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Are California fires terrorist related????(42 posts)

Are California fires terrorist related????ClydeTri
Oct 27, 2003 10:21 AM
Environmental terrorLive Steam
Oct 27, 2003 10:39 AM
Pretty nasty and effective if you ask me. Even though this type of arson has is unfortunately common, it is going to be easy to look at it and similar criminal acts that have never been associated with terrorism, in the same light. Maybe even in retrospect.
Normal, natural occurence. Don't you neocons know ANYTHING?Cory
Oct 28, 2003 9:08 AM
The mechanism of starting might vary, but a big fire in that enviroment every few years is absolutely normal and natural. Too bad about the houses, but that's what you get if you build in the area: It's burned off regularly for millennia, since long before there were people there. The habitat's evolved that way. Some of the plants need fires to reproduce, and the overall effect on wildlife is hugely positive--individual animals die, but the species benefit when the brush is cleared out.
This is very common knowledge in the chaparral country. Only developers, the timber industry and GW don't understand it.
That sounds like something I would have said, but ...Live Steam
Oct 28, 2003 9:24 AM
I didn't want you guys to think that I was being "reasonable" again :O) On your part though, it sounds rather like a conservatism to say "that's what you get if you build in the area". Where's the liberal compassion?
what I was thinking; people are dying and their homes gone nmDougSloan
Oct 28, 2003 9:45 AM
Yeah I was thinking that too. Hope the Walrus is OK nmLive Steam
Oct 28, 2003 10:00 AM
My liberal compassion stops short of stupidity and greedCory
Oct 28, 2003 8:50 PM
I feel sorry for individuals, but not for the mass of people out there (I was a firefighter for 10 years in similar terrain, by the way). It's been recognized for decades that those areas are going to burn, but developers keep building there, goverments keep allowing it, people keep buying the homes and then, often as not, they don't take even the most basic precautions. Look at the houses that are burning, and you'll often see shake roofs (illegal where I live), trees overhanging the homes, brush right up to the property line, shrubbery leading the fire to the house...this isn't rocket surgery, and I don't have much sympathy for people who put themselves in the way, then expect the firefighters and insurance companies to bail them out.
Kind of like living ...Live Steam
Oct 29, 2003 5:58 AM
on the shores of the Hamptons or SC? Yeah I see what you mean. It's also like living in Greater California. If an Earthquake shakes your house to pieces, don't complain :O)

That California is certainly a dangerous place to live. I have a buddy that relocated there for work just prior to the Rodney King riots. He's a pretty tough guy. One day he called me to say he was moving back to NYC. Said that CA was way too dangerous. Just after arriving there, he experienced the King riots, a similar fire, mud slides and then the Northridge earthquake. Said he had enough of CA and NYC was less dangerous on a whole.
Kind of like living ...No_sprint
Oct 29, 2003 9:59 AM
Yep, it's a terrible place to live. I wish more people would figure it out!
Kind of like living ...Live Steam
Oct 29, 2003 10:15 AM
I always liked CA. Almost moved to Pasadena in '95. I was dating an LA county assitant DA then. I love the La Jolla area. Glad I'm not there presently though :O)
I pretty much agree with youDougSloan
Oct 29, 2003 11:00 AM
I certainly wouldn't want to see a firefighter risk his life just to save a house there, but at some point they do need to stop the fires' progress; can't let it overrun the entire LA basin.

Also, I would hope that fire insurance rates for those homes take into account the risk. If so, then then have paid for what they get.

I pretty much agree with youNo_sprint
Oct 29, 2003 11:05 AM
I pretty much agree too.

I hope my place in Arrowhead doesn't go. My boat is parked right outside. Unfortunately the fire has jumped the 18 in a critical place and is moving toward...

We shall see...
insurance rates?DougSloan
Oct 29, 2003 11:07 AM
So, what do you pay for homeowner's insurance a year? I assume are in a high risk area.

Why not move the boat?

insurance rates?No_sprint
Oct 29, 2003 11:13 AM
Both places are high risk, there and in the city. Rates are high and it's tough to get, we've paid for it. Deductibles are extremely high, it's actually quite shockingly high. Well into the mid tens of thousands.

