Smoke

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
We are getting a lot of smoke from wildfires in eastern WA and OR, but compared to what is happening in Calif. it's tolerable so far. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so here is a picture of the beach in SF by a friend's house today - taken at noon.

matts LA place.jpg
 
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JimBear

Minister of Fire
Dec 15, 2017
500
Iowa
Yikes!! I went to San Clemente a few years ago, my wife’s friends have a house right off the ocean in the hills. That would of been a drag to see something like that. I can’t imagine the air quality out there is even tolerable to be outside.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
My error, he lives in the Bay Area. The pictures and stories coming from CA and OR are horrific. A local friend's son just lost their house, everything yesterday in the town of Talent, OR. They escaped with the clothes they wore and little else. He has set up a gofundme account to help them out. Locally a family was not so lucky. They escaped, burned, but their 1 yr old child didn't make it. :(

And this is just the beginning of the wildfire season.

fires.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
He just posted a video from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. Amazing.

 

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,682
Eastern Long Island, NY
Horrible was is happening in CA. There is a twitter hashtag #BayAreaFires with more posts from local residents.

Someone did this and it is very eerie

 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
Clackamas, OR
118938109_4031965380198830_7127723417932072468_n.jpg
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
Ugh. Starting tomorrow the winds are expected to shift to the south southwest. That means that the massive smoke cloud will be blowing toward us off the Pacific. It will be a real test for the hvac and the Merv 14 filter I put in. This is what is sitting off the west coast right now.
Screen Shot 2020-09-10 at 5.23.37 PM.png
 

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,682
Eastern Long Island, NY
Ugh. Starting tomorrow the winds are expected to shift to the south southwest. That means that the massive smoke cloud will be blowing toward us off the Pacific. It will be a real test for the hvac and the Merv 14 filter I put in. This is what is sitting off the west coast right now.
View attachment 263033
Wow
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
Yeah, that is a massive amount of smoke.
 

MTY

Feeling the Heat
Jan 9, 2019
392
Idaho
We have a pretty good sized burn a short distance east of us. Just prior to building the new place, I sold a house and put the furniture in storage. That was 2017. It is good stuff, and has been stored for 3 years. I remarked to someone that I would be willing to help those burned out by giving furniture. Within a half hour I had a call from the county emergency response agency telling me that the county was working with the Red Cross and that I could not donate the furniture due to Covid-19. For myself, even if I ended up living in my wall tent I would appreciate a couch or bed to sleep on.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,561
Downeast Maine
This is truly a nightmare. My wife and I have been slowly but steadily pushing the forest boundary back from our house after seeing what is happening out west.
 
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CaptSpiff

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2014
509
Long Island, NY
This is truly a nightmare. My wife and I have been slowly but steadily pushing the forest boundary back from our house after seeing what is happening out west.
I am a big proponent of "experience leads to action". In your corner of Maine the top natural danger is "ice or wind damage resulting in tree fall". You are doing right by your actions.

In wild fire country, the best home protection is:
1. grass & under brush control within 50 yards of structures.
2. metal roofing and fire resistant siding.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,009
Palmyra, WI
Our biggest fire danger here is a runaway brush fire in march started by some innocent starting a "controlled burn" - usually when the conditions are dry, 30 mph winds and maximized amount of dry grass. They are usually easily controlled at some point, given enough equipment and manpower. A typical homeowner has none of the right eq. on hand so would then call in reinforcements, usually on a local level, using volunteers and tax resources to finish out their day. I thought it was kind of comical how this year with covid scaring the begeebies out of everyone that feb, march and april saw almost zero brush fires here. Pulling resources to mend an out of control brush fire may have seemed unreasonable at the time, finally.
Is there a legitamate "controlled fire" season out west? Is there too much development to manage fuel sources in a reasonable way? I remember driving by an area in the bighorn mnts. On one side the wooded area was cleaned of debris, and seemed reasonably safe from fire hazard. The other, national park side, was a complete messed up overload of trees down, extremely dry brush laying, all set and ready to go up in flames at the touch of a spark.
 
