[Photos] The Aftermath And Destruction Of The Northern California Fires

Submitted by: fancylad 8 months ago in News & Politics
At least 31 people were confirmed dead late Thursday in the rash of wildfires tearing through Northern California, making the inferno the deadliest in state history. Authorities have warned of entire neighborhoods wiped out after more than a dozen fires erupted Sunday night, with at least 2,834 homes destroyed in Santa Rosa alone.

The Los Angeles Times reports that officials discovered more bodies Thursday, as search crews scoured devastated areas using cadaver dogs. As of Thursday evening, about 400 people remained missing. “We will do everything in our power to locate all the missing persons, and I promise you we will handle the remains with care and get them returned to their loved ones,” Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano said at a news conference. 

He said it could take months for all the bodies to be identified, and added that it’d be “unrealistic” to think the death toll won’t continue to climb. 
There are 10 comments:
Male 207
These houses were ignited by windblown embers landing on the roofs or catching under the eves.  I would expect that the vast majority of the "oddball" surviving houses had fire-resistant roofs, such as tile.  These are mandatory in many fire-prone areas of Southern California.
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Female 8,378
It's very odd to see houses that are totally destroyed- i'm used to seeing a shell- roof gone, but the walls and chimney intact at worst. i presume in a warm climate building wooden houses is okay?
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62
madduck Wooden homes are usually easier and cheaper to build in an earthquake-resistant way than with other materials.  Unreinforced brick and CMU block are out, and while one can build reinforced with CMU it's expensive.  Poured reinforced concrete and steel-frame are expensive too, plus they're a pain for remodeling later and steel-frame requires especially good quality control of the foundation etc as it's much harder to field-modify the steel to make it all fit together if something's wrong.

If you look at some of the closeups there are vertical posts with horizontal beams spanning them, those are probably where garage doors or large open windows were, and you're looking at steel beams required to meet earthquake code on those unsupported spans.

I expect that most homes don't have chimneys since it's not generally cold enough to make them anything more than decoration.  Some of the photos do show chimneys still standing.

What's so striking is seeing what happens when fire departments are not there to put out the fires.  Most people tend to think of house fires in terms of damage to a structure with much of the structure burned-out but still standing.  That's because the fire department responds and puts the fire out, even if only to prevent it from spreading.  A fire that spreads and burns out of control gets hotter and hotter and suddenly things that weren't directly exposed spontaneously combust, eventually leaving scorched-earth as the bulk of what remains.  

The one photo that surprised me was of the above-ground pool that was still apparently intact and full of water despite literally everything around it being mostly ash.  I would have expected the fire to have compromised the thin plastic walls of the pool, but apparently the water was enough of a heatsink that the pool itself survived.
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Female 5,043
that's messed up. Someone needs to invent something to solve this problem stat.
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Male 276
emmettyville Nothing needs to be invented. Adobe already exists. It's what the wiser native Americans used before their land was taken.
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Female 5,043
moldysod then that is what you all must live in.

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Male 390
waiting for some IAB douches to create some articles about how irresponsible these people were to build there houses in a flammable area, and that their tax money should not go toward recovery. Without any knowledge about the area except what they heard on the very-trustworthy Fox news.
You did it for Houston during Harvey, so why not here?
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Male 611
m3dm3d was fox news seriously spouting that shit? Suddenly when it CA getting fucked, they're all short of sympathy. Where is FOX HQ? If something's gonna burn, I'd be happier if it were those assholes.
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Male 1,709
m3dm3d How incredibly irresponsible of these people to build housing on a planet that can sustain fire with all that oxygen in its atmosphere. They even used dried plant matter in the construction! It was just a massive fire waiting to happen. CNN's groundbreaking report on "stupid, evil, white 'muricans" told me everything I needed to know to form my opinion.

::error - caustic sarcasm overflow::
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Male 884
squidbush "Fire bad" -Frankenstein

If California can't take this to heart, then there is no reasoning with any of them.
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