Uncontained sand fire forces thousands of California residents to flee their homes

July 25, 2016 by  
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Wildfires in southern California are once again forcing residents to evacuate their homes, with more than 18 homes reportedly destroyed so far in the Santa Clarita Valley in Los Angeles county. The Sand Fire, as it has been called, is currently only 10 percent contained, according to local fire authorities, and still poses a threat to thousands of homes in the area. Government officials had originally planned to allow residents to re-enter their homes over the weekend, but shifting winds caused the fire to grow faster than expected. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgtooSQaQm0 So far, the Sand Fire has completely destroyed 18 homes and damaged one other in the neighborhoods of Sand Canyon, Bear Divide, and Little Tujunga. Tens of thousands of residents were forced to evacuate over the weekend. Currently, another 2,000 homes in the town of Acton are in the fire’s path, if it maintains its current course. “That fire came through like a freight train,” John Tripp, incident commander with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, told the local ABC affiliate. “We’ve never seen a fire come into Sand Canyon like that and neither have those residents.” Related: 8 of the world’s most devastating wildfires Los Angeles County sheriff’s department found a burned body in a car within the evacuation zone over the weekend, according to spokesperson Lt. Rob Hahnlein. He said it’s too early in the investigation to make a determination about the fire’s relationship to the person’s death. KTLA reported , though, that the man’s home was among those that were destroyed by the rapidly moving fire. A virtual army of firefighting teams have been dispatched to battle the blaze, including 1,673 firefighters, 122 engines, eight fixed-wing air-tankers, and six heavy heli-tankers. As of Monday morning, the U.S. Forest Service is reporting that the fire is only about 10 percent contained, leaving a lot of potential damage on the horizon as dry conditions and shifting winds help fuel the destructive force. Outside of the direct threat from the flames, the Sand Fire has contributed to LA’s poor air quality, as this week’s gusty winds continue to spread ash and debris from the fires throughout the county. Via LA Times Images via rlyboredok/Twitter

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Uncontained sand fire forces thousands of California residents to flee their homes

Romanian architects turn a dirty, dingy garage into their dream office

July 25, 2016 by  
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The 1960’s garage was on the ground floor of a Bucharest apartment building, and satisfied the goals the architectural firm had in mind as they sought a new space. According to a statement from arhiDOT design, the firm was looking for “an unconventional and representative space, small and manageable, a place where we’ll feel more at home than at the office, providing direct contact with the street and the city.” Architects and designers Dana Bostina, Vlad Bostina, and Simona Istoc designed the space. Related: Before and After: Brisbane Church Becomes Beautiful Pitched-Roof Home Minimal “space finishing interventions” like epoxy on the floor added to exterior glazing to brighten up a formerly dingy space. According to arhiDOT design, “Basically, the unfinished walls are ‘dressed’ in pieces of furniture or cladding (including the ceiling).” White shelving, furnishings and cabinets, and a wood ceiling and wall livened the garage. Details like a geometric lamp, old telephone, and plants add character. Another one of arhiDOT design’s goals for the space was efficiency , both in terms of furnishings and utilities. The space may appear simple at first glance, but start opening the cabinets and you’ll find a kitchen, toilet, printers, and storage. “Modular” furniture can “be reconfigured in different ways.” LED lighting and efficient water faucets ensure resources are well utilized. The office can be utilized for working, relaxing, eating, or meeting with clients. The design team said, “We wanted an intelligent, relaxed, and very flexible space which can be easily transformed depending on our needs.” Looks to us like they’ve gone above and beyond those goals. + arhiDOT design Via Contemporist Images courtesy of Arthur Tintu/arhiDOT design

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Romanian architects turn a dirty, dingy garage into their dream office

