Skip to comments.Reform forest fire management
Posted on 11/10/2018 7:24:53 PM PST by NoLibZone
Globally, wildfire size, severity, and frequency have been increasing, as have related fatalities and taxpayer-funded firefighting costs (1). In most accessible forests, wildfire response prioritizes suppression because fires are easier and cheaper to contain when small (2).
In the United States, for example, 98% of wildfires are suppressed before reaching 120 ha in size (3).
But the 2% of wildfires that escape containment often burn under extreme weather conditions in fuel-loaded forests and account for 97% of fire-fighting costs and total area burned (3).
Changing climate and decades of fuel accumulation make efforts to suppress every fire dangerous, expensive, and ill advised (4).
These trends are attracting congressional scrutiny for a new approach to wildfire management (5).
The recent release of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (NCWFMS) (6) and the U.S. Forest Service's (USFS's) current effort to revise national forest (NF) plans provide openings to incentivize change.
Although we largely focus on the USFS, which incurs 70% of national firefighting costs (7), similar wildfire policies and needed management reforms are relevant throughout the United States and fire-prone areas worldwide.
(Excerpt) Read more at science.sciencemag.org ...
The BHNF uses plenty of select tree harvesting and plenty-o-proscribed burns, especially in the NF - rural residence interfaces.
Didn’t stop the Custer State Park fire last year though.
Nobody says it stops all fires. But it drastically reduced their severity.
Reform what currently passes for “Science”.
Why don’t we develop these forests then. There’s too much (Federal) land just sitting there getting wasted. Develop the mofos and build new cities. That’s why there’s always forest fires in CA. Too much land in state and federal parks, land where humans are forbidden to go. But OK for illegals to grow pot.
There was a huge fire in Yellowstone NP in 1988. Was just there last month. Our guide told us that the massive fire was caused by the annual small fires being extinguished. Now they let the fires burn naturally.
No, they protect Park infrastructure as much as possible.
There is always the likelyhood that a “back country” fire can eventually get to infrastructure or go beyond the Park boundaries.
“Our guide told us that the massive fire was caused by the annual small fires being extinguished. Now they let the fires burn naturally.”
What the moron failed to tell you was that along with extinguishing “small fires,” they also make no effort to clear dead and dying trees and undergrowth, and also fail to put in access roads and allow reasonable amounts of logging. There is nothing like a clear-cut area to stop the spread of a fire.
WUI is the main problem. It just keeps EXpanding. They are voters - and usually influential.
Then theres lib tree-huggers fighting against Rx burns. TNC, for example.
Not to mention NEPA and EIS - crap like that.
You just DID mention em.
Yeah, I know.
Its called forest management and logging is a massive part of it. the environazis of CA have all but destroyed our logging industries. CA is reaping what it has sowed over the last few decades.
Consider political demographics in areas of mismanagement, and just let it go.
You’re exactly right. This elementary school level argument has been going on for a decade. The late Bill Wattenberg screamed about this for many years.
What the eco-freaks do not tell you is that CA has suffered for many years from serial infestations of bark beetles. They kill trees, on an alarming and widespread basis. In the time it takes for the trees to die, they of course shed branches and all manner of tree detritus. This piles up on the forest floor and creates a think carpet of pure fuel. Sometimes 2-3 feet thick. Experienced forest management folks have been begging for years to get these forests cleared out and incidentally, to harvest the lumber. But the eco-freaks have successfully blocked all efforts to clear out the dead wood and slash from the forest floor because they have claimed that cutting of the roads that would be required would promote logging, which of course is excess logging, an offense against Gaia. Never mind that the large lumber companies are acutely aware of forest management techniques and there are now more acres of forest standing in the US than there were before the eeeeeeevil white man showed up.
So because these dead, overgrown and overfueled forests are not maintained nor cleared, when fires break out they are intensely hot, in fact cauterizing the ground. Trees that normally drop seeds that would sprout and grow, those seeds are killed by the intense heat. So these areas that have these super intense fires stay barren for many years, then they become very prone to erosion and flooding, which washes away topsoil.
The failure to clear out the dead forests is the cause of this phenomenon.
You have described the problem to a tee! Then in the suburban areas, the residents have planted boku trees in areas that were grassland with a few Valley Oaks, so now virtually every neighborhood that has been in place for ten years or more, it an urban forest waiting to be torched. And sad to say, we’re guilty of this nonsense. That said, we have removed a number of mature trees from our acre and a half because they made our home less defensible if a fire occurs. We’re not there yet, but we’ve made some big strides. Our spending last year on the subject was about $6,000, but by comparison to the value of our home ( to say nothing of our lives), it’s a pittance.
Philosophy masquerading as Science
Guess Popular Science is wrong. So shocked. /s
Excellent root cause analysis. [Pardon the pun]
Our hunt club is 4500 acres of mostly timber company land. They have a team to come in and burn on a regular basis in different areas. We rarely ever have anything uncontrolled burning there.
California is suffering from their own stupidity and everyone else hasta help pay for it.
Get Fedzilla to sign over the federal property to'em, cut a big fire lane along the border and let them pay for their own damn fire suppression.
When logging stopped road building stopped
IT was great for the head forester running his kingdom...
He had a lot less work to do....let it grow wild...and for the most part keelp people out..
They band all forms of recreation...snowmobiling for example..
Why werent there these cauterizing fires before man started managing the forest?
Archaeologist says fire, not corn, key to prehistoric survival in arid Southwest.
Conventional wisdom holds that prehistoric villagers planted corn, and lots of it, to survive the dry and hostile conditions of the American Southwest.
But University of Cincinnati archaeology professor Alan Sullivan is challenging that long-standing idea, arguing instead that people routinely burned the understory of forests to grow wild crops 1,000 years ago.
Like a detective, Sullivan has pieced together clues firsthand and from scientific analysis to make a persuasive argument that people used fire to promote the growth of edible leaves, seeds and nuts of plants such as amaranth and chenopodium, wild relatives of quinoa. These plants are called ruderals, which are the first to grow in a forest disturbed by fire or clear-cutting.
So if prehistoric people were not growing corn, what were they eating? Sullivan found clues around his excavation sites that people set fires big enough to burn away the understory of grasses and weeds but small enough not to harm the pinyon and juniper trees, important sources of calorie-rich nuts and berries.
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