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Smoke

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#1 Cadmium

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 04:39

There is a lot of smoke here in western Oregon right now, fires, evacuations, loss of property, loss of lives.
So far I have not been ordered to 'leave NOW', I hope it doesn't come to that, but it is always possible. This situation here is unprecedented, a result of strong unusual wind direction, hot and dry weather.
Whole towns are simply gone, and the fires are completely out of control.
The sky is orange, there is fine ash falling from the sky, the sun and moon are blotted out most of the time, and wearing a mask takes on a whole new reason.
Most masks will not block the smell. Fortunately I have P-100 filters, which completely block any smell at all from the smoke. In my house it is barely detectable, in my shop I can smell it, and outside it is very strong.
I have been a little scared, if the fire moves into my city, then I don't know what will happen. I might have to evacuate. This is beyond a doubt the most catastrophic disaster Oregon has ever seen, and I have never seen anything like this in my 60+ decades. This is definitely scary.
Here is a snap shot comparing visual, IR, and UV through the smoke. Sorry, I forgot to set the ISO, these shot at ISO 2500 for the visual and IR, and 6400 for UV.
Just shows the same old thing, IR cuts through the smoke, visual is worse, and UV is even worse yet.

Visual using Schott BG38
Attached Image: smoke_vis_1280.jpg

IR using RG1000
Attached Image: smoke_IR_1280.jpg

UV using Baader U
Attached Image: smoke_UV_1280.jpg

Oregon. I live in the cloud...
Attached Image: or_smoke_9_8_20.jpg

Edited by Cadmium, 12 September 2020 - 04:42.


#2 A Stranger In The Wind

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 05:03

Hopefully you don't have to evacuate. On the Calgary news they are telling us the winds are changing and the the smoke will be heading our way. We had some from the California fires reach us a couple of weeks ago when the jet stream brought it up north but it was only here for one night.

Tears ago I was in Yellowstone when they had their big fires, I recall driving with my niece in the afternoon with the headlights on because the smoke was so thick it was just like nighttime.

Keep safe.
Robert Chisholm

#3 JMC

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 08:36

Hi Steve,
Just seen on the news about this. My (and I'm sure all our) thoughts are with you and anyone at risk from these devastating fires.
All the best, Jonathan
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#4 UlfW

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 09:18

Hi Steve,

When I saw the news about the fires the other day I got worried and wondered how close it was to you.
I could not find out for sure, but I really hope this will end well without any harm for you or your place!

Be careful!

/Ulf
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#5 Stefano

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 09:56

Hi Steve,

I didn't hear of this in the news (yet). I heard about the other things going on in America (involving violence by the police), but not about these fires. I never experienced something like this, the closest was a small fire on a hill near my old house, nothing in comparison. I too hope nothing bad happens to you.



Talking about the physics behind your images, they really show how longer wavelengths travel better through smoke or haze. It is well-known that thermal cameras see through smoke almost perfectly. You can already see this by the orange color in the visible shot. I wonder if this has to do with Rayleigh scattering, but working in the opposite way. There is surely a correlation with the wavelength, I guess the shortest wavelengths are scattered more but also absorbed more, hence the orange color, which is the opposite on what happens in the sky, which of course is blue. If you used a SWIR camera, like Andy's TriWave, you probably would have cut through the haze almost completely at the distance the trees on the background are.

#6 Bernard Foot

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 09:58

Cadmium - this is an unprecedented disaster and I am very saddened to hear your story - bad events are always worse when they happen to someone you know. Hope it turns out well for you. I'm impressed you were settled enough to take some photos.
Bernard Foot

#7 Andy Perrin

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 10:24

Wow, that is terrifying. If you hadn't labeled it (and if I hadn't already known about the fires) then I would have assumed the "visual" image was taken through a filter!

If you can do it safely, it would be very cool to see a thermal photo. As Stefano mentioned, it should cut through the smoke even better.

#8 dabateman

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 12:10

Cadmium,
Your visual shot looks like you transported your whole place to Mars. I know you where talking about the UV in the atmosphere not long ago.

