HTML tutorial HTML tutorial

...Quite Large Fires...

So a cat, a tigress and a ninja walk into a bar...
User avatar
Naga_Fireball
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:22 pm
Location: earth
Has thanked: 1751 times
Been thanked: 1566 times

...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Naga_Fireball » Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:11 am

Hi guys and girls!

In April, the 4th (?) 2015, General Electric @ Louisville KY had 6+ acre warehouse (display room etc.?) fire.
Same day that Mr Obama gave a speech/departed KY. Ow. Perhaps they expected more support from him?
who knows!!

Well today there's a fire near Houston (40 miles north according to CNN),
a chemical plant or something called DrillChem.
So far, 2x 10,000 Sq Feet buildings/equivalent area on fire.

I'm trying to remember how large an acre is,
but according to Google, 6 acres is like 261360 square feet.
Wow. So the GE fire was really dang huge.
It consumed about 100 apartments' worth of wall to wall loot, right?

Well, I'm not sure what DrillChem stored, but whatever it was made big booms.

http://www.checkyourmath.com/convert/ar ... _acres.php
http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/14/us/texas- ... index.html

a "multiple-alarm commercial fire."


http://www.courier-journal.com/story/ne ... /25231963/
http://www.wlky.com/news/fire-investiga ... e/32262578



It's ridiculous to me how the bigger/more dramatic the accident,
less chance we have of getting the truth.
The larger the size the larger the mystery.

Which people should never accept!!
SAY NO TO B.S.. :lol:


p.s.
another similarity?
:idea:
...huge fire. no injuries.
:idea:

(CNN)A massive fire broke out Friday at a Texas chemical plant, producing numerous explosions and huge plumes of smoke.

Mike Legoudes, fire marshal for the city of Conroe, said it appears nobody was inside the DrillChem plant and that nobody was injured. Conroe is about 40 miles north of Houston.

DrillChem makes products for the oil and gas industry. Legoudes said hazmat crews didn't find anything dangerous but are trying to contain runoff as a precautionary measure.

Legoudes said the fire department received the call at 4:45 p.m. CT and arrived a few minutes later to find two 10,000-square-foot buildings engulfed in flames. The last employee is thought to have left at 4 p.m., he said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

On Facebook, the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office reported the explosions from what it characterized as a "multiple-alarm commercial fire."



and:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/ ... 3520150403
US | Fri Apr 3, 2015 5:44pm EDT
Related: U.S.
Fire hits part of GE's Louisville facility, no injuries reported
LOUISVILLE, Ky. | By Steve Bittenbender

A huge fire ripped through a section of General Electric's Louisville, Kentucky facility used for warehousing and offices on Friday, forcing the giant industrial park to shut down for at least the coming week, the company and union officials said.

"The fire at GE Appliance Park has been contained," said Kim Freeman, a GE spokeswoman. No one was injured in the blaze, according to company and city officials.

Building six – a non-production building which warehouses production parts and contains offices – suffered extensive damage, according to the company spokeswoman.



Sounds like our arsonists, if these were arsons,
have SOME conscience. :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBJVSa0chDg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIUnmZAHY3Q




edit: eek check this out, not laughing matter in retrospect:

http://abc13.com/news/drillchem-has-at- ... al/931302/
Friday, August 14, 2015 06:38PM
CONROE, TX (KTRK) --
We don't know what's in the plant that caught fire in Conroe Friday evening, but we do know that DrillChem is a major manufacturer of lubricants, sealants and chemicals that help with drilling for oil.

For example, one product is called Drill-Lube. It's described as an "emulsified blend of synthetics alcohols." It's flammable, but not considered a hazard by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Another product called First Strike helps replace sand. It's also not considered a hazard by the EPA, but exposure can result in nausea, diarrhea, as well as eye and skin irritation.

Another chemical the company produces is called Surf-Coat, which is a drilling additive. It is very flammable and can cause irritation to the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath.

There is one product we found, however, that company's own documents call "very toxic." It's a course dark powder that aids in shale drilling and is described as a potential carcinogen. It contains crystalline silicate. That means if large concentrations of this are inhaled, damage to the lungs is possible.

As far as the company itself, as you know, it's located in Conroe on a four-acre tract of land. Its warehouse is 5,600 square feet, which is about the size of a 6-bedroom, 6-bathroom luxury mansion you might find in the wealthier parts of Montgomery County.

