[ExI] California wildfires some of largest in state history

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sat Aug 22 13:55:54 UTC 2020

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of
BillK via extropy-chat
Sent: Saturday, August 22, 2020 3:47 AM
To: Extropy Chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Cc: BillK <pharos at gmail.com>
Subject: [ExI] California wildfires some of largest in state history

August 22, 2020
by Olga R. Rodriguez and Janie Har

Lightning-sparked wildfires in Northern California exploded in size Friday

At least 100,000 people are under evacuation orders.

>...California is getting an early start to the fall fire season.
The news says that the air around San Francisco is polluted with smoke and
hard to breathe.

>...I hope Spike and our SF people are OK.


It's been smoky as hell around here but at the moment isn't bad BillK.  I
live within easy walking distance of the evacuation area.  Our scoutmaster
and his family, along with several friends over on the northeast side of San
Jose have been evacuated at least twice, and might be out of their homes
again.  I offered to let him come down and make our camper a temporary home,
but they instead chose to bring in cots and camp out in his office (he does
have a nice office.)

Friends to the south have had to take road trip to Oregon because they can't
breathe down there.

My immediate concern is for a camping place that is on Highway 9 in Santa
Cruz county.  My friend is an IT guy, walked away from a career at Stanford,
bought that park and put all kindsa cool high techy stuff in there, such as
5G.  If you have the equipment to take advantage of it, the internet at his
park is terrific.  Cotillion Gardens, check it out, great internet,
beautiful surroundings.  We hope.

The firefighters were making a most heroic stand yesterday, brought in a
thousand fellers, dozers, planes, choppers, everything they have with a
mission: Hold the line at Highway 9.

We don't know if Cotillion Gardens stands this morning or is in ashes, but
here's the real problem: in that familiar song about this land is your land,
that bit about "...from the redwood forests..." is Santa Cruz county.  That
campground and the homes up there are built among the giant redwoods.  

If you go there, you notice that the bark at the base of every giant redwood
is charred, because those forests burn once in a while.  It's what forests
do.  It doesn't hurt the big trees, but it slays the small ones, and it
causes the tiny cones produced by those giant trees to open up and
germinate.  Giant coastal redwoods are dependent on fire, as a birth-control
device in a sense: it both starts new trees and kills off the younger
smaller ones, thus spreading out the generations of trees and keeps them
from over-competing with each other.  

It is a beautiful place up there.  Do go see it while you can.  

Giant redwoods like fire, they need fire, humans do not like fire.  We work
to stop it.  Sometimes we succeed and when we do, over time, fuel
accumulates.  Those redwood forests get increasingly eager to burn.  We
might douse it this time, but if we do, there is still more fuel down there.
Every time we stop the fire, it gets harder to stop. 

Fire kills some of the trees.  In the long run lack of fire kills all of

Suggestions welcome.


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