Those Strange California Wildfires Explained | William Thomas Online | William Thomas

Those Strange California Wildfires Explained

Checking out raging wildfires in Carlsbad, California -ebaumsworld



By William Thomas



Part 1.

The familiar voice on the phone held an unfamiliar edge. There was something very “wrong” with the wildfires still raging around Santa Rosa, insisted this former Californian. “I’ve lived there much of my life,” she said. “I know wildfires. I’ve seen wildfires... And I’ve never seem them act like this.”


My long-time friend was not alone in her suspicions. Pointing toward a conflagration of YouTubes raising related questions, she sounded nearly convinced that the fires ravaging northern and southern California from October through December 2017 were deliberately touched off by military lasers as part of a nefarious “Agenda 21” plot to forcibly relocate burned out families into government housing a la the post-Katrina diaspora.


There’s nothing about an Alex Jones-style roundup of wildfire refugees on any news feeds I watch, I told her, adding that the "eco-fascist" Agenda 21 was a tired hoax, right up there with the legendarily anti-Semitic Report From Iron Mountain.




Unlike the Iron Mountain fabrication, Agenda 21’s set of non-binding resolutions was a real plan for achieving the “sustainable development” grail of the Rio ’92 Earth Summit. The plot’s evil enforcement arm – the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives – turns out to be a non-profit set up to co-ordinate local government efforts to obtain federal funds for green projects. Some 15 years later, the dreaded ICLEI’s real-world progress in turning your home into a nature park has been a blistering… zeeero.


As Charles P. Pierce helpfully explained in Esquire, “Global-warming denialism is the central pivot to a lot of the anti-Agenda 21 activity. They believe wholeheartedly in the notion that the entire problem is a hoax dreamed up by greedy scientists.

And the fires fit right in.


Santa Rosa burned out - prelude to nuclear war? -CNN


Unprecedented climate change, I suggested, provides a more provable link to the unprecedented spread and ferocity of wildfires – not only in California (where this Laguna Beach pioneer also used to reside), but worldwide.


But when I started reviewing some of the more popular YouTubes, I called my friend back. “I’m not happy,” I told her, about bizarre drone footage showing entire burned-out neighbourhoods surrounded by clean streets and green trees.

In fact, I soon learned, this is how wildfires burn. One survivor was filmed returning to her home to find only white ash covering the foundation. “At least my roses survived,” she said, pointing to her plucky plants.

wildfires, CA


No street debris as fire burns -CNN

Trees burnt -CNN

Blaze, green trees, untouched neighbouring structure -CNN

Blazes, green trees, untouched streets and neighbouring structures -CNN 

Images by Josh Edelson AFP/Getty

In one recorded interview, 35-year-veteran fire chief John Lord asked, “Where did all these fires come from” so suddenly? “How could they all start at once?”


And what the heck was that green beam of light lancing out of the nighttime California sky into the smoke over LA?





With a doctorate in Christian studies and a book on the “Giza Death Star”, Joe Farrell insists that unspecified “weather weapons” had turned this targeted state and its inhabitants into “semiconductors touched off (more like capacitors) by a “massively potent EM weapon” that mysteriously left all the electronics in the state fully functioning. Except, of course, for the Silverado resort and spa, which Farrell says mysteriously “lost main power” and all backups during this uncontrolled fire dance. He must have meant the Hotel California.


FLIR sees bushfires


What about laser, masers, phasers or other directed-energy weapons? As frustrated weaponeers have found, smoke scatters such beams, robbing them of the intense focus needed to drill small holes through onrushing nosecones.


What’s the platform again? Orbiting satellites big enough to carry an effective energy weapon and its monster power supply would be the size of the laser-outfitted 747 testbed shown on one video. Good luck lifting that much mass out of Earth’s gravity well! As I previously reported (see my 1999 coverage of the Espanola, Ontario  chemtrails controversy), the 747 laser tests failed. 

Still, that footage showing that beam of green light slanting through nighttime smoke was a show-stopper. 

FLIR pod

FLIR, I figured. Since anything hotter than its surroundings emits infrared light that can be picked up by infrared detectors, why not use Forward-Looking Infrared to combat wildfires at night? Infrared ignores thick smoke a laser beam can’t coherently penetrate. 


While handy for hunting fugitives on the run, FLIR pods mounted under the noses of some of the 27 helicopters used to fight SoCal’s wildfires would be ideal for tracking “hot spots” at through thick smoke or darkness.


Wildfire-plagued Spain uses a FLIR-equipped drone. The E-300 can loiter over a fire for around 3-hours, recording thermal images that allow fire chiefs to pinpoint forest fire hot spots.


In Oregon in October 2017, a SAFIRE system flown over the Eagle Creek and Horse Prairie fires allowed responders to similarly identify hot spots and track fire lines. The FLIR’s ability to see through smoke helped keep fire-fighters safe from unusually fast, hop-scotching wildfires.