Its offices are right next door and slightly smaller.




Oh one more thing.

From the movie "Office Space":

"If you're going to fire someone do it on a Friday, that way less chance of an incident"


Both fires appear to have been set on a Friday.
How very corporate LOL


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj0xtdN0_tA
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

User avatar
Naga_Fireball
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:22 pm
Location: earth
Has thanked: 1751 times
Been thanked: 1566 times

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Naga_Fireball » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:42 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAzTnsSgs2s

http://union-bulletin.com/news/2015/aug ... wildfires/


Military deployed for western wildfires

Union-Bulletin and wire service reports

As of Tuesday, August 18, 2015


With resources spread dangerously thin on 95 wildfires blazing throughout the West, the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise is calling in 200 active duty military troops to help out.

#
Officials made the announcement Monday, saying the troops would spend a few days training this week before they are sent to a wildfire. It’s the first time the center has called mobilized the military for fire suppression efforts since 2006.

#
The troops will be divided into 10 crews with 20 people each, and will work on the same blaze starting Sunday. Center managers haven’t decided which fire that will be yet, but more than 1,700 square miles combined are burning in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada and Colorado.

#
Several states have already mobilized National Guard personnel and helicopters to help suppress the fires.

#
The Washington National Guard joined the firefighting efforts with two Black Hawk helicopters and five 20-person hand crews Sunday join 350 firefighters battling one of the state’s most active fires, Cougar Creek, on the southeastern slopes of Mount Adams.

#
“We’ve been expecting another devastating wildfire season, and have had our personnel and equipment ready so we can get them out the door the moment we’re asked for help,” said Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard.

#
Locally, fire crews continue to battle the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire burning 20 miles southeast of Dayton in the Wenaha-Tucannon wilderness.

#
Started by lighting strikes on Thursday, the blaze consists of 13 fires, six of which have burned together and now cover more than 2,000 acres. The remaining seven fires range from one to 70 acres in size.

#
Firefighters succeeded Sunday in slowing the spread of a six-acre fire burning near the wilderness boundary on West Butte Ridge. The effort involved both ground crews with air support, said Joani Bosworth, U.S. Forest Service public information officer.

#
In Chelan, many tourists have fled the scenic lakeside town after wildfires burned dozens of homes and continued to threaten many more.

#
Several large fires burning near the town have scorched more than 155 square miles and destroyed an estimated 75 homes and businesses, officials said. Scores of homes remain threatened, and mandatory evacuation orders remained in effect for more than 2,900 people in the area.

#
The uncontained fires were being battled by more than 900 firefighters. Air tankers established lines to keep the flames from reaching downtown Chelan, fire officials said.

#
The fires also threaten apple orchards and packing warehouses in the heart of the state’s apple belt. Chelan Fruit lost one of its major fruit-packing warehouses in Chelan to wildfire on Friday. The warehouse contained 1.8 million pounds of apples and employed about 800 people, said Mac Riggan, director of marketing for the company.

#
In northern Idaho on Monday more than 700 firefighters along with 40 fire engines and four helicopters were trying to protect homes from flames but residents along an 11-mile section of U.S. Highway 12 near Kamiah were told to be ready to flee.

#
On the Idaho-Oregon border some 800 firefighters had a 443-square-mile wildfire 90 percent contained. However, fire officials warned that strong winds and low humidity, which can cause extreme fire activity, could make the situation worse.

#
In Oregon, Crews fighting a wildfire near John Day will spend today trying to strengthen control lines to prevent further damage to homes.

#
The lightning-sparked blaze on the Malheur National Forest has grown to 63 square miles and ruined at least 26 houses. Another 500 structures are threatened by the fire that is the No. 1 priority within Oregon for receiving resources when they become available.

#
More than 550 firefighters were at the scene as of late Monday — a day when fire behavior was active, but not extreme. Crews often dug lines by hand in areas too steep for bulldozers to climb, while helicopters doused hot spots from above.

#
The Cornet-Windy Ridge fire near Baker City remains the state’s largest wildfire. The blaze has scorched more than 150 square miles, but is now 35 percent contained.


:shock: :shock:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8_c9c1qYhQ

Chelan wildfire causes Level 3 evacuations, road closures

Published on Aug 17, 2015

Crews are still battling the lighting-sparked wildfire in Chelan. Hundreds of people have been evacuated. Brittany Paris reports.


