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(Slate)   The U.S. government is wasting billions on wildfire policy that doesn't work when they could simply be purchasing a brand new rake for every citizen and mandating a couple of hours each week spent in the closest forest   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, Wildland fire suppression, enormous fires, Wildfire, federal fire suppression costs, Firefighting, forest fire, defensible lines, second-largest fire  
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2250 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Nov 2021 at 5:44 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-11-30 4:54:02 PM  
"There will be no more forest fires if we cut down and sell all the trees!"

From an article that was not at all ghost-written by a sentient logging truck.
 
2021-11-30 5:49:33 PM  
The town of Grizzly Flats, California, was largely destroyed in this year's Caldor Fire, while the wealthier South Lake Tahoe was mostly unharmed, partly for the reason that Tahoe residents could afford to fireproof their homes.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
TWX [TotalFark]
2021-11-30 5:49:47 PM  
I admit that I don't know the solution and to offer an uneducated opinion would not be especially useful, but I also know that any advice that comes from an industry that would clear-cut whole forests while leaving just a vestige of a copse along the highway to try to hide the true effects of such a logging policy from the general public should be treated with the utmost suspicion.
 
2021-11-30 5:51:37 PM  
Pffft.  The rising ocean levels will put the fires out, duh.
 
2021-11-30 5:52:03 PM  
South Lake Tahoe already burned with the Angora fire, the rebuild acknowledged the forest, and that forest still has char and ash in it.
 
2021-11-30 5:52:46 PM  
I appreciate that this article makes suggestions on how to save towns and dwellings while letting fires burn, rather than the usual comments of "we just have to let everyone lose their homes."
 
2021-11-30 5:56:50 PM  
Not to mention that some kinds of trees need wild fires to open their pine cones
 
2021-11-30 5:59:08 PM  
"There's this war metaphor in fire," says Stephen J. Pyne, former MacArthur fellow and author of more than 30 books on fire (as well as several pieces for Slate on fire policy). According to Pyne, the metaphor is tragically apt. "If this is a war, we're gonna spend a lot of money, we're gonna take a lot of casualties, and we're gonna lose."

...Sounds suspiciously like a different branch of public service...
 
2021-11-30 6:00:11 PM  
You can burn the brush now, or you can let nature burn the brush later.  No matter what, the brush is going to burn eventually.

In California, controlled burns almost always get rejected by the Air Quality Management District, the government agency that oversees air quality.  They have tunnel vision on this subject.  Nothing else matters, period, and they have the authority to cancel controlled burns, which they almost always do.  The end result was so much fuel had built up that when it finally caught a spark, there was nothing we could do to stop the wild fires.
 
2021-11-30 6:01:04 PM  
Many of the plants in those regions are pyrophytic. How about not moving the places with plants that experience fires so often theyve evolved to need it?
 
2021-11-30 6:02:09 PM  
They need to run endless loops of the wildlife being killed in these fires on tv 24/7 in California until they take it seriously and implement an actual legitimate controlled burning strategy.
 
2021-11-30 6:02:10 PM  
This has been going on so long, you would think that they may have learned the best way to deal with them. People build houses they get burned down, FEEMA comes in hands millions out, they build again, the fire comes again. It is a vicious circle and no one learns a thing. This country is screwed.
 
2021-11-30 6:04:03 PM  

OgreMagi: You can burn the brush now, or you can let nature burn the brush later.  No matter what, the brush is going to burn eventually.

In California, controlled burns almost always get rejected by the Air Quality Management District, the government agency that oversees air quality.  They have tunnel vision on this subject.  Nothing else matters, period, and they have the authority to cancel controlled burns, which they almost always do.  The end result was so much fuel had built up that when it finally caught a spark, there was nothing we could do to stop the wild fires.


Can we just release sarcastic people into the woods to deliver sick burns
 
2021-11-30 6:05:07 PM  
The fire has been determined to be Arson.

The Dixie fire?

Firefighters battling the Dixie Fire have also been facing a second enemy: a serial arsonist who went on a spree of setting fires in July and August - and who sought to trap fire crews with his fires, according to agents from the U.S. Forest Service. They allege former college professor Gary Maynard is the culprit, citing their tracking of his movements and other evidence.

