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Fire Danger Continues, Military Fighting Against Heat-Related Injuries And Poefest Is Back

 October 11, 2019 at 10:28 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's a fire day in Southern California. Santa Ana winds have whipped a wildfire in the San Fernando Valley that's destroyed 25 homes and caused the evacuation of more than a hundred thousand people were experiencing similar weather conditions here in San Diego with humidities in the single digits in the East County. And as we keep our fingers crossed against wildfire today, let's get an update on weather conditions from Alex tardy meteorologist with the national weather service in San Diego. And Alex, welcome back. Thanks for having me on. We got the low humidity, but do we have the windy conditions that usually company a Santa Ana? So the winds have picked up overnight and we're seeing gusts of 35 to 40 miles per hour over the San Diego mountains. So we do have the wind. Um, actually the winds blowing all the way over to Rancho Santa Fe this morning and they're getting gusts 30 to 35. So it's a Santa Ana wind event that we categorized as moderate and it's mostly materializing. Speaker 1: 00:59 It's not a strong event, but like you said in the beginning here, the humidity. Um, and that's what we were trying to emphasize with this event was that very dry conditions all through Southern California. Those are ingredients with the F with the wind, four fires to spread rapidly. Is this the first real Santa Ana of the season? This is the first thing that efficient one. We had a couple in a late September and one in early October, but they were barely noticeable. Uh, it didn't make it all over to the coast and it wasn't nearly as dry. So I would say this is the first significant Santa Anna. Yes. Let me talk to you about a bigger picture. Okay. We're seeing much of the middle part of the country in an unprecedented early cold snap. How does our hot dry weather fit into that overall pattern? Yeah. Um, they are directly related. Speaker 1: 01:45 So the weather pattern that we've seen going on really throughout the summer, um, and all the way now into the fall early fall takes the storms across the Northern Rockies into the Plains and this time of year it can be really cold storms. Those are the perfect ingredients for what we set up to see as a Santa Ana when it's hard without being a meteorologist, you know, to kind of put those two together. But they're directly related. It puts us on the dry, warm and sometimes windy side of these storms. So every storms got that dry, warm, windy side. This type of storm track is ideal for us getting these. Unfortunately these types of Santa Ana winds now SDG and E has moved forward with their plan to shut off power to several hundred residents in San Diego's East County. What weather conditions led to that decision? So a several days really starting back to last weekend we could see the Santa Anna wind in the computer models in the forecast and it really starts then sending the message out that there's a potential, there's a potential and you get closer and closer and then when you see it materialize, when you see the winds start to pick up in LA County like we did, um, Wednesday. Speaker 1: 03:00 And then when you see it start spreading into Riverside County like yesterday and eventually to San Diego County yesterday afternoon, those are the ingredients where they actually, it goes from potential to, okay, we're now, we're going to de-energize. So they're monitoring the weather's close as we do, um, in terms of satellite weather stations. But really seeing it develop, seeing those winds pick up and the humidity drop as well is what initiates. Okay, now we're going to de-energize. How do you see conditions progressing through the rest of today? The good news is that today is going to be the worst of it. Um, this afternoon just going to be skin cracking, bone dry. Um, the winds are going to continue to blow into this afternoon. Then when we get after sunset this evening, Friday evening, it's going to remain dry, but winds are going to fall apart quickly. Uh, we will see some wind continuing in some of our I corridor area. Speaker 1: 03:54 Alpine was gonna see a little bit of wind continued tonight into Saturday mornings. So it's not over with. But today's the worst part of this Santa Ana wind event. The dryness lingers all the way through Saturday, so we're not out of the woods in terms of the dryness is really the low humidity is going to continue on Saturday and then we shift Sunday Monday into um, the onshore flow and moistening more humidity looking up North where they're actually dealing with an active fire system at the wildfire. When it takes off, it creates its own sort of weather. What challenges does that pose for weather forecast as trying to deliver accurate forecasts in these fire active fire areas? Yeah, it's, it's remarkable. We saw some fires in Kelly Mesa and Marino Valley and Riverside County yesterday and they were explosive. You could see 'em on camera, on satellite and they just took off. Speaker 1: 04:48 And that's the conditions we worried about with, with these type of Santa Ana's, the heat that's generated within these fires. It's just like a thunderstorm. It takes on its own environment and that heat warm air