Zero Percent Contained — Blue Cut Fire Explodes to 30,000 Acres, Forces 82,000 People to Flee

Rising temperatures. Deepening drought. Worsening wildfires. Such are the new climate realities for the State of California in a record-hot world.

*****

Yesterday, amid 100-degree heat and blustery winds, and on the back of a devastating drought nearing the close of its fifth year, a dangerous wildfire sparked in the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County. Originating near Interstate 15 at 10:30 AM Tuesday, the blaze fed on the heat, strong winds, and bone-dry brush. In just two hours, the fire had exploded to 1,500 acres in size. Fanning out, it began to threaten homes and buildings within this well-known section of southern California.

(Tuesday feed tracking the early hours of the Blue Cut Fire provided by CBS News on Youtube.)

By early afternoon, emergency officials were scrambling to get ahead of the fire. More than 750 firefighters were mobilized as neighborhood after neighborhood emptied before the gigantic walls of smoke and flame. Sheriffs hurried from door to door, urging people to leave or notify next of kin. Residents spilled onto roadways shrouded by darkness as towering pillars of black burst into the skies above them. Joining together in long trains of cars, they formed a press of 82,000 fleeing the fire. By evening, homes along Highway 138 were engulfed, a local McDonald’s burned, and the famous Summit Inn on historic Route 66 was consumed to its foundations.

As of late Tuesday, the fire had swelled to 15,000 acres; Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. Numerous structures including multiple ranches and communities had been surrounded or invaded by fire. Tracey Martinez, Public Information Officer for the San Bernardino County Fire Department, made this announcement:

“We know that we’ve lost structures, it’s unknown how many at this time. This fire is still raging out of control.”

Blue Cut Fire Train

(Train passes in front of a section of the Blue Cut Fire in San Bernardino County, California on Tuesday. Image source: CALFIRE.)

Throughout the night, the fire continued to engorge even as more emergency personnel rushed to the scene. Burning embers, lofted on the updraft created by the fire, rained down upon the region. Spot fires ignited as the main body of the blaze expanded. As of early morning on Wednesday the fire had spread to 30,000 acres. At least 1,300 firefighters, 152 engines, 18 fire crews and ten air tankers were involved in fighting the blaze by that time. Despite this enormous effort on the part of emergency personnel, the fire was still zero percent contained.

Extreme Weather Worsens Risk, Produces Multiple Fires

On Wednesday, the weather forecast called for near-100 degree temperatures, very low humidity, and light winds in the San Bernardino area. Such conditions represent continued risk for fire expansion, though lighter winds may provide some slight aid to the hundreds of firefighters now on the ground.

West Coast Heatwave Brings Wildfire Risk

(Predicted west coast temperatures for Friday afternoon show readings in the upper 90s and 100s stretching into northern California, Oregon, and Washington. It’s exactly the kind of heat and dryness that can increase fire danger. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

This weather pattern is part of a larger heatwave sprawling up and down the U.S. west coast. The heat and dryness have fanned two additional large fires in California over the past few days. In Clayton, a fire scorched 4,000 acres on Tuesday, burning 100 homes. As of Wednesday morning, this fire was listed as only five percent contained. A third fire, the 6,900-acre Chimney fire, is only 25 percent contained after consuming 40 structures.

Over the next few days, this heatwave is expected to expand northward along the U.S. west coast, bringing with it heat and the kind of bone-dry weather conditions that can worsen fire hazards. In Portland, Oregon, for example, temperatures are expected to challenge the 100-degree mark over the coming three days as humidity plummets.

Conditions in Context — Climate Change Increases Temperatures, Worsens Western Drought, Increases Fire Hazard

“It hit hard, it hit fast, it hit with an intensity that we haven’t seen before.” — Mark Hartwig, San Bernardino Fire Chief.

The Blue Cut Fire erupted during a five-year-long drought that is the worst in California history. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 33 million people in California are currently afflicted by drought conditions. This drought has been worsened by a human-forced warming of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. Under such warming, scientists have long warned, the risk of heat, drought, and fires increases. This stark condition is illustrated by the great unevenness of precipitation falling on the U.S. — in just the past seven days, more rain has fallen over parts of Louisiana than the total of all the precipitation for the past five years in San Bernardino.

Now, with global temperatures hitting near 1.2 degrees Celsius above 1880s averages, the pattern of persistent and worsening drought over the U.S. west has become clear. The Blue Cut Fire emerged in this context. And though this region of San Bernardino County has long faced fire risks, the danger, along with the heat, is on the rise.

(UPDATES to follow)

Links:

More than 80,000 People Flee Out-of-Control Blue Cut Fire

CBS News Feed Blue Cut Fire

Historic Summit Inn Gutted

The Clayton Fire

The Chimney Fire

Earth Nullschool

CALFIRE

The National Interagency Fire Center

The U.S. Drought Monitor

San Bernardino Precipitation Record

Hat tip to DT Lange

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Hat tip to Greg

Leave a comment

158 Comments

  1. Greg

     /  August 17, 2016

    Robert, sad is an understatement. 33 million in California under multi year drought and now more and more of them under extreme fire threat.
    NWS Hanford ‏@NWSHanford Aug 13
    Parts of Louisiana have received more rain in the past few days than Bakersfield has received in the past 5.5 years.

