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Old 09-11-2020, 11:19 AM   #1
Markgaines122
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Default Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Welcome to the (Unnecessary) Mega Fire Generation!
By Del Albright, Fire Chief (retired)

25-30 years ago, a 10,000 – 15,000-acre fire was a huge conflagration. Now we are experiencing 100,000 - 400,000-acre fires regularly.

I would like to offer an explanation based on over 30 years of government service including 26 years with the fire service, as well as beginning my fire career with a Master’s Degree in Prescribed Burning.

NO! It is not just global warming (climate change).
NO! It is not understaffed or ill-trained firefighters.
NO! It is not Mamma Nature getting even with our urban sprawl.
NO! It is not careless campers or hunters.
NO! It is not kids with matches.

YES! It is a combination of many things but more importantly, it is the LACK of forest/brushland/grassland management caused by wacko, radical enviro groups imposing excessive regulations, and restrictions on our ability to keep the west safe from wildfire.

Here are the key takeaways from this article:

· The lack of controlled burning/prescribed fire is directly responsible for the huge build-ups of flammable fuels.
· The end of maintaining fire breaks (roads) in forested areas leaves firefighters with inadequate access.
· The end of logging and good timber management as we used to know it is directly responsible for forests that are now tinderboxes.
Let us take a deeper look at these reasons.
CONTROLLED BURNS:
Going back to Native Americans in America, controlled burning (later called Prescribed Fire) have saved the west from huge conflagrations. By burning large brush fields and using fire to thin understory brush in the forest, we kept the big boomers at bay. We had programs designed to reduce “chaparral” in the west, thus limiting the ability for fires to get ragingly out of control.

In the early days of settling the west, ranchers regularly burned brush fields to make way for grazing and wildlife habitat.
This entire program of controlled or prescribed fire is a near thing of the past.
ROADS/FIRE BREAKS:
When I started with the fire service in the 1970’s we had regularly scheduled building, repairing, cleaning, and maintaining fire breaks around rural housing areas and developments. We kept fire roads cleared and usable for large fire equipment. We had access to remote areas which allowed us to attack fires when they were small. Roads provided a place to start a safe backfire. Oh, backfires! Another art nearly lost today due to liability and excessive oversight by the media and radical enviro groups who have political power.
LOGGING/TIMBER MANAGEMENT:
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you probably remember sawmills. They are all gone for the most part because the radical environmental rules have made logging a financial nightmare. You wonder why wood is so expensive these days? We cannot log; that’s why. Yes, there are still a few holdouts logging here and there. But the feds are hampered by so many regulations and restrictions that our timber stands either get bug infested or succumb to wildfires.

We used to thin forest stands regularly – fire crews, inmate crews, machines that munch up underbrush, and yes, even pesticides to keep the forests healthy. Now, you can pick about any state in the west with timber and you see more bug-killed trees than live ones!
In our western grasslands, the lack of proactive landscape management in desert states has resulted in vast acreages dominated by a cheatgrass-fire cycle that is ruining wildlife habitat and causing bigger and more damaging conflagrations. This invasive species needs to be managed or these western deserts will never be the same – nor will our wildlife species.

In timber areas, for the most part, we no longer control pests and bugs; we no longer do any substantial thinning of the underbrush; logging is kaput, and forest management is a façade. It is not the fault of our public land managers; it is the imposition of radical regulation. It is politics.

SUMMARY:

Public land management is no longer based on science but rather politics. The same goes for wildlife management. Radical enviro groups lobby politicians (and raise untold dollars in support) to STOP all the things that will make our forests, brushlands, and deserts safe and healthy. It is ironic (and pathetic) because for all their efforts to “save the world” they are destroying our world, piece by piece.

To see fires in California reach half a million acres is beyond belief!
What can we do? We must STOP the silliness and over-regulation and allow sound public land management, never forgetting that public lands are FOR the public. Help good politicians get elected and stay in office. Recall bad politicians. Do everything in your power to negate, refute, or STOP the radical movement that has stagnated management of our resources.

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Old 09-11-2020, 11:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Sounds good on the surface. But what about the Bureau of Land Management and such in charge of prescribed burns and management? I'm seeing some finger pointing but no actual data in that post.

Just saying "radical environmental groups" doesn't really define what has changed and how. Easy scapegoat.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

So IOW, we're managing public lands for environmentalists instead of for the environment.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

I grew up in Clackamas county so as the articles states prescribe burns an less thinning of trees an clearing of brush is what has led up to this. The last few years the underbrush has been allowed to accumulate an add that up to less prescribe burns an fire breaks. Bingo add the wind storm and guess what you get this big mega fires. This isn’t rocket science. It’s the forest management policies that have led up to this. But let’s blame climate change so politicians can push thier agendas on the working class. That is a totally a lame excuse to blame climate change. How about holding politicians accountable for this. Like where was the fire department when homes where burning this week where my mom lives. They weren’t thier. It was local people in the community who saved her house. Not the fire department. So failed policies have led up to this.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Long on both opinion and political BS.

