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Author Topic: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.  (Read 1391 times)

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Geek-9pm

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California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« on: October 11, 2017, 12:51:37 AM »
You must have already heard. These fires are the worst ever. The bigest must be the one that goes from Santa Rosa to Colusa.  Th city of Santa Rosa was very badlu burnt. A K-mart was destroyed. A Hotel.  An entire residential area. Photo attated. (Photo copied for TV station KGO.)
Find more images on Google and Bing.

Questions.
Is there any way Computer Technology could help?
Can Wild fires be predicted?
What is the fastest way to order evacuation?
Can a automobile be made fireproof?


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BC_Programmer


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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 03:37:34 AM »
Most areas in North America and particularly the west coast that experience a yearly round of wildfires have had their worst year this time around. California's 40,000 or so hectares of wildfires. 17th most destructive on record with 17 dead, with another 240 reported missing. Awful stuff.

This past Summer the wildfires in British Columbia and Washington were some of the worst we've seen as well. Just the largest wildfire in British Columbia consumed over 521,000 hectares, and we had a province-wide state of emergency. I'm isolated from the mainland but there were a few fires even on Vancouver Island, and air quality was awful for a while with a good week where the air was a thick fog of gray smoke. Thankfully there were no deaths but over 500 structures were destroyed.

As for technology, I don't think a reliable simulation of a wildfire could be run in a way that provides useful information about it's spread beyond what an experienced firefighter would already be aware of. One possible usage could be autonomously or remotely piloted drone aircraft performing water drops from the air, as many of the injuries or even deaths in some cases during wildfire season are due to those aircraft crashing or experiencing difficulties and having to land pretty much inside a wildfire.

If I recall correctly, evacuation orders here are issued through cell towers, and give notifications on smartphones and many other devices for affected residents. Typically residents are already well aware of the wildfires nearby, at least with our typical topography, so would usually be keeping an ear to the ground regarding evacuation orders being issued.

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Can a automobile be made fireproof?
Nice try Mr. Mobster! :P
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

Geek-9pm

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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 10:49:17 AM »
Glad to see you are safe.  :)
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Can a automobile be made fireproof?
Some have reported that an automobiles would catch fire even as the owner was driving out of the danger zone. Sometimes the fire wold bridge a highway and people had no choice but to drive through the inferno. I can no imagine how much heat it takes to ignite a moving vehicle. Is the paint flammable?
In this video the cars were not moving.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=wild+fire+burns+automobiles&view=detail&mid=A2A73270D749BAED9812A2A73270D749BAED9812&FORM=VIRE
The video is hard to comprehend. It lots like something that could not happen. but it   did. No two or three, but a bunch of cars catch fire on a freeway. Reports say about six cars burst into flames. Drivers left their cars.
This reports says 20 vehicles.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/18/freeway-reopens-after-fire-burns-20-vehicles/30342793/
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LOS ANGELES - California motorists saw both fire and rain within 24 hours on a key artery that Friday seemed straight out of a hellish Hollywood movie.

A rare and welcome storm hit Southern California Saturday, dousing a mountainous stretch of Interstate-15 that became a blazing automotive inferno when the rampaging North Fire leaped from brittle brush to passing cars.

As vehicles caught fire, drivers and passengers ran for cover as firefighters began dropping water and fire retardant from helicopters and airplanes. When the flames were finally extinguished, 18 cars and two big-rig trucks were destroyed. Two people suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation, but declined medical attention, authorities said.
The red stuff they dump from the aircraft is a mixture that helps retard flames.
EDIT: Looking closer at the videos, it looks like the vehicles started to burn from the inside. So it was not the paint that caught on  file.  Maybe the materiel used in the interior.Anyway,  the efforts to put out the vehicle fires were not successful.

michaewlewis



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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 12:21:24 PM »
I heard this on the radio a few weeks ago. Facts may be a bit fuzzy from then....
Part of the problem with wildfires is that the government classifies some state/national parks as wilderness areas and refuses to clean up overgrowth and they often just let fires burn in these areas. The chetco bar fire in southern Oregon was spotted shortly after it started and they made a conscious decision to let it burn. It wasn't until two weeks later, when  it was starting to threaten structures and communities that the government decided to look into it, and by that time it was enormous and impossible to control.
Also, if a fire starts on private land, and the owner didn't do anything to fireproof their property before the fire started, they can be sued by the government if it spreads and damages government owned land, but if the roles are reversed, a property owner can't sue the government. Now that's screwed up! The government really needs to start managing their forests and wilderness areas instead of just letting them go. Thousands of acres and millions of trees are completely wiped out because they wouldn't cut down a few trees and trim overgrowth.