    Reply
  2. Greg

     /  August 17, 2016

    A relative humidity of 1% yesterday at Andrews Air Force Base and Daggett in the high desert of California:

    Reply
  3. Greg

     /  August 17, 2016

    For what it’s worth… the U.K is beginning to capture all that wind at a tremendous scale. U.K. Approves World’s Largest Wind Farm. The Hornsea Two project will provide 1.8 gigawatts of generating power, in addition to the first phase’s 1.2 gigawatts. In all, the 3 gigawatts provided by Hornsea is enough to power 2.5 million average (U.S.) households. Offshore wind is already on course to meet 10 percent of the U.K.’s electricity demand by 2020.The U.K. got 25 percent of its electricity from renewable resources in 2015, and it aims for 30 percent by 2020. Much of that is expected to come from offshore wind. Some countries in the U.K. are succeeding with renewable energy goals. Scotland, for instance, got all of its electricity from wind one blustery day earlier this month.
    https://thinkprogress.org/uk-biggest-offshore-wind-project-approved-dd1b90d6593a#.dqtf6j2g4

    Reply
  4. Greg

     /  August 17, 2016

    In 1969, when former Senator Patrick Moynihan was serving in the Nixon administration, he sent a remarkable memo to John Ehrlichman, writing: “It is now pretty clearly agreed that the CO2 content will rise 25 percent by 2000. This could increase the average temperature near the earth’s surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington.” From an article by
    Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) calling for the legal authority in the international clean air provision of the Clean Air Act to unlock market mechanisms that will secure the additional reductions needed to meet emissions cuts in the United States.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-udall/a-new-old-approach-on-cli_b_11552626.html?

    Reply
  5. Ridley Jack

     /  August 17, 2016

    I know this might be off topic regarding the fire situation in Cali but what do you think of this article https://thinkprogress.org/united-states-meat-consumption-historic-increase-fccc1ebbf3aa#.a3pbw0to8

    Reply
    • Just like global fossil fuel burning — still going in the wrong direction.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  August 17, 2016

      Ridley, China has, allegedly, decided to reduce meat consumption by 50%, for environmental reasons one would assume. I hate to say it, but it looks awfully like centralised, rational, decision-making has it all over the ‘Free Market’ ‘Invisible Hand’ approach. The only hand I see in the West is that of Big Business handing out ‘contributions’ to compliant politicians.

      Reply
  6. Greg

     /  August 17, 2016

    Several hundred fish have been found dead in a pond on the National Mall, officials said, and they were likely killed in part by the extreme heat in recent days. One reason is the pond’s area’s “poor design and construction as a closed system, which makes maintaining an ecological balance difficult,” Litterst said… Well our whole earth is a closed system of sorts but does not adjust well for its inhabitants to added heat.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/several-hundred-fish-found-dead-in-pond-on-national-mall/2016/08/17/79e38a5c-6474-11e6-be4e-23fc4d4d12b4_story.html?tid=hybrid_collaborative_3_na

    Reply
  7. Greg

     /  August 17, 2016

    Contrast San Bernardino county, California with Sorrento, Louisiana this morning. They both live not far from a huge body of water but one gives and the other takes:

    Reply
  8. The World At 1 degree Celsius — August
    A fortnightly bulletin of news from the front lines of the fight against climate change

    View story at Medium.com

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  August 17, 2016

    “Yesterday, it hit hard, it hit fast, it hit with an intensity that we haven’t seen before,” Hartwig said.

    Mike Wakoski, incident commander of the Southern California Incident Management Team 3, said fuels in the area are extremely dry and very explosive.

    “In my 40 years of fighting fire I’ve never seen a fire behavior so extreme as it was yesterday,” Wakoski said. “Yesterday’s actions were totally defensive.”

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-updates-wildfire-season-it-hit-with-an-intensity-we-haven-t-1471454480-htmlstory.html

    Reply
  10. Greg

     /  August 17, 2016

    On this day, August 17, 1969 the Woodstock music festival came to an end. Climate change feels to me, right now, like a massive long Industrial Age party, with our skyscrapers celebrating its achievements, and it’s past midnight and its past time for everyone to face reality in this borrowed mansion, but the owners are showing up at the door along with the police, oh yea, and the house is on fire.

    Reply
    • Paul PNW

       /  August 17, 2016

      Meanwhile a large portion of the, particularly American, populace looks on and with all genuine earnestness says, “What fire?”.

      Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  August 17, 2016

      Your analogy, Greg, makes me think of Justice Holmes’s famous remark concerning Free Speech. That free speech did not extend to shouting ‘Fire’, falsely, in a crowded theatre. Today, with the Rightwing MSM STILL either actively denying anthropogenic climate destabilisation, or just ignoring or down-playing it, it’s rather like their ‘free speech’ consists of shouting, over and over, that ‘There is NO fire’, as the building is consumed about us. What’s worse, they and their Big Business controllers are also forcefully blocking all the Fire Exits, slashing the fire-hoses and obstructing all our efforts to escape the conflagration.

