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  1. #1
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    2019 Wildfire Season

    NOAA is predicting the Pacific Northwest, and particularly Western Washington, will likely have a dangerous wildfire season.



    ‘It makes me nervous,’ Whatcom fire chief says after NOAA spring forecast released

    Start stocking up on the eye drops and particulate masks, and if you haven’t installed an air filter or air conditioner yet, it may be time to start saving up — the Pacific Northwest wildfire season could be a doozy.

    Following on the heels of two historically bad fire seasons in 2017 and 2018, conditions could be ripe for wildfires before the summer even arrives, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2019 U.S. flood and climate outlook for spring 2019 released Thursday.

    According to that outlook, most of the Pacific Northwest, and particularly Western Washington, is expected to be warmer and drier than normal in April and May, meaning trees and grasses in the area could already be dangerously dry by the time summer’s heat arrives.

    “It makes me nervous,” Whatcom County Fire District 1 Chief Mel Blankers told The Bellingham Herald. “Things are already dry. We had that long cold snap that lasted so long with the cold winds, and it dried everything out. Even now, we’re seeing people cleaning up things and fires getting out of control.”

    NOAA maps show there is a 40 percent to 50 percent chance that Western Washington will have an unusually dry spring, meaning precipitation likely will be in the bottom third of what the region saw between 1981 and 2010.

    Meanwhile, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 50 percent to 60 percent possibility Western Washington will see unusually warm spring temperatures, again meaning average temperatures likely will be in the top third of what the region saw between 1981 and 2010.




    It all adds up to potentially dangerous conditions before summer arrives and a potentially difficult wildfire season for firefighters.

    “When you get a fire that really labor intensive, you need a lot of people,” Blankers said. “That’s not something we have, especially during the day, when our volunteers are working other jobs.

    “As we get busier days with fires, I worry about it burning guys out. These guys have families and lives outside of here, and they’ve still got to do all that, but it is physically and mentally exhausting when you have busy summers.”

    Fortunately, Blankers said the area hasn’t seen many fires larger than 20 or 30 acres in recent years, though it’s certainly seen its share of smaller burns.

    The county also has definitely felt the impact of smoke from large fires elsewhere in the region the past two summers.

    British Columbia set a record with more than 3 million acres burned in 2017 only to surpass that record with more than 3.2 million acres burned last summer. Thick smoke drifted over the border both years. But smoke also came from fires in Eastern Washington, Oregon and even California, forcing many Whatcom residents inside for large parts of the summer.

    Kindness is a bridge between all people

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by KQ View Post
    NOAA is predicting the Pacific Northwest, and particularly Western Washington, will likely have a dangerous wildfire season.



    ‘It makes me nervous,’ Whatcom fire chief says after NOAA spring forecast released

    Start stocking up on the eye drops and particulate masks, and if you haven’t installed an air filter or air conditioner yet, it may be time to start saving up — the Pacific Northwest wildfire season could be a doozy.

    Following on the heels of two historically bad fire seasons in 2017 and 2018, conditions could be ripe for wildfires before the summer even arrives, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2019 U.S. flood and climate outlook for spring 2019 released Thursday.

    According to that outlook, most of the Pacific Northwest, and particularly Western Washington, is expected to be warmer and drier than normal in April and May, meaning trees and grasses in the area could already be dangerously dry by the time summer’s heat arrives.

    “It makes me nervous,” Whatcom County Fire District 1 Chief Mel Blankers told The Bellingham Herald. “Things are already dry. We had that long cold snap that lasted so long with the cold winds, and it dried everything out. Even now, we’re seeing people cleaning up things and fires getting out of control.”

    NOAA maps show there is a 40 percent to 50 percent chance that Western Washington will have an unusually dry spring, meaning precipitation likely will be in the bottom third of what the region saw between 1981 and 2010.

    Meanwhile, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 50 percent to 60 percent possibility Western Washington will see unusually warm spring temperatures, again meaning average temperatures likely will be in the top third of what the region saw between 1981 and 2010.




    It all adds up to potentially dangerous conditions before summer arrives and a potentially difficult wildfire season for firefighters.

    “When you get a fire that really labor intensive, you need a lot of people,” Blankers said. “That’s not something we have, especially during the day, when our volunteers are working other jobs.