Laser smoke by Eudaimonium on DeviantArt


“With its ability to see through smoke, measure temperature, and locate people in potentially dangerous situations, thermal imaging provides a superpower-like capability for firefighters,” extols Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR Systems.


Though normally invisible to the eye, FLIR can appear as a visible green beam when refracted by smoke.

[right: laser smoke by Eudaimonium/DeviantArt] 


Tanker drop on California's Grant Fire -Richard Perloff/US Forest Service


In mid-December, as the National Weather Service expanded their “Red Flag” warning to include most of Los Angeles, the NWS warned of "very rapid fire spread, long-range spotting, and extreme fire behavior" – when outbreaks of erratic downslope-flowing winds were followed by blasts from Santa Ana’s “blowtorch”.


As Eric Holthaus reported for Pacific Standard magazine, in just 10 days, California’s biggest fire ever, the Thomas Fire, swelled to eight-times the size of San Francisco.


"When the wind starts pushing it, we can throw everything we have at it and it's not going to do any good," remarked Mark Brown, an operations section chief for the California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection.

  Firefighters in Santa Rosa -CNN


It's been more than 250 days since it rained in Southern California,” Mark Brown wrote on December 14, 2017. Winter temperatures in the 80s meant “record highs that are 10 to 15 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year.” Combined with single-digit moisture in “what is typically the beginning of the wettest time of the year”, California’s Big Drying drove “rapid fire growth in the middle of the rainy season.”


"It really is incredible this is happening in December," said Daniel Swain, a “stunned” climate scientist at the University of California–Los Angeles. The region around the Thomas Fire has seen its warmest and second-driest start to the rainy season on record, Swain underlined. "Much of this area contains tinder-dry mixed chaparral and forest, a pretty explosive mixture under current weather conditions."


If this isn’t scary enough, the mountain ramparts behind the California coast produce notoriously unpredictable and dangerous conditions, notes fire behavior analyst Tim Chavez. In the Matilija wilderness, incredulous observers watched 50-foot flames backing down a hillside. Says Chavez: “This thing is 60 miles long and 40 miles wide. There’s a lot of fire out there.”




“These winds, especially in the mountain areas, are really going to start blowing the fire around again. What it does is carry the embers further down and can create more fires,” explained Stuart Seto for the National Weather Service.


Throughout mountain areas, he told LA Times reporters Joseph SernaBrittny Mejia and Javier Panzar, large fire plumes can cause erratic fire behavior. “It carries the heat up, and it looks like a thunderstorm cloud,” Seto said. Then strong down-rushing winds rapidly spread the fire.


burnt car CA -CNN



So far, more than 40 people have died. Wikipedia reports  some 8,778 fires have burnt well over one-million acres. Nearly 12,000 structures have been damaged or destroyed –a decent sized city,calculates climate change journalist Robert Scribbler.


As in any bellows-driven stove stuffed with dry kindling, those wind-whipped fires burnt hot. How is it that in cars the glass is melted out?” asks david777111.


Answer: Glass subjected to high heat softens and slumps. (Throw an empty wine bottle into a campfire, watch it sag and flow.)



Chile's wildfires, 2017


This year’s wildfire outbreaks in California’s dead, dry tinder must be viewed against a planet burning.


The world is currently on fire as massive blazes burn in the United States, Canada, and across Europe,” writes Kendra Pierre-Louis. “It looks like the end of the world, especially in Italy and Romania” – countries now experiencing “roughly three-times the normal amount of summer wildfires.”


On a single weekend last June, 60 people died in Portugal when fast-racing wildfires cut off their evacuation route. The minister in charge of emergency services resigned after at least 106 people were killed in wildfires that burned an area 600% higher than for the last eight years – the worst on record.

Brazil is experiencing an abnormally extreme dry season. Australia just experienced its hottest winter on record,” Scribbler adjoins.


Buffelsvermaak farm near Knysna, South Africa, June 2017 -Simone Terblanche/Reuters

Wildfires this year also raged across Siberia, as well as vast areas of Spain, Brazil, South Africa and New Zealand.


 Siberia burning, seen from space -NASA, 2017

Siberia’s been burning for years. Now California is joining the list of locales with a nearly year-round fire season.

                                                                                                                                          -WAVY TV


The “stuck” weather extremes we’re increasingly experiencing are the result of the usual temperature differential between high and central latitudes being radically reduced by an Arctic warming faster “than anywhere else on the globe, explains climate expert Michael Mann.


Smoothing out this crucial north-south thermal gradient opens the fridge door, sending blasts of winter cold down into the northern continent (can you say Erie?), while sucking hot winds from the south into an Arctic ocean and landmass currently thawing like a snowcone held in the exhausts of all those cheap flights to Mexico.


