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Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 2:32 AM

Well, I felt the need to post this, with the hope that someone can come up with a reasonable solution.

On a super hot Sunday, Sept 6th, a fire started in the mountains outside of Azusa, CA. It was crazy hot that day - temps in the 110's. There are investigations going on and it doesn't look good for SCE (electric company). Here are some facts about this fire.

1. It started on the south facing side of the San Gabriel Mountains.

2. The fire is still burning, though they feel it's under control and the fire breaks should contain it. The fire will burn itself out in a few days or so.

3. The fire split into two. One fire jumped Hwy 2 and headed off to Palmdale. The other circled back and threatened Mt Wilson.

4. The San Gabriel mountains are about 20 miles wide from Azusa to Palmdale. The fire made it to Palmdale.

5. Mt Wilson is 5700 feet high. The fire reached Wilson, but firefighters kept the facility from burning.

6. Smoke filled the LA basin for about 10 days. Air quality was around 150-180 and ran as high as 270 in the foothill, right beneath the fire.

7. Many people were evacuated. Homes on the Palmdale side burned.

8. This will be the 2nd largest wildfire in Los Angeles County.

If SCE is found to be the culprit, there will be lawsuits. A few years ago, when the town of Paradise was destroyed by a poorly maintained PGE power line, the company got away with much lower costs by filing bankruptcy and getting help from our governor. Somehow, PGE shareholders kept much of their equity while bondholders were forced to take some loss. The biggest issue is that the people who were harmed have to fight for the funds the state deemed as acceptable $13.5B, even though PGE estimated damages at $30B. 1/2 of the $13.5B is in company stock - yes, you heard that right. PGE is the largest utility company in CA.

As engineers, we are taught to find solutions to problems. The solution in this case may be a mix of scientific, design, planning, financial and even new technology. I'm at a loss, because I don't see a solution to our problem. Our poorly maintained power grid has been at fault for some huge fires and loss of both property and life. The cost to upgrade and maintain it ... well, the utility companies says they don't have enough. The state will have a $54B deficit in 2021 thanks to shutting down things to save lives from Covid. The corporations have run off with the money and the state coffers are empty. So, what's the solution?

As engineers, I'd like to hear what you have to say. Even if it's something like "move to another state". My roots are dug firmly here and I have about a decade to build a little more assets, then I plan to retire here. I kept a condo in Orange County as my retirement home and if all goes well, I'll be debt free in 10 years. And I'll have enough assets to retire well. The laws in this state are bordering on insane and with the recent fires, I'm not sure if this is the place to retire. That means all my plans go out the window and I have to change quickly.

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#1

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 2:46 AM

I'll start the conversation by saying that I feel bad for the OP. He planned for his retirement, he used realistic figures, he has been pretty frugal and saved his money, he invested wisely ... well, the second time he did. He worked hard and kept investing - making his money work for him. His mortgages are reasonable and he's on track to pay them to $0 by the time he retires.

The propositions on this falls ballot include putting an end to Prop 13 - the old proposition that limits increases in assessed values, which keeps property taxes from going up fast. Another proposition is to give more control of rent control to cities. The state has a 5% + inflation per year rent increase and Prop 21 will restrict it further. I own rental property and I'm thinking of selling, due to both the Federal Gov't and our State Gov't telling my tenants they don't have to pay rent. This is one of the Covid rules, even though my tenants were enjoying an extra $600/week in UI benefits. Sure, rent has accrued, but there's no way for me to collect. I can and will evict, but how do I collect the monetary judgement? And if gets over $10K, it's no longer a small claims matter and I have to hire an attorney (to collect). Nobody has helped pay the missing rent, yet they can dictate if my tenants should be paying. This alone has made me realize that rental properties now come with a huge financial flaw - the gov't can tell my tenants not to pay, while not helping me by sending the missing rent payments to me. I'd feel much better if the gov't became the middleman and they collected (or deferred) the rent from my tenants, but they continued to pay me - sort of a Section 8 type system. I'm good with that.

The solution looks more and more like the OP needs to leave the state and start building his empire. Find a state that has politicians who look out for local businesses and property owners.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 3:42 AM

California is too big, it needs to be split into three states...the liberals are so deeply entrenched there it will take a miracle to get them out....better to get out while the gettin' is good...and hope they don't come after you...or stay and fight to get responsible leadership elected....good luck with that

https://www.avail.co/education/articles/collecting-rent-during-the-coronavirus-what-landlords-should-know

The cares act provides emergency funds to tenants

https://2ndkitchen.com/apartments/collect-rent-during-covid-19/

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#14
In reply to #1

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 9:30 PM

Yeah, from '93 to '03 we were a landlord for one rental property (a former home) in the People's Democratic Republic of Taxachusetts. After that experience, we opted not to repeat that investment strategy. The rules there are overwhelmingly stacked against the landlord. Ultimately, what happens is that the landlords have to charge all their tenants higher rent to cover their losses from the dirt bags.

You have my condolences in this COVID environment as I can only imagine the future rental property turn-over as tenants opt for eviction versus paying the back rent and the property owners get left holding the bag. And then I suspect after eviction, the renters will probably find another property owner desperate to get tenants into their vacant properties and will look the other way on prior evictions.

