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  1. #1
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    4 firefighters die in Calif. wildfire labeled arson

    A wind-driven wildfire near Palm Springs engulfed a fire engine Thursday, killing four firefighters, and up to 400 people were trapped in a recreational vehicle park when flames blocked the only road out, officials said. Authorities say the blaze was a case of arson.

    This makes me sick!

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15428042/

    This fire may get worse before it gets better. I live about 100 miles from this fire and you can see the smoke, smell it and there are ashes floating around. My wife called and told me that the school would not let the kids out to play at recess (so much for my night ride tonight)

  2. #2
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    Definitely sucks.

  3. #3
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    Arson

    Quote Originally Posted by benjamin921
    Definitely sucks.
    I hope they catch the person / people responsible for KILLING THE FIREMEN!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
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    It's terrible... I just hope its not one of those cases where firemen start the blaze, just to create work for themselves. It's happened many times in the past.

  5. #5
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    i hope they catcht the SOBs that started that fire! i'm in socal.... so it's ALL over the news here.... fires are bad enough.... fires with death involved is just.... horrible!

  6. #6
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    C'mon

    Quote Originally Posted by Reposado Man
    It's terrible... I just hope its not one of those cases where firemen start the blaze, just to create work for themselves. It's happened many times in the past.

    Why would you even speculate something like that! You have been watching too many movies!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    Why would you even speculate something like that! You have been watching too many movies!
    It's certainly possible. I know there was a fire captain who started fires all over the San Jaquin valley. Fireman are kind of pyros, it just goes with the job. That's a big part of why they do it. They get really excited when a big fire gets going.

    Then again so do I.

    At the same time I don't necssarily point to the arsonist as having killed the fireman. I think that's kind of a stretch. Not that arson is not a bad thing but these brush fires are going to occur arson or no, and fireman are going to end up fighting them either way.

    Fireman getting killed while doing their job is just a tragedy no matter what the circumstances.

  8. #8
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    I hope they catch them and charge them with arson.
    I don`t think they should be charged with murder. The fireman did not do thier job properly.
    What if I get pulled over for speeding, the cop gets struck by a car while walking up to my car. I be charged with speeding and murder, because the cop made a fatal mistake?
    I don`t mean to be cold to the firefighters families. This is a sad situation.

  9. #9
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    I'm closer to it than DeeZee (25 miles) and I can see it from my house. But because the wind's blowing to the south-west I'm not smelling the smoke.

    I've done a ton of riding in those parts and I know exactly where all the places the TV News is talking about very well.

    If/when this arsonist is caught he needs to be charged and convicted of murder if for no other reason than to make him serve as an example to others.
    I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

  10. #10
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    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave'sNotHere
    I'm closer to it than DeeZee (25 miles) and I can see it from my house. But because the wind's blowing to the south-west I'm not smelling the smoke.

    I've done a ton of riding in those parts and I know exactly where all the places the TV News is talking about very well.

    If/when this arsonist is caught he needs to be charged and convicted of murder if for no other reason than to make him serve as an example to others.
    Keep safe! The winds can change

  11. #11
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    Upset More fires

    This one is about 10 miles from my house. I hope this wasn't another arson blaze

    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...le_1336901.php

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    As often as we have fires here in So Cal you'd think TV News would figure out how to cover them better.

    Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of helicopters flying over the fire and all they show us is an extreme close-up of a pile of burning weeds.

    What would be useful is a shot showing the entire extent of the fire, maybe with some commentary that makes sense like: "At the bottom of your screen is Hwy 79, at the left of your screen is the 10 Fwy" so we can get some sort of useful idea of where this thing is.
    I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave'sNotHere
    As often as we have fires here in So Cal you'd think TV News would figure out how to cover them better.

    Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of helicopters flying over the fire and all they show us is an extreme close-up of a pile of burning weeds.

    What would be useful is a shot showing the entire extent of the fire, maybe with some commentary that makes sense like: "At the bottom of your screen is Hwy 79, at the left of your screen is the 10 Fwy" so we can get some sort of useful idea of where this thing is.
    dumb questions

    are fires typical in this type of vegetation?

    how about as you approach Palm Springs, isn't that so arid that fires are actually supposed to be more rare in that system?

    Is there some truth that exotic weeds, have greatly increased fires into the more arid types of vegetation, and have caused Joshua Trees to be burned, which is very unusual?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasatch Walt
    dumb questions

    are fires typical in this type of vegetation?

    how about as you approach Palm Springs, isn't that so arid that fires are actually supposed to be more rare in that system?

    Is there some truth that exotic weeds, have greatly increased fires into the more arid types of vegetation, and have caused Joshua Trees to be burned, which is very unusual?
    You're right about Joshua Tree, the native vegetation was historically sparse. Fires occurred, but they tended not to be major, and the plant community was not especially well-adapted to fire. Now they've got the damned invasive Mediterranean annual grasses like most of the state. Those species just love fire, and fire loves them.

    See this site about fire at Joshua Tree.

    Here's a BioScience article about invasive species' effects on fire regimes. The Bromus species which are everywhere in SoCal get many mentions.

    Now, over in the coastal scrub and perennial grasslands I used to work in back in Orange County, those communities were built to burn. From looking at the fire maps, the area burned in this fire so far probably includes some communities that did burn historically, and some that didn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belfrey
    You're right about Joshua Tree, the native vegetation was historically sparse. Fires occurred, but they tended not to be major, and the plant community was not especially well-adapted to fire. Now they've got the damned invasive Mediterranean annual grasses like most of the state. Those species just love fire, and fire loves them.