The Bridge Fire?
Cal Fire investigators have determined the Bridge Fireto be arson. The news comes over two weeks after the fire was sparked in the Auburn State Recreation Area.

Hmm I think we have an arson problem in California....
 
2021-11-30 6:07:05 PM  
That's.....not wrong.  We need to enlist about 30 million people in doing restoration and infrastructure work, instead of working in tourist towns.
How come this isn't in the big recovery plan?
Step 1.  Close down Las Vegas, all fast food joints, all tourism jobs, all casinos, and Facebook.  Everyone gets new jobs now, ones that are better for the environment, and us.
You want to see Yellowstone?  Cool, you're on the trail crew, and you're on the forest crew.  One week minimum.

Joe Biden:

A chief travel and tourism officer position to be created within the DOT as part of the massive infrastructure bill has travel industry advocates feeling bullish.
The position is detailed within the $1.75 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which cleared its final Congressional hurdle on Nov. 5 and will become law assuming it receives the expected signature from President Biden.
 
2021-11-30 6:08:15 PM  
This is a Slate article, so I'm guessing it's pretty much bullshiat.
 
2021-11-30 6:15:25 PM  

Albinoman: Many of the plants in those regions are pyrophytic. How about not moving the places with plants that experience fires so often theyve evolved to need it?


Given the prior practices of many Native American tribes, that rules out much of the continental U.S.
 
2021-11-30 6:17:27 PM  

Albinoman: Many of the plants in those regions are pyrophytic. How about not moving the places with plants that experience fires so often theyve evolved to need it?


That is a big clue. Burning and regrowth is as much a part of nature as anything but people like to look at trees so anything that results in less trees is seen as a problem that needs to be solved.
 
2021-11-30 6:19:40 PM  
But some ecologists consider thinning, as currently practiced, to be simply a euphemism for logging. "The U.S. Forest Service is in the commercial logging business," says Chad Hanson, a forest ecologist with the John Muir Project, an environmental group in California. Indeed, the USFS receives revenue of around $150 million a year from selling trees on public lands to timber companies under its forest health and fuel reduction program, and receives more than $1 billion in funding to administer the thinning and logging programs.

This is all true.  Foresters love this shiat.  They say, "We support the entire agency."  Sure, since a lot of the Forest Service is things like campgrounds, biology work, restoration, building trails, picking up farking trash from those campgrounds, and boring stuff like mowing lawns and patrolling.
So it doesn't make any money, unlike logging.   Fark, if they knew how to thin correctly, it would have been done for the last 50 years.  But profits still drive everything.  They didn't have enough people to do it years ago, and we sure can't get a handle on it now.

so they'll sell it off, little by little, just like they always have, and everyone will be like, Yay, they're THINNING.  The truth is, you have probably not been in an unthinned forest in your life, an uncut forest, an unlogged forest.  And it's all going now.
 
2021-11-30 6:20:29 PM  
Policy has some effect but not much. Australia, Brazil, Russia, Canada, the US, Greece - there have been a lot of very bad fires lately. Almost as though something that affects the whole world is changing rapidly.
 
2021-11-30 6:23:08 PM  

TWX: I admit that I don't know the solution and to offer an uneducated opinion would not be especially useful, but I also know that any advice that comes from an industry that would clear-cut whole forests while leaving just a vestige of a copse along the highway to try to hide the true effects of such a logging policy from the general public should be treated with the utmost suspicion.


Oh look, another antivaxxer.
 
2021-11-30 6:23:29 PM  
th.bing.comView Full Size
 
2021-11-30 6:28:05 PM  

iheartscotch: Not to mention that some kinds of trees need wild fires to open their pine cones


Let me make a guess here using the clue you have given...is it Pine trees?
 
2021-11-30 6:28:13 PM  
how about allowing nice big bonfires in the forests ????!!!!
 
2021-11-30 6:28:45 PM  
A shorter list would be things the government isn't wasting billions on.
 
2021-11-30 6:30:14 PM  

Albinoman: Many of the plants in those regions are pyrophytic. How about not moving the places with plants that experience fires so often theyve evolved to need it?