As for the burning the Indians did..... society didn't/doesn't want huckleberry fields and meadows dominating the landscape. They wanted trees.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

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Originally Posted by Joe C View Post
Sounds good on the surface. But what about the Bureau of Land Management and such in charge of prescribed burns and management? I'm seeing some finger pointing but no actual data in that post.

Just saying "radical environmental groups" doesn't really define what has changed and how. Easy scapegoat.
Very few proscribed burns are allowed. The BLManagement has their hands tied. At buddies house when he lived in Tahoe. He said the fireman would put out any fire. I asked how? Lots of dead trees, underbrush, and a narrow two land road around the lake. Talking to a local fireman and asked about proscribed burns. Too much smoke and the locals would not let them burn. When the fire started at the South end a few years ago. Went all the way to the ridge and fire guy said it would.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Tough to find a good non-biased article with reliable data.

I did find this from 2019

https://apnews.com/35fb3f554b8d499d9c77791b24696718

Quote:
California Gov. Gavin Newsom moved Friday to bypass environmental regulations to prepare for the next wildfire season, a move he said was necessary to prevent further loss of life even as it frustrated activists in a state viewed as a national environmental leader.

“The increasing wildfire risks we face as a state mean we simply can’t wait until a fire starts in order to start deploying emergency resources,” Newsom said in a statement ahead of declaring a state of emergency.

California experienced two of its most destructive and deadly wildfire seasons in 2017 and 2018 and experts say climate change increases the risks. Newsom said clearing dead trees at a quick pace is essential to diminishing future threats. President Donald Trump has blamed California fires on poor forest management, though experts say climate change caused by people is more of a factor.

Newsom is taking recommendations from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
So it looks like CA bypassed a lot of env regulations in 2019 to prep for fire season. I wonder if they did anything similar for 2020?
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by garyk View Post
Long on both opinion and political BS.

As for the burning the Indians did..... society didn't/doesn't want huckleberry fields and meadows dominating the landscape. They wanted trees.
Sorry bro but this is not political bs. The riverside fire has 8 engines an one bull dozer fighting this. That’s pathetic. Let’s just blame climate change. That’s the way out for anyone who doesn’t want to admit it’s failed policies that have led to this mess we are in now.
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

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Originally Posted by Markgaines122 View Post
Sorry bro but this is not political bs. The riverside fire has 8 engines an one bull dozer fighting this. That’s pathetic. Let’s just blame climate change. That’s the way out for anyone who doesn’t want to admit it’s failed policies that have led to this mess we are in now.
It's only "political BS" if you believe we can tax our way out of this.


And a number of folks here do believe that.
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

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Originally Posted by garyk View Post
Long on both opinion and political BS.

As for the burning the Indians did..... society didn't/doesn't want huckleberry fields and meadows dominating the landscape. They wanted trees.
And now they are smoke instead of houses.
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

I am truly amazed that there were even forests for humans to cut down and manage. However did that happen without our skillful interference?
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:21 PM   #12
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I am truly amazed that there were even forests for humans to cut down and manage. However did that happen without our skillful interference?
Best post of the day!
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Stay retired.

Listening to a retired Texas fire chief give environmental advice is like listening to Ron Jeremy give marriage advice.

There are people calling pebble mine activists extreme enviro wackos and bristol bay is literally home to the largest remaining sockeye run on the planet, and one of the last intact ecosystems....supporting a $1.5 billion SUSTAINABLE fishing industry. We developed and ruined everything else.

This isn't 1860 anymore. We have literally lost 2/3 of worldwide wildlife in the last 50 years.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ex/ar-BB18SnRV

We have turned our yards into english gardens with no wildlife value, our farms into roundup ready mono crops with no wildlife value, our state forests into monoculture timber farms with heavily diminished wildlife value, our rivers, oceans, and estuaries aren't much different. Where is the wildlife supposed to go? I get the feeling a large number of people assume good habitat is trees. Seems like a good opportunity to hire biologists and scientists to chime in on what good habitat is and how to restore or preserve it. Not fire chiefs.

I was doing a spawning survey last spring. Along the little creek were huge stumps of old growth cedar which used to tower over the creek. We had to cut every last one back then, and on state lands we still do pretty much! I asked the older guy I survey with when we'll get those big trees back, knowing what answer I'd get. He smiled and said "We'll need a more patient society".

