[MCN] About California's big Valley Fire
lance at wildrockies.org
Sat Sep 19 23:08:53 EDT 2015
"Consuming that house appears to be what gave the Valley fire the
critical mass of heat and energy it needed to become a lethal
monster. Black scorch marks high up the Ponderosa pines show the
reach of the flames. Intense heat from the burning house flash-dried
the leaves of a nearby oak tree.
"Here in the Mayacamas Mountains that hover above Clear Lake, 100
miles north of San Francisco, California's drought has been going on
for seven years. Pine beetles have attacked the stressed gray pines,
leaving dead timber standing. A century of fire suppression has built
up thick undergrowth.
"Meanwhile, city dwellers' desire for a rustic cottage in the woods -
often tucked away on a twisting road with only one way out - has
added to the danger.
"When a freakish jet of wind howled up Putah Creek on Sept. 12, it
whipped the Valley fire into a conflagration that rocketed it into
the ranks of the worst in California history. The wind sent embers as
far as a mile to kindle new fires that spawned new embers.
"Winds rushed through the valley at speeds of some 60 mph."
"Whereas any one line of evidence may be weak in itself, a number of
lines of evidence, taken together and found to be consistent,
reinforce one another exponentially."
"What one can say with confidence is that success in understanding
the oxygen cycle of the biosphere in truly broad terms will depend on
how good we are at weaving together the related strands of
biospheric, atmospheric, hydrospheric and lithospheric evolution
throughout geologic time. Whatever we may conjecture about any one of
these processes must be consistent with what is known about the
Preston Cloud and Aharon Gibor. The Oxygen Cycle.
Scientific American, September 1970
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