Prove it. It is however likely that those that survive under such circumstances continue to exist
 
2021-11-30 6:35:47 PM  

daffy: This has been going on so long, you would think that they may have learned the best way to deal with them. People build houses they get burned down, FEEMA comes in hands millions out, they build again, the fire comes again. It is a vicious circle and no one learns a thing. This country is screwed.


Our betters know what is best for us. There is a reason they are in charge of us. So put your mask on and buy some widgets that can sit in ships off the coast.

Stop complaining about all the healing we were promised.
 
2021-11-30 6:36:35 PM  
I take one for a couple hours of work each week.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-11-30 6:36:43 PM  
I gotta do everything.  Feed some asbestos to the trees. Make the fireproof.  Eventually, fires will stop trying to burn them.

Harry Freakstorm Super Jenius
 
2021-11-30 6:36:53 PM  

Decorus: The fire has been determined to be Arson.

The Dixie fire?

Firefighters battling the Dixie Fire have also been facing a second enemy: a serial arsonist who went on a spree of setting fires in July and August - and who sought to trap fire crews with his fires, according to agents from the U.S. Forest Service. They allege former college professor Gary Maynard is the culprit, citing their tracking of his movements and other evidence.

The Bridge Fire?
Cal Fire investigators have determined the Bridge Fireto be arson. The news comes over two weeks after the fire was sparked in the Auburn State Recreation Area.

Hmm I think we have an arson problem in California....


A serial arsonist trying to trap fire crews would make a good movie.
 
2021-11-30 6:37:41 PM  
Saw a documentary recently that was eye opening. I hadn't realized that almost all the second growth forests (which is most forests in the US) had been planted by lumber companies. They see trees as a crop, so they plant them as dense as possible. That's a HUGE factor in the current rash of wildfires. All our forests are massively more dense than they would be naturally, so of course they spread fire quickly.
 
2021-11-30 6:37:43 PM  

Abox: OgreMagi: You can burn the brush now, or you can let nature burn the brush later.  No matter what, the brush is going to burn eventually.

In California, controlled burns almost always get rejected by the Air Quality Management District, the government agency that oversees air quality.  They have tunnel vision on this subject.  Nothing else matters, period, and they have the authority to cancel controlled burns, which they almost always do.  The end result was so much fuel had built up that when it finally caught a spark, there was nothing we could do to stop the wild fires.

Can we just release sarcastic people into the woods to deliver sick burns


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-11-30 6:38:17 PM  

Decorus: The fire has been determined to be Arson.

The Dixie fire?

Firefighters battling the Dixie Fire have also been facing a second enemy: a serial arsonist who went on a spree of setting fires in July and August - and who sought to trap fire crews with his fires, according to agents from the U.S. Forest Service. They allege former college professor Gary Maynard is the culprit, citing their tracking of his movements and other evidence.

The Bridge Fire?
Cal Fire investigators have determined the Bridge Fireto be arson. The news comes over two weeks after the fire was sparked in the Auburn State Recreation Area.

Hmm I think we have an arson problem in California....


Well that's convenient.
 
2021-11-30 6:40:24 PM  

adamatari: Policy has some effect but not much. Australia, Brazil, Russia, Canada, the US, Greece - there have been a lot of very bad fires lately. Almost as though something that affects the whole world is changing rapidly.


Annnnd, another antivacxer.
 
TWX [TotalFark]
2021-11-30 6:42:10 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: TWX: I admit that I don't know the solution and to offer an uneducated opinion would not be especially useful, but I also know that any advice that comes from an industry that would clear-cut whole forests while leaving just a vestige of a copse along the highway to try to hide the true effects of such a logging policy from the general public should be treated with the utmost suspicion.

Oh look, another antivaxxer.


You know, it's interesting getting a glimpse of how your brain works.

For a sufficiently loose definition of works that is.
 
2021-11-30 6:44:55 PM  

mikaloyd: iheartscotch: Not to mention that some kinds of trees need wild fires to open their pine cones

Let me make a guess here using the clue you have given...is it Pine trees?


Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Pinyon Pine or White Pine?
 
2021-11-30 6:47:01 PM  

leviosaurus: Saw a documentary recently that was eye opening. I hadn't realized that almost all the second growth forests (which is most forests in the US) had been planted by lumber companies. They see trees as a crop, so they plant them as dense as possible. That's a HUGE factor in the current rash of wildfires. All our forests are massively more dense than they would be naturally, so of course they spread fire quickly.


