Coping with Wildfire smoke

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Escapevelocity
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Escapevelocity »

palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:13 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And deal with COVID 1000 miles away?
You bet. Dealing with Covid is fairly manageable with some basic precautions. Avoiding noxious air 24/7 is a lot harder.
palanzo
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by palanzo »

Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:13 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And deal with COVID 1000 miles away?
You bet. Dealing with Covid is fairly manageable with some basic precautions. Avoiding noxious air 24/7 is a lot harder.
Not really. MERV 13 filters, stay indoors and set the HVAC to recirculate all day.
Escapevelocity
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Escapevelocity »

palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:17 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:13 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And deal with COVID 1000 miles away?
You bet. Dealing with Covid is fairly manageable with some basic precautions. Avoiding noxious air 24/7 is a lot harder.
Not really. MERV 13 filters, stay indoors and set the HVAC to recirculate all day.
I suppose if you are able to imprison yourself indoors that works too. My personal preference would be to get to a cleaner air area and have the ability to be outside for parts of the time.
palanzo
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by palanzo »

Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:19 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:17 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:13 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And deal with COVID 1000 miles away?
You bet. Dealing with Covid is fairly manageable with some basic precautions. Avoiding noxious air 24/7 is a lot harder.
Not really. MERV 13 filters, stay indoors and set the HVAC to recirculate all day.
I suppose if you are able to imprison yourself indoors that works too. My personal preference would be to get to a cleaner air area and have the ability to be outside for parts of the time.
Interesting choice of words.
iamlucky13
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by iamlucky13 »

squirm wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:37 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:32 pm Smog is a contraction of smoke and fog that dates from the early 1900s. But smog has been around since the dawn of time.
I was thinking that vehicle exhaust is more harmful then burning trees.
Vehicle exhaust has more in it than just particulates. So does wood smoke, but the ratios can generally be expected to be different. Modern engines are pretty good at minimizing partial combustion products like particulates and volatile hydrocarbons, because are wasted energy, but they can make reactive substances like nitrogen oxides. Forest fires tend to do a poor job of achieving thorough combustion, so they make a lot of particulate matter.

I posted a link above to historical air quality data for LA that gives some hints how vehicle exhaust, among other pollutants, has improved over time.
Tingting1013 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:48 pm Wood smoke is worse than vehicle exhaust

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018 ... -pollution
Modern engines don't produce much of either particulates or most other pollutants. It's mostly just CO2 and water vapor, and the Air Quality Index tends not to get very high in response to exhaust from such engines. Older engines could produce quite a bit of multiple pollutants. Wood smoke can include a lot of the same pollutants, but not nitrogen oxides. For open wood fires, particulates are the main concern. My state's air quality reporting site lets me view scores from each monitoring station for each of the pollutants used to calculate the AQI, and the current scores are completely dominated by the fine particulates.

For the same Air Quality Index score from vehicle exhaust versus wood smoke, the guardian article doesn't address which is worse. Hypothetically, the Air Quality Index should approximately normalize them.
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ohboy!
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by ohboy! »

San Diego here. Between 150-200 for the past 3 or 4 days. Some people dont care or even know (running, beach, etc). I have only gone outside if necessary. Missing walking, exercising, beach etc.

What I wonder is the consequences of the retardants being used. Not a ton of info. Could it be contributing to air situation? Like the virus is sucks not knowing how long this will last and also that this is the beginning of the season.

Sending you folks up north some hope for some wind and rain and clear skies.
palanzo
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by palanzo »

ohboy! wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:26 pm San Diego here. Between 150-200 for the past 3 or 4 days. Some people dont care or even know (running, beach, etc). I have only gone outside if necessary. Missing walking, exercising, beach etc.

What I wonder is the consequences of the retardants being used. Not a ton of info. Could it be contributing to air situation? Like the virus is sucks not knowing how long this will last and also that this is the beginning of the season.

