Team Camaro Tech banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Gold Lifetime Member
Joined
·
4,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
California, Oregon and Washington are getting hammered by wild fires and those areas that aren't in flames are blanketed with smoke that is so thick that the air is hazardous to breathe.

I hope that, even is this season of partisan politics, we can all turn a thought to the good folks that have lost cars, homes, pets, livestock and- worst of all - family. This is a hard time in the west.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
It's true it's horrible. But you have to think , where is all the help? You know like when Australia had a fire. The people here are on their own, and it shouldn't be like that. Why is Hollywood not stepping up like they did to do funding for their own back yard? Is it political ? Just my thoughts .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
We are affected slightly by the smoke here. Wish them all the best in getting things under control with these fires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,930 Posts
If only they would ask for help.

Like domestic disturbances (polite term), the governor of a state has to ask.

Unless they ask, the Federal government can't intervene (sovereignty). Maybe they don't want the fires out until at least the 3rd of November. Pity.
 

·
Gold Lifetime Member
Joined
·
4,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, California is almost 46% federal land, and I can guarantee that's not LA or San Francisco; Oregon is almost 53% federal land, and I can guarantee that's not Portland, Eugene or Salem; Washington is about 28% federal land, little of which is in Seattle, Yakima or Spokane.

So whose job is it to maintain federal lands? The state governors?

I simply asked for a kind thought for those who have lost much.

You and X-77 Keith decided to make it political. May karma give you both what you so richly deserve.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
Well Mike if you feel that way that's fine. The majority of my post was agreeing with you. I work for the FD. We have been deployed to other states many times for wild fires. Fighting fires is what we do. The thing is if we are not "asked to deploy" we can not. Why have we not been asked? We went to Oklahoma for the bombing, Katrina, and many natural and man made disaster's. So if Karma is a thing I'll take my chances. Until you look death in the eyes, or the eyes of a child begging you to not let them die, I don't feel you should throw the carma thing out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,801 Posts
I wish I knew a true way to help those in need, terribly sad. Yes the smoke is terrible with a toxic tinge to it. God bless all victims and the firemen working 24 hour shifts.
Praying for rain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,841 Posts
Fire dept's in CA are "asking" other depts in other states for assistance. Done all the time. My son is with US Forest Service stationed in AZ. He went to Idaho for 25 days and now in Angeles for two weeks on the Bobcat fire

Politics aside...those on the front lines fighting these fires know clearly why and how they start and what could better be done to minimize them. The reality is no one can stop lightening and when lightening strikes areas with very dry fuel...it goes boom. The various fire agencies be it local, state or federal do their best in a environment clearly affected by climate change. If political views do not accept the reality of climate change this will do nothing but get worse
 

·
Retired
Joined
·
26,641 Posts
There are so many fires on the west coast that most fire lines are under staffed by 50% or more and the smoke has been so bad that air support hasn't been able to help until the past day or so. All 3 states CA, OR and WA have reached out to the organization (National Association of State Foresters) that coordinates national response and there are still 300 requests (that's not 300 bodies) they are not able to fill. CA has reached out internationally and Israel has provided manpower. The Gov of OR said she has requested a battalion of active-duty military trained in firefighting. The scope of these fires is so great that there just are not more resources (equipment and manpower) available...

I'm just north and west of the August Complex (Largest in CA history and only 30ish% contained) and last Thursday it was like night out until after 8am and only a little lighter out by 10am, It was like a solar eclipse.
 

