California Fire Catastrophe

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  • Sat, Nov 10, 2018 - 05:51pm


    Adam Taggart

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    California Fire Catastrophe

The Camp Fire in northern California has just surpassed last year's Tubbs Fire as the most destructive-ever in the state's history.

The concurrent Woosley Fire around Malibu in So. Cal is destroying many of the state's most expensive communities.

The air where I live looks apocalyptic: smoky, ash-filled and red; even though I'm nearly 200 miles from the nearest fire (Camp). That blaze must be massive to be spewing so much particulate into the atmosphere.

I received a voicemail yesterday from a PP reader working in a fire crew. He reported that the extent of the damage (structures burned and lives lost) for the Camp Fire has not been fully shared publicly yet and that the media reports will get more dire when it is.

Here's a video just released by a Butte County resident who barely managed to escape with his life. He returns to check on his neighbors to find them all incinerated in their cars as they tried to flee (warning: graphic footage):

The toll from these fires is going to get a lot worse over the coming week as the full extent of the carnage becomes better known — and as the fires continue raging.

California appears to have entered a new era of permanent flammability. How the state will be able to deal with this effectively should conditions continue in future years is a real predicament.

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2018 - 07:05pm



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    This year is Like Last Year

Adam, thanks for that Wake-up Video. The unimaginable made visable leads to learning.

It appears that the jet stream is maintaining it extreme looping southward on the east side of the Rockies into the southlands and back up the east coast same as last year.

Buckle-up and God speed.

Red Flag means put the fucking go-bag in the car.

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2018 - 08:06pm



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    Sympathy and empathy from Australia

The bushfire scenes from California are all too familiar to us: loss of life, loss of property, devastated lives, the smoke, the ash, the smell.

Floods leave you something; fires like this leave you nothing.

Think also of the of the surviving wildlife, some dying of ghastly burns and much of which has lost its home too, the huge damage to the trees which clothed and protected the earth, the literally-scorched earth. Eucalyptus trees are designed to survive fires — fine for us — but pines are not.

I feel for you all.

  • Sat, Nov 10, 2018 - 10:27pm



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    Decisive action saves lives

Astounding! The narrator/survivor says one of his neighbors died because she delayed evacuating SO SHE COULD PUT ON HER MAKEUP!!  People do all kinds of crazy stuff under extreme stress. The psychological and emotional capacity, under severe stress, to think clearly, control your emotions and act decisively are in my mind the most important factors in most situations for survival. Preparing plans, gathering equipment and supplies in advance is second. Training in your plans with your stuff is third. We are SOOO far ahead of 95+% of the rest of people. That’s true of wildfires, economic collapse, armed robbery and civil war. And all the rest.

  • Sun, Nov 11, 2018 - 12:56pm



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    a disaster resource for everyone

Hi Adam,
Thanks for starting this thread.  I just left a home perched on the coast of Manhattan Beach where I was visiting dear friends and watched the Woolsey Fire horror unfold from the safety their balcony.  Truly awful.

Anyway, my colleagues and I created a resource to help folks recover from the emotional impact of any kind of disaster (hurricanes, floods, fires).  One of my colleagues is even using it to help people impacted by shooting sprees.

I welcome everyone to download this and share it widely with anyone you know who has been involved in a disaster.  The research clearly shows that when people address the emotional impact of a disaster using the sorts of somatic tools I provide here in this toolkit, it prevents the stress of surviving from becoming physical.  When we are in a disaster like these fires, we mobilize survival energy in order fight, flee etc.  When that energy is not fully discharged, it becomes lodged in our bodies such that unwanted effects emerge.  For you skeptics out there, I recommend The Body Keeps The Score, by Bessel van der Kolk, a pioneer in the field of trauma and someone very vocal of the impact on society of the epidemic of unresolved trauma.


  • Sun, Nov 11, 2018 - 11:34pm



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    Phone App to notify of California wild fires

Though I am not living in CA any longer, my daughter lives in the Santa Cruz mountains surrounded by forests, which are on high alert for fire.  No rain in the forecast.

CalFire has a phone app that is supposed to notify phones of alerts.

and the app itself is here:


  • Mon, Nov 12, 2018 - 10:23am   (Reply to #6)



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    Thanks Sand Puppy

That App is a great idea… thanks so much.

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2018 - 03:00am



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    Terrible but

We have millions of people living on flood plains, in deserts laden with golf courses, and wind-swept, pryophilic forests thinking the government will save them. California probably needs to better manage their forests and direct their sht kickers at the butts of environmentalists, but maybe they could heed the wisdom of the natives and burn (or log?) the way they did for millenia. Alas, in this day and age of hyper-connected tribalism and identity politics, it’s way easier to blame the other side.

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2018 - 06:07am   (Reply to #8)



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    You dont live in California

ANd, these fires are not about what you think. 

Please do not tell us what we are doing wrong — you have no idea. 

A little respect and empathy would be great right now

Maybe when some global warming fueled caastrophy hits your area you will get it….

  • Tue, Nov 13, 2018 - 06:44am   (Reply to #5)



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    This is great resource

Thanks Suzie.

That’s a great resource.

Poeple around here are not offered any support after an event, unless they experience a direct loss of home or life. That leaves many people exposed to trauma with no support, or even any idea they may need support, or that their thoguhts, feelings or behaviours are related to an experience that’s been traumatic to them.

Simple enough for most people to understand and use, and adaptable for kids too. Great in a low socioeconomic area for people with few resiurces. Fantastic.

PS – short sprints in the yard are als ogreat for burning off excess adrenaline.




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