But that's O.K., those evil 1%'ers had it coming to them.

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#68
In reply to #14

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 4:16 AM

My gut feeling is that my tenants will move out before the court tells them they have to leave. Here in LA County, the judge will throw out the eviction case if the tenant moves before the court date - no need to hear the eviction case, since they're already gone. The tenant has a clean record and does the same to the next landlord.

A smart landlord will check court records to see if the potential tenant has been sued for an unlawful detainer - eviction in CA terms. If I see one, then the tenant can't move in. It's one of my rules.

When landlords are allowed to evict, I think we're going to see a lot of people run out without paying the back rent. Landlords may decide to call it quits - an oversupply of homes may hit the market and prices will be headed down.

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#89
In reply to #68

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 11:05 AM

When I was going to college, I stayed at a small complex, that consisted of (4) quad apartment buildings,

in there were tenants, the owner landlord was too empathetic And was new at being a landlord, that the tenants took advantage of, with excuses. He carried them for 4-5 months, I told the land lord they’re playing him until October. He asked why October?, I told him in Wisconsin, because of the winters here in Wisconsin, you can’t evict your tenants until April when the weather warms up.
He didn't believe people would do that.

Well October came, and the excuses stopped, and instead these tenants just said they were’t going to pay rent.

April came, and the day he was going to serve them the eviction notice, they not only already left, they trashed the place, where Painting repairs and new carpeting was needed.

and for the cherry, they left a receipt for a new leather jacket that was just bought on a table to show the landlord they did have money. They had at about 10 months Of rent free living.

I never mentioned to him of I told you so, because this landlord was a decent guy, but he did say, he should have listened to me.

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#103
In reply to #89

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:16 PM

Poor guy! Did he keep the properties or throw in the towel?

My first experience with tenants was in 1989. We let a friend (who was a real estate agent) be the landlord. He didn't check the local law and told us the best way to make money was to rent out each room to a different person. I was busy with work, grad school, girlfriend, new house and business, so I assumed he was knowledgeable. Hah! The local law doesn't allow a single family home to be divided and rented out as single rooms. One gal he let in was his "ho" - I think that's what they call her. He let her in with one week rent and no deposit. She never paid another cent and one day she came into our store pleading for us not to evict her. She brought her young daughter with her - to show us that she had a daughter. She had crazy parties, wrecked the house, chased away the other tenants and when we finally got her out, we had nearly lost the place. Two mortgages, business expenses, tuition, exc. Five months free rent, wrecked house and we got lucky that she left - the DA worked with us and came up with an agreement for both sides. At first, he thought we were slum lords, but when he met the defendant, he understood and worked hard to help us.

Big lesson for us and in the 31 years since, we've become much smarter - though we had no idea the government would tell our tenants not to pay rent. I just learned that the government can do whatever it likes and I have absolutely no say in the matter. No favors to call in either! This is why I'm thinking of exiting the property rental business.

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#106
In reply to #103

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:29 PM

No, he kept it,... and added to it... at the time, I was managing the complex (maintenance, tenant gripes and repairs, and safety).

He gave me a break on my rent, and reimbursed me for any maintenance material costs. (As far as my time,... it wasn’t worth it, I did it because I enjoyed the work) he realized that, and appreciated it. Maybe I set the bar too high on expectations on tenants.

the good part,... i moved on after college, and I haven’t Has contact with him in over 20 years,... he contacted me about a year ago... and he’s still a nice guy... there are some that take advantage of him, but he’s better situated and prepared to deal with it.

As far as your multiple tenants with a single family home, yes, I recently experienced the same, with an industrial building rental that was breaking it up into suites,... every thing has to be separate such as utilities ect... it was nothing spectacular,... I just followed the ordinances as I uncovered them. And I developed a great relationship with the local government committees.

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#115
In reply to #106

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 7:21 PM

Learning about city ordinances and county rules can be overwhelming at times. When the city is unincorporated, the county rules apply. We have CSD's (Community Standards Districts) in LA County. Local governments (town councils) can petition the county to add or delete rules specifically for their area. We had some CSD's that applied only to us and didn't apply to the rest of the county. I recall a very interesting one about cell towers. A cell tower must resemble a tree - that's what it said. When the cell phone company wanted to put a cell tower next door to a neighbor's home, we fought it. The county supported us, because the cell company only read the county rules and not our CSD. When the time came for our hearing, we used the CSD as a reason why they shouldn't be able to erect their cell tower. They made the mistake of building it in the form of a barn.

All we wanted was for them to build it in the hills, away from homes. The cell company didn't want that, because the would have to build a road or buy the right of way. Then they'd have to run electricity and water to the site. Too much money compared to using an empty piece of land next door to a home.

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#3

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 7:32 AM

Truth in comedy..

Maybe there's an answer here.

It's crazy all over if it's any help.

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#27
In reply to #3

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/26/2020 4:02 AM

I like this down to Earth commentary.

He forgot to mention the best way to increase the average IQ in Detroit and California is to move everyone from Detroit to California.

Or maybe vice versa?

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#30
In reply to #27

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/26/2020 4:26 AM

Error Error!

OOPS!

