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California Burning
October 28, 2007 5:39 AM   Subscribe

Pictures of California Wildfires. Some fire resources: Fire maps, Official Information and an up to the moment news blog. In related news, Twitter proves to be useful, while anger rages as evidence of arson mounts. More Photos here and here.
posted by psmealey (19 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I do enjoy that static site but I hate that they provide no credit for the pics they republish.
posted by srboisvert at 5:53 AM on October 28, 2007

Nate Ritter did an amazing job twittering this fire.

Fresh updates were posted every three or four minutes, for eighteen hours a day, during the entire five-day ordeal. (More than 2000 twits).

Having lived through the chaos that was New York on 9/11, I can say that Nate provided a tremendously useful service, and set the bar for future crisis bloggers.

I'm also proud to say I know him.
posted by mokolabs at 6:42 AM on October 28, 2007

I wonder how on earth they find arson evidence when everything is just cinders and ash... unless there's canisters lying around.
posted by rolypolyman at 6:48 AM on October 28, 2007

Don't forget the Flickr group and a pretty comprehensive Wikipedia entry.

I took a couple, too.
posted by routergirl at 6:49 AM on October 28, 2007

Metafilter: More Than 2000 Twits.
posted by notyou at 7:10 AM on October 28, 2007

covrage of the fires has been great but I am interested in what can be done to face this issue. Herre is from my blog. I will be posting this tomorrow at my site but it might be of some interest here:

Rethinking Fire Policy in the Tinderbox Zone - New York Timesand this ads to possible "cures."Forest and Brush Fires - California - Los Angeles - San Diego - New York Timesheard so often in news reports, just what does "Santa Ana" winds really mean?Southern California wildfires - Los Angeles TimesBattling California's Wildfires
posted by Postroad at 7:10 AM on October 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

The fires are horrible and altogether moreso if they were set by an arsonist. Nonetheless, isn't anyone else disturbed by this?

another man was shot to death by police after he fled officers who approached to see if he might be trying to set a fire
posted by Slothrup at 7:56 AM on October 28, 2007

I wonder how on earth they find arson evidence when everything is just cinders and ash... unless there's canisters lying around.

I overheard one of the causes, and different witnesses said they saw 3 fires break out simultaneously in 3 places relatively close. Fires don't just spontaneously start, so the assumption is that someone started the 3 fires one after another in a small area. Usually a natural fire only has 1 origin spot. 3 flareups at once are suspicious.

I also overheard one investigator talking about how they can tell where the fire started based on the way leaves fall on the ground. With the winds many leaves blow into the air, and as they heat up (without combusting) they harden and then fall in a particular pattern elsewhere. So you can trace the leaves back to the origin of the fire based on whether or not they are hardened and which direction they blew.
posted by afx114 at 9:08 AM on October 28, 2007

" I can say that Nate provided a tremendously useful service, and set the bar for future crisis bloggers."

Or gave further incentive to other attention whores that wanted to stay in the area and Twitter instead of evacuating.
"Evacuate? No way man, I gotta get some sweet youtube footage and then update my blog!"
posted by drstein at 11:06 AM on October 28, 2007

Firefighters wear capes. You just can't see them.

Are we actually taking the arson theory seriously? I can't tell what to lampoon anymore. What motive would anyone possibly have to start these fires?
posted by ZachsMind at 2:28 PM on October 28, 2007

omigod they are taking the arson thing seriously. What's gonna be next? Terrorists deliberately spin around real fast in Oklahoma, thus generating TORNADOES here in Texas? Jesus H Christ fried on a stick!
posted by ZachsMind at 2:53 PM on October 28, 2007

Zach, arsonists set wildfires in California every year. This is not a new phenomenon.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:09 PM on October 28, 2007

posted by ZachsMind at 3:18 PM on October 28, 2007

I live in SD, and my work in Solana Beach was right in the path. KPBS did a bang up job, and was pretty much my main news source. Several of my friends were in potentially dangerous areas and didn't have phones to be reverse 911'd in the middle of the night, and subscribed to the twitter SMS feed.

Also, kpbs's google maps was so good right from the start and let me keep tabs on what was going on. It was interesting scrambling to find out information on monday when everything went to hell.
posted by ba3r at 3:23 PM on October 28, 2007

drstein, Nate Ritter didn't actually get evacuated, and I, for one, was thankful for the information I was able to get from him and others when the 1 TV station I was getting while evacuated showed the same footage 15 times...

(CBS did a wonderful job in general, but there were only so many times I could watch the animals at Del Mar or see Larry Himmel in front of his burning house.)
posted by natabat at 4:27 PM on October 28, 2007

Earthquakes. Mud slides. Fires.


Oh my.

If I ever come home and my house is gone cuz of a tornado, I'm moving. Currently I'm under an illusion that because of where I live geographically, and based on observations that tornadoes always go AROUND south Dallas and take out Desoto and Lancaster south of where I live, that I'm relatively safe, but if I drive home one night and it looks like a tornado got within a couple few miles of my house? I'm moving. Probably out of state. Probably not to Oklahoma or Kansas, seeing as how they're also in Tornado Alley.

Now I know everywhere is unsafe. There's all kindsa natural disasters everywhere. Anywhere on the east coast is at risk of Hurricanes for example. Anywhere there's a mountain nearby you got risks of avalanches. In Hawaii and Washington state you got volcanoes. I grant you that. There's a risk wherever you lay your head at night.

Earthquakes. Mud slides. Fires. That's a triple threat!

I'm thinking it's time anyone in California seriously reconsiders being in California. Then again, I was thinking this when New Orleans got evacuated. I mean there's a reason there were levees -- most of the city's been under sea level for decades. There's something called physics that people should really study a bit before they build houses anywhere.

Hollywood could afford to move just a little east, couldn't it? Maybe not ALL the way into Nevada. Maybe just stop at the state line. Put up a few movie studios and television statons and hotels and wait for it to become the new beach front property cuz it's gonna be any day now.

Or how about this? At least put a state tax on matches or anything arsonists might be using to start these fires, so before they take out all this real estate you at least get them in their pocketbook a bit. Start importing dirt from places that have too much of it and just drop it randomly all over the landscape and jump on it real hard. Pack it in good and tight. Maybe buy a WHOLE BUNCH of Crazy Glue and pour it by the truckload into the San Andreas Fault. What could it hurt?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:43 PM on October 28, 2007

Earthquakes. Mud slides. Fires. That's a triple threat!
No, Santa Anna Winds, which fuel the fires and later cause mud slides (the burned plants coat a water proofing film on the top soil).
posted by thomcatspike at 9:00 PM on October 28, 2007

I'm thinking it's time anyone in California seriously reconsiders being in California.

Wow, this is almost as informed as your disbelief of the arson theory.

Hint: not all of the state is equally disaster prone.
posted by flaterik at 11:19 PM on October 28, 2007

If its arson, it was set by bankers trying to pass off sub prime notes to the insurance industry
posted by Fupped Duck at 5:25 PM on October 29, 2007

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