    See this site about fire at Joshua Tree.

    Here's a BioScience article about invasive species' effects on fire regimes. The Bromus species which are everywhere in SoCal get many mentions.

    Now, over in the coastal scrub and perennial grasslands I used to work in back in Orange County, those communities were built to burn. From looking at the fire maps, the area burned in this fire so far probably includes some communities that did burn historically, and some that didn't.
    thanks Belfrey,

    massive botanical destruction and rearrangement to go along with our massive mining of water resources, to go along with global warming, to go along with the greatest mass extinction ever

    But we need GROWTH ... who give a shyte about a damn frog? (which are all dying because we exported that fungus).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasatch Walt
    thanks Belfrey,

    massive botanical destruction and rearrangement to go along with our massive mining of water resources, to go along with global warming, to go along with the greatest mass extinction ever

    But we need GROWTH ... who give a shyte about a damn frog? (which are all dying because we exported that fungus).
    If only by some miracle it would selectively kill the damn cane toad in Australia. What a mess.

    Many biologists now consider exotic species invasion to be second only to habitat loss as a cause of biodiversity loss and extinction. And generally more difficult to remediate than habitat loss. Even my old-school conservative, Rush-Limbaugh-listening boss rants passionately about the environmental evils wrought by global trade through species invasion. He's a plant pathologist, so in spite of his political leanings, he can't deny the evidence. We've lost too many valuable genera, and we're in the process of losing more.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by consumerbydesign
    I hope they catch them and charge them with arson.
    I don`t think they should be charged with murder. The fireman did not do thier job properly...
    Under California state law the arsonist can be charged with homicide. Probably will.


    I'll wait until the fatality investigation report comes out before assigning blame.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by consumerbydesign
    The fireman did not do thier job properly.
    this is probably not true

    they were struck by a sudden wind shift and a near instanteous firestorm whereas a large area around them went up in seconds

    there was no way they could predict the circumstances

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasatch Walt
    dumb questions

    are fires typical in this type of vegetation?

    how about as you approach Palm Springs, isn't that so arid that fires are actually supposed to be more rare in that system?

    Is there some truth that exotic weeds, have greatly increased fires into the more arid types of vegetation, and have caused Joshua Trees to be burned, which is very unusual?
    The Palm Springs location on the news was merely a point of geographic reference for people unfamiliar with southern California. The fire started in the Pass area as you approach Palm Springs from the West. The area where the fire started is now and was historically chaparral that burns readily. Much of the fire area has previously burned many times in this century so no one can blame this on the tired old "century of fire suppression" argument. It is not true in this area -- this particular fire area has burned more frequently in the 20th century than prior to white settlement. Some invasives have recolonized alongside the chaparral, but it was flammable all along.

    There was another fire fatality in 1971 near where this incident occurred.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    Under California state law the arsonist can be charged with homicide. Probably will.


    I'll wait until the fatality investigation report comes out before assigning blame.
    I`m sure they hammered out that law properly. I was afraid of mob mentality making up the rules as we go along. That is happening a lot lately.
    Blame means very little to the dead, For the living it is rarely satisfying. The people trapped in the area will never be compensated for thier terror, but some of them will try.

  21. #21
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    Channel 4 (Los Angeles) News reported this area has not burned even once in recorded history.
    I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasatch Walt
    this is probably not true

    they were struck by a sudden wind shift and a near instanteous firestorm whereas a large area around them went up in seconds

    there was no way they could predict the circumstances
    I hope the investigation gets posted up here by one of them daves.
    The "let`s be a hero" is all to often my preconcieved notion.
    Look at the firemen from the bucked brigade at the WTC. Self induced lung problems. I don`t put specific blame on the terrorists for that. The desperate search for survivors was futile. It was the firemans choice to be the hero that day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave'sNotHere
    Channel 4 (Los Angeles) News reported this area has not burned even once in recorded history.
    Well, that's the incompetent L.A. media for you.

    Soboba fire( I & II), Poppet Fire, Vista fire, Dry Fire, et al. Those are only the ones I recall from the top of my head. There are others. Dozens of small ones we caught quickly and never made the TV news. I used to be a firefighter there.

    The Pass area will burn again as soon as the brush grows back. People will rebuild their homes in the same place and not keep the vegetation cleared. Another fire will start during a wind event. I just hope no more firefighters die in the next cycle.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    Well, that's the incompetent L.A. media for you.

    Soboba fire( I & II), Poppet Fire, Vista fire, Dry Fire, et al. Those are only the ones I recall from the top of my head. There are others. Dozens of small ones we caught quickly and never made the TV news. I used to be a firefighter there.

    The Pass area will burn again as soon as the brush grows back. People will rebuild their homes in the same place and not keep the vegetation cleared. Another fire will start during a wind event. I just hope no more firefighters die in the next cycle.
    Dave,

    what is the protocol for defensable space around a single family house?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasatch Walt
    Dave,

    what is the protocol for defensable space around a single family house?
    http://www.firewise.org/resources/homeowner.htm

    You can do a search on Jack Cohen's fire research, too. Basically, if you've got stuff cleared away about 40 meters, you're avoiding ignition of wood from radiant heat from a huge fire. Tests have shown that considerably less clearing will work, depending on the fuel type. Most import thing is reducing house ignitability, though. If you've got a cedar shake roof with 3 inches of pine needles on it, then you're phucked.

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