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Fires in CA


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#1 Ath3na

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:31 PM

More later, but just a quick observation: they're getting closer to the office.

The sun is obliterated from the sky, just a faint red glow, and it's "snowing" ash, car covered in it. Step outside and my eyes burn and tear to the point it's hard to see, almost dark a couple hours before dusk. I feel the ash coagulation in my throat.

Triple HEPA filtration at home, and I sprung for the NBC seals and in the car - turning the air over a few times now before I try driving.

Maybe phone photos to follow...
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#2 ESK

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:34 PM

Is the fire close to your house too?

#3 Ath3na

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:10 PM

Long way from home, not much chance of it making it out here to suburbia, but my air quality monitors are freaking out for sure. I turned the HEPA filters on for the puppies from work a few hours ago.

Just pulling into the driveway and it's gotten worse.
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#4 owlhoot

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:35 PM

Yikes! Keep us updated and stay safe.
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#5 ESK

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:42 PM

California has a major threat from fire and South East Louisiana threat is from water.

#6 Ath3na

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:55 PM

The worst of it is in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa.  "About 2,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed by the fires in Northern California, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Tuesday."

 

Closest to the office is Davis and Dixon fires, about 15mi away, and across the river.  Closest to home is about 35mi away.  If the fire jumps the river (that's pretty tough there), then I'll start talking with our COO about instituting my business continuity plan.

 

My PM2.5 here at home just crossed over 100, my monitors will automagically kick the HEPA filters to max at PM2.5 > 94.  The Barkkingham's HEPA filters will cut in > 90; we were at 68 when I left this morning...  At about 90, I start feeling the gunk solidifying in my lungs and get uncomfortable, I'm a bit sensitive to it.

 

I was clammy and "icky" feeling all day at work, like maybe I was getting sick... it's amazing: I come in the house and that whole "icky" is gone in minutes.  I just swapped the expensive filters into the HVAC as well, so the air is "pre-filtered" before getting to the HEPA filters (which are stupid-expensive).


Edited by Ath3na, 10 October 2017 - 08:58 PM.

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#7 silylene

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:03 PM

....

I was clammy and "icky" feeling all day at work, like maybe I was getting sick... it's amazing: I come in the house and that whole "icky" is gone in minutes.  

 

I get that same feeling whenever I visit Shanghai or Beijing (about twice a year for each city).  After a few days, I get a hacking cough, like a smoker has.



#8 Ath3na

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:23 PM

Smokers probably have an easier time.;)


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#9 Ath3na

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:10 AM

Particulates are down to 34 in the house, 14 in the bedroom, 11 in Barkinghamm, but the chemicals still make my eyes sting and water.
Too much and we'll have to retreat to the saferoom (air-tight with NBC scrubbing)
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#10 Bill Slugg

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 11:04 AM

I bought Fred's Sharpening Shop one day in 2002. Fred had been a heavy smoker with 6 bouts of throat cancer in the previous 20 years. He had only been sharpening 7 years when he sold it to us. Fred used a paper face mask when grinding tungsten cobalt saw teeth with diamond wheels. Mike and I knew of his cancer history and of the danger of cobalt dust. (It contains a small amount of cobalt-60) so we immediately bought a 1HP point source exhaust fan with integral bag filter good to 1 micron. The air that filtered out of the bag filter was still in our shop though. Only the tiniest sub micron particles of cobalt could make it through the bag. Unfortunately those tiny particles are the deadliest. 
​After two weeks, both Mike and I developed a horrible scratchy feeling in the back of our throats. We said: "This sucks." so we scrapped the bag filter and stuck the air hose out the side of the building, down wind. Never had a problem with scratchy throat for 15 years now.

​As for dumping our exhaust outdoors, the saving grace is dilution, dilution, dilution. I have a close neighbor on each side but nothing at all for a mile downwind. 

​As for declaring an "emissions point" and scrubbing the exhaust, I don't have that kind of $$. We did emissions testing on my "barn door" pressure relief system at the P&G Oxnard Co Gen plant 25 years ago and a single test might have ran $50k. EPA won't trust simple humans to count particles, you have to be "certified" and they charge berzillions.


Edited by Bill Slugg, 11 October 2017 - 11:13 AM.


#11 LSBD

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:19 PM

any idea yet what caused this round of wildfires?


