California Wildfires

ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
BTW Irv pardon my ignorance but your icon represents which dwarf? Just wondering...
-5 for not being able to rekanize:
;)

~~~~~~~~~
This is such a weird thread.

Humans are silly beasts.

We live on flood plains, fault lines, volcanoes, coasts and islands susceptible to hurricanes and tsunamis, and places called tornado alley... Then, we Frack and cause more earthquakes! WTF?!!

And some still argue that the last 120 yrs or so of industrialization doesn't affect the global weather and climate stability.

I'm not really interested in getting into how much of this is truly natural vs man-made. I don't care about maps that show where the homeless with their needles and Hepatitis are. Not concerned about PG&Es longevity as a failing publicly traded embezzling-@$$ company...

Yet I am still stunned at every occurrence that shows the ignorance and pettiness of our humble-egotistical race. (That would be Human Race... all of us as a whole.) (Oh, and I'm not really stunned. Disappointed, rather. We can be better.)

Anyway... Everybody everywhere has their problems. I grew up in the Midwest and have seen just as much homelessness and poverty as I have here. Saw a lot more violence, to be certain. There might not be wildfires... but I wouldn't trade where I am for the banks of the Mississippi, and that's for d@mn sure.

Suffice it to say there is a lot more going on than the Face-Holes on network TV and internet reporters can share. And just like, "because I read it on Wikipedia it must be true" doesn't work... neither does anything else in terms of the passing of information from most sources.

I miss the days of objective journalism. But I also miss the days of seeing side-boob on Huff-Po.

*shrugs

I'm not perfect either.

Cheers, all.

:)
 
R

Russdawg1

Full Audioholic
Can someone explain WHY the power being on causes fires? The only thing I can think of is tree branches on, or falling on the lines. Here, the power company regularly trims trees along the power lines... usually in the autumn before any snow or ice. So how does shutting down the grid prevent fires?
Yeah, our power company does not!

:)
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
I'm not really interested in getting into how much of this is truly natural vs man-made. I don't care about maps that show where the homeless with their needles and Hepatitis are. Not concerned about PG&Es longevity as a failing publicly traded embezzling-@$$ company...
PG&E is a piece of work, and has been for a long time. They were the bad guys poisoning the ground water in Hinkley, CA, which was the factual subject of the movie Erin Brockovich. But they don't embezzle, they just neglect appropriate transmission line design and maintenance. Not to defend them *at all*, but one thing locals seem to really hate is watching beautiful trees get trimmed back to protect power lines from damage, so power companies in forested areas do tend to avoid confrontational actions that cost them money.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Well, though my post was in jest, you should ask your question to the family of the guy who died because his breather was cut off.
How would someone know it was in jest?

Was the patient at home, or visiting someone? I know that in WI, the energy company wants to know if medical equipment is necessary for someone's survival in the event that the service is at risk of being shut off- I would hope the energy company would give some notice of their intentions.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
I heard an interesting theory on a radio show. Since California has tried to stop all forest fires (which are natures way of clearing the area) it has caused the dead trees and bushes to stay and makes future fires that much worse. Just some food for thought.
The idea that they think they can prevent all fires tells me they haven't heard of lightning.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
The idea that they think they can prevent all fires tells me they haven't heard of lightning.
No... that they can protect themselves from further legal liability caused by aging and poorly maintained equipment. ;)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
The idea that they think they can prevent all fires tells me they haven't heard of lightning.
Fortunately much of California gets little lightning....always amazed me when I first moved there from Illinois, where it was abundant.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Fortunately much of California gets little lightning....always amazed me when I first moved there from Illinois, where it was abundant.
It's a good thing, too- with the amount of dry vegetation, it would be a huge problem. I have seen quite a bit of lightning in AZ, though. Maybe the energy discharges at the top of the mountains as the clouds pass over.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
No... that they can protect themselves from further legal liability caused by aging and poorly maintained equipment. ;)
That, too. I think it's more likely that they actually believe they can control nature. OTOH, like, it IS California, after all, man.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
It's a good thing, too- with the amount of dry vegetation, it would be a huge problem. I have seen quite a bit of lightning in AZ, though. Maybe the energy discharges at the top of the mountains as the clouds pass over.
Indeed a good thing. There's more up in the Sierras, but the coast and central valley don't see a lot.
 
N

NorCalRP

Full Audioholic
@ryanosaur Didn't see this until just now, so I'll chime in. There are several things "wrong" in California that contribute to the PSPS (public safety power shutdown).

First, I want to say this: the decision to cut power is not solely PG&E's. The feds (USFS) and the state ( Cal Fire and CPUC) have input. PG&E doesn't want to cut power- they stop generating revenue and their operating costs increase.

