Dave Fields

collector cars in California fire

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Smoke is very thick even though I live some 150 miles plus away from this. 18,000 acres burned. Entire town of Paradise, population 27,000, burned down. Maybe not all of it, but most of it, including the downtown area. they had a hospital there; wonder what happened to that, if patients had to be evacuated?

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Horrible, makes you think how fortunate  you are if you never have to even come close to something like this or have friends that have to experience it.

I am at a loss for words on how sorry I am to see this happen.

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As SAD and Horrible as this is, that Picture is AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL and CAPTIVATING.

 

It looks like it could have been staged, or taken by a photographer with a very keen eye.

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Sadly with no rain forecast in California there likely will be more examples of historical rolling art that will be victims of global warming and a dry year in California. Just hope my examples stored in California are not future victims of a fire.

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If it were me, I would try and drive to safety in the vintage car and let the modern daily driver burn. 

 

But it is hard to know how one would act and under what circumstances the escape was made. 

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5888 Kibler Rd, Paradise, CA 959696167 Burke Ln, Paradise, CA 95969

 

Typical Paradise homes. In the foothills I think you'd call it. Rather wooded; plenty of fuel for a fire. Seems it could have been another wind and powerline situation. An electrical outage was reported just prior to the discovery of a fire, so it may have been a tree branch hitting a powerline.

 

 

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The reports are the hospital burned. Over 2000 structures lost in Paradise alone and death toll is going up. Fire was burning 8 football fields a minute. Driving an old car thru a fire like that would not be my choice, a modern car  with injection has a better chance than carb cars. You can roll up windows and put on air recirculating. A guy I know left a totally restored 51 pickup in favor of his wife’s modem car. Drove thru flames on both sides of the road. The car was scorched on both sides when they arrived at a shelter. He said they started to pack to leave and could not see the fire only smoke from over a good size hill. 10-15 minutes his back yard was ablaze and they left, leaving the pickup full of what they thought was important. The road literally exploded with fire for as far as he could see in seconds. 

He said at that point only their lives mattered. 

Dave S 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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My daughter has a friend whos family lost several homes, one relative was flown out from the hospital as were all other patients evacuated from there. Some by land, some by air.

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14 hours ago, Pomeroy41144 said:

If it were me, I would try and drive to safety in the vintage car and let the modern daily driver burn. 

 

But it is hard to know how one would act and under what circumstances the escape was made. 

 

I know of a couple with a '37 Plymouth who retired to Paradise about 5 years back. I don't know how they have fared. . . I suspect answering my query is pretty low on their priority list.

 

FWIW, I came across a post in a site totally unrelated to old cars where a fellow claimed that their lives were saved by their Prius. The claim was that the smoke, etc. was so bad that the internal combustion engines failed but the Prius was able to run on battery mode long enough to get them to safety. Not sure I believe it. . . Seems if there was enough oxygen for a human to survive there should be enough to run an engine but maybe the modern engine controls got confused enough with the gasses being detected that they went haywire. I don't know that I want to be the one to make the experiment about whether an old car with a carburetor would be better or worse than a new fuel injected car when driving through a fire.

 

From the low res maps that I see, it looks like the neighborhood that I lived in during the 1990s is in the path of the Woolsey fire. Or if not in the actual fire zone in the evacuation zone.

 

Here by the beach many miles south of the Woolsey Fire, there was a dry Santa Ana wind last night and the NWS has issued a "Red Flag Warning" until Tuesday. Just hoping for some rain some time soon.

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I have been involved with a ship that had an engine room fire. Its not lack of oxygen that causes the engines to stop but rather soot completely plugging the air intake filter.  Engines are just a big vacuum cleaner .

 

Greg in Canada

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On 11/9/2018 at 12:48 PM, Doug Novak said:

As SAD and Horrible as this is, that Picture is AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL and CAPTIVATING.

 

It looks like it could have been staged, or taken by a photographer with a very keen eye.

 That's what I was thinking. Sort of a Dante's Inferno for old car guys. So be nice to everyone and do the right thing...or this is where you'll spend eternity.

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7 hours ago, ply33 said:

 

I know of a couple with a '37 Plymouth who retired to Paradise about 5 years back. I don't know how they have fared. . . I suspect answering my query is pretty low on their priority list.

 

 

Heard back. . . He and his wife are safe but they have lost all their property and their car collection. He seems to have a positive attitude about going forward which I admire.

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On 11/9/2018 at 10:48 AM, Doug Novak said:

As SAD and Horrible as this is, that Picture is AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL and CAPTIVATING.

 

It looks like it could have been staged, or taken by a photographer with a very keen eye.

 

Oh, I do see what you mean. It does have a movie set quality to it. If only it were so. One day someone has a beautiful peaceful life, and the next day this. One day someone is struggling, having a tough life, and the next day it is way tougher yet. One day someone has life.

 

Half a life ago,  good ol' "keen eye" Cadillac saw a huge black smoke cloud very close to his house. He grabbed his tough trusty Nikkormat EL, ran towards the smoke, rounded the corner, aimed, framed, leveled the horizon, focused, and squeezed off a shot. Northwest corner of 45th and Fremont for you Seattlites. As I remember it, they were doing a gas tank yank. Tank got away from them, and dropped on a drop light. Make sure your young kids, or young grand kids, or young great grandkids, learn not to play with fire. By any means necessary. I was one of those kids who needed the "DONT PLAY WITH FIRE" asswhipping. I had to deliver one once. A learning is far better than a burning.    -   Ol' Cadillac 

 

 

A0C9DB94-A66F-442B-992F-281451FAA93E.jpeg

Edited by C Carl
Add the word "focused" (see edit history)

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I have seen on the NPR site pics of a burned out shop with a Rambler I think and an El Camino in the background. I know we love our old cars but when it comes down to it you can always get another antique but if your gone that's not an option. Please listen to the warnings. And take them seriously!

