Monday, October 22, 2007

We've Been Lucky This Fire Season

There are times that synchronicity is unnerving. Yesterday I talked about the popularity of flame and fire artwork. Today, our news is devoted to those very serious fires on the coast.

Prescott has been fortunate this year -- so far. In fact, so has all of Arizona. No major wild fires. In fact, today we (and other smaller communities in the state) sent equipment over to California to help fight those dreadful fires. I was awakened this morning by my nephew, calling to let me know his entire family of three generations had been evacuated safely. This is the second time their San Diego area home has been threatened by wildfire in the past four years.

The only smoke that we have seen is from control burns -- small fires deliberately set by the Forest Service to reduce the fuel load in the pines and the chaparral. The burns pictured here were reasonably benign. Once in a while the winds shift and our town, centered on a little bowl in the hills, fills with smoke. Rough on folks with breathing problems. And once in a very great while a control burn escapes, turning into a real conflagration.

That's why I was surprised to hear on the news that the Coconino National Forest up north will conduct control burns this week while some equipment is over on the coast. Fingers crossed, everybody.

Later: Today (Tuesday), the PNF announced it was postponing any control burns to release a fire crew to help fight the California blazes. And the Coconino is reported to be cutting back on burns by KNAU radio. However, I checked the NPR station's site to verify that I heard correctly and found no info, but this somewhat cynical link to a Reuters site about one reason some Californians have a fire problem.


OmegaMom said...

They've been very proactive at Coconut Natl. Forest, doing *lots* of thinning projects over the past five years, *lots* of small prescribed burns. When we had that fire last year that could have been a very bad one (winds were fanning it like a blow torch), it hit one of the thinned spots and stopped dead.

Last I've heard, there were 500 houses burned in K's town, but it's early yet to get a definite figure.

Olivia Kroth said...

I was shocked to see the photos online: burnt out cars on the Pacific Coast Highway, burning houses in Ramona, Malibu and around Santa Barbara.

I feel very sorry for the people in California and hope that those fires will not spread any further.

hermano said...

Interesting sidelight, I'll be flying into LAX a week come thursday and no doubt there'll be a bit of residual smoke for my pilot to navigate through. I n all likelyhood, proscribed burns will be taking place here shortly and in all likelyhood the mega-greenies will wail and moan--dolts


Catalyst said...

Mayor-unelect Rowle has a great picture on his office wall from the Indian Fire, showing a huge black cloud of smoke hovering over Prescott. Frightening!

Granny J said...

Dotter -- I recall when the greenies were protesting (via the law suit route) plans to thin out those dog hair patches on the road to the Canyon. Times (and minds) have changed.

Olivia -- All the Southwest has been in a drought for several years. Autumn, with its high winds, is the fire season on the Coast.

Bro -- hope that is an "e" you had in mind, not the "o" you used! As for the ultras, they are Crazy. In the recent past, they have forced the Forest Service to manage by avoiding law suits.

Cat-A -- that was a very scary day.

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