Too late to move the boat. The place has been evacuated. I wouldn't mind a new boat. :)

I would hate to lose the pics, the history, the trophies, the custom skiis, etc. I know the risk involved and doubt it will happen. 1000s more homes will have to be mowed down including three fire stations before it gets to mine.
Made it, by about a half mile if not more. nmNo_sprint
Oct 30, 2003 9:40 AM
Oct 27, 2003 10:45 AM
Fires of this nature, while sometimes damaging from an economic perspective, don't have the kind of dramatic impact of a bombing. We have pretty serious fires going right now, and what, 14 people have died? It's more an act of vandalism than terrorism.
that's idioticmohair_chair
Oct 27, 2003 10:56 AM
That has to be the dumbest thing I've heard since 1993, when the combination of fires and floods in L.A. led some to call it the beginning apocalypse. And they were totally serious. Yep, the apocalypse will begin in Los Angeles, California. It's written in the bible.

To be effective, terrorism has to scare people and get them to change their behavior because of fear. There's nothing scary about fire unless you are in it, and no one is going to walk around in fear of being caught in a forest fire. In fact, it's highly likely that no one would be affected at all. Sure, a lot of trees get burned, but deaths are extremely rare, and property loss is almost always minimal.

Terrorist act??? People love to watch fire. They're awed by it. They're drawn to it. They pull over in their cars and watch by the side of the road. I can't think of a form of terrorism that people actually enjoy!

I don't know about anywhere else, but I've lived in California for almost 40 years (30 in Los Angeles) and this is not unusual. October has always been fire season in California. I've personally been through dozens.
naw, probably just a ranger nmDougSloan
Oct 27, 2003 10:57 AM
Official theory....Tri_Rich
Oct 27, 2003 11:16 AM
currently is a lost hunter with a flare gun.
Only accounts for one fire, in San Diego Co.The Walrus
Oct 27, 2003 12:30 PM
At least one (the Crestline fire, near Lake Arrowhead) was arson-caused, by some idiots throwing burning matter out of a van on the way up the highway; I think arson is suspected in at least a couple of the others.

Mohair's right about the allure of a blaze. I live in Simi Valley, and the fire's alternately terrifying and fascinating. Yesterday afternoon, one flank was burning within 3/4 mile of my home, and I went over to watch the firefighters. Santa Ana winds were driving a curtain of fire through the 1/4 mile gap between two upscale developments just north of the 118 Fwy; it would creep along and seem to subside and then suddenly leap westward covering 50 yds in a matter of seconds, sending up narrow, twisting pillars of flame 100 ft in the air. All the while there's the sound of the fire, like acres of laundry hung out to dry, flapping in a stiff wind, fire trucks rumbling around the front lines, choking, stinging smoke and cinders filling the air, the sun visible only as a deep red circle, fire crews and Highway Patrol units screaming up and down the closed freeway and the water-dropping helicopters
i thwocking
overhead only a hundred feet or so above us. At night, it looks like a Hieronymus Bosch painting, billowing smoke glowing and pulsing from within, intermittent eruptions of flame flaring up as a gust of wind drives the fire into fresh fuel. It's a hellish sight, but you can't
i not

I hope my place will still be there tonight...
Very poetic description of the fireLive Steam
Oct 27, 2003 12:38 PM
You don't have any trains there, do you?

Ah, this isn't a joking matter. I sure hope your place is OK too.
Trains? Only my N-gauge stuff...The Walrus
Oct 27, 2003 1:42 PM
...although the SP (UP) Coast line runs about a mile from my place, passing the 100 yr-old SP depot at the foot of the pass leading out of the valley (for cars and bikes, that is--rail traffic goes
i under
the mountains through Tunnel 26 (7900+ ft). I think I'd be as upset if the depot burns as I'd be if my home is incinerated.
Well let's hope that neither happensLive Steam
Oct 27, 2003 1:58 PM
You know I used to run HO, but never N. I kind of like the size though. They're really kind of neat and you can build a nice empire in very little space. I know a guy who has this huge N scale layout that occupies his entire, rather large basement. He runs lashups of 100 cars and more, with pushers, which actually are necessary on some of the grades. I have to see if I have a pic somewhere.
I doubt it, but the ensuing conjecture could give 'em the idea.sn69
Oct 27, 2003 12:18 PM
This mess, it seems, is a combination of several things, including the hunter/hiker, cigarettes tossed from car windows, the possibility of arson and a really bad drought.

