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Old 7th September 2020, 11:42 PM   #1
Skeptic Ginger
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Eastern WA Fires creating thick smoke in Bellevue/Seattle

Relatively thick. The Moon is blood red. I've lived here more than 30 years and I've never experienced the smell of smoke like this. I actually went outside to see if there was a fire nearby and until I saw the Moon I wasn't sure.

Last year (or the year before, I lose track) there was smoke from the fires north of here in Canada. I seem to remember there was a bit of noticeable ash fall. Still it wasn't like this.

I knew this was coming with global warming. Some states are getting droughts or floods. The whole west coast is getting fires. Like Australia, and there must be many areas on the planet that have had or will get massive fires like this.

NPR: Wildfire smoke billows into Seattle area with flurry of 911 calls

They had to announce not to call 911 unless you could see flames. Apparently the smoke literally billowed across the Snoqualmie pass.

Quote:
On the Washington Smoke Information blog, readers were reporting smoke rolling across Snoqualmie Pass and into Puyallup and Maple Valley about 7 p.m.

An experimental forecast from NOAA showed near-surface smoke flowing over the mountains....

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's air monitoring system showed a spike in fine particulates in North Bend and nearby areas in the evening.
It forced authorities to issue Level 3 evacuation notices to the town of Bridgeport and to close highways in the area, including US 97 between Brewster and Omak and US 2 in several spots....
Like Paradise CA, a couple of towns burned down.
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Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 7th September 2020 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 7th September 2020, 11:50 PM   #2
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Right. it is really bad here in Portland with blood-red skies and heavy winds and smoke and low visibility. It is quite the event. We've had multiple brown outs but no black outs. 100K Portland residents without power. A small accident could trigger a major event like Santa Rosa CA or Paradise.
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Old 8th September 2020, 12:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by portlandatheist View Post
Right. it is really bad here in Portland with blood-red skies and heavy winds and smoke and low visibility. It is quite the event. We've had multiple brown outs but no black outs. 100K Portland residents without power. A small accident could trigger a major event like Santa Rosa CA or Paradise.
My house backs to a large forested park. I really need to clean the pine needles off of my roof.

I don't think fire will take off near my house, but it could easily hit the outer suburbs. Tracks of houses have been built well into the forest in this area.
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Old 8th September 2020, 01:43 PM   #4
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It's bad today on the Olympic Peninsula.
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Old 8th September 2020, 03:03 PM   #5
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It's really bad today just across the strait for the Olympic Peninsula. I'm hoping for a westerly to blow up but it's not looking like it's going to. Everything stinks of smoke, even my sofa. Shouldn't have left the windows open last night.
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Old 8th September 2020, 03:17 PM   #6
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This is a bad fire year across much of the west.

Here in Colorado, Ft. Collins and Greeley had streetlights turning on at noon yesterday due to smoke from a nearby fire making it so dark. My parents had to evacuate because of that. But today it is snowing on the fire - 60 degree temp change over about twelve hours. Mom and Dad's house (as well as Mom and Dad) are fine, they even managed to save my dear departed Grandmother's '65 Pontiac.

Three firefighters were burned over and deployed fire shelters two days ago in Idaho, no injuries.

Fifteen firefighters burned/deployed shelters over today on Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. One critical and one serious injury on that - that we know of.

A bunch of people trapped up near Lake Tahoe, but they don't seem to be in any immediate danger. the National Guard is having trouble getting helicopters in due to smoke and wind.

And we've had at least three aircraft (that I know of) crash, with fatalities from those. Plus a firefighter killed in a car crash.

Plus firefighting disrupted due to Covid. They had to pull a bunch off the local fires because a few had symptoms and tested positive. They try to keep them all separated. So no big fire camps this year, they all spread out and make little camps all over the place - but presents its own difficulties and inefficiencies.

In short, the general craziness of 2020 is also extending itself into the world of wildland fire. In a bad way.
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Old 8th September 2020, 04:34 PM   #7
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It's not just Eastern Washington, there are lots of fires here on the west side as well. We did have a spectacular sunset last night at least!
Presumably due to yesterday's wind which fanned the flames our internet has been out for 24 hours now so I'm using my phone as a mobile hotspot.
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Old 8th September 2020, 07:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
This is a bad fire year across much of the west.

Here in Colorado, Ft. Collins and Greeley had streetlights turning on at noon yesterday due to smoke from a nearby fire making it so dark. My parents had to evacuate because of that. But today it is snowing on the fire - 60 degree temp change over about twelve hours. Mom and Dad's house (as well as Mom and Dad) are fine, they even managed to save my dear departed Grandmother's '65 Pontiac.