Strike Detroit,insert Chicago,or your city or person of choice.

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#4

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 11:42 AM

Aren't there many such fires out there in (Taxefornia) these days, most typically started by ''lightning strikes''?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't there first be a thunderstorm before there is a lightning strike?

Thus, I have to ask that, if there were approximately ''n'' lightning strikes causing approximately ''n'' fires, then shouldn't there have been approximately ''n'' corresponding thunderstorms causing those ''n'' lightning strikes?

Has anybody checked on that relationship?...

Can the former P(acific) G(as) & E(xtortion, as they were once-upon-a-time referred to) be held accountable for the costs of acts-of-nature such as lightning strikes, in addition to equipment failures, negligence, faulty maintenance, etc.?

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#26
In reply to #4

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 11:53 PM

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't there first be a thunderstorm before there is a lightning strike?"

Yes, a thunderstorm is a common cause of lightning, BUT, those thunderstorms occur several miles above ground level. When the humidity at ground level is in the teens, as it has often been recently, the rain from that thunderstorm evaporates long before reaching the ground (Virga). Lightning, on the other hand, doesn't evaporate. It continues on down to the dry ground below, easily starting fires, with no rain to put them out.

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#44
In reply to #26

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/27/2020 10:26 AM

I’ve heard about lighting strikes on a clear day. As it turned out lightening does not come straight down.

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#62
In reply to #4

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:41 AM

PGE walked away without having the shareholders lose all their equity. They were in bankruptcy, but the governor came to the rescue and forced the bond holder to take a hit. Since when does a governor have the right to interfere with private business matters?

The Bobcat Fire was started by faulty SCE lines (that's what they believe). No lightning, just faulty equipment.

And the previous fire in Azusa was started by a fight in a homeless encampment. One guy (prior felon) got in a fight with another homeless man and set his stuff on fire. This was about a month before the Bobcat Fire.

And there was also a fire near Riverside that was started by a gender reveal party, where someone lit of fireworks and started the El Dorado Fire. Fireworks are illegal in Riverside County.

I'm not sure how the recent Napa Valley fire started, but my business partner is up there and he told me the air is terrible.

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#5

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 12:12 PM

California is very liberal and they don't like fossil fuels, as evidenced by the ban on combustion engines by 2035, a mere 14.x years from now.

When that ban takes effect, an already strained power grid, complete with rolling blackouts, will possibly collapse under the weight of so many electric cars.

Here in Florida, we are constantly rebuilding our power grid due to hurricanes. The power companies can afford to do this because we let them permit power plants using gas turbines, a very effective cost model. This gives them the required income to maintain infrastructure.

While I am strongly in favor of renewable energy, if the concept is employed using emotion instead of logic, the end result is Califirenia.

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 3:44 PM

It says a lot when Florida continues to finance recoveries from hurricanes, year after year after year, but Califrenia's San Francisco relies on volunteers to clean up waste off its' public streets...

GA from me.

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#64
In reply to #7

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:47 AM

Our folks in Sacramento have drained the coffers. Now we need the money and it's gone! +$19B to - $54B in one year. That's unacceptable!

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#45
In reply to #5

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/27/2020 10:31 AM

Do to circumstances, they may lift the mandate restriction on fossil fuels.

also keep in mind, it’s not only fossil fuel problems California has, it also has a poor source of potable water. Or even water as a whole.

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#79
In reply to #45

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:19 AM

Hey Phoenix. Don't laugh, but the reason our governor is stopping the sale of ICE vehicles after 2035 is ... yes, this is what he really said ... ready??? It's so he can stop Global Warming.

I just pulled this from the internet. It would be funny if it were a joke, but they're serious. https://napavalleyregister.com/opinion/editorial/five-solutions-to-california-s-climate-crisis-gov-newsom-should-implement-right-now/article_d61278f2-1ed8-5f23-991f-911ead97565f.html

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#91
In reply to #79

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 11:12 AM

I’m not laughing, only shaking my head...

I’ll tell you this,... the fires have cause very colorful sunsets here in Northeast Wisconsin.

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#105
In reply to #91

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:18 PM

Wow, all the way to Wisconsin!

Northeast Wisconsin? Near UP Michigan?

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#107
In reply to #105

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:34 PM

Yep,.., a friend of mine Which lives in Manitowoc, Wisconsin posted a picture of the sunset.

when the smoke gets into the upper atmosphere, it catches the jet stream. Then again, it could be the fires on this side of the Rockies... when Colorado had fires, it was the same thing.

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#114
In reply to #107

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 7:13 PM

I grew up in a little suburb outside of Chicago. Back when Mt St Helens erupted, I remember the sky was overcast for months off and on. I heard that the cloud from Mt St Helens was circling the earth. They said it lowered the temperature on the planet.

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#117
In reply to #114

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 7:48 PM

Same with the valcano eruption in Iceland A few years back,... I’m not going to attempt to spell it’s name because it’ll rattle the grammar nazis.

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#118
In reply to #117

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 7:50 PM

Oh, what the heck.... dfgrhthhfdhtrfgrhthk7dfyb3.7

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#63
In reply to #5

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:44 AM

The ban on combustion engines (ICE) begins in 2035 and is only for the sale of new vehicles.

