Here are three articles that I came across recently that should be of interest to most of us:
1) April 7-10 – Bend, Or. – Open to the Public but registration is required – “In what organizers have dubbed a “Week of Fire,” forest scientists and fire managers will meet in Bend April 7-10 to discuss the latest research on fire ecology and its implications for forest management.” See Here for more info.
2) “Fire ecologists say it will take decades for forests to recover from the Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park, given the extent of the high-severity burn. Now they’re adding another concern to that list: California’s dry weather.” See Here for more info. Especially, note the first photo and the extremely erodible scorched soils shown and the inference that global warming / drought only increases the need for sound forest management to compensate.
3) Can California Burn its Way Out of its Wildfire Problem? Some interesting quotes include:
a) “People who fight and study fire generally agree that one of the best tools for preventing massive wildfires is prescribed burning: intentionally setting smaller fires before the big ones hit. But there are major challenges to fighting fire with fire.”
b) “In California alone, about 15 million acres of forest are in need of some kind of treatment.
“We’re in a huge deficit,” says Scott Stephens, a fire scientist at University of California, Berkeley. Before the year 1800, he says, 4.5 million acres burned in California every year. Fires started either by Native Americans or by lightning were generally smaller and less intense, but much more frequent. Many areas burned every ten years or so. But because of aggressive fire suppression policies that managers followed for decades, many places haven’t burned in a century or more. Some forests are so overgrown, they have ten times the number of trees as they had historically. That’s the difference between running through the trees, arms outstretched, maybe with a couple of friends by your side, and not being able to crawl through. Forests like these are more susceptible to giant wildfires, because there’s more fuel to burn and it burns hotter. “We’re carrying these forests that are incredibly vulnerable forward into climate change,” says Stephens. “It’s a disaster really.” Because, he explains, California’s changing climate will make the fire season longer, and the prescribed-burn season shorter.”
c) ““Where I started my division assignment on the Rim Fire, was in areas where the Forest Service had recently completed some prescribed burns,” says Tom Garcia, the fire manager at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. “And we were able to stall that fire out in that particular area and buy some decision space and some time.” With that extra time, Garcia says, they were able to get ahead of the fire, and save some nearby homes.”
Item C-6 is an item that I have repeatedly tried to explain to many on this site to no avail – Hopefully this will help some to see the need for fuels reduction and provide but one more example of how sound forest management can bring even a catastrophic fire to the ground and thereby reduce the extent of a catastrophic fire and by logical deduction and many studies also keep some fires small so that they can be controlled quickly as soon as there is danger that they could explode into a catastrophic fire.