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Re: Fire

Posted: 12 Sep 2020, 17:44
by Jennifer
Goddamn, the whole Pacific seaboard needs a good rain. All you West Coasters -- even those lucky enough to be far, far removed form the flames, and only have smoke issues where you are -- it wouldn't hurt to put together a "bugout bag" just in case you do have to leave: your important papers and electronics (don't forget the chargers), any in-house cash, valuables, any meds you might be taking, a basic first-aid kit, and enough food, water and changes of clothes for at least three days, all kept together so you can immediately grab it and go. Plus some socks and a pair of good, sturdy shoes, because the flip-flops or pumps you slip on just long enough to be not-barefoot when you run out to get the mail or the garbage can isn't really good footwear if you need to evacuate, especially not if that is to be your ONLY set of footwear for awhile. And if you have extra bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets), it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and put some in your car's trunk now, because if you do end up needing to stay in a shelter for a bit, a lot of them ask you to bring your own bedding. (Also if you plan to crash with a friend in a safe zone, it's possible the friend has, like, a couch but no extra bedding.)

Re: Fire

Posted: 12 Sep 2020, 18:30
by Aresen
There are no fires on Vancouver Island at this time.

Right now, my only problem in Victoria is the smog from the fires in Washington. The air quality index is around 200 here. I will not ride my horse in these conditions (their lungs are very sensitive) and the smell of smoke is making him extremely nervous.

Re: Fire

Posted: 12 Sep 2020, 20:35
by Jake
For a while on Thursday night, Cottage Grove had the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality of any location on the entire planet, at AQI 807.

Re: Fire

Posted: 12 Sep 2020, 21:42
by Aresen
Jake wrote: 12 Sep 2020, 20:35 For a while on Thursday night, Cottage Grove had the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality of any location on the entire planet, at AQI 807.
Good FSM! That is horrible. Take care of yourself & your family!

Re: Fire

Posted: 12 Sep 2020, 21:42
by Jennifer
Jake wrote: 12 Sep 2020, 20:35 For a while on Thursday night, Cottage Grove had the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality of any location on the entire planet, at AQI 807.
Yikes! I once experienced an AQI of 174, when there were wildfires in the north part of my very big county (I live in the south part). The idea of smoke more than four times denser than that is scary. Is the air inside your house okay?

Re: Fire

Posted: 12 Sep 2020, 22:07
by Jake
Jennifer wrote: 12 Sep 2020, 21:42Yikes! I once experienced an AQI of 174, when there were wildfires in the north part of my very big county (I live in the south part). The idea of smoke more than four times denser than that is scary. Is the air inside your house okay?
Mostly, yes. Despite being a big old leaky house, our heating/AC system has been doing yeoman's work filtering the smoke out of the air indoors. Everything smells like we've been camping, but we're not coughing or anything (though the entry hallway is distinctly hazy inside). Outside, though, it's never much brighter than twilight. Houses on our block are visible, the ones on the next block down the street are partially obscured, and beyond that it's mostly just vague, slightly darker masses in the smoke.

Oregon's natural beauty has always been breathtaking, but lighting said beauty on fire and inhaling the results isn't really the optimal way to experience that, IMO.

Re: Fire

Posted: 12 Sep 2020, 22:50
by dead_elvis
Jake wrote: 12 Sep 2020, 20:35 For a while on Thursday night, Cottage Grove had the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality of any location on the entire planet, at AQI 807.
Yikes! I think the worst I've experienced was in the mid 400s, in Jacksonville Oregon actually, and it made me pretty nauseous.

Here, have a Perri-air on me.
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Re: Fire

Posted: 12 Sep 2020, 23:05
by dead_elvis
Aresen wrote: 12 Sep 2020, 18:30 and the smell of smoke is making him extremely nervous.
He's not the only one! (this is from Eastern Washington)
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Re: Fire

Posted: 13 Sep 2020, 18:05
by lunchstealer
Jesus.

My boss just bugged out his family from Portland to a relative's vacation home in Lake Tahoe. His old leaky house was not doing as well as Jake's. I'm just hoping the fire doesn't follow him there.

Re: Fire

Posted: 14 Sep 2020, 19:06
by dead_elvis
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Re: Fire

Posted: 14 Sep 2020, 19:14
by Jennifer
Damn. For a moment I was thinking "Well, at least it looks like the mountains are serving as a firebreak of sorts and the eastern halves of the northwest states are fine" until the nighttime shots appeared and I saw those orange spots to the east. Even if the mountains are a firebreak, looks like fires are still starting on their own.

Stay safe and hopefully in continued possession of an unburned residence, everybody. I hope the fires go out and you all get some good rains soon.

