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Whip

Fire and Policy

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Whip

The Decker Fire here in Salida started last Sunday (10 days ago) with a lightening strike. It was considered to be in a “safe” area that needed to be cleaned out and therefore no assets were assigned to control the fire. 

 

 

Now homes are in it’s path and people are about to lose everything.

 

Even I knew this was gonna happen and I am a mountain greenhorn.

 

This could easily have been contained when it started.

 

I think the US Forestry Service should be more proactive with fires and put people first. 

 

Your thoughts?

 

 

The view from my deck

 

4FAEF56B-6566-4FA1-B099-471A11F2E914.jpeg

 

55AB7AD0-CBA6-4785-AEDF-2C50A5D0211E.jpeg

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Rinkydink

Absolutely. Should’ve been all hands on deck from the gitgo. When you know you’ll probably receive no monetary consequences (sovereign immunity) it’s easy to not worry about it. I hope your and all homes can be saved. 

Reminds me of the 2015 Animas River EPA snafu or the Flint MI water incident. How tragic. 

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TEWKS

Could get a little warm in here but it took a NY businessman to ignite a spark under their ass to start managing the problem. :java: 

 

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TEWKS

Just to add a thought to this, the poor chief in that vid has become a part-time politician and part-time chief IMO.

(a necessary evil in the fire service I guess) The number of controlled burns and the dates at the end of the story is telling.

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eddd

Yes, a New York businessman is who we should go to for direction on how to manage forests...:facepalm:

 

 

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eddd

I'm not saying the right decision was made in the Decker Fire.  For the most part I'm in favor of an aggressive initial response.  I need to know a lot more about what led to the decision to let it burn, and what changed to let it get to the point where homes are threatened.

 

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TEWKS

I think the message is forest management (boots on the ground) (controlled burns) to (lessen the available fuel.) You have to read between the lines but the message is there. ;)

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eddd
3 minutes ago, TEWKS said:

I think the message is forest management (boots on the ground) (controlled burns) to (lessen the available fuel.) You have to read between the lines but the message is there. ;)

 

The immense scale of the forests and wild land in the country, and the West in particular, makes forest management a problem that is beyond the simplistic solutions. 

Good rainfall one year, or even just in the spring, can lead to a tremendous growth spurt that soon becomes fuel for the next lightning strike, a moron burning trash on a windy day, or a vehicle pulling a trailer with the safety chains dragging.  

Added into the mix is peoples' desire to build in areas that aren't the best from a fire safety perspective.

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TEWKS

All true. I think the old (ya gotta start somewhere) takes center stage here. Like I mentioned, the number of controlled burns are way up in the last 2 1/2 years. :dontknow:

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Whip

42E98BEE-889F-4629-80F5-943B2EBE7C8B.jpeg

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Whip

It is now over 6000 acres and moving east on the south side of highway 50.

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TEWKS

Might be time for the big boy to make a few deliveries.

 

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wbw6cos

Nothing in the report on how the water is loaded, but after the video stopped it showed another video on re-loading the water tanks in Chile.  The used multiple tankers to pump it in.  The plane uses compressed air (in storage tanks to be filled during water replenishment) to discharge the water/retardent over the fire.  Interesting.

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TEWKS

Yes very interesting aircraft!  :thumbsup:

 

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RPondaRoad
On 10/2/2019 at 1:59 PM, TEWKS said:

Could get a little warm in here but it took a NY businessman to ignite a spark under their ass to start managing the problem. :java:

 

That NY business man was only using his greatest and unmatched wisdom to sell California the rakes he makes in Ukraine and China. 

 

Respectfully, I'd like to point out a few things.  The men and women of California's Cal Fire, our Conservation Corp, The Department of Water Resources, The Department of Fish and Game along with the California Air Resources Board have never needed a spark to get them off of their asses...they don't get a lot of seat time while working in the interest of our public's safety.   The years pointed out in your video showing few burns were among the driest drought years in California's history.  Lighting prescribed fires is always a risky endeavor as evidenced by how many get out of control.  But lighting them in dry tinder is madness.  

