To Stop The Fires, Seed The Clouds

The remnants of a hurricane are approaching Northern California. The “Democratic” clowns who govern California are in despair. All their tiny brains know is that, a week ago, under similar circumstances, thick clouds rolled in, and 12,000 lightning strikes, a state record, by a long shot, launched 600 fires… Because rain didn’t fall. And now a repetition threatens. Another dry lightning set of thunderstorms. What to do? The governmental rodents are running around in circles: the cat is coming, the cat is coming: let’s close all the parks. Well, if they had bigger brains, they would have found a solution.

I sent this to Trump and Newsom (the governor of California): Mr. President/Governor: another dry lightning storm is approaching Northern California. Why don’t suggest to seed the clouds to force rain down to prevent further fires and drown the existing ones under a deluge? Should be done but California’s government seems unawares!

The fires in Northern California are catastrophic: one million acres, half a million hectares, burned in a few days. 3,000 years old trees destroyed, by the thousands…

Smoke of the Bay Area fires as seen from Bear Valley, 300 kilometers away, August 20, 2020. Multi millenia trees up in smoke…

On one hand, there is Catastrophic Climate Change, due to human pollution… But then there is also lack of mitigation. I know extremely well some of the areas just destroyed by fire, which were among the most exquisite places on Earth. 

Those places used to be frequented by goats, camels, cattle, elks, mastodonts. Also Native Americans took such good care of the forests, astonished Spaniards could go through them at a full gallop. There were a few elks at Point Reyes, but not enough (I was charged twice by large elks on the exact Woodward Trail with the horrible fire of the same name). There was a whole controversy about those non-fenced elks… Should they be allowed to roam? Ranchers were against it. Mountain lions fed on them (the 6 foot tall male elks could perfectly defend themselves, that’s why I got charged, they had confused me with lions, something natural at dusk… Now the fire is roaming and the elks are burning, so all is fine, as far as US political vultures are concerned. Thousand year old Douglas Firs, some three hundred feet tall are burning, it’s perfect. As long as Eva Longoria, a stupid actress, can talk 30% longer than Bernie Sanders at the Democratic Convention, “Democrats” will be fine….  

The air quality in Northern California is so bad, I have seen people nearly dying of asthma attack… 300 kilometers from the fires (where the photo above was taken by me). All parks are closed.

This sheer madness, was avoidable. In my cherished Point Reyes, with its cathedral forest, thousand years old trees are burning because the governor didn’t have the money, foresight, energy, or scientific advisers to send crews to burn the brush (which can be ten feet tall) during the rainy season. So all the forests are burning, people are gasping or dying, because, basically, Trump told them to clean them and how to do it, but those learned advice could only be charlatanism, because his opponents, who are in command in California, say Trump is a charlatan. So all Trump says is charlatanism. So if Trump says burn the brush, good anti-racist “Democrats” shall not burn the brush: it’s obviously a plot from Moscow. So the self-proclaimed “Democrats” controlling California didn’t do anything, they are just happy ruling and being sanctimonious. And now one has world famous trees, older than Roman civilization, burning… and unbreathable air, up to thousands of miles away…

Trump Derangement Syndrome is the illness which keeps on giving sadistic pleasure to simpletons… Up in smoke… And this is no light accusation: cloud seeding works. China (and even the US) has used it very successfully, against drought. What I proposed here is to seed the remnants of a hurricane. It did not happen: the deluge dropped over other states, not on the infernos where it was most needed.

Patrice Ayme

7 Responses to “To Stop The Fires, Seed The Clouds”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Great idea! Did they reply?


  2. Patrice Ayme Says:

    The Woodward fire started in just one spot, from lightning, just before 3pm on Tuesday August 18, in a hard to reach area. If it had been hit from the air right away, it would have disappeared. Instead, two days were wasted, before serious means were engaged, and thus a much larger disaster ensued. That’s poor management.

    OK, not having burned some of the brush preventively during wet winters, and not having large wild herbivores to eat said brush, is of course much worse… I know the area very well, and the mismanagement was long obvious. I used to call it the cathedral forest, because of the towering ancient trees. But the colossal, eight feet thick brush, condemned the forest to be burned alive. Neither

    Native Americans nor the fauna of old permitted this, and that’s why that treasure of a forest existed. We are derelict.


  3. Larry Minikes Says:

    Larry Minikes to Tyranosopher
    You have been following what is happening in the Bay Area and N CA, yes? We could not get the needed air support here for days. All assets were in demand for an unprecedented level of wildfires that are nearly impossible to plan for.