Our governor said that he's going to stop global warming. Yes, he actually said that. He doesn't understand that China, India and third work countries don't care about carbon emissions. Their first goal is trying to put food on the table for their citizens.

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#6

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 1:04 PM

TCM Tech agreed to have an educated and dubious look see at my utter simple energy harvesting plan... and theeeen he was banned.

Maybe the"rules" needs some modification.

There used to be forum posts asking for ideas on how to improve things?

I haven't seen any lately.. sooo .

Its Pretty quiet here when everyone with valuable thoughts and minds storm off under the weight of a poorly fought agreement. Its those who are thusly banned rather then delt with and treated like the unique adult they are.

I've never said snowflake here (a term used around here)but the environment is what it is.

(Rant off as they say)

-tcm.. offer stands

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#8

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 4:52 PM

A similar post https://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/131813/California-Wild-Fires if you want to read about what we said last year.

I still say that if you build in a fire area the exterior of the house should be masonry and the roof metal, tile or slate. What the fire fighters do is incredible but they are only a little super-human. When big piles of firewood (wood house and asphalt shingles) start burning the neighborhood doesn't have a chance. If the houses were hard to ignite then I bet we would be amazed at what the firefighters could save.

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 8:46 PM

Insurance companies probably have the biggest influence on building construction. They can get stuff done much faster than legislative bodies. If a house burns and the insurance company pays the claim, they can mandate certain building characteristics on the rebuild or refuse to provide coverage on the risk. Few homeowners are willing to or able to self-insure.

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#66
In reply to #12

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:58 AM

Back in 2011, I bought my house in the Santa Clarita Valley. Our house was built on a hillside and our backyard was the top of the hill. State Farm refused to insure the house, unless we covered the eaves with a fireproof material like Hardy board. I looked into it and not only was the cost high (we have a tall two story), but it wasn't recommended, because the heat from the attic wouldn't have a way to vent the air in (air flows through the open eaves and out the fans on the roof).

Farmer's said yes and we've had them as our insurance company. Most others won't even think about it, because the house is in a canyon. Granted, the canyon is situated so fires don't go through. We haven't had a fire through the canyon for over 100 years.

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#65
In reply to #8

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:54 AM

I read and participated in that post. Amazing that we have to post something again this year.

I like your idea about the construction of the house. Masonry on the exterior - check! Tile, metal, slate or concrete roof - check! I'll add that the eaves should be covered with wonderboard or Hardy board.

The house would need to be built with 2X4's or 2X6's, due to our earthquakes. And the exterior of many of our homes is stucco.

The problem is that we need to vent the attic and that allows embers to get sucked right in the attic and start the house on fire. Newer homes have closed eaves that are very small. The older homes haven't been retrofitted. The reason? Cost is too high.

But we can build an apartment for a homeless man and spend over $260K per apartment (not the building, just one apartment).

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#9

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 6:22 PM

I thought you had a . . . .

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 8:23 PM

It's ok to shed a tear..

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#46
In reply to #11

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/27/2020 10:38 AM

Wow,.., I recently borrowed one of my brothers skid loaders. It was a Case 1845C... it has over 15,000 hours...

It had a pretty bad fire a few years ago,... not as bad as the video. he replaced the wiring, hydraulic hoses, didn’t do anything with the engine (Cummings 4BT). Pretty strong engine.

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#80
In reply to #9

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:20 AM

Good one!

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#10

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 7:30 PM

It;s not all California.

California has a total acreage of 100.2 million acres. Of that total, 47.70 percent, or 47.8 million acres, belongs to the federal government. From 1990 to 2010, the federal government increased its ownership of land in California by 1.6 million acres.

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#13

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/24/2020 8:58 PM

I'm so sorry you and many others in California have had to endure these recent fires. If there really were one and only one root cause (zoning, building codes, brush management, global warming, electric grid maintenance, etc.) for these fires or their severity then an engineering mitigation might be possible. Each one of my proffered causes (except for etc.) do individually have known engineering solutions but each of those solutions harms somebody in the process. This induces one of the paralysis of non-autocratic government, harming one group for the benefit of another begets bureaucratic stagnation and inaction. (I actually heard one group request forming a one year study on the six month impact to an action or inaction. You cannot make this up.)

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#67
In reply to #13

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 4:08 AM

Our governor has done a terrible job regarding wildfires, the economy and being fair to his constituents. His new "law" is that no new ICE car can be sold beginning 2035. Why? Because it will end GW - yes, he said that.

The average age of a car in the US is 11.9 years with 25% older than 16 years. Those older cars don't burn as clean as new cars. The problem we face is that new cars are expensive and prices are going up. The middle to upper income can afford a new car. Lower income families/people can't, so they keep their junker on the road for too long and pollute the air.

I'm not saying that these fires are from Global Warming. I'm also not saying that we in CA can do anything about GW. This is just a response back to the left side, who believe that we can do something about GW.

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#15

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 12:49 AM
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#69
In reply to #15

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 4:22 AM

I've spoken to people who suspect it's some radical group doing this. That's pretty disgusting!

