Californian fires

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Californian fires

Post by nicko on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:21 am

Re the fires, would it not make more sense to use bricks in building instead of wood? It would resist fire better and save the Forests witch the Yanks seem keen on cutting down !
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Re: Californian fires

Post by nicko on Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:48 pm

I see no one from America was interested in this thread !
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Re: Californian fires

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:34 pm

nicko wrote:
Re the fires, would it not make more sense to use bricks in building instead of wood?     It would resist fire better and save the Forests witch the Yanks seem keen on cutting down !

Arrow

Besides cladding houses in brick, and using double brick/cavity-brick construction, there is a whole swag of building materials and techniques that will make those building a lot more fire resistant...


Such things as :

Using steel or tile roofing, rather than shingles, 'tar paper' or slate;
Closing in eaves and gutters;
Screening windows;  using roller shutters over windows and doors;
Avoiding pine, oregon and other highly flammable frames  -->> steel, concrete and select hardwoods are all more preferable;
Fire resistant wall claddings can include rocks/stone-work, bricks, mud bricks, compressed earth blocks, fibre cement sheets, concrete, steel..  



Then there are other factors around the buildings and immediate landscape that will help :

Rooftop sprinklers;
Guttering that can be shut off and filled with water;
Lawn sprinklers;
Water tanks, swimming pools, ponds and dams holding extra water for firefighting;
Avoiding fire-prone trees near buildings (e.g. pines, fir, eucalypts, angophoras, etc.)
-->>  choosing fire resistant spp. for landscaping near buildings;
Maintaining firebreaks, roads and drains;
Paddocks and lawns adjacent to buildings on acreages can often be flooded (from dams or ponds..) just before a fire arrives..



As well as having dams/ponds/swimming pools available, house owners in risky areas should also have their own fire fighting pumps and firehoses (at less than a thousand dollars for a 'kit', that's pretty cheap insurance..).

None of this is new, and much of it can be called "common sense" easily enough --  but as can be seen regularly in many fire prone regions --  in Australia, North America, southern France, Spain and Portugal, and with peasant farmers in Indonesia and Brazil --  good old "common sense" often goes straight out the window, when many people start rebuilding in some areas..

We still see people building timber clad and timber framed houses in amongst trees, close to pine plantations, ignoring proper maintenance --  after one of the worst fires down near Canberra several years back, when the local council wanted to tighten to tighten up on building reg's and ban re-building in some areas, some of the affected landowners were screaming blue murder, and threatening to sue the council, to allow them to build what they wanted, where they wanted  !!! scratch

Just to prove yet again, that it doesn't necessarily take intelligence to gain money and property -- and money can't buy brains..

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Re: Californian fires

Post by smelly-bandit on Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:48 pm

Oh no

Not fires destroying California

Gutted

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Re: Californian fires

Post by Original Quill on Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:04 pm

Most of the homes destroyed in Santa Rosa, a mile or two north of where I live, were in the Journey's Inn Mobile Home Park. Those are tin boxes...nothing is going to save them.

Besides, mobile homes in brick make for poor fuel efficiency.

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Re: Californian fires

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:10 pm

Original Quill wrote:Most of the homes destroyed in Santa Rosa, a mile or two north of where I live, were in the Journey's Inn Mobile Home Park.  Those are tin boxes...nothing is going to save them.  

Besides, mobile homes in brick make for poor fuel efficiency.

What a Face

Mobile homes are usually clad in aluminium, sometimes in plastic (e.g. grp, vinyl..), often over pine frames, and lined inside with plywood or plastic -- and will readily burn when the fires hit...

In both those those trailer parks, and in some of those other suburbs that were totalled, you only need to look at how close the trees were to some of them, and the types of trees as well..

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Re: Californian fires

Post by Maddog on Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:23 pm

It's extremely expensive to make homes that can withstand brush fires and earthquakes at the same time. In the long run it's just cheaper to pay for your home insurance and rebuild, assuming you don't die on the fire.

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Re: Californian fires

Post by Original Quill on Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:22 am

nicko wrote:I see no one from America was interested in this thread  !

Although this is the worse urban fire in history (2800 homes), this is the fire season here in California.  I had a visit with my physician today, and he said six of his partners lost their homes.



Fires are bad, but the first-responders are ready.  Folks were rousted out of their beds at 4 AM on Sunday morning in Santa Rosa.  Shelters were ready, and California (we have an agency called "CAL-FIRE") had supplies packed in for them.  We've had fire brigades from San Diego, Sacramento, San Fernando Valley communities and Los Angeles racing by, in hook & ladders and pump trucks.  Imagine...San Diego is 450 miles away, and they mustered and got here by early Sunday morning.

It puts Trump in Puerto Rico to shame, how well California handles an emergency.  FEMA should take lessons.

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Re: Californian fires

Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:49 am

Firefighters --  both the full time regulars and part-time/volunteer rural groups  --  from around the Pacific NW of the US (California, Oregon, Washington..), from Canada and down here in Australia,  regularly collaborate, hold their annual conferences, and have their trainers and leaders often working together.  (In some of the more extreme years, teams are sometimes travelling between countries in their own "off seasons", adding further to that combined learning and education..).

So it is no wonder that it is from these three countries that you often find that "world's best practice" and developments..

In recent years there have also been officials and trainers from places like Russia, Indonesia, Spain, Portugal, France, etc.  visiting these conferences and learning from these 'big three' in handling bushfires and wildfires.

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Re: Californian fires

Post by nicko on Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:34 am

Quill, "mobile homes in brick" ?
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Re: Californian fires

Post by smelly-bandit on Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:50 am

Apparently trump started the fires using a Brexit ballot sheet

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Re: Californian fires

Post by Original Quill on Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:32 pm

nicko wrote:Quill,   "mobile homes in brick" ?

Yes, it raised eyebrows when you suggested brick construction. Laughing

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Re: Californian fires

Post by Original Quill on Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:35 pm

smelly-bandit wrote:Apparently trump started the fires using a Brexit ballot sheet

Actually, they've discovered the source. High winds >> downed power lines >> exploding transformers >> sparks >> conifer trees >> homes. The drought has added to it, leaving a lot of dry debris.

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Re: Californian fires

Post by nicko on Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:42 pm

Would it not help if were there was danger of fire the dead branches, leaves and dead grasses were cleared from under the tree's?
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Re: Californian fires

Post by Original Quill on Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:24 pm

nicko wrote:Would it not help if were there was danger of fire the dead branches, leaves and dead grasses were cleared from under the tree's?

California is a big state.

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