back to article NASA sats snap California wildfires

While Southern California's firefighters battle to contain the wildfires which have provoked the mass evacuation of 500,000 people, killed at least one, and destroyed around 1,300 homes and businesses, NASA satellites have being doing their bit to record aerial views of the drama for posterity: NASA's Aqua satellite image of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    The joke is over smell the smoke from all around...

    ...Burn hollywood, burn.

  2. E

    Enough already

    Every year California burns. At that time every year I turn off the news for a month so I don't have to listen to the bubbleheads sounding oh-so-concerned.

    Listen you fools: they built up into the canyons and sucked the watertable nearly dry. So now they have an ecological problem, and it is their own damn fault.

    Maybe one year the whole state will burn and everyone there will either die or leave. Then perhaps I will not have to hear the annual sob stories from California anymore.

    And what is this story doing in the Register anyway?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hey, Anonymous Coward & E. I take it u 2 don't live in a place where the weather effects u at all? U 2 are what give people a bad name. If it wasn't for us in Cali, u wouldn't have alot of the food, technology, Google (yeah they are here too), movies, oh and what about the Sat that shot the picture? JPL ring a bell. Built right into a mountain for strategic reasons. Secondly, what is happening here effects the world. Water table dry? That is a joke. We are in a DROUGHT. Alot of what is burning is called natural phenomanom. People are allowed to build where it is allowable. We accept the risk, just like earthquakes. However to slam people while they are experiencing such hardship is wrong. I take it you probably slammed the People of New Orleans after Katrina also. If you are gonna slam people for where they live then hit everyone with weather and enviromental issues. Get your facts straight. And when something effects you, don't call on us to help like we ALWAYS do. How soon others forget.

  4. laird cummings

    California boy here...

    ... third generation Native Son of the Sunshine State.

    Here are the Bad Facts:

    #1 SoCal is *designed* by *nature* to burn. Chaparral, the native groundover in the SoCal canyons, *needs* fire to open and germinate its seeds. The chaparral-lined hillsides and canyons are natural flues and chineys for the most fire-prone environment in North America. An acre of dense chaparral can have more available energy than a small atomic bomb (Nagasaki-sized). Combine that with the frequent Santa Anna winds, and you've got an absolutely predictable result.

    #2 When people *insist* on living in such an environment, they*will* get burned out on a depressingly regular basis. This is exacerbated by stupid landscaping - SoCal is a semi-arid Mediteranian-style environment, and people insist on planting things that don't belong, and that will burn quite nicely. They *don't* clear back the chaparral, and they don't landscape with native (fire/drought resistant) plants.

    #3 There is an unusualy large amount of unburned ground cover out there right now - some of these canyons are long overdue for a good burning.

    Combine all the above with a nice hard drought, and what have you got? Good TV veiwing for disater junkies.

  5. Michael Fletcher

    Californian correspondents

    Two Californians write comments in response to the story. One is articulate and makes a lot of sense.

    The other one is the reason the USA isn't doing so well in public opinion polls around the world.

    As for the fires - I agree with Mr Cummngs. I come from sunny Western Australia, which faces similar issues. It too is covered in species of flora which require a good, hot bushfire to open their seed pods. People build in the bush out here at their own risk, and routinely lose their houses as a consequence.

    Nevertheless, losing your home is a hell of a trauma.

    Not being a TV watcher, I've missed the TV coverage, so I'm not bored of the story yet. I didn't even realise there was a fire issue at the moment, to be honest. Bugger.

  6. E


    Yup, you took the risk and every time the risk bites you, you spam the entire planet with how terrible your life is. I am sick of hearing about how hard life in California is. Some weather disaster hits where I live - and it does happen, tornados mostly - we deal with and move with a minimum of histrionics.

    As for the tech that came (comes) out of California, well freind, if it weren't California it would have been a different state. Your federal gov't & military funded all the basic research and most of the production, part of the Cold War. So, it's not really a California thing, it's a Cold War thing.

    And well, movies. Which of the four plot lines that Hollywood sells would you like to discuss?

  7. ET Intel


    "Hey, Anonymous Coward & E. I take it u 2 don't live in a place where the weather effects u at all? U 2 are what give people a bad name. If it wasn't for us in Cali, u wouldn't have alot of the food, technology "

    Are you really from California ? - Sounds more like Texas.