Re: Fire

Posted: 14 Sep 2020, 22:48
by Shem
Jennifer wrote: 14 Sep 2020, 19:14 Damn. For a moment I was thinking "Well, at least it looks like the mountains are serving as a firebreak of sorts and the eastern halves of the northwest states are fine" until the nighttime shots appeared and I saw those orange spots to the east. Even if the mountains are a firebreak, looks like fires are still starting on their own.
East of the mountains is mostly prairie and desert, which burns about how you'd expect scrubland to go. At least in Oregon and California. Washington has some forests in the northeast corner (which is where one of the worst fires here happened) but even so, most of the east half of the state is grassland converted to farming.

Wind is supposed to change. Instead of the low-pressure system that was supposed to suck off some of the smoke, the break of the mild low pressure system that was there means we're probably going to start getting smoke from Oregon as well. Hopefully it'll keep shifting and that won't happen, but...

Re: Fire

Posted: 15 Sep 2020, 12:37
by Hugh Akston
Well one semi-good thing has come out of all this disaster. California passed a law allowing some fire-slaves to have their criminal records expunged after release.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Friday that allows inmate firefighters who are on the front lines to become professional firefighters after they are released from prison.

The law gives former inmates the chance to have their records expunged and have their parole waived because of their time as firefighters.
The average compensation for an inmate firefighter is $3.63 per day, and they earn an additional $1.00 per day when deployed to an active fire, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Christine McMorrow said in August.

Despite their extensive training and heroic efforts in times of crisis, former inmates are often denied roles in fire departments because of their felony records.

Most fire departments require candidates to have an EMT license, which can be extremely difficult to acquire with a felony conviction.
In July, the CDCR announced its decision to release as many as 17,600 inmates early to protect the prison population and staff from the coronavirus pandemic.
The early releases have meant there are 600 fewer inmate firefighters available this fire season compared to last year, McMorrow said last month.

Re: Fire

Posted: 15 Sep 2020, 13:57
by Jake
Cottage Grove is down to AQI 265! I'm so excited!

Re: Fire

Posted: 15 Sep 2020, 14:19
by Aresen
Jake wrote: 15 Sep 2020, 13:57 Cottage Grove is down to AQI 265! I'm so excited!
It's 226 at the monitoring station 4 blocks from where I live. Blech.

Re: Fire

Posted: 16 Sep 2020, 01:23
by Shem
The rain came through after all. Thank god.

Re: Fire

Posted: 16 Sep 2020, 13:49
by lunchstealer
Well here's hoping it helps.

The fires near here survived the snow last week but were beaten back quite a bit and they're not causing nearly so much trouble. Not so much trouble is what you guys need.

Re: Fire

Posted: 17 Sep 2020, 17:47
by Aresen
Hey, Jake! What happened? I've been monitoring the AQI for Cottage Grove. You were down 56 this morning and now you're back up at 185!

Link: https://waqi.info/#/c/44.546/-122.037/8.3z

Re: Fire

Posted: 18 Sep 2020, 02:33
by Jake
Last night it cleared up nicely... for a while there, I could even see stars without the usual "giant cartoon mallet to the head" intervention. But then the wind shifted again, and tonight we got a disappointing thunderstorm that dumped a bunch of water on us for about fifteen minutes, then buggered off.

So the smoke is still here, though at least it's lessened from its previous normal in the high 200s.

Re: Fire

Posted: 18 Sep 2020, 03:04
by Jennifer
When Jeff was watching a weather forecast for our Atlanta suburb, they mentioned the possibility of shifting winds bringing some of that western wildfire smoke all the way over to us, almost 3,000 miles away.

Re: Fire

Posted: 18 Sep 2020, 07:56
by Highway
Jennifer wrote: 18 Sep 2020, 03:04 When Jeff was watching a weather forecast for our Atlanta suburb, they mentioned the possibility of shifting winds bringing some of that western wildfire smoke all the way over to us, almost 3,000 miles away.
We've had wildfire smoke here for the past 3 days. It's way up at 30,000 feet, so it doesn't affect breathing or anything, but it definitely takes the edge off the sun at sunrise / sunset.

Re: Fire

Posted: 18 Sep 2020, 12:45
by Jennifer
Highway wrote: 18 Sep 2020, 07:56
Jennifer wrote: 18 Sep 2020, 03:04 When Jeff was watching a weather forecast for our Atlanta suburb, they mentioned the possibility of shifting winds bringing some of that western wildfire smoke all the way over to us, almost 3,000 miles away.
We've had wildfire smoke here for the past 3 days. It's way up at 30,000 feet, so it doesn't affect breathing or anything, but it definitely takes the edge off the sun at sunrise / sunset.
Ah. We've had clouds and rain here (not complaining), so what sunrises and sunsets look like has been largely moot.

Re: Fire

Posted: 18 Sep 2020, 23:33
by Jake
The air quality index in Cottage Grove is finally back to a gloriously breathable 4.

Now it's time to clean filters.