If our laws required criminals to work off their debt (pick crops, fix roads, clean bulldozers at the dump, clean government buildings, etc) vs sitting in an air conditioned prison watching TV and working out, maybe the criminal would think twice. Don't cause a crime, remain free and work for your wages, which you keep. Or be a criminal, go to prison, do whatever work your told to do and have no freedom.

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#90
In reply to #69

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 11:06 AM

Those people do get pretty emotionally radical.

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#16

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 2:03 AM

Responsible lumber harvesting and yearly prescribed burns are certainly part of the solution, fireproof building codes and undergrowth management by other means, like goats, could only help...The main problem seems to be you have nobody that will take responsibility and do what needs to be done, the leaders are under the influence of ignorant but wealthy constituents that wrongly think they know best, and as we can all clearly see, they don't...So you need a base of experts that can shout down those elite influencers that live in the bubble where they exist as all knowing hero's of the people, but are in fact, the Devil's spawn...

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#20
In reply to #16

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 11:45 AM

As you know SE Florida regularly cuts fire lines and conducts prescribed burns.

This minimizes the size of our fires, although we still get them, being the lightning capital of the world.

Intensive regular prescribed burns were started after those massive fires we had about 15 or so years ago.

We don't get into a your land/my land discussion. Whichever county the land is in conducts the burn.

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#47
In reply to #20

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/27/2020 2:32 PM

We've been burning off the Everglades every year for as long as I can remember...60 years+

"Prescribed burns are set in a mosaic pattern to allow time and space for wildlife to move away from the fire."

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article239914013.html

Burn the scrub, leave the tree's...

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/27/2020 9:37 PM

In consistently moist environments like Florida with their frequent afternoon rains, prescribed burns would be relatively easy to do. From what I've read the difficulty on the west coast is they cycle through days of monsoon like rains that promote lush undergrowth (mudslides when recently burned) and long spells of drought turning the undergrowth into tinder. Nobody wants to try a prescribed burn when things get too dry. Nobody can achieve a prescribe burn in a monsoon.

Clearly no single approach will solve this, if it can be solved. Goats, llamas, sheep and other herding herbivores should be strategically used, too.

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#51
In reply to #48

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/28/2020 2:45 PM

https://www.drought.gov/drought/states/florida

We have droughts in Florida, and water restrictions...Maybe the lack of burning is contributing to the drought? More particulates in the air for raindrops to form....and you needn't make more excuses for California, they can make enough on their own....they're habitual victims...

https://apnews.com/article/climate-california-fires-climate-change-archive-e86452cefd1462375439abea273f7d87

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/28/2020 3:02 PM

That's a nice link. Thank you. Did you notice that today Florida has 0% of the state in drought condition while 41% of California is in drought condition.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/28/2020 3:37 PM

In Florida we're in what you could describe as our monsoon season. I haven't been able to cut a large part of my property in about 6 weeks due to the water. On the other hand, I haven't needed to add water to the pool

California has droughts and monsoon type times, yes. But they also have in-between times when they could conduct controlled burns.

Florida doesn't conduct burns during hurricanes but we conduct them when we can. We have had 2,168 wildfires in 2020 so far, with an average size of 90 acres. This is due to controlled burns.

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/28/2020 4:52 PM

Do you also get Santa Ana winds that dry anything out?

I don't think so.

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/28/2020 5:00 PM

If you are seriously trying to convince me (and yourself) that there are zero times during the year that California can conduct a controlled burn then I have nothing further to add.

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/28/2020 5:10 PM

No, no, no. The idea I'm pushing for is two fold. One is exactly the point you just made. There are only certain times that a prescribed burn is possible and practical anywhere. Typically California has fewer of these times than Florida for multiple reasons one of which is the geographic differences of the two states.

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#85
In reply to #57

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:41 AM

The different climate and geography is a huge reason why our fires burn so large. Though I think a better fire break plan would be a good starting point.

Here's how easily a huge wildfire can start. A few months ago, I was on the 210 freeway near hwy 2. I was on the left of a semi when I saw embers - I thought that he threw a cigarette out the window! I'm a bit outspoken when I see things like this, so I pulled up alongside him and I noticed that more embers were coming from the truck. What happened is the rear brakes had locked and the rotors were orange/red. Chunks of rotor or brake pad was falling off - the embers. I honked my horn and told him to pull over. I parked in front of him and told him what I saw. His brakes stunk and they were orange. He told me he has it under control and he thanked me for stopping. I did call emergency and they sent someone over. That could've been the start of a very bad fire if he were going northbound (hills are to the right of the northbound lane)

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#84
In reply to #53

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:33 AM

2,168 small wildfires sound much better than six figure acreage burning.

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#82
In reply to #51

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:30 AM

So, who do you suppose our governor owes a favor to?

He turned the wildfire tragedy into a war on GW?

Logically, let's say he can reduce CA's carbon footprint. He doesn't understand that it's GLOBAL Warming, not CA Warming. With 15% of the carbon footprint coming from the US, let's say we did a perfect job and got down to 0%. Does the other 85% automatically disappear? I have a feeling that 85% has a lot larger factor on GW than our 15% does.

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#81
In reply to #48

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:24 AM

Instead of animals, I'd rather see prisoners used. Give the prisoners tools and send them to work. They could live in makeshift camps - chained together, so they can't escape.