Three firefighters were burned over and deployed fire shelters two days ago in Idaho, no injuries.

Fifteen firefighters burned/deployed shelters over today on Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. One critical and one serious injury on that - that we know of.

A bunch of people trapped up near Lake Tahoe, but they don't seem to be in any immediate danger. the National Guard is having trouble getting helicopters in due to smoke and wind.

And we've had at least three aircraft (that I know of) crash, with fatalities from those. Plus a firefighter killed in a car crash.

Plus firefighting disrupted due to Covid. They had to pull a bunch off the local fires because a few had symptoms and tested positive. They try to keep them all separated. So no big fire camps this year, they all spread out and make little camps all over the place - but presents its own difficulties and inefficiencies.

In short, the general craziness of 2020 is also extending itself into the world of wildland fire. In a bad way.
Greeley? My niece and her horses live in Greeley. A Belgian, 2 Irish Vanner mares, and their two new foals. Know them?
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Old 8th September 2020, 08:29 PM   #9
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Here's an air quality site you can check by state or by your zip code.
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Old 8th September 2020, 09:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Greeley? My niece and her horses live in Greeley. A Belgian, 2 Irish Vanner mares, and their two new foals. Know them?
Sorry - don't live there anymore. My parents are there, that's where they evacuated to, and one of my siblings lives there.
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Old 8th September 2020, 09:51 PM   #11
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Australia just had it's worst ever fires and they were a national disaster. We had many weeks of smoke filled air. It's definitely influenced by global warming, as confirmed by in depth investigations.
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Old 8th September 2020, 11:48 PM   #12
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Large swaths of the western US threaten to become uninhabitable.

I lived in north-central WA state (Okanogan) for a few years. It was a smoky hell hole for weeks on end in 2017 and 2018. Air quality pegged at the worst level -- very unhealthful. And it's bad there now.
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Old 9th September 2020, 04:37 PM   #13
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Air quality map:

There are some extreme conditions:
Eugene, OR 489
Florence, OR 603
Wenatchee, WA 227
Portland, OR "only" 80 and the sky is a deep orange hue and you can definitely feel it in your nose and throat. Are locusts next?
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Old 9th September 2020, 06:38 PM   #14
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Just to get an idea of the scale of this event:
Sat image of smoke
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Old 9th September 2020, 06:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
Large swaths of the western US threaten to become uninhabitable.



I lived in north-central WA state (Okanogan) for a few years. It was a smoky hell hole for weeks on end in 2017 and 2018. Air quality pegged at the worst level -- very unhealthful. And it's bad there now.
They did some modelling in Australia some years ago which has been remarkably prescient. The fires get worse and worse then the problem goes away. There is nothing left to burn.
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Old 9th September 2020, 08:52 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Relatively thick. The Moon is blood red. I've lived here more than 30 years and I've never experienced the smell of smoke like this. I actually went outside to see if there was a fire nearby and until I saw the Moon I wasn't sure.

Last year (or the year before, I lose track) there was smoke from the fires north of here in Canada. I seem to remember there was a bit of noticeable ash fall. Still it wasn't like this.

I knew this was coming with global warming. Some states are getting droughts or floods. The whole west coast is getting fires. Like Australia, and there must be many areas on the planet that have had or will get massive fires like this.

NPR: Wildfire smoke billows into Seattle area with flurry of 911 calls

They had to announce not to call 911 unless you could see flames. Apparently the smoke literally billowed across the Snoqualmie pass.



Like Paradise CA, a couple of towns burned down.
Do you need me to send your masks back? I've still got 'em.
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Old 9th September 2020, 09:00 PM   #17
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Pro-tip: Get new furnace filters. If the weather is cool and you don't need to run the AC, then look at the control panel for the thermostat, most of them will allow you to just run the fan, recirculating the air in the house through the filter. That can help with the smoke - a little. (Also useful for pollen when the allergies are bad.)
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Old 10th September 2020, 11:35 AM   #18
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I'm in Beaverton, Oregon.

This was the sky 15 minutes ago.

That little orange dot? That would be the sun.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sun.jpg (43.6 KB, 13 views)
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Old 10th September 2020, 11:48 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
I'm in Beaverton, Oregon.

This was the sky 15 minutes ago.

That little orange dot? That would be the sun.
The light in Tigard over the past two days has been turning our gray carpet a neon orange color. I would consider it very cool under other circumstances.
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Old 10th September 2020, 02:04 PM   #20
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I just can't find any up to date maps of my local event: Valley Fire San Diego. I have the feeling it's like how news copters are prevented from live broadcast of police stand-offs. Sure, the air space is restricted what with 8 fire bombers (including 737 and 747), but I would think Cal-Fire would have current stuff. Best I find is 3 days old. (I've got a friend within 2 miles.I think.)
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Old 10th September 2020, 02:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
This is a bad fire year across much of the west.

