Saturday, August 22, 2020

Current CA Wildland Fires as of August 22, 2020

 After starting out slow, this year's fire season is quickly turning into one for the record books (again). Unfortunately, it's about to get worse as another dry lightning convective event coming up from the south as remnants of a tropical system filter through trigger more lighting and in turn more fires to go along with potential flash floods, including in recent or even current burn areas. Hold onto your balls/ovaries lads & ladies!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Great Los Angeles Earthquake of 1974


Today while visiting my mother I found that she was already watching this disaster classic and not only that, but the infamous "earthquake scene" was mere minutes away so I waited for it and watched it and then got hooked and finished the movie and in turn neglected to get everything done at mom's place that I had driven nearly 30 miles round trip to do. I still find this more accurate than any other movie interpretation of this city being destroyed by earthquake. Sorry "San Andreas", et al. "Earthquake" IMDB "Earthquake" Wiki

Graphic of the Day - Oz Burneth



My friend Dave Touissant grabbed this graphic from MODIS imagery and tweeted it and here it is now on my blog. The extent and magnitude of the fires in Australia just keeps expanding by the day as this is no longer merely limited to New South Wales and Queensland. Imagery courtesy of MODIS.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Word From This Blogger

Dear Reader,

Thank you for following this blog over the years or thanks for visiting for the first time. This is not a goodbye but rather HELLO AGAIN! I'm a creature of habit. I used to do this out of habit, then I stopped doing it out of habit. Tonight, I'm resuming the healthy old habit of posting here nearly daily. I also have over a 1-1/2 year's worth of back posts to drop here which will be coming in on a regular basis. The best way to see them is scroll back through my posts in sequence. I'll update this blog post and keep it at the top of this blog with notices of what back-posts have been dropped here and what dates they can be found at and links to them via their hyperlinked titles. Please keep coming back and I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

See   Picture of the Day - Post-Storm #3   (1/25/2019)

Last updated 6/30/2019

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Highway 41 Fire Student Documentary


On August 14, 2019, I had lunch in San Luis Obispo with my 7th grade history teacher Mike Burrell. He was my favorite teacher at Atascadero Junior High School (now Atascadero Middle School) when I was there 1983-1985. En route there from my home in Paso Robles it felt odd to me driving southbound on Highway 101 through the former Highway 41 Fire burn area. It was 25 years to the day after it started and that area would burn the next day. My drive included the area adjacent to Santa Margarita Ranch where the fire jumped the highway as a massive 100 foot wide fire tornado. It also included the entrance to Tassajara Canyon which experienced area ignition conditions when the fire roared through. And lastly, it included Cuesta Grade which was charred entirely, top to bottom, north and south sides of Cuesta Summit.


During lunch I brought this up with Mike and he informed me that in 1995, the year following the Highway 41 Fire, at which point he was then working at Oak Hills High School in Atascadero, he had his students put together a student documentary about the fire. After creating it they burned it on to blank VHS cassettes and sold them for $10 each for a fundraising drive.  After lunch I visited his home in SLO for the first time as we were reconnecting after all these years. Heretofore we merely briefly chatted on Facebook from time to time. Mike gave me the grand tour of his library/museum/arboretum/home which was a lot of fun. Before I left he handed me the only extant version of the documentary on disk. I asked him if I could burn some copies and donate them as well as upload the documentary to Youtube to which Mike generously accented.


Back in Paso Robles I took this disk to The Blueprinter and they directed me to Gallagher Video Services in town. I made an appointment and met with Ron Gallagher and told him my expectations. I wanted several copies of this documentary burned and I wanted nice graphic design for them that was apropos in labeling the product and I wanted an mp4 copy of it burned onto a flash drive so I could upload it to Youtube. I did this last week and today it was ready and here you go. At top is the documentary on Youtube. In the middle is the old disk and directly above is a copy of the new disk version produced by Ron Gallagher. Nicely done I think.


Mike also handed me a photocopy of an old SLO Tribune article from 1995 which recounts the story of this documentary. Read it above and if need be zoom in closer so the print is legible.

Monday, August 26, 2019

2009 Station Fire 10th Anniversary


It's hard to believe that the infamous 2009 Station Fire which ravage the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County above the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys began 10 years ago today. Where has the time gone? This conflagration remains the largest fire in the history of Los Angeles County. Above is a preview to the Alan Simmons video production for this fire which I have yet to add to my collection. Perhaps someday that will happen. This is a great sampling in the meantime. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Highway 41 Fire Student Video

Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Today I had lunch in San Luis Obispo with my junior high school history mentor Mike Burrell. He was one of those special teachers who left an indelible impression upon me and encouraged my early interest in history. Life took my down a series of unexpected detours so the fruit of his labors with me did not begin blossoming until my 40s when I picked up an AA degree in History at Cuesta College and a BA in History at CAL POLY SLO. Given that today was the 25th anniversary of the Big Blow-Up of the Highway 41 on Day Two of its existence, and I had to drive right through the burn scare of the fire going to San Luis Obispo and back again, it seemed like a perfect coda to this day that Mr. Burrell revealed to me that in 1995 his classes at Oak Hills High School in Atascadero for the first anniversary of the event had created a video documentary about the fire centered around various local video footage taken by local residents and firefighters of the historic conflagration. He also gave me a photocopy of an article in the local SLO Tribune about the video. He has loaned me his copy of the documentary on disc which I am going to copy and upload to Youtube and share on this blog very soon I hope.