Santa Rosa Fire – How Could it Happen?

by Jack

This is the tail end of the fire season in Washington state.  Only two air tankers protect the entire state and luckily there was only fire this entire year.   For those aerial firefighters this was a boring time to be stuck in WA.   But, back in California, it’s another story, especially in the area of Santa Rosa.   This was a historic fire season, grim and tragic.  17 fires erupted in the Napa-Sonoma region (this includes Santa Rosa) between midnight and 2 a.m. Monday.

By Friday, at least 31 people had been killed, more than 100 had been treated for fire-related injuries, and more than 3,500 homes and businesses had been destroyed.

How could so many fires start and spread so fast and do so much destruction?   The worst of the fires in Northern California were less than 4-5 hours apart by car and there were 21 of them all erupting at about the same general time.  Coincidence, perhaps?  But, it’s a stretch to think 100% of the them were purely accidental?

So how did they start?  That is the question that Cal Fire arson investigators will be trying to solve and right now they are looking for clues in many places.

We know the fires were pushed along by high winds and fueled by a lot of combustible material on the ground.  We know that caused fires to spread quickly, moving faster than firefighting units could keep up with, mostly because masses of burning embers sometimes rained down a mile and half from the fireline.  In the Napa-Sonoma region, what we don’t know is how did it happen and exactly where did it start?

Was it a campfire that got out of control, was it a downed powerline due to wind or something else?   But, 17 fires in one concentrated area?  That’s weird.   Right now, nobody knows the original cause or if they do, they’re not talking.  But, the answers are likely to be discovered in the coming weeks.     Stay tuned.





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18 Responses to Santa Rosa Fire – How Could it Happen?

  1. J. Soden says:


    Topics under discussion are Sleaze 101, Beginning and Advanced Corruption, Cleaning a Server with a Cloth, The Art of Lying and Pay for Play, White House Theft and as a guest lecturer on “How to Stay Married to a Sexual Predator.”

    • Tina says:

      Yer killing me….but excellent list, J.

      A follow-up course in the “How to Stay Married” category would be “Managing Bimbo Eruptions – Keeping the First Woman President Goal Alive.”

      Pretty sure that was the reason for her many years of “sacrifice.”

  2. Tina says:

    Jack the CA fires this year are particularly bad. The latest from Napa Sonoma area is 38 dead, 400 unaccounted for and the winds continue to blow. Sure do feel for those people and all of the people whose lives have been thrown into chaos and despair.

    The circumstances you describe sure seem fishy. I look forward to your update.

    As if that isn’t enough that Hepatitis outbreak caused Brown to declare a state of emergency Fiday:

    …total number of cases in the state to 576 with 386 hospitalizations.

    California is experiencing the largest hepatitis A outbreak in the United States transmitted from person to person – instead of by contaminated food – since the vaccine became available in 1996.

    According to the CDPH, the hepatitis A virus is spread when the virus is ingested by mouth from contact with hands, objects, food or drinks that are contaminated by the feces of an infected person.

  3. Libby says:

    Is some body/entity always to blame?

    Whatever happened to “God’s Will.” Even now, and probably always, it will have its place.

    Though the PGE will almost certainly be sued … big time. But remember, the PGE is only … us.

    • Tina says:

      Libby are you saying purposely set fires are Gods will or are you saying if it was lightening strikes or downed power lines due to high winds it is Gods will?

      Why would PGE be sued in the case of natural disasters?

  4. Tina says:

    PGE is a monopoly by design in California.

    • Libby says:

      No, Tina. The PGE is us. And in my experience, this highly vaunted sense of “responsibility” in the conservative is a myth.

      • Tina says:

        PG&E is a monopoly and it’s survived by partnering (soft words) with the green lobby and liberals in our states legislature t secure that monopoly. The article is quite illuminating.

        What does anything Jack wrote have to do with personal responsibility? Please explain what you are thinking so others can get what you mean.

        Jack suggested a possible crime. It’s pretty standard to investigate in such circumstances…do you object?

        As I wrote I look forward to Jack’s updates if and when they come.

        • Pie Guevara says:

          Re “Please explain what you are thinking so others can get what you mean.”

          You are asking the impossible. Libby does not know what she means. An idiotic slogan popped up in her head that she thinks sounds profound and she is running with it.

        • Libby says:

          Your refusal to take responsibility for what the PGE does or does not get up to. Calling the PGE a monopoly is to deflect attention from what it is, a public utility.

          Are you pretending you don’t know this? That would make you irresponsible.

          Do I have to spell out every single thing!?!

          • Pete says:

            Maybe I missed something in your posts, but Pacific Gas and Electric is owned by its shareholders. Its regulated by California’s public utility commission. That’s the only public part of the company.
            There are many public and private gas/electric companies in California. Three or four major companies and many smaller companies. Most smaller are held and controlled by towns and cities throughout CA. What’s your point?

  5. Pie Guevara says:

    Off Topic: Two Types Of Sharia

    This is a fellow who has been studying Islam for over 40 years being interviewed by a woman who is a former Muslim.

  6. Pete says:

    Cause was probably power lines, but the issue is why so many suburban planed developments burned. Jack is right that the thousands of fire brands, being carried by superheated air, landed on many of these homes and ignited.

    I have no doubt that the City of Paradise and areas of Chico and Oroville will meet the same tragic end.

  7. Pie Guevara says:

    Off Topic: Tonight (2017/10/15) Dana Loesch tweeted about having to leave her home because of death threats from people who oppose her views supporting the 2nd amendment.

    • Tina says:

      Another conservative woman whose life has been threatened. If she had to leave her house the threats were likely credible. They threatened her kids too. Total scum! Ann Coulter had a similar experience.

  8. Pete says:

    Hey Jack,
    I’m a volunteer FF and you asked how so many fires could have started. Last week, Saturday night, the night the Cherokee fire started, for about 3 hours prior, trees and pwr lines were going down all over Paradise and Butte county. Resources were literally running from one call to the next without a break. Then the Cherokee fire started. I remember hearing the call out and knew it would be bad when the battalion chief stated the fire was at 10 to 20 acres with 50 mph winds. Ten minutes later it had grown to 600 acres and the evacuation process was started. At that point there was little hope of containment. Saving lives became the priority and with roads blocked by downed lines, limbs and trees it’s a very challenging event.
    Building codes for California need to be reassessed. Housing developments, even though miles from an event, are in danger from wildland fires when weather conditions are bad and resources are maxed out. It takes time to get more resources and unfortunately fires can travel faster than those resources.
    BTW…the honey run fire could have been catastrophic had the winds been stronger.

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