Meanwhile, California Is On Fire

Covering an area over 200 square miles, with containment estimates ranging between 2-7 percent, nearly 3,000 firefighters are battling fires egged on by harsh, dry winds on the rim of California’s Yosemite region, destroying over 106,000 acres of wildlife habitat, while threatening thousands of homes and making moves on Yosemite National Park’s beloved Sequoias. And, worst of all, Huey Lewis and the News had to cancel a show.

What is typically a bustling tourist attraction, residents have likened the activity in the area to a “war zone.”

A firefighter uses a hose to douse the flames of the Rim Fire on August 24, near Groveland, Calif. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park.  Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

A firefighter uses a hose to douse the flames of the Rim Fire on August 24, near Groveland, Calif. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park. Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

“It feels a little bit like a war zone, with helicopters flying overhead, bombers dropping retardant and 10 engine companies stationed on our street,” Ken Codeglia, a retired Pine Mountain Lake resident who decided to stay to protect his house with his own hoses and fire retardant system, told the Associated Press. “But if the fire gets very hot and firefighters evacuate, I will run with them.”

So far, it is considered to be “the 20th-largest wildfire in California’s recorded history, dating back to 1932,” and is expected to grow. Observers have said that the fires are so fierce, they’re “creating their own weather patterns,” with firefighters unable to predict its movement.

It’s only worsened by the fact that water supplies are being stretched to their limit, threatening San Francisco’s supply, which gets 85 percent of its water from the Yosemite-area Hetch reservoir.

Fun facts:

* A 2011 EPA report estimated that 70 to 140 billion gallons of water are used to fracture 35,000 wells in the United States each year – approximately the annual water consumption of 40 to 80 cities each with a population of 50,000, according to Earthworks.

* Fracture treatments in coalbed methane wells use from 50,000 to 350,000 gallons of water per well, while deeper horizontal shale wells can use anywhere from 2 to 10 million gallons of water to fracture a single well.

* Looking at industry records on the website FracFocus, the group Skytruth calculated that between January 2011 and August 2012, a total of 20 months, the U.S. used at least 65.9 billion gallons of water to frack for oil and gas, with Texas accounting for almost half of all water use.(emphasis mine)

We’re quite literally being burned alive, and the really sick part is that the oil, coal and natural gas industry– which donates 90% of their political contributions to the Republicans– are pissing through 69 billion gallons of water a year!

They start the fires, and steal the water. A civil and just nation would call that sabotage.

This entry was posted in Energy, Environment, Far-right Intellectual Violence, National Parks, Republican Party, Weather, Wingnuts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • formerlywhatithink

    “He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

    –Mitt Romney

    Nine days after President Obama’s $447 billion jobs packagewas blocked in the U.S. Senate, one of the plan’s key components — which would provide $35 billion to states and local governments to hire teachers and first responders — suffered the same fate late Thursday.

    Source

    House GOP Cut Budget for Firefighting But Raise Their Own Security Budget

    http://www.politicususa.com/2013/05/22/house-gop-cut-budget-firefighting-raise-security-budget.html

    “Who are these evil teachers who teach your children, these evil policemen who protect them, these evil firemen who pull them from burning buildings? When did we all become evil?”

    – Chuck Canterbury, the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police

    President Barack Obama warned Tuesday of diminished emergency services, longer airport security lines and other problems if Congress fails to reach agreement on avoiding the harshest impacts of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to begin March 1.

    With firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders standing behind him, Obama said that “people will lose their jobs” if the forced cuts are allowed to take effect..

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/19/politics/forced-budget-cuts

    They start the fires, and steal the water. A civil and just nation would call that sabotage.

    And yet, low information voters who watch Fox will keep electing them to office.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Yeah, well… DRONES!!! SURVELIANCE STATE!!! OBAMA WANTS TO LOOK IN YOUR EMAIL!!! LISTEN TO GLENN GREENWALD, HE KNOWS WHAT’S GOIN’ DOWN!!![/sarcastic snark]

  • muselet

    Officially, San Francisco is not concerned about the Rim Fire damaging its remote infrastructure. Unofficially, I’m sure there are lots of city employees biting their fingernails down to the quick.

    Charlie Pierce had a post on Wednesday about the use of potable water in fracking. He was writing about West Texas, but his overall point is more general (and the title of the post): Water is something about which we should not be dumb.

    Words to live by, especially in a warming global climate.

    –alopecia

  • mdblanche