"apocalyptic" :oops: :evil:

"several lightning sparked fires that merged into one"

wtf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYohF-o6oJI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiUhhDeIvFA
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

User avatar
Spiritwind
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Inland NW, U.S.
Has thanked: 2196 times
Been thanked: 2539 times
Contact:

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Spiritwind » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:51 am

Speaking of fire, I have never seen anything like this before. I live in eastern Washington and we had a layer of ash on everything this morning. My sister in law lives in Omak and the fires are literally burning all around them. They were up all night long to make sure it didn't burn their place down. They, so far, have been one of the lucky ones. Several firefighters have lost their lives. And the air has been so thick for days everyone has had burning itchy eyes, and I have climbed to our unfinished upstairs several times in the last few days, just to make sure there weren't any flames coming our way.

Growing Washington wildfires are 'an unprecedented cataclysm,' governor says

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-was ... story.html

There was very little good news in eastern Washington state fire country Thursday, as first responders and state officials mourned three firefighters who died in the line of duty and fretted about bad weather and growing blazes.

Under smoke-filled skies the sickly yellow color of a fading bruise, Gov. Jay Inslee called the current conditions "an unprecedented cataclysm in our state. There are 390,000 acres burning. Last year was bad with 250,000 acres.

"We are mustering all of the resources that can be safely deployed to fight these fires,” including more than 3,000 firefighters and 26 aircraft, Inslee said at a news conference in front of Chelan County Fire District No. 7.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell described Thursday as "one of the highest-risk days of the fire season, because of the winds expected this afternoon."

Inslee also spoke movingly about the firefighters who died Wednesday near the small rural town of Twisp. He called on the state's residents to thank the first responders who are risking their lives and cooperate with their orders as they work to protect the drought-plagued region.

"We know that these fires have burned a big hole in our state's heart with the loss of these three firefighters," he said. "We know the smoke is still there and thick. But it's not going to obscure their incredible act of courage. These are three big heroes protecting small towns."

The U.S. Forest Service identified the deceased firefighters late Thursday as Tom Zbyszewski, 20, Andrew Zajac, 26, and Richard Wheeler, 31.

They were employees of the Forest Service based in the area and had been deployed to the Twisp fire, about 150 miles northeast of Seattle, on the eastern, more arid side of the Cascade Mountains.

The firefighters “were engaged in initial attack operations and were involved in a vehicle accident when it is believed that the fire overtook the vehicle,” according to an account by Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers that was provided by the Forest Service and the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
I’m not myself today, maybe I’m you
lsthompson711@yahoo.com

User avatar
Spiritwind
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Inland NW, U.S.
Has thanked: 2196 times
Been thanked: 2539 times
Contact:

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Spiritwind » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:59 pm

This is just not going away.

Federal emergency declared for Washington wildfires

http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/w ... /32103005/

OKANOGAN, Wash. – Pres. Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration Friday, ordering federal aid to assist in battling Washington state’s wildfires.

The White House says the declaration allows FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts. The order specifically covers Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pend Orielle, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, and Yakima counties. It also brings aid to the Colville, Spokane, Kalispel, and Yakima tribes.
I’m not myself today, maybe I’m you
lsthompson711@yahoo.com

User avatar
Naga_Fireball
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:22 pm
Location: earth
Has thanked: 1751 times
Been thanked: 1566 times

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Naga_Fireball » Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:00 am

That is true Spiritwind,
an acquaintance today told me it's looking very grim and worst ever ..
Not sure what to make of it all. :(

p.s. Fire scenario for FEMA camps, i'm not a fema camp nut but I know many were very worried about that scenario.

Um hey is all the medical marijuana burning up too?
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

User avatar
Naga_Fireball
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:22 pm
Location: earth
Has thanked: 1751 times
Been thanked: 1566 times

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Naga_Fireball » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:30 pm

Today in ww we woke up to smoky skies that smell like a dirty woodstove :( Smoke thick enough to leave the taste of burnt grass in mouth. Very fatigued on bike, park was extra smoky.

Internet intermittant so typing from devilphone. Lol . have read zero news. Hope its not too bad. Mom says Friday was more hellish than Thurs and people being told not to wait for local warning but to check social media and get out fast.

