Arizona wildfires

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by ezdays, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

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    Is there no end to this blaze? It sure has been taking its toll. Hope all is still OK wher you live Don.
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Yeah, we should be safe, so far the only communities that have had to be evacuated were Punkin Center and Sunflower, both are a good ways away. But it is really getting depressing seeing all these plumes of smoke and smelling the stuff. Most are either in the desert or hills, and the ones in the populated areas are in undeveloped fields, like the one south of us. We were in no immediate danger, it had to jump a major street and the grocery store parking lot, but these fires have been known to do just that from blowing embers.
  3. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    We aren't in any real danger at this time.
    But we are getting a lot of the smoke blowing in from the fires.

    Attached Files:

  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Things are now winding down. Our "monsoon" season has arrived bringing lower temperatures (it got up to 117 degrees last week), higher humidity, dust storms and heavy, but brief rains. Only a few fires remain, but they expect them to be out in a few days. We haven't lost anybody to the fires, but we have lost 22 so far from the intense heat here in the Phonix metro area.

    This has been the worse year ever as for the number of fires, and the second worse for the amounts these fires consumed. Two years ago there was one fire that took out over 500.000 acres of forest land. Now the concern is flooding since typically, these storms bring flooding to the desert in any event, but now that a lot of the plant life is gone, runoff will be a lot more severe than normal.

    Thank you all for your concerns.:wave: We, as most people here in the densly populated areas, were never in any real danger other than possibly choking on the smoke in the air.:(:eek: But since I've been getting emails from concerned people all over that have read about our heat wave and fires, I just thought I'd keep you all updated. I also thank Ray for his contribution since he is at a different vantage point than I am and he has posted some great pictures.:thumb:
  5. JVRR

    JVRR Member

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    ezdays what do you all do out there when it is that hot do you stay inside all day or are you used to it. i Know out here in kentucky when it gets up to 95 degrees everybody wants to stay inside. yesterday it reached 102 degrees and i had to mow the grass with a push mower. today it is supposed to reach 100 degrees and i already about died while i was outside working.:cry:
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Josh,

    You spend as much time as you can inside where it's air conditioned or in you A/C'd car. You don't go hiking or jogging past about 8 AM. I've seen some crazy golfers when it's that hot out, but they have coolers in their golf carts, and are taking advantage of the cheap rates. Construction people are out pouring cement around 4 AM when it's still dark, but could still be 90 degrees outside. They all knock off around 1 PM before they bake. The same goes for landscapers. Fire crews usually have twice the manpower and alternate every 15 minutes because of all the gear they are carrying. Can you imagine battling a fire when it's 115 out and you are completely covered and are wearing about 100 pounds of gear? The same goes for cops that are riding their motorcycles in this heat with all their protective equipment on. We don't pay them enough...
  7. JVRR

    JVRR Member

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    hey i dont spend nearly as much time in the house as you think. and i am only 14 so i dont drive and when i do ride in the car we dont have a/c because it doesnt work. i am an athlete i mountain bike, and i hike a lot, i also play basketball a lot outside, and i skateboard. i spend over half the day outside and i sleep outside a lot at night. post of the time when i ride my bike is in the afternoon. because i am not up at 8 oclock. I do appreciate what are police and fire men are doing and i agree we dont pay them enough. I also appreciate what our soldiers are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan where they are wearing there hot equipment when it way past 100 over there.
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Glad you can do all these things during the day, just don't think you can do them here when it's this hot. Last week we lost 22 people to the heat, most of them were homeless and living outdoors. A few didn't have A/C or didn't turn their cooling systems on.

    You cannot tell the difference between 110 and 122 (I was here when it reached that temperature one day), all you know is that it is hot and you have no business being out in it.
  9. JVRR

    JVRR Member

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    yea i dont think i could handle that kind of intense heat. is it a dry heat or is it humid. the humidity really takes a toll on me because i have asthma and when it is humid and hot it is hard to breath.
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    For the most part it is a dry heat. The past few weeks it got as low as 4%. That helps only because you can perspire and it will evaporate, cooling you off. It doesn't help beat the fires though since they are looking for humidity and rain. We are now in a season where the humidity is up, the temps are down (105) and we are getting mosoonal rains in the evenings. This will continue through September now. This area has been a haven for asthmatics for the past 100 years because of the dry climate.

    I don't know if you can handle all this geography when you're on school vaction, but your teachers should be impressed when you get back.
  11. JVRR

    JVRR Member

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    I am not really on vacation. I am starting High School on August 16. I have been trying to study because the stuff I learned in the 8th grade is basically the same stuff I will be learning in high school. I have also been trying to get in better physical condition (more that i already am) because I am going into Marine Corps ROTC. I am going to go in the Marines when I graduate High School.Thanks for the info on the hot hot hot west. You said you live in Phoenix?
  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Josh,

    We live in Surprise, which is in the extreme NW of the Phoenix metro area. There are lots of open fields and desert nearby, most slated for development. We are in our "monsoon" season and have had enough rain to keep most fires away, but we still are getting an occasional flareup, mostly from lighting strikes. Yesterday we had an abandoned cirtus grove go up in flames about two miles directly south of us. About 25 acres of dry trees burned for a couple of hours, but I think we are over the serious fire season for this year. I really hope so, it still smells outside from yesterday's fire and it's really getting a bit old by now.
  13. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    To all the Gaugers,

    Last night we had a good storm come through, so I think this year's fire season is behind us. I'm just estimating, but I'm guessing there's been close to 500,000 acres burned this year. That doesn't compare to a few years ago when one fire alone consumed that much. The other thing different this year is that most of the fires were in the desert and not in the tall pine areas. Distructive nonetheless, but not quite as devistating. Unlike the past few years where hundreds of homes and cabins were distroyed, there were only a few dozen lost this year. The other good thing this year is that there was no loss of life and no major injuries to anyone including the firefighters.