Sending you folks up north some hope for some wind and rain and clear skies.
A search engine will give you an answer.

https://www.fire.ca.gov/media/4939/2018 ... antfaq.pdf
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Sandtrap
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Sandtrap »

livesoft wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:04 am When I backpack in areas where there is or might be smoke, then I wear an N95 mask.
Properly fitted, a N95 that is carbon filter integrated for tasks such as welding, etc, will do a reasonable job with smoke. Though not as good as a canister filter full sealing mask, also properly fitted and trained for use. But, at some point, an RCBA that firefighters use would do the trick, with full "turnouts".

Relatively recently, we had a very large forest fire about 10-20 miles away such that our property and driveway, etc, was covered with ash particles. It was tough.

j :happy
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Sandtrap
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Sandtrap »

We had a large forest fire to the West that burned for a long time, about 10 miles away from us and covering 1000's of acres. Our property and home and driveway, etc, was covered with fine ash and flakes. The smell of smoke was strong. Not as bad as on a bad "vog" day in Hawaii when the tradewinds shift on the Big Island and volcanic fumes and sulphur fills the air, though.
Within a month, before that was under control, another one popped up to the East of us. Also huge.

Actionably:
I put wide blue painter's masking tape (removes without taking paint off) over all the edges of the doors and windows. There were a lot since we have 3 floors. It made a huge difference to keep the smoke smell out of the home. We also tried not to open the garage doors, and, if we had to go outside to tend to horses, etc, we went through the doors quickly, then laundered our clothese so as not to bring the smoke smell in the house.

We have a couple boxes of N95 masks and some better ones for welding fumes in my shop that worked well. There are a lot of masks that filter better than N95's for various things, properly fitted of course.

We have central ac/heat so did not have to open the windows and we were well stocked up so did not have to go to town more than once a week at best. And, retired, so we did not have to go anywhere.

We caught up on a lot of office and home/hobby work during the worse of the smoke. As we have horses and pets to tend to, leaving was not an option.

I have some respiratory issues so Hawaii "vog", fireworks (sulphur), and any kind of smoke, is tough on me.
What bothered me the most about all of this is that it took a long time for the imprint of the mask to get off the old skin on my face. Especially on the bridge of my nose. DW too. Younger skin recovers better.

j :D
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squirm
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by squirm »

iamlucky13 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:24 pm
squirm wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:37 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:32 pm Smog is a contraction of smoke and fog that dates from the early 1900s. But smog has been around since the dawn of time.
I was thinking that vehicle exhaust is more harmful then burning trees.
Vehicle exhaust has more in it than just particulates. So does wood smoke, but the ratios can generally be expected to be different. Modern engines are pretty good at minimizing partial combustion products like particulates and volatile hydrocarbons, because are wasted energy, but they can make reactive substances like nitrogen oxides. Forest fires tend to do a poor job of achieving thorough combustion, so they make a lot of particulate matter.

I posted a link above to historical air quality data for LA that gives some hints how vehicle exhaust, among other pollutants, has improved over time.
Tingting1013 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:48 pm Wood smoke is worse than vehicle exhaust

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018 ... -pollution
Modern engines don't produce much of either particulates or most other pollutants. It's mostly just CO2 and water vapor, and the Air Quality Index tends not to get very high in response to exhaust from such engines. Older engines could produce quite a bit of multiple pollutants. Wood smoke can include a lot of the same pollutants, but not nitrogen oxides. For open wood fires, particulates are the main concern. My state's air quality reporting site lets me view scores from each monitoring station for each of the pollutants used to calculate the AQI, and the current scores are completely dominated by the fine particulates.

For the same Air Quality Index score from vehicle exhaust versus wood smoke, the guardian article doesn't address which is worse. Hypothetically, the Air Quality Index should approximately normalize them.
So what happens to the particulates over time? Do they eventually settle? I would think so.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

Tejfyy wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:58 pm I'm in SoCAL; we've got bad air too, I've closed the windows and only go out with a pollution mask on when I have to. My first coping mechanism has been utter outrage expressed in rants to friends who don't get offended by my vocabulary. We can't drink the water, now we can't breathe the air! Livin' the dream....Thank you every human being for creating this mess. etc...etc.