Very harsh
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

User avatar
Spiritwind
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Inland NW, U.S.
Has thanked: 2196 times
Been thanked: 2539 times
Contact:

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Spiritwind » Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:25 pm

The last time there have been fires anything like this in the northwest I hear was in 1910. Saturday was actually a little better, smoke wise, for us anyway. Pretty bad air quality today though. I thought the following article was pretty interesting on the current subject. Something to ponder for sure. You'll have to go to the link for the images though.

Geoengineered Forest Fire Incineration, Dark Ice, And Methane Extinction

http://www.zengardner.com/geoengineered ... xtinction/

Record forest fires are raging around the globe, climate engineering is a primary factor fueling the planetary burning. All over the northern hemisphere boreal forests are going up in flames and smoke, further loading the atmosphere with Co2 and soot. This in turn triggers multiple climate feedback loops which causes much more rapid warming than what is already occurring.

White Cloud Helibase on the Tahoe National Forest. Murphy Fire on AEU CalFire unit. Photo credit: Chester Helitack

Siberian forests have been burning at a record pace in recent years. In April of 2015 the process began again. Regions in Siberia that have historically remained frozen until mid June were fully ablaze by early April.

The satellite image above shows clearly that by late April, 2015, the Siberian landscape was riddled with fires. (*You'll have to go to the link to see the images)

Alaska is also being scorched after a record warm winter and record low snowfall. While the US mainstream media kept the public distracted with the “Boston snow” story during the 2014-2015 winter, Alaska was warm, dry, and setting up for the coming summer burning.

The map above reveals a staggering number of wildfires in Alaska even as summer was just beginning.

In Canada the situation is no different as astoundingly high levels of once pristine forests continue to be turned into scorched earth.

In early July there were more than 418 wildfires actively burning in Canada. By that date in 2015 there had already been more than 4,500 fires that had charred more than 2,150,000 hectares of forest. This was twice the number of fires that there were at this time last year when just over 2,200 fires burned 515,732 hectares of forest.

In the incredibly parched state of California numerous out of control fires have consumed landscapes, decimated wildlife, and destroyed many homes located in rural woodland regions. The climate engineers have been so consistent at blocking precipitation from California that one must ask the question, is California just a climate sacrifice zone, or a target of engineered drought?

Flames from the Rocky Fire approach a house in Lower Lake, California. The fire, now contained, burned nearly 70,000 acres and destroyed 43 homes.

In the Western US a staggering amount of forest lands are burning including rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula which is historically unprecedented.

Northern boreal rain forests are not the only rain forests going up in flames, in recent years large swaths of the Amazon are increasingly vulnerable to wildfires as the Amazon dries out. It is important to remember and consider that on a warmer planet, the laws of physics dictate more overall precipitation, not less. The atmosphere can hold 7% more moisture for every degree of warming centigrade. The only way there can be more overall drought (and less overall precipitation) is if there is a massive unacknowledged factor in the equation that is radically affecting the hydrological cycle. That factor is global climate engineering which is causing drought and fueling fires.

Satellite imagery shows smoke from fires in the Brazilian Amazon

Though record rains very recently pounded the state of Texas, now we are told of a recent phenomenon called “flash drought” that is already afflicting the formerly flooded landscape. Will Texas soon be on fire as well? As climate engineering continues to create historically unprecedented conditions and scenarios, the power structure paid meteorological community coins new terms to describe formerly unknown conditions. Such “labeling” from the “experts” gives the public the impression that the unique conditions they are witnessing are all just “natural variability” and not the result of geoengineering (which they continue to claim is only a proposal and not a reality).

A dust devil spins across a Texas Farm in late July. A stark contrast to the heavy rains of early summer, July produced very little precipitation with only a few brief showers. The Enterprise photo: Guiseppe Barranco

All the unprecedented fire activity is accelerating an even more dire unfolding scenario, the rapid melting of global ice deposits which in turn speeds the thawing and releasing of formerly frozen methane deposits. Massive amounts of smoke and soot are being pumped into the atmosphere by the record number of blazes. When this material settles out of the skies, much of it is being deposited on Northern latitude ice deposits, turning the ice dark.

This image from the Greenland ice sheets is only one stark example of what is occurring across northern hemisphere ice deposits.

Once the ice is darkened, it loses its former reflectivity and begins to absorb exponentially more thermal energy. This leads to a much more rapid melting of land and sea ice. As the reflective cover of ice is lost, unprecedented warming is triggered over landscapes and oceans alike. With this thawing, massive formerly frozen methane deposits are being released into the atmosphere.