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9 minutes ago, C Carl said:

 

Oh, I do see what you mean. It does have a movie set quality to it. If only it were so. One day someone has a beautiful peaceful life, and the next day this. One day someone is struggling, having a tough life, and the next day it is way tougher yet. One day someone has life.

 

Half a life ago,  good ol' "keen eye" Cadillac saw a huge black smoke cloud very close to his house. He grabbed his tough trusty Nikkormat EL, ran towards the smoke, rounded the corner, aimed, framed, leveled the horizon, and squeezed off a shot. Northwest corner of 45th and Fremont for you Seattlites. As I remember it, they were doing a gas tank yank. Tank got away from them, and dropped on a drop light. Make sure your young kids, or young grand kids, or young great grandkids, learn not to play with fire. By any means necessary. I was one of those kids who needed the "DONT PLAY WITH FIRE" asswhipping. I had to deliver one once. A learning is far better than a burning.    -   Ol' Cadillac 

 

 

A0C9DB94-A66F-442B-992F-281451FAA93E.jpeg

I very well remember that gas station just off Aurora Ave. Gus Cooper's.

It always remided me to be careful with drop/shop lights and gas tanks...the station is still there too.

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In 2003, the Grand Prix fire came through our area. A few hours before my mom and I moved her blazer and my 66 mustang to my friends house in downtown about 10 min south of mt. Baldy. My mom then sent my sister with my grandmother and my mom and I stayed until the fire came over the mountain and was feet away from our house. When we left the street was on fire as we escaped in the 85 corvette. It must have been about 130 degrees and filled with smoke. The fire moved so fast and no one expected it there. We didn’t lose our house but several on our street were gone. We tack it up to leaving our sprinklers on. 

 

When we we came back the next day the yard was bone dry and the water fountain was bone dry. I just restored the fountain all these years later and when I look at it I always remember. My mom and my step dad still live there.

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Hi Bob ! So you were/still are in Seattle ? And remember the fire ? I would put it about 35-36 years ago, because I was briefly living on 48th street just West of Fremont. Great place to live, so close to the zoo with a young kid. I seem to remember Gus's gas prices were not particularly gas guzzler friendly. (?). Made a difference, as I was driving a '71 Eldorado, and a 3/4 ton '74 Chev Suburban full-time 4WD with 4.11s. Huh ! I still have them. At the time of the fire, the Eldo drop top had just come back from 20,000 miles and 6 months all over Mexico. Highly modified for off-road duty as a Baja Cruiser/hunting rig after taking a T-bone bash, the thing looks like a piece of military equipment from the losing side of World War Four. I oughtta put it in the Greenwood Auto Show. I sometimes used to have to drag it out of the Baranoff up North of 85th on Greenwood and send it home before it got in trouble. So far, so good.  -   CC 

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57 minutes ago, C Carl said:

Northwest corner of 45th and Fremont for you Seattlites.

 

Don't you mean 46th? If so, I'm pretty sure that building was still there in the 90s when I lived there. I think it still stands today. Hard to believe after seeing the pictures.

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Sure can be 46th. Right. There is an offset passing under Aurora. Still there all right. I would imagine that corner is a pricey chunk of real estate these days. You can be 100% certain Gus was properly insured. He runs a pretty tight ship, with the towing and all. Had some good mechanics, too. No, it is definitely still there. More than I can say for the Buckaroo, though. ?.   -  C Carl  

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With fires like that does it really matter if you have a wood structure or a tin building or almost anything short of a nuclear bunker as something seems to catch fire and the metal melts?  I remember the window frames burning up in one of the most recent fires out there then destroying the rest of the garage.  When it gets real dry around here I get nervous as our tree huggers have chased away the loggers and the governor,  keeps buying up huge tracts of land to be forever wild, thus letting all the existing logging access roads (some the equivalent of high speed highways) Grow over and become unpassable all in the sake of saving the forest.  Now you see fires like this and it makes you wonder if they aren't trying to start something to chase everybody out and buy the land for nothing when it's scorched and legislation is passed that won't like you build there again.  I'm in NY.  We have a huge park of over 6 million acres.  I believe they own over 1/2 of it now with thousands of acres being bought through a shell game yearly all on borrowed money.

Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)

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On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 11:32 PM, auburnseeker said:

I get nervous as our tree huggers have chased away the loggers

It's such a shame to lose cars in these fires, but the point was well made that no car is worth your life.  I can understand wanting to drive the old car out and leave the new car to burn, but I'd want to make darn sure the old car chosen was 100% reliable.  It'd be an awful time for your fuel pump to fail or your points to burn......

 

Forest management, or lack thereof, has been a factor in California.  There's even been recent (California) legislation to address the issues.  One issue is that much of the forest is under Federal control.

 

Just a comment, hope it doesn't get my post deleted, but we need to be aware of the hazards to our cars that a LOT of legislation poses....not just license and insurance laws....

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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