And the young trees are much less fire-resistant than the old growth they replaced, so the recent fires are killing trees, rather than just clearing the underbrush.
 
2021-11-30 6:49:15 PM  
Article: You're doing it wrong!

Reality: We're doing it climate change.
 
2021-11-30 6:54:40 PM  

Decorus: The fire has been determined to be Arson.

The Dixie fire?

Firefighters battling the Dixie Fire have also been facing a second enemy: a serial arsonist who went on a spree of setting fires in July and August - and who sought to trap fire crews with his fires, according to agents from the U.S. Forest Service. They allege former college professor Gary Maynard is the culprit, citing their tracking of his movements and other evidence.

The Bridge Fire?
Cal Fire investigators have determined the Bridge Fireto be arson. The news comes over two weeks after the fire was sparked in the Auburn State Recreation Area.

Hmm I think we have an arson problem in California....


So was the Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon.
 
2021-11-30 6:59:05 PM  

OgreMagi: You can burn the brush now, or you can let nature burn the brush later.  No matter what, the brush is going to burn eventually.

In California, controlled burns almost always get rejected by the Air Quality Management District, the government agency that oversees air quality.  They have tunnel vision on this subject.  Nothing else matters, period, and they have the authority to cancel controlled burns, which they almost always do.  The end result was so much fuel had built up that when it finally caught a spark, there was nothing we could do to stop the wild fires.


Some of TFA is written for states like Nevada or Arizona, with huge swaths of empty land. Those fires you probably can't put out--although as you note, air quality goes right down the drain. I'm of the opinion that our approach to those fires should be to clear growth around a sensible area, make sure it doesn't cross to a dwelling, and let it burn. And yes, that means there's going to be summers where we have fog-like smoke. If we don't let fires burn, we're going to have much bigger problems down the road.
 
2021-11-30 7:00:22 PM  

leeksfromchichis: A serial arsonist trying to trap fire crews would make a good movie.


Check out Firestorm, starring Howie Long.
 
2021-11-30 7:01:09 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: adamatari: Policy has some effect but not much. Australia, Brazil, Russia, Canada, the US, Greece - there have been a lot of very bad fires lately. Almost as though something that affects the whole world is changing rapidly.

Annnnd, another antivacxer.


Has there been a brain trauma in your recent history? Or do you honestly call that wit?
 
2021-11-30 7:02:40 PM  

CordycepsInYourBrain: mikaloyd: iheartscotch: Not to mention that some kinds of trees need wild fires to open their pine cones

Let me make a guess here using the clue you have given...is it Pine trees?

Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Pinyon Pine or White Pine?


Lodgepole and jack pines have serontinous cones. Their cones open in response to fire and the trees get well established in the wake of fire.  Ponderosa and white pine do not.  Ponderosa pine, though, is well adapted to survive lower intensity fires because of its thick bark.

Samples from the oldest pines in our tree farm show evidence of having survived dozens of fires.  Prior to 1900, the interval between fires was often around 8-12 years.  For 45 years, we've been working to get the woods back to what they looked like 120+ years ago.  Periodic fire plays a big part of that.  It's been just over 10 years since we did our last controlled burn, so we're  about due to do another one.
 
2021-11-30 7:10:06 PM  
This isn't new information.  It shouldn't be a controversial policy.  The difference is that tree huggers like to live in the woods so they think they must be the environmental good guys, so they keep building towns farther and farther into areas that are high fire risk- yes, global warming makes it worse, but building a home on a slope by a valley that historically would periodically burn isn't any smarter than the redneck farmer they complain about who keeps building his house by the fertile ground of the flood plains.

In fact, since we actually need farms and tree huggers can live in a city without harming society as a whole and without creating wild and jagged burn lines...

But I digress.  The other option, of course, is to live in an area that isn't so dry.  Yes, global warming is making that harder to figure out but it's not like California hasn't had wildfires before.  We do prescribed burns where I live periodically to restore the soil.  We also don't live in an area without water. 

