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(NBC News)   Park system now finding out what happens when you never let areas burn periodically as they helplessly get ready to watch The Great Sequoias become charcoal in California   ( usnews.nbcnews.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park 15, park system, California Department of Forestry, fire protection, percent contained, wildfires, National Park Service  
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13943 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Aug 2013 at 4:49 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-26 06:28:58 PM  

Droopy Dro: Ya think Sequoia and Redwood have already thought of fire, once or twice, in thousands of years? Answer C: (they have very fire proof bark)   I would worry more about the Bristlecone, so old it is not even in the dictionary.

I've seen where they grow. There is not much around them to burn. Lazarus and its ilk will survive.

 
2013-08-26 06:31:46 PM  
send in the giant sta-puft marshmallow man!!!!

kingsford now lining up to "vacation" in town.
 
2013-08-26 06:35:29 PM  

LeroyBourne: mcreadyblue: LeroyBourne: I wonder if it's hot enough to turn that dirt to glass?  I saw on pbs a long time ago they let like 2 sq/mile forest just grow with out any controlled burns for a decade.  They started that bad boy up to see what would happen, it was so dense with heat it made a 3 inch thick plain of glass over the land.  Crazy stuff.

Wood turns into glass??!!

No. Wood floats too. Do you know what else floats? Tiny rocks.



And bread.
 
2013-08-26 06:36:00 PM  

Enigmamf: The problem is that the logging industry wants to take the tall, healthy trees, not the old dying trees or accumulating dead underbrush. Republicans are trying to use "look, forest fires!" as an excuse to allow loggers to take the exact fraction of the forests we need to preserve, leaving behind the exact fraction of the forests that causes the problems with vast forest fires.


The trick to this is that you can easily mandate removal of the underbrush along with the trees the timber industry wants.
 
2013-08-26 06:45:21 PM  

HeadLever: you are probably too young to remember the backlash that Reagan got for the let it burn policy in Yellowstone. In any case, this is not a new debate.


I remember stomping around Yellowstone in 1978.  All the lodge pole pine was old growth and probably a 1/4 was already killed by bark beetles. So really what was burning was stands of old and dead trees.  There was a picture from the fire that tells you all you needed to know. Press crews  lined up waiting for their turn at a spot on the road where if you pointed the camera just right you could get a shot of the reported with a burned out wasteland behind them.  The other side of it was of course timber companies that start slobbering at the idea of getting a hold of timber from national parks for 5 cents on the dollar.
 
2013-08-26 06:46:57 PM  

Enigmamf: The problem is that the logging industry wants to take the tall, healthy trees, not the old dying trees or accumulating dead underbrush.


They will take what ever you give them if it makes economical sense.  Firewood, fence/poles, saw logs, etc.  yes, you generally get more bucks for the bigger trees that you can make lumber out of, but that is just the economics of the situation, and really has nothing to do with what the logging industry 'wants'.

What the logging industry really wants to do is just stay in buisness.

Republicans are trying to use "look, forest fires!" as an excuse to allow loggers to take the exact fraction of the forests we need to preserve, leaving behind the exact fraction of the forests that causes the problems with vast forest fires.

You really don't know much about forest management.  On public land It is not the logger's decision on where to log.  It is the land managers decision to open up a logging sale where they see fit.  The logging companies then have bid thier price out for these trees.  Of course the stands of mature fir is going to bring a better price than a stand of beetle-killed lodgepole.  That is the economics of the situation.  It doesn't mean that the Forest Service cannot initiate a timber sale in said lodgepole area, however, they are not going to get a very high bid price and it may not even cover the expenses of them issuing the sale.

Add in the cost of lawsuits from multiple environmental organizations and you can see how these sales become very tough to sell by all involved.  I heard a stat where I grew up and the number of sawmills in southern Idaho went from 35 or so back in the 70s to 3 today.

Of course, this little conflagration had a bit to do with that as well
 
2013-08-26 06:48:14 PM  

alienated: You sound brown. smart .

And racist.

ftfy


No. No, you really didn't.
 