      Reply
  11. Genomik

     /  August 17, 2016

    California is having a horrendous couple of years of insane fires. This is the 3rd big fire in the same area, the high mountains north of Los Angeles. This area is scrubby with really hot temps and low humidity. I expect more fires in this range.

    The fire near big Sur and Monterey is still burning at 76,000 acres I believe. Expect containment is probably Aug 31 when the fire runs out of trees!

    Of course the fires in clear lake (only 90 miles from San Francisco) have been devastating as well. Probably about 160,000 acres and over 700 structures destroyed these fires may destroy most of an entire region of trees.

    What’s of note here is many of these fires are close to big cities like San Francisco and San Bernardino and have many residences in them. Many of these fires are right on edges of cities and only the hard work of firefighters is stopping even more structure damage. We are losing the beautiful places near the cities that have been here for years.

    As I don’t see much more rain in forecast in coming years these fires are a harbinger of things to come. The irony is many people who live in California are here for the nature and trees and they may soon be gone leaving California treeless with mostly shrubs.

    Reply
    • Mulga Mumblebrain

       /  August 17, 2016

      Genomik, another bitter irony is that California is doing more than the rest of the USA to address the root problem, the anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases.

      Reply
  12. JPL

     /  August 17, 2016

    ‘Brown Ocean’ is a term I had not heard before, but may have played a role in the Louisiana flooding. This paper is from 2013. Interesting:

    “The land essentially mimics the moisture-rich environment of the ocean, where the storm originated,”

    http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/brown-ocean-can-fuel-inland-tropical-cyclones/#.V7SotTWW5mO

    John

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  August 17, 2016

      Nice catch.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 17, 2016

      JPL

      Thanks for the memory “jog”, you’re probably right about the “brown ocean”.

      Reply
    • Did a work up on this at the time:

      https://robertscribbler.com/tag/brown-ocean-cyclones/

      Part of the issue with this event is that it was odd — having some tropical characteristics, but not really having a central circulation like a usual cyclone.

      I’d be interested to see what NASA might have to say about how this large pulse of storms coming in from the Gulf interacted with wet lands along the coastline.

      Reply
      • JPL

         /  August 17, 2016

        Ha, RS, of course – I should have searched the blog (dare I say, encyclopedia) first!

        Suppose all of the firenados, rain bombs, warmest week/month/year on record, etc are starting to penetrate the American psyche yet? At the end of the day, all of those unfortunate, newly homeless citizens must be thinking to themselves, where the heck can I relocate to avoid ever going through that again. And of course the answer starts must start with – well, why did this happen in the first place? Drip drip drip…

        John

        Reply
        • There seems to be a more grudging general acceptance that things aren’t right. The cognitive dissonance, however, is still there. It’s just gotten a bit more twisted up. Moreover, there still appears to be a boatload of excuses RE nonaction. But that’s nothing new.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain

           /  August 17, 2016

          Public recognition of this catastrophe is lowest in the Anglosphere countries, particularly the USA. That, I would say, is due to the dominance in those countries of the hard Right, the Free Market fundamentalists so deranged by that death-cult that they actually believe that the Holy Market can cure any situation, even this, simply by relying on the ‘Invisible Hand’ of ‘market forces’. This cult is fundamentalist, fanatic, and immune to rational argument. When the facts change, they change the facts. If the world is to be saved, this death-cult MUST be overthrown. The problem is that they control all the brainwashing apparatus of the MSM, advertising and ‘entertainment’.

        • Syd Bridges

           /  August 18, 2016

          “When the facts change, they change the facts.” Great line, MM.I think it was Senator Patrick Leahy who said, “You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.” I fear he underestimated the sense of entitlement on the right.

        • Cate

           /  August 18, 2016

          MM, you’ve pretty much nailed it—-the biggest obstacle to saving life on this planet.

  13. Greg

     /  August 17, 2016

    There is no Vancouver island for everyone to run to but for this couple that is exactly what they did. For the rest of us, buckle up.

    Reply
  14. Reply
  15. Reply
  16. – Humping it on the fire line 2016:

    Reply
  17. NWS San Diego Verified account ‏@NWSSanDiego 12m12 minutes ago

    Here’s HRRR (rapid refresh) model prediction of smoke plume #BlueCutFire flare up in intensity midday heat/bone dry

    Reply
  18. – I draw attention to the middle of the right set of photos. A plume of previously molten automobile metal that looks to me like lead.

    Reply
    • OK — lower left. Original Tweet had a different set up.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  August 17, 2016

        ” I draw attention to the middle of the right set of photos. A plume of previously molten automobile metal that looks to me like lead. ”

        Aluminum , when buses catch fire, one sees the same thing.

        Reply
        • Yeah, aluminum — I think you’re right. It’s big for a blob of battery lead.

  19. Will Lester ‏@WillLesterPhoto 2h2 hours ago

    Railroad officials inspect a fire damaged train trestle with buckled during the #BlueCutFire

    Reply
    • Reply
    • JPL

       /  August 17, 2016

      Yikes. New ‘shovel-ready’ projects popping-up by the hour across the country.

      Reply
    • Genomik

       /  August 18, 2016

      I believe Cajon pass is a major intercontinental train route. Big long trains with 100 cars. Drove near there in Tehachapi this year which is close and ive never seen so many big trains.