Confronting the enormity of the problem-that of global warming--the facts and predictions and our lived reality, helps me cope psychologically. I woke up this morning and went online to by a indoor trainer for my bike, reading that this fire season could extend an extra 75 days. I bike and walk everywhere as a way of life, as a politic, and for fitness.

Chop wood, carry water. That's how I'm getting through each day.

As for kids, I remember being stuck inside the house in winter, when there were real winters on the east coast. We would come up with all kinds of creative things to occupy ourselves. Play Monopoly for hours. I'm presently creating a mobile with paper clips I've been contorting while ranting on the phone.
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.

Also, this is what India was like in winter when I was in high school. I took my girlfriend (now wife) there in 2012 and the weather app literally said "smoke".
palanzo
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by palanzo »

unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Tejfyy wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:58 pm I'm in SoCAL; we've got bad air too, I've closed the windows and only go out with a pollution mask on when I have to. My first coping mechanism has been utter outrage expressed in rants to friends who don't get offended by my vocabulary. We can't drink the water, now we can't breathe the air! Livin' the dream....Thank you every human being for creating this mess. etc...etc.

Confronting the enormity of the problem-that of global warming--the facts and predictions and our lived reality, helps me cope psychologically. I woke up this morning and went online to by a indoor trainer for my bike, reading that this fire season could extend an extra 75 days. I bike and walk everywhere as a way of life, as a politic, and for fitness.

Chop wood, carry water. That's how I'm getting through each day.

As for kids, I remember being stuck inside the house in winter, when there were real winters on the east coast. We would come up with all kinds of creative things to occupy ourselves. Play Monopoly for hours. I'm presently creating a mobile with paper clips I've been contorting while ranting on the phone.
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.

Also, this is what India was like in winter when I was in high school. I took my girlfriend (now wife) there in 2012 and the weather app literally said "smoke".
I don't know if you are joking but that is absolutely not true that there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:58 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Tejfyy wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:58 pm I'm in SoCAL; we've got bad air too, I've closed the windows and only go out with a pollution mask on when I have to. My first coping mechanism has been utter outrage expressed in rants to friends who don't get offended by my vocabulary. We can't drink the water, now we can't breathe the air! Livin' the dream....Thank you every human being for creating this mess. etc...etc.

Confronting the enormity of the problem-that of global warming--the facts and predictions and our lived reality, helps me cope psychologically. I woke up this morning and went online to by a indoor trainer for my bike, reading that this fire season could extend an extra 75 days. I bike and walk everywhere as a way of life, as a politic, and for fitness.

Chop wood, carry water. That's how I'm getting through each day.

As for kids, I remember being stuck inside the house in winter, when there were real winters on the east coast. We would come up with all kinds of creative things to occupy ourselves. Play Monopoly for hours. I'm presently creating a mobile with paper clips I've been contorting while ranting on the phone.
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.

Also, this is what India was like in winter when I was in high school. I took my girlfriend (now wife) there in 2012 and the weather app literally said "smoke".
I don't know if you are joking but that is absolutely not true that there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
I'm semi joking. We're barely into fire season in California and we're seeing the worst smoke plumes in history.

The Los Angeles national forest has been burning for a week, and it is nowhere near being in control.

The big basin state park in norcal has been completely decimated.

If this continues it's going to be terrible.
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ohboy!
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by ohboy! »

palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:29 pm
ohboy! wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:26 pm San Diego here. Between 150-200 for the past 3 or 4 days. Some people dont care or even know (running, beach, etc). I have only gone outside if necessary. Missing walking, exercising, beach etc.

What I wonder is the consequences of the retardants being used. Not a ton of info. Could it be contributing to air situation? Like the virus is sucks not knowing how long this will last and also that this is the beginning of the season.