2013-08-26 06:48:20 PM  
FTA - We're going to do our best to rebuild it back for the grandkids and great grandkids to enjoy it.
I hate to break the news, but you're gonna need to find some logs to rebuild that log cabin.
 
2013-08-26 06:49:38 PM  
They've known about the value of periodic fires for a while. They've even been doing it on purpose.
http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/haase/psw_1998_haase001.pdf
 
2013-08-26 06:49:41 PM  

Apik0r0s: That sound you hear is a million Republicans fapping to the idea of the Sequoias burning, shows them darned liberals for not letting them make picnic tables out of them in the first place.


Look how stupid you sound...
 
2013-08-26 06:52:40 PM  

Enigmamf: HeadLever: Add to the fact that many environmental organizations consider logging to be the debil's work and you end up with a logjam in forest management .

The problem is that the logging industry wants to take the tall, healthy trees, not the old dying trees or accumulating dead underbrush. Republicans are trying to use "look, forest fires!" as an excuse to allow loggers to take the exact fraction of the forests we need to preserve, leaving behind the exact fraction of the forests that causes the problems with vast forest fires.

It is just another example of how every Republican populist talking point is fraudulently disingenuous.


Have you ever seen a selectively logged forest? How about one that was extremely overgrown?

Have you ever seen one that has been so badly burned due to overgrowth and "forest protection" policies?
 
2013-08-26 06:54:43 PM  

give me doughnuts: LeroyBourne: mcreadyblue: LeroyBourne: I wonder if it's hot enough to turn that dirt to glass?  I saw on pbs a long time ago they let like 2 sq/mile forest just grow with out any controlled burns for a decade.  They started that bad boy up to see what would happen, it was so dense with heat it made a 3 inch thick plain of glass over the land.  Crazy stuff.

Wood turns into glass??!!

No. Wood floats too. Do you know what else floats? Tiny rocks.


And bread.


And witches!!
 
2013-08-26 06:55:12 PM  

gibbon1: All the lodge pole pine was old growth and probably a 1/4 was already killed by bark beetles.


old growth and lodgepole are not really used in the same context, but I understand what you are saying.  It is part of the issue we have here as well.  The fuel buildup continues to pile up and we are doing nothing about it.  I would recommend that we allow the loggers into certain swaths of these forest where we can reduce fuels and create useful firebreaks for any fire that happens to hit these areas.  Or once the firebreaks are constructed, we can begin a regiment of prescribed burns.

However, that idea is Dead on Arrival as the access limitations on public lands here are extensive and certain environmental lawsuits would make it a very expensive idea.  Again, the technical aspects are not that hard to figure out.  The political fight, however, is exhausting and frustrating.
 
2013-08-26 06:58:14 PM  

Mr. Breeze: Have you ever seen a selectively logged forest? How about one that was extremely overgrown?

Have you ever seen one that has been so badly burned due to overgrowth and "forest protection" policies?


His type of response is what leads many folks to really belive that the liberal environmentalist would rather see the forest burn in the catastrophic wildfires than see anyone allowed to log an area.  It appears that they can only see the logging industry as an enemy and refuse to see them as a tool that could help if the circumstances were right.
 
2013-08-26 07:01:49 PM  

HeadLever: Apik0r0s: That sound you hear is a million Republicans fapping to the idea of the Sequoias burning, shows them darned liberals for not letting them make picnic tables out of them in the first place.

Yeah, because you hear all the republicans in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Arizona excited about wildfire in thier state.

Forest Management is not really a hard issue to solve from a technical stanpoint, however, it is a nighmare from the political perspective.  You either need to reduce the fuels on human terms or let the wildfires run their course.

If you pick the first option, you have only 2 effective ways of doing this - prescribed burns or some type of logging.  Neither one is really attractive to the environmental/nimby community.  Aslo some fuel loads are high enough that prescribed burns are very risky.

If you pick the second option, you are going to see continued loss property and firefighters lives.

I work for an environmental organization and we like what is going on in Montana, particularly what is going on with the practices on the eastern slopes and are trying to convince our government to look at those practices instead of  clearcutting which is currently being practiced.
 
2013-08-26 07:02:58 PM  

Occam's Nailfile: Now do you see how racist you sound?