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#12 Ath3na

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:17 PM

A combination of a heat source and fuel in the presence of oxygen would be my guess.
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#13 LSBD

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:27 PM

A combination of a heat source and fuel in the presence of oxygen would be my guess.

thanks Mr. Nye


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#14 Ath3na

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:41 PM

NP!
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#15 SJQ

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:50 PM

 

 

A combination of a heat source and fuel in the presence of oxygen would be my guess.

thanks Mr. Nye

 

 

 

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#16 Ath3na

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:08 PM

It's tremendously useful!

 

If you want to stop a fire, remove any of those three and the fire is gone.

 

If you want to prevent a fire from starting, remove any of those three and there's no fire.


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#17 LSBD

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:14 PM

It's tremendously useful!

 

If you want to stop a fire, remove any of those three and the fire is gone.

 

If you want to prevent a fire from starting, remove any of those three and there's no fire.

useful, yes.  practical, not so much.  although the fires do seem to be doing a pretty good job of removing fuel from the area.


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#18 Ath3na

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:25 PM

The area schools are excusing absences for the rest of the week due to air quality.

 

My PM2.5 is down from a peak of 147 [outside measure] last night to 89 now.  (lower is better)

O3 is at 41 now, down from a peak of 198

 

Still enough to make my eyes burn and lungs feel icky if I go outside.

 

I decided to work from home today, the office is only moderately worse than home, but it's infinitely worse than the filtered air at home!


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#19 Ath3na

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:58 PM

Air quality?

 

Attached File  sun-fire.jpg   52.97KB   0 downloads


"Fire Snow"

 

Attached File  fire-snow.jpg   137.85KB   0 downloads


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#20 Ath3na

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:08 PM

Just shut down the filters to inspect and clean.  The good news is that it looks like the carbon weave prefilter took the brunt.  It can be cleaned, and it's far less expensive than the second-stage HEPA filtration:

 

Attached File  sooty-pre-filter1.jpg   50.16KB   0 downloads

 

Here it is after vacuuming first with the shop-vac, then with the Shark:

 

Attached File  cleaned-pre-filter1.jpg   46.53KB   0 downloads

 

And the HEPA filters:

 

Attached File  hepa-filters1.jpg   66.13KB   0 downloads

 

 

Alas, the HVAC HEPA panel doesn't have a pre-filter, and is utterly destroyed.  I'll have to order a replacement tomorrow.  I normally replace it once a season, and it came out of the package new and was destroyed in one night.

 

 

 

 


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#21 silylene

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:08 PM

My PM2.5 is down from a peak of 147 [outside measure] last night to 89 now.  (lower is better)

 

 

Shanghai and Beijing average over 147,  and 500 + is not unusual.  I read that Dehli and Dakka (pop 19M) are even worse than China.


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#22 Bill Slugg

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 11:58 PM

I remember LA in 1964. At that time, IIRC from reading a few years ago, the EGR valve had been mandated for a year or two, but had no impact at the point I was there. I remember the red smog in LA and how much it hurt the eyes. My Dad told me he was in a meeting once, in LA, and he could see the smog across the meeting room. It would probably have been with Walt Disney, as that was the only business he ever had in LA. Dad's territory was San Diego. John Paine had LA. This was the old INA Insurance Company of North America. John wrote Walt's liability policy and they met every 6 months to review the policy and claims. Dad and John were best friends and John insisted that his "associate" Mr Slugg from San Diego sit in on the meetings.



#23 silylene

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 04:33 AM

As a kid, similar timeframe, I remember Beaumont TX and Gary IN has horrific pollution locations, with descriptions similar to Bill's.  Beaumont is where a couple of large refineries is located and is perpetually stuck under a thermal inversion, and Gary is where we used to make steel and car parts.  No pollution controls back then.



#24 Bill Slugg

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:55 AM

I was looking at some real old pictures of my town and one of them was a charcoal incinerator. It looked like a giant beehive with sloped sides and a metal cap on it. There was a huge plume of dirty smoke. There is also an old incinerator behind a shopping center here. Gas fired, designed to burn cardboard boxes, short stack, ember screen, no pollution controls. This would have been shut down around Nixon's time with the Clean Air Act I think.



#25 newsartist

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:28 AM

Is there any way you can post the picture of the beehive (coke?) oven Bill?

 

When I was a kid we burned our household trash in a 55-gal barrel in the back yard. Leaves were burned at the side of the street.

 

The city dump was about five miles away from town, and it was burned regularly.  On those days the plume was huge and BLACK.






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