Sending you folks up north some hope for some wind and rain and clear skies.
A search engine will give you an answer.

https://www.fire.ca.gov/media/4939/2018 ... antfaq.pdf
I’ve read otherwise from other sources.
palanzo
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by palanzo »

unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:07 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:58 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Tejfyy wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:58 pm I'm in SoCAL; we've got bad air too, I've closed the windows and only go out with a pollution mask on when I have to. My first coping mechanism has been utter outrage expressed in rants to friends who don't get offended by my vocabulary. We can't drink the water, now we can't breathe the air! Livin' the dream....Thank you every human being for creating this mess. etc...etc.

Confronting the enormity of the problem-that of global warming--the facts and predictions and our lived reality, helps me cope psychologically. I woke up this morning and went online to by a indoor trainer for my bike, reading that this fire season could extend an extra 75 days. I bike and walk everywhere as a way of life, as a politic, and for fitness.

Chop wood, carry water. That's how I'm getting through each day.

As for kids, I remember being stuck inside the house in winter, when there were real winters on the east coast. We would come up with all kinds of creative things to occupy ourselves. Play Monopoly for hours. I'm presently creating a mobile with paper clips I've been contorting while ranting on the phone.
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.

Also, this is what India was like in winter when I was in high school. I took my girlfriend (now wife) there in 2012 and the weather app literally said "smoke".
I don't know if you are joking but that is absolutely not true that there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
I'm semi joking. We're barely into fire season in California and we're seeing the worst smoke plumes in history.

The Los Angeles national forest has been burning for a week, and it is nowhere near being in control.

The big basin state park in norcal has been completely decimated.

If this continues it's going to be terrible.
Yup. I'm here too. Before European settlement many more acres than this burned every year. The situation here is grim.
rockstar
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by rockstar »

Remember Dance, Dance Revolution.
allones
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by allones »

Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:14 am How about Idaho or Montana? Maybe rent a cheap house on Craigslist for a month. I would definitely go SOMEWHERE. No way I would want to breath smoke for weeks at a time.
The smoke has been heading east for the past few days. I'm in western Montana and the AQI has been between 150 and 200 since Saturday. Better than the coast, but still not a situation one should be doing any fun outdoor activities in. Most folks here are staying indoors and waiting for it to pass.
palanzo
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by palanzo »

allones wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:26 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:14 am How about Idaho or Montana? Maybe rent a cheap house on Craigslist for a month. I would definitely go SOMEWHERE. No way I would want to breath smoke for weeks at a time.
The smoke has been heading east for the past few days. I'm in western Montana and the AQI has been between 150 and 200 since Saturday. Better than the coast, but still not a situation one should be doing any fun outdoor activities in. Most folks here are staying indoors and waiting for it to pass.
Exactly that's all one can do.

https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildf ... 566741.php
TravelGeek
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by TravelGeek »

allones wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:26 pm I'm in western Montana and the AQI has been between 150 and 200 since Saturday. Better than the coast, but still not a situation one should be doing any fun outdoor activities in.
My apologies on behalf of all of those west of you for sending the smoke your way. And further... smoke has been tracked all the way to Europe. We are truly one planet :annoyed

And actually, at the coast (looking at OR coast at the moment) the air quality is significantly improving. Of course, all it will take is another shift of the wind direction to send it all back out over the ocean (like last week), but prevailing wind patterns are favorable for the coast.
Last edited by TravelGeek on Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Starfish
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Starfish »

All north states are affected. I moved with a friend in Arizona for almost 2 weeks.
I work from home, so no issue for me.
Kids had blast, played together etc. We went hiking together. It was great.
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surtu
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by surtu »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:36 pm Actionably:
I put wide blue painter's masking tape (removes without taking paint off) over all the edges of the doors and windows.
I've been following this approach as well. I don't have central AC (just heat) but I use a dual hose portable AC unit as needed. I seal up the window kit area as best I can, but I wonder to what extent particulates from the outside air that's routed in/out of the hoses make their way into the house through some pathway internal to the AC. Anyone know?
the way
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by the way »

unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:07 pm The big basin state park in norcal has been completely decimated.
These trees are 1000-2000 years old and have probably been through much worse. btw, they're still around https://abc7news.com/big-basin-redwoods ... e/6387914/
Valuethinker
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Valuethinker »

Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:13 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And deal with COVID 1000 miles away?
You bet. Dealing with Covid is fairly manageable with some basic precautions. Avoiding noxious air 24/7 is a lot harder.
It really isn't.

Unless you can keep over 6' from human beings out of doors and not share indoor space w other people (who might be infected)** everything you do is a risk. Including buying food etc.

The fact that so many spreaders are asymptomatic (including children) is what makes it so damnable.

Unless you have specific respiratory issues, a few weeks of bad air won't kill you, short term. Delhi has 20 million people who put up with this at least 6 months of every year.

Covid-19 your chance of dying rises by about 12% w each year of age. Once you get to your 50s risk starts to bite.

** actually those are risks, too. But they are relatively low risks and most of us cannot do without food shopping and some outdoor activities.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

the way wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:52 am
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:07 pm The big basin state park in norcal has been completely decimated.
These trees are 1000-2000 years old and have probably been through much worse. btw, they're still around https://abc7news.com/big-basin-redwoods ... e/6387914/
:beer
Valuethinker
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Valuethinker »

the way wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:52 am
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:07 pm The big basin state park in norcal has been completely decimated.
These trees are 1000-2000 years old and have probably been through much worse. btw, they're still around https://abc7news.com/big-basin-redwoods ... e/6387914/
A lot of what is burning is apparently more recent planting, by forestry companies?

The Redwoods are in an unusual position of ecological stress right now. California is experiencing drought conditions (as well as generally warmer weather) and there's some question about whether this will push the Redwoods over the brink, as I understand it.
Valuethinker
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Valuethinker »

https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Killer ... 476&sr=8-2

is an excellent book about recent research into air pollution, by a scientist in the field.

The Invisible Killer: the rising threat of air pollution by Gary Fuller

A lot of his work has been measuring PM2.5 particulates in European cities & estimating impacts.

It turns out in places like London (and Helsinki) the popularity of wood burning has created a serious particulate problem. Yuppy gentrifiers are, literally, killing themselves.

There is also the European diesel problem-- this is much less of a problem in North America because diesel passenger cars are a rarity. London has brought in much more draconian restrictions on dirty diesels - The Clean Exclusion Zone.

The news on particulates just gets worse. The very smallest ones penetrate not only your lungs but into tissues all over your body - including your brain. There's a correlation with exposure and with dementia. This is the new frontier on air pollution research & control.

The world's most polluted cities are now largely in India, where burning of agricultural waste in particular has caused enormous air pollution problems.
Whakamole
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Whakamole »

palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:12 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:07 pm
palanzo wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:58 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Tejfyy wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:58 pm I'm in SoCAL; we've got bad air too, I've closed the windows and only go out with a pollution mask on when I have to. My first coping mechanism has been utter outrage expressed in rants to friends who don't get offended by my vocabulary. We can't drink the water, now we can't breathe the air! Livin' the dream....Thank you every human being for creating this mess. etc...etc.

Confronting the enormity of the problem-that of global warming--the facts and predictions and our lived reality, helps me cope psychologically. I woke up this morning and went online to by a indoor trainer for my bike, reading that this fire season could extend an extra 75 days. I bike and walk everywhere as a way of life, as a politic, and for fitness.

Chop wood, carry water. That's how I'm getting through each day.

As for kids, I remember being stuck inside the house in winter, when there were real winters on the east coast. We would come up with all kinds of creative things to occupy ourselves. Play Monopoly for hours. I'm presently creating a mobile with paper clips I've been contorting while ranting on the phone.
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.