In the meantime, things are a mess here. I've got displaced friends and squdronmates all over, at least two of whom have lost their homes. Yikes.....
I think they stay one step ahead of us in the ideas dept nmDougSloan
Oct 27, 2003 12:40 PM
hey, flyboy...mohair_chair
Oct 27, 2003 12:41 PM
This is simply beautiful...

As a U.S. Navy SH-60 Seahawk flies above, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis transits the San Diego channel, from Naval Air Station North Island, California, as it heads to sea under a cloud of smoke from nearby burning wildfires, October 26, 2003. Stennis is leaving port to conduct scheduled training exercises in the Southern California operating area. REUTERS/Mark Rebilas/U.S. Navy-Handout EDITORIAL USE ONLY
That's called channel guard.sn69
Oct 27, 2003 1:40 PM
Although when I used to do it, the colors were never quite so stunning.

Basically, as the carrier slowly makes its way out to SD1 (the harbor entrance buoy), one to two of the SH-60Fs or HH-60Hs assigned to the airwing's helo squdron fly on search and rescue alert in case one of the deck crew fall overboard. It might sound odd, but things like that happen, and the carrier can't exactly manuever with ease in the channel.

As of mid-morning, several of the helo squadrons at NAS North Island were on something called Alert 120--a two hour ready duty alert posture. The thing is, there's not much they can do to help. The Navy doesn't have water buckets or the requisite training to deploy them.

My current squadron is even less useful. Hell, two of our aircraft are "trapped" in other cities, unable to return due to the profound reduction in ATC capability in SoCal.

Hopefully we'll get called upon to use some of our manpower to assist....
is that coronado?mohair_chair
Oct 27, 2003 2:15 PM
I went sailing on the bay down there one time, basically circling the harbor dodging navy ships in a 22-foot Catalina. After the USS Cole, I doubt you can do that anymore.

You're telling me the Navy can topple a government but it can't put out a fire??? The Air National Guard has some C-130s that can fight fires, but there are federal laws that say they must contract all available private companies before government assets can be used. Those big sky hook helicopters with buckets underneath are privately owned and operated. The bomber planes are private, too. The laws might have changed, because in 1993, it was a huge scandal that the ANG sat on the ground watching stuff burn.

Before I left L.A. in 1994, the county had decided to buy or lease a couple of "super scooper" planes, which is the Canadair CL-415. It lands on lakes or oceans, scoops up 1400 gallons of water, then flies off to bomb the fire. The fire department didn't want them, because they could buy four or five helicopters for the same price, and the helicopters are useful for lots of things other than fires. The plane just sits in a hangar 99% of the year, waiting for a fire big or important enough to warrant taking off. I don't know if they are using them right now or not.

My parents are in the path of the Simi Valley fire right now. I miss the action! A big fire heading your way is quite a thrill.
North Island is on Coronado, or Coronado is on North Island...sn69
Oct 27, 2003 2:27 PM
Same place. Curtiss Aviation bought the northern tip from the guy who developed the Hotel Del Coronado, and the Navy eventually bought it from Curtiss. In fact, if you ever get a chance to see "The Dive Bombers" with Fred McMurray and Erol Flynn, a young NAS North Island is featured in the background. You'll also note two huge double dome blimp hangers being built in the film (circa 1937). They are still there and, in fact, house two of the base's three helicopter communities stationed there (HS, flying the SH-60F and HH-60H, and HC, flying the CH-46 and new MH-60S).

Today the SD-based carriers reside at NASNI, and the rest of the ships are at NAVSTA San Diego (commonly called 32nd Street). The subs are still at Point Loma. And yes, there are huge floating booms and dudes in boats with guns to keep the looky-loos away.

Regarding fire fighting, you've basically got it right. CDF "ownes" fire fighting resources, although they contract their air tanker stuff to various companies that fly a variety of aircraft (CH-54 Tarhe skycrane helicopters, Bell 412/Huey variant helos, converted S-2s, converted C-130s, converted P-3s/Electras, converted C-118s, etc). The Navy, Marines and ANG are essentially hamstrung by resource limitations that prevent them from suitably equipping their aircraft and training their crews, although the SAR guys at NAS Fallon, NV and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 5 in Guam have limited air-drop capabilities (not that either could help here).

