Skip to comments.A year after massive Minnesota wildfire, feds shelve ‘let it burn’ forest fire policy
Posted on 08/05/2012 7:41:16 AM PDT by DManA
Nearly one year after a tiny wilderness fire exploded into Minnesotas largest forest fire in more than 70 years, a temporary U.S. Forest Service policy will now put that kind of fire out before it can grow.
Forest supervisors across the 193 million-acre national forest system have been directed to attack and snuff wilderness fires so money, personnel, aircraft and other equipment arent tied up fighting fires that started small and grew out of control.
The directive has put on hold the usual Forest Service fire policy to often let fires burn across the agencys 429 wilderness areas that cover more than 36 million acres.
The new policy is aimed at saving money and keeping wildland firefighters where they are most needed near developed, populated areas and isnt related to last years Pagami Creek Fire near Ely, said Brenda Halter, supervisor of the Superior National Forest.
(Excerpt) Read more at duluthnewstribune.com ...
These idiots should just allow logging in some of those areas instead letting them burn to nothing.
Four simple facts.
1. Forest fires have existed for two-hundred-plus million years, and the idea that a dozen, or hundred, or thousand mere mortals acting to fight the fire and could make a huge difference...is simply bogus.
2. The attitude of the public that you can move out into the wooded regions of the US and avoid threats...is obviously wrong.
3. The millions spent on ‘aerial warfare’ against fires? Worthless. You can’t cite any independent analysis that shows that it makes a difference. The politicians buy into it...purely for theater reasons...nothing more.
4. If firebreaks were effectively used in massive quantities, and the thinning of forests allowed...it would make some minor differences. But environmentalists are not going to cooperate or allow to “manage” what you have.
We had a big one going for better than a month in the upper peninsula early this summer.
I view forests as something that people should make use of but which government cannot really control. Sometimes fires occur. That's life.
My attitude extends beyond forests. Sometimes people get sick. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they are poor and unhappy. I think that communities might want to help local folks -- but I don't think government can "fix" everything. Sometimes unhappiness occurs. That's life.
The perfect, flawless life where all the troubles are successfully combated by Big Government is a goal that some folks have -- and that is why our society is so totally messed up. I think things would be a lot better if we just let the fires burn themselves out. And I mean that in a very broad sense.
Once a forest has accumulated enough flammable litter, it is going to get cleared out one way or another.
We can log and thin, we can allow frequent low level fires, or we can have overwhelming megafires.
We have chosen unwisely...
There is no such thing as virgin forest.
Not any more!
The “Too big to burn” policy in forestry is now consistent with the “Too big to fail” policy in banking. It just makes sure that the disaster, though postponed, is even bigger.
Men live on this continent right after the glaciers melted and before the great forests grew. The northern forests grew up WITH man’s interventions. And the southern forests were radically changed by man’s actions for the past 15,000 hears.
You'd be right at home working for the feral government.
Earth First: we’ll log the rest of the planets later
B.S.! Aerial coverage saved my house (0.4 mi from the fire) and our town this summer. In this rugged area inaccessible to vehicles fire fighters on foot would never have got there in time.
God Bless the aerial and ground fire fighters, as a team they do a great service to the citizens living in rural areas.
Point 4 I agree with you, especially the thinning of forests. Much more could be done at for a lot less money.
(1) Paleoethnographers have established that Indian people actively managed (logged, pruned, cleared and renewed by late fall burns) forests such as the Umpqua and Klamath to cultivate foods and materials they used.
(2) Logging and prescribed burns can emulate this kind of management that the forests were developed under for thousands of years.
(3) When John Muir wrote about the forests, they were remarkedly less dense than they are now - you could ride a horse through them. Early panoramic fire lookout photos from the turn of the nineteenth century show them to be markedly less dense. In many places they were about 10 trees to an acre where they are now 1,000.
(4) Dense tree stands repress growth, spread insects and disease, encourage ladder fuels that help fire climb into canopies where it runs quickly - burning top down.
(5) You can’t let fire run through most of todays forests without catastrophic results. They need to be thinned to a desity approaching normal or there will be stand replacing events - rather than having fire move slowly as a cleansing action on the ground, leaving the fire resistant larger trees to grow. Fires now are nuking areas, creating hyperphobic soil (kills all organic matter sterilizing the soil and prevents water from soaking into the soil.) Or it can leave massive un-natural tonage of dead fuels on the ground to burn again. Both of these events are likely to reset the seral stage of the forest to brushland, which is becoming a more permanent state. It also causes horrendous erosion when the rains come.
(6) Smoke pours CO2 and other pollutants into the air and the dead trees from fire continue to release more CO2 for decades. The 2008 Hoopa tribal study shows the health impacts of chronic smoke on populations. Smoke also affects crop yield and the tourist industry to areas.
(7)My immediate area has 20 communities at severe risk of wildfire. All of them have existed since the gold rush and some of them were Indian settlements before that. It is not people moving into the forest that is the problem. It is the management of the forest or should I say failure to manage the forest that is the problem here,
(8) National Forests are NOT National Parks, They are working forests that under their organic creation were meant to produce timber and income for local communities. What the environmentalists are doing by appealing every attempt at actively managing the forest is causing these humongous fire situations. Trees need to be cut for ecological, social and economic reasons. The cutting and commercial sale of the trees pays for that management, reduces costs of management and fire fighting to the public, reduces the fire threat, creates jobs and makes sound sense on so many levels.
We have allowed a handful of extremists to create this situation and Congress needs to take action to put forest management back on track. Even major scientists like Jack Ward Thomas, Hal Salwassar and Mike Newton have gone on record that we have created a disaster in forest health from our non-management.
Rethinking Forests: The fight against global warming http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrPTzw2aME0&feature=channel
Here is a new video by Dr. Bonickson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In4qr2nNDJI&feature=youtu.be