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Central Texas Fires  
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 45
Posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1419 times:

Central Texas, including several different parts of Austin, has some terrible fires right now being fed by the complete lack of rain this summer, as well as extremely high winds right now. Several hundred homes have been affected since yesterday.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44395316/ns/weather/

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/information-on-fires-in-central-texas

Very, very dangerous conditions right now.

To anyone in Texas, please be extra careful. Don't toss cigarette butts out the car window, or do anything with fire!

Stay safe.

Cheers,
Cameron

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRGElectra80 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 361 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1384 times:

I didn't realize how serious this was until last night. I was out grilling for two hours without a care in the world yesterday afternoon. Oops. In case any one wants to see this in geographical form here are some maps:

http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/ (click on Fire in the nav bar on the right)
http://ticc.tamu.edu/Response/FireActivity/default.aspx



Feel free to check out my Flight Diary: flightdiary.net/alenart
User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3827 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1339 times:

Have any of you ever watched that show on the Weather Channel called It Could Happen Tomorrow?

It explores the possibilities of various weather and other natural phenomena severely damaging or destroying America's cities. Here's a Wikipedia link about the show.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Could_Happen_Tomorrow

Quote:
Plot

Each episode is broken into several segments: "It Did Happen"-this segment talks about similar disasters happening in other parts of America (or even earlier in the target city featured); "When It Happens/How It Would Happen"-this talks about how the disaster would unfold; and a third segment about how to prepare for the disaster, and interviews with residents in the threatened areas about what they think of the disaster threat. Sometimes there is a segment called "Before It Happens", which shows what's being done to prepare for the disaster.

If you go to the Wikipedia Link, scroll down to Season 2 - Show #16 that aired on January 28, 2007

Event Location Based On

Wildfire Austin, TX Oakland Hills firestorm

I guess "tomorrow" has finally arrived. Thankfully, I'm not near any of the current fires - but my apartment complex backs up to the Barton Creek Greenbelt which is a tinder box right now because of the heat and lack of rain. (Our last meaningful rainfall was 2 inches on June 27.) If the greenbelt were to catch fire, our 600-unit complex would probably be totally wiped out.

Lots of info & photos. from the local paper - The Austin American Statesman

http://www.statesman.com/

A guy who posts on an urban development forum that I post on took some photos from West Austin looking east towards the Bastrop Fire (the biggest of several fires around the city)

Link

You can see downtown and what looks like clouds on the horizon is actually the smoke from the fires in Bastrop (30 miles southeast of downtown.

Some of the viewer photos submitted to the paper posted by one of the moderators of the other forum.

Link

LoneStarMike


User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3047 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1322 times:

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):

To anyone in Texas, please be extra careful. Don't toss cigarette butts out the car window, or do anything with fire!


We have had the same issue with fires here in Oklahoma. Ironically the majority of the fires have been caused by Brush Hogs and Lawn equipment (riding lawnmowers) that people have been using to clear areas to provide a bit of a fire break for their property. Usually hitting rocks or other things hidden in the grass that causes a spark and it ignites the brush since it is so dry. The fire gets out of control quickly with the winds and dry brush/grass.
The other culprit is catalytic converters, there is no problem figuring out where the highway patrol or police like to set up their speed/radar traps the landscape is usually burned in that area. Works better than radar detectors just look for the burned landscape up ahead.
Stay safe down there.

Okie


User currently offlineAUSisAwesome From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1319 times:

We could see the Bastrop fire in North San Antonio this morning and our neighbors said they could see it in Katy.

User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7298 posts, RR: 85
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1312 times:
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I know someone that already lost their home and everything in it. I also heard if your outside grilling or smoking you'll get a ticket or arrested. Is that the case right now? Cam, go check my house please.   