Quite honestly a very sad and disappointing thread coming from a forum filled with outdoorsmen and women, especially given the fires, of which I am personally affected by. There is absolutely more we can do to manage our public lands better, singling out "radical enviros" falls in line with prevalent thought patterns on this forum - Running into problems and pointing fingers everywhere but ourselves.
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

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Stay retired.

Listening to a retired Texas fire chief give environmental advice is like listening to Ron Jeremy give marriage advice.
.

Bravo
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Article is nonsense.

Hydro's line about marriage is the best thing in the thread!

Saying we have mega fires because we don't allow unlimited, unregulated logging is so silly a person can't even start to break that apart.

Prescribed burning was very rarely used during the period of industrial logging. Half of my family were supported their entire lives by the timber industry. They ran small operations and got screwed by the mega corps that came in and didn't give a damn but for $.
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

FYI the Tillamook burns were all in the neighborhood of 135,000 to 200,000 acres. Historically there is evidence of massive fires, just not in the recent years.

The current burns are a combination of short term and long term climate changes. There are some forest management practices that have allowed long term fuel accumulation combined with a long damp spring that exacerbated the volumes of fuels. Dry hot winds made the woods "popcorn fart" dry. Basically a perfect storm to make Oregon's petrified forests burnable.

Just by placing a label of radical enviro, you are putting this heavy into the political realm. Your years of experience in prescribed burning give you a good insight into handling the only one aspect of the situation. BTW, I'm a displaced logging engineer and I'm not prescribing cut it all down and it will never burn again.


The fact that the fires took out large swaths of Talent and some of the other towns, points to blowing debris from a crowned fire (yes this is f.. obvious) and no amount of forest management can prevent this.

In the last 50 years our world has changed, we need to adapt to the changes, change some of our building practices and be smart about how we move forward.
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markgaines122 View Post
Welcome to the (Unnecessary) Mega Fire Generation!
By Del Albright, Fire Chief (retired)

25-30 years ago, a 10,000 – 15,000-acre fire was a huge conflagration. Now we are experiencing 100,000 - 400,000-acre fires regularly.

I would like to offer an explanation based on over 30 years of government service including 26 years with the fire service, as well as beginning my fire career with a Master’s Degree in Prescribed Burning.

NO! It is not just global warming (climate change).
NO! It is not understaffed or ill-trained firefighters.
NO! It is not Mamma Nature getting even with our urban sprawl.
NO! It is not careless campers or hunters.
NO! It is not kids with matches.

YES! It is a combination of many things but more importantly, it is the LACK of forest/brushland/grassland management caused by wacko, radical enviro groups imposing excessive regulations, and restrictions on our ability to keep the west safe from wildfire.

Here are the key takeaways from this article:

· The lack of controlled burning/prescribed fire is directly responsible for the huge build-ups of flammable fuels.
· The end of maintaining fire breaks (roads) in forested areas leaves firefighters with inadequate access.
· The end of logging and good timber management as we used to know it is directly responsible for forests that are now tinderboxes.
Let us take a deeper look at these reasons.
CONTROLLED BURNS:
Going back to Native Americans in America, controlled burning (later called Prescribed Fire) have saved the west from huge conflagrations. By burning large brush fields and using fire to thin understory brush in the forest, we kept the big boomers at bay. We had programs designed to reduce “chaparral” in the west, thus limiting the ability for fires to get ragingly out of control.

In the early days of settling the west, ranchers regularly burned brush fields to make way for grazing and wildlife habitat.
This entire program of controlled or prescribed fire is a near thing of the past.
ROADS/FIRE BREAKS:
When I started with the fire service in the 1970’s we had regularly scheduled building, repairing, cleaning, and maintaining fire breaks around rural housing areas and developments. We kept fire roads cleared and usable for large fire equipment. We had access to remote areas which allowed us to attack fires when they were small. Roads provided a place to start a safe backfire. Oh, backfires! Another art nearly lost today due to liability and excessive oversight by the media and radical enviro groups who have political power.
LOGGING/TIMBER MANAGEMENT:
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you probably remember sawmills. They are all gone for the most part because the radical environmental rules have made logging a financial nightmare. You wonder why wood is so expensive these days? We cannot log; that’s why. Yes, there are still a few holdouts logging here and there. But the feds are hampered by so many regulations and restrictions that our timber stands either get bug infested or succumb to wildfires.

