BBO Discussion Forums: Thinking of the USA at this time - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Thinking of the USA at this time Bushfires/wildfires

#1 User is offline   thepossum 

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 749
  • Joined: 2018-July-04
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia

Posted 2020-September-10, 20:51

Just thinking of everyone in the USA, especially the West Coast and all those beautiful places and the wonderful people I met there

Take care
3

#2 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,147
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-September-11, 14:02

I’ve Never Seen the American West in Such Deep Distress by Timothy Egan at NYT

Quote

The open road in the Big Empty part of the American West has always been therapeutic. Vacant skies, horizons that stretch to infinity, country without clutter. The soul needs to roam, too.

After six months of confinement, I was a caged bird gnawing at the bars. Ahead were mountains beyond mountains, rivers that hustled out of tight canyons, and winds strong enough to knock a prairie chicken down.

Alas, my map was obsolete. The West of 2020 is very sick. Like much of the country, we Westerners are at one another’s throats, struggling to put our lives back together under a madman for a president. But unlike the rest of the country, we’re also choking on smoke and staring out at Martian-red skies in a world becoming uninhabitable.

My map should have included hot spots of the coronavirus and wildfire. I spent as much time checking an air quality index app as the weather forecast. And the live-free-or-die ethos of tumbledown towns defying mask orders turned many a curious detour into a perilous proposition.

Even the historical markers, commemorating wagon trains in trespass over Native land, rivers dammed for oligarchs of industry and agriculture, rail lines built on migrant labor, seemed out of sync and out of time.

I left Puget Sound with the sun burnishing Mount Rainier’s glaciers, a string of bluebird days in the contrails of the season. But I no sooner crested the Cascades than the smoke of the arid interior blotted out the way ahead, a harbinger of a week when the West would blow up.

About 330,000 acres of the Evergreen State burned last Sunday — more land consumed by fire in a single day than all the acreage of an entire typical season in Washington.

Yakima Valley, ripe with Christmas ornament apples and pinch-me peaches, was monochrome gray, in fierce battle with runaway flames. But it’s also one of the hardest-hit areas in the country for Covid-19. This year, all that beautiful fruit is picked at a terrible cost, in lives and sickness, to people living in cramped, temporary quarters.

Then, I went across the mighty Columbia, the river of the West, and along the Snake, formerly two of the most crowded salmon highways in the world, now held in the harness of hydroelectric dams. Some of the feeder streams — the Umatilla, the Grand Ronde, the Malheur — looked anemic and infirm.

Oregon held California’s smoke, and many of its recent refugees. A record 2.5 million acres have burned in the Golden State this year, and the fire season has only just begun.

“I have no patience for climate change deniers,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, a state with 150 million dead trees and temperatures that recently reached 121 degrees in Los Angeles County.

Meanwhile, the world’s most dangerous climate change denier continued to spout gibberish. “You gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests,” said President Trump, scolding California.

That’s like telling people to drain their wading pools in advance of a hurricane. Nearly 48 percent of the land in California is federally owned. Those are his floors. And this West in distress is made sicker by his defiance of the globe’s existential threat. If ash were falling on his hair, he’d be more alert.

We followed a road along the old Oregon Trail into Idaho, then picked up parts of the southern branch into Utah. The historical markers note that immigrants recruited by Mormons pushed and pulled wooden handcarts, essentially large wheelbarrows, across the continent’s midsection. It was insane, leading to many deaths.

I’d always marveled at those who walked thousands of miles to grab off a piece of dry turf to call their own. But this time around I wondered more about the people whose land was being taken. The Shoshone, Bannock and Northern Paiutes lived well without having to push 300-pound carts over the Continental Divide.

I’d never seen southern Wyoming in such a bad way. The sky was white with heat, and then blue-white with smoke, the endless beige tableau of the land littered with the detritus of oil, coal and gas extraction. We saw one fire go off like a nuclear bomb.

Here is another bit of insanity in the hellscape of this season: Wyoming’s desperate effort to hold on to its earth-killing coal plants is a contributing cause to all the climate-change fires.

