Longhornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3277 posts, RR: 45 Posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1400 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.
RGElectra80 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 361 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1365 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:
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
okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2986 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1303 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.
fxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7188 posts, RR: 86
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1293 times:
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.
ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13032 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1291 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.
Quokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1283 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,
okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2986 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1278 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.
KAUST From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 95 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1273 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.
"Houston, this is Apollo 8. We are now in Lunar orbit."
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.
LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3811 posts, RR: 34
Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1257 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.
dxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1199 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.
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21510 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1183 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.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
desertjets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7760 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1114 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.
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
nwa757boy From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (2 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1010 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.