I pray for you that the fires resolve. Seems like so much has happened in 2020.

#9 OlDoinyo

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 15:34

Keep alert and stay safe. I guess this must be a little reminiscent of the Mt St Helens eruption 40 years ago in terms of general apocalyptic aspect, though a bit different in the details. This fire season is a bugger for sure on the west coast. We wish you the best

#10 Andrea B.

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 22:31

Steve, glad to hear that you are OK at this point. Stay safe!!!!!! Keep us posted please.
And thank you for the UV/IR and VIS smoke photos. :cool:

*****

The Western wildfires are simply astounding this year, so much worse than last year. I don't even know what to say. Something's wrong, that's for sure.

Here 4000 acres burned a couple of weeks ago in the Santa Fe National Forest northeast-ish of Santa Fe. This was about 25 miles away from us. We had several days where we all had to stay inside but it was not at all like what is happening in California, Oregon and Washington. Very fortunately there were no casualties here as most of the fire was in remote areas. The wildfire was started by lightning and was therefore - in some sense - a "natural" wildfire which cleaned out understory, etc. Thankfully it was contained and some later rain helped.

These last couple of weeks I have been working to clear some grasses which had grown up into our fire perimeter. We are also going to rake up under some pines and junipers as recommended during a recent inspection by a local fire department representative. We are not really in any kind of forest wildfire danger zone, but brush fires can also be dangerous.
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#11 Andrea B.

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 22:33

https://www.nytimes....gton-state.html

The New York Times runs some amazing photo essays about many subjects. Here is a link to a photo essay about the Western wildfires. I don't know if the link will work for everyone, but thought I would post it anyway to try.
Andrea G. Blum
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#12 bobfriedman

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 23:05

I think you mentioned it the fires were only 10 mile away??

#13 Andy Perrin

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 23:10

Andrea, try playing with some of those pics from the NYT in PhotoNinja. If you click WB on the sky you get some interesting effects...

#14 Stefano

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 23:39

The image of molten aluminum pouring from a car engine surprised me. I initially thought it was lead, but then I read aluminum... this metal melts at 660°C, and although I know that fires can reach pretty high temperatures, I wasn't expecting 660+ degrees.

#15 Andy Perrin

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 23:42

660C isn't all that hot? My mom's friend once left an aluminum pan on the stove and it melted like that.

#16 Stefano

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 00:14

I melted lead in my kitchen with my dad a few times (yes, we did it, hopefully I didn't get too much lead in my body), and I thought 327°C was a lot... Well, I don't have a lot of experience with flames. I still have two big pieces of lead, I use them as weights to keep things in a certain position, etc.

#17 Andy Perrin

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 01:42

Quote

I melted lead in my kitchen with my dad a few times (yes, we did it, hopefully I didn't get too much lead in my body),
Wow. People in these parts worry about lead in the parts per million levels, never mind whatever you accidentally spread around the kitchen after that.

#18 Stefano

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 02:12

I did a ton of dumb things... now my two pieces of lead are even wrapped in paper towel, so that I don't touch the metal directly.

#19 Cadmium

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 06:22

View PostAndrea B., on 14 September 2020 - 22:33, said:

https://www.nytimes....gton-state.html

The New York Times runs some amazing photo essays about many subjects. Here is a link to a photo essay about the Western wildfires. I don't know if the link will work for everyone, but thought I would post it anyway to try.

Andrea, Thanks! That NY Times link is without a doubt the very best group of photos of the fires that I have seen, and I have seen a lot of them.
Things are looking hopeful, wind has changed, less smoke, evacuation zones slightly receding, not as scared as I was, but time will tell.

Edited by Cadmium, 17 September 2020 - 06:22.


#20 Andrea B.

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 21:36

Happy to hear that it is a bit better!

Yesterday and today we have smoke haze over New Mexico from the California fires. Not too bad at ground level, thankfully.
At about 6PM yesterday as the sun was getting lower prior to a 7:30PM sunset, it was an incredible red-orange, very vivid, and a bit scary.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.