The Big Question Is Can U.S. Restrain Worsening Wildfires?

By Romesh Ratnesar, Bloomberg Opinion | September 29, 2020

  • September 29, 2020 at 2:10 pm
    Craig Winston Cornell says:
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    “It’s interesting, because the number of wildfires actually has not increased in total. What has increased is just the extraordinary fire behavior… These fires also now move at rates that we didn’t used to see: seven or eight miles an hour in the timber, 15 miles an hour in the grass and lighter fuels. They move for longer periods of time. They are ferocious for a much longer time than what we saw in the past.”

    Exactly right. Forest management failure is the reason. There aren’t more fires, they just burn longer and move faster. Because of MORE FUEL on the ground.

    (If Climate Change was the key reason, it would be the increasing number of hot days or longer periods of dryness. But California has ALWAYS had long spells of dryness, typically 7 years or so before a wet winter. It is the FUEL.)

    • September 30, 2020 at 8:51 pm
      John Kinzell says:
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      Craig, thank you for saying what I was thinking. Hopefully, the Woke Climate Change Mob doesn’t set upon you. Two things happened that dramatically changed timber management during the Clinton Administration under the eggis of Al Gore – the origin of the Spotted Owl as a new endangered species and Global Warming – later re-imagined as Climate Change. The environmentalist crowd locked arms with the Democrats in CA, OR, WA, ID and DC to change multi-use of public timber and forced the timber industry onto private timber land that they can’t control save nearness to Owl Habitat Recovery Areas. Getting a successful timber timber harvesting plan approved after multiple lawsuits became not worth the lawyer and company time and $$. CA has lost most of its productive timber industry, jobs and tax receipts — mostly on private timber now, same for OR, WA and ID. And, all the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and Forest Service Timber management talent in these Agencies is largely gone – retired or re-purposed. And the Spotted Owl is breeding with Barred Owls – so now they have a hunting season on Barred Owls. Public timber is an asset that needs to be managed for multiple purposes.- not just for recreation. It is the ultimate renewable resource that used to provide jobs, taxes for community schools, libraries and funds for professional foresters to manage this amazing resource. And when it burns the same anti-timbering groups show up with law suits to block harvest of valuable timber after the fires, because – they don’t want roads built because soil erosion into streams. Think about the massive erosion events that comes after a 200,000 acre burn – winter after winter.

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