    “As we get busier days with fires, I worry about it burning guys out. These guys have families and lives outside of here, and they’ve still got to do all that, but it is physically and mentally exhausting when you have busy summers.”

    Fortunately, Blankers said the area hasn’t seen many fires larger than 20 or 30 acres in recent years, though it’s certainly seen its share of smaller burns.

    The county also has definitely felt the impact of smoke from large fires elsewhere in the region the past two summers.

    British Columbia set a record with more than 3 million acres burned in 2017 only to surpass that record with more than 3.2 million acres burned last summer. Thick smoke drifted over the border both years. But smoke also came from fires in Eastern Washington, Oregon and even California, forcing many Whatcom residents inside for large parts of the summer.

    As sad as it is to say it, this outcome was already obvious. It's the new normal and likely to get worse. Hopefully no entire cities get burned down again this summer.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using TGR Forums mobile app

  3. #3
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    Tragically, CA is already a man down. Legendary pilot, Hoser, died over the weekend. He lived in my neighborhood and smothered a grass fire about 400 ft from my house a few years ago with a retardant drop. Here is a great article about him:
    https://yubanet.com/regional/remembe...hoser-satrapa/

    I hope peeps get to work now on hazard mitigation and planning.

    CA has been upping the game. Calfire just pushed out a report for some big fuels reductions projects and the gov just waived state environ regs to get boots on the ground ASAP.

    Where I live in western NV County, most people are getting their home insurance cancelled, including those with Lloyd’s.

  4. #4
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    Nice to see CA is finally taking this more seriously. State of emergency declared by Governor will hopefully get fuel reduction moving more quickly.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Tragically, CA is already a man down. Legendary pilot, Hoser, died over the weekend. He lived in my neighborhood and smothered a grass fire about 400 ft from my house a few years ago with a retardant drop. Here is a great article about him:
    https://yubanet.com/regional/remembe...hoser-satrapa/

    I hope peeps get to work now on hazard mitigation and planning.

    CA has been upping the game. Calfire just pushed out a report for some big fuels reductions projects and the gov just waived state environ regs to get boots on the ground ASAP.

    Where I live in western NV County, most people are getting their home insurance cancelled, including those with Lloyd’s.
    Hoser was the man.

    Hats off to him.

    Thx4shrin
    watch out for snakes

  6. #6
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    after 2 back to back record years the Province of BC has doubled their budget for 2019, my buddy has already busy teaching s-100 and s-10A
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  7. #7
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    Apr 2004
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    Not that it helps you people out there in the danger zone but those show a warmer and drier spring here in the northeast. After a record wet year in 2018 and a ton of moisture already this year we need to dry out. Things are soggy and moldy, trees flop over in small winds and rotten branches fall off trees when birds land on them. Don't shoot me but for us here those images show a good thing happening. Sorry...

  8. #8
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    Aug 2006
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    I drove through paradise today. I haven’t been there since the fire. It was interesting to see the structures/homes that looked unharmed in the middle of a decimated neighborhood. Some of those homes had all or most of their landscaping, too.

    Paradise also currently looks like a free for all for timber removal. Debris removal is going very slowly but is supposed to rapidly ramp up. I’ve heard of very low numbers of people that plan to rebuild and move back. I’m not even sure how rebuilding will work out with the current water contamination issue.

    this video report is interesting https://youtu.be/PNv_76qAgBw

  9. #9
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    Apr 2012
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    Forecast for CO Front Range shows lower than average. Could change quick but the continuous snow and rain the last few days, added to the colder temps and above average precip the last few months indicates it'll be awhile till we have fire danger.

    Figures...got my FFT1 taskbook opened and now I'll have to deploy to get things signed off.
    Be always sure you're right — THEN GO AHEAD!

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Paradise [...] I’ve heard of very low numbers of people that plan to rebuild and move back.]
    I lived in that area back in the mid-70s. If I were to bet on it, I'd say that given climate change, the ridge vegetation will come back in brush instead of Ponderosa/mixed conifer. Not so much of a paradise.
    And I guess that I just don't know

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    I lived in that area back in the mid-70s. If I were to bet on it, I'd say that given climate change, the ridge vegetation will come back in brush instead of Ponderosa/mixed conifer. Not so much of a paradise.
    That could be likely. I’m under the impression that the area was clear cut in the late 19th century, but grew back under different climate conditions than we have now (also less invasive spp).

