Bump for Rob Hanson
#11
  
Hey all,

Just a friendly reminder that the Paradise fires may be forgotten by many, but the aftermath is very much in effect. Evenfall Studios (Rob's site) is still collecting donations, if you are inclined to help. There is a link on the web page.

http://www.evenfallstudios.com/
Best,
Aram, defying laws of geometry

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Web: http://awacs.smugmug.com/Woodworking
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#12
  Re: Bump for Rob Hanson by Aram (Hey all, Just a f...)
Did my donating the first time around.
Steve


Putzing, the new hobby

Evil lurks here, but eventually gets cleansed.


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#13
  Re: RE: Bump for Rob Hanson by Stwood_ (Did my donating the ...)
(06-01-2019, 06:48 PM)Stwood_ Wrote: Did my donating the first time around.

Thanks Steve! (For your help too!) And thank goodness there hasn't been a second time around. I can't afford to be wiped out even once in a lifetime. Who could? But I digress. 

Saw there was referrals to our website from here. Thought I'd peek in.

And thanks Aram for thinking of us. Yup, This is still going on. Worse for the community and county to recover than you might imagine. 

Thanks again to all of you. Your help was and is a very big deal to my wife and I. You personally know who each of you are. 

Best,
~ Rob
http://www.evenfallstudios.com/

The race is long, and in the end it's only with yourself.

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#14
  Re: Bump for Rob Hanson by Aram (Hey all, Just a f...)
So Rob, are you anywhere close to rebuilding yet?
Steve


Putzing, the new hobby

Evil lurks here, but eventually gets cleansed.


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#15
  Re: RE: Bump for Rob Hanson by Stwood_ (So Rob, are you anyw...)
(06-03-2019, 03:05 PM)Stwood_ Wrote: So Rob, are you anywhere close to rebuilding yet?

Hi Steve, 

The short answer is no, almost nobody is, but this deserves a better answer. 

The interim answer is that this area is very devastated, and the solutions are actually quite complex. Imagine eating an elephant if you will- one bite at a time. 

Give me a few days to flesh out the details and I'll try to provide an update for everyone regarding the recovery efforts going on around here. 

Best,
~ Rob
http://www.evenfallstudios.com/

The race is long, and in the end it's only with yourself.

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#16
  Re: Bump for Rob Hanson by Aram (Hey all, Just a f...)
Natural disasters really take their toll.
The folks in Mexico Beach, FL are nowhere near a recovery either.
Gary

Liberty, Self-Reliance, Self-Responsibility
Say what you'll do and do what you say.
ServicePen 2014
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#17
  Re: RE: Bump for Rob Hanson by Stwood_ (So Rob, are you anyw...)
(06-03-2019, 03:05 PM)Stwood_ Wrote: So Rob, are you anywhere close to rebuilding yet?

Hi Steve and all,

One of the easiest ways for me to explain what happened is to just let you read whatWikipedia has written, because it's really pointless for me to write what has already been written. So if you like, the Wikipedia link below will give you a great overview.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Fire_(2018)

There are a couple of other links to some webpages that gives some statistics about the fire as well as information. And heck, if you feel adventurous, just go on over to Google maps and put in the ZIP Code 95969. Scroll around. The devastations available for all to see.

Camp fire evacuation zones:  https://nifc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webapp...69a96d6284

Other related recovery maps:  https://buttecountyrecovers.org/agencies/maps

Cal fire map of destroyed buildings: https://calfire-forestry.maps.arcgis.com...7%2C102100

A couple big takeaways that are important to understand is that the town of Paradise California was completely enveloped by the Camp Fire. There is nowhere it didn't burn in that town, even though some buildings were spared. In all 14,000 single family homes burned and nearly 19,000 buildings were destroyed. Of the remaining 5000 some odd buildings that were not single-family homes, they were out buildings, apartments, and various businesses.