We used to thin forest stands regularly – fire crews, inmate crews, machines that munch up underbrush, and yes, even pesticides to keep the forests healthy. Now, you can pick about any state in the west with timber and you see more bug-killed trees than live ones!
In our western grasslands, the lack of proactive landscape management in desert states has resulted in vast acreages dominated by a cheatgrass-fire cycle that is ruining wildlife habitat and causing bigger and more damaging conflagrations. This invasive species needs to be managed or these western deserts will never be the same – nor will our wildlife species.

In timber areas, for the most part, we no longer control pests and bugs; we no longer do any substantial thinning of the underbrush; logging is kaput, and forest management is a façade. It is not the fault of our public land managers; it is the imposition of radical regulation. It is politics.

SUMMARY:

Public land management is no longer based on science but rather politics. The same goes for wildlife management. Radical enviro groups lobby politicians (and raise untold dollars in support) to STOP all the things that will make our forests, brushlands, and deserts safe and healthy. It is ironic (and pathetic) because for all their efforts to “save the world” they are destroying our world, piece by piece.

To see fires in California reach half a million acres is beyond belief!
What can we do? We must STOP the silliness and over-regulation and allow sound public land management, never forgetting that public lands are FOR the public. Help good politicians get elected and stay in office. Recall bad politicians. Do everything in your power to negate, refute, or STOP the radical movement that has stagnated management of our resources.
I can`t even reply to this in a truthful manner because what I would say would get me thrown off ifish!
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Something I have noticed, retired fire fighters are not experts in anything but fire fighting.
It's like asking a plumber about an electrical problem.
Oh and Sheriffs are the wrong people to ask about Constitutional issues.
Just sayin.
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Old 09-11-2020, 02:26 PM   #19
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjockey View Post
Saying we have mega fires because we don't allow unlimited, unregulated logging is so silly a person can't even start to break that apart.
See, this kind of hyperbole makes just as little sense or even less.
That's not what the man said.
NO ONE has advocated for unlimited and/or unregulated logging of public lands since I started paying attention to the issue in the early '70s.


Why, when you guys get the chance to talk about this stuff, do you portray it that way?


There are enough stumbling blocks in the way of sound forest management practices without the hyperbole from either side.
Regulations are one of those, and endless lawsuits are another.
In the meantime, the fuel levels continue to grow unabated.
Until we end up landing in the midst of a mess like we find ourselves in currently, and lose it all.
Up to and including human life.


None of it makes any sense.
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by KokaSteelNook View Post
I can`t even reply to this in a truthful manner because what I would say would get me thrown off ifish!
'caused by wacko, radical enviro groups'

yep, purely scientific, no bias there whatsoever...
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:28 PM   #21
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

At some point the forest is going to burn. If the conditions are right with high winds, low humidity, lightning storms and significant blow down occurring simultaneously, every so often it will burn hard like the Biscuit, Chetco and Tillamook burn. Most are at the mercy of the weather. These large fires burn away much of the under brush and may be less likely to burn in the future. I think of them like a earthquake. You know its coming and if you live in the woods its one thing you must account for. Maybe some sort of fire breaks and emergency sprinkle systems should be required for towns and private property built in forested areas ??? The town of Detroit was in close proximity to a large water source. Is there a way to build an emergency flooding/spray system for the town tapped from the natural resources around the town to be used in an emergency ??

Last edited by uhmw; 09-11-2020 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:32 PM   #22
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What quantifiable metrics indicate that climate change is responsible?

How many more acres can we expect to burn yearly with every 1 degree increase in temperature?

What type of forests are most resistant to wildfire and is there data to indicate that climate change is effecting those ecosystems?

Does anyone have a chart or know a source where you can find the amount of board feet logged per year on public land and the number of acres of wildfire burned? Going back at least 50 years would be good.
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:39 PM   #23
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

It seems to me that clear cuts provide a good spot to stop a wildfire. Not many of those in old growth forests. No, they ain't pretty to look at, but so what? Seems the choice is to have a pretty forest until it burns or use the wood wisely for construction. Because the forest will burn sooner or later if there is fuel to burn. A burned down forest is less pretty than a clear cut. IMHO.
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:40 PM   #24
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Maybe the mills would still be around and fire could burn through/under healthy stands of very large trees. Now forests are being managed for Pencil Stock poles instead of big saw logs that produce high quality lumber. Now the mantra is we need to go in even more often with no mention of the extra sediment pollution that will produce.

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Old 09-11-2020, 05:27 PM   #25
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by STGRule View Post
I am truly amazed that there were even forests for humans to cut down and manage. However did that happen without our skillful interference?
They burnt prior to logging like they are now again..

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Old 09-11-2020, 05:29 PM   #26
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by nailyard View Post
FYI the Tillamook burns were all in the neighborhood of 135,000 to 200,000 acres. Historically there is evidence of massive fires, just not in the recent years.

