I actually had quite a bit of fun and I felt like it taught a lot about how to fight forest fires. Especially what you can do to your house to protect against wildfires. I wish the Humans could be moved or moved into the houses once they were built. I confused and wondered if I needed to remove the stuff from around the people to prevent them from getting killed.
Some other useful maps to have when a wildfire is beginning to break out is a wind current map, vegetations map, and topographic map. Since fire is strongly influenced by oxygen, knowing is the how much the wind is going to influence a fire. A vegetation map will basically show the amount and type of vegetation in the area for the fire to feed on. A topographic map can help with seeing if there are any natural barriers to the fire in nature. Like canyons or rivers, large mountains with little vegetation so the fire will have no fuel or heat due to the high elevation to keep it going.
Map example: Soil Burn Severity map
Most people don’t think about the aftermath of a wildfire and how it damages the area’s soil. A soil burn severity map (example seen below). This would come in handy to see where the most damage and where a potential debris flow could happen due to the lack of organic material keeping the soil in place. This would help me if I lived in the area by making sure to avoid the areas with highly burned soil on rainy days to avoid possible debris flows.
A hazard that can show up in the aftermath of a wildfire is Debris flows. When the organic material was consumed by the fire, the soil turns into ash and char. When the next wet weather comes to the area, the soil is flooded with liquid. With no organic material to hold the soil in place on the mountainous wilderness area, the slopes quickly erode and cause a debris flow. This happened in the area after the Chetco Bar fire was mainly contained and the wet season began in Oregon.
An Article that I found interesting
Example of how a fire influences the weather around it
From the website: https://www.hcn.org/articles/the-art-and-science-of-forecasting-wildfire
The event I picked for my second case study was the Chetco Bar wildfire. This fire burned in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness located in the Southwest part of Oregon. The first sign of fire was reported on July 12th, 2017 and firefighters believe it was started by a lightning strike. The fire started in the scar of the 2002 Biscuit Fire (that only burned 45 acres) but grew because of Brookings effect. Brooking effect is specific to the Southern coast of Oregon. It uses the effect of katabatic wind were wind rushes caused by the change in temperatures due to elevation change moves down along an elevation/sloped form and picks up speeded. Being one of the main pillars (oxygen, fuel, and heat) in having a fire, the wind provides the fire with plenty of oxygen to the fire. Combine the sweltering summer climate that caused dry vegetation to fuel the fire and the heat to create the lightning, the fire spread rapidly. Covering over 300 acres after a week of burning. By August 2017, the fire spread to 22,042 acres and mandatory evacuations were issued to the residence in the area. The fire was reported to be 100% contained on November 2th, 2017 with a total of 191,125 acres burned.
I found how lightning is created quite interesting. As the area’s ground warmed up due to the heat, the air heated up and rose, taking vaporized water with it to form clouds and friction between the water droplets or ice builds up enough electron charge to where it needs to go somewhere. At the same time, charge partial are accolading on the earth’s surface below the thunderclouds. When the attraction between the charged electrons and particles between the thunderclouds and the ground becomes too great, it overcomes airs resistance to electric flow and moves quickly to each other to balance out. So fast that it is traveling a 3rd of the speed light, causing the flash of light.
The article by Wheat is the best article representing the discontent that Washingtonians felt about the management of the Carlton Complex. Three of my sources talk about lawsuits filed against the state for way the fire was handled, which is one of the reasons I picked this fire for the case study. This fire burned homes, timber, and created emotional distress that the residents of the state are suing for damages for. The results of this fire is one of the reasons that the state passed legislation that residents could stay on their land and battle fires, regardless of evacuation orders.
At least 1,063 structures have been destroyed in the fire. Numerous single-family homes were destroyed. A psychiatric facility in Ventura was destroyed, the Ojai Valley School, near the city of Ojai was heavily damaged with two buildings destroyed. The Fire destroyed many expensive homes in the Montecito area which you will see most did not have proper landscape or buffer mitigation in my opinion.
