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Old 10-27-2019, 10:34 AM   #1
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Wind, Power, and Fire

Looking for some advice on road conditions.
We're currently in Seattle headed home to So Cal.

Our original route was to take the coast Hiway, (101), and cut over to the 5 after staying in Napa.

However, the fires around and above San Francisco have the the 101 with fires next to, and jumping the hiway.

And friends tell me their Power is now off in Napa.

And electricity has now been turned off for more that 1 million customers in mid and northern Calif.
(No power, no gas pumps).

I thought we would cross over from the 101, thru Clearlake and then head down the 5 until we get home.

Anyone have any current experience in this area?

Is fuel readily available?
What towns are without power?
How bad are the winds?

Thanks in advance.

In addition my generator is on the "fritz".

Won't run after a couple of minutes.
I swapped out the fuel filter, and fuel pump. Checked the oil.

Same issue, runs a couple of minutes and stops. No fuel in the bowl. So, now I think it's the carb.

(It sat for about 8 months and I didn't start it regularly).
My bad!!
But I won't have time to look at it further till I get home.


Thanks everyone, and be safe!!
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhorzz View Post
Looking for some advice on road conditions.
We're currently in Seattle headed home to So Cal.

Our original route was to take the coast Hiway, (101), and cut over to the 5 after staying in Napa.

However, the fires around and above San Francisco have the the 101 with fires next to, and jumping the hiway.

And friends tell me their Power is now off in Napa.

And electricity has now been turned off for more that 1 million customers in mid and northern Calif.
(No power, no gas pumps).

I thought we would cross over from the 101, thru Clearlake and then head down the 5 until we get home.

Anyone have any current experience in this area?

Is fuel readily available?
What towns are without power?
How bad are the winds?

Thanks in advance.

In addition my generator is on the "fritz".

Won't run after a couple of minutes.
I swapped out the fuel filter, and fuel pump. Checked the oil.

Same issue, runs a couple of minutes and stops. No fuel in the bowl. So, now I think it's the carb.

(It sat for about 8 months and I didn't start it regularly).
My bad!!
But I won't have time to look at it further till I get home.


Thanks everyone, and be safe!!
Your questions are not easy to answer.
As a former Napa County firefighter, the situation in NorCal is too fluid to advise you, other than avoiding 101 altogether.
As long as the east winds continue, it won't get better and may get worse.
Unfortunately this time of year, for fires, has gotten worse and worse.
The power shutdowns are also fluid and not consistent. They'll change constantly from one area to another. They also range all over NorCal. I saw a shutdown map last night and the only region clearly unaffected by the power shutdowns, was the I5 corridor, North of Sacramento. But that could quickly change.
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:01 PM   #3
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Here's an evacuation update:

http://nixle.us/BDSNC

And the latest PG&E power outages info:

http://critweb-outage.pgealerts.com/...ty_pge-outages

Like I said, the situations are constantly changing and currently getting worse. We have friends that live in West Sonoma County, along the Russian River and are less that 5 miles from the ocean. They just got their mandatory evacuation orders. 2 hours ago they were fine.
We have numerous friends already evacuated.

You could cut across from 101, through Clear Lake to I5, IF no new fires start up. BUT you'll still be risking not being able to get fuel or other necessities, due to power outages.

Our friends are saying that traffic getting out of Sonoma County is horrible.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:21 PM   #4
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As far as your generator..make sure you didn't over fill the gas tank... leave the gas cap loose and see if it runs longer.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:49 PM   #5
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How about cutting over to US 395 go thru Reno and out to Fallon and take Hwy 95 to Las Vegas and back over to So. Cal. No power issues or fires in Nevada. A bit of an add to your mileage but probably safer. Just read that I 80 is closed at Vallejo Ca due to another fire.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:03 AM   #6
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How about cutting over to US 395 go thru Reno and out to Fallon and take Hwy 95 to Las Vegas and back over to So. Cal. No power issues or fires in Nevada. A bit of an add to your mileage but probably safer. Just read that I 80 is closed at Vallejo Ca due to another fire.
Thought about that but latest reports said winds in that area were almost hurricane force. 🥴. Gusting up to 103 at they crossed over the passes at Tahoe.

But I'll keep watch on weather conditions in that area as things progress.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:19 AM   #7
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Here's an evacuation update:

“Evacuation orders and NEW evacuation warnings” from Sonoma County Sheriff's Office : Nixle

And the latest PG&E power outages info:

You are being redirected...

Like I said, the situations are constantly changing and currently getting worse. We have friends that live in West Sonoma County, along the Russian River and are less that 5 miles from the ocean. They just got their mandatory evacuation orders. 2 hours ago they were fine.
We have numerous friends already evacuated.

You could cut across from 101, through Clear Lake to I5, IF no new fires start up. BUT you'll still be risking not being able to get fuel or other necessities, due to power outages.

Our friends are saying that traffic getting out of Sonoma County is horrible.
I hold 80 gallons in the RV, should be enuf to get across and over to Lodi. I usually drive all day on 1/2 a tank of fuel. At this point l, with respect to any other fire dangers, I think it's my best route. And I still have 2 days to make a decision as I come down the Oregon coast back into Calif.
Thanks again!! Hope you and your friends are safe.
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Old 10-28-2019, 09:39 AM   #8
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As far as your generator..make sure you didn't over fill the gas tank... leave the gas cap loose and see if it runs longer.
My fuel feed off a line in my gas tank. If I get below 1/4 tank then it will shut off the fuel to the generator. Hmmm, sensor or valve??