Edit:
Did you notice these videos were from 2015?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 12:35:35 PM by michaewlewis »

Geek-9pm

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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 02:17:05 PM »
Yes the automobile videos I cried  were from  2015 and were unusually graphic. I posted these because they were live-cation videos of helicopters trying to put out the burning cars on a major hi-way in LA. 

The recent fires also had reports of cars bursting into flamers. and the drives had to leave them behind. Over the years Californian has had severe wildfires and they are not getting less. One would thin that by now government agencies would have an effective plan to deal with wildfires.  It is one thing to let a fire burn in a wilderness area, *censored* another thing to allow it to burn houses, cars and property in the suburbs. You would think they would keep the area around a highway free of dry grass.  Apparently this still don't practice prevention.

The say prevention is better than a cure. That surely applies to wildfires. Warnings about the dangers of wildfires  have been given for years, but it is when it happens that people take note of how dangerous they are.

About cars on files. Automobile fires a very common. But it is surprising that a wildfire can make a car ignite. Or so I thought. One would think that the makers would do more to insure that automobiles will not just burst into flames when exposed to high temperatures. Apparently not.

News reports are now being sent out that the current problem in California is not yet over. Fires are still active and there are not enough men to control the rifles.
Here is a recent report:
http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/10/wildfires-raging-across-california-kill-at-least-10-and-destroy-thousands-of-homes-6988702/
The above link has a set of recent photos to the damage in California. Even Disney Land was in the danger area. It is closed, of course.

EDIT: It is not rocket science. See here:
VEGETATION CONTROL FOR SAFETY

patio

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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 06:45:46 PM »
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About cars on files. Automobile fires a very common. But it is surprising that a wildfire can make a car ignite. Or so I thought.

You have any concept how hot those fires get ? ?

You have any idea what it would cost the car industry to protect against those extreme temps  ? ?

Get a grip.
   
 
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BC_Programmer


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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 07:44:23 PM »
One would think that the makers would do more to insure that automobiles will not just burst into flames when exposed to high temperatures.

As Patio says, the radiant heat from nearby wildfires can be incredibly high. We're talking about wildfires that are hot enough that the heat from one side ignites brush on the other side of a 8-lane highway without a grassy median and which are hot enough to cause severe burns to people within quite a large radius.

Considering that high summer temperatures can cause car engines to burst into flames on it's own, it should be no surprise that you cannot safely drive a car through a literal inferno.

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One would think that the makers would do more to insure that automobiles will not just burst into flames when exposed to high temperatures.
What kind of protections are possible? cars literally run by burning a flammable liquid. You drive a car through a wildfire and that flammable liquid does this thing where it catches fire- Not exactly a surprise. I don't know what sort of protections you think should be in place but they aren't going to be economical. I mean even if you fireproof the engine block and the fuel lines, maybe the car survives but that doesn't really accomplish much when the occupants are barbecued alive. And fireproofing the cabin itself and now you don't have a car you have a tank.

 Safety concerns with vehicles primarily concern the countless hundreds of thousands or millions of car accidents every year, not the comparatively small amount of vehicles which, for some inexplicable reason, catch fire when they are driven through one.

Besides, if we're going to fireproof the cars, how about we go right ahead and just fireproof the trees and the brush too?
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

Geek-9pm

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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 08:42:01 PM »
Points well made; Patio and BC.
It is just hard to imagine that much heat outdoors.  :(
How strange. It is now getting cooler here in California and we have to start using the furnace at night.
Here is a chart of melting temperatures.

Melting temperatures of some common metals and alloys


Steel is r the highest. Cars have a lot of steel, but they do melt in wildfires. The melting points is about 1500  C or 2700 F.

So yes, getting a fire proof car is just too hard to do.

Some fires are still active in California and some state highways  are either closed or subject to closure by local police. 
 

BC_Programmer


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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 12:35:56 AM »
It is just hard to imagine that much heat outdoors.  :(

Definitely. One might more typically think of the temperatures near a campfire or bonfire, which is far less than when say an entire forest is burning around you.
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

Geek-9pm

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Re: California Wild Fires. Worst ever.
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2017, 01:14:56 AM »
Some comparisons to historical wildfires are of interest.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wildfires
The list has major world fires of the prior century. And a few back in the late 1800's.
A number of the worst fires have been after the year 2000.
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2000 fires in Southern Europe in July 2000 consumed forests and buildings in southern France, parts of Iberia, Corsica, and most of Italy including the southern part during the heatwave dominating southern Europe with 40 to 45 C temperatures caused the phenomena.
Air at 45 C is 113F. That is very, very hot indeed.

Therefore, to say that this has never happened before is not accurate. However, there might be a pattern of server weather and fires more often that in other times.
Also ,the growth of distribution of populations is a factor.Take for example the greater Los Angeles area, which has seen rapid growth from the  when Disneyland was built.
You can Google 'Worst Wildfires Ever' and get reports that point to the  recent Californian fires as being most unusual.