The current burns are a combination of short term and long term climate changes. There are some forest management practices that have allowed long term fuel accumulation combined with a long damp spring that exacerbated the volumes of fuels. Dry hot winds made the woods "popcorn fart" dry. Basically a perfect storm to make Oregon's petrified forests burnable.

Just by placing a label of radical enviro, you are putting this heavy into the political realm. Your years of experience in prescribed burning give you a good insight into handling the only one aspect of the situation. BTW, I'm a displaced logging engineer and I'm not prescribing cut it all down and it will never burn again.


The fact that the fires took out large swaths of Talent and some of the other towns, points to blowing debris from a crowned fire (yes this is f.. obvious) and no amount of forest management can prevent this.

In the last 50 years our world has changed, we need to adapt to the changes, change some of our building practices and be smart about how we move forward.
They're not, historically 10 times the amount of ground burnt every year that does now, the smokey the bear campaign ended that in the mid 50s, now we're paying the price.

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Old 09-11-2020, 05:49 PM   #27
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

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Originally Posted by willametteriveroutlaw View Post
They burnt prior to logging like they are now again..

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Yes they did. All that old growth shaded out the understory and the fuel load was slight. Fires cleared it out regularly. Then every once in awhile a bigger fire would thin out the shorter, smaller trees and the old growth would get bigger. There were even trees that could only reproduce after a fire. There was always multiple ages of trees in the forests. They could survive anything that managed to wipe out a certain age of tree.

The Blues were named because there was always a pall of blue smoke somewhere in the great forest.

There were actually very few deer in the forests because there wasn't enough forage. Elk were high plains animals and weren't found in the forests.

And it worked for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. And now it doesn't. Wonder what changed?
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:30 PM   #28
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

This lines up with the OP's post;

https://katu.com/news/on-your-side/l...te-expert-says
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Old 09-12-2020, 07:23 AM   #29
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

I found an interesting chart on the Oregon Department of Forestry's website. It shows the amount of acres burned every year going back to 1911. It also says that in 1849 The Yaquina Fire burned 450k acres and in 1856 the Nestucca Fire burned 350k acres. Can't help but wonder if climate change started causing fires before or after that...

https://www.oregon.gov/odf/Documents...tory-chart.pdf
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Old 09-12-2020, 07:37 AM   #30
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Acreage burnt annually isnt a very good way to determine type of fire.

Stand replacing Mega fires are what we are experiencing now.

Old growth Indigenous natural fires before modern forest Practices does not

compare to What is going on NOW!
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Old 09-12-2020, 08:04 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by dbjockey View Post
Article is nonsense.

Hydro's line about marriage is the best thing in the thread!

Saying we have mega fires because we don't allow unlimited, unregulated logging is so silly a person can't even start to break that apart.

Prescribed burning was very rarely used during the period of industrial logging. Half of my family were supported their entire lives by the timber industry. They ran small operations and got screwed by the mega corps that came in and didn't give a damn but for $.



Everybody should go and read "The Final Forest" if you haven't, it's about the 80's timber situation. Great book, won the Pulitzer Prize.
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Old 09-12-2020, 08:08 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Markgaines122 View Post
Welcome to the (Unnecessary) Mega Fire Generation!
By Del Albright, Fire Chief (retired)

25-30 years ago, a 10,000 – 15,000-acre fire was a huge conflagration. Now we are experiencing 100,000 - 400,000-acre fires regularly.

Probably couldn't see the smoke from Texas Chief, but we've had 100,000k acre fires here since the 1930's. (Scratch that, winterkill found it was the mid-1800's.) I think I'll pass on the rest of your rant Chief. Bet it made you feel good though, finally figuring out whose fault it all is.
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Old 09-12-2020, 08:08 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by winterkill View Post
I found an interesting chart on the Oregon Department of Forestry's website. It shows the amount of acres burned every year going back to 1911. It also says that in 1849 The Yaquina Fire burned 450k acres and in 1856 the Nestucca Fire burned 350k acres. Can't help but wonder if climate change started causing fires before or after that...

https://www.oregon.gov/odf/Documents...tory-chart.pdf
Good work winterkill!!
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Old 09-12-2020, 08:29 AM   #34
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I love meadows and the flora and fauna that inhabits them. Birds, bees, squirrels, rodents, butterflies, deer and elk just to name a few. Grass, wildflowers, blackberries, huckleberries and numerous other plant life.


