Terry’s Take: The Annual Dance with Fire:

Welcome to the world of Terry Torgerson’s editorial cartoons, where the power of visual expression merges with incisive yet pithy commentary on local matters. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for encapsulating the essence of current events, Torgerson delivers a fresh perspective on predominantly local issues through his intricate illustrations approximately every week.

Terry Torgerson cartoon on the return of fire season

With a sense of inevitability that rivals death and taxes, this reporter notes that fire season is returning, bringing with it the fear of dry underbrush crackling with rising flames and a smoky haze that paints the sky orange and grey (and during one particularly awful summer as black as night).

Residents of the Emerald Triangle have learned to prepare. Swaths of grass are cut back from homes, evacuation plans are rehearsed, and sometimes it seems as if every day in late July and August at least begins with a fearful glance at the weather forecast–please no lightning today!

This year, the rains brought a sense of cautious optimism. After several years of drought conditions and the ever-present threat of wildfires, the generous precipitation was a welcome relief. Water reservoirs filled, and the landscape’s overall health improved, offering a reprieve and a chance for the natural world to recover. But the grass also has grown tall and thick and fires have always happened in our summer and falls even in rainy years.

The last week we’ve had a couple of fires that topped an acre. Slowly over the next months, the fire season will grow more dangerous. Residents of the Emerald Triangle need to brace themselves. Most of you know the drill all too well. But here are some tips as a reminder:

Practice Safe Campfire Habits:

        • Clear a 10-foot radius around your fire pit, removing any flammable material.
        • Keep the fire small.
        • Never leave a campfire unattended. Make sure it is completely extinguished before leaving by dousing it with water, stirring the ashes, and dousing it again.

      Safe Equipment Use:

        • Maintain and operate equipment, such as lawnmowers and chainsaws, according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent sparks.
        • Avoid using equipment that can produce sparks or excessive heat during high-risk times, like dry or windy days.
        • Install spark arresters on all combustion engines and equipment.

Vehicle Safety:

        • Avoid driving or parking on dry grass or brush. The heat from your vehicle’s exhaust system can ignite dry vegetation.
        • Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained to prevent sparks or heat-related fires.

General Precautions:

        • Create a defensible space around your home by clearing flammable vegetation and materials.
        • Clean your roof and gutters to remove dry leaves and other debris.
        • Have an emergency plan in place and know the evacuation routes in your area.

 

Facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Join the discussion! For rules visit: https://kymkemp.com/commenting-rules

Comments system how-to: https://wpdiscuz.com/community/postid/10599/

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

17 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
tru matters
Guest
tru matters
16 days ago

People encroaching on nature, should always be prepared.

Lightning -caused fires one after another is common in the forest — and part of the natural forest cycle.

But experts are concerned lightning-caused fires could become more common and lead to larger wildfires as the climate warms.

Last edited 16 days ago
old guy
Guest
old guy
16 days ago
Reply to  tru matters

90% of climate scientist don’t want to lose funding, fact.

Korina42D
Member
16 days ago
Reply to  old guy

And the other 10% are being paid by the oil industry, speculation.

Dave Kahan
Guest
Dave Kahan
16 days ago
Reply to  tru matters

comment image
anvilhead
comment image Ehoss84
1d

In the northern latitudes warmer than average SST can be a sign of subsidence in the atmosphere, ala high pressure. Ahead of the warm water there is increased troughing which you can see occurring in the Pacific NW, but after it moves far enough south and east there should be enhanced marine heat wave activity. I would expect coastal areas to have much higher than average temperatures starting around the solstice. Subsidence from developing La Nina should mean a suppressed subtropical jet stream with less of a low level moisture component. I think the theme this year could be: marine heatwaves, subsequently enhanced heatwaves inland due to less of a cooling component from the ocean, chaotic monsoon.
Understanding the ‘times’ we are in now there is most likely going to be a lightning event of epic proportions in August/September across the west into Canada, I do not think any of this can be changed at this point.

Eyeball Kid
Member
16 days ago

You’d best be careful when you are indoors as well, as fire season produces some extremely dangerous indoor air quality. We built a very simple MERV13 box fan air purifier. There are many DIY videos available online. We store the box fan in the corner of the room during fire season, and it can be easily moved into the center of a room if needed.

Box-fan-with-air-filters-2
pcwindhamD
Member
pcwindham
16 days ago
Reply to  Eyeball Kid

A Corsi-Rosenthal box like this apparently works better than a HEPA filter. Thanks for sharing.

Kicking Bull
Guest
Kicking Bull
15 days ago
Reply to  Eyeball Kid

Interesting, thank you

Emphysema + wildfires = a fkn bummer

Bozo
Guest
Bozo
16 days ago

Meanwhile… it’s raining outside.

Terry should produce more ‘sunny’ cartoons every week in the summer, then produce more ‘gloomy’ cartoons in the winter !

pcwindhamD
Member
pcwindham
16 days ago

Timely refresher course. The winter rains have produced a huge amount of fine fuels so don’t get lulled into complacency. Be a good Scout – be prepared.

NorCalNative
Guest
NorCalNative
16 days ago

After losing my Santa Rosa home to wildfire in 2017, I moved to Fortuna. On a 1-to-99 wildfire risk scale from my home insurance Fortuna ranks a 1 for potential wildfires.

Love that humidity!

NorCalNative
Guest
NorCalNative
16 days ago
Reply to  NorCalNative

Question and comment for Kym: When I use phone to comment I never see reCAPTCHA. However if I use my computer I see that annoying thing every time.

Curious to know why it works that way.

Korina42D
Member
16 days ago
Reply to  NorCalNative

I never see it on my laptop. I use Firefox. HTH.

Sigh
Guest
Sigh
16 days ago

Watching tourists buying firewood at Rays…I always ask them to please not burn our forests down…they look surprised…should not be that easy to buy firewood in the summer just to go camping. Just say no.

Tim
Guest
Tim
16 days ago
Reply to  Sigh

I wonder if they realize they need a California Campfire Permit to have any fire or use a gas stove outside a developed campground?

anonymous
Guest
anonymous
16 days ago

Oh! Just one more thing: Please contribute to our local volunteer fire departments!

Korina42D
Member
16 days ago

Thanks for the reminders; like not turning your back on the ocean and being careful around the rivers, it seems obvious and yet…