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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We have a lot of fires around our place.:eek
At least 35,000 acres are on fire with 5 major fires within 25 miles of our house. There are countless smaller fires also.
We got about a 1/2 hour of very light rain tonight followed by 3hrs of lightening strikes. Which is not what you want. It has been tinder dry here since June. So right now there are a lot more fires than there where before it rained. (update: at least 35 new fires from lightning storm)

We have fires to the east and west as well as one about 15 miles north west of us in Canada that they have been trying to get under control for a week. None of these fires are contained or under control and they are just doing their own thing presently. The larger ones are creating their own weather as large fires do with lightening etc.
They have evacuated friends just 6 miles from our house this evening.

It's pretty stressful. The largest fire grew 7000 acres in size today to over 20,000 acres.
We think it's about 10 miles from here right now. We know it is moving this way as it expands.
Were hoping it is moving this way slowly. Unfortunately we really don't know as the state does not update their fire website maps. It is real mountainous in there and not much can be seen but a lot of smoke.

We could use your prayers. Everyone up here could.

Thanks in advance!
 

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It's one of the worst, if not the worst, fire season's here in BC too. Here, in the Lower Mainland / Vancouver area we've had practically zero rain since the beginning of May.

And now they're talking about El Niño that might result in a really bad winter.

Will El Niño 2015 rival the strongest year on record? - CNN.com
 

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Yeah but look at all the riding time we're getting. :grin

Pretty bad on the Island as well. A couple of days ago on a ride a popular road is closed due to a fire. I've been in a couple of areas where the smoke is so thick breathing is a problem at times and your eyes hurt. Yesterday a bunch of campers had to leave their stuff behind and walk out of the area they were in.

We could use a few days of a soaking rain to help the fire situation but still more would be needed to top up the reservoirs to help all the places that are on water restrictions. I must say this weather is not unusual here though. Extremely dry summers next to the ocean. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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Discussion Starter #5
The fire that is nearest to us (east) called "Stickpin" has now burned 37,000 acres and is still out of control. The fires to the North and West are out. Were expecting winds from the North in the high 20's on Friday.

A couple of brothers who are neighbors lost 300 head of cattle to the fire. Luckily no houses yet locally. We have been incredibly lucky so far.


We heard that 3 firefighters died in a fire Southwest of here outside of Twisp, WA.
 

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I am wondering how policies that have curtailed and even prevented logging and proper forest management has increased the fuel base. Younger trees are more fire resistant and managed forest don't have dead and fallen trees laying around as potential fuels. The spotted owl fiasco alone has reduced Oregon's timber industry by 90%. That's a lot of old trees standing around that are not only fuel, but don't give off oxygen like young ones do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I am wondering how policies that have curtailed and even prevented logging and proper forest management has increased the fuel base. Younger trees are more fire resistant and managed forest don't have dead and fallen trees laying around as potential fuels. The spotted owl fiasco alone has reduced Oregon's timber industry by 90%. That's a lot of old trees standing around that are not only fuel, but don't give off oxygen like young ones do.
LOL.
What is happening here is a tragedy that did not need to happen.
It is the result of blatant disregard for good forest management practices that have been the legacy of the Clinton administration who reorganized the forest service after gaining the presidency in the early 90's. He put some real moron's in charge who are certain they know more than the people who have studied forest management, managed forests and learned from their mistakes for the last 100yrs. This fire as well as most of the other really big ones in the state are proof positive that these politically appointed morons are wrong. I'm watching billions of dollars in marketable timber going up in smoke that we are choking on. Everyone in the industry predicted this and they were completely right.
This has become a perfect storm unfortunately. Dry year, almost no snow last winter and 20 yrs of fuel load on the forest floor since they stopped most of the logging in the National Forests.
Unfortunately those responsible will not be held accountable for the financial loss nor the losses in lives caused by their arrogance and negligence. I just hope no more of these guys or gals die on the fire lines especially when this was so easily avoided. Were also hoping we don't get burned out in the next few days. Winds are going to be in the high 20's with gusts in the 50's. It's been calm before this and the fire closest to us is already 37,000 acres. Both pass roads to the east have burned. The asphalt is gone for miles and the roads are closed because the forest on both sides is still burning in places. We can't go east. The road West are closed because their are two monster fires there. Both are heading into Omak. South is still open but has another monster fire along side it for 10 miles or so. If the wind drives the fire across the river and our way we will probably be heading north across the Canadian border which is only a few miles from the house at the end of our road.

Omak, WA looks to be overtaken by fire tomorrow. The high winds should almost assure that. If they get the winds that are forecast they will drive the fire right into the city. There are about 8000 people affected in that immediate area. A lot of them Native Americans.http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=48.447550,-119.430503&z=10&t=h,Current_fire&q=http://www.propertylinemaps.com/p/public_land_map/USA/USA_wildland_fire.txt

Yes the changes in the forest practices are responsible for this. No doubt about it.
The national forest service has proven beyond a doubt that it is incapable of managing the national forests. In 20 yrs they have undone what it took 100yrs of careful management to create.
 

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Whenever I ask a tree hugger type to name just one advantage of wilderness areas, all I ever get is "they are beautiful" or something like that. Wilderness areas are the worst thing that can happen to a forest and its animals and Joe pretty well described that. Here, on the Western Slopes of the Cascades, Douglas Fir is our commercial tree and the only way to harvest and regrow is to clear cut. Yet I hear endless complaints about clear cutting because its not discussed in schools. What is discussed - because teachers are mostly libs - is how ugly clear cutting is and how greedy timber companies are that do it.
For those easterners here; We clear cut Doug Fir because when its replanted, the young trees need full sun to grow, as they are a non-competitive tree. If Doug Fir was selected harvested, other trees (we call them weed trees, like alder and hemlock) would pop up and shade the young trees and they would not prosper. Animals prosper in young forests because there is more browse for them to feed on.
 

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Sorry to hear about the forest fires Joe .... Hope you will be OK

Here in Indonesia the forest fires can be so big in Sumatra that planes don't fly in surrounding counties ... We have "haze warnings" that state the thickness of the smoke .... And all is the cause of rich land tycoons paying some local guy to start a fire in the jungle so they can develop the land .....
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Whenever I ask a tree hugger type to name just one advantage of wilderness areas, all I ever get is "they are beautiful" or something like that. Wilderness areas are the worst thing that can happen to a forest and its animals and Joe pretty well described that. Here, on the Western Slopes of the Cascades, Douglas Fir is our commercial tree and the only way to harvest and regrow is to clear cut. Yet I hear endless complaints about clear cutting because its not discussed in schools. What is discussed - because teachers are mostly libs - is how ugly clear cutting is and how greedy timber companies are that do it.
For those easterners here; We clear cut Doug Fir because when its replanted, the young trees need full sun to grow, as they are a non-competitive tree. If Doug Fir was selected harvested, other trees (we call them weed trees, like alder and hemlock) would pop up and shade the young trees and they would not prosper. Animals prosper in young forests because there is more browse for them to feed on.
Our forests may even be quite different than yours as we are in the Okanagan desert. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okanagan_Desert

This forest is almost completely man made. There are many more trees here today than when Louise and Clark came through here doing their survey.
By nature the trees here are lodgepole. Because this area has a tremendous number of lightening strikes every summer being mountains on the edge of a vast semi desert.
Lodgepole repopulates by fire which cracks the pine cone open.
http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/lodgepole-pine-trees-love-forest-fires/ unfortunately lodgepole is good of one thing fences posts.

Left to nature this area, much of the Colville national forest burns in wildfires so frequently that almost every square foot experiences a wildfire at 5 yr intervals. That is the natural cycle here.

So long ago the government and the timber industry decided to change the forests here to a profitable wood type by planting Douglas fir, and Western larch. There was already some Bull Pine here and that was preserved. For a century the summer lightening started wild fires were suppressed, trees planted and thinned and unwanted trees thinned out. To control the fires it was of the utmost importance to log constantly. Logging policy in these forest required the logger to clean the forest floor in the area logged, push the wasted into huge cut clearings and then burn it safely if there were wet snow or during the spring rains.

The logging operations left behind logging roads to quickly access the summer fires, huge clear areas for fire fighters to retreat to and stage equipment etc, and no fuel on the forest floor to carry the fires. It was an example of industry and government working together to promote wealth in part of the nation unsuitable for farming .

That is how it was till 1990's. Amazing forests of marketable timber which was well cared for because each tree brought about $4-500 average when harvested. Huge amounts of tax revenue were generated and the forest industry maintained the forest floor, was used to removed diseased or infested stands of timber before the forests because sick etc. You could drive through the woods for hours on logging roads and game was everywhere as the deer etc could see their predator's before they were lunch.

Most people in the area were directly or indirectly employed by timber dollars. Some worked in the woods, others trucking, some in the mills, hospitals etc etc.
It worked.
Once Clinton broke that relationship everything changed.
 

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Oregon's timber industry's taxes supported our education system, but now that only a shadow of it remains, schools are hurting financially. Ironically, 40% of timber products sold here In Oregon come from Canada. Libs have no ability to see the consequences of their agendas. They clearly shot themselves in the foot with this one but are in complete denial. Once their agendas become laws and policies, its game over for logic and reason, for they will never admit fault. To wit; ethanol, the "war" on poverty, the spotted owl, alternative energy, and the biggie, ISIS. Yes, ISIS. I place the origin of ISIS squarely on Obummer.
 

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Pretty bad on the Island as well. A couple of days ago on a ride a popular road is closed due to a fire.

@53canuck

That was the "Circle route" yes/no? South of Lake Cowichan towards Port Renfrew ?

We were in Port Renfrew on this past long weekend and rode up from there to Cowichan and then to the ferry at Nanaimo.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oregon's timber industry's taxes supported our education system, but now that only a shadow of it remains, schools are hurting financially. Ironically, 40% of timber products sold here In Oregon come from Canada. Libs have no ability to see the consequences of their agendas. They clearly shot themselves in the foot with this one but are in complete denial. Once their agendas become laws and policies, its game over for logic and reason, for they will never admit fault. To wit; ethanol, the "war" on poverty, the spotted owl, alternative energy, and the biggie, ISIS. Yes, ISIS. I place the origin of ISIS squarely on Obummer.
People forget how and why things are the way they are and change them. Ignorance is bliss till the unintended consequences start pouring in.
 

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People forget how and why things are the way they are and change them. Ignorance is bliss till the unintended consequences start pouring in.
The electorate's short memory is what politicians thrive upon.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry to hear about the forest fires Joe .... Hope you will be OK

Here in Indonesia the forest fires can be so big in Sumatra that planes don't fly in surrounding counties ... We have "haze warnings" that state the thickness of the smoke .... And all is the cause of rich land tycoons paying some local guy to start a fire in the jungle so they can develop the land .....


Thanks man. We will be OK, either way. Going to see what tomorrow brings.:eek
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The electorate's short memory is what politicians thrive upon.
That and fear. I'm certain it's always been that way though.
There is nothing new under the sun. Maybe a motorcycle or two but they are just toys.
 

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Thanks man. We will be OK, either way. Going to see what tomorrow brings.:eek
Can you share with us what precautions you have or will take protecting your house or when it is time to evacuate ??
 

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Be safe Joe. There is a lot of fires up there.

What evacuation level are you?

Here is a map of the NW fires.

Here is the official web site for wildland fires.
 

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Silvr T, yes it was the stretch between Port Renfrew and Cowichan Lake. Last I heard the road is still closed.

I was back in the area a couple of days ago and it's pretty smokey now even out to Duncan. My son works in Port Renfrew and with the prevailing winds it's not too bad their but things can change fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
So far we are doing real good.
The wind shifted late yesterday and the smoke from a couple of other massive fires south of here drove us inside. Up till then we were working on the yard getting anything that burns stacked away from the house and out buildings, cutting the tall grass down etc.
I haven't checked the evacuation level but I doubt we are at anything other than voluntary. Right now there are about 75,000 fire fighters working state wide last I heard. However there is a lot more fire than fire fighters as always.


This fire has stopped moving our way for a day or so now and we are greatly relieved. Wind is calm to still as I am writing this.

The strong winds we had yesterday were blowing into the fire driving it the other way to our benefit.

We are situated on the southern edge of a huge stand of forest starting 100ft behind our house which extends into the Canada, The border is about 6 miles north. The closest fire (stickpin) parallels this stand of timber for that 6 miles to Canada and is about 7miles to the west of this stand of trees. As long as there is relatively light winds like now or the wind blows from us towards the fire all is good here. During last summers fires, the fire was moving 20mph so a 7 gap miles is nothing to a forest fire.

Please don't stop praying for us cause it's working. Were still here.

As for what you do to prepare your property if you must evacuate? You insure your stuff. You take pictures of what gets left behind. You leave in the vehicles that you don't want to loose and take those things like photos and little things that you can't replace with you. If the fire takes you out you start over.
Nothing can withstand these fires. Average air temp is about 1000 F. What are you going to put in the way that will withstand that?

We have already cut most of the long grass down, removed anything that will burn from the outside of the buildings. This gives the fire fighters the best chance of defending our place if they choose to. We don't make that choice they do. No one should die for stuff.

Given some warning we will load all the gasoline and small propane tanks into an old truck and park it in the middle of a field that is cut down. Then we will drag the large propane tanks away from the house. This for the protection of any firefighters that might come across our property for access to the fire.

We will put the other vehicles we don't want to loose in the other mowed part of the front yard/field with the keys in them incase someone on foot needs a way out. Not much else to be done.

One major problem here is looting. When people evacuate, others loot their property. It's sad but there has been a lot of that this year so far.

This morning we were told they hope to have the fire contained by Oct 18th.
 
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