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Next to a nuclear explosion, there is no more lethal killing force on earth than a big forest fire. The most violent are called “blowups” because they are capable of exploding. Just how they perform such a terrifying feat remains a mystery, but fire behavior experts think it has something to do with a convergence of weather patterns and hurricane force winds big fires often generate.
Fanned by such fearsome winds, flames become blast furnaces, then the furnaces explode. Trees that are not incinerated where they stand are often sucked from the ground and tossed hundreds of feet into the air. Only a handful of firefighters have survived a blowup, but from their accounts we know that blowups can outrun birds in flight, melt soil, boil stream water, crack open boulders, detonate old, pitch-filled trees like sticks of dynamite and incinerate entire mountainsides in seconds. Mercifully, most who fall before them suffocate before fire consumes their bodies”
As my brother-in-law had described to me regarding the firestorm of 1964, when what they thought that the was exploding cases of dynamite that they used in that day in certain work on the ranch. These were actually sap-rich trees as they entered a furnace that was likely in excess of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Example of those caught in a firestorm…
Maclean: “Dr. Hawkins, the physician who went in with the rescue crew the night the men were burned told me that, after the bodies had fallen, most of them had risen again, taken a few steps, and fallen again, this final time like pilgrims in prayer. When the fire struck their bodies, it blew their watches away. The two hands on a recovered watch had melted together at about four minutes to six. For them, that may be taken as the end of time.”
Starting 7am Monday my email/Facebook/text/phone was ringing off the hooks from those in firestorm and those who wanted to know about those in firestorm.
The firestorm came in so quickly, most people got out with at most the clothes on the back.
Within 8 hours 40,000 acres had burned.
Not just the areas of forestry, but deeply into cities such as Santa Rosa.
The firestorm was fuel by 50-70 mph winds.
In Southern California these are the “Santa Anna” winds.
In Northern California these are called the “Diablo” winds.
I have been here all my life.
I have never experienced winds like this inland.
Frankly, other than the “News” reporting right now…
I had never the name of such winds.
I guess they hadn’t visited us for a while…
Perhaps not since 1964.
There was a sense of surreality.
At a minimum unreality.
People I talked to from Santa Rosa could not comprehend what had happened to them in eight hours.
Whereas I, 110 miles away in the Silicon Valley was mortified, some of people spoke nonchalantly or matter-of-factly as everything they owned had been burned to the ground.
I’d seen this before.
People were going into a form of “shock.”
They needed to rest and believe a message of “even keel”, so they could take next steps and steps that would be necessary shortly in next few days.
God was needed in this situation. Yes. God. If you have a problem with that GO FUCK YOURSELF.
Firestorms are among nature’s most violent and unpredictable phenomena. Tornado-force winds sweep superhot flames of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) through buildings and forests alike. Victims often suffocate before they can flee and entire towns can be obliterated.
When my sister called me Monday night well after a hyper-emotional day for both of us she started off calm, matter-of-factly. Shock.
Then she described as my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew had decided to “ride” out the firestorm.
(I believe I described what that might entail above.)
She described when we lost all contact with them early Monday morning…
She started to cry softly over the phone.
At that moment of “lost” morning she got down on her knees and started to pray.
On her hands and knees and started to pray.
Now she was crying louder on the phone.
Then she was on her hands, knees, and face crying that morning.
Then she stopped praying.
She stopped praying.
She stopped praying.
She stopped praying and started to beg.
She started to beg God.
She begged God.
Please God. Do not let our sister perish in a way described above.
She begged hard and cried hard that morning.
She was crying uncontrollably now on the phone.
My hand was over the mouth piece, so she could not hear my uncontrollable crying.
After listening, when it was my turn to talk about next steps, I tried not to let my tone-of-voice break.
I needed to be “even keel.”
So, my one sister survived the firestorm…
The fires continue to spread to large areas, which were subsequently evacuated.
Early Wednesday morning the “Diablo” winds are expected to return.
Perhaps, with some mercy at 30-40 mph.
But that is definite going to push these fires.
For us, now is a time for God.
If you don’t believe in God…
Stay the FUCK out of the way.
Because these are people who will be acting as if driven by God.
Been up 40 hours straight and I’m starting to get “cranky.”
115,000 acres gone in 36 hours.
God is indeed needed.
Everyone is hunkered-down, bunkered-down.
And dug in with a defensive position.
For the next round.
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Lot’s of burnt kitties up our way.