How California Wildfires Are Driving Energy Storage Beyond Lithium-Ion

California needs batteries. When California is on fire, it needs batteries that can keep a home, a hospital, a fire station, a senior center running longer than the four-hour standard of lithium-ion.

“What’s happened that’s brought this to bear has been the wildfires and the contingency issues we have in the PSPS (public-safety power shut-off) events,” said Mike Gravely, research program manager for the California Energy Commission.

“In November of last year over two million resident people in California were impacted by wildfire PSPS events” in which utilities shut down portions of the grid to prevent equipment from sparking fires during flammable conditions. “The average short outage was 11 hours, and some of it went as high as three to five days.”

During those

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New Simulation Technology Helps Get the Jump on Wildfires

The Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit (LNU) wildfires in California burned nearly 200,000 acres before finally being contained. But in the process, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) was able to deploy a simulation technology that helps firefighters predict the actions of a wildfire and deploy resources more quickly where needed. 

The data has always been available, but only within silos and compiling that data traditionally took hours or days. The technology, developed by Technosylva, was partially deployed by CAL FIRE in July during the LNU fires and showed a rapid spread of the wildfire. 

“We’re rolling it out over a three-phased implementation period,” said Christine McMorrow, CAL FIRE resource management communications officer. “Our first phase went live July 31 in four fire units at our training centers and regional and Sacramento command centers.”

Phase two was scheduled to go live Oct. 1 in half of the CAL FIRE

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Wildfires May Pose Drinking Water Safety Issues

Two months after a wildfire burned through Paradise, Calif., in 2018, Kevin Phillips, then a manager for town’s irrigation district, walked from one destroyed home to another.

Burned out cars, the occasional chimney and the melted skeletons of washers and dryers were the only recognizable shapes.

“You started to actually be shocked when you saw a standing structure,” he said.

Mr. Phillips, now Paradise’s town manager, was following the team taking samples from intact water meters connected to homes that were now reduced to gray ash. He knew from the Tubbs Fire in 2017 that harmful toxins were likely in the water distribution system: Rapid action would be needed to protect people returning to the community from the dangers of toxins like benzene, which can cause nausea and vomiting in the short-term, or even cancer over time.

Wildfires, which turned skies a dim orange over cities from Seattle to Santa

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New technology attempts to forecast wildfires spread – News – The Hutchinson News

New technology attempts to forecast wildfires spread

LOS ANGELES – When freak lightning storms passed over Northern California’s wine country last month and sparked hundreds of wildfires, a newly established network of remote weather stations, orbiting satellites and supercomputers spun into action and attempted to predict the spread of what is now known as the LNU Lightning Complex fire.

Firefighters and technologists have long dreamed of a formula or device that would accurately predict the spread of fire, much the way meteorologists predict the possible impact of extreme weather, but it’s only recently that big data and supercomputers have begun to show promise as a means of fire forecasting.

“I think a firefighter starting out today in his or her career, they’re going to see something to the point where they leave the (station) on the fire, they’ll have a simulation on their screen of where the fire is going

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Widespread wildfires in the far north aren’t just bigger; they’re different — ScienceDaily

“Zombie fires” and burning of fire-resistant vegetation are new features driving Arctic fires — with strong consequences for the global climate — warn international fire scientists in a commentary published in Nature Geoscience.

The 2020 Arctic wildfire season began two months early and was unprecedented in scope.

“It’s not just the amount of burned area that is alarming,” said Dr. Merritt Turetsky, a coauthor of the study who is a fire and permafrost ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. “There are other trends we noticed in the satellite data that tell us how the Arctic fire regime is changing and what this spells for our climate future.”

The scientists contend that input and expertise of Indigenous and other local and communities is essential to understanding and managing this global issue.

The commentary identifies two new features of recent Arctic fires. The first is the prevalence of holdover fires, also

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Don’t believe self-serving messengers. Logging will not prevent destructive wildfires

A firefighter helps to set counter-fires as the El Dorado fire approaches in Yucaipa on Sept. 7. <span class="copyright">(Los Angeles Times)</span>
A firefighter helps to set counter-fires as the El Dorado fire approaches in Yucaipa on Sept. 7. (Los Angeles Times)

My community of Big Bear City, in the mountains east of Los Angeles, had a tense week recently. For a few nerve-racking days, the El Dorado fire, which has burned more than 20,000 acres in and around the San Bernardino National Forest, threatened to move our way.

