More Fires… and HEAT!


The wildfire, expected to grow to 10,000 acres, poses a growing threat to oil fields, power lines and agricultural sites. 


The 9,700-acre Guiberson fire in Ventura County is 20% contained, but firefighters expect the blaze to grow to 10,000 acres before the day is over as it threatens oil production fields, power lines and agricultural sites, officials said today.

At a news conference, fire experts said winds have increased significantly since 9 a.m. and are up to 12 mph with gusts to 21 mph. The winds were calmer than they were at midday Tuesday when gusts of more than 50 mph were recorded.

Flying tankers attacked the flames on the western and eastern flanks of the fire, which is about five miles north of Moorpark College. The fire is threatening oil production fields and five 220-kilovolt power lines that supply Ventura and Santa Barbara with electricity, said Nick Schuler with CalFire. (A previous version of this post erroneously said an above-ground gas line was threatened.)

The fire also prompted the closure today of Moorpark College and two elementary schools, Walnut Canyon and Campus Canyon.

"We don’t want these kids out, especially with those elements," said Mike Mohler, a spokesman for CalFire.

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The cause of the fire, which started Tuesday, is still under investigation, but Ventura County Sheriff’s Department officials have said it appeared to have been started by spontaneous combustion of manure from a local ranch.

Officials did not disclose exactly where the fire started or how. But spontaneous manure fires are fairly common in farm communities, often occurring during conditions of extreme heat. Temperatures around where today’s fire started near Fillmore topped 100 degrees.

In 2005, it took months to fully contain a manure fire that broke out at a feed lot near Lincoln, Neb. A man was killed earlier this year in Texas on a fire later blamed in part on animal waste placed in bags in a truck.

Manure becomes volatile as it decomposes.  Gases, including methane and hydrogen sulfide, are naturally produced as the animal waste breaks down.

As weather becomes hotter, methane becomes highly combustible, which can cause the manure to spontaneously explode and sometimes catch fire.

Since methane is lighter than air, it builds up on top of unvented areas, such as in closed pits.  All areas with manure should be ventilated to prevent explosions.

There you go!!  A fire update and a science lesson in one post!!  Weather conditions should improve tomorrow and by next week the temps should be in the mid-70’s.

Pretty soon I’ll be complaining about too much rain….  NO I WON’T!!

Take care and be safe.

PS:  That Station fire from two months ago is still burning.  Over 300 sq miles so far.

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14 Responses to More Fires… and HEAT!

  1. Joe says:

    I’m starting to think that the difference between hell and there is that it’s much hotter there! My goodness!

  2. john says:

    You be quite the reporter and with the pics have connections with a good photojournalist or two. Besides fires what else is new in the golden bear state? Dodgers on their way?

  3. Adrian says:

    Great reporting!

  4. Sue says:

    Any big rain storms would be most welcome! I think that is what it will take to get those fires out for good. Great pics as usual and interesting reporting. So, who’s your pick for the World Series this year????

  5. Stephanie says:

    And on a nicer note… uh hem, hmmmmmmm , hmmmmm, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! Happy Birthday to YOUUUUUUUUUUU, Happy Birthday, My dearest friend Bobbbbbbb, Happy Birthday toooo YOUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!! Love you lots! BIG HUGS, and have a wonderful day! Steph and Family

  6. CAROL says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB!! let’s see it’s either MEXICAN or Lobster for dinner.. maybe steak.. whatever you choose..HOPE YOUR DAY IS FANTASTIC!! Take care : )

  7. CoCo says:

    I hope you’re having a wonderful Birthday, BOB !!!!

  8. Babblelot says:

    Great post. Better than the news channel. Now have a wonderful Birthday Bob!

  9. Jade says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAAAAAY BOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Party it up :DLove youuuu!!!!!

  10. Jean says:

    Happy Birthday, Bobert!!!!!!!!!! Check your email!! Hope you have had a wonderful day.. what is it, 35 now????LOL Or 35 for the 25th time? Happy, Happy!!!love and hugs,Jean

  11. Kat says:

    Happy birthday Bob!

  12. Lori BJ says:

    Happy Birthday Bob!

  13. Sue says:

    Yeah, it got out, Bob—HAPPY BIRTHDAY! That must make you, what, 39?????

  14. Kat says:

    Happy Happy Happy Happy Birthday BOB-A-ROO!!!!!! *big humungous hugs!*

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