Here in Colorado, Ft. Collins and Greeley had streetlights turning on at noon yesterday due to smoke from a nearby fire making it so dark. My parents had to evacuate because of that. But today it is snowing on the fire - 60 degree temp change over about twelve hours. Mom and Dad's house (as well as Mom and Dad) are fine, they even managed to save my dear departed Grandmother's '65 Pontiac.

Three firefighters were burned over and deployed fire shelters two days ago in Idaho, no injuries.

Fifteen firefighters burned/deployed shelters over today on Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. One critical and one serious injury on that - that we know of.

A bunch of people trapped up near Lake Tahoe, but they don't seem to be in any immediate danger. the National Guard is having trouble getting helicopters in due to smoke and wind.

And we've had at least three aircraft (that I know of) crash, with fatalities from those. Plus a firefighter killed in a car crash.

Plus firefighting disrupted due to Covid. They had to pull a bunch off the local fires because a few had symptoms and tested positive. They try to keep them all separated. So no big fire camps this year, they all spread out and make little camps all over the place - but presents its own difficulties and inefficiencies.

In short, the general craziness of 2020 is also extending itself into the world of wildland fire. In a bad way.
I think you could have just stopped at "This is a bad year" and everyone would agree.

We've been getting smoke from CA here, which makes for pretty sunsets but is hell on breathing. Luckily, we're just entering our rainy season, so the outbreaks of brush fires has dropped off.
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Old 10th September 2020, 02:15 PM   #22
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I remember the fires in the NW in 2017. We were down near Madrid, OR for the eclipse, while the mountains were on fire. Then when we headed back home, north of Seattle, the peninsula was on fire, as was a fair bit of Vancouver Island. It was an amazing amount of smoke.
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Old 10th September 2020, 03:57 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
I'm in Beaverton, Oregon.

This was the sky 15 minutes ago.

That little orange dot? That would be the sun.
Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
The light in Tigard over the past two days has been turning our gray carpet a neon orange color. I would consider it very cool under other circumstances.
Both suburbs of Portland, which I have on good authority has been burning for 50 years.

Seriously, stay safe folks. I took my wife to the hairdresser this afternoon and her son was there, because he'd been evacuated from Bonney Lake, WA. And of course there are a million conspiracy theories.
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Old 10th September 2020, 04:46 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
I'm in Beaverton, Oregon.

This was the sky 15 minutes ago.

That little orange dot? That would be the sun.
I have a sister who lives in Oregon City, teaches at the jr college in Clackamas County. She just called me about an hour ago to tell me she was on the highway, her area being evacuated. Her son lives somewhere north of Portland, apparently not evacuated yet, so at least she has a place to go (for now). And that picture of yours looks like what she was describing of the view out of her car window.

Living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I'm kind of used to periodic evacuation orders, in our case, of course, for hurricanes. But I'd much rather live in a hurricane-prone area than one so subject to fires like ya'll have. Hurricanes have been known to change course at the last little bit, but that's usually still good for a few hours warning; I don't know much about fires on the scale you have up there, but my understanding is that they can change course with no warning at all. I visited up there with her last year for a couple of weeks, took the road trip with my brother and his wife (which is the only way for me to get there- I do not fly, just cannot do it)- gorgeous part of the country, I'd love to live there, except for that one thing...

Be safe.
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Old 10th September 2020, 04:56 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Both suburbs of Portland, which I have on good authority has been burning for 50 years.

Seriously, stay safe folks. I took my wife to the hairdresser this afternoon and her son was there, because he'd been evacuated from Bonney Lake, WA. And of course there are a million conspiracy theories.
Downtown Portland is our firebreak. Well, that and the Willamette River.
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Old 10th September 2020, 05:05 PM   #26
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Well, the Almeda fire in Southern Oregon is actually suspicious at this point, they found a body near the point of origin, under suspicious enough circumstances that it's now a criminal investigation. News article here https://ktvz.com/news/fire-alert/202...found-in-area/
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Old 11th September 2020, 09:34 AM   #27
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I am in California. Apparently our own fires did not produce enough smoke; we are now importing smoke from Oregon...