Yep, you're a moron. This was obviously parody of Native American words and feelings.

Back to school with you, child.

Oh, wait, the last vestiges of a good education died in the mid-90s. So you're shiat out of luck, child.
 
2013-08-26 07:10:08 PM  
Betcha, a lot of marijuana grow ops have gone "up in smoke" too
 
2013-08-26 07:11:39 PM  

mtbhucker: I work for an environmental organization and we like what is going on in Montana, particularly what is going on with the practices on the eastern slopes and are trying to convince our government to look at those practices instead of clearcutting which is currently being practiced.


It sounds like you work for a environmental group that is willing to work with land managers and the logging industry.  Good for you.  I agree that the practices of logging always needs to be scrutinized and we do need to attempt to be better stewards.  However, we also need to recognize that logging is a tool that should be utilized and can work for the communities and the forest.

Generalizing loggers into a Republican arm that only wants to destroy everythign in their path is the wrong way to look at this issue.
 
2013-08-26 07:16:18 PM  

AllUpInYa: Betcha, a lot of marijuana grow ops have gone "up in smoke" too


Yep and the cost for it has just gone up...ha, ha
 
2013-08-26 07:23:24 PM  
Everything burns ...

archive.4chon.net
 
2013-08-26 07:32:28 PM  
This is bullshiat.

All we need to do is get some libs in office and this shiat will be taken care of.

God damn farking republicans. They are destroying this country.
 
2013-08-26 07:37:04 PM  

HeadLever: mtbhucker: I work for an environmental organization and we like what is going on in Montana, particularly what is going on with the practices on the eastern slopes and are trying to convince our government to look at those practices instead of clearcutting which is currently being practiced.

It sounds like you work for a environmental group that is willing to work with land managers and the logging industry.  Good for you.  I agree that the practices of logging always needs to be scrutinized and we do need to attempt to be better stewards.  However, we also need to recognize that logging is a tool that should be utilized and can work for the communities and the forest.

Generalizing loggers into a Republican arm that only wants to destroy everythign in their path is the wrong way to look at this issue.


We do try to work with industry and government, but there is a small contingent of powerful land managers and civil servants in the govt that are holdovers from the 70s and 80s who only see trees as a source of wood fibre and nothing else.  It doesn't help that the lone sawmill in the area has very powerful allies. They push clearcuts as the only way to control fire and pine beetles.  Recently they've added water harvesting as a way to justify clearcuts, which I don't think will go over well in an area that is still cleaning up from the worst flooding In decades.
 
2013-08-26 07:41:13 PM  

I Like Shiny Things: This is bullshiat.

All we need to do is get some libs in office and this shiat will be taken care of.

God damn farking republicans. They are destroying this country.


Huh???

10/10??
 
2013-08-26 07:44:14 PM  

Okieboy: vudukungfu

"The people that have survived" are doing great here in Oklahoma between smoke shops and casinos they are buying up pretty much everything.

/wish I had my Cherokee ID card...


wait, being Cherokee gets one something now somewhere?  I've been out of touch...

I think most of the relatives I had what used to be very active Cherokee-ians are all dead now, but...hey, I'd like to buy up everything too.
 
2013-08-26 07:52:18 PM  
Yes, forests used to burn down

There also used to be a lot more forests.  When NPS is charged with protecting the remaining pockets, they are justifiably hesitant to let it burn.
 
2013-08-26 08:07:29 PM  
Of course the answer to this is more government!
All government failures mean more government.
And more failures. And more government and more failures and more government.
 
2013-08-26 08:08:20 PM  

Occam's Nailfile: vudukungfu: No no no no.
Let the white man steward the land.
he knows so much better how to do this than the people that have survived on this land for thousands of years.
You take those slackers and park them on some hell hole of a nuclear testing ground and farking let them rot. They don't know what the fark they are doing. Let the white man steward the land. He is so much better at it.

You sound brown.

And racist.


and correct, don't forget he is also correct. which is probably why you have all that sand in your vagina.
 
2013-08-26 08:09:58 PM  

Norfolking Chance: HeadLever: abfalter: It is natural for a forest to periodically burn down.