      Junk comes from China etc to Long Beach and lots goes through Cajon pass to points east. Not for the time being it seems. Perhaps shipping will back up in Long Beach. More money will be lost but at least America might not weigh quite as much, perhaps by a few thousand container cars.

      Reply
  20. Flip an existential coin? Heads for harrowing infernos.
    Tales, it’s torrential deluge.

    Reply
    • Except you can get a decent idea where the droughts and where the deluges will tend to take place on a regional basis. Not to say that California won’t get a rain bomb or three. But that the tendency there is for drought.

      In any case, dry times will tend to emerge more as droughts and wet times will tend to see more of these extreme precipitation events. That’s what happens when you intensify the cycle of evaporation and precipitation. Deluge and droughts are preferentially loaded up vs milder periods of precipitation or somewhat dry conditions.

      Reply
      • Appreciate all you’ve done to keep the masses informed, Mr Scribbler. Have learned a lot, lurking here the past 2 or 3 years.

        So many questions arise, as the topics du jour seemingly get heavier. This forum provides an important place for people to learn, share, discuss, & perhaps look forward.

        Thanks for your dedicated, educational work on the environment.

        Reply
  21. Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  August 17, 2016

    Terra/MODIS
    2016/229
    08/16/2016
    08:10 UTC

    Dust storm and oil fire in Iraq

    Reply
  23. Infrastructure Canada BC

    Reply
  24. Reply
  25. 19:47 UTC
    Radio trans: “Big power lines are down and they are hot.” No location for this.

    Reply
  26. 12volt dan

     /  August 17, 2016

    oh oh that’s into my local now. About 75 miles east of Georgian bay on the 45 parallel.

    Reply
  27. 44 south

     /  August 17, 2016

    If Fort McMurray had burned out to the last two by four and a thousand of it’s families been incinerated in their vehicles while trying to escape, it might, just maybe, have woken those “masses” up and stayed in the news for a week or two until Kim’s latest naked selfie drove it from their memory banks.
    But it was only a lousy ten percent that burned, so here we are the masses still asleep while somewhere else burns,and as Robert himself says its “still going in the wrong direction”!
    I’m 66 and been trying for an alternative to BAU for over forty years.
    Depressing doesn’t begin to describe it.

    Reply
    • It’s tough to change course in the face of such amazing political and institutional inertia. But the ship is slowly, ponderously turning. Is it fast enough? Hell no. But the state of response is far more vigorous than it has been. Than it was when I started writing this blog in 2012.

      Emissions rate of rise appears to be slowing. Policy efforts are building steam. Green policy action is starting to run into the mainstream political bodies. We have the opportunity to peak emissions soon if we win out. But we’re going to have to keep chipping away at this institutional inertia. Keep working to change the systems that support harmful energy consumption into systems that remove and transform it.

      In the face of that, it’s not bad events that wake people up. Bad events alone don’t uncloud the heart, the mind, the spirit. It takes all of those of us who know what’s going on to speak out with courage, heart, and dignity. It takes those of us who make up the human animal to create a deep and unsettled grumbling in the belly of the beast. To make people listen and hear that all is not right. To get them to understand that the bad events have a cause and require a responsible action. To stand up against a turning away from harms done. To work to reduce and remove those harms.

      And, even then, even if we all do this together, then there’s just a chance. Just a decent shot that enough people will realize the dire trouble and understand that the most important thing of all is not money — but life.

      Courage of the heart is very rare. We’ve got to have it if we’re going to make it. But have courage. The tide is slowly turning in our favor. And in the next couple of years or so, if we work really hard, prospects for a strong response (which is already growing) could be rather substantial.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  August 18, 2016

        “it’s not bad events that wake people up. Bad events alone don’t uncloud the heart, the mind, the spirit. It takes all of those of us who know what’s going on to speak out with courage, heart, and dignity.” Thanks. That’s what I have told people over and over through the years who say, “Oh, we just have to wait for a really big climate event, and that will wake everyone up.” But we have had many such, all over the world, including in ‘advanced’ countries, and usually they have little to no effect on public awareness. OK suffered a major megadrought and heatwave a few years ago, but they continue to vote in idiots like Inhofe and other repugnant Republicans, and they are currently one of the states that Trump is still polling highest in.

        That’s why this, and some other excellent GW communication sites are so important, and why I always share every one of rs’s posts on facebook and elsewhere. I hope others are doing the same.

        Reply
        • So the thing I find that collapses civilizations is when the bad behaviors become institutionalized, ingrained, and rewarded. As long as we keep rewarding people for using fossil fuels, for burning them and dumping carbon in the atmosphere, as long as we keep rewarding corps for digging the stuff up, then things just keep getting worse. We’ve got a big chunk of civilization built around that. So you’ve got to work really hard to break down the destructive cycle.