An unrelated thought: How come Wyoming, with a falling population of 567,000, has two United States senators, while Washington, D.C., with more than 700,000 people, has none?

Colorado’s skies were blood red, another Rocky Mountain sigh, as we came under the cloud of the Cameron Peak Fire, one of the 10 largest in state history, all of them coming since 2002.

The authorities urged everyone to stay indoors. My parked car, in Boulder, took on a coat of falling ash. Overnight, temperatures dropped 50 degrees, and by morning snow was falling on cedars and muffling some of the fires along the Front Range.

Back home, an endangered orca named Tahlequah, who had captured the world’s attention when she carried her dead baby for 17 days in 2018, gave birth to a healthy calf. New life in the Salish Sea, fresh snow on the Flatirons; it was enough of a hint that nature can make things right, if only we give it a chance.

I appreciate Egan's note of optimism at the end.

The real time wildfires map at OregonLive shows that the Riverside Fire is dangerously close to Portland where some family members live.

The weather report shows the wind is moving slowly out of the north and northwest for the rest of today and though noon Sunday so maybe that will slow down the spread and help somewhat with Portland's air quality which these guys say is the worst in the world at the moment, narrowly worse than Seattle and San Francisco.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is giving an update at 1 PM PT today (starting shortly).
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#3 User is online   johnu 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 3,732
  • Joined: 2008-September-10
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2020-September-11, 14:32

A photo from 3 years ago when there were also huge forest fires in the Pacific Northwest

Golfing during forest fire

Posted Image

There was smoke and ash a hundred plus miles away from the fires that year. Right now, there is smoke in the air that is as thick as fog in areas of Puget Sound (Washington) from Oregon and California.
0

#4 User is online   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 14,966
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-September-11, 15:31

View Postthepossum, on 2020-September-10, 20:51, said:

Just thinking of everyone in the USA, especially the West Coast and all those beautiful places and the wonderful people I met there

Take care


As an American, I thank you for your thoughts and concerns; as a citizen of Earth, I would hope your concerns would expand to the worldwide damage of climate change.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
0

#5 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,147
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-September-11, 16:12

The governor of Oregon's office issued a clarification today saying that the 500,000 estimate for people who have been ordered to evacuate which it issued yesterday was for people who have been ordered to evacuate OR prepare to evacuate and that the actual number who have been ordered to evacuate so far is 40,0000. In this afternoon's briefing, she reported that weather conditions have improved and are helping to contain fires from spreading further.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#6 User is offline   thepossum 

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 749
  • Joined: 2018-July-04
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia

Posted 2020-September-11, 19:25

View Postjohnu, on 2020-September-11, 14:32, said:

A photo from 3 years ago when there were also huge forest fires in the Pacific Northwest

Golfing during forest fire

Posted Image

There was smoke and ash a hundred plus miles away from the fires that year. Right now, there is smoke in the air that is as thick as fog in areas of Puget Sound (Washington) from Oregon and California.


I appreciate the use of media to manipulate us all and acknowledge Winston's point about cultural bias in both our most dominant close connections, experiences and media coverage etc.

However from a purely objective sense I believe the annual fire patterns are worsening each year. They certainly are here.

And while it is clearly possible to play golf when there is a fire nearby, its rather sad seeing all that beautiful wilderness go up in smoke too

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-September-11, 15:31, said:

As an American, I thank you for your thoughts and concerns; as a citizen of Earth, I would hope your concerns would expand to the worldwide damage of climate change.


But in relation to Winston's point there are many issues facing people around the world, in addition to climate change. So notwithstanding the issue of personal expression for what people are losing and feeling in west coast USA, what about global inequality and how its possible all over the world for people to be sitting in a luxury hotel eating a 10 course banquet while people are dying of starvation just down the road. OK Winston
0

#7 User is online   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 14,966
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2020-September-11, 19:51

View Postthepossum, on 2020-September-11, 19:25, said:

I appreciate the use of media to manipulate us all and acknowledge Winston's point about cultural bias in both our most dominant close connections, experiences and media coverage etc.