It does not have to 'burn down'.  Many of the big tree forest (Doug Fir, Yellow Pine, Redwood) are pretty fire resistent so long as the fire is small and contained to the forest floor.  However, when you let fuels build up over the years without allowing perodic firest, prescribed burns, selective logging, etc. you end up with fires that are much hotter and will find ther way into the canopy, effectivly killing everything in its path.  Some can even burn so hot as to sterilize the forest floor, making regeneration much more difficult.

LEt me guess, wealthy people have built holiday homes in the forests and have activly lobbied for the laws that built up the brushwood?


DING! DING! DING!
 A winnar is you!
 
2013-08-26 08:25:20 PM  

CliChe Guevara: Norfolking Chance: HeadLever: abfalter: It is natural for a forest to periodically burn down.

It does not have to 'burn down'.  Many of the big tree forest (Doug Fir, Yellow Pine, Redwood) are pretty fire resistent so long as the fire is small and contained to the forest floor.  However, when you let fuels build up over the years without allowing perodic firest, prescribed burns, selective logging, etc. you end up with fires that are much hotter and will find ther way into the canopy, effectivly killing everything in its path.  Some can even burn so hot as to sterilize the forest floor, making regeneration much more difficult.

LEt me guess, wealthy people have built holiday homes in the forests and have activly lobbied for the laws that built up the brushwood?

DING! DING! DING!
 A winnar is you!


Being from the area, I have to say it's pretty hard to fight the "flat landers" on stuff like this. After Sonora lost the gold mine in the 80s a ton of good paying jobs just disappeared. The mill is still there, but the only major industry left besides lumber is tourism.

My family could lose the house I grew up in, my grandparents house, my cousins house, my uncles house and two other homes we've had in the area. I remember the 1987 Stanislaus Forest complex fire, seeing an entire mountain burn can fark with a kid.
 
2013-08-26 08:49:39 PM  
After the government gets done administering the public lands, turn it loose on the economy, jobs, Wall Street, your diet, your health care, your kid's education, all of it. Paradise shall surely result.
 
2013-08-26 08:55:25 PM  

leadmetal: Of course the answer to this is more government!
All government failures mean more government.
And more failures. And more government and more failures and more government.


Can't decide whether you're trolling, or just REALLY farking stupid.

Leaning towards the latter.
 
2013-08-26 09:00:02 PM  
We're going to need bigger s'mores
 
2013-08-26 09:30:16 PM  

damonm: leadmetal: Of course the answer to this is more government!
All government failures mean more government.
And more failures. And more government and more failures and more government.

Can't decide whether you're trolling, or just REALLY farking stupid.

Leaning towards the latter.


Why do observations disturb you so as to lash out like that?

That's how this country 'works' and has worked for decades.

More government is always the answer to problems that were created by a government solution.
 
2013-08-26 09:40:57 PM  

happydude45: give me doughnuts: LeroyBourne: mcreadyblue: LeroyBourne: I wonder if it's hot enough to turn that dirt to glass?  I saw on pbs a long time ago they let like 2 sq/mile forest just grow with out any controlled burns for a decade.  They started that bad boy up to see what would happen, it was so dense with heat it made a 3 inch thick plain of glass over the land.  Crazy stuff.

Wood turns into glass??!!

No. Wood floats too. Do you know what else floats? Tiny rocks.


And bread.

And witches!!


Don't forget root beer!
 
Ral
2013-08-26 10:06:39 PM  

ski9600: FTA:  still threatens some 4,500 structures as well as the power and water utilities in San Francisco, roughly 200 miles to the west

What?


The power lines that run electricity to San Francisco pass through the area where the wildfire is moving.  The fire could potentially damage that connection, which would cut off power for the city.  Also, SF gets its water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which is currently experiencing issues with ash contamination that might worsen.

Personally I don't have a problem with SF losing power and water services.  Isn't that what the enviro-hippies want?  For us to all return to the stone age?
 
2013-08-26 10:09:34 PM  

Norfolking Chance: LEt me guess, wealthy people have built holiday homes in the forests and have activly lobbied for the laws that built up the brushwood?