The fire started in 30 to 50 mph winds. On the ground, the fire moved at 1.5 mph, but the embers were blown in the wind up to 2 miles ahead of the leading edge of the fire constantly. Paradise California was a Town filled with Ponderosa Pine with 9 inch long needles, and Black Oaks. Those pine trees might as well as been rocket fuel and it was the perfect time of year for the needles to fall off and the wind that night blew off a lot of them. I had just cleaned the roof of our house two days before the fire, and that morning it looked as though I had thatched my roof in pine needles. That's a death sentence for a house in a wildfire. Andre first day of the fire, it burned almost 22 linear miles to the west in less than 18 hours. Then the wind turned around. Then it started blowing it back up into the foothills where it was extremely difficult to fight.  I sent my wife out first after we packed her car, and then I set out to pack my pickup. About 10 minutes after she left the power went out, so I became a one armed Packer. It was absolutely pitch black from the smoke, darker than night in a lot of ways because smoke just absorbs light and is like a fog at the same time. It was laying down real close to the ground. I wasn't able to get everything I wanted to. A deputy sheriff came by The house to make sure I was going to evacuate. I told him I needed five more minutes. He said you don't have five minutes. Take two to lock your house up and leave. That made sense, we lived on a dead-end road.  Leaving town was like the worst traffic congestion you've ever seen, and I have lived in cities for traffic congestion is as bad as it gets. Only now everybody's trying to go down a two lane road, and the uphill Lane is needed to get first responders and fire apparatus into town. A wall of fire came within 750 feet of cutting me off. I got really lucky. That particular road out of town is about 10 miles long and the fire burn from one end of it to the other, before the end of that day.

About 52,000 people were evacuated from the area, about 35,000 people Lost their place to live.  Of that 35,000 it is predicted that 40 to 50% Of those people have left the area because there is nothing here for them to stay at. We lost hospitals, schools, businesses, and a lot of jobs.

We had an extremely wet winter, and FEMA is in charge of the cleanup. There it is over 6 million tons of toxic debris that has to be removed from just the town of Paradise, which is not everything that got destroyed. They estimate it will take one .5 years and a lot of dump trucks to get that done. Because it is toxic they cannot clean anything up during rain. Unfortunately it was an extremely wet winter with over 40 inches of rain since the fire. There are probably over 15 to 20,000 vehicles that were completely destroyed in fire and will need to be hauled out. All of the concrete is destroyed along with the bricks, because of the exposure to toxics. All of the metal is twisted melted and eaten. Everything I ever had that had a cutting edge on it was eaten back at least 1/8 inch from the edge. And rusty, the brightest rust you've ever seen. If you look at the pictures of our place on my website and in my blog articles, the entire house is laying inside of the foundation, and the only thing left is metal the fire completely and utterly turned everything into ash. I used to have a cast-iron frying pan collection, I've cooked with that stuff years. The fire ate it. Literally crack the pans. Before we could get back up there the town had seen over a foot of rain as well. I have a new appreciation for the word Junk. Just saying.

Paradise is impacted additionally. Over 400,000 trees have died. And there is a contract to log all of them. Whether they are on private property or not. They have clear-cut 100-150 feet on either side of any major road for the most part so that nobody gets hit by a falling tree that is dead as they drive down the road. 

Many cars had to be abandoned because fire cut off egress from the town. So many town roads were severely damaged by cars that burned up on them and ruined the asphalt. This is just the beginning of the ruining of roads. All of the heavy trucks that are going to be running around up there for the first two years of recovery are going to have the rest of the roads for lunch. The likelihood of a great many of the roads up there needing to be repaved after all of the remediation is done is extremely high.

PG&E, the electric and gas utility company who is responsible for the fire, has declared bankruptcy. The fire burned up many Power poles and destroyed communication throughout the town. In the first month and a half, the utilities from all over the country were here getting the electricity back on up there. They didn't rewire it everywhere, they only rewired it to people who could actually use it.

They have also determined that about 75 miles of gas line were completely destroyed in the fire and need to be replaced. At the same time they replace that they have determined that they are going to go ahead and put all of the electrical power underground in Paradise. But not much of it was underground.

Many of the septic tanks were compromised and it sounds like the town is planning on developing its own sewer system in having that installed as well. It's going to be a long time before that town is really a town again. On top of that, the water system was partially destroyed by the fire. They have found benzene in the pipes, and even after flushing they have determined that there are portions of the water system that they cannot clean, and therefore will have to excavate and replace the pipes and valves.

You've heard of FEMA camps, well we have some, but it took them a long time to get them going, because nobody wanted them in their backyard. Eventually backyards were negotiated and they set some up. It's important to note however that a lot of people had to spend the entire winter living in the shelter. I shelter that was like A gymnasium that was like an open room with cots everywhere. It was kind of like living under martial law and there were lots of rules that the folks who lived in those shelters had to follow, a lot of personal freedoms were set aside for a place to sleep that was warm and dry.