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JimBear

Minister of Fire
Dec 15, 2017
500
Iowa
Our biggest fire danger here is a runaway brush fire in march started by some innocent starting a "controlled burn" - usually when the conditions are dry, 30 mph winds and maximized amount of dry grass. They are usually easily controlled at some point, given enough equipment and manpower. A typical homeowner has none of the right eq. on hand so would then call in reinforcements, usually on a local level, using volunteers and tax resources to finish out their day. I thought it was kind of comical how this year with covid scaring the begeebies out of everyone that feb, march and april saw almost zero brush fires here. Pulling resources to mend an out of control brush fire may have seemed unreasonable at the time, finally.
Is there a legitamate "controlled fire" season out west? Is there too much development to manage fuel sources in a reasonable way? I remember driving by an area in the bighorn mnts. On one side the wooded area was cleaned of debris, and seemed reasonably safe from fire hazard. The other, national park side, was a complete messed up overload of trees down, extremely dry brush laying, all set and ready to go up in flames at the touch of a spark.
From the folks I have spoke to & heard speak about it, there has been a lot of mismanagement of the forests as far as allowable logging, fire prevention clean up & development out west. That being said extremely dry & windy conditions are often too much for even the best efforts of management. I am sure there are differing opinions on the issue especially from those out West. Hopefully some of those folks will chime in & offer their thoughts.
 
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semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,866
SW Virginia
This is truly a nightmare. My wife and I have been slowly but steadily pushing the forest boundary back from our house after seeing what is happening out west.
Our western red cedar-clad house is located next to a national forest.
We've been doing the same as you while targeting the least fire-resistant trees first - eastern red cedar in our case.
We started by removing all the lower limbs we could reach with plans to take the trees out entirely in phases.
We also store about 4500 gal. of rainwater onsite and can run our well pump off a portable generator if needed.
Our asphalt shingle roof has been removed and we're in the process of installing a metal roof.
Fire is truly a force of nature. I've spent some days in a burn ward and convalescing at home because of it. I don't fear it but I sure respect it.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,681
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Are composition shingle roofs reasonably resistant to fire? I realize they have petroleum but they’re obviously less fire prone than cedar shakes!

We cut down all of the trees on our lot other than semi dwarf fruit trees many years ago. More because of the steady 80 mph winds through the cascade gaps than for fire but I’m glad they’re gone when my I smell smoke outside.

I’m very close to the western Washington fires. Sure, a bit smokey and we had no power for a couple days but the biggest problem was when the internet went down! Really. I can make power but school and work from home stop without the interwebs.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
The smoke moved in overnight. It is bad here now, but nothing like down in Oregon. A friend's brother was driving down I5 around Eugene and said the visibility is less than 1/8 mile. Even in his car with the windows closed he says breathing is difficult.

We just passed 200ppm locally. Visibility is less than a mile, but fortunately we have a good filter on the hvac and inside the house is not too bad. No fires here, but lots of smoke. Our cat, which loves being outside, came in after 10 minutes and wants to stay inside now. Here is the current status. The low numbers are inside buildings like schools and offices.
Screen Shot 2020-09-11 at 8.48.24 AM.png
 

Riteway

Member
Jul 27, 2020
46
Kitsap County, WA
I've lived in the Puget Sound region my whole life (42 years) and for the first 37 of those, I can't recall any instances of significant wildfire smoke in the area. But now, we've had bad smoke events in 3 out of the last 5 summers. Something to think about.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,866
SW Virginia
I've accepted that we have to filter/treat our ground water for drinking.
I never thought much about what we'd do if our air quality was bad - another good reason to air-seal the house as best we can I guess.
It seems our new paradigm requires wearing masks to counter multiple threats and I'm thinking we'd better get used to it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
I've lived in the Puget Sound region my whole life (42 years) and for the first 37 of those, I can't recall any instances of significant wildfire smoke in the area. But now, we've had bad smoke events in 3 out of the last 5 summers. Something to think about.
Yes, this appears to be the new normal, yet it's anything but normal. There are stations around Medford OR that are recording levels 3 times worse than in Seattle, which just gained the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality in the world for major cities today. Medford is too small, but the air is so bad today that it competes with Dehli and Beijing on a bad winter day.
 

ABMax24

Feeling the Heat
I feel for you, this is the first year in the last 4 where we haven't been overrun with forest fire smoke. 2018 was by far the worst, we had a 1 month stretch where we couldn't see blue sky. Unfortunately there's not much you can do, do as little as possible outside, use HEPA filters in the house, bump up the humidity in the house and drink lots of water. Eventually it will pass.
 
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