Sad that some people don't enjoy the beauty of a meadow even if temporary ones such as a clear cut.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:22 AM   #35
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I worked in a sawmill South of Medford in tne mid 60's. It was dangerous and very wasteful. IMHO the sawmills are gone because of those kind of sawmills.
At 0400 the log truck parade starts where I live and doesn't stop till late afternoon. It goes in both directions, sawmills in Roseburg and Cottage Grove and chippers in Coos Bay/North Bend or loaded for off shore processing. There's no lack of timber that I can see.
I met a man a few weeks ago who owns and lives on a few thousand acres of land that his family homesteaded in the 1800's. He's been selling timber off it for some time. He pointed out the dead Alders, he commented there are much fewer fish in the creek, his well water has gone bad. He says i's all from the spraying to kill the brush competing with the timber crop. He's sorry he's been part of that.
I belong to a fishing group that puts Xmas trees in streams to create spawning beds. One of my first jobs when I was a seasonal working for Smokey (who's he?) was removing log jams from the Umpqua.
There's no easy answers.
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Old 09-12-2020, 09:25 AM   #36
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Thought that there was a bird or 2 that changed forestry management. I know that a little blue butterfly stopped a sub division from being built next to my house. I love my deer and quail and they would be gone if it wasn't for the blue butterfly. So I thought I should help monetarily the blue butterfly but only to find out the money didn't go to help the butterfly but to help save the seal and sealoins that eat the salmon.Not good.
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:37 AM   #37
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I logged in northern California in the 1980's. Did it all; choker setter, landing man, falling, loading log trucks. At the end of my logging time I loaded as many as 80 logs on a truck. LP the landowner was taking everything down to 4 inches at the end of a twenty. I remember sitting in public meetings about logging and listening the LP's reps and forestry association reps crowing about how the timber companies where here for the local jobs and committed to keeping the mills running. If you worked in the woods you knew they had liquidated their forest inventory. They railed that it was radical enviros and over regulations that was the problem. And then they closed the mills and just as the "radical" enviros predicted, sold their land. Classic "cut and run". When the new more sustainable minded owners revealed the inventories it all came out. I remember pointing this out to county supervisors who sang with the timber company choir how wrong they were and they owed the timber worker and county residents an apology and crickets. Not a single apology.
The history of logging on the west coast is not one of over regulation.
Had timber land owners managed there lands with long rotation to produce large trees and high quality saw logs it would have been infinitely sustainable, profitable all the while protecting nearby streams and the sawmills built to handle those larger logs that would produce high quality lumber. I look at the wet/green lumber being sold to the public and see so much crap
I do not buy a single word of these same ninnies that are marched out by the timber industry under the same old lies of "we need to get these radical enviros and regulations out of the way" so we can cut the forests back into good health.
All of the above is not a theory for me, I saw it all on the ground and heard the song and dance.
The agencies whose job it was and is have been "owned" by the timber industry for a long, long time
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:08 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific Fisher View Post
I logged in northern California in the 1980's. Did it all; choker setter, landing man, falling, loading log trucks. At the end of my logging time I loaded as many as 80 logs on a truck. LP the landowner was taking everything down to 4 inches at the end of a twenty. I remember sitting in public meetings about logging and listening the LP's reps and forestry association reps crowing about how the timber companies where here for the local jobs and committed to keeping the mills running. If you worked in the woods you knew they had liquidated their forest inventory. They railed that it was radical enviros and over regulations that was the problem. And then they closed the mills and just as the "radical" enviros predicted, sold their land. Classic "cut and run". When the new more sustainable minded owners revealed the inventories it all came out. I remember pointing this out to county supervisors who sang with the timber company choir how wrong they were and they owed the timber worker and county residents an apology and crickets. Not a single apology.
The history of logging on the west coast is not one of over regulation.
Had timber land owners managed there lands with long rotation to produce large trees and high quality saw logs it would have been infinitely sustainable, profitable all the while protecting nearby streams and the sawmills built to handle those larger logs that would produce high quality lumber. I look at the wet/green lumber being sold to the public and see so much crap
I do not buy a single word of these same ninnies that are marched out by the timber industry under the same old lies of "we need to get these radical enviros and regulations out of the way" so we can cut the forests back into good health.
All of the above is not a theory for me, I saw it all on the ground and heard the song and dance.
The agencies whose job it was and is have been "owned" by the timber industry for a long, long time
Thank you for posting this. Your perspective is what I hear from my family members who rode the timber wave into the ground (except for a few that still think they got screwed because of an owl.) Even today, 2020 we had a family member in timber go bankrupt, lose a 30 year business. The last worker they had is driving a school bus trying to get insurance. Rereading your post it is the same story with a different subject over and over- buffalo, mining, fracking... quick bucks win and people who are on the lower end of the food chain left with the scraps.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:10 AM   #39
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Almost anytime you see blame attributed to "radical environmental groups" over the last 20 years, it's basically the boogeyman.