Also, this is what India was like in winter when I was in high school. I took my girlfriend (now wife) there in 2012 and the weather app literally said "smoke".
I don't know if you are joking but that is absolutely not true that there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
I'm semi joking. We're barely into fire season in California and we're seeing the worst smoke plumes in history.

The Los Angeles national forest has been burning for a week, and it is nowhere near being in control.

The big basin state park in norcal has been completely decimated.

If this continues it's going to be terrible.
Yup. I'm here too. Before European settlement many more acres than this burned every year. The situation here is grim.
Not just many more, but significantly more acres.

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginal ... -fine.html which quotes https://www.propublica.org/article/they ... ody-listen:
Academics believe that between 4.4 million and 11.8 million acres burned each year in prehistoric California. Between 1982 and 1998, California’s agency land managers burned, on average, about 30,000 acres a year. Between 1999 and 2017, that number dropped to an annual 13,000 acres. The state passed a few new laws in 2018 designed to facilitate more intentional burning. But few are optimistic this, alone, will lead to significant change. We live with a deathly backlog. In February 2020, Nature Sustainability published this terrifying conclusion: California would need to burn 20 million acres — an area about the size of Maine — to restabilize in terms of fire.
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Tejfyy
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Tejfyy »

unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
That's brilliant I never considered that, as horrific as it sounds! And I've had my fair share of marginally untouched nature over the last 5 decades. :sharebeer
palanzo
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by palanzo »

Tejfyy wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:46 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
That's brilliant I never considered that, as horrific as it sounds! And I've had my fair share of marginally untouched nature over the last 5 decades. :sharebeer
If you read the thread you will find this is simply not true. The forests will burn again next year. And the next.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

palanzo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:57 pm
Tejfyy wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:46 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
That's brilliant I never considered that, as horrific as it sounds! And I've had my fair share of marginally untouched nature over the last 5 decades. :sharebeer
If you read the thread you will find this is simply not true. The forests will burn again next year. And the next.
Yes, but not the same ones
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cchrissyy
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by cchrissyy »

palanzo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:57 pm
Tejfyy wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:46 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
That's brilliant I never considered that, as horrific as it sounds! And I've had my fair share of marginally untouched nature over the last 5 decades. :sharebeer
If you read the thread you will find this is simply not true. The forests will burn again next year. And the next.

many northern california fires aren't in forests anyway

the big one that started this season near Vacaville is a region of grassy hills. They're dry and flammable due to summer heat, which was always true but fires these days are bigger and more dangerous.

I don't know if a picture link will work but this is what the area looks like. Not forests.
The famous fires in recent years in the Napa and Santa Rosa area look like this too
Spring green
https://photos.zillowstatic.com/p_e/ISq ... 000000.jpg
summer fall brown
http://pics4.city-data.com/cpicc/cfiles63331.jpg
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

cchrissyy wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:15 pm
palanzo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:57 pm
Tejfyy wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:46 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:55 pm
Look on the bright side. After this fire season, there won't be any forests left to burn for 20 years.
That's brilliant I never considered that, as horrific as it sounds! And I've had my fair share of marginally untouched nature over the last 5 decades. :sharebeer
If you read the thread you will find this is simply not true. The forests will burn again next year. And the next.

many northern california fires aren't in forests anyway

the big one that started this season near Vacaville is a region of grassy hills. They're dry and flammable due to summer heat, which was always true but fires these days are bigger and more dangerous.

I don't know if a picture link will work but this is what the area looks like. Not forests.
The famous fires in recent years in the Napa and Santa Rosa area look like this too
Spring green
https://photos.zillowstatic.com/p_e/ISq ... 000000.jpg
summer fall brown
http://pics4.city-data.com/cpicc/cfiles63331.jpg
Very true.
Inner
I've also wondered why we don't plant natives on those grassy hills. Native plants are better adapted to lack of summer rain and do better job at resisting wild fires.
iamlucky13
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by iamlucky13 »

unclescrooge wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:36 pm Very true.
Inner
I've also wondered why we don't plant natives on those grassy hills. Native plants are better adapted to lack of summer rain and do better job at resisting wild fires.
The horse already left the barn. Grasses that performed better for pastures were planted decades ago. In many areas, they outcompete the native grasses during the growing season. Also many of the fields are still active pastures or hayfields.