        • James Hansen did a report on that Okla/Texas drought showing how Global warming was a huge cause of the drought..I could not find any Okla news re Hansen’s study..I wrote to the State Climatologist and Public TV and they just said they were doing a lot to report about Global warming,,Sorry,I still use dial up,so no references

    • Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.
      (Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens)
      Friedrich von Schiller – German dramatist & poet (1759 – 1805)

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 17, 2016

      44 south –

      ” Never mind the mule is blind, just load the wagon ”

      John Madden

      Reply
  28. Reply
    • Reply
      • Sample of fireTweets

        Contrary to reports, there are no new estimates on #BlueCutFire acreage. Authorities are saying fire is too active to to update acres burned

        #BlueCutFire doubled overnight and doubled again since this morning – now 65,000 acres (over 100 square miles). Started yesterday morning.

        The #BlueCutFire now at 65,000 acres. It’s been burning for 29 hours, making its rate of growth more than 2,200 acres an hour, 0% contained.

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  August 17, 2016

        A past lifetime. Not a young one.

        Reply
  29. OT but instructive USA priorities.
    – As a USN kid, I remember various strategies my mom and other moms took to make the commissary food stretch… until the end the month.
    This is SNAP ‘benefits’ subsidizing the DOD budget controlled by Congress.
    Meanwhile contractors like General Dynamics, et al have guaranteed big paychecks.

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  August 17, 2016

    Back in 2007 , I was following fires very closely (it was a horrible year world wide), and this comment today from the chief in San Bernardino, speaking about his 40 years , and that he’d never seen this ” fire behavior” before triggered my memory for a quote back then :

    ” There are no climate change deniers on a wild land fire line.”

    So, I went looking for it. Didn’t find it yet, but I did find this from 9 years ago :

    Mega-Fires the “Climatic Tsunamis”
    By Colorado Bob
    Sun Sep 2, 2007 11:35 PM

    It seems that the people who actually are observing nature are getting concerned, because “Climatic Tsunami” isn’t my phrase.
    That phrase came from Professor Stephen J Pyne, at Arizona State University. Now that’s some strong language for the professor . One from Arizona State no less, one of the leading places in the world for the study of trees and forests. They pioneered dendrology, and have the best tree ring collections in the world. Professor Pyne was featured in a story that CP33 found.

    From that find :

    Dubbed “megafires”, they rage over thousands of miles at 1,000C and create their own weather, even triggering tornadoes.

    Rapidly increasing in number, they are often unquenchable by any human efforts, burning unchecked until they reach coasts or are put out by heavy rainfall.

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2007/09/03/937987-mega-fires-the-climatic-tsunamis

    Mega-Fires the “Climatic Tsunamis”

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  August 17, 2016

    Back in 2007 , I was following fires very closely (it was a horrible year world wide),

    Note the time of year of this artifact.

    More ‘megafires’ to come, say scientists

    By Geoffrey Lean
    9:00 AM Sunday Sep 2, 2007

    Professor Stephen J Pyne, an expert at Arizona State University called the fires “climatic tsunamis”, and Kevin O’Loughlin, the head of Melbourne’s Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre added: “They cannot be controlled by any suppression resources that we have available anywhere in the world.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10461216

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 17, 2016

      We were warned, but only the peanut gallery was in attendance.

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  August 18, 2016

      We have the net to drag into the present the warnings we ignored in the past.

      Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  August 17, 2016

    It’s funny some of the quotes I listed in my article from 2007 are now gone :

    ” In the spring and summer of 2003, Siberian forest fires consumed 46.7 million acres, or nearly 73,000 square miles — an area slightly larger than the state of Washington. That was more than twice the annual average from 1996 until 2003. The fires burned most intensely during May and June, and the smoke plume was tracked by satellites and detected during a research flight off the Washington coast on June 2. “

    Gone

    1998 in Indonesia :

    ‘ The 1998 El Niño, for example, helped encourage fires across Borneo which emitted up to 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, equivalent to Europe’s entire carbon emissions that year. “

    Gone

    I told you it was bad year.

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  August 17, 2016

    This one is still has bones –
    AMARILLO, Texas, March 15, 2006 (ENS) – Firefighters are battling the largest complex of fires in Texas history. Eleven people have lost their lives and 10,000 head of cattle have been killed in the grass fires that have spread since Sunday across 850,000 acres, or about 1,328 square miles of the Texas Panhandle.

    Walls of flames , fueled at times by 55 mile an hour winds , literally burned livestock where they stood in some places, ranchers report. The flames came so quickly the cattle were not able to run from them.

    That same summer –

    In 9 days Greece lost over 700 square miles on top of the already scorched earth from the rest of the summer’s fires. 65 dead and 4,000 homeless. Many of whom are old, and will have a hard time with a small plot of ashes to rebuild on.

    ” There are no climate change deniers on a wild land fire line.”

    Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  August 17, 2016

    ” There are no climate change deniers on a wild land fire line.”

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    Still looking , 2 years ago –

    Heatwave decimates flying fox colonies

    Dead flying foxes have been falling from the sky in droves because of the heatwave sweeping south-east Queensland.

    Hundreds of thousands of the large bats may have died as temperatures soared to 43 degrees over the weekend, Bat Conservation and Rescue Queensland (BCRQ) says.