User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13116 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1310 times:

Severe draughts have happened in the historic past in this region, that is well known. For the last several years, usual patterns of weather have moved, keeping away any possible weather that could bring in 'normal' rainfalls. The severity of these fires has caused Gov. Perry to back off his 'Presidental' campainging and return to Texas to deal with this extremely serious problem, the absolutly right thing to do and he should stay until the danger is well passed. Guess Perry needs to lead another 'prayer meeting' to ask 'God' for rain.

User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1302 times:

My thoughts go out to all those who have lost their homes and to those who continue to be at risk.

Living in Australia and having had to fight bush fires that threatened my own house as well as those of my neighbours I can imagine what they are going through.

A question: do States or Counties in the US carry out prescribed burning? Here in Western Australia the DEC carries out a programme of controlled burns each year to reduce the fuel load in State forests. Property owners are required to put in firebreaks to both reduce the risk of fire spread and to provide access in the event of fire. Are similar practices carried out in the US?

I hope that you guys are able to get the fires under control without much further loss of property and, more importantly, loss of life. Best wishes,
Quokka


User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3047 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1297 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 5):
I also heard if your outside grilling or smoking you'll get a ticket or arrested


I do not know about Texas but outside grilling in Oklahoma is limited to Gas/Propane grills, nothing about smoking.
As I pointed out earlier around here most fires have been from equipment and catalytic converters.
The power companies have been pulling power for most of the areas where a fire is near due to damage to poles and the power lines falling causing additional fires as well. Since the areas involved are generally considered rural and do not have water systems then that shuts down the homeowners water well. Some are claiming that it does not take much water on a roof to prevent embers from starting the house on fire but with no electricity for the pumps then they are losing a lot of homes that they should not. I guess I can see their point but not sure that is a very good approach, I will not weigh in on that one other than to say it would be hard to have to walk away from your home without being able to do something.

Okie


User currently onlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5521 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1296 times:

Controlled burns are practiced in remote areas, but would be impractical in the areas such as where the fires being discussed here are burning; they are rural, but by no means undeveloped.

---

I flew from Houston to Dallas yesterday, and "VFR" conditions were at times like being the soup, with the smell of smoke thick in the air. It was very bad.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineKAUST From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 96 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1292 times:

I was a restaurant in NW Austin called The Oasis On Lake Travis, earlier today, and I could see smoke and flames all along the horizon on the other side of the lake. I kept seeing the manager getting all of the staff together to show them out of the window. It didn't happen as of when I left, but I would not have been at all surprised if they had a mass evacuation of the restaurant and surrounding businesses soon after.

Oh, and ironically? The Oasis once burned completely down and was just recently re-built.


Let's hope and pray for safety, and for comfort of those now without a home.

KAUST



"Houston, this is Apollo 8. We are now in Lunar orbit."
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4006 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1286 times:
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Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
Don't toss cigarette butts out the car window, or do anything with fire!

It doesn't even take that much. Last year, sparks from a braking train started a small brush fire North of Ft Worth a few miles from my house. Thankfully, it was in an urban area with a busy road right by the tracks, so there wasn't much material to burn and the fire was spotted immediately.

Quoting fxramper (Reply 5):
I also heard if your outside grilling or smoking you'll get a ticket or arrested.

A couple of cities not far from me have simply banned any and all outdoor fires. They don't care what fuel is being used. If it has a flame, it's illegal.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3827 posts, RR: 34
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1276 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 5):
I also heard if your outside grilling or smoking you'll get a ticket or arrested. Is that the case right now?

They mentioned on the news tonight that policy is in effect for Williamson County. While they are discouraging grilling & smoking outdoors in Travis County, I don't think doing so will get you arrested.

BTW, I read somewhere (unconfirmed) that the Steiner Ranch fire may have been started by overhead power lines. But yesterday, they were saying it was caused by construction work going on at some shopping center being built out in that area.

LoneStarMike


User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1218 times:

There was a small fire at the back of our subdivision this morning. Fortunately the fire department got on it quickly and threw a bull dozer into the mix almost immediately. Luck was with us as the winds were light and the fire was brought under control by lunch time. Lost part of the community park and forest down to the creek but no homes. That's the third near miss this summer. We need a td lee badly.