It appears planting and sustaining native grasses and shrubs means also suppressing some of the non-native plants. That effort might reduce the fires somewhat, but won't stop them. As was noted upthread, wildfires are a pretty normal part of California's natural history. From a brief amount of searching, though, it does sound like there are some efforts to replant with native plants ongoing in various areas.
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by quantAndHold »

Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And go where, exactly?
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:18 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And go where, exactly?
New Zealand. :mrgreen:
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Escapevelocity »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:18 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And go where, exactly?
It’s a big country. Depends on personal preference. Take a road trip somewhere rural in the flyover states.
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1789
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by 1789 »

Portland/OR. What a horrible week. AQI was 470 two days ago and trending down now around low 200s. We need couple more days before going out, it seems.
"My conscience wants vegetarianism to win over the world. And my subconscious is yearning for a piece of juicy meat. But what do i want?" (Andrei Tarkovsky)
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telemark
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by telemark »

Escapevelocity wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:47 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:18 pm
Escapevelocity wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:01 pm For folks who have the means to do so, it seems like a no-brainer to flee the area for couple weeks at least.
And go where, exactly?
Its a big country. Depends on personal preference. Take a road trip somewhere rural in the flyover states.
If only there were some sort of large continent conveniently adjacent to the west coast...
WardnerMan
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by WardnerMan »

We live north of Portland across the Columbia. The aqi has been above 400 for many days. Rarely saw the sun. The smoke gives me sinus pressure, stomach ache and foggy brain. Recirculating mode was not enough, so yesterday we went to Long Beach, Washington. The smoke concentration is way down. There is a haze on the horizon, but I don’t smell smoke. We’ll go home Friday. It is supposed to rain, so expect a big improvement to below aqi 200. This coming T/W weather is supposed to flush out most of the remaining smoke per Cliff Mass (at least in Seattle where he is based).
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by mags »

We have touched AQI 250-300. Now back down to 170's in Seattle suburbs. It doesn't smell as bad outside now. Indoors we turned off our fresh air inflow from outside on our air conditioner and changed the furnace filter. We also just got an air purifier. I wouldn't go outside without a N-95 in anything above 200.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

mags wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:31 pm We have touched AQI 250-300. Now back down to 170's in Seattle suburbs. It doesn't smell as bad outside now. Indoors we turned off our fresh air inflow from outside on our air conditioner and changed the furnace filter. We also just got an air purifier. I wouldn't go outside without a N-95 in anything above 200.
Do all air conditioners have fresh air intake?

How do you turn it off?
CommitmentDevice
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by CommitmentDevice »

+1 to running HVAC with good filters. After researching, we went with a 4" thick Merv 13. (thick > 1", Merv 13 > Merv 12)
We also been running a couple of internal air filters that we've been running. They are basically a box fan plus air filter.
We'll add an internal air quality monitor to our collection at some point.

Recognize that fire seasons like this are becoming the new normal on the West Coast. (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... -to-blame/). We're seriously considering a move.
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by batpot »

1789 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:41 pm Portland/OR. What a horrible week. AQI was 470 two days ago and trending down now around low 200s. We need couple more days before going out, it seems.
I'm in Seattle, and have been monitoring the air.
Today was the first time we've seen the sun since Friday.

I can't even imagine how bad it's been there. The fluctuations throughout the day are also interesting...Portland has been in the mid 300s every evening.
https://www.iqair.com/us/
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

CommitmentDevice wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:31 am +1 to running HVAC with good filters. After researching, we went with a 4" thick Merv 13. (thick > 1", Merv 13 > Merv 12)
We also been running a couple of internal air filters that we've been running. They are basically a box fan plus air filter.
We'll add an internal air quality monitor to our collection at some point.