One of the side effects of the fire and the conundrum that it creates because of the rules. People own property in Paradise and they have a right to their property, however with toxics on the property, FEMA will not put a trailer on your property for you to live in until it has been cleaned. Remember in the last paragraph I mentioned that it might take 1.5 years for all of the properties to be cleaned? That means the people who live in some of those places are going to wait a while before they can get a trailer put on their property and they can even begin to find a contractor to get a permit and rebuild. Right now there are thousands of dump trucks, and untold amounts of construction equipment up there digging up toxic waste. Not just directly the toxic waste but also some of the soil, concrete steel asphalt bricks etc. Also some of the vegetation. On a side note, Just now, right now, people are beginning to be able to move into homes that have been rebuilt from the Tubbs fire of 2017 that burned up 5000 homes in Santa Rosa, California. So you see, much bigger scale this time, and a lot more problems with the town of Paradise, but look how long it is taking for the people of Santa Rosa to get back into homes, and they are on that early starts of actually being able to move into their rebuilt homes now. There are still many more to be built there.

The surrounding towns in Butte County have been hammered by this disaster, because there were an awful lot of people staying in them temporarily, and now some of them permanently. Adjacent counties were also impacted. We are amongst those numbers. That's an extra load on all of their infrastructure, and at the time of the fire the housing availability in Butte County California was about 1%. So there really isn't any extra housing. Real estate wise prices have gone markedly up. Rentals have about a 300 person waiting list, and if you find a storage locker are available, you might want to buy a lottery ticket that day as well.

We will not be returning to Paradise. It was fun to live there before the fire. It was a beautiful place, Full of trees. It was one of the darkest places I ever Lived at night. The stars are incredible, and it was so dark that there was just no light inside of your house at night. It was like living in a park. Because of the trees, You were lucky if you could see further than three doors down. Now you can see three blocks easy, and wait until it lug off all the dead trees. For the next 3 to 5 years, that town is going to continue to suffer apocalypse while the many things that have to be rebuilt are rebuilt. Getting wiped out once was enough, I don't have that many years to go before I could retire, but that's not a certainty now. Such is jobs aren't easy to get either. But my wife's family is very gracious and helpful, and they are in need of help from us as well. So this is where we live. We will find a way and continue forward, because you can't look back. There's nothing back there. I've gone and looked at my ash pile several times. You know, you keep thinking that there's something overlooked, certainly there's something… And after looking at it several times I have concluded that there's nothing to salvage.

There is a gentleman who lives nearby the area who is a commercial pilot, and he's spent a lot of years flying around the local area in his own private plane. He did a stint in the Air Force, he also trained up to be a a fire bomber pilot of sorts. So he knows an awful lot about the area fighting fires, and he's also a journalist. He has a YouTube channel and he's really good at just giving you the straight facts and helping you understand what they mean.

His name is Juan Browne, And here videos are worth a look. If you have time and you're interested, it's very informative and he's an enjoyable gentleman to learn from. The first six videos were kind of daily reports of what was going down with the fire. He wasn't able to publish daily because he also had to maintain his day job as a first officer on the 777 for one of the major airlines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43U0UWmiiL4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b0j-V_bE_Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC1OCwlA2xU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2nWuZ8J0Go

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCbm7A4IlkA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LxWKaiZ5o4

If you're still with me here, the following video is kind of a description of some of the after affects that have impacted the people who were displaced by the fire. We are six-months in, and really the situation is only just getting started in terms of getting it back into some semblance of working order.

FEMA has caused many delays, because they have their rules, and their rules are a conundrum. There have also been misinterpretations of the rules, and there have been local politicians that have tried to accomplish things they wanted to in spite of federal bureaucracies. And that caused delays. Politics are usually local, but have a disaster, and just wait about 10 minutes and you'll have all of the politics and bureaucracy that you want. FYI, the government isn't coming to save you by the way. They will however do their level best put out your fire and save everybody's life. No qualms with the fire department, but disaster happens and when nature decides it's time, there's not much man can do but get out of the way if they can. After the damage is done, the government is not going to impress you. So take that as fair warning. You might want to prepare in case you're living somewhere where harm may find you. That isn't by the way political bias, that's an observation. Been there, seen that. A go bag is a great idea, just saying. Don't buy cheap stuff for your bag. Treat yourself well and pay yourself first. You might have to live off of what you put in that bag. No joke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1lh-3pr31E

The biggest takeaways are that unlike floods and wind events, wildfires can be a lot more pervasive. They have a tendency to spread out and eat everything in sight. They eat private property, personal property, public property, trees and vegetation, electrical, gas, water and the sewer infrastructure. They render concrete to lose its structural strength, it can melt and deform asphalt. The devastation is really amazing. Not inspiringly so, but something more like a punching the gut.