Clear the dead wood and branches. Create firebreaks by cutting swaths of no fuel areas.

Remember that this is bear country. I don't know how long goats, llama and sheep would last.

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#87
In reply to #81

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 9:04 AM

Certainly chain gangs could be used, particularly in creating new fire breaks, but they bring added complications of security and other infrastructure to support their efforts.

Herbivores don't need food brought in. You actually want them to be hungry when they arrive at an area. Herbivore escapees are amusing human interest stories for the evening news instead of neighborhood terrorizing stories. Any herbivore lost due to a local carnivore (bear, mountain lion, coyote, etc.) can be easily compensated for to the herder. Lastly many herbivores can cover terrain people just cannot, particularly people chained.

Once again, no single method of fuel removal will achieve a solution for every scenario. Employing as many different techniques as possible will help to mitigate the different scenarios encountered.

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#95
In reply to #87

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:29 PM

So many facets to the problem. Forrest management is hard to do when people insist on building multimillion dollar properties in places you told them not to. They make the needed controlled burns impossible.

My Uncle Gerriet Dirksen made himself a millionaire by selling people homes that either burned up or slid down. He was always amazed at how easy it was too. Some would even have him rebuild the home after it burned. Slid was a different problem as the "property" wasnt there any longer.

When you remove greed and stupidity most problems solve themselves.

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:42 PM

Now that is an outrageous concept! How in the world can we remove greed and stupidity?

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#98
In reply to #96

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:48 PM

I Know. I'm an incel for suggesting such a radical concept.

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#112
In reply to #95

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 6:49 PM

In many cases, it's true. There was a development in Laguna Niguel that had terrible slide problems. For years, the property we vacant, but the other available land was built up, so they turned to the slide property. Sure, they shored it up and compacted the dirt. Then the rains came and houses were destroyed.

Bottom line, we have too many people here in the Los Angeles area. The builders cram houses into areas that aren't safe to build. Slide planes, wild fire areas, tides, flooding, etc.

The houses at the foot of the San Gabriel's are typically older. I don't see new developments going up in the foothills. I think it's too difficult to build and the cost is too high.

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#102
In reply to #87

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:05 PM

Employing many different techniques! Well said!

We need to be creative with our solutions out here. And in each area, a different solution(s) may be needed.

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#94
In reply to #81

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 3:16 PM

Just legalize bear hunting....what good are they anyway...unless you can train them to clear underbrush, I say they're part of the problem...The prisoner workforce is a good idea, though no need for chains, inmate workers are voluntary and should be paid, although deductions for food and clothes and various restitution payments and fines should be included...Giving prisoners the opportunity to pay down debts and earn gain time as well as a little money for commissary, should be the norm in any prison, at least for non-violent offenders anyway.....

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#99
In reply to #94

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 4:43 PM

It’s interesting,... when a predator is taken out or reintroduce into the equation, it’s amazing the effects it can have.

here as an example, wolves were reintroduced into the Yellowstone National Park, and the effects was positive and the point I’m making where one has to fully understand what impact it’ll have.

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#100
In reply to #99

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 4:57 PM

Yep. Just look at what happens when man shows up.

To be honest, it was man who removed the wolves. Would you like to tell us why wolves were hunted to extinction in America?

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#104
In reply to #100

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:17 PM

Why would I When it’s not nesscessary?

anyways, The point I was making, you just can’t remove or introduced anything foreign in an environment without realizing the affects and impact it would have.

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#108
In reply to #104

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 5:38 PM

Not necessary?
Honestly admitting mistakes and learning from them is the only way to avoid repeating them.

You made the high ground statement about "you just can't remove...." and I leave it at that. I know what you were saying so I am not going to nitpick your language usage. but I will ask you to back it up?

Why were the wolves removed in the first place?

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#109
In reply to #108

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 6:04 PM

No, because the answer to the question was pretty obvious where you already know the answer, correct?

And now it appears your actual intentions are place elsewhere, where I’m not going to play your game of ad hominem.

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#126
In reply to #109

Re: Bobcat Fire

10/01/2020 11:31 AM

Might want to look that term up.

Also look this one up obsfucation while you're at it.

For those who don't know. Simple overview. Wolves in the American west along with all other alpha predators were targeted for elimination by ranchers who were already illegally grazing public land. The feds stopped them, charged them for use of the land and reintroduced the alpha predators. They have been pissing and moaning ever since.

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#127
In reply to #126

Re: Bobcat Fire

10/01/2020 12:27 PM

Lol,,,I’m not playing your games... as I said, you already know, as far as the items, look it up yourself.

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#113
In reply to #99

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 6:54 PM

Many, many years ago, we had Grizzlies in CA. I heard that they kept the Black Bear population under control.

Do we have a Black Bear problem where I live? Some say yes, but they don't want to see them anywhere but the zoo. I believe we do, but for a different reason. We leave trash bins unlocked, so bears get in and now that they've found the food source, they come back. Or explore more and get into trouble. The problem we have is that people need to understand that Black Bears are here and it's our job to make sure that we don't lure them into our neighborhoods. In the mountains? Sure, it's their natural habitat.

