Preventing megafires is possible and affordable


Nhat V. Meyer/Getty

In 1995, Tim Ingalsbee…started Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology. Since then FUSEE has been lobbying Congress, and trying to educate anybody who will listen, about the misguided fire policy that is leading to the megafires we are seeing today…

The pattern is a form of insanity: We keep doing overzealous fire suppression across California landscapes where the fire poses little risk to people and structures. As a result, wildland fuels keep building up. At the same time, the climate grows hotter and drier. Then, boom: the inevitable. The wind blows down a power line, or lightning strikes dry grass, and an inferno ensues. This week we’ve seen both the second- and third-largest fires in California history. “The fire community, the progressives, are almost in a state of panic,” Ingalsbee said. There’s only one solution, the one we know yet still avoid. “We need to get good fire on the ground and whittle down some of that fuel load.”…

Mike Beasley earned what he called his “red card,” or wildland firefighter qualification, in 1984. To him, California, today, resembles a rookie pyro Armageddon, its scorched battlefields studded with soldiers wielding fancy tools, executing foolhardy strategy. “Put the wet stuff on the red stuff,” Beasley summed up his assessment of the plan of attack by Cal Fire, the state’s behemoth “emergency response and resource protection” agency. Instead, Beasley believes, fire professionals should be considering ecology and picking their fights: letting fires that pose little risk burn through the stockpiles of fuels. Yet that’s not the mission. “They put fires out, full stop, end of story,” Beasley said of Cal Fire. “They like to keep it clean that way.”

This could be the place for a snappy remark about “tidy minds” are like “tidybowl”…but, how solutions are arrived at isn’t the problem. Politicians, the larger mass of ignorance that keeps the Clown Show in office, the number of corporate fire suppression producers, large and small, with a vested interest in “stability”…only begin to measure the obstacles to overcome.

Read the whole article. Please. Try your best at the avenues of expression available to you. But, let’s get started at the solution. It ain’t anything we don’t already know.

5 thoughts on “Preventing megafires is possible and affordable

  1. McLeod says:

    Fighting fire with fire: Forest managers rethink fire ecology in New Mexico https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2020/09/04/fighting-fire-with-fire-forest-managers-rethink-fire-ecology-in-new-mexico/?mc_cid=6ec22d1606&mc_eid=4b85ca587f

    The Las Conchas Fire was a wildfire in New Mexico, USA, in 2011. The fire started in Santa Fe National Forest and burned more than 150,000 acres, threatening Los Alamos National Laboratory and the town of Los Alamos, which was evacuated. After five days of burning, it became the largest wildfire in New Mexico state history at the time, though it was surpassed the following year by the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Conchas_Fire

  2. Big Ernie says:

    Interactive map traces current fires burning across northwest Oregon in real-time https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2020/09/08/oregon-wildfire-map-track-fires-burning-across-northwest/5745405002/
    Multiple wildfires have spread into populated areas east of Salem and Eugene.
    Hurricane-force winds and high temperatures have energized wildfires across Oregon, forcing evacuations in several communities in Marion County, home to the state capital of Salem.
    Our wildfire and smoke tracker traces reported fires from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group and is updated hourly. https://data.statesmanjournal.com/fires/

  3. Peshtigo says:

    “The West’s Infernos Are Melting Our Sense of How Fire Works : 42,000-foot plumes of ash. 143-mph firenadoes. 1,500-degree heat. These wildfires are a new kind of hell on earth, and scientists are racing to learn its rules.” https://www.wired.com/story/west-coast-california-wildfire-infernos/
    ‘As 2020 has shown, wildfire frequency, size and severity is threatening communities and natural resources across the western U.S. As a result, there is a high demand for decision-making to mitigate risk, improve firefighter safety and increase fire containment efficiency. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/csu-nfc092920.php
    The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute (CFRI) at Colorado State University has been working with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) to address these interrelated needs in fire and land management. Three recent publications from the research team address new ways to assess risks and evaluate firefighting effectiveness.” See https://warnercnr.source.colostate.edu/new-fire-containment-research-addresses-risk-and-safety/

  4. Stover says:

    The National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook issued October 1 by the Predictive Services section at the National Interagency Fire Center predicts higher than average wildfire potential in October for portions of Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, and most of California. https://www.nifc.gov/nicc/predictive/outlooks/monthly_seasonal_outlook.pdf
    The data from NIFC shown here represents the cumulative forecasts of the ten Geographic Area Predictive Services Units and the National Predictive Services Unit (click to enlarge).

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