Monday, September 6, 2010

Огонь? Какой пожар, друг? [нажмите]

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  1. The headlines are on the wrong posts. Wildfire is a misleading term. The causes of these fires are often not wild at all.

  2. Paul,

    Would you prefer they be THERMONUCLEAR FIRES?

    The fires have approached the Red Forest, an area that suffered the worst of Chernobyl’s fallout in 1986, with the soil still heavily contaminated by cesium-137 and strontium-90. Similarly, the Mayak nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Chelyabinsk Oblast is also threatened by the flames, as is a nuclear research center in Sarov, which was formerly known as the secret town Arzamas-16. If any of the structures succumb, then radionuclides could be spread widely afield, generating new zones of radioactive pollution and displacing the population of those areas.

    Russian Fires Approach Nuclear Plants

  3. Or in The Ukrainian Weekly: ТЕРМОЯДЕРНОЙ ПОЖАРОВ

  4. Many so called wildfires are caused by accident or negligence or misdeed. They're no wilder than a farm raised catfish.

    Speaking of incompetence, shouldn't a nuclear facility in the woods be built with sufficient fire breaks?

  5. Paul,

    Best drop the humor; you'll not get two cents here.

    Wildfires have been an essential part of the natural processes that make for healthy forests & grasslands & other land-based eco-systems -- as have been their usual natural cause (i.e., lightning strikes) -- since well before homo sapiens first figured out how to clear brush & make fire. However, the industrial activities of his expanding materialistic numbers has of late imbalanced those natural processes and fanned the flames, so to speak, with extended drought & extreme temperatures.

    But don't you worry none; those natural processes will elevate average global temperatures & sea levels to restore that balance, whether many of us survive our negligence & misdeeds or not.

    Sufficient fire breaks? You weren't visiting San Diego County in Octobers 2003 & 2007 when wildfires were leaping 8-lane plus freeways and igniting homes hundreds if not thousands of feet away, were you?

    And radioactive fires in the Red Forest should concern any downstream Ukrainian catfish.

  6. No humor intended, nor would I make light of the impact of these fires. It's just that to me, wildfire implies the fires are caused by nature when so often they are not. As I recall, the SDC 2003 fire was started by a lost hiker/hunter.

  7. Paul,

    We've all been known to play a few word games as a distraction now & then. If you can't Scrabble with N-O-F-A-C-T-S then Boggle with B-S.

    However, even a Chicago-style stand-up comic with very loose language would be wiser, if not that entertaining, to acknowledge that words, like extreme weather events, have meanings defined by consensus, if not by wikipedia:

    "A wildfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area.[1][2] Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, veldfire and wildland fire may be used to describe the same phenomenon depending on the type of vegetation being burned. A wildfire differs from other fires by its extensive size, the speed at which it can spread out from its original source, its potential to change direction unexpectedly, and its ability to jump gaps such as roads, rivers and fire breaks.[3] Wildfires are characterized in terms of the cause of ignition, their physical properties such as speed of propagation, the combustible material present, and the effect of weather on the fire.[4]"

    But at least your memory does serve you well. It was a "dehydrated & disoriented" (aka "thirsty & lost") hunter who was indicted & sentenced for starting the blaze that grew into the Cedar fire, "the largest wildfire in California history," & telling lies about it.

    "Cedar Fire was a human-caused wildfire which burned out of control through a large area of Southern California in October 2003. Driven by Santa Ana Winds, the fire burned 280,278 acres (1,134.2 km2) 2,820 buildings (including 2,232 homes) and had killed 15 people including one firefighter before being contained on November 3, making it the largest fire in recorded California history.[1][2] The Cedar Fire was one of 15 fires throughout Southern California that month, including the Old Fire, which became known as the "2003 Firestorm" and the "Fire Siege of 2003."[3]."

    "A hunter was indicted Wednesday on federal charges that he started a blaze that grew into the Cedar fire, the largest wildfire in California history, and later lied about it."

    Hunter charged with starting Cedar fire

    "Martinez's sentence —— which also includes restitution of $9,000 —— was handed down for his role in setting what became the largest wildfire in California's history, a blaze that killed 15 people and reduced more than 2,200 homes to ashes."

    Hunter gets probation, halfway house term for setting Cedar fire

    However, if you prefer, Paul, that they & we use FIRESTORM or огненном смерче in headlines, we could certainly live with that. FIRESEIGE sounds too medieval.

    But either would be cheating in Scrabble.