The fires this time, in Paradise and SoCal

A WSJ video look at the fire that destroyed Paradise a couple of days ago — destroying even big box stores, McDonalds, etc — and another fire that is is now moving through Thousand Oaks towards Malibu, destroying (reportedly) even fire stations. Scary stuff.

Heat to blast SoCal: Fire Weather

It’s going to be crazy hot the next couple of days here in Ojai (112 on Friday they say) and in coastal Southern California this weekend. In the words of Weather West (aka climate scientist Daniel Swain): …in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties, especially, the heat from Fri-Sun will be extreme due to theContinue reading “Heat to blast SoCal: Fire Weather”

SoCal is losing its cool (the clouds)

On the eve of a hellacious heat wave — up to 110 this weekend they say — here’s a new fact to contemplate about life in Southern California. We’re losing our cool. Physically, that is. We’re losing clouds and fog in summer over our heads, according to scientific studies and meteorological observations. Here’s the lead from aContinue reading “SoCal is losing its cool (the clouds)”

The hazardous truth: Santa Clara Waste Water

My old friends at the Ventura County Reporter ran my latest obsession/story, which I’ve been working on for the last six months or so, off and on, and did a nice job with the lay-out, may I say. Here’s the crux of the matter: What really happened when Santa Clara Waste Water (in Santa Paula area)Continue reading “The hazardous truth: Santa Clara Waste Water”

Scenes from an explosion: “Nothing to worry about — it’s just sewer water.”

After a vacuum truck blew up in the yard of Santa Paula Waste Water last November, the Santa Paula Fire Department arrived at shortly before 4:00 a.m. According to the interview with Captain Milo Bustillos, they were told “You have nothing to worry about it is just treated sewer water.” As Bustillos and two otherContinue reading “Scenes from an explosion: “Nothing to worry about — it’s just sewer water.””

Scenes from an explosion: Oilfield waste chemicals shock, puzzle responders

A 120-barrel vacuum truck blew up at about 3:30 a.m. at the Santa Clara Waste Water treatment plant outside of Santa Paula on November 18th, and blasting the intake yard with over 1000 gallons of a toxic soup of chemicals and sewage. Several employees were severely injured, and three first responders had their lungs burnedContinue reading “Scenes from an explosion: Oilfield waste chemicals shock, puzzle responders”

An oilfield waste plant blows up in Santa Paula: from the police interviews

On November 18th of last year, a vacuum truck at an oilfield wastewater treatment plant outside Santa Paula blew up. Besides severely injuring several people on site, including three firefighters, the explosion led to an extraordinarily dangerous fire and a cloud of toxic chlorine gas that drifted west over farm fields and sent 46 peopleContinue reading “An oilfield waste plant blows up in Santa Paula: from the police interviews”

Why are we having Santa Ana conditions in May?

Just got another Santa Ana winds warning via phone app. Winds expected through Monday. The umpteenth such warning in the last few weeks. National meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters laid out the harsh weather experienced in Southern California this week already:  Record May heat sent temperatures soaring above 100° in much of Southern California on Wednesday,Continue reading “Why are we having Santa Ana conditions in May?”

Santa Ana winds, Ventura County, and fire: 2013

A couple of weeks ago I published a long story about climate change in Ventura County today but didn't mention shifts in the timng of Santa Ana winds. This despite the fact that from talking to Alex Hall of UCLA, a couple of years ago, I knew that evidence suggests that Santa Ana winds nowContinue reading “Santa Ana winds, Ventura County, and fire: 2013”