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Old 12-07-2017, 10:29 AM   #1
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SoCalif Winds

For those of you who have been waiting out the east winds (SantaAna's) in portions of Southern California to subside after the usual 3 days so you could use US-101 or I-5 north of L.A.; bad news. There is a wind advisory through tomorrow, Friday, for more high winds in Ventura County.
This also means that the Thomas Fire and other smaller ones, could erupt uncontrollably once again.
Don't plan on traversing Ventura County, or the south half of Santa Barbara Counties through the weekend. That would be primarily US-101, but also affects I-5. US-101 south of Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria is in a mandatory evacuation zone as of 0821 hrs this AM.

The fire: Please pray for those affected. There are hundreds of people, primarily in Santa Paula and Ventura with either no home left, or with no power, so no place to live.

Don & Teresa
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:28 AM   #2
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I've been thinking of everyone affected by the fires, whether I know who they are or not. A few months ago I went from Redding CA over to the coast and went through a town that a wildfire had hit a few weeks earlier. Lots of burned out buildings and destroyed vehicles. It was very sobering to see.

Laura, Dirk and Spike & Sam & Jasper (the cats)
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:37 AM   #3
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Thanks for your report Don. Like many I have family and friends living in Southern California.
Brushfires, Forest Fires and other unpredictable natural disasters affect us all at one time or another. I was in SW Kansas last summer where 500,000 acres had burned in March. Sobering indeed. Stay safe.
Iowa Dave
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:59 AM   #4
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Thoughts for lessening winds, and safety for all those in the path of the fires.
--Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced older woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force. --Dorothy Sayers
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:07 PM   #5
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When I was stationed at Alameda NAS in 1960's I remember the yearly burn/mud slide cycle. Yet it seems to continue 50 years later? Unfortunate but I'm surprised there has not been any improvement. I pray for the safety of those impacted and some wisdom to help future owners to be out of harms way.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
............ but I'm surprised there has not been any improvement. ......
The has indeed been much improvement. Ventura County Fire Has been at the forefront of requiring "defensible space", which means fire-resistive construction and non-combustible exterior finishes, double pane windows, brush clearance 200 feet from structures, etc. The last major fire in this county resulted in only accessory structure losses.
The problem with the Thomas Fire is the wind velocity with extreme gusts. Large embers are propelled over 2 miles, setting spot fires which in turn release embers. the fire started in Santa Paula Canyon on Dec. 4 at about 6:30 PM, and worked its way west through rugged mountain and canyon areas with thick brush; temperatures develop to well over 1000. At 9:30 PM virtually all of Ventura County lost power due to high voltage power distribution lines damaged, 15 miles west of the starting point. We went outside at that point, and the whole northern sky was bright red.
By morning the hillsides of Ventura 20 miles west had been hit hard. I looked at aerial video of a home burning right across Foothill Road from a friend's house, and the owner had indeed done his brush clearance, but lost it anyway. The radiated heat can so intense as to break windows, then whatever is inside immediately is lit.

Edit: I just went outside, and looked north. The winds have picked up and are more intense than the other night. As a result, there is heavy smoke arising from those same canyons that burned 2 days ago. There is that much fuel available in wildland areas.
Also, soil moisture levels have been abnormally low for the last three years due to drought conditions, and we've had east winds for quite a while. These east winds are from the desert, and so, are very dry. Our relative humidity right now is 15% @ 74F. Dew point is in the 20's. So any plant life is tinder dry.

( Edit #2: Sorry about the long-winded response. Just retired from Oxnard Fire Dept. Engineering last year. )
Don & Teresa
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:30 PM   #7
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No apology required. Very informative post.

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Old 12-07-2017, 02:07 PM   #8
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Thank you for the informative post. Stay safe!
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:11 PM   #9
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How far up the coast does the smoke spread. Is air quality affected in Oregon or can it be? Serious matter.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:33 PM   #10
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You are right, the smoke is toxic. We took in 5 refugees today from Ojai and one almost went to the hospital from smoke inhalation at 4 AM at the first home they evacuated to in Carpinteria. Their homes survived, however the smoke is just too terrible right now.

Edit: we had a small amount this morning that cleared up; we are 135 miles north.

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