rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Reset Eleven, Day Thirty-five

The Sunday-Monday lightning storm cut us some slack, and I haven't heard of any new fires being started. In Chico I didn't even hear any thunder, and there was certainly no rain. It was sultry all day, and there was some smoke in the air, though not enough to stop the firefighting aircraft from using the local airport. Few of the craft flew over my neighborhood, and those that did were mostly helicopters. The big planes were turning east again. The Butte County fires are now 40% contained, and have burned only a little over 4,000 acres.

The Napa-Solano fire is now 22% contained, and expanded by only 4000 acres Monday, though the total area it has burned is now over 350,000 acres, making it the third largest California fire on record. The big fire east of San Jose is now the second largest historic fire, having charred nearly 360,000 acres. It is only 10% contained. Probably the best news of the day is that most of the old growth redwoods in Big Basin Redwoods State Park have survived the fire that has been burning through Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. The park was inaccessible to the arborists for a couple of days as the fire burned through it, but it was inspected today and relatively few of the big trees were found to have been destroyed. This was not a great surprise, as the redwoods are probably the most fire resistant trees on earth, but this particular fire was so intense, and recent years of drought had stressed the trees so much, that it was feared for a while that damage would be more extensive than it turns out to have been.

Since the prolonged heat wave is expected to continue for at least two more weeks, and the unusual weather pattern in the Pacific could yet bring more lightning storms, we couldn't relax even if the current fires were much closer to containment than they are. The total acreage burned topped 1,000,000 Monday, and CalFire has 96% of its crews and equipment deployed, plus many crews and much equipment have been sent from other states, the most recent arrivals being a contingent from Alaska. Some of the other fires in the state are being dealt with by the U.S. Forest Service. Northern California also has some crews from the south state, including over 30 vehicles and several hundred firefighters from Los Angeles County, which currently has two large fires of its own to contend with. The situation in the north remains dire, and firefighting capacity is strained to its limit even with all that outside help.

For the time being I'm just staying put, though if the supermarket ads that come out Wednesday show anything I really want on sale I thin I'll try to arrange a shopping trip this week. I haven't had any orange juice for about two weeks now, and there've been no donuts for even longer, but I can't be bothered to endure going out in the virus-laden heat for just a couple of items. I do miss the old days of being able to run to the nearby stores to fill the gaps between big shopping days, though. Maybe I'll get them back when cooler weather returns, or maybe by then I'll be so out of shape from months of being sedentary that I won't be able to do anything. I'm feeling older every day anymore.

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