People never attribute an actual group or an actual law to the situation.

It's just easier than critical thought to blame the boogeyman.

From what I've seen, most actions by environmental organizations out there are groups targeting local issues (ie, a company wants to put a power plant close to someone's property, so they call up sierra club and ask for help).

Fires across the entire west coast? Good luck blaming that on any one group or reason. Common sense tell you it is a variety of factors.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:16 AM   #40
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[QUOTE=winterkill;16469251]What quantifiable metrics indicate that climate change is responsible?

How many more acres can we expect to burn yearly with every 1 degree increase in temperature?

What type of forests are most resistant to wildfire and is there data to indicate that climate change is effecting those ecosystems?

Does anyone have a chart or know a source where you can find the amount of board feet logged per year on public land and the number of acres of wildfire burned? Going back at least 50 years would be good.


Oregon timber harvest numbers - fire acres are national.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:25 AM   #41
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Millions of public dollars are being spent to address the serious sediment pollution from logging operations. Road standards that would have prevented this have been understood for a long time. Timber industry lobbyists in a rigged game stopped the rules. Public money is being spent to correct roads with inboard ditches to outslopped with rocked rolling dips, replacing undersized culverts with ones sized for fifty to one hundred year storm. Culverts are set to grade with trash racks. Hundreds of miles of failing, perch roads and landings are being put to bed along important spawning tribs to name just some of the work..
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:40 AM   #42
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

[quote=gkeylock;16470115]
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterkill View Post
What quantifiable metrics indicate that climate change is responsible?

How many more acres can we expect to burn yearly with every 1 degree increase in temperature?

What type of forests are most resistant to wildfire and is there data to indicate that climate change is effecting those ecosystems?

Does anyone have a chart or know a source where you can find the amount of board feet logged per year on public land and the number of acres of wildfire burned? Going back at least 50 years would be good.


Oregon timber harvest numbers - fire acres are national.
Those are some helpful charts, thanks.

Cutting is way down on national forests since 1990, and basically level on state and private land in that time. Acres burned per fire is way up in about the same timeframe.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:44 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by dbjockey View Post
Thank you for posting this. Your perspective is what I hear from my family members who rode the timber wave into the ground (except for a few that still think they got screwed because of an owl.) Even today, 2020 we had a family member in timber go bankrupt, lose a 30 year business. The last worker they had is driving a school bus trying to get insurance. Rereading your post it is the same story with a different subject over and over- buffalo, mining, fracking... quick bucks win and people who are on the lower end of the food chain left with the scraps.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:44 AM   #44
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkeylock View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterkill View Post
What quantifiable metrics indicate that climate change is responsible?

How many more acres can we expect to burn yearly with every 1 degree increase in temperature?

What type of forests are most resistant to wildfire and is there data to indicate that climate change is effecting those ecosystems?

Does anyone have a chart or know a source where you can find the amount of board feet logged per year on public land and the number of acres of wildfire burned? Going back at least 50 years would be good.

Oregon timber harvest numbers - fire acres are national.
Appreciate you ferreting that out. Quite interesting.
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:54 AM   #45
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Thank you for posting this. Your perspective is what I hear from my family members who rode the timber wave into the ground (except for a few that still think they got screwed because of an owl.) Even today, 2020 we had a family member in timber go bankrupt, lose a 30 year business. The last worker they had is driving a school bus trying to get insurance. Rereading your post it is the same story with a different subject over and over- buffalo, mining, fracking... quick bucks win and people who are on the lower end of the food chain left with the scraps.

forgot to add graph.It appears to me the private timber industry harvest has remained moderately stable year over year. Your relatives jobs went away in large part with the federal timber harvest (orange bars) decline. Lots of other misinformation about the timber industry on this thread, which some are trying to hijack, however I thought we were trying to discuss current forest fire conditions.
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Old 09-12-2020, 12:00 PM   #46
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forgot to add graph.It appears to me the private timber industry harvest has remained moderately stable year over year. Your relatives jobs went in large part with the federal timber harvest (orange bars) decline. Lots of other misinformation about the timber industry on this thread,which some are trying to hijack, however I thought we were trying to discuss current forest fire conditions.
Interesting stuff. Defnitely goes against the narrative. If you told me we were logging the same amount as 1995, I would have been doubtful.
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Old 09-12-2020, 12:05 PM   #47
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

More like forest management, with several other subjects nestled in. How that had created the disaster of today and maybe tomorrow. Seems kind of wide open to me but that is MO.
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Old 09-12-2020, 01:33 PM   #48
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The national forests have a huge backlog (translation millions of dollars) of road repairs/upgrades needed and folks want to roll on new layers of harvest to contribute to the unaddressed problems.