I love tree huggers.  I really do, but sometimes it becomes a religion and stops following the science.  Some for all the hemp heads who decide to treat their cancer with pot and not actual medicine just because one study showed that if you put it in a petri dish it can kill cancer cells.  (Again, I love my pothead friends and if you are going through chemo, certainly toke up to keep the food down, but do the chemo too).
 
2021-11-30 7:16:20 PM  

OgreMagi: You can burn the brush now, or you can let nature burn the brush later.  No matter what, the brush is going to burn eventually.

In California, controlled burns almost always get rejected by the Air Quality Management District, the government agency that oversees air quality.  They have tunnel vision on this subject.  Nothing else matters, period, and they have the authority to cancel controlled burns, which they almost always do.  The end result was so much fuel had built up that when it finally caught a spark, there was nothing we could do to stop the wild fires.


Interestingly, repeated control burns favour fast growing fire responsive species... which results in increased fuel loads.
 
2021-11-30 7:18:45 PM  

Decorus: The fire has been determined to be Arson.

The Dixie fire?

Firefighters battling the Dixie Fire have also been facing a second enemy: a serial arsonist who went on a spree of setting fires in July and August - and who sought to trap fire crews with his fires, according to agents from the U.S. Forest Service. They allege former college professor Gary Maynard is the culprit, citing their tracking of his movements and other evidence.

The Bridge Fire?
Cal Fire investigators have determined the Bridge Fireto be arson. The news comes over two weeks after the fire was sparked in the Auburn State Recreation Area.

Hmm I think we have an arson problem in California....


Similar problem in Australia. Majority of bush fires in populated areas are from arsonists. Humans are sick idiots.
 
2021-11-30 7:21:52 PM  

cryinoutloud: But some ecologists consider thinning, as currently practiced, to be simply a euphemism for logging. "The U.S. Forest Service is in the commercial logging business," says Chad Hanson, a forest ecologist with the John Muir Project, an environmental group in California. Indeed, the USFS receives revenue of around $150 million a year from selling trees on public lands to timber companies under its forest health and fuel reduction program, and receives more than $1 billion in funding to administer the thinning and logging programs.

This is all true.  Foresters love this shiat.  They say, "We support the entire agency."  Sure, since a lot of the Forest Service is things like campgrounds, biology work, restoration, building trails, picking up farking trash from those campgrounds, and boring stuff like mowing lawns and patrolling.
So it doesn't make any money, unlike logging.   Fark, if they knew how to thin correctly, it would have been done for the last 50 years.  But profits still drive everything.  They didn't have enough people to do it years ago, and we sure can't get a handle on it now.

so they'll sell it off, little by little, just like they always have, and everyone will be like, Yay, they're THINNING.  The truth is, you have probably not been in an unthinned forest in your life, an uncut forest, an unlogged forest.  And it's all going now.


I was zooming around Google maps in north America. Was horrified how extensively logging has occurred. Most seems to be patches of clearfell. Had to really hunt around to find patches that looked unlogged. Sad.
 
2021-11-30 7:29:38 PM  

OgreMagi: You can burn the brush now, or you can let nature burn the brush later.  No matter what, the brush is going to burn eventually.

In California, controlled burns almost always get rejected by the Air Quality Management District, the government agency that oversees air quality.  They have tunnel vision on this subject.  Nothing else matters, period, and they have the authority to cancel controlled burns, which they almost always do.  The end result was so much fuel had built up that when it finally caught a spark, there was nothing we could do to stop the wild fires.


It's not tunnel vision, it's the clean air act. Controlled burns count against attainment, while wildfires do not. We haven't amended the Clean Air Act in 31 years, but there doesn't seem to be a path forward for sensible amendments.
 
2021-11-30 7:37:24 PM  

CordycepsInYourBrain: mikaloyd: iheartscotch: Not to mention that some kinds of trees need wild fires to open their pine cones

Let me make a guess here using the clue you have given...is it Pine trees?

Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Pinyon Pine or White Pine?


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-11-30 7:38:47 PM  

daffy: This has been going on so long, you would think that they may have learned the best way to deal with them. People build houses they get burned down, FEEMA comes in hands millions out, they build again, the fire comes again. It is a vicious circle and no one learns a thing. This country is screwed.


That's not true. Rich people learn there's a system that can be taken advantage-of.
 
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