Craters from escaping blasts of thawing methane are appearing throughout Siberia
If the planetary warming continues unabated, and thawing methane deposits continue to fill our atmosphere, our fate will be sealed. Climate engineering is making the unfolding methane catastrophe scenario far worse overall, not better. All is connected, all is interlinked. The ongoing geoengineering programs are the epitome of human insanity. Climate engineering is nothing short of weather and biological warfare. If it is allowed to continue, the chain reaction of planetary catastrophes it is helping to fuel will be unstoppable (if it is not already). Climate engineering is not benevolent in any sense, it is about power and control. It is about hiding the severity of what is unfolding from the population for as long as possible (while making the overall climate collapse far worse in the process). The consistently engineered cool-downs of the Eastern US in a record warm world are an example of this (July 2015 was just officially reported as the warmest month ever recorded on our planet). All must unite in this battle to save life on Earth, make your voice heard.

DW
I’m not myself today, maybe I’m you
lsthompson711@yahoo.com

User avatar
Naga_Fireball
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:22 pm
Location: earth
Has thanked: 1751 times
Been thanked: 1566 times

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Naga_Fireball » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:43 pm

Thank you so much for updating topic.
I had a thought, our thread re: London fire mentioned technological breakthroughs coinciding with massive arsons. Wanted to remind you of recent aerospace breakthroughs including laser tech and of course whatever took out the ISS supply shuttles. Would be easily mistaken for lightning.

Www.usfa.FEMA.gov/downloads/PDF/statistics/v9i5.pdf
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

User avatar
Naga_Fireball
Posts: 2012
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:22 pm
Location: earth
Has thanked: 1751 times
Been thanked: 1566 times

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Naga_Fireball » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:29 am

very sad to report that our two former friends with aerospace connections upscaled their hacking attacks against our household.
my husband's now been hacked (phone), my voicemail hacked.deleted, and of course, the settings changed on my home PC.

Not sure what got those two onto my butt,
they try to make it sound like one thing,
but honestly, stuff like This Thread seems to be part of it.

Any criticism of the aerospace/war related industries,
any attempt to cast light on snakes,
is met with illicit attacks.

Be well, be safe, be aware.
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

User avatar
Spiritwind
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Inland NW, U.S.
Has thanked: 2196 times
Been thanked: 2539 times
Contact:

Re: ...Quite Large Fires...

Postby Spiritwind » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:20 pm

We've finally had some rain here, and I honestly don't believe that this is all just been due to some ridiculous man made climate change, but thought this was a good article none the less. Seems there is a crisis happening in many parts of the world now. Not time to be getting weak in the knees for sure.

The "New Normal" in Washington State
After Two Record-Breaking Wildfires, Residents in One of Washington's Poorest Counties Consider What a Climate-Changed Future Holds
by Sydney Brownstone

http://www.thestranger.com/news/feature ... gton-state

I could show you what it looked like before the fire." Shane Horton pulls out his tablet in the smoke-filled parking lot of Hank's supermarket, where two Humvees full of tired-looking National Guardsmen are keeping watch for looters. It's a national emergency here in rural Twisp; nearby, the largest wildfire in Washington State history has been burning for 14 days. On the other side of the Okanogan Complex—which is actually six fires—another fire on the Colville Reservation is burning, too. Some worry the two will merge.

Three firefighters died here the previous week. The land looks like a blackened moonscape. Stress and a thick blanket of smoke blur the days together. Everyone is praying for rain.

Horton is a big, smiley guy with a graying ponytail and forearm muscles the size of my whole face. I guess that's what happens to a person's arms after 20 years carving ancient mammal bones called fossil ivory, which is what Horton used to do before all his art tools—acquired over decades, something to the tune of $50,000—were destroyed, along with his entire home. Horton had less than half an hour to get away from the 35-mile-per-hour firestorm that ripped through the valley where he lives, one that made a sound like "a huge train or Learjet... just reverberating through my whole body," he remembers.

But Horton is not talking about this year's fire. He's talking about last year's fire, the Carlton Complex, which, at that point was the biggest in Washington State history. Horton has now lived through both. He's one of many people preparing for a "new normal" in the Pacific Northwest, where communities fear that megafires will drive residents away and further erode their already-small tax base, leaving fewer people with bigger burdens of recovery. The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that Pacific Northwest wildfires will burn double the acres we've historically seen every year by mid-century if climate change continues unmitigated. In the Okanogan Highlands specifically, climate scientists predict the area burned could increase by a factor of four.

