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  • Valley fire....Northern California...Again

    Some of you may see this on the news...pretty dramatic stuff. Saturday I was in a memorial service for a friend in the town of Healdsburg, just west and over the hill from where this started. By the time we returned home, around 5, a blustry wind came up...with some serious gusts...near 40mph...with no red flag warning given it was unusual...a warm wind out of the northeast. As it turns out, that wind carried the fire from treetop to treetop in a remote residential neighborhood and burned straight at the town of Middletown. The fire went from 50 acres to nearly 50,000 acres in one day. Half of the town is now gone. People sitting in their living rooms had no warning, no call, nothing...one minute they smell smoke...the next minute literally in several cases...the fire was on them. Many barely escaped with their lives....neighborhoods with bikes, cars and rvs left in the driveways...all burned. Fortunately the latest report is of only one fatality. 4 firefighters were burned badly when they were airlifted into an area to save a home and the fire roared over them..they're all stable in the hospital.

    This is the forth fire in as many weeks in Lake county to our north and just over a couple ridges. Sunday morning there was ash fallout as far as 100 miles south of the fire, we got our dose and we're maybe 15 miles as the crow flies..or as the fire burns. Moisture content this am is good and there is a light drizzle falling but the fire is 0% contained and continues to burn in all directions. nearly 2000 firefighters on site and more coming.

    My wife and I were planning and preparing to go on our annual fall camping trip...until this settles I think we may stay and cut more grass.
    Everything is crispy dry...leaves crumble into tiny pieces, grass breaks, trees are dying due to lack of water....it's not a scene you want for a wild fire. Then have a wind kick up...brutal...My son has a couple friends who have lost homes near the epicenter of the fire...my honda generator was up there giving them power to construct a new deck on a new home...

    We all have incidents of loss near us these days...hurricanes, floods, tornadoes...typically we have earthquakes....this year we have fires..and alot of them. We're packing up this morning...maybe by good fortune we'll be ready to leave quickly....but not for camping...

    ​They've lost over 400 homes so far and 100's more outbuildings, barns and vehicles...and that's an early count....over 10,000 evacuees in shelters.

    More to follow.......you'll probably see it on the news
    Last edited by rusty hooks; 09-14-2015, 11:51 AM.
    Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

  • #2
    my heart goes out to the people there.
    not much more that i can say.
    we often have fires here as well... it gets scary.
    andreas-patras Peloponnisos Greece zone 9a


    • #3
      Rusty, best of luck to you! Don't wait too long to get out if it heads your way. Doesn't Gary also live close to the affected area? I hope he does ok too.
      D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
      WL: Castillon, Fort Mill Dark, White Baca


      • #4
        Man oh man, I hate hearing these things, good luck to all that's affected!
        Ryan- CenLa, zone 8a/b


        • #5
          We're actually far enough away that we'd get a good warning before it came over the hill...but thanks..

          Gary is a bit further...if it gets to him...we're in serious trouble

          It's actually drizzled a couple times this morning and the humidity is way up/temperature down from just a few days ago and 100+

          estimates of structure damage are all over the place..some say 100+ homes some say 400+ homes and a couple thousand outbuildings/barns

          lots of pets lost...many saved and in shelters....

          Here's a good one.....Pacific Gas and Electric workers were going through the burned area to assess the power pole repairs and came upon a small corral with several horses and a burrow in it....the fire burned right around it...didn't touch the grasses right around the corral and all animals are fine....if that's not a hand from above I don't know what is. They fed the animals and checked their water.....
          Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra


          • #6
            Very scary stuff, Hope everyone is safe
            Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,


            • #7
              My cousin was able to return to her home outside of Jackson yesterday while another friend (Godfather's niece) further south is still under evacuation orders and isn't sure if her home is still standing or not. She said a neighbor had said that he heard that air tankers had "painted" the area with fire retardant and dozers were creating fire breaks behind her house so she was hopeful. I heard on the radio this afternoon that CalFire has diverted some of the air support to the Valley Fire as it has been burning uncontrolled in areas with a higher density of homes, etc. Another friend's parents are from Middletown and she said they escaped okay and are staying at a hotel but don't know if their home is standing either and also have some pasture with goats and have no idea about them.

              This USA Today story shows a video of how crazy the Valley Fire was, most folks had no warning that they were at risk of the fire until they saw it for themselves. The Butte Fire's spread was unprecedented but the Valley Fire got to 50,000 acres in one day instead of two days and just overwhelmed firefighting efforts. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2...tube/72255722/
              My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos


              • #8
                The CA map looks scary!
                Here is a direct link:

                Click image for larger version

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                USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Boysenberry Blush


                • #9
                  As of this evening the Valley Fire (north of Rusty and Gary) has destroyed 585 homes, 1 fatality of a disabled teacher that could not escape, and in the Butte Fire 166 homes have been destroyed.

                  We even had some sprinkles here today and temperatures stayed below 80F, we had over 100 a few days ago.
                  My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos