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#101 2021-07-18 19:58:08

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

The situation in the west is still growing by the day as more and more acres are burning
Evacuations as Tamarack Fire in California Grows to 21,000 Acres

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#102 2021-07-24 10:40:12

SpaceNut
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#103 2021-07-25 19:21:58

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

Wildfire smoke spreads across US in striking images from space

aLJP5FS6833W2obRk9MrSk-970-80.jpg

In total, 79 wildfires have burned more than 2,263 square miles (5,860 square kilometers) in the U.S. and more than 21,700 wildland firefighters and support personnel are battling the blazes as of July 22, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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#104 2021-07-26 17:15:06

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

The air quality here in NH is getting bad and you know its not good to breath when the check engine is flashing when you are on the highway going up a sloping hillside. It is very acrid to the throat and is causing the lungs to labor to breath even inside let alone outside where there is little filtration of the air...
You can smell the hint of the smoke and see the haze as a smog like fog hanging low just above the ground....

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#105 2021-08-03 19:05:16

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
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#106 2021-08-06 17:27:57

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: California Wildfires

For SpaceNut re topic ...

Until now the California and Oregon (and West Coast generally) fires have been remote from my family.

We learned today that a cousin and her husband were driven from their home by one of the current fires.  The family had numerous farm animals and pets, and according to an update, all were brought safely out of danger.  On top of everything else, the cousin is expecting, and the baby is due any moment. 

Meanwhile, updates from the scene indicate that many neighbors are/were struggling to get out in time, and that one situation was unresolved as of the last time I checked.

(th)

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#107 2021-08-06 19:18:59

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

Glad family is safely out of immediate harms way but the issues which are continuing each year now means we need to change what we build with materials that can tolerate such wild fires.

edit:
Future rebuilding need those materials and you nailed it for some of them.
Next as you noted water is the element that is not in the quantities such as to keep the fires from getting started or so large if it was present.


Those that have large quantities of animals for a farm or other will have an even harder hurdle to climb or jump over to protect them as well as family.

I have a step brother in California as well to check in on once in a blue moon...

We are once more seeing the smoke haze after a week or so of the air being clearer.

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#108 2021-08-06 19:30:36

tahanson43206
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Posts: 7,326

Re: California Wildfires

For SpaceNut re #109

Thanks for picking up on the news of the emergency for my cousin and her husband and their critters.

Best wishes for the safety of the step brother.  If you catch news of his situation, please post it here.

The Facebook feed around the cousin's situation contained a number of reports from families with many more animals threatened by the situation.

Simultaneously, I was heartened to see multiple offers from others with space for animals as well as humans, and even offers of transportation from a horse facility. 

Regarding materials for building ... I think this situation is beyond selection of materials ... The local TV channels carried video of the destruction of an entire historic California town (Green(something)) (Perhaps Greenlee) .... The wall of flames consumed metal as well as carbon items, leaving only brick and adobe reminders of buildings that were more than 100 years old (in some cases).

My take on the situation is that humans must master delivery of fresh water extracted from the ocean.  We (humans) have enjoyed the generosity of Nature for many thousands of years, and we have managed to wear out our welcome.  We must learn to desalinate sea water on the scale that Nature has shown, and we must forget about the nickel-dime foolishness that is characteristic of most current thinking.

Of all the NewMars members with truly admirable powers of imagination, only Calliban has offered a practical solution that can actually be achieved in a few year's time.  Everything else I have seen, admirable as it often is, doesn't get at the problem.

I'll give Honorable Mention to kbd512, for suggestions that might fit into a viable solution.

For SpaceNut ... thank you again for picking up on and sustaining this topic!

(th)

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#109 2021-08-07 09:32:10

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

Air quality has the stench of smoke today weighing quitter heavy in the air in NH today.

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#110 2021-08-14 11:01:39

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

Sure is a problem when Volunteer Reportedly Helping Fight Fire Mistaken for Arsonist, Burned Alive by Mob
Not happy about its occurrence but it was not in California

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#111 2021-08-15 07:23:43

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

Mars_B4_Moon wrote:

The devastating wildfires of 2021 are breaking records and satellites are tracking it all
https://www.space.com/2021-record-wildf … from-space

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#112 2021-08-22 11:36:04

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

Mother nature is still mad at us as Caldor Fire crosses Highway 50 as winds stir flames higher Winds threaten to fan destructive California wildfire

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#113 2021-08-22 14:38:10

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,615

Re: California Wildfires

SpaceNut,

"Mother Nature" is a fictional personification of the Earth's biosphere, no different at all from the entire "god" concept.  The amount of religious superstition injected into simple engineering topics never ceases to amaze me.

There are fires because people built electric power lines in the middle of the forest without trimming the trees away from them.  When the wind blows hard and two power line wires touch each other, you get a shower of white hot sparks visible for miles.  There's no insulation on the power line wires at all, because that would be too heavy and much more expensive, which is why this happens.  The air gap between the wires and everything else supplies the insulation effect.  When, not if, that fails, you get instant arc welding.  Anybody with a brain in their head would tell the pseudo-environmentalists to shove their idiocy, and either bury the power lines or clear a corridor under the power lines that's free of trees and other kindling sources for a major fire.

I don't need a degree in ecology or environmentalism or even electrical engineering to know what happens when a pair of uninsulated wires, each carrying 100,000 volts and hundreds of amps, touch each other.  That behavior of the electrical power lines under those conditions is no different than an arc welder.  Nobody who is an arc welder on this planet uses a dry pine box to arc weld inside of, because if they did, we wouldn't have anyone left to do arc welding.  This will continue to happen again and again and again until there's either no more forest left or people get this simple concept about electricity through their thick skulls.

It's not climate change, it's not "Mother Nature is unhappy with us", or any other similar nonsense.  It's this-> "If you arc weld over the top of completely dry trees in the summer time, then expect the trees below to turn into Roman Candles."

Burying the power lines will cost a hell of a lot more money, but as if by "magic", the fires will "go away" after you bury the power lines, because the trees are not spontaneously combusting because "Mother Nature" or "Father Time" or "God" or "Gods" are "mad at us".  It's Electricity 101 in action.

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#114 2021-08-30 11:07:08

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: California Wildfires

County Supervisors Blame Bad Policies - Not Climate Change - For California Wildfires.
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/cou … -wildfires

Whilst it cannot be ruled out that human induced warming may have had some impact, poor husbandry in California appears to have been a more significant cause of devastating wildfires.

But of course, that message does not fit the convenient political narrative, that people are suffering because the evil fossil fuel companies are melting the planet.  The last thing these people want is a simple explanation, that the crisis was caused by a more local problem that they cannot hang their cause upon.  It will all be OK if the entire world (well just the whitey western countries, with their evil racism and lack of social justice) paid homage to the sun god, by covering their land with trillions of tonnes of sustainable glass, sustainable steel and concrete and shutting down those sinful coal and nuclear powerplants.  Then the world could live in peace and love, knowing that our energy was sourced from ideologically pure renewable energy systems, blessed by the green goddess herself.  The left wing elites running the western world are so worthy that I don't know how I can bare to look at them, that I am not blinded by the intensity of the light shining out of their arses.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-08-30 11:13:33)


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#115 2021-09-01 18:48:14

SpaceNut
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#116 2021-09-02 05:38:25

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: California Wildfires

One can argue about the causes of wildfires - AGW, arson, poor husbandry and over-development - and to what extent they are a natural phenomenon that has ecological positives.

But I am wondering why in the early 21st century we are still relying on fire trucks and big aeroplanes to fight fires.

The US military is developing "drone swarms" for combat.

Surely this is the way forward with fighting wildfires. In vulnerable areas you could have constant monitoring by drones (that automatically recharge their batteries from a central station) for "hotspots" showing the start of a fire. If a fire is confirmed, a drone swarm of larger drones carrying water or fire suppressant could be called in while the fire is still relatively small. A drone swarm would be beneficial from all sorts of angles: it can operate anywhere, in the remotest locations; unlike aeroplanes or helicopters dumping large water loads, it can keep up a constant uninterrupted sequence of fire suppression; it does not suffer from fatigue; and it can watch over the fire location for any re-ignition of the fire.

Last edited by louis (2021-09-02 14:58:12)


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#117 2021-09-02 06:04:19

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: California Wildfires

For Louis re #116

Your suggestion seems (to me for sure) to have merit.  It usually takes a few years for a technology developed for the military to find it's way into civilian use. Your's is the first suggestion I have read along these lines, so I think we can mark September of 2021 as the (likely) start of movement of that idea through the population.

However, there is a related need ... Forests need controlled burns annually.  The number of acres to be managed in the US is far greater than the population can attend, even if the resources to pay for living expenses of workers were available.

In times past (I recall reading) Germany used to employ managers of forests ...

Google came up with 'forstmeister" which matches reasonably well with my memory ...

What I ** think ** (keying off your post) is a swarm of ground robots able to monitor the terrain at ground level, and (in particular) capable of managing controlled burns in small patches.

Lightning is a significant hazard in US forests, and it must be anticipated.   When a forest is dry, even with controlled burning of the forest floor, a lightning bolt can ignite a tree, and a conflagration can spread rapidly among tree tops. 

The problem is definitely robust, and we (humans) have always used partial solutions.

Smoke jumpers were trained to parachute into forests where fire was spotted from fire towers, and apparently many of those missions were successful in preventing major fires. The result appears to have been accumulation of fire ready material over many decades.   Your drone concept would be similar, but if it is only employed to stop fires before they spread, then we would not have addressed the underlying need.

Your suggestion is duly recorded for posterity:

SearchTerm:Fire drone per post 116
SearchTerm:Drone fire suppression post 116

Update at 8:51 local time after giving the suggestion from Louis time to develop ...

In the past (to my knowledge throughout human history) controlled burning of land (for crops or forest management) has been done without thought to the delivery of combustion products to the atmosphere.

In the current era, while the need for controlled burning is obvious most humans (there will always be exceptions), a way to perform controlled burning so as to capture both the energy produced and the gases liberated from carbonaceous solids is urgently needed.

What I would envision (as a first draft) is a machine with a hood that settles over a patch of land so that gases liberated from combustion can be captured, and so that energy released by combustion can be harnessed.

Because (I understand) forests have evolved over eons to thrive when burning occurs, best practice would seem (to me at least) to require understanding of what actually happens in a natural forest fire.

It would appear we (humans) have ample opportunity these days to learn about forest fires.

Update at 11:01 local time .... Combustion of forest materials is likely to produce gases that are valuable, aside from CO2 and water that would be expected.  I am thinking of turpentine, as just one example, but there must be many others.  A business constructed around the management of forest growth might actually pay for itself, if artfully designed.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2021-09-02 09:02:12)

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#118 2021-09-02 10:17:31

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: California Wildfires

The most efficient drone deployed firefighting system would be water mist, atomised by compressed nitrogen or CO2.  The carrying capacity of a drone is extremely limited.  Water mist works well because the airborne droplets are drawn into the fire by convection and as they vaporise, they absorb over 2MJ of heat per kg.  You need to be close to a fire to deploy water mist effectively, but it is the most mass efficient solution.  Still, the early warning function provided by drones is probably more valuable than their firefighting ability.  Drones could be provided with infrared cameras.  A heat source would shown up easily.