The fire had seen little movement in the previous days, despite the fact that it was burning in dense forests with many dead trees and downed logs. Weather conditions had been cool and calm. Then things changed, and quickly. The weather shifted to hot, dry and windy. Right away, the El Dorado fire began spreading much more rapidly, toward Big Bear. We were notified to prepare for potential evacuation. Several days later, temperatures cooled again, winds died down and fire activity calmed.

Scenarios

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SpaceX provides Starlink satellites to help Washington state towns get online after wildfires

Washington state emergency officials are using SpaceX satellites to provide internet access in Malden, Wash., after wildfires took out most of the small town in Eastern Washington. (Washington Emergency Management Division Photo)

SpaceX is lending a helping hand to Washington state towns ravaged by recent wildfires.

The Washington Emergency Management Division is using the company’s Starlink satellites to provide public WiFi access in Malden, Wash., where a wildfire destroyed 80% of the small town earlier this month. The satellites are also being used in Western Washington near Bonney Lake, Wash. SpaceX is providing the service for free.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responded to the tweet above:

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Can technology predict wildfires? New systems attempt to better forecast their spread



a factory with smoke coming out of it: Flames burn near power lines in Sycamore Canyon in Montecito in 2017. Utilities are turning to computer modeling to predict where their equipment poses the greatest fire threat. (Mike Eliason / Associated Press)


© (Mike Eliason / Associated Press)
Flames burn near power lines in Sycamore Canyon in Montecito in 2017. Utilities are turning to computer modeling to predict where their equipment poses the greatest fire threat. (Mike Eliason / Associated Press)

When freak lightning storms passed over Northern California’s wine country last month and sparked hundreds of wildfires, a newly established network of remote weather stations, orbiting satellites and supercomputers spun into action and attempted to predict the spread of what is now known as the LNU Lightning Complex fire.

Firefighters and technologists have long dreamed of a formula or device that would accurately predict the spread of fire, much the way meteorologists predict the possible impact of extreme weather, but it’s only recently that big data and supercomputers have begun to show promise as a means of fire forecasting.

“I think a firefighter starting out today in his or her career,

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Smoke traveling from western wildfires spreads bad air quality across the US

Devastating wildfires across the Western United States has sent smoke traveling across the country and even into Europe. With that smoke comes bad air quality, not just for those near the fires, but for the entire continent.

Satelite images from NASA shows smoke thousands of miles from the fire. NASA says the smoke contains aerosols, a combination of particles which carry harmful things into the air and into your lungs. All the things that are burning, trees, grass, brush, homes, are turned into soot and absorbed by our lungs.

“This pollution, nobody knows how badly it will be affected but if we extrapolate from previous air quality it’s not good,” Dr. Malik Baz, the medical director at the Baz Allergy and Sius Center, said. “The long-term side effect, we’ll see many, many years down the line.”

Baz’s operates 13 locations in California, all of them are busy as Central California

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Driven by climate, more frequent, severe wildfires in Cascade Range reshape forests — ScienceDaily

In recent years — and 2020 is no exception — parts of the Pacific Northwest that are typically too wet to burn are experiencing more frequent, severe and larger wildfires due to changes in climate. New research from Portland State University found that while the increased wildfire activity is causing widespread changes in the structure and composition of these mid-to-high elevation forests, the new landscapes are also likely more resilient to projected upward trends in future fire activity and climate conditions.

The study, led by PSU graduate student Sebastian Busby, examined temperate forests that burned expansively, severely and repeatedly between 2003 and 2015 in the central Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington. On Mt. Adams, these wildfires included the 2008 Cold Springs, 2012 Cascade Creek and 2015 Cougar Creek fires. On Mt. Jefferson, the wildfires included the 2003 Booth and Bear Butte Complex, 2007 Warm Springs Area Lightning Complex and

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