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21642 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1202 times:

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 6):
Guess Perry needs to lead another 'prayer meeting' to ask 'God' for rain.

I don't know, it was pretty counterproductive last time....

I can't really say anything for Texas (other than that it was insanely hot and dry when I was in Ft. Worth about a week and a half ago and the ground was all brown, but I hadn't been there in so long that I don't know whether that's normal for this time of year or not), but I've been to Oklahoma a lot in recent months, and that place is absolutely parched (and hot as well - I've had three four-day trips there since July, and I don't think the temperature has been below 100F on any of the days). I hope the people out there can keep cool and keep their property unburned.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 45
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1170 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 5):
Cam, go check my house please

You're a hell of a lot closer to it than I am. I'm in Portugal.

The Steiner Ranch fire is only about 2 miles from my house. Fortunately, the winds were blowing it the other direction.

http://deannaroy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/austin-fire.jpg

That is about 40 miles away from where the photo is taken.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7298 posts, RR: 85
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1153 times:
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I miss Austin, Texas despite why it's making the news.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 15):
You're a hell of a lot closer to it than I am. I'm in Portugal.
At the moment your closer. Portugal, I hate you. What city? Try the pastiche in Belem, Portugal.   


User currently offlinedesertjets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1133 times:

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 12):
BTW, I read somewhere (unconfirmed) that the Steiner Ranch fire may have been started by overhead power lines. But yesterday, they were saying it was caused by construction work going on at some shopping center being built out in that area.

The Los Conchas fire that burned 150,000 acres here in New Mexico this summer was started by a tree limb falling on a power line.... and as dry as it has been throughout the southwest this fire season it looks like it doesn't take much.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 15):
That is about 40 miles away from where the photo is taken.

At least the smoke is blowing away from Austin, back in June when the wallow fire in Arizona was at full force the winds were regularly blowing the smoke up into ABQ.... I can tell you that is not pleasant at all.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3018 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1095 times:

Flew yesterday PIT-IAH-PHX.
Sadly, I saw a whole lot of smoke...



Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 45
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1075 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 16):
What city?

Lagos, then Lisbon tomorrow. Lagos is great!

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (3 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1066 times:

UP here in DFW the visibility is nasty. We're getting all the smoke blown up here.

[Edited 2011-09-07 10:56:20]

User currently offlineRGElectra80 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 361 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1061 times:

Here's a terrifying photo of the fire looming over Elgin, TX (north of Bastrop where the main 30k+ acre fire is):
http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/monstrous-smoke-dwarfs-water-tower



Feel free to check out my Flight Diary: flightdiary.net/alenart
User currently offlinenwa757boy From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1029 times:

I live out near Lake Travis, and it's been real smoggy/hazy the past few days....I'm leaving on a trip today, I hope my place is still around when I get back! There are signs up around the community that say no smoking outside, no cooking outside and no grilling.

User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 995 times:

Scary...



Image credit: Rey Ramirez, Elgin Fire Department, KXAN site.


User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7298 posts, RR: 85
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 986 times:
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The fire chief for Austin stayed in Colorado on a vacation because she said "if the fires had been in the city limits it would have been an entirely different thing."

  

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/...-of-town-as-wildfires-1824414.html


Get a load of this article too about the tankers.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46009


25 Post contains links ModernArt : Video of the DC-10 tanker in action on Friday DC-10 Fire Tanker in Action
26 type-rated : Wow, that is some slow and low flying there... The tri county fire is sending smoke down to Houston. The other day I was on I-45 just north of The Woo
27 okie : Indeed, looks like about all the flaps available leading edge and trailing. Did you notice the spotter aircraft, single engine, about 3 seconds ahead
28 Post contains links melpax : About as bad as the Police Chief Commissioner down here on the day of the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. The day was expected to be a very bad day
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