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Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:33 am
by DaveinOlyWA
WetEV wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:19 am
Oilpan4 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:47 am
More of a reason to practice responsible forestry like maintaining fire brakes on public lands and making sure power line right of ways are maintained.
"Fire brakes"?

What kind of a fire break would help with a wind driven fire throwing embers a mile or more downwind? And the embers started new fires, due to the dry grass, low humidity, dry fuels.

Power line right of ways need to be maintained to prevent trees from falling on power lines. But again, not factual for the Camp Fire that burned Paradise. It was the power line, not the right of way, that was the apparent cause.
+1 The Camp Fire created issues of spot fires which is the reason so many people died. Winds blew hot embers that started fires into town miles away from the fire line. No "break" would have prevented that.

It is really quite pathetic how we place blame after the fact ignoring development that has overtaxed the natural resources of the area for decades. The dramatic change in climate and our continuance to ignore our part in the decimation of this planet.

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:47 am
by WetEV
Oilpan4 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:20 am
Do all fires have winds blow burning embers a mile ahead of the main fire?
Depends on multiple factors. Damp fuels and low winds will not be throwing many embers. And even if thrown will likely not start spot fires.

The California climate has changed. Wetter winters and springs mean more grass and other small fuels. Drier and hotter summer and falls mean more extreme fires. More total precipitation, more variability in precipitation.

Add to this human factors: more people moving into fire prone real estate (and damn the government for trying to limit uses of private property). Insurance and mortgage might have prevented some of this by pricing fire insurance at the future risk, not at the past risk. Not giving mortgages without fire insurance. Yes, and also in some areas suppression of small fires can lead to larger fires. Not everywhere, and not always a useful tool.

Look at the whole picture.

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:07 am
by DaveinOlyWA
WetEV wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:47 am
Oilpan4 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:20 am
Do all fires have winds blow burning embers a mile ahead of the main fire?
Depends on multiple factors. Damp fuels and low winds will not be throwing many embers. And even if thrown will likely not start spot fires.

The California climate has changed. Wetter winters and springs mean more grass and other small fuels. Drier and hotter summer and falls mean more extreme fires. More total precipitation, more variability in precipitation.

Add to this human factors: more people moving into fire prone real estate (and damn the government for trying to limit uses of private property). Insurance and mortgage might have prevented some of this by pricing fire insurance at the future risk, not at the past risk. Not giving mortgages without fire insurance. Yes, and also in some areas suppression of small fires can lead to larger fires. Not everywhere, and not always a useful tool.

Look at the whole picture.
Fire creates wind. In the Camp Fire case, it was simply a fire with a lot of fuel burning at higher altitudes raining down on the town with the wind blowing just right. The dryness of the area simply made spot fires easy to start.

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:46 am
by LTLFTcomposite
You can get a mortgage without fire insurance?

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:11 pm
by WetEV
LTLFTcomposite wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:46 am
You can get a mortgage without fire insurance?
I've seen a reference in the news to some that lost houses in California that had mortgages without fire insurance. I don't think it was many people, and as I recall seemed to be limited to the appraised value of the building lot or less.

Sorry, but I can't find the reference now. I'm not sure if this was "lot loans", a fairly standard item, or something more exotic.

Of course, if you can't rebuild on a lot due to fire risk the real value of the lot isn't very high.

I wonder what happens if you have a mortgage and can't get fire insurance at any cost...Or any cost you could afford.

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:47 pm
by LTLFTcomposite
I can answer that based on windstorm insurance rates in Florida. It can get ugly. Here the state had to step in and create Citizens and support it with a bunch of taxes and surcharges when private insurers fled. It's a problem for private insurers when the risk of any single outcome becomes too extreme. Same reason you can't walk up to a roulette wheel in Caesars Palace and bet $10B on red.

I doubt fires present anywhere near the loss potential as hurricanes for any single event but who knows. Either way if you can't insure it you can't finance it, and if you can't finance it the pool of available buyers is drastically reduced... particularly at CA RE prices which seemingly would get caught in the downdraft. Lots of dominoes could fall in that scenario.

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:22 pm
by GRA
A news story from last year (while the Camp Fire wsa still relatively small) explaining some of the factors: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/th ... ay-n934521

One of the reasons we've had far fewer acres burned this year compared to last is that we had a very wet winter which saw significant precip in May and even some in June. I suspect another factor is that some (by no means most) of the fuel caused by the 5 year drought has already burned.

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:16 pm
by WetEV
Increasing fire risk isn't just California.

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/08/77764963 ... r-of-fires

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm
by Nubo
DaveinOlyWA wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:33 am
...It is really quite pathetic how we place blame after the fact...
Even more pathetic that the "blame" issues forth from the President of the United States, not for any legitimate reasons, not from any knowledgeable and informed opinion, not from any desire to help the citizens he serves, but simply because of his political animosity towards a state with liberal policies and voting tendencies. Another opportunity to show his inflamed baboon-ass to the world.

Re: PG&E Shutting off power.

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:05 am
by DaveinOlyWA
Nubo wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm
DaveinOlyWA wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:33 am
...It is really quite pathetic how we place blame after the fact...
Even more pathetic that the "blame" issues forth from the President of the United States, not for any legitimate reasons, not from any knowledgeable and informed opinion, not from any desire to help the citizens he serves, but simply because of his political animosity towards a state with liberal policies and voting tendencies. Another opportunity to show his inflamed baboon-ass to the world.
I am shocked you take any stock in anything he has to say?