rises. So that heat rising is really what triggers these erratic and unusual winds in and around the fire. They're already dealing with the prevailing Santa Ana winds, which are bad enough. Now looking forward into next week, are we returning to normal or are are there more sent that Anna winds on the way? We are returning to normal next week, but unfortunately this weather pattern looks like it's going to continue, um, throughout October and it does look like we have the potential for more Santa Ana winds starting, um, the latter part of October. So at least we get several days or a week where we more or less have a break and get more to average normal conditions. And that means cloud cover and Cooley evenings. What we saw last week. Yeah, the fog and clouds will start to return this weekend on the beaches and then they'll slowly spread in. Lynn, um, we'll still see a lot of sunny days, but at least the humidity will be up and the wind will be blowing from the ocean instead of from the desert. Okay. Yeah. I've been speaking with national weather service meteorologist Alex tardy. Alex, as always. Thank you so much. Thank you again. Speaker 1: 00:00 Right out loud is hosting another PO fast at the Adobe chapel in old town starting tonight and for the next three weekends, KPBS arts reporter Beth Armando invited right out louds artistic director, Veronica Murphy and performer Travis RET Wilson into the studio and produced this preview of the show. My name is Veronica Murphy and I'm the artistic director of write out loud right out louds mission is to inspire, challenge and entertain by reading literature allowed this. October is the second year that we are producing PO Fest and PO Fest is a festival of the works of Edgar Allen Poe and we do this in partnership with the save our heritage organization. They are the managers of the Adobe chapel in old town. And if you have never been in the Adobe chapel, you are in for a big treat. We have candles lit all through the building and it just has an old creepy, spooky kind of feeling in it that makes it a perfect place to read these wonderful stories by the master of the McCobb. Speaker 1: 01:24 And in addition to performances of fabulous pieces by Poe, including the P in the pendulum Berenice, the imp of the perverse, the black cat and others. We are also doing some HP Lovecraft. We are doing an adaptation of the legend of sleepy hollow by Washington Irving. We decided that we wanted to do PO Fest because Poe is such a fabulous author, such a fabulous character and he is really the father of the mystery story and has written so many amazing pieces about the supernatural, about madness, about the mysterious. And we are very lucky to have an amazing performer who is actually an Edgar Allen Poe reenactor. His name is Travis Rhett Wilson and he will be performing on the 18th and the 19th of October. He will be performing the black cat. And here is an excerpt from Poe's masterpiece, the black cat Speaker 2: 02:42 for the most wild it most homely narrative, which I about to pen and another expect no. So they said belief, mad indeed. Would I be to expect it as a case where my or essentially is reject their own evidence, get mad at my notes, and very Speaker 3: 02:59 surely do I not dream. But tomorrow I die. And today I would. And in my soul, my immediate purpose is the place before the world, the succinctly and without comment, a series of mere household events in that consequences. These events have terrified, have tortured, have destroyed me, yet I will not attempt to expand them to me. They have presented little but horror to many. They will seem less terrible than butter Oaks hereafter. Perhaps some intellects may be found, which will reduce my Phantasm through the common place. Some intellect, more calm, more logical and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive in the circumstances I detailed with all, nothing more than an ordinary succession of veteran natural causes and the effects Speaker 4: 04:01 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 04:06 [inaudible]. Speaker 3: 04:07 And this is the first stanza of everyone's favorite Poe poem. Of course, the Raven. Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary over many acquaint and curious volume of forgotten law, why did I not, uh, near the napping? Suddenly there came a tapping as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door, TIS some visitor. I muttered tapping at my chamber DOE only this and nothing more. Speaker 3: 04:50 My father read the Raven to me and I was just fascinated by the language of Poe and by the words he would use. And I, at the time I didn't get it, but I loved hearing it and I just started to read more of his works and I, I just was transfixed. I would think these words, why no one talks like this anymore. How come nobody talks like this? I wish people still talked like this. I want to talk like this. And so as I got older and I worked my way through, um, elementary school and, and junior high and high school, I became more fascinated and interested in Poe's works of fiction and horror and poetry and also, um, with his life. Uh, the, is this the pony, the man, it fascinates me and his, uh, struggles with madness and, and addiction and how he was able to translate that to the page and create some of these beloved works of