[M]id-way through this extreme heat event [the ongoing record-breaking heat wave, caused by a “heat dome”], remnant moisture and instability from former Tropical Storm Elida combined with a robust easterly wave over California to generate one of the most intense summer thunderstorm events of the past 20 years across the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the coastal portion of the Bay Area experienced intense and even locally violent wind gusts during this thunderstorm event. Many places saw 40-50 mph gusts, but there were a few places that logged winds of 65-75 mph as these powerful storms moved ashore. Much of the SF Bay Area was under a multi-hour Severe Thunderstorm Warning by the NWS for the first time I can remember. Multiple places also experienced Midwest-style convective “heat bursts” — in which rapid collapse of thunderstorm updrafts caused air parcels aloft to plunge to the surface and warm to extreme levels. … [Read more...] about California’s Disaster Overload: Wildfires, Hazardous Air, and COVID-19
The firefighter’s name was not released, but state fire officials said he was from Utah, was injured battling the Mendocino Complex blaze on Monday and was rushed to a hospital, where he died. He became the first person killed in the complex north of Clear Lake, which has burned 349,890 acres in Colusa, Mendocino and Lake counties and is the largest fire in California history. … [Read more...] about Sixth firefighter killed in California’s battle against wildfires this year
While no amount of mutual aid can stop powerful, wind-driven wildfires — like those that hit Redding this year and Santa Rosa last year — it can help save homes and get people evacuated. Early assistance is crucial, said Carroll Wills, spokesman for the California Professional Firefighters, a lobbying group that represents thousands of firefighters. … [Read more...] about California fires: Over 5 days, requests for 900 engines went unfilled
The shortage of resources early on made it more challenging to build a perimeter around the fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains and San Mateo County coast, Olson said. The blaze was 2% contained by Friday night and still threatening several towns. As a result, some firefighters have worked double or triple shifts — up to 72 hours in a row. … [Read more...] about Northern California ‘drastically short’ of firefighters while an onslaught of blazes rages
PG&E is trying to upgrade its equipment, improve maintenance and trim more vegetation, and the company is not to blame for the current fire siege. The company also resorted to shutting off power lines in recent years to reduce the chance that its equipment would spark fires and will probably do so again in the months ahead. … [Read more...] about Wildfires are an annual California nightmare now. Will they only get worse?