There is very little housing in the county, but there's an awful lot of construction trying to go on in surrounding areas. It is of note, that the chubs fire of 2017 that wiped out Half of Santa Rosa, California is still underway. The Mendocino complex fire that happened last year went to about 450,000 acres and is the largest fire in California history. That was not our fire. There were three separate fires around Redding California last year, one on the west, one on the north, and one on the Northeast. Each of those fires actually touched the burn scars of one another. Cumulatively they accounted for over 700,000 acres, but luckily in a much less populated area. Which is not to say that a lot of people and the Reading area didn't lose their homes, because they did.

And then there was the campfire. 85 people died, and it is now the costliest wildfire in California history. Northern California could use a lot of places for people to live right now. But the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. And so they are working on it.

There's not really any place for us to go at the moment, so we are doing the best we can. It's a very small house with four people in it. There is no garage, no shop. There is not a lot of extra space for anything. But I'm ingenuity event I'm going to try to do what I can outside when I can.

We are extremely thankful for the help that everybody offered to us. It's hard to get back on our feet because of the situation. It's just very big. We are doing it and this is no complaint, but this isn't the same as just having a house fire, and moving into a brand-new house and getting going again. There's just a lot of remediation that has to take place before anybody's going to be back to normal in this county. For that matter, Northern California has a lot of healing to do. And it's fire season again. And our hearts will break when wildfire happens to somebody else this year. I think everybody's working on healing, but it will take some time. As for me, I'm trying to keep a positive attitude because everything is about the future. That's where everything is at for anyone who has gone through a wildfire disaster. It took a lifetime to acquire what I had, but it's gone now, and I'll never buy it at those prices again. Fortunately I know what works for me and what doesn't, I didn't have that knowledge the first time around, and there will be a lot of things that I probably won't revisit. At the same time I know exactly what I Will focus on in order to make us as self-sufficient/ reliant as we can. Is just a matter of the time and finances to acquire it, and a place to put it. 

For now, Evenfall Studios exists as a website, and I do have a line of shop vacuum accessories that I have available there. I'm not sure most people know I offer those. Obviously I am temporarily unable to continue as a toolmaker. When I return to selling things that I make, I cannot guarantee it will be the same things I used to make. I will just have to be able to use what I have and do what I can, and hopefully some of you will look in on what I am trying to do as a side hustle, and find it interesting enough to purchase. I'll announce whatever that is on my blog and newsletter when I have something. So if you like, please feel free to subscribe, and you'll be one of the first people to know. There is a link to subscribe on our website, and a link to the website in my signature block below.

I know I could edit this and make some corrections for spelling and verbiage, but please forgive me. I've had enough of thinking about this for today, and I just want to get this out so that you all can read it. It's a long read and hopefully you can decipher the story. It's not an easy story to tell.

Again, and I can't emphasize this enough, thank you to everyone who has contributed anything to help us. You help us to purchase coats for winter and shoes, and clothing, and every necessity that you could imagine.

Best,
~ Rob
http://www.evenfallstudios.com/

The race is long, and in the end it's only with yourself.

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#18
  Re: Bump for Rob Hanson by Aram (Hey all, Just a f...)
Aram

Thanks for posting this again for him.  I help a little bit on the first posting here and it is always nice to get the help when it is needed.  Yes
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.  
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#19
  Re: RE: Bump for Rob Hanson by Arlin Eastman (Aram Thanks for pos...)
(06-06-2019, 09:53 PM)Arlin Eastman Wrote: Aram

Thanks for posting this again for him.  I help a little bit on the first posting here and it is always nice to get the help when it is needed.  Yes

........................
I'm in.....Rob is one of us and a very nice guy, he deserves all the help he can get..He's been down some very rough roads before...this wont beat him!!!!!
I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be
issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the
traditions for generations of warriors past. [Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC;
in Navy Times, November 1994]


Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korean War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#20
  Re: Bump for Rob Hanson by Aram (Hey all, Just a f...)
Thanks for posting Rob. Sounds disheartening. Hang in there.
I'll go over those videos when I get a spare.
Steve
Steve


Putzing, the new hobby

Evil lurks here, but eventually gets cleansed.


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