There are more trees in North America than ever before. This is primarily due to a mentality of fire suppression (reactive) vs. fire prevention (proactive). When you combine this fact with a prolonged period of drought, there's a lot of standing dead wood here. I stiff breeze will snap off limbs. The end result is a forest floor littered with a lot of fuel. When dry winds come through ( called Diablo Winds) it makes conditions ripe for very rapid fire spread.

From a grid standpoint- there's definitely a lot of work that needs to be done... and there are a lot more lineworkers than just PG&E doing it. It's been happening for years, so to say the company doesn't perform maintenance is erroneous. The number one cause of problems is definitely limbs or entire trees falling on lines. For the most part circuit protection does a good job of either allowing temporary faults ( like branches laying across the phases) to clear themselves or shutting down the circuit in the event of a permanent fault (line either coming down or burning down). A problem occurs when trees come down and hit the Telco. Fiber is much stronger than conductor. The conductor breaks away ( as it should),but often the Telco doesn't and the pole snaps. If this all occurs while a recloser is doing it's job, and a transformer comes down onto the ground and bursts, only the briefest phase to ground short (read a fraction of a second) will cause the arc flash that will start a fire. This happened in Coffey Park during the Santa Rosa fires. There were Diablo Winds blowing that night.

When such events occur in wildland areas ( like the Feather River Canyon, just below Paradise) it causes big problems as we've now seen in recent years. The issue of liability in California is somewhat unique due to the inverse condemnation laws that exist. Everywhere else, the grid failures caused by natural events are deemed acts of God. Most utilities there for do not incur similar liability.

As can be seen, the issue is complex, and is not strictly bourne of corporate greed (although that is a problem). Up in Paradise we get some flack from the residents. They're mad at the suits, but take it out on us- we're sacrificing a lot of family time to work on rebuilding that town, and it sucks when people fling the poop at us. Just last week a ticked off resident didn't want to wait to get through a work zone and went in the opposing lane if traffic, almost hitting a crew member. Another guy threatened violence. I feel the work we're doing is important, and none of us are going to go elsewhere because of some bad seeds, but it can be a drag.

I think that's probably about $0.03 worth;)
 
N

NorCalRP

Full Audioholic
How would someone know it was in jest?

Was the patient at home, or visiting someone? I know that in WI, the energy company wants to know if medical equipment is necessary for someone's survival in the event that the service is at risk of being shut off- I would hope the energy company would give some notice of their intentions.
During a PSPS, centers are erected to allow folks to get power. If I were in that poor guy's family, I'd have called PG&E immediately and asked for a generator to be placed on my property. I'd have then called a medical service to deliver tanked oxygen. These stories are tragic, but almost always avoidable.
 
N

NorCalRP

Full Audioholic
That, too. I think it's more likely that they actually believe they can control nature. OTOH, like, it IS California, after all, man.
Not remotely true. We get our asses kicked by it enough to know the truth
 
N

NorCalRP

Full Audioholic
Fortunately much of California gets little lightning....always amazed me when I first moved there from Illinois, where it was abundant.
Not true- most of our wildfires are caused by lightning strikes. We have very dry, high static conditions this time of year. We are right in the middle of the dangerous time, fire wise. We don't get as much as other places, but there's plenty to be troublesome.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Not true- most of our wildfires are caused by lightning strikes. We have very dry, high static conditions this time of year. We are right in the middle of the dangerous time, fire wise. We don't get as much as other places, but there's plenty to be troublesome.
Relatively little lightning compared to other areas a better way to say it? Of course all it takes is a little lightning, but if you had a lot more.....

ps Best wishes for you not to have to deal with it!
 
N

NorCalRP

Full Audioholic
Relatively little lightning compared to other areas a better way to say it? Of course all it takes is a little lightning, but if you had a lot more.....

ps Best wishes for you not to have to deal with it!
If we had a lot more we wouldn't have gotten to this point. Mother nature has a way of cleaning herself up. The fuels on the ground screw everything up, and a bunch of lightning would clean out that fuel regularly.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
It's all those pesky homes in the middle of the fuel that complicates things.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
As can be seen, the issue is complex, and is not strictly bourne of corporate greed (although that is a problem). Up in Paradise we get some flack from the residents. They're mad at the suits, but take it out on us- we're sacrificing a lot of family time to work on rebuilding that town, and it sucks when people fling the poop at us. Just last week a ticked off resident didn't want to wait to get through a work zone and went in the opposing lane if traffic, almost hitting a crew member. Another guy threatened violence. I feel the work we're doing is important, and none of us are going to go elsewhere because of some bad seeds, but it can be a drag.
That's inexcusable. Only dummies fail to realize that without guys like you there won't be power anywhere, and they can get reintroduced to the 18th century. When I drive by utility workers I often give them a thumbs up, to thank them for the hard work. With words if the opportunity arises (which is seldom, sadly). I can't think of too many civilian jobs tougher than being a lineman in a storm.
 

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