horror. And a fiction and poetry that we've come to celebrate more than 200 years later. That was Travis Rhett Wilson and Veronica Murphy have right out loud. Pow fast opens tonight and runs Fridays and Saturdays through October at the Adobe chapel in old town. Speaker 1: 00:00 The number of reported heat related injuries in the military has skyrocketed in the past few years, so the Pentagon is turning one base into a world center for fighting those injuries. Jay price of the American Homefront project reports from Fort Benning, Georgia Speaker 2: 00:15 reported cases of heat exhaustion jumped nearly 50% between 2014 and 2018 according to Pentagon data and much more serious heat strokes. When a victim's core temperature can soar so far out of control that it can be fatal. Rose nearly 68% one particular army installation is at the heart of this growing battle. Speaker 3: 00:38 Something to keep in mind here at Fort Benning is that we don't really truly have a heat season. Speaker 2: 00:42 That's major David de Groot teaching a class of army medics. He leads the military new, one of a kind center for studying and combating heat injuries. The group says many other bases have seasons when they don't really see such injuries. Not Fort Benning though. Speaker 3: 00:58 The only week of the year where we won't have he casualty here is between Christmas and new year's. It's everybody's taking time off. Speaker 2: 01:04 Fort Benning has by far the most heat related injuries in the military. More than 1500 were reported between 2014 and 2018 the reasons are complicated. It's hot, it's humid and Benning's a big base where a lot of young soldiers do basic training. Benning also has been especially aggressive about identifying heat cases. Dr John Ambrose is an epidemiologist with a defense health agency who studies heat related illness. Speaker 3: 01:32 Fort Benning does a tremendous job of searching out those heat injuries and trying to find them so there may appear to be more heat injuries at places like Fort Benning, but it's because they're actively finding them as opposed to some of the other installations. Speaker 2: 01:45 Climate change and the record. Hot summers also may be driving some of the increase in heat injuries, but Ambrose said the most serious kinds of cases haven't become significantly more common. While milder cases are up sharply. That infers the increase may be driven not by an actual uptick in cases, but mainly by the military's increased focus on the problem. A few years ago, doctors at Bennings Martin army community hospital realized that the startling number of cases there was not just a huge problem but also an asset to fight that problem. Speaker 3: 02:18 No other facilities sees the volume and severity of heat related illnesses that we do here to be in a position to do clinically meaningful research. Speaker 2: 02:29 Dr Megan Gaylor was one of the two emergency room doctors here who proposed the heat center at Fort Benning. Speaker 3: 02:36 What we realized is that you know, any hospital that does anything, well your cancer centers or stroke centers, your pediatric centers, um, they do a lot of it and medicine as a profession then looks to those sort of centers. You sort of lead the way with regard to prevention and education, et cetera. Speaker 2: 02:52 She said that the medical staff on the base already had developed what's now called the Benning protocols to deal with heat related injuries from start to finish. One doctor got good results by piping the blood of patients with severe heat stroke through a cooling machine and all the ambulances on base were equipped to diagnose a potentially fatal condition called hyponatremia. When a soldier actually drinks too much water without enough salt, those patients could be killed by the aggressive hydration used to treat other heat injuries Speaker 3: 03:23 for so long, there's been this emphasis on hydration, hydration, drink water, drink water in the army. And the fact of the matter is you cannot drink your way out of a heat stroke, but you can drink your self to death from hyponatremia. So that message needs to shift. Speaker 2: 03:38 There may not be a way to greatly reduce the number of mild heat illness cases. Troops have to train in the conditions they may fight in, but Gaylor and DeGroote say the center has some straight forward goals. No more deaths, no more deaths, and addressed the misconceptions. And it has some lofty goals too, like becoming a research hub that advances medicine to benefit not only the military, but anyone who might fall victim to heat from construction workers to high school football players at Fort Benning. This is Jay price. Speaker 1: 04:12 This story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. Speaker 4: 04:30 [inaudible].

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Santa Ana winds are continuing to pose a fire danger for San Diego County mountain and valley areas. Plus, the number of reported heat-related injuries in the military has skyrocketed in the past few years. So, the Pentagon is turning one base into a world center for fighting those injuries. And, Poefest — everything Edgar Allan Poe — returns to town this weekend at the Adobe Chapel in Old Town, which will be lit with candles to provide the perfect backdrop for reading the stories by the master of the macabre.