    Because Woodward was not affecting structures or lives, it had much lower priority. This is not a case of wasted time, nor is this a “much larger disaster” other than for the pollution. If you want to point fingers, these are federal and not locally managed lands. The issues you raise are very well known and exist throughout forests in the Western US.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Tyranosopher to Larry Minikes
      Dear Larry Minikes: I am perfectly aware that there is only one large supertanker 747, and that, in general, the aerial means are insufficient. Some areas of the Santa Cruz mountains with houses and villages waited days for the first drop from planes. It is a fact all the fires happen always under some not so-rare circumstances coming together every few weeks during fire season. There should be therefore an overkill of aerial tankers at the ready, or part of a larger network, all the way to Canada. And the earlier the planes intervene, the better.

      I am thoroughly familiar with a case when a few drops at 7:30 pm (it was next to sea to get more water) could have stopped a fire, a few years back. There was still one hour before sunset. But nothing was done and the fire burned a piece of national park. As the greenhouse progresses, so will the fires. We have to mitigate.

      Clearing brush, at least along corridors, using for example animals (goats) is a must. So are tankers. On a positive note, I noticed that much more animals (cows) are used in “Wildernesses” (for example Carson-Iceberg) and that’s a good thing. Cows eat only grass, but they trample a lot, making fire less virulent, and their dung are slow burning. I agree this is all very well known… But not enough is done (but for the new cows in Wildernesses). Preventive fires don’t cost that much to organize…


  4. Larry Minikes Says:

    Larry Minikes to Tyranosopher
    In July, Newsom announced the delivery of $285M worth of dozen Huey Hawk (Blackhawk) helicopters to replace our aged Vietnam-era Bell helicopters. I believe they were ordered in February. The new Hawks can each carry a fire crew plus 1000 gallons of water and are certified for night flying, which the Bell are not. However, as I am reading, pilots are not yet fully certified so they could not be used at this time.

    I have never read or seen anything to suggest using bovines for fire prevention. But agree a lot more work is needed. However, the amount of fuel loads we are talking about just in Marin county, which is the second smallest after SF county is almost incomprehensible. This is partially due to the fact the last major wildfire to cut through Marin was 75 years ago in 1945. We have decades of work ahead of us. It is work that will never end.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I did not know about the new helicopters. Especially flying at night is good. They better rush, because the maximal fire season is not yet here. Systematic racism against domineering brush would be most welcome, by burning it during the cold, wet months. Some of this brush was/is ridiculous: one has to tunnel through it. It does not have to be done everywhere. That could employ a number of qualified professionals, same technique as counterfires.

      Doing preventive burning in patches would be enough, more effective for large fire prevention, and best to preserve plant and animal diversity. This was done in places like Yosemite already starting long ago, after huge fires, and it was done with reasonable success. Goats should be unleashed: there are enough mountain lions to keep the numbers down should they escape. Bovines are not ideal, but way better than nothing.

      The 747-400 supertanker can drop 74 tons of water (20,000 gallons)… What is clear, as we both agree, is that much more, and more innovatively, needs to be done, right away. This should become part of a more general economic reorientation as part of an adaptation to the massive climate catastrophe around the corner. Burning the forests is how much of the change will happen, and will accelerate it, so we need to learn to slow it down as much as possible… And learn to acquire the mentality to divert enough economic activity to do this.

      Less nail salons, more prescribed burning. The responsibility in California is higher: redwoods disappeared from Europe, but they are the highest carbon storage form of life per surface. They also release huge quantities of oxygen, which may come handy if more seas die, with all their plankton…


  5. Larry Minikes Says:

    Larry Minikes to Tyranosopher
    Certainly, controlled burning is an important tool in the lands management toolbox. I posted
    elsewhere the issue with prescribed burning in Marin is generally two-fold. With something like nearly 60,000 homes adjacent to the WUI, it is impractical to impossible to do it with guaranteed safety in much of Marin. Grazing, mechanical thinning or slash, pile and burn are the most viable options.

    The other issue is air quality and the not insignificant restrictions placed on this activity. Finding the right combination of factors to do prescribed burning in a particular place on a particular date anywhere in the Bay Area is challenging for the pros at best. I have felt I would rather be required to wear a mask for a couple of days during prescribed burning than not do it because, say, some are very sensitive to smoke. We can be forewarned and do what we are doing now, which is avoiding the outdoors when the air is bad. It is either do this activity in a controlled way or end up with what we have today. However, this is an argument for our political leadership to work out with the Air Resources Board and local citizens.

    You also mention carbon recapture. This is something we are currently very focused on solving under the MWPA — How to take these green materials we will be generating as we clear evacuation zones and through individual home hardening and sequester carbon. Currently we are trucking all this material to the Stockton plant which is a GHG issue as MSS is running multiple truck trips every day. Some of these woody and green debris can be converted to compost out at the Nicasio site but there is still much more material that will be coming in that has to be managed. We are looking at how to best implement. AB1383 is a statewide attempt to address this.


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