I, for one, am getting bored with all of these fires. I am writing the governor to demand that he change things up - perhaps schedule a blizzard or two.
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Old 11th September 2020, 09:50 AM   #28
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As an Arizonan, I'd appreciate it if you would stop exporting your smoke to us...
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Old 11th September 2020, 10:04 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
.... I am writing the governor to demand that he change things up - perhaps schedule a blizzard or two.
There is a meme going around suggesting that we should not wish for snow, because 2020 will turn out to be the year where snow becomes flammable.
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Old 11th September 2020, 10:25 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
As an Arizonan, I'd appreciate it if you would stop exporting your smoke to us...
We would not need too if you could just produce your own!
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Old 11th September 2020, 10:26 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
There is a meme going around suggesting that we should not wish for snow, because 2020 will turn out to be the year where snow becomes flammable.
Are you trying to jinx us?
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Old 11th September 2020, 10:46 AM   #32
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Son of a bitch. Olympic Peninsula has the worst air quality in the state (WA).
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Old 11th September 2020, 11:04 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
They did some modelling in Australia some years ago which has been remarkably prescient. The fires get worse and worse then the problem goes away. There is nothing left to burn.
Your post caused me to look up Australia, and I learned you have significant forest land.

That said, the amount of fuel in the pacific northwest is biblical.
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Old 11th September 2020, 01:07 PM   #34
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My son: How are you doing, Mom? - do you have an escape plan?
Me: Yes, I will run screaming in the opposite direction of the flames.
My son: Wow - very detailed.
Me: What it lacks in volume is more than made up for by the flexibility!
(I crack me up).

But seriously, I will come up with a more detailed plan if I need to, but I have time and a lot of city and a river in between me and the fire.

Last edited by Faydra; 11th September 2020 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 11th September 2020, 03:08 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
Son of a bitch. Olympic Peninsula has the worst air quality in the state (WA).
I can't even see Discovery Bay. It's half a mile off.
Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
That said, the amount of fuel in the pacific northwest is biblical.
It's Jay Inslee's fault, because he hasn't been out raking the forests.

ETA: I just looked up "forest ownership in Washington State". 78.7% is federal or private. 86.3% if you count tribal ownership. Just 12.1% state owned.
In California, 97% is Federal or private. Gavin Newsom has apparently caused a problem on just 3% of CA's forests.
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Old 11th September 2020, 03:29 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
We would not need too if you could just produce your own!
We did that earlier this year! We were just more subtle about it. We're simply not as flamboyant as you Californians.
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Old 11th September 2020, 04:24 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Do you need me to send your masks back? I've still got 'em.
If you're not using them, sure. The health care workers around here still need PPE. And they could use the N100s right now. And if this smoke continues, I will need the N100s.

I hope we aren't chasing the seasons, you send them back and then your fires start back up.
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Old 11th September 2020, 04:36 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I can't even see Discovery Bay. It's half a mile off.

It's Jay Inslee's fault, because he hasn't been out raking the forests.

ETA: I just looked up "forest ownership in Washington State". 78.7% is federal or private. 86.3% if you count tribal ownership. Just 12.1% state owned.
In California, 97% is Federal or private. Gavin Newsom has apparently caused a problem on just 3% of CA's forests.
Psst... Don't tell Trump he'll try to sell it off.
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ORANGE MAN BAD? Why yes, yes he is.

Privatize the profits and socialize the losses. It's the American way. That's how Mnuchin got rich. Worse, he did it on the backs of elderly people who had been conned into reverse mortgages. Mnuchin paid zero, took on the debt then taxpayers bailed him out.
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Old 11th September 2020, 04:38 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
My son: How are you doing, Mom? - do you have an escape plan?
Me: Yes, I will run screaming in the opposite direction of the flames.
My son: Wow - very detailed.
Me: What it lacks in volume is more than made up for by the flexibility!
(I crack me up).

But seriously, I will come up with a more detailed plan if I need to, but I have time and a lot of city and a river in between me and the fire.
You cracked me up too so I nom'd this.
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ORANGE MAN BAD? Why yes, yes he is.

Privatize the profits and socialize the losses. It's the American way. That's how Mnuchin got rich. Worse, he did it on the backs of elderly people who had been conned into reverse mortgages. Mnuchin paid zero, took on the debt then taxpayers bailed him out.
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Old 11th September 2020, 07:15 PM   #40
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Last Wednesday in San Francisco -



Weird effect caused by the prevailing winds keeping the smoke trapped in the atmosphere. This picture was taken around 10 AM but on the ground it was like 10 at night, the sun completely snuffed out. The benefit was being able to breathe smoke free air for the day, but it sure made the natives restless. Lots of anxious people milling about. Unfortunately it didn't last, we were back to breathing smoke Thursday.
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