Erasing this temperature differential messes with the globe-girdling jet stream, snapping it into big swings and troughs that bring such inconvenient weather throughout the northern hemisphere. These deep dips cause persistent extreme weather events – including stubborn heat waves and droughts.


“Rising greenhouse gases are responsible” for the Arctic temperature increase, says Mann. "We are now able to connect the dots when it comes to human-caused global warming and an array of extreme recent weather events."



Pray For Rain -Juliet Amy's map of the new wild(fire) west


Polar amplification ensures that “any increase in greenhouse emissions produces a much larger change in temperature near the poles than the planetary average,” Robert Scribbler explains. This winter, at a time when high latitudes “should be seeing well-below freezing conditions,” hurricane force winds drove a wedge of above-freezing air over Baffin Bay, western Greenland and Canada’s far north.


The result? In late November 2017, apocalyptic temperatures “ranging from 36F to 54F above average blanketed Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago.


Research released in December 2017 confirms the strong connection between melting Arctic sea ice and persistent wintertime drought in California. The resulting self-reinforcing feedback loop sees a vast expanse of sunlight-absorbing dark, open water (usually covered with reflective ice this time of year) radiating heat from an overheated ocean into the Arctic darkness. This year, the jet stream responded yet again with another big jog, dipping high-pressure isobars down over CA.


As these climate feedbacks continue, that persistent high-pressure dome over California “has helped to spike local temperatures, speed a re-emergence of drought, and drive very powerful Santa Ana winds through the region,” writes Eric Holthaus for Pacific Standard magazine.


Arctic ice melting to new low in 2017 -BBC.

This seasonal northward retreat of the Arctic sea ice is contributing “to an overall warmer and drier pattern for the U.S. West, Scribbler reiterates. This produces “stronger high-pressure systems that, in turn, strengthen the fire-fanning Santa Ana winds.”


In addition, the steep local pressure gradient resulting from a strong low near Mexico “helped to drive the very strong, fire-fanning, Santa Ana winds through the region,” Holthaus comes back. As the Thomas Fire exploded over Santa Barbara, “fire conditions achieved extremes never before seen in state history as those hot, dry winds roared over hills and through valleys.”


Pacific Blob -theadailycoin


Closer to CA, Scribbler records how a two-year “hot blob forming off the U.S. West Coast during 2014-2015 contributed to a number of climate change associated events like the severe California Drought, a ridiculously resilient ridge of high pressure, western wildfires…


That “angry layer of far warmer than normal surface water” spiked “between 3.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius above average across a broad expanse of ocean.”


A 1C change in all those cubic miles of ocean is gigantic.

 One third of California's trees are dead -Boing Boing.


Some 27 million trees died in California in the last 12 months. That brings the state’s total to 129 million dead trees – what firefighters call fuel for wildfire,” reports David Whiting in Redlands Daily Facts.


“Above normal fall temperatures, below normal precipitation and multiple days of devil winds throughout Southern California have created perfect” two-month-long conditions for “hellfires,” Whiting writes, referencing the northeast to southwest-blowing Santa Ana winds.


He adds, “This month’s stretch of more than a solid week of high winds was unusual.”


What isn’t?

When the rains finally stopped, CA residents never dreamed of timber-dry dangers. -WBUR


This year, Scribbler observes, California “experienced its wettest water-year in all of the last 122. Oven-like heat” followed as CA zoomed from its wettest to its hottest summer ever – with temperatures in many front yards well over 100F.


All that wet weather came with a catch – “an abundance of vegetation,” writes Georgina Gustin, when “the summer reached record-breaking temperatures that dried all that freshly grown vegetation into tinder.”  


This after decades of “rampant development” and “fire suppression strategies that left too much dry timber and underbrush for fires to burn.”


"As long as there's fuel to burn, your chances of having large fires increases when you increase temperatures. It's that simple," Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, points out.


Now add California’s 2-degree Fahrenheit average temperature rise over the past half-century and you’re soon looking at dried-out “tree canopies, grasses and brush,” Gustin grumpily notes, as record high temperatures suck moisture out of baked soil and wilted plants – “leaving parched landscapes that can go up in flames with the slightest spark.”


"There's a clear climate signal in these fires because of the drought conditions connected to climate change," agrees Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA.


Then came last October’s hot, desiccating Diablo winds. Sweeping down from higher elevations, the carbon-amped devil winds fanned the flames in California’s wine country to over 78 miles per hour – causing fires to leap “hundreds of feet in seconds.”


December brought SoCal’s seasonal hot, dry Santa Ana winds driving fires near Los Angeles.


In the waning month of 2017, California has crossed a clearly signposted climate threshold of cascading, amplifying effects. That threshold for extreme fire risk in Southern California is 165.


The mid-December fire index for Southern California hit 296.

   California wildfires rip through parched land - NBC News

Part 2 - Ignition


See also: Lasers Hate Smoke


 发件人     William Thomas 2019