In the meantime, the air tanker support in the SoCal area is busier than hell, trying to work all of the fire events currently burning. I think everything that's available is currently being used.

Funny. Back in 99/00 the LA County Fire/Sherrif aviation unit bought a series of Sikorsky S-70 air tanker helicopters--essentially "civilianized" H-60s with snorkels and water tanks. I was considering getting out at the time, so I called them to inquire about putting in an application as a pilot, particularly since I was an H-60 mountain flying/NVG instructor. I was told rather curtly by their HR folks that Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard pilots need not apply. Hmmm.... (What good is power if you're not willing to abuse it?!)

I hope your parents' home fares well.
how times have changedmohair_chair
Oct 27, 2003 2:43 PM
That's funny that they don't want military pilots. When I was a kid, my dream was to become a helicopter pilot for the fire department. Living in the west valley foothills, I got to see a lot of fires over the years. In my younger years (the 1970s), a lot of the FD pilots were Vietnam vets, and they were fearless when it came to fighting fires. It was magical watching them work. They would fly down valleys of fire to drop in and pick up a trapped fire fighter or civilian. Crazy stuff, dodging extreme thermals and such. Totally pushing the envelope to drop a couple of hundred gallons of water on a crucial target. Let's just say it wasn't the kind of flying you learn from a civilian flying school, unless it's the kind of school where they shoot at you. Interesting how those guys aren't wanted anymore!

What about ex-CIA pilots? When I was in high school, former U2 pilot and Russian prisoner Francis Gary Powers was flying a traffic copter over L.A.! He died when it went down one day over the Sepulveda basin/Balboa Park.
It's a read btwn the lines thing. Army only.sn69
Oct 27, 2003 5:08 PM
Intra-service parochialisms are so adorable and such. We've got an ex-Coastie and an ex-Zoomie (Air Farce) in my squadron, and we rib them to no end. Likewise, I've got an old Navy helo buddy who flies Jayhawks in the Coast Guard now and takes daily abuse.

Hell, even in the mighty C-9 community we have battle lines, good natured of course. The ex-fighter jocks crap on the ex-helo bubbas, and we all crap on the ex-P-3 weenies.

It's like that in this odd little club of ours.
ahhh. missed that! nmmohair_chair
Oct 28, 2003 8:08 AM
even more diabolicalrufus
Oct 27, 2003 12:53 PM
fires started as a result of a plan cooked up by ah-nold and george bush, so bush can bail california out of its budget crisis with federal relief money.
sure, and divert attention from all the lies! nmDougSloan
Oct 27, 2003 12:56 PM
My lord you conspiracy theory guys are really f#$king nuts!No_sprint
Oct 28, 2003 8:49 AM
As I stated below, you can cook up a hindsight conspiracy theory out of nothing. You practice all the time.

I think this might have to be the first posting I've ever saved from this board.
I'm w/No_Sprint. Can't decide if you're scary or pathetic (nm)Cory
Oct 28, 2003 9:15 AM
Amen brother, good thing they're just here...No_sprint
Oct 28, 2003 9:17 AM
and for all we know, there's only about 5 of them on the planet.
it's called a sense of humorrufus
Oct 28, 2003 3:17 PM
you should get one, they're nice.

man, some of you people are wound so tight you can't even differentiate between sarcasm and the real thing, like with old ed's post above. christ, maybe we all have to start churning out emoticons like steam.

relax, laugh a little, you'll live longer.
It's those damn bike riders.MR_GRUMPY
Oct 27, 2003 1:32 PM
Yup, it's those damn bike-riding hippies.
re: Fear sellswilki5
Oct 27, 2003 1:53 PM
The reason for this headline. Fear sells, the media is more and more relying on scary or threatening headlines to stir people up and keep them on the edge of their seat when watching/reading the news. How about the truth, that wildfires occur from natural causes(the vast majority), accidental human causes and then arson.
hunter's signal fire!!Rich_Racer
Oct 27, 2003 2:10 PM
Yeah - the official explanation for the San Diego fires is a hunter that got lost and lit a signal fire! Well - they found the dumb ass and they'll know exactly where he is for a good few years!

But on the point - terrorists can now see how easy it would be to cause a lot of damage.
Doubt it, however the conspiracy theory boys canNo_sprint
Oct 27, 2003 2:44 PM
surely build one up here too. They practice all the time.