Ah, California. The Golden State.
Actually, the not-so-golden state. More like the People’s Republic of California. And now the PRC is about to cut off power to one million Californians in an effort to avoid even more wildfires. How ’bout a round of applause for Cali’s hapless governor, Gavin Newsom?
That’s right, Californ-I-A residents, your state is planning to cut power to residents across 38 counties – affecting nearly a million people – as extreme “fire weather” threatens the region. Again. As reported by Fox News.
A Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson told Fox that the PSPS — Public Safety Power Shutoffs — are expected to happen as early as Sunday morning, due to “the strongest offshore wind event of the season.” “We’re seeing a dangerous combination of factors, with high winds, extreme low humidity, record dry fuels on the ground, and extreme-to-severe drought in many areas, said Lynsey Paulo.
The shutoffs may last into Tuesday, falling in-line with a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service. Conditions will pose an “increased risk of damage” to electrical systems.
Red flag warnings are present and critical fire weather is heightened. This can lead to wildfires that develop and spread quickly. Staying prepared is especially important during this time. Plan. Prepare. And stay aware. Learn more at https://t.co/sWZPp02O9t pic.twitter.com/G6RqgUIOBu
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) October 24, 2020
As Fox reported, Red Flag Warning conditions can include wind gusts up to 35 mph, which could whip sparks through miles of brush and forestland — which could result in devastating wildfires. On the flip-side, even a couple of days without power can mean a live-or-die difference for small businesses already suffering from Newsom’s draconian COVID-19 lockdowns and other restrictions, as reported by RedState’s Jennifer Van Laar.
According to PG&E, planned power outages are expected to include parts of the Sacramento Valley, the northern and central Sierra Nevada, the Santa Cruz mountains, and most of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Weather Service reported that the conditions could equal those during devastating fires in California’s wine country in 2017 and last year’s Kincade Fire. Scott Strenfel, PG&E’s chief meteorologist, described current conditions as “extremely dangerous.”
“We’re seeing […] extremely high winds, extremely low humidity, extreme dry fuels due to the hottest average temperatures over the last six months, according to records that go back 126 years, and extreme drought across the territory given lack of rainfall.”
As Fox noted, California is already dealing with a record-breaking wildfire season, with firefighters currently working across the state to contain 19 wildfires. Not to worry, though, Californians — your governor is on it.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) October 19, 2020
Sorry, governor — James Woods for one isn’t buying what you’re selling.
“California is so utterly mismanaged by this fool in the governor’s mansion, we have to have our electricity turned off, so the state doesn’t burn down…”
California is so utterly mismanaged by this fool in the governor’s mansion, we have to have our electricity turned off, so the state doesn’t burn down… https://t.co/1LSuiolBoB
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 25, 2020
Here’s the thing.
As destructive as Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Democrat-controlled California State Assembly are, not even they have the ability to create extreme “fire weather” conditions. BUT —they, along with tree huggers and various activist conservation groups, can certainly get in the way of effective forest management — and have done so for years.
Firefighters work tirelessly to stop fires from burning into communities, but when weather pushes a fire into a neighborhood, it’s up to a specialized team to assess the damage. Watch the video to see how tech & teamwork combine to let residents know the state of their home. pic.twitter.com/aJSOTfWebU
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) October 23, 2020
Two years ago, as reported by the BBC, President Donald Trump criticized California’s (lack of effective) forest management as a “yuuge” part of the state’s fire problem, citing Finland as a model of forest management, where the government regularly rakes and clears forests to prevent fires. While Finland is not directly comparable to California, due to differences in climate, types of vegetation, and use of land, experts do believe serious problems exist with California’s land management practices and land use.
Scott Stephens, a leading authority on wildfires at the University of California, has for years questioned forest management priorities in the no-longer golden state — specifically, the large number of dead and diseased trees left standing that Stephens says needs to be addressed.
Prof Stefan Doerr, a wildfires expert at Swansea University, highlights the modern practice of “total fire suppression,” at the expense of allowing some limited fires to burn and create firebreaks — which California does not practice.
“For centuries, Native American peoples would burn parts of the forest […] and that would thin out more flammable vegetation and make forests less dense. But the emphasis has been on putting out any fires — and with climate change this has now created a tinderbox of vegetation.”
Setting aside the “climate change” thing, Doerr’s observations should make perfect sense to anyone who knows about anything about even the smallest of brush fires.
In Oregon, California’s next-door neighbor, John Bailey, a wildfire expert at Oregon State University, told the BBC that while prescribed burning has been carried out in Oregon, “it’s probably not enough to keep up with the amount of fuel accumulating on the landscape each year.”
The large, fast-spreading Holiday Farm Fire east of Springfield illustrated how quickly even worst-case scenarios for wildfire risk can be overwhelmed by reality, said @uoregondesign professor Bart Johnson, who studies climate change adaptation planning. https://t.co/GaxokCuxfU pic.twitter.com/w8n6o1sE4R
— University of Oregon (@uoregon) October 22, 2020
Even the left-wing governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, has admitted that “there are places where it makes sense that we thin our timber.” “And we are doing that,” he said, but get a load of this: Insley also criticized (the Devil’s spawn) Donald Trump for highlighting the obvious, rather than “climate change.” “These are climate [change] fires,” he defiantly said.
@Crosscut @invw To have smaller wildfires and less smoke in Puget Sound the answer is: more fires, smaller prescribed burns. @levipulk has that story, and why it’s a hard policy to implement. #wildfires https://t.co/7Su7FeN7po
— Mossback (@KnuteBerger) October 20, 2020
With all due respect, gov’na, what a complete crock of crap. To paraphrase one of your no-doubt-heroes, Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make? #ProTip: They are still wildfires. That is, even if your nonsense about “climate change” — which you really want to call “global warming” — is true.
Meanwhile, Californians, our thoughts are with you. Oh, you’ll survive the latest power shutdowns and wildfire warnings; I’m talking about your left-wing loon governor and Democrat-controlled State Assembly. That’s your real problem.