    I heard less than 4K planning to move back and rebuild. If they have no treated water available, I’d suspect it’ll be less.

  12. #12
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    Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center


    CANADIAN WILDFIRES CONTINUE TO GROW: Several massive wildfires in Canada continue to grow this week due to hot, dry, and windy conditions. Near Slave Lake, Alberta, numerous evacuation orders have been put into effect. The High Level Fire grew 50% in size to 568,342 acres in the last day. Slave Lake is currently housing residents that were previously evacuated from this fire a week ago. We are currently working on integrating Canadian wildfire information into our website. Stay tuned and please share!
    Kindness is a bridge between all people

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  13. #13
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    Yeah we got the smoke blowing down into Montana, the air sucks today. Hard to believe that with as wet a spring as we've had here, we're already having to deal with frigging wildfire smoke.

  14. #14
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    We could smell the smoke from those fires while skiing today at Killington in Vermont. It’s very rare for us to smell smoke in the air out here.
    Weird
    crab in my shoe mouth

  15. #15
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    Probably gona be expediting groceries to fire camps for the 3rd year in a row cuz an army marches on its stomach eh
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    Yeah we got the smoke blowing down into Montana, the air sucks today. Hard to believe that with as wet a spring as we've had here, we're already having to deal with frigging wildfire smoke.
    we had one day of spring before the smoke came in.

  17. #17
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    Aug 2006
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    Yesterday the State of California approved utility plans to preemptively de-energizing lines when conditions warrant. this can affect developed/built-out urban areas and other areas well outside of designated wildfire hazard zones. Last year PG&E did it during a wind event before the Camp Fire that affected something like 50k customers. it very well may have prevented another fire. i never saw a follow-up about that. if i remember right, some of the 50k customers were w/o power for 5 days after the wind event because of the need to inspect all de-energize lines before powering-up the circuits.

    this article includes a poor statement by the prez of the utility commission implying that this would only affect those in wildfire hazard zones: https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/ca...230992148.html

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Yesterday the State of California approved utility plans to preemptively de-energizing lines when conditions warrant. this can affect developed/built-out urban areas and other areas well outside of designated wildfire hazard zones. Last year PG&E did it during a wind event before the Camp Fire that affected something like 50k customers. it very well may have prevented another fire. i never saw a follow-up about that. if i remember right, some of the 50k customers were w/o power for 5 days after the wind event because of the need to inspect all de-energize lines before powering-up the circuits.

    this article includes a poor statement by the prez of the utility commission implying that this would only affect those in wildfire hazard zones: https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/ca...230992148.html
    I mentioned this idea on this forum and a lot of people laughed at me. Said what about people with important servers and first responders. Big dumb meanies.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    we had one day of spring before the smoke came in.
    Just pulled into Bozeman wondering why the hell you can’t see the mtns. Shit it ain’t even summer yet.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rip'nStick View Post
    I mentioned this idea on this forum and a lot of people laughed at me. Said what about people with important servers and first responders. Big dumb meanies.
    Hospitals and fire stations are required to have generators.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Hospitals and fire stations are required to have generators.
    Shits gonna get fucked up, especially if a large urban area is de-energized for an extended period, especially during a heat wave. The utilities need the state to back and approve their plan to help with collateral liability.

  22. #22
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    Already hazy with Canadian smoke in Seattle. Not a good sign

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Shits gonna get fucked up, especially if a large urban area is de-energized for an extended period, especially during a heat wave. The utilities need the state to back and approve their plan to help with collateral liability.
    This. It’s nuts to apply liability to the utilities. The winners are mostly the attorneys and consultants.

    I know of one case where the land owner wants millions for a grove of oak trees... that money comes from all the rate payers, to give this guy a pile of cash for his oak trees that were purely ornamental.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    we had one day of spring before the smoke came in.
    Heh. I said the exact same thing earlier today. First it was November in May, now it's late August in, uh, almost June.

  25. #25
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