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#116
In reply to #113

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 7:42 PM

Interesting to say, that on your flag of the great state of California, there is a picture of a Grizzly Bear... was it because a picture of the Ostrich already taken?

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#121
In reply to #116

Re: Bobcat Fire

10/01/2020 1:43 AM

Yes, we have a Grizzly Bear on our flag! And the only ones in our state are in Zoos.

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#111
In reply to #94

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 6:37 PM

We have an honor farm near my old house. Back, when it was okay to have an honor farm, it was operational. Now it's a prison, but the inmates who are on good behavior and aren't violent can be sent there. They repair bicycles, work in the dry cleaner and do dog grooming. It gives them a trade, so when they get out, they have a better chance at staying out.

In some areas, you could get away without chains - if it's far enough away from residents or people using the land. If not, then they should be chained. Here in the San Gabriels, if they ran, they could get to civilization in less than a day.

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#119
In reply to #111

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 9:07 PM

You put short timers in these positions that have no motivation to run, nobody wants an additional 5 years tacked onto their sentence....If they are non-violent offenders they will be back in the population soon anyway, these aren't desperate men and women...You could put ankle bracelet trackers on them anyway....You can't expect anyone to work in chains, that's absurd...maybe in the 50's on road gangs, but in the woods that would never work...

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#123
In reply to #119

Re: Bobcat Fire

10/01/2020 2:02 AM

Okay, okay - you're right. Chain gangs are wrong.

But can we chain them to the tree he's working on?

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#124
In reply to #123

Re: Bobcat Fire

10/01/2020 6:16 AM

Slightly off topic, but on discussion.

My parents used to be able to get "free labour" from a nearby prison. They were delivered every morning on time, did whatever they were told to do and then picked up each afternoon and taken "home" for the evening.

These were the guys in the last 6 months of their sentences. They were absolutely focused on doing the best they could for two reasons. This was their way to get back and relate to "normal" people in society and also, if they stuffed up the system then the program would be closed and the next group of prisoners would not have the opportunity.

The ones we had were great people who wanted to get back into society. We were only the third property out of town but it was around 35km away.

On a separate note, there was a breakout once. They had been looking for the guys for nearly a week. One evening the escapees walked up to our house-yard and called out. Mum and dad guessed who they were and asked "Are we safe". The guys said "yes" and told them to call the prison to come and pick them up. They were so thankful when mum and dad gave them a drink of water and a feed while they waited for the van to come. A week in the desert with no food or water had made them look forward to whatever the conditions were on the "inside".

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#125
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Re: Bobcat Fire

10/01/2020 8:35 AM

Off topic... just thought I’d give some history FYI here.

Back in WWII, we had German prisoners (PoW) on farms doing the crop harvesting and also working in the factories with the processing and canning.

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#132
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Re: Bobcat Fire

10/06/2020 11:09 PM

That's a great story. Thanks for sharing!

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#131
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Re: Bobcat Fire

10/06/2020 11:03 PM

I've never been to Australia, but your country sounds great.

Your parents sound like really awesome people too!

I enjoyed the story. Thanks for sharing.

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#129
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Re: Bobcat Fire

10/01/2020 1:36 PM

I think you already have enough tree huggers in California...

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#130
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Re: Bobcat Fire

10/03/2020 1:10 PM

Haven't you ever seen prisoners alongside the road picking up trash, they don't have chains....I had part of a large restaurant once and we had federal prisoners as kitchen workers, they come cheap and are good workers...but no chains...

http://www.aele.org/law/2011all12/2011-12MLJ301.pdf

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#134
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Re: Bobcat Fire

10/06/2020 11:31 PM

The clean up crew we have here in CA sometimes is made up of people who don't want to go to jail, so they pay to work on a clean up crew. The judge gives them community service time (X hours) and they pay an administrative fee to work these jobs. They could be anything from cleaning weeds, picking up trash, washing county vehicles, cleaning up county buildings and VA hospitals, cleaning dump equipment, etc.

The orange jump suit crew are prisoners. I don't know much about that program, except they do wear their prison jump suits and they aren't chained together. My guess is that they're low risk prisoners.

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#135
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Re: Bobcat Fire

10/06/2020 11:37 PM

Work release programs are something different. I knew a guy who got a DUI and was sent to a prison (not really a prison, but definitely a restricted site). He was able to come to work (at the Navy Base), he had to eat lunch in a "supervised" area and his lunch was packed by the "prison". They picked him up and drove him back to the "prison", where he lived until his sentence was completed.

The ordeal sure changed him. He became very humble and took nothing for granted anymore. He told me stories about the "prison" - nothing bad, but I know I'd hate to lose my freedom. He told me the guards were tough on him - prior to going "in" he was a big talker. That changed very quickly when he was "in". It may not sound right, but that was probably the best thing for him. I doubt he ever drove drunk again.

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#70
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Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 4:29 AM

In many areas, this would help. I just thought about how they stopped the Bobcat Fire. They made fire breaks in the path of the fire, then watched for big winds (we didn't have any) and the fire is slowly burning toward the break.

Doing more controlled burns to create fire breaks - that may be the answer. When I first moved to CA, they were doing controlled burns. I rarely hear about it anymore.

