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Smokey air

2008-06-24 18:06:45.81976+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Visibility outside is a few miles and the air smells of smoke. Lots of fires, burning all over California. The closest (big) fire, four thousand some-odd acres over on the border between Napa and Solano county (Hope Todd and family are doing okay), doesn't even show up on the full sized version of this map, available from the NASA Earth Observatory Natural Hazards web site on the current California wildfires.

And in case that NASA link ever goes bad, here's a local copy of the big current image.

[ related topics: Photography Todd Gemmell Bay Area Space & Astronomy Maps and Mapping ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-25 11:15:26.241274+00 by: andylyke

Pat Robertson (note the pointed absence of the appellation "The Reverend") has been strangely silent on the Almighty's reasons for visiting floods on conservative, fundamentalist Iowa, but I'll bet he's still compiling the catalog explaining California's fires.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-25 14:23:10.756115+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think the fires haven't killed enough people yet to be termed "an act of god"...

Speaking of fundie Christian whackos and absurd pronouncements, did you see that James Dobson accused Barack Obama of distorting the Bible?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-25 19:50:33.586625+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

It's worse today, visibility is under 2 miles, it smells like smoke inside the house, not just outside, and the sky has that bleak grey despair that reminds me of the day I spent in mainland China (Guangdong).

Today's satellite picture shows why, that plume second from the left is coming straight down Sonoma valley. Not as bad as the central valley, but pretty gnarly none-the-less.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-25 23:17:46.484752+00 by: Dan Lyke

From the Cal Fire Incidents Page:

Total Fires: 1,026
Acres: 104,821
Contained Fires: 229
Personnel Committed: 11,964

So less than a quarter of the fires are contained, but even at that they've only lost

Structures Destroyed: 17 residences, 1 commercial, 19 outbuildings.

And the one death so far reported was probably due to the accident that started the fire, rather than vice-versa.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-26 20:49:14.95205+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yow. Today is grey, grey, grey. Had an interesting experience out walking this morning, normally we can see clear across the valley to the hills beyond the airport, which means that pretty much any air traffic we can see. Visibility was probably in the mile and a half to two mile range, but there must be a fog layer not too far up because I could hear two airplanes up there, but couldn't see a darned thing.

Today's NASA Earth Observatory page on the fires looks even greyer than yesterday, with that plume coming down the Sonoma valley now a big wide smudge, merging with the plumes on either side.