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#119 2021-09-02 10:47:11

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Re: California Wildfires

For Calliban re #118

Combining Louis' vision of a swarm of drones, with your amendment of mist delivery, I can imagine a solution that is far more efficient than today's use of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

It is understandable that the word "drone" might conjure up an image of a small playtime drone that the average person might buy over the Internet.   However, the large remote controlled aircraft used by the military to observe activity on the other side of the planet show that small size is not necessarily characteristic of drones.

However, any solution involving fire suppression is missing (what I think is) the point ... we (humans) are in this pickle, and we need to deal with the problem of fire ready (ie, combustible) materials in land areas.

The investment needed is massive, but then, so is the problem to be solved.

Flying drones to deliver mist with pin-point accuracy seems like a concept well worth developing, along with fast-refill service trucks with plenty of fresh water and the overhead sensor/communications platform to coordinate the activities of the swarm.

At the same time, and regardless of what happens on the fire "fighting" front, I see a need for "intelligent" devices to roam the forest floor and to perform confined burning operations wherever an excess of combustible material is found.

(th)

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#120 2021-09-02 15:15:16

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: California Wildfires

I would agree there is a role for ground robots as well. Maybe something like a Boston Dynamic robot dog that could be parachuted in by drone and could climb down from the canopy. Maybe robot dogs could be virtually fire proof and use fire blankets to suppress fire at ground level.

The automatic taxi drones that have flown in Dubai can carry two people - so I guess around 200 - 250 Kgs capacity. Let's say 0.25 ton. One hundred drones could pack 25 tons of water or fire suppressant. The water mist does sound a good idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qArZGwtRINg

That might not seem a huge amount but on the plus side they could be very accurate in delivery, and could keep up a continuous operation working as a "team". The big aeroplanes and helicopters have to fly to a water source and then return. Drones could operate from nearby water trucks or special  water tanks. Maybe they could even deploy large fire blankets on trees, working in combination. I suspect drones could also work a lot better in smoke and at night.

I'd be surprised if we don't see these sorts of technologies come into play


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#121 2021-09-02 16:18:39

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: California Wildfires

The drones don't necessarily need to extinguish the fire.  If they can pinpoint it rapidly and slow its rate of growth, then ground based forces with much greater capacity can move in.  Firefighting is often staged.  There is a first response, second response, etc.  The principle is to mount a rapid and continuous aggressive attack.  The more rapid the first response, the more successful the second response will be.  If a fire gets beyond a certain size, it will be beyond the capacity of a fire engine and hydrant to extinguish.

Fires tend to grow on a t-squared basis.  That is to say, heat output increases with the square of time since flaming ignition.  Some fires involving vertically stacked combustible materials will grow of a t-cubed basis.  For most fires, if the fire crew takes ten minutes to respond instead of five, then they will be facing a fire with four times the heat output.  That is a huge difference in severity.  If drones can pinpoint fires early, allowing fire crews to arrive just a few minutes earlier in the fire growth sequence, the difference in success rate will be quite dramatic.  If they can deploy water mist to reduce fire temperature and retard growth, better still.  Sometimes, small things can make a big difference, especially when severity is more than a linear function of time.

Last edited by Calliban (2021-09-02 16:39:52)


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#122 2021-09-02 17:05:20

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: California Wildfires

Good points! I am sure you are right it is not a case of drones v traditional fire trucks but more a case of getting a quick response started and then using all available resources.

Unsurprisingly, others have been thinking along similar lines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNF_Sddlgy4

I just feel someone needs to bring it all together.  I'm surprised, given the extent of the problem, that there doesn't appear to be any serious NASA style co-ordinated effort to address the issue. The cost of wildfires in 2018 alone was over $90 billion in the USA. It's not as though this wouldn't pay for itself! If you invested $30 billion in developing the concept (I doubt it would cost that much, but hey...) you'd easily recoup that within 3 years minimum. 

I'm seriously wondering if there is institutional and ideological resistance to solving the problem. An absence of major wildfires would not feed into green climate change propaganda for sure.