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2014/01/06/22206258-heatwave-decimates-flying-fox-colonies

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    Still combing this artifact –

    Before the blob :

    Scientists search for clues in sea star die-off
    Seeded by Colorado Bob
    SOURCE FAVICONNews at Nature
    Seeded on Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:23 PM

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2013/12/14/21902783-scientists-search-for-clues-in-sea-star-die-off

    Reply
  37. Reply
  38. jimmy alto ‏@jimmyalto 4m4 minutes ago

    #BlueCutFire #BlueCut
    RT @GoCountry105
    #Fire #Tornado that was caught-on-camera by a firefighter

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016
    Reply
  40. The coral die-off crisis is a climate crime and Exxon fired the gun
    Bill McKibben

    This week we’re staging protests on the ‘crime scene’ of the world’s affected reefs to send a signal that we’re not going to let fossil fuel firms get away with murder


    When a body falls on the street, the police come to investigate. Did this person die of natural causes, or was there foul play involved? When a reef dies, we ask the scientists. And this year they’ve told us the answer in no uncertain terms.

    The amazingly rapid die-off of a huge percentage of the world’s coral reefs is not a sad but normal tragedy; it’s a crime. Perhaps the fastest, most widespread crime of the global warming era.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/17/the-coral-die-off-crisis-is-a-climate-and-exxon-fired-the-gun

    Reply
    • Which also points to my earlier emphasis on ‘forensic’ — for there is a forensic element to most of these climate and natural crises we face.

      Reply
    • Now surely, this is all “Exxon’s” fault (according to McKibben). It not about “ignorant consumers” after all. We are just victims of the “system”… and overfishing it all down to fishermens, deforestation is a fault of logging companies, aand diabetes is the fault of McDonald’s, right? What a simple world…

      Alex

      Reply
      • Exxon pays politicians to delay climate action, Exxon is one of the major reasons climate change denial has taken over the republican party, Exxon purchases advertising dollars to promote climate change denial, Exxon funds organizations that attack renewable energy and environmentalists. We’d have acted decades ago if it weren’t for the action of corporations like Exxon. McKibben is absolutely right to single them out. They’re worse actors than the tobacco companies — and that’s saying something.

        Reply
        • wili

           /  August 18, 2016

          Well put, rs. (Is there an ignore button so I don’t have to look at this guy’s nonsense anymore?)

  41. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    Mystery ailment is wiping out coast’s starfish

    The San Francisco Chronicle Seeded by Author Avatar Colorado BobDec 10 2013 9am

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2013/12/10/21849252-mystery-ailment-is-wiping-out-coasts-starfish

    Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    And the wind cries methane

    Seeded by Colorado Bob View Original Article:
    Seeded on Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:27 PM

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n1/full/ngeo2007.html

    Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    Still just combing the old thread day by day, the first day I linked R Scribbler =

    Anoxic Oceans, Biotoxins and Harmful Algae ; Missing Links in Mass Dolphin Deaths on US East Coast? | robertscribbler

    Seeded by Colorado Bob
    Seeded on Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:50 PM

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2013/10/19/21043037-anoxic-oceans-biotoxins-and-harmful-algae-missing-links-in-mass-dolphin-deaths-on-us-east-coast-robertscribbler

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    Here’s a fire quote , I was hunting –

    Seeded on Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:10 AM

    In NSW …………

    Extreme weather unheard of in October: Commissioner

    New South Wales’ most senior firefighter says today’s extreme weather conditions in the Hunter are unheard of at this time of year.

    “There’s nothing firefighters can do in those conditions, they have to save their own lives,” he said.

    “We try to protect property but there’s no point actually trying to fight the fire.

    “So we’re getting near to that sort of weather.

    “I’ve been fighting fires for 42 years and I’ve never seen this, this early in the year.

    “This is December, January weather.”

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2013/10/10/20898563-extreme-weather-unheard-of-in-october-commissioner

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    The first mass walrus haul out .

    Seeded on Tue Oct 1, 2013 2:47 PM

    Photo: Thousands of Walruses haul out near Point Lay

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2013/10/01/20776617-photo-thousands-of-walruses-haul-out-near-point-lay

    Reply
  46. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    2013 Alberta Floods Were Costliest Natural Disaster In Canadian History, Insurers Estimate

    Seeded on Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:20 AM

    http://coloradobob1.newsvine.com/_news/2013/09/24/20671388-2013-alberta-floods-were-costliest-natural-disaster-in-canadian-history-insurers-estimate

    Reply
    • wili

       /  August 18, 2016

      A billion here, a billion there…pretty soon you’re talkin’ about real money!

      Reply
  47. June

     /  August 18, 2016

    ” The firefighting effort is complicated by the patchwork of critical infrastructure that runs through the pass: Electrical lines that provide power to the basin, rail lines, high-pressure gas lines, a fiber-optic network — even a pipeline that carries jet fuel.”

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-blue-cut-fire-fight-20160817-snap-story.html

    Reply
    • At least no oil bomb train was involved:
      ‘When firefighters arrived Tuesday morning, a freight train stood idle on the tracks, abandoned by the engineer, who fled the fast-moving fire.’

      Reply
      • ‘The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but most wildfires in Southern California are caused by people, accidentally or intentionally. According to Caltrans, an average of 156,000 vehicles a day pass the Kenwood Avenue area — a endless source of sparking tail pipes, engine fires and discarded cigarette butts.