Over a quarter million Southern California Edison customers lost power as a result of damage from the fire. there are also two class action lawsuits against Southern California Edison, residents are claiming the fire, and the deadly landslides that followed was caused by lack of mitigation.
thousands of firefighter battled the fire on Christmas, leaving there families in several states they deployed from. there were also thousands of Children displaced, left with a nightmare memory and no gifts to distract there sad thoughts of not seeing there teddy bear again. One firefighter died of thermal injuries and smoke inhalation on December 14, in an active area of the fire near Fillmore, and one firefighter was injured after being struck by a car on December 5. His injuries were not considered to be life-threatening. One person, an elderly woman died in a car accident while fleeing the fire on December 6.The Thomas Fire destroyed his and 4 other Airmen’s homes from the 146th Airlift Wing, forcing about 50 wing-members to evacuate as the fire raged through the count
after all this tragedy, i will bet that not much changes, a few laws may be passed, but lobbyists will come in, home owners will not design a buffer zone around there new homes, and next year may be worse.
Over a quarter million Southern California Edison customers lost power as a result of damage from the fire. There are now 2 class action lawsuits against Southern California Edison claiming the fire was caused by a lack of mitigation,
My favorite link below is Really? does it always have to be about the Hollywood Stars?!? Yes, i made that title, i think its fitting, after reading many many articles, I started seeing more info on where Oprah and were going to fly instead of normal, every-day struggling families, I guess its easier to move on? so yes I liked this post because i think it shows exactly whats wrong with some of our priorities.
This is my favorite resource because it talks about the Urban/Wildland development mix. Without an Urban mix into the Wildland Firefighting realm the loss of lives would greatly reduce, the importance of “putting out” the fire is nearly gone, and firefighting resources could be moved to a more endangered place. One thing that was said in this article was the proactive thought process from stopping a repeat of this 2017 fire season: “We could do better on land-use planning and how we build communities and where we place them,” said Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science at UC Berkeley. “In Northern California, there’s an underappreciation of communities’ vulnerability to fire.” One of the things that our mortgage lender pointed out to us when we were looking to buy our house was “Is it firewise? What fires have been in the area in the last ten years?” Etc… I have not heard of this being asked in the lower 48, I think that this would be a very wise thing to encourage being gone over before purchasing a house in an area that is extremely prone to wild/urban fires.
For those of you doing Wildfires in your first case study I’d love to here your thoughts on these articles (or at least my favorite one).
The article that I liked the most for the Waldo Canyon fire was the CNN article. The article was released before the fire was fully contained. It has photographs of the destruction, and of the people being influenced by it. The article covers the impacts brought on by the fire and by the evil nature of some people and just how it effected those involved.
Articles were a little harder to come by for the avalanche case study however. Granted Wikipedia is not always the most trust worthy of sites but, it did let in some insight of how restrictive the government of Peru is and how they could have avoided the mass deaths from the avalanche if they released the information and took action when it came about. The site explains how the new town on Yungay is located a mile North of the original town.
Since my hazard was landslides and there was no landslide game I wanted to try my hand at preventing a wildfire (given my background). Let me say that I found the game harder than it seemed in real life. I chose the Australian outback option thinking it would be like California where I work and live. I put significant effort in to remove the dead trees and grass from around the homes and infrastructure.
The mission of the game was to build a shelter for enough people and to “protect the water towers”. I cleared brush and upgraded the towers with the protective features and they still burned. Guess I am not as good as I thought I would be. The second game my score was much higher (46,000) but I still failed the mission.
Things that rang true about the game was the need for distance from a structure and vegetation. Building in areas that are less prone to the propagation of wildfire (I.E. slopes and canyons) seemed to help and using less flammable decorative landscaping.
I chose mapping because i noticed a few key resources that were made available to San Burnardino in 2007 that the local governments have not yet utilized, as they are only taken up as Drafts. in the image below you can see what is red and orange, the uncolored inside is Local responsibility. the state deems their whole area as extremely dangerous.
The County, as well as the 16 cities that make up the county could use this resource much better if it were not still categorized as a draft.
The image above is known as a Progression map, i like this map because you can see the hot spots and the fires movement, this could aid in laying down fire lines or used with an overlay of road system and utility maps to determine the best way to access different areas of the fire such as hot spots. this map was updated at least once a day.
Last but not least we have my personal favorite, the Public Information Map, (link inserted) this is the Featured image for this post, i find the legend to be very helpful if i were a local resident monitoring and planning mitigation. this map is also updated at least once a day and is available as a public resource. I know i don’t like waiting for a press conference to find out if a fire is any closer to my home..
Fire Disaster Game update:
I also must say i enjoyed playing the Fire disaster game again, I’m getting a bit better and saving money and time by utilizing the flame retardant trees. I’ve tried several different ways to keep more villagers alive, it is an eye opener..