Calliban wrote:

The drones don't necessarily need to extinguish the fire.  If they can pinpoint it rapidly and slow its rate of growth, then ground based forces with much greater capacity can move in.  Firefighting is often staged.  There is a first response, second response, etc.  The principle is to mount a rapid and continuous aggressive attack.  The more rapid the first response, the more successful the second response will be.  If a fire gets beyond a certain size, it will be beyond the capacity of a fire engine and hydrant to extinguish.

Fires tend to grow on a t-squared basis.  That is to say, heat output increases with the square of time since flaming ignition.  Some fires involving vertically stacked combustible materials will grow of a t-cubed basis.  For most fires, if the fire crew takes ten minutes to respond instead of five, then they will be facing a fire with four times the heat output.  That is a huge difference in severity.  If drones can pinpoint fires early, allowing fire crews to arrive just a few minutes earlier in the fire growth sequence, the difference in success rate will be quite dramatic.  If they can deploy water mist to reduce fire temperature and retard growth, better still.  Sometimes, small things can make a big difference, especially when severity is more than a linear function of time.


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#123 2021-09-03 03:05:49

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,154

Re: California Wildfires

louis wrote:

I'm seriously wondering if there is institutional and ideological resistance to solving the problem. An absence of major wildfires would not feed into green climate change propaganda for sure.

I think that this is probably the case.  The Democrat dominated government of California is using the fires as the poster child for global climate change.  Solving the problem is not in their personal interests.  Solving poverty is not in their interests either, as wealthy middle class people don't vote for them.  Solving this problem would require putting in place sensible forestry practices that establish fire brakes.  But acknowledging that failure to implement this policy is this biggest part of the problem, would risk undermining the whole climate change narrative.  So they sit on their hands, whilst billions of dollars of property and thousands of lives are put at risk.

There are various different flavours to socialism throughout the world.  One thing that is common to all of them, is a complete lack of empathy and concern for real people.  Individual lives are expendable and don't matter on the road to the greater good.  The narrative seems to be all that matters.  Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin, killed millions of peasants and impoverished millions more, whilst attempting to force them into collectivist farming units; an ideological mold that was supposedly for their own good.  The UK is run by an army of socialists, feminists and civil rights lawyers, who sat on their hands and did nothing, whilst thousands of young English girls were raped by Islamic immigrant men.  It didn't fit their socialist, multiracial agenda to help those girls, so that did nothing and bullied anyone that did try to help and publicise the situation, because it might encourage 'anti-immigrant feelings'.  The same sort of thinking lies behind the problems in California as well.  Left-wing people are always obsessed with ideology and will sacrifice anyone in the interests of their cause.  They do not value human freedom, because your freedom makes it more difficult to control you and anyone obsessed with implementing an ideology is also obsessed with control.  The Left always ends up being fundamentally evil because it cares more about the narrative than the people.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#124 2021-09-03 18:27:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: California Wildfires

There are large super planes to dump water onto these fires but rules have kept them from flying for fear of killing people from the down pouring water.

drought-in-the-US-small.jpg

of course the east coast has places that look like this
Flooding-from-Ida-in-Pennsylvania-Michael-M-Stokes-CC-BY-SA-2.0.jpg

sounds like we need to move the water to the places that need it....

Here is the converted plane that could be a win against forest fire fighting that is since been sold
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/747_Supertanker

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#125 2021-09-04 02:01:11

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: California Wildfires

HAHAHA as a Californian I find the comments here humorous. We are the most populous state. We have an economy that dwarfs the rest of the individual states. We are forward thinking, open, and progressive. We export culture, technology, agriculture, and a promise of a better future. We don’t have everything right, but we have more going for us than not. Stick with TX and wear a burka. Live in FL and die from poor education in science.

Wildfires are largely due to federal failures. We can’t manage what we don’t own. If anyone wants to outline where state land is burning down I’m happy to concede.

Given the current climate issues and the persistent nature and cadence, technology is going to quickly catch up with some solutions simply because there is a dollar to be made.

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