        Richard Halsey, director of the California Chaparral Institute, drove through the pass earlier this summer.

        “It was very stunning to me to see how much of that landscape through the Cajon Pass had been burned multiple times and was filled with invasive grasses.”

        Native chaparral shrubs can’t survive repeated fires over a short time span. They yield to invasive grasses that ignite easily and burn quickly, increasing the fire threat.’

        Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    I set out at Newsvine years ago to have a record of my times . This is why I can pull this stuff up, It’s a 7 year record of what was coming over the wires.

    Combing back day by day looking for a quote from 2007 , is rather interesting , all of this was fore told.

    Nothing was wrong. The sea ice ain’t coming back

    Now the Nashville Teens

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  August 18, 2016

      Who were these people from Great Britain ? I didn’t give a rat’s fuzzy butt where this came from, it just reached out of the Radio, and grabbed me by the throat.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  August 18, 2016

        Later this lead me to this : Little Red Rooster by John Lee Hooker .

        The London Sessions

        Little Red Rooster by John Lee Hooker .

        Reply
      • Cate

         /  August 18, 2016

        Nashville Teens! Oh my, suddenly I’m 13 again and drooling over the latest copy of Rave magazine (aka my teen bible) just arrived in the post from England! Oh frabjous day! Thanks for the blast from the past, CB.🙂

        Reply
  49. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 18, 2016

    Look at the location and size of the leading face of the glacial outlet in the middle. Left side image is 7/24, right side is 7/25.

    You can see the collapse occurred on 7/25 of this year. And it looks like it was a biggie.

    http://www.arctic.io/explorer/8-8/2016-07-25;2016-07-24/9-N71.73923-W50.73877

    Reply
  50. Colorado Bob

     /  August 18, 2016

    Great music never killed anyone, but it did give courage to everyone.

    Think about it.
    There’s a
    huge amount of
    courage
    One does not lay down like a dog.
    One over comes despair.

    Otherwise No Blues.

    Reply
    • JPL

       /  August 18, 2016

      CB, give this one a spin.

      This song is a big bear hug for my worried mind. I was at this show with my little boy on my shoulders and tears in my eyes. Without music, boy, I don’t know…

      Reply
  51. Tourism overkill:
    ‘The Arctic has been having an astonishingly mild year compared to average, with early snow melt and rapid sea ice loss seen in much of the Arctic.

    As an added safety measure, the Serenity will be accompanied by an escort ship that will have a helicopter on board to look for ice ahead of the ship’s course. This ship will also serve as an icebreaker.’

    Reply
  52. Reply
  53. Bottom left of frame — Central Valley dense with smoke/air pollution.

    Reply
  54. Andy_in_SD

     /  August 18, 2016

    National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) , top 10 costly payout events.

    Reply
  55. Reply
  56. wili

     /  August 18, 2016

    The linked reference indicates that corrected recent observations indicate that the most likely value of ECS may be as high as 4.6C (see attached plot of the time dependent curve):

    Kyle C. Armour (27 June 2016), “Projection and prediction: Climate sensitivity on the rise”, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate3079

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3079.html

    (Thanks to ASLR at neven’s site for this.)

    Reply
    • 5-6 C final when all is said and done long term. It’ll take a while for them to get there.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  August 18, 2016

        Is there a calculation of sensitivity that includes CO2e numbers? Our methane emissions have risen faster than our CO2 emissions, so it seems like we are probably a bit farther along the global warming path than just CO2 increases would indicate.

        Reply
  57. Abel Adamski

     /  August 18, 2016

    For a little Black humour that is rather close to reality

    http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2016/08/17/man-adrift-last-glacier-demands-evidence-climate-change

    Man Adrift On Last Glacier Demands Evidence Of Climate Change

    “The Backburner is Australia’s most trusted news source, it is quite obviously satire and shouldn’t be taken seriously or before operating heavy machinery.”

    Reply
  58. Bill h

     /  August 18, 2016

    Amazing fall in arctic sea area of 400,000 sq km in 3 days. See http://greatwhitecon.info/resources/arctic-sea-ice-graphs , and scroll to the first graph ( the second being extent rather than area.

    This challenges sea ice area for 2012.

    Reply
  59. Cate

     /  August 18, 2016

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/08/17/news/trudeau-government-quietly-endorses-toxic-chemical-clean-oil-spills

    The Canadian government continues to pimp the country out to Big Oil & Friends in a process that has been dubbed “polluter decides”:

    “The federal government has quietly authorized Canada’s embattled pipeline regulator to allow use of a controversial toxic substance that caused major damage during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Corexit 9500A — a chemical known to seriously harm marine life including fish, shellfish, and coral — is intended to be used by industry after an offshore oil spill. Critics say the chemical is dangerous and describe the oil spill response process as “polluter decides.”

    Trudeau’s “sunny ways” in action: you smile and say all the right things and push all the warm fuzzy buttons, then you turn around and continue with business as usual. .

    Reply
  60. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/18/wildfire-california-arson-crackdown-damin-pashilk
    The Guardian says CA cracks down on anyone who ignites a fire. What about a crackdown on the folks that developed and implemented business practices that setup the ignition fuels? Any responsibility there?