Last time I was in Colorado, it seemed people were gnashing their teeth over just that.  You got the old retirement cabin in the 'woods' where nothing has burned for 100 years.  Trees are dead or old and dry.  Lots of downed wood.  And the old farts go mad if you try to force them to clean up the mess.  They don't want to pay to have the dead wood removed nor allow anyone to clear cut. But they want the state and feds to save their asses when there is a fire.
 
2013-08-26 10:39:29 PM  
See http://www.inciweb.org/  for the scariest info. CA has nothing on Idaho.

Sort the fires by acres burned.

There are 5 active fires over 100,000 acres. The Rim (CA) and the Pony Complex (ID) are tied neck and neck for first at 149K acres. Two other fires are also in Idaho. So, 3 of the top 5 all in ID. CA is third in size. ID is 14th.
 
2013-08-26 10:57:20 PM  

JamesSirBensonMum: / "Sequoias" is the shortest word with all five vowels.


"Eunoia" is shorter by two letters
 
2013-08-26 10:57:37 PM  

bikerific: Yes, forests used to burn down

There also used to be a lot more forests.  When NPS is charged with protecting the remaining pockets, they are justifiably hesitant to let it burn.


Except it is part of the natural lifecycle of a forest, especially out west. The dead timber and excessive growth of saplings and brush is a problem that mother nature will remedy one way or another regardless of our experiments with forest management.

We can put out all the fires we want, but the underlying problem is still there.
 
2013-08-26 11:56:54 PM  

pedobearapproved: vudukungfu: No no no no.
Let the white man steward the land.
he knows so much better how to do this than the people that have survived on this land for thousands of years.
You take those slackers and park them on some hell hole of a nuclear testing ground and farking let them rot. They don't know what the fark they are doing. Let the white man steward the land. He is so much better at it.

Well that's a logical fallacy...and racist, but whatever.


It  ACTUALLY HAPPENED, you moran. What, were you sleeping when your elementary school history class covered White Man's Burden?

/Damn, this thread is full of idiots
 
2013-08-26 11:58:12 PM  

LadySusan: Sort the fires by acres burned.


In terms of acres burned, this year is tame compared to last year.  Just in central Idaho we had the following:
Halstead fire was 182K acres
Mustang Fire was 340K acres
Trinity Fire was was 148K acres

This year, however, many of the fires are much closer to civilization.
 
2013-08-27 12:00:14 AM  

Mr. Breeze: Except it is part of the natural lifecycle of a forest, especially out west. The dead timber and excessive growth of saplings and brush is a problem that mother nature will remedy one way or another regardless of our experiments with forest management.

We can put out all the fires we want, but the underlying problem is still there.


Unless we remove those fuels ourselves via logging.
 
2013-08-27 12:09:06 AM  

happydude45: give me doughnuts: LeroyBourne: mcreadyblue: LeroyBourne: I wonder if it's hot enough to turn that dirt to glass?  I saw on pbs a long time ago they let like 2 sq/mile forest just grow with out any controlled burns for a decade.  They started that bad boy up to see what would happen, it was so dense with heat it made a 3 inch thick plain of glass over the land.  Crazy stuff.

Wood turns into glass??!!

No. Wood floats too. Do you know what else floats? Tiny rocks.


And bread.

And witches!!


And ducks!!
 
2013-08-27 12:40:04 AM  
I know everyone is enjoying standing on their farking soap boxes and spouting their favored and myriad creeds, but
-  the fire isn't all that close to any sequoias and isn't going to burn any of them.
- this fire is in the middle of nowhere in rough terrain; its burned a dozen cabins and other various structures in an area almost 200 square miles. There's no nimbys there isn't much residential/forest interface, there isn't much of anything but a bunch of trees and lot of granite and a whole lot of up and down.
- The fire isn't particularly hot. There hasn't been much fire suppression up there, things burn through now and then.
 
2013-08-27 12:50:24 AM  

HeadLever: I would recommend that we allow the loggers into certain swaths of these forest where we can reduce fuels and create useful firebreaks for any fire that happens to hit these areas.


