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Western U.S. wildfires


Reptoid Overlords

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Yet another round of wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington.    I am seeing a lot of smoke in the greater Seattle/Puget Sound area, which is a nuisance to work in, but some folks are losing their homes and lives.  I hope those here in the path of the fires are safe. 

S moke.jpg

Edited by Reptoid Overlords
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 Portland. We're scrambling around here. As of this morning, more than 500,000 have evacuated their homes in Oregon. That's 1/10th of the population and most of those are on the west side of the state. Several small towns have burned to the ground and now the fires are heading towards larger towns. Molalla and Oregon City have been evacuated. One half mile visibility due to smoke yesterday. About the same today. The smoke is so dense you can look at the sun at noon without squinting. It's just a red dot in a dirty orange sky. The smoke goes up to around 10,000' and prevents fire fighting air drops from being used and firefighters on the ground from finding the fires. Rescue vehicles can't get to some areas. Yesterday they pulled ALL the firefighters back in to regroup and attack again. As of this morning none of the fires around Portland are contained. Parking lots are full of RVs and tents here in town. Hotels, Motels are full and we still have Covid-19 to deal with. We could use your prayers folks.

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8 hours ago, Mark Maras said:

 Portland. We're scrambling around here. As of this morning, more than 500,000 have evacuated their homes in Oregon. That's 1/10th of the population and most of those are on the west side of the state. Several small towns have burned to the ground and now the fires are heading towards larger towns. Molalla and Oregon City have been evacuated. One half mile visibility due to smoke yesterday. About the same today. The smoke is so dense you can look at the sun at noon without squinting. It's just a red dot in a dirty orange sky. The smoke goes up to around 10,000' and prevents fire fighting air drops from being used and firefighters on the ground from finding the fires. Rescue vehicles can't get to some areas. Yesterday they pulled ALL the firefighters back in to regroup and attack again. As of this morning none of the fires around Portland are contained. Parking lots are full of RVs and tents here in town. Hotels, Motels are full and we still have Covid-19 to deal with. We could use your prayers folks.

Hate to be the bearer of the correct data but 500,000 total under some sort of notice to evacuate or to prepare for evacuation is not the same as 500,000 have evacuated their homes. We live 75 miles from the fire and are on Level 1 evacuation notice but no threat from the fire. Please don't sensationalise the real situation in such a dire time. More than 40,000 Oregonians have already been evacuated, and about 500,000 are in zones that may be evacuated as the fires continue to grow.

Edited by SpeedRoo
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I'm about 2 miles away from the Bobcat fire. Homes aren't immediately threatened (so far), though many people around here have been told to prepare to evacuate. We've been lucky with this fire with respect to location and weather. Air quality is the biggest issue. Wednesday was tolerable, but by Thursday my house smelled like a campfire. Woke up Friday morning and couldn't even see the mountains a mile or so away. Not gonna lie, I'm kinda glad I'm not up on the hills right now (I was a firefighter once upon a time) -- this year is shaping up to be as bad as any I can remember.

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Saturdays I like to take out the Z in the early A.M. when there is very little traffic out.  When I went out this morning I made it about 5 miles before I realized I could only really see about 100 feet or less in front of me because of the smoke here.  At 60mph running up on someone going 40mph and hardly being able to see their tail lights.  Again, my plight is trivial compared to those in real danger of losing their homes, but if local businesses are closing just because of smoke, I can only imagine the pandemonium  in areas close to the fires.  My thoughts are with everyone in that predicament.

 

 

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Yeah I'm in Seattle as well.  The smoke has moved up here since the winds changed in the last few days.  We had an West blowing wind early in the week and now it's blowing North/NorthEast.  So all of that smoke has moved in from Oregon.  I'm inside with the AC blowing and double filters on our furnace.

I put one of these on the front of our regular filter:  https://www.homedepot.com/p/True-Blue-24-in-x-36-in-x-1-in-Budget-FRP-2-Washable-Filter-HD0124361/202195941

You can also grab one of these as well to control the odors:  https://www.homedepot.com/p/Web-20-in-x-25-in-x-1-in-Absorber-Odor-Control-FPR-5-Air-Filter-WABSORBFPR/100011568

It's not healthy to be outside, so, please take care of yourselves.

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This is one of my favorite sources to check pollution levels.  This link shows particulate matter in 2.5 parts per million. 

You can also mess around with the settings on the bottom left to see other readings.

https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/particulates/surface/level/overlay=pm2.5/orthographic=-120.33,39.35,2015

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It seems to show clear air down by the Columbia River mouth.  But the airnow monitors show bad air on the ground.  Maybe it's more of a high atmosphere monitor.  Not sure it's a good guide for how to get away from the smoke, in a car.  Cool animation though.

https://gispub.epa.gov/airnow/

 

Edited by Zed Head
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I have relatives in Colfax and fires there have threatened two of their homes and the farmhouse which supports their operation. In one case flames were within about 40 feet of buildings, but in all cases they are OK.  One of the fires was in Colfax on the west side of town; the other fires included the one that took out the covered bridge, which is within 2 miles of the farm, in the same canyon.

Info from them is sporadic because the power has been out in much of Colfax and all the residences except the farmhouse - and it's in a location where you have to climb about 300 feet up to a hilltop to get cell phone connectivity.   

Edited by Pilgrim
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 The fires, for the most part, are still burning but not spreading rapidly like they were in the high winds. There will be plenty of work to be done when they're all out. Hwy. 22, between Salem and Sisters has over 10,000 trees that have to be dealt with, due to fire damage and unstable hillsides, before the hwy. opens.

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