    Reply
  61. – The weather will keep in place the pollution we create. Lung searing ozone has always been Bad News. The first to suffer are the children, the elderly, and the infirm. Pollute locally — breathe locally – die locally.
    That’s us…

    ‘Health Impacts of Ground-Level Ozone’

    Heat, sunlight, and pollution from cars and power plants combine to form ground-level ozone, the main component of smog. Ozone, along with particulate matter, is responsible for most air pollution-related health impacts, and is estimated to be responsible for thousands of premature deaths every year in the U.S.

    Reply
  62. Reply
    • Also, it takes massive amounts of burning coal to melt/forge/roll that steel.

      Reply
      • The Price of Power to a Nation

        Most U.S. history textbooks acknowledge the devastation of America’s indigenous peoples, the forced relocations and exploitation that left tribes corralled on remote reservations, mired in poverty. Few point out that the exploitation continues today.

        On the sprawling Navajo Nation and the Hopi Reservation it surrounds, Peabody Western Coal Company routinely uproots families, locals say, in order to extract – by strip mining – 7.8 million tons of coal a year, coal that provides cheap electricity for much of the residential and business development in the Southwest. On Navajo and Hopi lands, however, thousands of poor families live without power or running water.

        And there are no independent studies showing the impact of the mines on the health of the people in the tribal lands.

        “The fact is, their environment and public health are subsidizing much of the power in the Southwest,” said Daniel Higgins, an environmental scientist doing research at Arizona State University.

        Higgins, who is not Navajo, has been stunned by the scope of the devastation as development in Sunbelt cities like Prescott, Phoenix and Tucson – powered by coal from lands of the Navajo and Hopi – continues to boom.

        “These tribal lands have subsidized the massive postwar growth in this region that continues today,” he said.
        http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org/the-price-of-power-to-a-nation/

        Reply
  63. I-25 corridor from Denver to Fort Collins listed under “moderate drought”
    Short-term dryness is putting a strain on unirrigated vegitation

    A federal report released Thursday lists the Interstate 25 corridor from Denver to Fort Collins under moderate drought, stemming from weeks of relatively dry weather.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor says short-term dryness is putting a strain on unirrigated vegetation, with some tree leaves becoming “crispy.” A moderate drought is classified as the second-lowest intensity on the monitor’s scale.

    “It has been drier, especially the northern Front Range,” said Treste Huse, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Boulder.

    Huse said there can be some damage to plants and pastures and that officials are already seeing lowered stream flows. In some areas, forecasters have noted precipitation levels three to four inches below normal.
    http://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/18/denver-fort-collins-moderate-drought/

    Reply
  64. JASMINE VIEL Verified account ‏@jasmineviel 40m40 minutes ago California, USA

    Firefighter Bill Nigh one of many who worked 24 hours to keep #BlueCutFire from jumping hwy 2 #Wrightwood @CBSLA

    – Note the well sharpened shovel blade. Very effective at clearing shallow rooted vegetation, among other things.

    Reply
  65. Reply
  66. No surprise here… but there it is.

    Reply
  67. Not about California fires, but still a fire (and this time I did find an english translation of the article): http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/11391 .

    Fires on the Araribóia Indigenous Territory are threatening the isolated indigenous tribe of the Awá. The Awá aren´t exactly uncontacted, but they keep their distance from us (they have been photographed trying to spear helicopters). They were already suffering badly from epidemics (their immune system doesn´t have defenses for white-people diseases) , and now the territory were they hide is burning, badly.

    The whole Awá tribe is estimated to be about 360 people, still living as hunter-gatherer nomads, with their own language and culture. In the 1940s, before forceful contact was tried, there were more than a thousand of them.

    It´s probable that lifes have already been lost to the fires, but not sure, as there´s no exact location of where the tribe may be, or communications to alert the Awá of the danger. The fires have been burning for almosty 40 days now, and official help from IBAMA just got there last week, after an outcry echoed in the social media, coming from the neighboorhood tribe Guajajara (a contacted tribe, with relations with white people), claiming that the fire had been burning for 30 days without official help in fighting it.

    Fires are burning all around Brasil (the Serra da Canastra fire, which I mentioned in another post, has finally been stopped, after burning for a month). Right now, fires burn in the National Park of Itatiaia (RJ), in the National Park of Chapada dos Veadeiros (GO),in the National Park of Chapada da Diamantina (BA), in the National Park of do Araguaia (TO), In the National Forests of Jamanxim and Altamira, in the National Park of Serra do Pardo (PA), in the Ecologic Station of Terra do Meio (PA) and in the National Park of Nascentes do Rio Parnaiba (PI). That, alongside the economic crisis (that gutted the budget for fire-fighting), and the fact that cities and roads are also burning (six people died in favela fires in the last month, only in São Paulo) is making official responses to fire quite lethargic. I just hope that enough priority is given to the Araribóia fire to save the Awá, now that official fire-fighting response finally arrived there.

    Reply
  68. Reply
  69. Pipelines BC Canada

    Reply
  70. Spike

     /  August 19, 2016

    A welcome tweet storm which steers away from rigid insistence on formal attribution to a broader consideration of underlying physical mechanisms

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: