fire in Butte County, CA.
–thanks to the East Bay Times for my information
Paradise, CA was ravished by wildfires yesterday. “Day turned into night quickly”, said Scott McLean of Cal Fire who battled the fire. It’s estimated that eighty percent of the town was wiped out. McLean said it was hard to estimate because,
“You have to understand it’s a battlefield out there.”
He explained: there’s no infrastructure left, highways are gone, side roads destroyed, PGE is working in the area & burned-out vehicles blocking access need to be moved. The fire moved incredibly fast. At one point, it’s estimated it was moving at ‘eighty football fields’ every minute. Air-quality alerts are in place in the Bay Area. In some places the measure of the air quality soared past 180. At least two schools in the North Bay have been closed: Santa Rosa and Petaluma.
-KGO radio news, images- top, thetimescouk of ‘Paradise Lost’, bottom, getty images
As of Oct. 11, 2017, just days after the North Bay wine-country fires began in CA, the Bay Area’s blue skies were being cloaked by the smoky-haze of the fires. In only three days, the fires were thought to produce as much small particle matter (PM 2.5), as the 35 M vehicles on CA roads generate in one year.
Some areas have heavier fuel/ growth than others. “For example, I would expect the Redwood Valley Fire burning in Mendocino to produce 2-3 times more smoke per acre burned,” said Sean Raffuse, air quality analyst at the Crocker Nuclear Lab at UC Davis.
The amount of smoke is significant because PM 2.5 is associated with respiratory & cardiovascular problems in people.
The sunrise is enveloped by smoke in Napa. -photo by Rich Pedroncelli/ AP
-photo-Rich Pedroncelli of APMan and dog during evacuation from Sonoma.
“Unless, an air mask is certified as #N95, it’s less than useless.” -Fire Official
Not even the cloak of smoke can hide the devastation from fire on this Santa Rosa neighborhood. –photo by Nick Giblin/ Drone Base/ via AP
The smoke cloaks the sun as a chimney stands to witness its destroyed home in Santa Rosa. -photo by John G. Mabanglo/ EPA-EFE/REX
Cloaked is also fitting, as an allegory in this writing prompt. It represents the grief & sorrow that attends this “serious, critical, catastrophic event.” (Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott) People and animals have died, people have lost everything, and the trauma cannot be cloaked. The Bay Area, however, stands ready to envelop our neighbors with our love and support. We honor the firefighters of California & ALL other states that came to help. Some have lost their own homes in the North Bay. We’re reminded that their profession is made up of special men & women who put their own lives at risk to save ours. We honor and appreciate them!
**a big shout out to firefighters throughout CA fighting fires!!**