Coho are the best indicator of forest/stream health. They are the most temperature sensitive, spawn in slow moving low gradient reaches, and require deep dark cold pools to rear. Sediment and temperature pollution limits all those conditions. Spawning gravels with more that 20% .082mm particle sizes exhibit fall off of spawning success. Streams with a summer temperature of 68 degrees and greater are not habitable by Coho juveniles.
A lot of folks view undammed north coast rivers as clean and healthy when in fact many/most are heavily polluted with temperature and sediment.
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:11 PM   #49
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The national forests have a huge backlog (translation millions of dollars) of road repairs/upgrades needed and folks want to roll on new layers of harvest to contribute to the unaddressed problems.

Coho are the best indicator of forest/stream health. They are the most temperature sensitive, spawn in slow moving low gradient reaches, and require deep dark cold pools to rear. Sediment and temperature pollution limits all those conditions. Spawning gravels with more that 20% .082 particle sizes exhibit fall off of spawning success. Streams with a summer temperature of 68 degrees and greater are not habitable by Coho juveniles.
A lot of folks view undammed north coast rivers as clean and healthy when in fact many/most are heavily polluted with temperature and sediment pollution.
Expect the sediment to be worse after this summer's fires, and probably for 2-3 years after that.
Then ask what will happen to the water's pH when all that wood ash gets mixed in.
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:41 PM   #50
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Expect the sediment to be worse after this summer's fires, and probably for 2-3 years after that.
Then ask what will happen to the water's pH when all that wood ash gets mixed in.

So what about the number one factor inhibiting recovery, will summer water temps raise above the lethal range?
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Old 09-12-2020, 03:05 PM   #51
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In addition to the effects I mentioned for sediment, it is particularly important to be aware of the effects of turbidity on rearing Steelhead. Generally Steelhead spend 1-3 years in freshwater before out migrating. Steelhead juveniles are primarily sight feeders. Turbidity is measured by NTU's. When turbidity is above 30 NTU's Steelhead have a harder time finding their food and as a result their growth is stunted. Steelhead smolts that out migrate at suboptimal size do not compete as well for food and against predators. The result is fewer returning adults.
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Old 09-12-2020, 03:57 PM   #52
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

Looks like plenty of blame to go around. I suppose humans are the common denominator here. We cut we build we pollute we meddle and intervene, then change our minds. Reminds me of the John Prine song “Paradise.”
“....then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.”
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Old 09-12-2020, 04:00 PM   #53
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I won't reply with a conspiracy theory...only that I'm not buying that the only cause of wildfires are the regulations put upon timber operators and forest managers.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:39 PM   #54
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Maybe we would still occasionally have massive fires even with ideal management of the climate or forest.

Fact of the matter is that we had a historically bad combination of wind, heat and low humidity.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:39 PM   #55
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We cut we build we pollute we meddle and intervene, then blame the people trying to fix it. Reminds me of the John Prine song “Paradise.”
“....then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.”

Fixed it.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:58 PM   #56
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Maybe we would still occasionally have massive fires even with ideal management of the climate or forest.

Fact of the matter is that we had a historically bad combination of wind, heat and low humidity.
Actually it wasn't all that historic.
Someone posted this link a couple of days ago, and it explains how what happened this year, has happened a number of times before.
As well as the meteorologic conditions/reasons for it.


https://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_os_rp-24.pdf
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Old 09-12-2020, 06:40 PM   #57
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Maybe we would still occasionally have massive fires even with ideal management of the climate or forest.

Fact of the matter is that we had a historically bad combination of wind, heat and low humidity.
And I watched from a vantage point on opening weekend of archery season, a bunch of fellow hunters having big campfires in an area with fire bans. I'm sure a lot of Labor Day weekend recreational folks were willfully doing the same in spite of the "regulations of the wacko environmentalists".

There's a lot of factors adding to this beyond the op article that we need more roads and unregulated management of the timber companies.
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Old 09-12-2020, 07:25 PM   #58
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It is indeed a many headed beast.
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:10 AM   #59
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

You can’t log or thin our productive west-side forests fast enough to lower risk of large fires. There is always fuel in these forests. When it gets dry and windy, stuff is gonna burn. It is definitely getting drier

https://www.pnas.org/content/113/42/11770
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:26 AM   #60
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Default Re: Article from a retired fire chief. Please don’t reply with conspiracy theories

The Tillamook fire was started by two cedar logs rubbing together as they were being dragged behind a cat. It's that simple in these conditions.

Of course this is about the Tillamook Burn 1933, 350,000 acres of timber.
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