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#17

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 6:31 AM

If all else fails Blame Trump, he should have seen this coming. If he suggests forest management accuse him of not following the science. charge the PG&E higher taxes so they can pass that along to their customers in the form of rate hikes and we will see better regulation of the industry. You could also defund the fire fighters get rid of all those crazy helicopters and water dropping planes that stir up the air and give oxygen to the flames. How a community fights its fires speaks volumes to how it manages other things as well. Maybe this is part of global warming. You don't think there were those who thought there was something to loot in the forests and the easiest ways to get it was to set the place on fire.

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#18

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 9:57 AM

Anyone who has been to California and stepped a foot or two away from the pavement knows the tangled tinderbox that their climate conditions creates through the rolling hills and valleys.

When I first visited there I was astonished at the depth and volume of matchstick dry plant matter heavily occupying the same space as new plants.

There are other places like this im sure, but the scale of it is beyond immense.

And they have houses built aaaaalllllll though it.

No way.. no wonder they pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

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#19
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Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 11:29 AM

For whatever it's worth, I love the use of the Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi reference...

So apt !

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#21
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Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 11:58 AM

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#22
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Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 12:38 PM

If there's any municipal parking in Paradise California I hope they name it Big Yellow Taxi Parking Lot.

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#36
In reply to #19

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/26/2020 2:15 PM

It's worth is all that matters.

Thanks.

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#71
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Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 4:36 AM

We have almost no rain from May to December. With dry air, temps in the 90's to 110's in the summer and lots of sun, it's no wonder we have so much tinder. Though I will say that the San Gabriels (where the Bobcat Fire is) aren't as bad as other areas in terms of tinder. Most of the trees that burned were living and had green leaves. The terrain is so steep that much of the organic matter flows down the hillside when the rains come. Dead tree branches and tree trunks are a problem, but not as much as you'd think. There are other areas of CA that have too much fuel on the ground, but those areas aren't as steep an rugged as the San Gabriels.

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#23

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/25/2020 2:10 PM

Some of the cause can be placed at the feet of the state government and regulatory boards. PG&E is a regulated utility and the regulating board and state government directed utility funds to be spent on renewable sources and not on transmission line improvement and maintenance. The utility should be suing the state.

Combine that with poor forest and rangeland management practices and you are SOL. California needs a few hundred thousand good goats, effective rangeland managers and fewer politicians.

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#28
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Re: Bobcat Fire

09/26/2020 4:15 AM

Or sheep...then "only ewes can prevent forest fires.." Baxter Black,cowboy poet.

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#136
In reply to #28

Re: Bobcat Fire

11/14/2021 1:01 PM

It looks like someone is finally starting to catch on to Baxter Black's suggestion about using sheep to control undergrowth to minimize fire damage.

He made the suggestion in one of his video,and finished with the remark"ONLY EWES CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES"

See link below:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/flocks-of-sheep-are-the-firefighting-solution-we-never-knew-we-needed/ar-AAQzZdR?ocid=NL_ENUS_A1_20211114_6_2&bep_ref=1&bep_csid=37326

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#33
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Re: Bobcat Fire

09/26/2020 10:43 AM

I pretty much agree, but even without those regulatory restrictions, if PG&E (or any utility) is indeed responsible for starting a fire, they should be liable for destruction within a reasonable distance (perhaps a few hundred feet) of the start location, but the spread of the fire beyond that is NOT their fault, so should not be their liability.

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#75
In reply to #33

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 4:54 AM

I'm not sure I agree. Let's say your neighbor's son was playing with matches and he accidentally started his parent's house on fire. It burned their house down, but in the process, torched a six block radius.

I believe it's the kid's fault. Here's why: If he had not started the fire, then none of the homes would be damaged. One of the rules of Tort Law is that damages are awarded in the amount to put the plaintiff back to the same condition prior to fire.

Based on Tort Law, PGE is responsible for the town of Paradise being burned down, plus they're also responsible for the deaths as well.

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#92
In reply to #75

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 11:23 AM

"Let's say your neighbor's son was playing with matches and he accidentally started his parent's house on fire. It burned their house down, but in the process, torched a six block radius."

If a single house fire "torched a six block radius."", then either the building codes and/or their enforcement were inadequate, or the community's fire protection was inadequate. I do realize that when a fire occurs during a violent dry wind event, it's almost impossible to control. Fortunately, such events are not terribly common.

In any case, there is no way the kid and his family could pay for all that damage, so it becomes a moot point.

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#93
In reply to #92

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 1:03 PM

imo, It would depend on the situation, whether it’s Cause was negligence, arson or accident, force majeure (act of nature)

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#110
In reply to #92

Re: Bobcat Fire

09/30/2020 6:31 PM

In any case, there is no way the kid and his family could pay for all that damage, so it becomes a moot point.

True, but a utility company can pay and I believe they should. If I decided to conduct business in a place where known risks are - let's say work in an area where there are explosives nearby. Let's also say that I decide to cut corners and I recklessly don't maintain my machinery. A spark occurs and the plant catches fire. The fire ignites the explosives next door and the block goes. Am I only liable for the fire to my building? Or am I liable for the entire block going up? Remember, if I maintained my machinery, then the block would be safe.

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