Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit Department: Wildfires

My fun day at work included talking about which forests want to revise, the wisdom of working with BLM on broadscale assessments and other topics. Midafternoon I received a text message from the sheriff’s department telling me to evacuate, but it didn’t seem to know what subdivision I was in. After a full day of planning work, I stepped out of the office at 6:15 to a large smoke plume to the southwest and the smell of smoke.

I just received a note from a relative that they are getting out buckets and they are evacuating two miles away from their house. They ended up being evacuated and spending the night (a cat) at our house. The point of this post is that living in fire country is an experience that first, affects more than the people evacuated; it affects the broader community, and second, am perhaps cannot be adequately communicated to people in the wet West and to the east coast.

A poem..
Eyes watering red
Evacuated cat here
Must leave for work soon

On a mildly related subject, there is an interesting webinar tomorrow on this paper. Here’s the website of of the Joint Fire Science program in case these other links don’t work.

2 Comments

  1. Sadly, one resident lost their life, and several homes were burned on this wildfire. The picture sure looks like it was wind-driven.

    With the reality of longer fire seasons, it becomes even more important to push for public safety in forested areas. The longer fire seasons will also affect the financial health of all kinds of fire agencies, from the Feds, all the way down to volunteer firefighter groups. If the Feds continue with their illegal Let-Burn programs, a backlash from state agencies could occur, resulting in holding back mutual aid when the Feds inevitably lose containment. The Mill Creek Fire in Utah a few years ago caused the Utah Governor to bill the Forest Service for fire services when their Let-Burn fire raced for miles into State jurisdiction. Here in California, Cal Fire has dropped coverage areas to save budget money. Fires roaring off of Federal lands continue to cost more and more for a State strapped for cash.

  2. Several years ago I visited a friend who lives in the hills near Golden. His house was on several acres in an upscale subdivision, not all that far from this fire. I noticed that most of the Ponderosa pine was even-aged, just guessing in the 80 year old range. Given the topography, it looked like the area was prone to stand replacing fires. The origional covenant for building in the sub-division was for shake or wood shingle roofs and wood siding. He converted his house to stucco with a slate roof, and put in some kind of fire-resistant foriegn hardwood for decking. A nice place but the area did look prone to wild fire.

    Sharon, I hope all is well with your property, and no more lives are lost.

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