Christiansen: 1 Billion Acres At Risk

From NPR News today:

1 Billion Acres At Risk For Catastrophic Wildfires, U.S. Forest Service Warns

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service is warning that a billion acres of land across America are at risk of catastrophic wildfires like last fall’s deadly Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, Calif.

As we head into summer, with smoke already drifting into the Northwest from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, Vicki Christiansen said wildfires are now a year-round phenomenon. She pointed to the hazardous conditions in forests that result from a history of suppression of wildfires, rampant home development in high-risk places and the changing climate.

“When you look nationwide there’s not any place that we’re really at a fire season. Fire season is not an appropriate term anymore,” Christiansen said in an interview with NPR at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

 

6 thoughts on “Christiansen: 1 Billion Acres At Risk”

  1. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    What percentage of the “1 billion acres at risk for ‘catastrophic’ wildfires” are not even forested?

    What percentage of the “1 billion acres at risk for ‘catastrophic’ wildfires” are just naturally “at risk” based on being fire-adaptated ecosystems, which normally and naturally burn in “catastrophic” wildfires?

    What’s the best solution to protecting homes and businesses from wildfires?

    Why have over 700,000 acres burned so far in late May and early June in Alberta, Canada when the timber industry essentially controls wide swaths of forests on public lands?

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  2. Oh dear me.. et tu NPR? Must you imbed a “Trump’s bad policies” reference in every story?

    Caption “Crews tend to a prescribed fire in April 2016 northeast of Silver City, N.M. In line with a controversial Trump administration executive order pushing for “active forest management,” the U.S. Forest Service is aiming to perform thinning, brush clearing, prescribed burns and other treatments on 3.5 million of its 80 million acres this year.”

    Living with fire means increasing prescribed fire, potentially made more difficult by associating it with Trump. And the photo is from April 2016.

    Also the “no fire season” idea isn’t true everywhere. After all, I can look out my window and see snow on the mountains, today, June 6. I think it’s fair to say there are fewer fires under snow cover.

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  3. There’s plenty of spin coming from both extremes, these days. How many of those at-risk acres are in ‘protected’ areas? How many acres are in economically-nonviable stands? How many acres are in steep terrain, where thinning is difficult, or impossible?

    Part of the process must include marginalizing both extremes. It’s an ugly process to call out and neuter the extremists but, that is part of an effective compromise, in today’s political environment.

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  4. Steve Pyne wrote the “Earth is a fire planet.” I would guess that the 1 billion acres Christiansen mentioned include forest, chaparral, rangeland, grassland, etc., all of which can and do burn.

    Reply
    • ” I would guess that the 1 billion acres Christiansen mentioned include forest, chaparral, rangeland, grassland, etc., all of which can and do burn.”

      B-I-N-G-O

      Reply

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