Recognize that fire seasons like this are becoming the new normal on the West Coast. (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... -to-blame/). We're seriously considering a move.
Where would you move that isn't impacted by forest fires?

And are you certain there aren't other natural disasters in that area, such as hurricanes, or tornadoes?
TravelGeek
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by TravelGeek »

We are back in the hazardous zone (430) today after dropping to the mid-100s and 200s yesterday. Looking forward to the rain that's been forecast for tomorrow.

Received an air purifier yesterday that I had ordered on Amazon last week (just before they were all out of stock). Seems to help a bit, but isn't sized for the whole house.

One of my next home automation projects is adding air quality sensors to my Home Assistant setup, in time for next year's fire season.
CommitmentDevice
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by CommitmentDevice »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:43 pm
CommitmentDevice wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:31 am +1 to running HVAC with good filters. After researching, we went with a 4" thick Merv 13. (thick > 1", Merv 13 > Merv 12)
We also been running a couple of internal air filters that we've been running. They are basically a box fan plus air filter.
We'll add an internal air quality monitor to our collection at some point.

Recognize that fire seasons like this are becoming the new normal on the West Coast. (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... -to-blame/). We're seriously considering a move.
Where would you move that isn't impacted by forest fires?

And are you certain there aren't other natural disasters in that area, such as hurricanes, or tornadoes?
Life has risks, of course, but some places are more resilient than others. https://gain.nd.edu/our-work/country-index/rankings/
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by TravelGeek »

unclescrooge wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:11 pm Do all air conditioners have fresh air intake?

How do you turn it off?
I don't know if all have it, but our HVAC system has a Bryant HRV (heat recovery ventilator) that brings in fresh air and during the heating season uses the warm internal (used) air to warm it. It sucked in smoky air until I turned it off with a switch on the unit itself (in the garage). I will look into ways to remote-control this in the future. It seems there are optional modules to integrate it with the smart thermostat unit, or I might just add a smart plug to the wall outlet that it uses.

I was just thinking the other day how little information and "training" we received for "operating" our new home compared to consumer product or vehicle purchases.
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Tejfyy
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by Tejfyy »

If a small investment in a room air purifier is in order, I've used this company. High quality. https://www.blueair.com/us/air-purifiers.
000
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by 000 »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:43 pm
CommitmentDevice wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:31 am +1 to running HVAC with good filters. After researching, we went with a 4" thick Merv 13. (thick > 1", Merv 13 > Merv 12)
We also been running a couple of internal air filters that we've been running. They are basically a box fan plus air filter.
We'll add an internal air quality monitor to our collection at some point.

Recognize that fire seasons like this are becoming the new normal on the West Coast. (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... -to-blame/). We're seriously considering a move.
Where would you move that isn't impacted by forest fires?

And are you certain there aren't other natural disasters in that area, such as hurricanes, or tornadoes?
Much of flyover country is pretty tame. Tornadoes are rare, quick, localized, and usually low damage.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Coping with Wildfire smoke

Post by unclescrooge »

000 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:34 pm
unclescrooge wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:43 pm
CommitmentDevice wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:31 am +1 to running HVAC with good filters. After researching, we went with a 4" thick Merv 13. (thick > 1", Merv 13 > Merv 12)
We also been running a couple of internal air filters that we've been running. They are basically a box fan plus air filter.
We'll add an internal air quality monitor to our collection at some point.

Recognize that fire seasons like this are becoming the new normal on the West Coast. (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... -to-blame/). We're seriously considering a move.
Where would you move that isn't impacted by forest fires?

And are you certain there aren't other natural disasters in that area, such as hurricanes, or tornadoes?
Much of flyover country is pretty tame. Tornadoes are rare, quick, localized, and usually low damage.
Isn't it also pretty boring?
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