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Massive Fire In Napa/Sonoma Counties in California

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  • Sun, Oct 15, 2017 - 05:24pm

    #71
    Zana Hart

    Zana Hart

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    Good coverage on the PD too

We lived in Sonoma County for over 10 years quite a while ago, and now live in NM. I've been following everything closely, even obsessively, with family and friends all over the county, everyone safe so far. I have found the best internet coverage at http://www.pressdemocrat.com/

Somewhere on the homepage, usually on the left or center, they have a LIVE UPDATES link, and they have been adding to it several times a day.

  • Sun, Oct 15, 2017 - 09:20pm

    #72
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Eucalyptus trees a problem

The eucalypts in California are Eucalyptus globulus, Tasmanian bluegums. Wikipedia: "[The species] was introduced to California in the mid-19th century, partly in response to the Southern Pacific Railroad's need for timber to make railroad ties, and is prominent in many parks in San Francisco and throughout the state."

Eucalypts are widely spread around the world and in some areas have become an environmental weed.

I briefly visited areas around San Francisco many years ago and was impressed by the size and "fluffiness" of the trees. They seem to lack the natural predators that keep them in check over here.

The oil that eucalypts give off is highly flammable, more so than pines. I can only guess at the extent to which they contributed to the fires. In a region of mainly pinus I suspect not much: it's the hot, dry, high winds that are the chief culprit. Think of a blowtorch.

  • Sun, Oct 15, 2017 - 10:56pm

    #73
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

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    ezlxq1949 wrote: The

[quote=ezlxq1949]

The eucalypts in California are Eucalyptus globulus, Tasmanian bluegums. Wikipedia: "[The species] was introduced to California in the mid-19th century, partly in response to the Southern Pacific Railroad's need for timber to make railroad ties, and is prominent in many parks in San Francisco and throughout the state."

Eucalypts are widely spread around the world and in some areas have become an environmental weed.

I briefly visited areas around San Francisco many years ago and was impressed by the size and "fluffiness" of the trees. They seem to lack the natural predators that keep them in check over here.

The oil that eucalypts give off is highly flammable, more so than pines. I can only guess at the extent to which they contributed to the fires. In a region of mainly pinus I suspect not much: it's the hot, dry, high winds that are the chief culprit. Think of a blowtorch.

[/quote]

 

I thought this was answered before. But, no, this is not around much in those counties, had nothing to do with this fire.

  • Tue, Oct 17, 2017 - 04:56pm

    #74
    greendoc

    greendoc

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    Moving back after a wildfire

Happy to say our neighborhood was spared and we got back yesterday, 8 days evacuated.  

Surprisingly little ash/embers on the ground considering the fire essentially burned up to neighborhood and beyond. .  Of course no idea how many fine and ultrafine particles there are. Those are floating all over the county area, though currently our air quality listed as moderate. The air is worse to the east of us in Napa listed as "unhealthy for sensitive groups" and one hotspot as unhealthy.  There are two more serious categories: very unhealthy and hazardous and as of this morning nothing in the Bay area ranks that.  Personally I have not had any issues with lungs, but wearing a N95 mask. My eyes sting sometimes if outdoors. 

this website lists ozone and particulates PM 2.5 : https://airnow.gov/: type in your zip code and state and they give your local conditions/air quality index.

Most of the information I am finding pertains to people who had an actual fire inside their house. There is  not so much information  for folks who are moving back after a wildfire. The interior of our home smelled somewhat smokey, and some dust, but I am not known for my housekeeping, so likely most of the dust been there all along. We have triple paned windows and house pretty tight, but I am sure ultrafine particles got inside. 

It does not feel necessary to leave the cleanup to trained professionals, but plan on following some protocol. We do own a HEPA air purifier and plugged that in first thing on our return. I just ordered a HEPA vacuum and will wear the proper PPE respirator and use fresh HEPA filters on vacuum to trap toxic dust material. Otherwise the fine particulate will pass through the vacuum exhaust and spread toxic dust around one's house. Common contaminants in the dust/powder include asbestos fibers, poly nuclear aromatics, lead and other metals.
I could not find any HEPA vacuum that gets the ultrafine particles less than 0.3 microns.
 
I ordered a swab test for interior surfaces here: https://www.emsltestkits.com/fire–smoke-damage
Free to order kit, not sure what the lab test costs yet. 
 
Does anyone have information on soil toxicity after a wildfire?  I can find scholarly articles on line but much more related to nitrogen cycles, microbial life post fire.  Nothing about the levels of contamination from particulate  matter than may contain asbestos, heavy metals, etc. I wonder if respiring plants pull ultrafine particles into their tissues. I would like to eat the ripe figs, tomatoes, leafy greens, etc in our garden, after rinsing of course.   Any input others may have greatly appreciated.  
 
My fall veggie garden planted about three weeks ago mostly survived without any water for 8 days.  heavy mulching helped I think.  
 
I also just downloaded a review article  from Pubmed "Wildfire smoke exposure and human health: Significant gaps in research for a growing public health issue". The authors admit there is shockingly little research in this area given the magnitude of the problem and its growing threat going forward with climate change.  If anyone interested in reading, just PM me and I will email you a copy.  
 
Meanwhile, since my son started college this fall in Colorado, and we are empty nesters, my husband and i agreed we should take in someone(s) who lost their home. We know at least 8 families who fit that category. Very scary hearing some of their stories. Our friend who lived on the Pepperwood preserve on Franz Valley road stayed behind to alert neighbors and put out hotspots and nearly got overtaken. As it was, he waited the fire out on Markwest springs rd with a sherrif and about thirty other people as the fire burned all around them. Take that body cam footage Adam posted and multiply by 10. Luckily they all made it out. 
 
Housing already in short supply here, and losing 5% of your housing stock will not help. I already saw a letter to the editor pleading with folks with second vacation homes here to consider renting their places for a year to a displaced family. Maybe the silver lining to this will be a re-allocation of some of the housing stock from wealthy Bay area weekenders to people who live here 24/7.  One can dream anyway.  Oh yes, the phone rang literally 5 minutes after we walked in the door, it was a salesperson for not sure what. just hung up. 
And no looting in our hood.  Talked to a police officer who said it has been very minor, only two arrests in the whole county he knew of.  Said the media was blowing it out of proportion because it is sounds dramatic.
 
Claire
 
 
 
 

 

  • Tue, Oct 17, 2017 - 05:39pm

    #75
    capesurvivor

    capesurvivor

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    Worthwhile addition

Glad you escaped, Claire, and it looks like you have things well in hand. A small thought as you move in, is one gadget I've used for years in several homes for bad dust due to carpentry and pollen is a Wien "industrial strength" ionizer (no financial interest!!!) you can get on Amazon, I think, or from them, can't remember if hundred bucks or what. You will see the deposits builds up on black sponge pretty quickly if you have a lot of particulate matter. I've had both of mine for a decade, one next to my bed, wake up with less congestion from allergies. Negative ions are an underutilized resource.

Glad  the looters overstated.

Good luck on your return.

Cape

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