700 barrels of crude oil spill in California as pipeline breaks

June 23, 2016 by  
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An oil pipeline just began to leak in Ventura, California . Early Thursday morning, firefighters rushed to the scene to try and prevent the crude oil from spilling into the ocean . Ventura County Fire Department spokesperson Mike Lindbery originally said the leak could involve as much as 5,000 barrels of crude oil . Crimson Pipeline owns the leaking pipeline. On their website they say they ” safely ” own around 1,000 miles of pipeline throughout California, in Ventura, Orange, Kern County, Los Angeles, and some areas in Northern California. The oil in question belongs to Aera Energy , one of the largest producers of oil and gas in California, who on their website say they “take pride in our excellent safety and environmental performance.” Related: Why didn’t the California pipeline that spilled 101,000 gallons of oil have an auto shut-off valve? NBC Los Angeles reports that the pipe ” burst ” around 5:30 AM local time. Both the Ventura County and Ventury City fire departments initiated investigations . A hazmat team was also dispatched to the scene. Crews saw crude oil spilling ” into the Prince Barranca ,” a water flow that leads to a beach. Firefighters are now working to try and make sure the oil doesn’t reach the ocean. Crews are utilizing bulldozers to build barriers, but also hope a natural basin will help catch the oil as well. Crimson Pipeline shut the pump off, but while the pipe is depressurized, oil continues to flow because of gravity. According to officials, they notified the California departments of environmental health and fish and game about the leak. California has battled oil spills and even an Exxon Mobil oil refinery explosion in the past. Over 100,000 gallons of oil spilled into the ocean near Santa Barbara, California due to a pipeline crack just over a year ago. Via the Los Angeles Times Images via J Brew on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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700 barrels of crude oil spill in California as pipeline breaks

Radio Problems May Have Contributed to Deaths of 19 Firefighters During Yarnell Fire

October 1, 2013 by  
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A new investigation into the  raging fire that killed 19 elite firefighters in Arizona has revealed that some of the events which occurred may have been avoidable. Communication equipment problems resulted in 33 minutes of radio silence during which no one heard from the Granite Mountain Hotshots , and commanders didn’t make radio contact with them either. It was in this period of time that the crew left what was believed to be a safe spot on a ridge that had already been consumed by fire to seek another safe location , unknowingly walking to their own deaths in a basin thick with dry brush. Read the rest of Radio Problems May Have Contributed to Deaths of 19 Firefighters During Yarnell Fire Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arizona , Communication Problems , Emergency Fire Shelter , firefighters , forest fire , Granite Mountain Hot Shots , Investigation , Radio Problems , Radio Silence , Yarnell Fire        

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Radio Problems May Have Contributed to Deaths of 19 Firefighters During Yarnell Fire

The Solar Decathlon 2013 Kicks Off This Week in Irvine, CA – Inhabitat Reports Live!

October 1, 2013 by  
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Photo by Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Heads up green building fans – Inhabitat is reporting live from Irvine, California, where student teams from across the States and around the world are putting the final touches on 19 stunning ultra-efficient homes for the Solar Decathlon 2013 ! This annual competition challenges the best and brightest young architects and builders to construct the world’s most efficient solar-powered homes – and they’re pulling out every trick in the green building book to save energy and push utility bills down below zero. The competition officially begins on Thursday, October 3rd but we’re bringing you a sneak peek today and tomorrow – so stay tuned for photos and breaking news straight from the event! + Solar Decathlon 2013 + Solar Decathlon Coverage on Inhabitat Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Department of Energy , DOE , Doe Solar Decathlon , DOE Solar Decathlon 2013 , energy efficient building , Green Building , green design , passive house , Solar Decathlon , solar decathlon 2013 , solar home , solar powered house , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon , U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013        

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The Solar Decathlon 2013 Kicks Off This Week in Irvine, CA – Inhabitat Reports Live!

Bioengineered E.coli Bacteria Poops Out Petroleum

October 1, 2013 by  
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Image via Shutterstock The last few years have shown that bacteria can “poop out” some mighty useful (and valuable) stuff – whether it be gold or battery power . Now a team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has created the world’s first biogasoline from that ever-malleable and sometimes lethal bug: E.coli . Not only that, but KAIST’s biogasoline has “identical composition and chemical properties to conventional petrol.” Read the rest of Bioengineered E.coli Bacteria Poops Out Petroleum Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative energy , bacteria poop , bio gasoline , biodiesel , bioengineering , biofuel , e.coli , ecoli , gasonline , green energy , green fuel , kaist , petroleum , south korea        

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Bioengineered E.coli Bacteria Poops Out Petroleum

Portable Bridge Home Cantilevers Over a Flood Plain in Idaho

October 1, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Portable Bridge Home Cantilevers Over a Flood Plain in Idaho Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cantilever , Concreate Piers , eco design , Flood Plains , green design , Idaho , Juliaetta , Paul F. Hirzel , Rattlesnake Infestation , River Place , Steel Bridge , Steelhead Spawning Pool , sustainable design , vineyard        

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Portable Bridge Home Cantilevers Over a Flood Plain in Idaho

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