Horton pulls up Google Earth, which shows what used to be his modest home tucked into a thick clump of ponderosa pine, fir, and maple trees. Now the land looks blitzed. "All the trees you see there," he says, "are toast."

On August 20, a day before the Twisp fire took the lives of three firefighters, Horton was living in a fifth wheel (no one calls it an RV) on his property in the Chiliwist Valley. Volunteers—Mennonites, Anabaptists, and others—had started building his new home. Then authorities issued a Level 3 evacuation for the area, but Horton refused to leave. Instead, he shelled out $450 for a pump to siphon water from a nearby creek, armed himself with a 50-foot fire hose, and prepared to defend what little he had left.

Staying in the fifth wheel that night was "disheartening," Horton says. Just the sound of the wind whipping through burned trees reminded him of the roar of last year's fire. But the fire spared Horton's RV and property. Now he has just $300 for the next 22 days until he gets a paycheck from his new job working at a local farm.

Okanogan is the second poorest county in Washington State by median household income. It's also one of Washington's largest counties, land-wise—stretching more than 5,000 square miles, including part of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, right up to the Canadian border—and one of the least densely populated, with an average of eight people per square mile.

The Carlton Complex hit Okanogan hard. The White House declared Carlton a national emergency, and FEMA issued a public assistance declaration, opening up funding for public agencies and tribes. To date, FEMA has spent more than $13.1 million on public assistance grants in Okanogan County, repairing roads, culverts, bridges, and fiber-optic cable.

But Okanogan's needs extend far beyond that. Governor Jay Inslee twice asked FEMA for an individual assistance declaration—funding that would aid individual homeowners—and twice the agency declined. The impact was "not of the severity and magnitude" required, a FEMA administrator wrote in response.

That's when Carlene Anders stepped in. Anders was one of the first two female smoke jumpers to hop out of planes in the state of Washington; she's fought fires since she was 18 years old. Anders also used to run a day-care center, but the Carlton Complex changed all that. For the last year, Anders has been working 10-hour days, seven days a week, as part of the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Campaign, a grassroots group of local residents focused on disaster case management and building new housing. Their funding comes entirely from private donations.

When I meet with Anders, we take shelter from the floating carcinogens inside the only bakery in the town of Pateros, where people are passing in and out to ask how each other's phone lines are doing. Anders's phone is blowing up with calls from legislative staff and members of her disaster network.

Anders says that if Okanogan didn't get assistance from FEMA last year, they'd be in even more serious trouble this year. She's already worried about what might happen if the county doesn't receive enough FEMA dollars after the Okanogan Complex stops burning. (As of August 30, the fire had burned 304,782 acres, and by September 1 was still consuming 144,479 acres.)

"People don't deal with 400 or 500 homes gone out of their community and not have it internally affect every system of life," Anders says. "Like with the school district here, K through 12, there were two to four students in every single grade—didn't miss one grade—who lost their home. And a third of the staff, six of the staff. So those people are just getting back into homes right now."

Anders places her hands firmly on the table when she's talking, palms perpendicular to the surface like two fences, showing how recovery works when a wildfire like the Carlton Complex rips through a place like Okanogan and wipes out 256,108 acres. Wildfires burn Washington every year, but not like this, Anders says, not in the way that much of Okanogan County is now unrecognizable because of last year's destruction—miles and miles of scorched trunks and rootless, mudslide-prone earth.

So now some Carlton survivors are building metal fences instead of timber ones, clearing out vegetation, and using volunteers to build structures that anticipate more fires in the future. Much of that rebuilding is thanks to Anders's endless work, which has taken a personal toll. She says she's gained weight but doesn't eat. She is not getting enough sleep. There is still so much work to do.

Anders's daughter also fought in the deadly Twisp fire the previous week. For hours, Anders didn't know whether her daughter was one of the victims. She heard that a rig got burned—one firefighter, then two more—but her cell phone wasn't working. It wasn't until 10:30 that night—about five hours later—that Anders found out her daughter was safe. After a lifetime of fighting fires, and more than a year of helping her community recover from the unprecedented disaster of the Carlton Complex, including the loss of her mother's and her family's homes, Anders was most shaken by the not-knowing.

At times, Anders looks at her hands when speaking, as if they're the only evidence she's here now and not permanently stuck in those awful five hours.


