preparing for high wind event wildfires

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balzaccom
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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by balzaccom » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:59 pm

One thing we learned last year in Napa was that cell phones are the first system to fail in a fire emergency. We were days without reliable cell or landline service during the peak of the crisis. Not a good way to communicate anything.

Meanwhile, my nephew is an environmental energy engineer in Spain He was puzzled why we don't bury our power lines to avoid fire risk...

Please don't tell me it's a cost issue after the damage caused by these last few years of fires...


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Wandering Daisy
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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:43 pm

There are some reasons that power lines cannot be buried; high water tables, earthquake risk and bedrock. Much of the Bay Area is in high earthquake risk zones. Costs would be prohibitive in bedrock areas, such as much of the Sierra. Where conditions are favorable, some new subdivisions do have buried power lines. In urban areas the footage/miles of power lines per home is not as much as rural areas, where the cost can become prohibitive.

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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by rlown » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:48 pm

Some of my rural area have buried power lines. They haven't failed. It's the feeder lines on poles that fail in winds and bring power failures.

Only failure we had was at the neighbors house when they didn't call 811 first and the construction crew working on their house hit both the power and gas lines.

It was a pretty 20' blue flame.

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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by SSSdave » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:48 am

Approximate ground zero of where Camp Fire started below 110 kilovolt transmission line towers.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=39.80244,-121.44982&z=16&t=M&

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/11/13/ ... camp-fire/

Per news link above, one mile south of the Poe Dam is Pulga at the Feather River confluence of small Flea Valley Creek. I brought up Google Earth to better look at the area and one can see the multiple power lines and steel towers. Generally some of the surface areas below the transmission lines looked like they were cleared of vegetation years ago, however there are still many scattered trees and obvious areas of dense ceanothus brush growing up in those areas. Some such newer transmission line designs have safety circuits that instantly shut off power if such lines break and open up so that when falling to the ground won't spark fires. Would be useful to know about the lines at Pulga. Obviously no lines over such fire prone ground areas ought to be the type that still have active high voltage if they hit the ground lest fires occur.
Pulga1.jpg
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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by dave54 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:14 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:43 pm
There are some reasons that power lines cannot be buried; high water tables, earthquake risk and bedrock. Much of the Bay Area is in high earthquake risk zones. Costs would be prohibitive in bedrock areas, such as much of the Sierra. Where conditions are favorable, some new subdivisions do have buried power lines. In urban areas the footage/miles of power lines per home is not as much as rural areas, where the cost can become prohibitive.
Existing subdivisions have the additional problem of multiple driveways, sidewalks, landscaping, etc, all must be tore up and replaced as part of burying existing lines. It is a lot easier when the subdivision is being built, as none of those barriers are there. It only takes one recalcitrant homeowner to hold up the entire project.
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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by John Harper » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:22 pm

It's probably way too expensive to underground those high voltage long distance transmission lines. Look at the terrain below the path of the lines. It may be an unfortunate, but necessary risk, that needs a thorough review.

John

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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by Harlen » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:47 pm

Russ wrote:
Only failure we had was... when... the construction crew working on their house hit both the power and gas lines.

It was a pretty 20' blue flame.
Tree workers have nine or ten ways to wreck power lines and make those pretty blue flames- I should know!*

*check out the various videos titled: "idiots with chain saws."

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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by psykokid » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:36 pm

Survey crew checking things in Paradise got to my inlaws street:

Image

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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by rlown » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:38 pm

Sorry for their loss. :(

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Re: preparing for high wind event wildfires

Post by balzaccom » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:05 pm

Very sad.

When visited our old house in Lake County after the big fires there, it was a blank slate. Not even a tree or a chimney to identify the location. We had to count the street to ntersection to find the lot.
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