Problem is, "selective" logging generally winds up with the timber company taking all the large, healthy trees -- the trees that could withstand moderate-intensity fires -- and leaving behind smaller trees, undergrowth, and slash -- aka fuel. The problem gets worse instead of better. There are solutions that involve logging, but that isn't one of them.
 
2013-08-27 01:15:38 AM  
Hi Farkers!

Friendly fire ecologist and park ranger here!

A few tid-bits that every little camper should understand. Even you, over there, using that knife in an unsafe manner to carve a sharp stuck for who-know-what use!

1. Land management agencies, and their missions, are very different; get mad at the correct one. They include private land owners; local, state, and federal governments; and NGOs. The subby is woefully ignorant of this, somehow saying "Park system" when he really should refer to "National Forests, private inholdings, and other land management agencies responsible for managing the forests of the Sierra Nevadas." The National Park Service and National Fish & Wildlife Service pioneered the use of prescribed burns, yet manage a relatively tiny percent of lands in the Lower 48. It's mostly Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management down here.

2. All wildland fires are not the same. They burn differently for myriad reasons; overall climate, recent or ongoing weather events and winds, slope, vegetation, land use history, time since last fire (of some kind, also variable), forest pathogens, etc. Because of all these inputs, many significanly influenced by human activities also in a dizzying variety or ways, few fires and "natural" anymore. Doing nothing is just as unnatural as any other forest management choice.

3. Go ahead and get angry at the Forest Service, the National Park Service, or whomever you want - but it's your own damn fault nobody cares about forest health until there's a fire. Send me some God damned money and I can fix this problem. We, the fire fighting community, know what the fark to do - but our hands are tied. Instead of the proactive forest health and management we want to do with controlled burns and mechanical treatments, we are underfunded, hounded by idiots who either don't realize the American West is smokey from time to time and get pissy about our burns, or sue us for cutting too many trees (you know, the dense thickets that cause catastrophic crown fires).

These is a solution. It requires people to a) care and b) vote. Please, elect officials that raise your taxes. There, I said it. Fixing our forests is going to be expensive. But we have to do it, or we will lose most of them by 2050. Look it up.

(Steps down off smoldering stump and shoulders his Stihl)
 
2013-08-27 01:16:34 AM  
These = There is. Ooops
 
2013-08-27 01:31:54 AM  

Low Budget Dave: The big sequoias can live through pretty bad fires.  Part of their natural cycle is for fires to burn through and kill all the small stuff.  Of course, we are talking about one of the worst droughts in recorded history, so it might not be fair to blame it all on the Forestry Service.


Thank you
It seems that most don't understand what part of the Forestry Service does
From studies done over countless years, they have obtained knowledge of what helps a healthy forest grow. Yes, we have made mistakes in our past.
The Forestry Service allows and will initiate burns in forest areas to simulate what nature seems to prefer. The problems arise when human population gets in the way. Control burns, have gotten out of control. People don't like that, and they complain. So, it kinda puts a damper on such things. Also, some people who don't live anywhere near those areas complain about money being spent in those areas. So there's that also.
Just saying that there are efforts to strike a balance between nature and humans. But finding that balance isn't easy.
 
2013-08-27 01:52:30 AM  

vudukungfu: No no no no.
Let the white man steward the land.
he knows so much better how to do this than the people that have survived on this land for thousands of years.
You take those slackers and park them on some hell hole of a nuclear testing ground and farking let them rot. They don't know what the fark they are doing. Let the white man steward the land. He is so much better at it.


This is very late in the thread to comment... but you sound drunk.

Also, maybe kind of a racist idiot.
 
2013-08-27 02:05:48 AM  

0z79: vudukungfu: No no no no.
Let the white man steward the land.
he knows so much better how to do this than the people that have survived on this land for thousands of years.
You take those slackers and park them on some hell hole of a nuclear testing ground and farking let them rot. They don't know what the fark they are doing. Let the white man steward the land. He is so much better at it.

This is very late in the thread to comment... but you sound drunk.

Also, maybe kind of a racist idiot.


when the indigenous peoples of the americas gathered together in large urban groups it was common for the local large fauna to become extinct
If you weren't elite you were eating rats
you don't want to know what the elites were eating
 
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