    I started this thread in order to inform and to provide a first hand view as best I could. Thanks to Ray for his contributions and pictures, we got yet another view of these fires from his area. and I appreciate everyone's concern. Although we were very close to some of these fires, we were never in any real danger... at least we didn't think so...:eek::eek: They were still upsetting regardless.:cry:

    This has become an annunal event here, and I'm afraid it will continue in future years unless the government is allowed to practice good forest management. Good-meaning, but misguided people have used the courts to block the government from thinning out overgrowth, taking away underbrush and in some cases, removing the burned trees from previous fires. Some even believe that if a fire is started by lightning, that it is a natural event and should be allowed to burn itself out. When a forest burns, mother nature has provided a way for them to reseed themselves and they immediately begin to plant seedings as well. When the desert burns, there's not much they can do. Some say that portions of these desert areas will never recover, others will take a very long time. The growth of a tree is measured in feet/year, the growth of a cactus in inches/year.:(

    I hope this thread has achived what it was intended to do. I am always interested in what it's like to live in other areas, and I thought you'd all be interested in a slice of life around Arizona.:wave::wave:
  14. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

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    Some relief at last. Thanks very much Don for initiating this interesting thread. Now I have gained information on what it must be like to live where you do. The most I have heard about Arizona here is that it is a good place to visit for those that have serious arthritis. Now I know more. Thanks.
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Glad to hear you guys are through your fire season, or at least appear to be. I don't think ours has officially started yet. We had a near record wet winter, followed by one of the hottest summers on record, but our worst fire season is usually between Sept. and the first good rain storm, usually about Thanksgiving at the end of November. We had a bad enough fire season last year, that I hope it is an easy one this year, but I still see a lot of dead trees standing in the forrests around here from the bark beattle infestation that it looks scary if fire starts.
  16. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

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    That's a great that you guys got rain out there finally after all this time. Thanks for letting us know all about this forest fire and keeping us up to date with everything that went on.
  17. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Our official tally is in, and it has been the worse fire season in history. 697,000 acres were burned in Arizona this year, that tops two years ago when there was 629,000. Most of that was the big Rodeo-Chediski fire that took over 500,000 acres.
    That's what happened here, and it was the growth from the rain that made things as bad as they were. It does seem like the fire season is starting in California a bit early, so good luck Russ. We have many areas affected by the bark beattle as well. They need to clean up those areas, but once again, there is that certain faction that is opposed to it, with no concern as to the consequences of their actions.

    We lived in Southern California for a few years and I got to say that they never did anything on a small scale. Fires, floods, earthquakes, you name it, California does it big time...
  18. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    We don't have any problem with anyone saying that we should leave things alone anymore. After the fires last year, private property owners in the So Cal mountains have been given a deadline to either clear the dead or infested trees or the state will do it and charge them for the work. The problem is the Feds. Most of the dead or dying trees left are in the national forrest, and the Feds say they are going to remove them, but I haven't seen any evidence of work. Of course part of the problem is that many of those trees are in extremely rugged terrain, but if it will cost money and it is not a war, I don't have a lot of confidence in the federal government doing anything.
  19. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    The problem with the fires is that we (US, Canada) are now caught in a Catch-22 situation. We have suppressed fire for so long that the only fires we get now are huge. We can't let the huge fires burn, so we try to put them out, leaving the fuel (dead trees, undergrowth) in place for another huge fire.

    Have you ever wondered how the earliest explorers actually walked through the forests, right across the continent. When you look at the forests today, they are just clogged with all kinds of dead material, underbrush and so on. The original forests were much more open and easy to move through. I can't imagine trying to get across a continent covered with the kind of forest you see today...

    I think we will have to endure a number of raging fire seasons before things begin to get back to normal. Then there will be a fairly high number of little fires that do relatively little damage, that actually strengthen the forest ecosystem.

    Andrew
  20. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Russ, Andrew,

    We are in agreement, good forest management can do nothing but good. Misguided individuals that yell, "save our forests" are impeading just what they are after. Every effort to thin the forest with selective logging is met with a legal battle. Here in Arizona, even attempts to clear away the underbrush or take away the burned stumps are met with resistance. As usual, the only ones to gain from this are the lawyers.

    There is an article in today's Arizona Republic regarding restoring the desert that has been affected by these fires this year. The conclusion is that unlike what they can do for forests, they cannot do anything for the desert. They now have to fence off these areas that are accessable so they are not distroyed even further by off roaders.

    I mentioned the Rodeo-Chediski fire. That occured two years ago. The Rodeo fire was started by a woman that was lost and set a signal fire, the Chediski fire was set intentionally by an on-call firefighter thinking that here was a chance to make a few bucks. They combined to create the largest single fire and the most distructive in terms of structures lost, in the state's history.