Thursday, September 17, 2015

USA, California: Close Up View of Wildfire Damage at The Geysers Geothermal Field

On Valley fire’s western front, on Sonoma-Lake county border, damage ‘unprecedented’ (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

Looking into The Geysers geothermal complex on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015.

The western front of the Valley fire that has torn through southern Lake County is here on the northeastern border of Sonoma County, where small and unattended fires burned within large stands of dead trees Wednesday, the smoke wafting across a rugged landscape of valleys and mountainsides charred by flames.

Looking north from atop Pine Flat Road, hundreds of acres along one mountain were completely singed, the blackness intersected by an Etch-a-Sketch of pipes owned by Calpine Corp., the electricity supplier that operates most of the area’s geothermal facilities.

Some of the pipes showed extensive superficial damage from the flames. On closer inspection, what appeared to be insulation covering the geothermal pipes was chewed up by flames in numerous places.

The flames that hit the area over the weekend after the Valley fire ignited Saturday damaged cooling towers on five of Calpine’s 14 plants, while also destroying a number of structures.

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