·
Retired
Joined
·
26,641 Posts
I read this the other day and believe there is merit in what this person says...
It's called Land and Forest Management. They've done an EXTREMELY poor job since the 1970's when the Sierra Club got involved saying that the forests needed to be all natural and not grazed.
Sheep and cattle grazing helped prevent these fires prior to that as well as sensible non clear-cut logging and slash pile burning.
Speaking as a CA born and raised we never had fires like this until the forests got overgrown in the 90's.
"This didn't have to happen. Once upon a time, forests in California were logged, grazed, and competently managed. It wasn't always perfect, but generally it worked. Fires, which are a natural part of that ecosystem, were generally small, and not just benign, but beneficial. Management focused on keeping the forest healthy for all stakeholders, whether they were loggers, ranchers, fishermen, hunters, homeowners, or backpackers.
But then things started to change. Groups like the Sierra Club and National Resources Defense Council began to drive a myopic agenda of protecting environmental interests at all costs. Logging shut down. Grazing was banned. Controlled burning or undergrowth clearance was challenged and subjected to draconian regulation. Fires were put out as quickly and efficiently as possible.
So the trees grew closer and closer together. Undergrowth, unchecked by grazing, cutting, or burning, grew thick and tall enough to reach the branches of mature trees. The forests became thick and overgrown, but man, they sure looked nice and green from a scenic overlook.
Sawmills shut down, and the cattle and sheep business went elsewhere. Thriving towns dried up and nearly went under. We started importing lumber and beef from Brazil and other places with objectively horrible environmental track records. And the vegetation kept growing.
About ten years ago it seemed we started hitting a critical mass. Forests that once had less than a hundred healthy trees per acre now have over a thousand. Manzanita, dry grass, and other plants cover the forest floor so densely you can't walk through it without cutting a trail. All of this vegetation is fighting over a water table that is stressed on an average year, let alone a drought year, and not a lot of the trees are healthy enough to be resilient. Bark beetles and other pests came in, and you began to see entire mountainsides covered in dead and dying trees.
Fire is a constant in the mountains of California. Yeah, some of it is caused by human idiocy (I'm looking at you, San Bernardino gender revealing window lickers). But there's always plenty from dry summer thunderstorms. But now that spark, whatever caused it, lands in a landscape overloaded with dead trees and dry ladder fuels. And every year it gets worse.
So now here we are in 2020, living in a year that can already be generously described as an unmitigated shitshow, and fire is destroying the place where I grew up. Family of mine that ain't blood are losing their homes and their livelihoods, luckily they've so far kept their lives. Right now the projected containment date for this monster named the Creek Fire is five weeks away, and only God knows how much will be destroyed before the fall rains and early snows finally quench the flames. Those mountains will never be the same, an entire community is being destroyed right now, and no matter how hard those amazing people work to rebuild, it will be decades before the land they live on, in some cases for generations, recovers.
Because loggers weren't allowed to thin overcrowded stands of trees.
Because grazing animals weren't there to thin out the undergrowth.
Because anytime the Forest Service or large landowners tried to start a project to manage the land, they got tied up in court and buried under years of environmental impact "studies."
Because any fire, regardless of cause or location, was put out as quickly as possible for decades.
Because any controlled burns were restricted by overzealous and shortsighted pollution thresholds set by the CA Air Resources Board.
Because politicians and bureaucrats stopped listening to the people that actually, like, lived in the forest.
And all of those things happened because hypocritical, short sighted, well meaning morons at organizations like the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council managed to get a stranglehold on state politics and courts. Because of "concern" for natural conditions" we're in this mess. Because of a myopic focus on certain species, entire ecosystems are being overtaken by flames. But they'll never accept responsibility.
They persist in blaming fire conditions in today's West solely on climate change. Even if every single thing that they claim about climate change were to be true, it wouldn't undo the consequences of decades of mismanagement driven by their "advocacy." The absurd fuel load brought about by overgrowth is a direct result of policies and case law brought about by these organizations and their "concern for the environment." And that fuel load is killing the mountains I called home, in every sense of the word.
You like hugging trees? They're gone now. You love the spotted owl? Here's some for ya, extra extra crispy. Concerned about erosion? Get ready for some serious mudslides this winter with all of the grass and smaller plants burned off. Worried about particulates from a controlled burn? Wildfires generate orders of magnitude more.
I'm done being polite about it. The Environmentalists have killed the environment they said they wanted to save. In their hubris, they deluded themselves into believing that they were Right and Just, and any opposition to their enlightened, stunning and brave Activism, was reactionary Wrongthink brought about by greedy capitalists or ignorant slack-jawed yokels who needed help from their Betters to get by.
My heart still calls those mountains home. And they were killed by the Sierra Club and its allies. God may forgive you, but it's gonna take me a long minute."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
It’s insane to suggest we haven’t asked for help or that the fires are being left to burn for political reasons. It’s a conflagration, so to speak, brought on by forestry mismanagement (both federal and state), climate change, the bark beetle infestation, etc. Let’s hope we are vastly better at managing it in the 21st century then we were in the 20th.
 

·
Registered
68 RS L30 AA 749
Joined
·
7,593 Posts
Has been described by the meteorologist as "the perfect storm" here in OR. Up until last week, this summer has been completely ordinary as possible. Zero rain since late June, total drought conditions, average temperatures (80-90*) for the most part and low humidity. Wildfires naturally come with the territory, but had been exceptionally quiet with clear (smoke) conditions this year until it exploded last week. Temperatures in the 90's COMBINED with East (dry) winds gusting up to 60mph for 2 days. The winds being so extreme were unheard of for this time of year.

These forest fires never get completely extinguished until the fall rains arrive in October-November....HOPEFULLY (it will go back to normal) !
 

·
Retired
Joined
·
26,641 Posts
Here's another quote on the subject, much aligned with the first one I posted. I think if a few take away something from these it's a start. The smoke is bad today, it smells real bad too! I guess I should get back to my yard work, I've put it off for a couple weeks hoping for better air quality!

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,148 Posts
Yeah. Call me crazy but I`m pretty sure forest management in CA should have been a higher priority than banning straws or a high speed rail!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
Things burning in CA is normal. More controlled burning means less burning. More supposed environmentalists stopping natural fires just makes the issue worse later.
People living in areas that naturally burn create people who complain when their stuff burns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,841 Posts
I just saw my Son for a day. He had come off 21 straight days of the Bobcat fire as he was sent from his base in AZ. He was in Idaho for 31 days prior to that. He signed up for both assignments. Its the same in all states. US/State forests (he is with US Forest Dept which is under Dept of Agriculture) have had budget cuts for years crippling forest control.

Add drought, failing electrical grids, lightening (most fires are caused by this). dumb F starting fires, etc. to all of this on top of what climate change is doing (drought) and you get the perfect storm.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top