How to Start Uncontrollable Wildfires, Brought to You By Your Government
Beauty of The Woods
Not So Simple
This is how you do it. But only your government can actually do it. Sorry but your match or flaming ember cannot do it. You cannot start an out of control wild fire.
Facts are Facts
On the radio yesterday I heard some pundit speaking on forest fires. He was setting forth serious well known facts, in forest fire professional circles. Hardcore facts. The Governmant starts and causes out of control wild fires. And we knew this back as far as the 1960’s. The entire world relies on natural fires regardless of how they are started. Yes you heard that right. Regardless of how they are started.
Great big nasty wild fires are caused exclusively by man. Even if it is lightening caused. I hope that shocks you if you did not already know it. Big nasty wild fires that even consume homes are the result of man’s careless and reckless management of nature. They are often the result of misguided do gooders. And so many are caused by our habitation where we should not be.
Look this is the National Geographic take; On average, more than 100,000 wildfires, also called wildland fires or forest fires, clear 4 million to 5 million acres (1.6 million to 2 million hectares) of land in the U.S. every year. In recent years, wildfires have burned up to 9 million acres (3.6 million hectares) of land.
That statistic is amazing. Total land mass of Rhode Island is only approximately 776,957 acres. How about Massachusetts; 4,989,071, or nearly 5 million acres. Did we get that right? The combined areas of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. How about all of Vermont or all urban areas of California. No that is not staggering to folks in the know. By my rough calculations we need about 2 million acres “cleared” by fire every year. (“Clear” is the term not burn)
What would happen if every old person lived to be 200 and yet we still had babies at the same rate as now? Maybe just all babies saved that would otherwise die at birth like my very premature son, it would be a huge global man caused catastrophe. No, it would ruin our world as we know it. Yes our natural earth would be the first fatality. If you apply that same truth to forests you get an equal catastrophe. The basic difference is that brand new growth needs to co-exist with old growth neither tipping the balance like our Parks and Forest managers do. You should not have and bordering government land.
I live in a real coastal desert. We need wild fires. Isn’t that just crazy. We need them to burn hundreds of thousands of acres per year. We need this for everything from oxygen creation to our reservoirs. We also need them to make healthy plants to grow and create habitat for small critters that feed our big critters. Maybe you could call it a food chain.
Fire On The Mountain
Here is a fun one. The above reference to new growth production of oxygen is not a question. Global warming is partly caused by lack of new growth before and after a fire. Hearty green new plants produce more oxygen than old – just note that they breathe harder. And they exhale pure wonderful oxygen.
Now far be it for me to saw up and remove a large fallen tree. But many a time I have cut the crap out of a large tree and left her there. The wood from the fallen tree replenishes the soil with needed nutrients. But guess what? If I controlled burn that fallen tree it would give off even more.
Let me tell you about something. Forest fires are meant to happen. In nature for a billion years they have burned. Our Western fires this year poured more pollution into the air than all of L.A. for two years. That is trippy and way up there with 2 Volcanoes spewing more than all of the USA’s Pollution combined. But we cause that pollution from out of control fires.
So we prevent forest fires. Our tough Hot Shots jump out of planes with gear to put them out right away. And then we do not clear out the kindling for disaster fires to happen. We actually create the fuel.
A little background. I first became a member of the Scouting Conservation and worked my butt off. I was high elevation stuff. 8-11 thousand feet. We planted and thinned forests. Dr. Harry Brown and Dr. Boothe were my leaders. Brown’s in forest management and Boothe in something like Society and our environment which was very nebulous back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. My daughter has the degree from Berkeley. I was all in.
Then the YCC where we did more artificial clearing. And more planting. I tell you if at a high elevation the temperature reaches 85 with sunshine you hide. That will sunburn you and dehydrate you faster than a microwave. Hot Shots worked in that plus the temperature from the fire. I am telling you that people who are all religious Christian think of a lake of fire. It is here every fire season. Well we were mop up crew. Just the smoldering embers of a fire now 200 yards away could fry a brain in minutes without proper precautions. Hydration and electrolytes. I chose feeding men not fighting.
Set Your Sights
Take Care, Not Attitude, But Solutions
Flash forward to when I was a steak house head cook in a place called Mormon Lake – dry from a volcanic rift. These Hot Shots came in with vouchers for food. To hell with patrons our fighting men got top service. They were from, at the time the finest Hot shot unit in the world, they could do elevations where a Helicopter might peter on you. They preferred drops by old B-52 bombers. I fed ‘em and drank with them and stole women from them ;-) So when where I worked burnt down. They got me a job cooking for them. The cook unit was already there and they pushed me out of a damn fine aircraft, into the blaze of a Yellowstone fire.
Dog nosed Hopi, Navajo, ex-Marines and assorted idiots. So I did not just cook I brought lunches, water, salt and sugar to my boys. We had two low belly unit portable kitchens. 18 wheel and ten tons of food. I did not make eggs for 5,000 I insured we made eggs to order. We did not make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we made that and egg and raw fruit lunches. And I barked orders and played cards with top brass who had lost a few. Talk is cheap but being a cook I knew fire and they would bounce ideas and then go run off in a new direction.
So I pretty much know wild fires. Oh I had two cooler trucks to transport fresh produce. We got adept at using them to transport burned heroes in Cooler temperature to the hospital. Put bodies out and produce in. A grand new idea.
Now this need not happen. Stop building next to kindling made forests. Start letting little fires burn after concerted efforts to clean the undergrowth “Jack Pines”. Stop putting lighter fluid on nature’s defense to warming or cooling or pollution. You let that undergrowth build up, unnaturally you might as well sign death warrants and set create ozone problems.
We hear don’t do this and don’t do that for our climate. It is time we focused on the “do this and do that” right alongside of it.
So next time you hear of a guy throwing a butt out of the window causing massive losses. Don’t blame him only. Only the government can prevent hell fires.
Only 100 degrees here. I hope you are cooler.