Saturday, July 19, 2008

Let It Burn

The continuing fires in California are causing wildfire policy makers to take a hard look at fire management. One of those policies is "let it burn." The Sacramento Bee had an interesting article on this management technique.

Parts from the article:

"Federal land managers in California are retooling their firefighting strategies to capture more of the public safety, economic and environmental benefits of letting wildfires run their natural course without overwhelming the public with smoke and destroying homes.

"That's a tough balancing act in the nation's most populous state, which already endures the smoggiest and grittiest air in the country. But in a select few remote national forests, parks and wilderness areas, ecologists say, the federal government has been weaning itself off Smokey Bear's admonitions with measurable success.

"'We didn't have any injuries. We didn't burn any houses, and we cleared out 15,000 acres of dense vegetation that hasn't seen fire in decades and, in some places, a century – and that's a good thing,' said Brent Skaggs, a U.S. Forest Service fire management officer who let nature take its course under close watch – and tricky weather – in the Clover fire that was recently contained in the Sequoia and Inyo national forests."

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  • Completely agree with you. And everyone has to take part in stopping this wildfire crisis.

    I live in Malibu CA and live through fires every year. There is no single answer to the complex wildland fire problem, but it is going to get worse in coming years. Every year is now “unusually dry” and that’s not going to change. Congress can allocate more dollars to firefighting (and save the National Park’s budget), but more firefighters isn’t the sole answer either.

    Your are right - there must be some controlled burns, and maybe some “uncontrolled” burns to clear out decades of dead brush and trees killed by insects. Most important, people must take responsibility on the urban/wildland interface and CLEAR A DEFENSIBLE SPACE.

    Finally, I think we are coming to the time when people in the interface are going to have to bear some of the cost of fire protection.

    I am a wildland fire expert. If you are interested in a novel about wildland firefighters, -One Foot In The Black, go to http://www.kurtkamm.com

    By Blogger firefighter08, at 5:30 PM  

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