    "And when something effects you, don't call on us to help like we ALWAYS do. How soon others forget"

    I think the last time we called on you for help was about 1942. You were late then as well as the first time.

  8. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward

    No, actually

    U 2 are what give Ireland a bad name, not people a bad name.

  9. laird cummings

    Misc comment


    This is a bit beyond even the worst recent outbreak of tornadoes. Whilst there is definately a lot of blame to be placed on the urban sprawl and unsuitable/unsustainable building practices, never-the-less this is above-and-beyond the usual burning season by quite some margin. The insured loss will begin to approach the Katrina range very soon, if the Santa Anna's don't knock off in the next few days. Uninsured loss is going to be proportionately as bad.

    Indeed, fires are penetrating into places where people *were not* misbehaving... El Cajon is burning, and that's hardly out on the urban/wildnerness interface. When the fires begin to penetrate the cities themselves, people have got something worth complaining about. I still have very limited sypmathy for those whom insist on siting their trophy homes and even housing tracts out in the canyon lands - *They* are asking for it.

    Oh, and please - it's *seven* plot lines. But then, all human stories can be divided into one of those seven. I don't mind Hollywood - if it wasn't in SoCal, it'd be somewhere else, instead - would you rather they were in *your* backyard?. What I *do* mind are the hollywood types insisting that being famous gives them some kind of magical special insight, which they must perforce bestow upon us poor benighted primitives. Jamie Lee Curtis can shut her gob any time now.


    It's bad, this time 'round - Largest civilian evacuations in America since the Civil War, about some hundred and fifty years ago, or thereabouts. About a million bodies, last count I heard. Death toll has been remarkably low, though. Authorities are actually doing a right respectable job, even though it's as if someone had detonated several small nukes randomly over the lower portion of the state.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    let the "global warming" crowd start

    wow, so it was a cooler summer in LA and surrounds than the year before, severely cutting into the short-sighted emotional nutjob response of the SoCal Entertainment Elite towards "OMG Teh Earth! It be Hott3r!".

    so now conveniently, big fires. Fires spreading by enviro interference increasing the fuel supply. But I digress...

    Glaciers on Mt Shasta were increasing in size against the Algorean's priestly there's a ton of ash in the area coming up. It's known this decreases the albedo of the ice, causes it to melt independent of ambient temperature.

    So this adds the "terror" of fire and heat to the bubbleheads, and adds ash to support the propaganda of "OMG Teh Galciersz!" for the AGW boobs.

    How freaking convenient, eh?

    And yes, I'm in Ca right now. the haze is showing up in the souther Bay area now.

    Me, I'm thinking replacing the fire suppressant foam with Napalm would be just the thing for the hypocritical bemansioned Malibu-ites and the sheltered, over-opinionated Hollywoodians...or, let the La Raza and Reconquistas have the area, tell those farkwads to risk life and limb to put out the fires. Funny they don't rally for illegal's rights at times like this...

  11. E

    @No, actually

    That's odd, I've never been to Ireland.

  12. Scott


    Is that sarcasm or do you need the joke alert icon? I'm confused but find it amusing either way

  13. E


    If you find it funny then you can consider it a joke.

    IMHO the buttons the Reg has implemented are silly.

    They act as a visual cue informing the reader what s/he should think about the comment - before having read the comment. This debases debate, devalues good writing or flame-baiting, and dilutes the meaningful content in posts. This in turn dumbs down the debate: if you never have to think through what someone means - then you are not exercising your grey matter.

    Imagine if you had to preface everything you said with a rider or proviso telling the listener how to interpret what you were about to say.

  14. laird cummings

    Re: @Scott

    << "Imagine if you had to preface everything you said with a rider or proviso telling the listener how to interpret what you were about to say." >>

    Actually, in verbal and face-to-face communications, that's *precisely* what you do - tone of voice and body language are the riders and provisos you deride. On the other hand, in purely written communications, those cues are absent. Even within a common culture, written communications, even those by articulate and careful persons, are commonly misinterpreted. When you add in the fact that el Reg draws readers and comments from not only multiple cultures, but also from multiple primary languages, such visual cues are not at all untoward.

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