Thanks for the input!
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:12 AM   #9
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Thought about that but latest reports said winds in that area were almost hurricane force. 🥴. Gusting up to 103 at they crossed over the passes at Tahoe.

But I'll keep watch on weather conditions in that area as things progress.
We live just north of Carson City which the local weather folks call the wind prone area. This storm wind wise was kinda a bust and they did not even close US 395/I 580 to high profile vehicles between Reno and Carson. Right now there is a slight breeze and the forecast is showing light winds with tomorrows forecast at 10 to 20 mph being the highest for the next 5 days.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:24 AM   #10
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Steelhorz;

No not know how far into SoCal you plan to go. At 1:34 AM today a fire started near the Getty Center along the 405 freeway. A couple of hours ago it had grown to an estimated 500 acres and mandatory evacuations stretch al the way to Pacific Coast Highway and voluntary evacuations to Malibu. Homes have burned. This area may be one to stay away from for several days.

The forecast for Tuesday night through Thursday afternoon is for the strongest winds so far this year.

Safe travels!
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Old 10-28-2019, 02:20 PM   #11
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My fuel feed off a line in my gas tank. If I get below 1/4 tank then it will shut off the fuel to the generator. Hmmm, sensor or valve??

Thanks for the input!

May be even more simple than sensor or valve. All the generator fuel connections to the main gas tank I've encountered are merely direct connections to the tank (short siphon tube or side mounted fitting) that are just high enough off the bottom of the tank so when it's only 1/4 full the generator merely sucks air.

This is done so if you're running your generator way out in the "boonies" and the generator runs out of fuel, you still have enough in the tank to drive to the nearest gas station (hopefully).

Make sure that the generator fuel filter is clean and all fuel suction lines to the tank are tight. If one is loose, and above the fuel level in the tank, it won't necessarily leak fuel but it will suck air.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:01 PM   #12
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I hold 80 gallons in the RV, should be enuf to get across and over to Lodi. I usually drive all day on 1/2 a tank of fuel. At this point l, with respect to any other fire dangers, I think it's my best route. And I still have 2 days to make a decision as I come down the Oregon coast back into Calif.
Thanks again!! Hope you and your friends are safe.
Thanx for my friends. We escaped California 5 years ago so we're in no danger. Live on an Island in Washington State now.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:24 PM   #13
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Thanx for my friends. We escaped California 5 years ago so we're in no danger. Live on an Island in Washington State now.
If you believe the state foresters and fire people, Washington isn't far behind CA for wildland fire risk. Things are getting drier and people are living closer to (or in) the trees.

The fires up in the Okanogan area a couple years ago were very "California like" and we're even seeing more fires here on the West Side.


Always wondered why more people from our "Correctional Institutions" couldn't be used to do some forest cleanup and tree trimming.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:06 PM   #14
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You're correct. Washington State is having longer dry periods and droughts, in the past few years. And DNR seems to not recognize this and still operates on models decades old.
Mutual Aid up here, regarding fighting wildland fires, is poorly done operationally.
Then instead of electing a candidate to run DNR, who had firefighting experience, a tree hugging conservation attorney is elected.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:27 PM   #15
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You're correct. Washington State is having longer dry periods and droughts, in the past few years. And DNR seems to not recognize this and still operates on models decades old.
Mutual Aid up here, regarding fighting wildland fires, is poor done operationally.
Then instead of electing a candidate to run DNR, who had firefighting experience, a tree hugging conservation attorney is elected.
You do realize that if "experience and qualifications" were a requirement for the position one is running for we'd have a lot of vacant offices in our State Government. For that matter Federal too.
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:42 PM   #16
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A couple of fire seasons ago, my wife's cousin(a Snohomish F/T firefighter), called me to ask if I still had my wildland boots and gear. There had been requests for firefighters to volunteer to fight wildland fires on the East side.
But his department only provided wildland gear for certain firefighters.
In California, even big city firefighters(like San Francisco)have wildland gear and do training on fighting wildland fires. Every fire department in California has the ability and training to provide mutual aid for wildland fires.
Washington State needs to revamp their mutual aid contracts and do more state-wide wildland training. And start using convict hand crews.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:19 PM   #17
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I would not count on 101 for at least a week. It is open now, but may close again Tuesday and Wednesday. When open, it will be fun of those going back home, or evacuating again. I went over Saturday. Took me an hour to get there, and three to get home.

Napa is safe, and most of the downtown has power at the moment. If you are staying at the expo, the power is on at present. The expo lost power from a failure, not from a planned shut down.

If staying in Calistoga fairgrounds, I would not, as they are under evac warning since the fire is on Mt St Helena, and they will likely have power issues.

Some of Napa does have power issues from failures, and some will have their power shut off for safety. The pge map will allow you to see your planned destinations.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:25 PM   #18
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In other words, Napa should be ok to visit, depending on what your want to see (ask, and I might know). Clearlake has power issues, but you can pass through, so 101, 20, 5, 505, 80, 12 into Napa looks fine inbound.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:28 PM   #19
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Im in Carson City, no wind here. I would take the 80 east to 395 south all the way to 14 south ( merge to the 5 south if heading towards LA.) Its a beautiful designated scenic drive on the 395 below the eastern Sierra and gorgeous with the Fall colors now, much nicer than the 5. If the 405 is closed near the Getty fire, the 110 fwys; Hollywood/Long Bch. I believe should detour you around. The 1 ( coastal rte or Pacific Coast Hwy.) southbound is closed now at Malibu.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:41 PM   #20
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20 is a no go. Fire along the route with evac orders...
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