forums | blogs | polls | tutorials | downloads | rules | help

I dislike Wild Fires (forest fires)

I dislike wild fires on many levels. Fighting them, watching them destroy things. But when they are caused by a poorly maintained power grid that really sucks. All the wild fires in recent years and the current ones have been caused by poorly maintained above ground low voltage distribution lines and high voltage transmission lines. The Power Companies in California have recently started what they call Public Safety Power Shutdowns, to prevent their gear from causing fires in low humidity/high wind events. Many millions of people have been without power for almost a week. However all the fires we currently have burning in California (Kincade Wildfire as an example) have been caused by power lines that the power companies thought where to robust to fail. The Kincade fire can be seen from the hills near my house at night and I live almost 100 miles south. Instead of turning off the power they should work on two things. 1. Removing all vegetation from under and around high voltage transmission lines. 2. Put all power lines under ground. The power companies say that could take 10 to 20 years. The Governor has given them 3 years. Will not happen as they have even refused to pay people and businesses for all the food and medications lost do to lack of refrigeration. I was talking to a neighbor who had to pick up her 90 year old mother from a rest home in San Jose because they had no power, the power company said they could not provide generators to keep the medical equipment running. This next statement I can not verify, but she said about a mile from the rest home there was a power company Generator Truck hooked up to a big house owned by a power company executive. I can not say if this is true, but given the greed of the company it might be.

Two things I found interesting is the state has purchased 30 black hawk helicopters so they can drop water and retardant on fires at night. They are not on line yet. The Boeing 747 and Lockheed L-1011 Air Tankers are amazing. What must it feel like to fly an airplane that big at tree top level over a fire to drop water or retardant on the flames?