Out of the 260 primary-residence homes in Okanogan destroyed by the Carlton Complex last year, the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery Campaign has plans to rebuild 14 homes now, and another 26 through 2017. But in the midst of this new disaster, the recovery progress has slowed. Most of the contractors also fight fires. The need for skilled firefighters has been so great that specialized teams from Australia and New Zealand have been flown in.

It didn't help that last year's fire exacerbated the area's affordable-housing crisis, says Lael Duncan, executive director of Okanogan County Community Action Council. In a post-Katrina world, there's no denying that natural disasters worsen social fault lines, and it's no different in rural Washington: The poor, the uninsured, and the nonwhite tend to get hit hardest, and the poor, uninsured, and the nonwhite often have the least resources to recover. Some people just moved away, Duncan says, while others rented an apartment if they could find one.

This wasn't entirely unpredictable. Ten years ago, Duncan's organization partnered with the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture, or Cal-Earth, an organization that builds structures originally intended for life on another planet. Nader Khalili, the creator of Superadobe, first developed the idea in partnership with NASA to build structures that could be made out of materials available in space. During his work with NASA, Khalili realized that the same structures built for interplanetary exploration could be used for low-cost disaster housing here on Earth. They'd be fireproof, hurricane-proof, and tornado-proof, and made of nothing but barbed wire and sandbags.

Superadobe didn't quite catch on in Okanogan, where many people live in aging mobile homes, single-family homes, vacation rentals, or shacks. The price of concrete went up, and labor proved prohibitively expensive, too. But Duncan thinks that these latest fires could prove a turning point in how people think about their future in Okanogan. "No one who has lived here all [his or her] life has seen anything like this," she says.

The instant transformation of her surroundings is not an easy thing for Duncan to talk about. Many people in Okanogan won't see tall pines on their property again in their lifetime. And it's not just the landscape, she says; it's livelihoods and traditions being destroyed. "It goes far beyond the word 'disaster,'" she says.

It also goes beyond people directly impacted by the fire. Almost everyone I spoke to in Okanogan worries about the county's financial burdens shifting to the diminishing number of people who haven't been burned out.

"We have 64 taxing districts in Okanogan County, and every one of them turns in a budget in the fall, asking for property tax in the fall," Okanogan County assessor Scott Furman explains. "So if your tax base declines in the wildfire, all that happens is levy rates go up and you collect the same amount of money."

People who can't afford to leave could end up paying more for public services in already-impoverished areas. "We're the ones that do hurt because everybody's surrounded by it," Karen Sutherland, a mother of two whose husband works as a mechanic at a nearby orchard, tells me. "There's poor-poor," she says, as if to acknowledge that there are people who have it worse. "But we're poor, you know? And we're not medium, and we're not rich."

Sutherland, a member of the Splatsin First Nation, lives in Brewster, one of the towns heavily impacted by Carlton last year. She refused to evacuate while her husband fought a fire at the orchard, and this year is volunteering at the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation donation center. She worries about her kids, about the fact that the local park doesn't even have a decent slide, and about water rates that have jumped 18 percent since the Carlton fire. Since last year's fires, she's also noticed that some elderly people and kids—including her nephew—are losing their appetites. She suspects it's because of the smoke.

Shane Horton doesn't doubt that the future in Okanogan County will look very different than the Okanogan he grew up with. And while scientists aren't blaming the last two years' fires exclusively on climate change—in addition to drought and high temperatures, forest management and weird weather also factored into the fire-prone landscape—he doesn't doubt that climate change is playing a role. No one I spoke to over two days in this rural corner of the state did.

"Here we are, right in the middle of it," Horton says. "It doesn't mean that it's all going to explode on us overnight, but things are changing rapidly, and if we don't as a human race figure it out, I feel like more and more of this is going to happen."

Horton worries. He's 45, and he doesn't have the resources to leave and start his art career from scratch again.

But now Horton has a different vision for his 11.5 acres of land. He's going to build his new home with cement siding to make it more fireproof. If there aren't any living trees left on his property, he plans to grow herbs and berry bushes.

"The land would be really good for goats," Horton says. At the mention of goats, Horton's shoulders relax. Suddenly, his face brightens. (I love goats too, so that made me smile)
I’m not myself today, maybe I’m you
lsthompson711@yahoo.com


Return to “The HFW (Holy F*ck Wow) - WTF forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron