August 27, 2021

This is the Season For Large Westside Wildfires. Why? And the Latest Forecast. All in My New Podcast.

We are now in the season of large, catastrophic wildfires west of the Cascade crest.  Mid-August to mid-September is ground zero for historic fires over the western slopes of the Cascades and coastal mountains of our region.

Picture courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

But why are major westside wildfires limited to this season?  

This podcast will explain why and describe the essential requirements for major fires west of the Cascade crest.

I will also touch on the impacts of global warming....and my conclusions, based on considerable research, may surprise you.

Finally, I start the podcast with the forecast, which promises no major heatwaves, but near-perfect conditions over the weekend.

You can listen to the podcast here:


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12 comments:

  1. Weren’t at least some fires set deliberately last year as part of the chaos against the president etc?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "set deliberately last year as part of the chaos against the president" -- are you talking about the incident where a bunch of people in rural counties of Oregon read on Facebook that Antifa was coming to set wildfires... and set up roadblocks where they stopped anybody who was the wrong color or who looked like they were from Portland? https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/11/fact-check-oregon-fires-were-not-set-antifa-any-other-activists/3460386001/

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    2. "set deliberately last year as part of the chaos against the president" -- are you talking about the incident where a bunch of people in rural counties of Oregon read on Facebook that Antifa was coming to set wildfires... and set up roadblocks where they stopped anybody who was the wrong color or who looked like they were from Portland? https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/11/fact-check-oregon-fires-were-not-set-antifa-any-other-activists/3460386001/

      Delete
  2. Yes... some of the fires, particularly in CA, were started by arsonists...

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    Replies
    1. Are we sure about this? And more pointedly, it's important to be careful about what motivated any intentional fire starts. Were they indeed part of "chaos against the president"? This seems to echo the unsubstantiated rumor that antifa or other leftist groups were starting fires.

      It's interesting how often arson is invoked as a cause of wildfires, almost always as an excuse to downplay the contributions of climate change (e.g., Preager "university" published a video inaccurately blaming Australia's devastating fires on arson)

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    2. Fires are started by arsonists every year. In 2019, a nutcase from Missouri started more than a dozen wildfires in CA. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-26/missouri-man-faces-15-counts-of-arson-over-northern-california-fires

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  3. wish that disaster passed away

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  4. Higher temperatures will dry things out more resulting in greater fire danger I think think drier fuel will matter more than less easterly winds especially on the drier east side forests. California is having huge fires without strong winds and I think the same thing will happen east of the cascade crest. I think future summers will be alot smokier although the sea breeze will blow 2/3 of the smoke east of us eastern washington will be alot smokier than western washington.

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  5. Interesting podcast. Head's up, though. at about the 3:37 mark of the special broadcast, you have a confusing mis-speak, when you are talking about the surface fuel, saying "...are too DRY to burn..." when obviously you mean too wet. FWIW.

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  6. As a boy back in the 50s I was told that Mt. Si had a fire across the face of the mountain. There was no timber on it then, the entire face being talus and scree, very impressive.

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  7. "The U.S. is projected to see nearly 100,000 more COVID-19 deaths between now and December 1, according to the nation's most closely watched forecasting model. But health experts say that toll could be cut in half if nearly everyone wore a mask in public spaces.

    In other words, what the coronavirus has in store this fall depends on human behavior."

    Article: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-deaths-100k-more-predicted-united-states/

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cliff noted that large wildfires on the west side have occurred during years that were not especially dry and the Yacolt and 1933 Tillamook fires are examples of this. I was on a project fire that started near Camp Grisdale in the Wynoochee valley on the wet southwest side of the Olympic Peninsula in October, 1972. This fire began only about 2 weeks after about 10 inches of rain fell in the area, but was followed by a period of dry east winds, an example of how quickly these east winds can dry out the forests even this late in the season.

    ReplyDelete

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