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#286758 - 10/15/17 04:18 PM Re: California Burning [Re: adam2]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1314
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I am sure your proposals make sense from a UK perspective. I am dubious that they will all work as well where these fires are actually occurring.


I agree with Hikermor.

Fighting wildland interface fires is not as easy as throwing people and equipment at the fires. This is especially true when the fires are in mountainous and canyon areas, of which many of these areas have limited road access.

Up here, over 2 million acres burned this summer and even with firefighters being flown in from other countries, it was not enough. People need to think that these fires can have multiple flanks that stretch up to 100 miles or more and there is no possible way to have enough people and equipment pre-deployed over this size of area. Even it were possible, a change in wind could easily leave the pre-deployed people and equipment plan useless as the wind can drive a fire in an opposite direction at many miles per minute.

Also the economic cost of providing more pre-deployed people and equipment could cost in the hundreds of millions per fire season and not too many countries, states or provinces can afford these costs, year after year.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#286759 - 10/15/17 05:17 PM Re: California Burning [Re: Teslinhiker]
adam2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 389
Loc: Somerset UK
I was not suggesting that my proposed reserve fire trucks should be used to fight forest fires in open country.

My suggestion was for a reserve fleet of simple fire trucks equipped with basic equipment that can be employed to fight fires that are threatening built up areas.

It seems to me that many properties burnt that could have been saved with a sufficiency of water, and basic equipment with which to apply the water.
If at least every other home had a full pool, and an extra six basic fire trucks each with basic equipment, could be called on, that should help.

As regards construction that is fire resisting AND earthquake resistant, there is a great deal to be said for hollow concrete block construction.
The blocks are laid in the usual way, and then when the walls are complete, but before the roof is put on, vertical reinforcement is added inside the blocks at stress points.

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#286760 - 10/15/17 06:29 PM Re: California Burning [Re: adam2]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5999
Loc: southern Cal
The critical factor was time, due to the extremely high winds; from what I have seen,lack of water is not an issue. There are photos of azure blue swimming pools within gutted neighborhoods;indeed, one couple survived by immersing themselves for six hours in their pool (evidently emerging somewhat hypothermic!).

I know very little about building fire suppression, but what I do know would indicate that it is far from simple. Little things like propane tanks (some of which are huge), electrical overhead lines, various common combustibles stored in homes, render fire suppression rather tricky, to say the least.

If there is something to be said for reinforced concrete construction, would you be so kind as to furnish references? Such would be quite welcome....
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#286761 - 10/15/17 06:29 PM Re: California Burning [Re: adam2]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1314
Originally Posted By: adam2
I was not suggesting that my proposed reserve fire trucks should be used to fight forest fires in open country.

My suggestion was for a reserve fleet of simple fire trucks equipped with basic equipment that can be employed to fight fires that are threatening built up areas.

It seems to me that many properties burnt that could have been saved with a sufficiency of water, and basic equipment with which to apply the water.
If at least every other home had a full pool, and an extra six basic fire trucks each with basic equipment, could be called on, that should help.


Regardless if the wildland fire is in open country or approaching built up areas, if the above were so easy to implement and plan for, it would have been done years ago.

Over the last decade, my home province here in Canada has burned through (no pun intended) over 2.5 billion dollars in wildland fire research, prevention and fighting fires.

In California, they spent over 4 billion in the same time period. So you would think that every possible idea has been taken into consideration by now - including your's - which may seem ok on paper, but in reality have no real world viability. How many people or governments do you know, can afford to have every other home outfitted with a pool and extra fire trucks and equipment?

Up here we had complete cities, towns and communities evacuated because there were not enough resources to guarantee that the firefighters could save the buildings if the fire had advanced into these areas. Unfortunately, many communities could not be saved. Big dangerous fires with intense heat that move 10's of miles per hour and spread over miles of terrain is not worth any person's life to attempt to stop.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#286762 - 10/15/17 06:36 PM Re: California Burning [Re: adam2]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 814
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
In short, building codes. Many years ago, DW and I were traveling through the hills around Malibu, and I was appalled by the number of cedar shake roof shingles I saw on houses. I don't think it is beyond the ken of man to establish building codes that will slow, or prevent, the spread of a fire to a home, and from home to home, in the conditions we are now seeing. Yes, it will cost more to construct, but the savings in lives and homes lost, is worth it.
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"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#286765 - 10/15/17 09:20 PM Re: California Burning [Re: bws48]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5999
Loc: southern Cal
As you state,"many years ago." I'll wager those shake roofs have either been replaced or have burned. When I bought my present dwelling, I almost immediately replaced the shake roof with more fire resistant asphalt shingles. It depends on local government, but where I live, fire is definitely a consideration in building codes.
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#286766 - 10/15/17 09:34 PM Re: California Burning [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4594
Loc: SOCAL
Stone coated steel roof here. But if either neighbor’s house catches fire, all bets are off.

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#286772 - 10/16/17 03:23 PM Re: California Burning [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1314
these problems with fire risks will get a lot of discussion in my local community. we emerged unscathed - thank heaven. but we most certainly have a prevalent fire hazard, and there is no easy way to mitigate it.

what is particularly a problem - the situation where cell phone towers burn down, and old people are trapped in their homes. that is also a very plausible scenario where I live. we will really have to do some thinking - to figure out a "community solution" for this problem.

the big driver for fire risks in many rural areas of CA, including mine, is that there are large tracts of vacant land. that land is overgrown by tall dead grass - dead because of several years of droughts. but no-one wants to pay to clean the land. so there are "no easy answers".

just the same ... there are a lot of communities in CA that are 'sitting ducks' for this type of fire problem in the future.

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#286777 - 10/16/17 06:34 PM Re: California Burning [Re: Doug_Ritter]
LesSnyder Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1473
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
re: old people trapped...is this a transportation problem where they may not drive, or one of awareness of the threat?

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#286779 - 10/16/17 08:05 PM Re: California Burning [Re: LesSnyder]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5999
Loc: southern Cal
How about for answer to your question, "Both of the above"?

A lot of problems come your way with increasing age (just ask me how I know) and lack of mobility and a lack of general awareness are right up there as common occurrences. In many cases apparently the alarm came during the night, which poses additional obstacles....
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