Why the West is Burning

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
the root cause of so many fires is simple to understand--if you're willing to actually sit back and read it, rather than just blow it off.
1. the Forest "Service" has for about the last century focused on suppression, rather than thinning.
2. Forest "Service" personnel have not been able to thin dead trees with any success. Reason-they get sued constantly by some treehugger bunch which wants "nature" to run it's course (I've seen this around here at least for the last decade).
3. Dead wood eventually dries out
4. And then we get lightning storms in the mountains.
5. Every time-without exception (at least locally), when they propose a controlled burn, refer to #2 above.

Take the Jack Creek fire currently burning in Alpine Lakes: no effort whatsoever was made to put the thing out, No aircraft drops when it was small, no personnel (it's really rough country there, so I don't fault them for that), and now it's over 3,000 acres and growing. Pretty much the same situation for the rest of the fires locally. A few, like the Jolly Mountain fire are being actively fought with over 700 firefighters. The rest of them are just being "monitored", with an estimated "containment" date of the middle of October, when they'll be rained out.

I'll grant that "climate change" might have been responsible for the bark beetle infestation, but intelligent management would have seen the necessity of removing the dead wood to prevent a fuel overload--notice I said "intelligent".

The "let it burn" policy has been around since the early 70's. Combine that with the decision not to thin fuel loads in high risk areas and we have man-made fire change. Every action has an equal an opposite reaction... or in this case unintended consequences.

http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/Fire/Suppression/Suppression.aspx
 
IQ Range Classification (Old system)
70-80 Borderline deficiency
50-69 Moron
20-49 Imbecile
below 20 Idiot


Stupid is a vague generalization of low intelligence. Moron is a classification. Not used today though. The old system has been replaced by levels of mental retardation.

IQ Range Classification (New system)
50-69 Mild
35-49 Moderate
20-34 Severe
below 20 Profound

So in reality, a moron is actually mildly retarded.

And those with IQ's of 70-80 are democrats.
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
Can't we keep this on best forestry management practices ? With I84 still closed, most of cascade locks currently evacuated, and the west end of my town on level one evac I'd really like to see a good well informed discussion.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Can't we keep this on best forestry management practices ? With I84 still closed, most of cascade locks currently evacuated, and the west end of my town on level one evac I'd really like to see a good well informed discussion.

So what are these "best forestry management" practices? In a lot of the situations here, they're between a rock and a hard place; they'd like to do more controlled burns, but every time they announce one, some asshole sues. The reason given? "Oh...I don't like the smoke", or "oh, nature should take it's course", or some other bullshit. so they sue, and the service, with limited resources, backs off until it all burns in a major fire. I was out on the golf course this afternoon while ash was falling on us from the Jack Creek fire. That one they just let burn......
 

SteveA

Gnu to the board
So what are these "best forestry management" practices? In a lot of the situations here, they're between a rock and a hard place; they'd like to do more controlled burns, but every time they announce one, some asshole sues. The reason given? "Oh...I don't like the smoke", or "oh, nature should take it's course", or some other bullshit. so they sue, and the service, with limited resources, backs off until it all burns in a major fire. I was out on the golf course this afternoon while ash was falling on us from the Jack Creek fire. That one they just let burn......
The Jack Creek fire is "entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness." Assuming this fire is not threatening any property or structures outside the wilderness boundary, letting it burn makes sense as the best approach. It's cheaper and it reduces fuels for future fires. Similar to a controlled burn.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
The Jack Creek fire is "entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness." Assuming this fire is not threatening any property or structures outside the wilderness boundary, letting it burn makes sense as the best approach. It's cheaper and it reduces fuels for future fires. Similar to a controlled burn.
Doubt it lots. Did the wood/trees have no value other than ashes? Pretty convinced it's not cheaper to let it burn! Billions of dollars of timber are burned because current forest management thinks fires are good and timber sales are bad. It's surely cheaper not to fight fires but if the fires are burning valuable resources it becomes stupid...and more expensive. Timber on public land should be harvested and sold, not burned to ashes! Ashes are good for the soil but grown trees are good for money, public money or private money, doesn't matter.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
The Jack Creek fire is "entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness." Assuming this fire is not threatening any property or structures outside the wilderness boundary, letting it burn makes sense as the best approach. It's cheaper and it reduces fuels for future fires. Similar to a controlled burn.

which is exactly why they're letting it go. This way they don't get sued by the treehuggers out there. the problem is, it'll get away from then easily, like many of the others now burning merrily away. This is the pattern they've done pretty much on all the other fires currently not in control. Cheap isn't always the best approach, but you get what you pay for here. this is exactly what happened to the Pateros fire 3 years ago, the Carlton complex of 2 years ago, the Chihuahua River fire last year, and the Cle Elum fires currently burning. At this point, you really can't just let stuff burn and depend on mother nature to work with you. If you go on Inciweb WA, the "containment" date on these is when the snow begins to fall, not before.
 

SteveA

Gnu to the board
^^^
Of course it is "exactly why they're letting it go." That was my point.

Disagree with the rest. Doesn't make sense. Were "all the other fires currently not in control" also entirely within a wilderness area? No. Therefore, apples and oranges.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
^^^
Of course it is "exactly why they're letting it go." That was my point.

Disagree with the rest. Doesn't make sense. Were "all the other fires currently not in control" also entirely within a wilderness area? No. Therefore, apples and oranges.
Trees/wood have economic value regardless of where they grow. Letting them burn doesn't. It gives us ashes instead of economic activity. Ashes might be good for soil productivity but it's nothing near the value of the wood. Apples are better than no apples.
 

b_illymac

Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
which is exactly why they're letting it go. This way they don't get sued by the treehuggers out there. the problem is, it'll get away from then easily, like many of the others now burning merrily away. This is the pattern they've done pretty much on all the other fires currently not in control. Cheap isn't always the best approach, but you get what you pay for here. this is exactly what happened to the Pateros fire 3 years ago, the Carlton complex of 2 years ago, the Chihuahua River fire last year, and the Cle Elum fires currently burning. At this point, you really can't just let stuff burn and depend on mother nature to work with you. If you go on Inciweb WA, the "containment" date on these is when the snow begins to fall, not before.
I believe the Carlton complex is the fire that burned Pateros. So they are the same thing. Also there was initial attack on at least some of the fires. It was 4 fires to begin with. Again fire crews and resources were stretched thin (do u support Trumps 2018 wildland budget? it dings volunteer firefighters who are often first on scene as well as the forest service). I think they worked on the fires that were closest to town. By the time the resources were ordered and received the writing was on the wall and as much as some of the locals who sued DNR for making mistakes in this fire wanted to place fault at least no firefighters died in WA (Granite Mountain Hotshots burned up this year). Kinda silly to sue the DNR imho when a fire essentially goes 200,000 acreas in a night. We live in a blame first society however. A lot of people say fires are left unmanned but the truth is there isnt enough fire fighters to man them. Look at how much burns now. Only so many hotshots to go around. Engine crews dont really dig line. So yeah they place priority on the ones threatening towns first and the other ones grow. Imagine the bitching if they didnt!

Speaking of blame....If you are a homeowner clear the brush out around your home before fireseason.
 

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