However from a purely objective sense I believe the annual fire patterns are worsening each year. They certainly are here.

And while it is clearly possible to play golf when there is a fire nearby, its rather sad seeing all that beautiful wilderness go up in smoke too



But in relation to Winston's point there are many issues facing people around the world, in addition to climate change. So notwithstanding the issue of personal expression for what people are losing and feeling in west coast USA, what about global inequality and how its possible all over the world for people to be sitting in a luxury hotel eating a 10 course banquet while people are dying of starvation just down the road. OK Winston


Agreed Possum.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
0

#8 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,147
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-September-13, 14:41

From Aimee Green at The Oregonian / OregonLive:

Quote

The breathability of Portland’s air significantly worsened overnight and into Sunday, reaching 516 on the air quality index in the hardest hit parts of the city, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

That measurement is off the charts, which top out at 300 to 500 and categorize those numbers as “hazardous.”

The international air quality monitoring website IQAir.com was registering a lower number of 229 for Portland overall. That number is deemed “very unhealthy” for everyone. And it was still high enough to place Portland in the No. 1 position for worst air quality among major cities in the world. Measurements fluctuated by the hour and at times Sunday morning Portland was tying with Vancouver, B.C.

The West Coast is plagued by extremely smoky air, due to wildfires raging in California, Oregon and Washington. Smoke has drifted as far off as Michigan.

Residents in other parts of Oregon were suffering terribly as well. At certain points Sunday, Corvallis was registering at 318, Medford at 323, Albany at 427, Salem at 446, Bend at 490, Eugene at 511 and Roseburg at 579.

Visibility is so poor in many areas that the Oregon Department of Transportation was urging people not to drive and to stay home if at all possible. The department advised those who are out on the roads to give plenty of space between themselves and other drivers, to use headlights or fog lights and to pull over at a safe spot if it becomes too difficult to see.

Health experts also were advising everyone to stay at home if possible, because current air conditions can have a serious effect on health. Even exercising indoors can cause headaches, runny noses and scratchy throats, because indoor air quality can plummet without proper filtration.

The National Weather Service announced a “dense smoke advisory” until 11 p.m. Sunday. Smoke as well as fog earlier in the day reduced visibility to as little as 50 feet.

The air quality could start improving late Monday or Tuesday, according to some forecasters. Although rain has been forecast in Portland Monday, forecasters now predict a dry day and a small amount of rain Monday.

The heavy smoke will continue to ward off hot temperatures, with highs of 70 predicted Sunday and 76 on Monday.

Check back on OregonLive.com later today. This story will be updated.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#9 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 9,966
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2020-September-13, 15:37

View Posty66, on 2020-September-13, 14:41, said:

From Aimee Green at The Oregonian / OregonLive:




I made use of the link yo Oregon Live. Becky's spm and his family live maybe fifty miles south of Portland. We have been talking to them frequently and checking other sites but this one is a good one, thanks. They are in an area without fires and without evacuation orders but . they are not far from places where it is bad.
So thanks for the link.
Ken
0

#10 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,147
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-September-14, 05:22

The Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., tells the story of a father’s attempt to save his wife and 13-year-old son.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#11 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,147
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-September-15, 19:31

My son reported that Portland's air quality has improved somewhat from "hazardous" or worse since last Thursday to "very unhealthy" today and that friends 2 hours west on the coast reported that they are now breathing some good stuff. The forecast is for steady improvement through Saturday. Fingers crossed.

EPA air quality map: https://gispub.epa.g...epm&mlayer=none
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

#12 User is offline   y66 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 5,147
  • Joined: 2006-February-24

Posted 2020-September-15, 22:40

PBS Frontline produced an amazing documentary in 2019 on the 2018 Camp Fire in northern California that rapidly escalated from a few hundred acres to over a hundred thousand acres similar to what happened in Oregon on Monday Sept 7th.

https://www.youtube....h?v=F3OX1PR2SCM
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
0

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users