Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

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rightstar76
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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by rightstar76 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:41 pm

LMBSGV wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:15 pm
I have a close friend who has been involved for many, many years in environmental, energy, and utilities and knows the ins and outs, advantages and disadvantages of every side of this issue. To her, the long-term solution is obvious. We need a two-tiered system of smaller utilities that provide the generation (the CCAs--Community Choice Aggregation--for example, Marin Clean Power, Sonoma Clean Power, Silicon Valley Clean Power) and a larger utility that maintains the infrastructure (PG&E or whatever entity may replace it). In other words, PG&E would essentially no longer function as a utility that both generates power and maintains the infrastructure, but would only maintain the infrastructure. Environmentally and economically, the old utility structure exemplified by PG&E is obsolete in a world that runs on renewable energy.
LMBSGV, it sounds like a reasonable alternative. The public should have a say in how power is generated in their communities. That's the direction we need to go in and I think Community Choice Aggregation makes sense. PG&E or whatever replaces it, can maintain the infrastructure without being beholden to corporate execs and shareholders. I think that when the generation of energy serves us and not the stock exchange, it also is going to change the status quo where currently the utilities are contributing to causing the fires in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere. With CCAs and an entity that maintains infrastructure, the status quo will have changed and we will have utilities that properly maintain their infrastructure so they don't cause fires.








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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by dave54 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:54 pm

Interesting article. As fire seasons get longer worldwide, demand for scarce aerial firefighting resources increase.
Many companies send the large aircraft and helicopters to southern hemisphere in the off-season. But the seasons are beginning to overlap.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal ... 5139j.html

Also interesting in the article is Australian environmentalists are pushing for more aggressive firefighting in the backcountry to help preserve their natural heritage -- exactly the opposite of environmentalists here.
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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by dave54 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:50 pm

This is unexpected.

Lush green Ireland with a major forest fire in March!
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland ... -1.3843493
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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by rightstar76 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:10 pm

More reasons:
“Take Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood, where the Tubbs Fire killed five people and destroyed 1,321 homes in 2017. The neighborhood wasn’t considered a fire hazard zone, unlike some other areas of Santa Rosa. The Tubbs Fire proved otherwise, but Coffey Park still isn’t designated as a “very high fire hazard zone” by Cal Fire.
https://wildfiretoday.com/2019/04/23/so ... standards/

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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by rightstar76 » Wed May 15, 2019 9:39 pm

More on what's really causing the fires:
“Cal Fire has determined that the Camp fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric located in the Pulga area,” the agency said in a news release Wednesday.
Johnson pledged that the company would demonstrate a higher commitment to safety under his watch, which includes visually inspecting all of its equipment in areas of high fire risk, intensifying vegetation management and shutting off power in advance of dangerous conditions.
https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la- ... story.html

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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by rlown » Wed May 15, 2019 10:29 pm

Could just take the lines down. How does that work for residents? Can't have it both ways.

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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by rightstar76 » Thu May 16, 2019 1:56 am

The public is being told that it's not ready:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... en-t-ready
The plan by PG&E Corp. comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts.
So nothing changes except the public continues to pay for it (blackouts and higher energy rates). Meanwhile, little is being done to update the electric infrastructure. The message to the public from PG&E, their lobbyists, lawyers, CAR, CPUC, and state officials is basically let them eat cake. And they wonder why the public is so upset.

Also from the article:
The utility also plans to set up dozens of so-called “resiliency centers,” Johnson said by telephone, where backup generators can be brought in to run essential services.
It seems reasonable to speculate that if the power is going to be out for a week that people will want to use generators where they live. They aren't going to want to travel long distances to these centers especially if it's the middle of the night. That means lots of generators and gasoline. I don't think that's any better than turning off the electricity. In fact, it might be worse!

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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by balzaccom » Thu May 16, 2019 6:22 am

It's more likely that the power will be turned off for a period of 24 hours or less. at least, that's what happened last year: periods of very dry weather, very dry forests, and very high winds.
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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by rightstar76 » Mon May 27, 2019 10:41 pm

Due to a century of fire suppression and intensive logging operations, followed by a lack of any logging for decades, the historically fire-adaptive ecosystem is now a massive tinder box choked with overcrowded trees and dense ladder fuels, Kawahara said.
Forest-thinning project near Glencoe breaks ground
www.calaverasenterprise.com/news/articl ... 3cb4f.html

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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Post by rightstar76 » Thu May 30, 2019 5:04 am

Good (and lengthy) article. Lots of interesting examples on both sides of the debate. Definitely worth reading:
In California, the debate over prescribed burns is complicated by a deadly history with wildfires that have grown quickly out of control, the state’s stringent environmental regulations, fear of liability lawsuits and infringement on property rights, and the huge swaths of federal forestland with their own management rules and oversight.
Fighting fire with fire: Should California burn its forests to protect against catastrophe?
https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/calif ... 81684.html

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