During these drought years I frequently saw our Conservation Corp crews out doing the work that it takes to mitigate fires by hand.  These are people working under the heat of the California sun with axes, shovels and picks.  Now that we are out of the drought, I still see them in the forests where I ride often.  Meanwhile, Cal Fire firemen, in addition to their heroic efforts battling our too frequent firestorms are sweating in our forests to make fire breaks and to clear brush including that along roadways where many fires start.  Air Resources has dedicated men and women working long shifts to coordinate agricultural and business burn programs that are safe and controllable. Fish and Game, who in our state are the first responders to toxic events like chemical spills and the dangerous by-products caused by home and business fires are working in every nook and cranny of California to protect our citizens.  The Department of Water Resources in our state has a lot of work that keeps them off of their seats too.  In addition to managing the vast network of reservoirs that allow us to have water at our homes, in our farm fields and available for fire emergencies, they maintain the infrastructure that is an engineering miracle that allows us to move that water to where it is needed in a state that is 800 miles long.  

 

There are always things that could be done better.  Could be done differently.  Could be done more effectively. Forest science gives us new information daily as modern technology allows for better data gathering.  Taking these things into consideration is how progress is made.  But, there is no "perfect" here...not in my state or in the other forty-nine.  Forest and fire management is a complex undertaking.  To have a NY business man come out here and tell us that we should rake our forest felt shallow and not surprisingly showed an indifference and ignorance of the facts.  To have someone mimic that and infer that all of the professionals who work so hard to preserve the natural wonder of our state, to preserve the property and lives of our citizens...to infer that they needed a spark to keep them from sitting on their asses while actually they are out busting them...well, that doesn't feel right either.  

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TEWKS

The men and women that are out risking their shit aren't the ones making the management decisions and were not the target of my comment. It was for the politicians and where the money is spent. I assume there's always been a budget for forest management?  Looking at the numbers in the vid, the controlled burns are way up. (quicker than raking :grin:) The numbers weren't there when the NY businessman was just a businessman. :dontknow: Complex problem for sure.

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RPondaRoad

Nobody would suggest that prescribed burns cannot benefit forest and fire management.  In fact, Governor Jerry Brown and the invested forest management team made the decision to become more aggressive with burns six months before the businessman came out selling rakes.  But, you may also note in the video that you posted that the prescribed burn program here ramped up again in 2016/2017 a year before your business guy came out to light the spark that you claim.  Wonder why?

 

Prescribed burns, as I mentioned above often get out of control and lighting them in forested areas during a drought is not only the madness that I indicated, but is also outside of the federal parameters that are in place for setting them.  You are using the information in that video by comparing the number of burns in our worst drought years when they were prohibited by federal law and common sense to the recovery years when we began to have more normal precipitation.  You seem to be doing this in order to cheer-lead for your favorite business man who hasn't a clue about forestry and who showed up out here and embarrassed himself with his clueless remarks.  I don't care which politicians you like, but you should know that Trump showed his concern for our part of America and the problem he came out here to do a photo op with by threatening us with cutting off FEMA funding which is used for victim recovery!.  He levied this threat of ignoring people who's homes, pets, and loved ones may be smoldering in ash even though almost 50% of the forest in our state is federally owned and managed!  

 

I'd like you to see a couple of images in a Huffpost news article about the California drought.  It is not political.  Images 1,5 and 6 were shot by me and along with the other photographs clearly show what the problem was.  Image 6 and it's description are especially pertinent to our conversation.  The article is here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/our-drought-is-real_n_5659546

 

In case, I've not been clear, here's an article that describes the state/federal interaction on prescribed fires, tells of the states decision to increase burns before the Camp fire that Trump visited and clears up a few other mysteries.  Article here:  https://www.kqed.org/science/1927354/controlled-burns-can-help-solve-californias-fire-problem-so-why-arent-there-more-of-them

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TEWKS

Like I said, a complex problem. Quickly reading that article tells me preemptive burns are what's needed to keep the big fire threats at a minimum. Gov regulations are in place for a reason I get, but adjustments are made everyday in every part of life to keep rolling forward.

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Whip

For the record this was not a prescribed  burn by definition this was/is a lightening strike caused fire that was deemed safe and allowed to burn. 

 

 

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TEWKS

Any intervention yet?

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Whip

Almost 900 fire fighters from across the country are here and they are doing a great job protecting people and property, but the fire is still growing.  May get some rain and snow today...that should help. 

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Whip

The wind and weather took over yesterday and the fire got out of control. I could see flames from my house all night.

 

Is anyone ever held responsible for “we are going to let it burn”

 

I think the forestry service needs to re-think this policy.

 

 

A9BFF8F1-CBFE-47DC-989F-1A7D5163C408.jpeg

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