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September 05, 2009

NON-BREAKING: – Los Angeles Not Destroyed by Sneak North Korean Nuclear Missile Strike - (genghis)

I just needed the most slim of excuses to post this awesomely awesome pic that “Fotoguy77” captured and posted at Weather Underground yesterday:

Of course, this is part of the “Station Fire” that’s busy burning lots of things around the Los Angeles area. I’ll let Fotoguy77’s own caption do the talking. (And btw, why didn’t Fotoguys 01 through 76 beat him to the punch? I sense a little slacking going on over there):

”A spectacular blow-up on the East Flank of the Station Fire was seen all over Southern California late this afternoon. The fire, which has burned almost 155,000 acres is now 42% contained. This photo was taken from the roof of my house close to 50 miles away.”

In all seriousness though, according to this LA Times article, authorities suspect that the fire was deliberately set. Tragically, two firefighters (so far) have sacrificed their lives fighting this fire. If it was arson and prosecutors can make a case on intent, it’s quite possible the arsonist(s) will soon be heading off to a new home where they can enjoy a nice roaring fire on a daily basis for the remainder of eternity. (And by “soon,” I mean following at least 20 years of protracted appeals by defense attorneys after which any such sentence will be commuted to life in prison. Or worse: they’ll be released after time served for good behavior.) Anyway:
”If the Station blaze was started on purpose, authorities say, the arsonist could be given the death penalty. As authorities investigate suspected arson as the cause of the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County history, prosecutors will be focused on one issue in their attempt to bring murder charges: intent. If the Station fire was set on purpose, the arsonist could face the death penalty for the deaths of firefighters Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones. The two died Sunday in a vehicle accident while aiding a group of inmates battling the fire, which has destroyed more than 154,000 acres and 76 homes."

NOTE: Now probably wouldn’t be the best time to bring up the piss-poor land-management policies (or lack of same) and insane environmental regulations that add all sorts of fuel to the fire, both literally and figuratively. It’d be better to wait until it’s over, but I won’t stop you. I’m sure that the families of the firefighters, along with everyone who lost a home to this fire, are all thankful that somewhere out there is a lone critter similar to a Snail Darter or Spotted Owl whose habitat was preserved by humans not doing any of that nasty brush clearing and such. It doesn’t matter that it now lives in a charred moonscape. As the critter lies dying from starvation, the only thought passing through its pea-sized brain with its final breath will be: “Thank Gaia that I’m not dying within sight of the tire tracks of an ATV or Jeep.”

UPDATE [Gabe]: You might like this time-lapse video of the "pyrocumulous" clouds formed by the fire. Often with fires this size the heat and movement forms its own weather. Much of Los Angeles and the Valley have had funky weather for the past week.


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posted by xgenghisx at 09:13 AM

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