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How to Start Uncontrollable Wildfires, Brought to You By Your Government

Updated on August 9, 2018
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Beauty of The Woods

Country wooded land.
Country wooded land. | Source

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

My Trees

Always changing.
Always changing. | Source


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.

Be Well

Somewhere in a desert
Somewhere in a desert | Source

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.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill an interesting thing of note is that most venue/jurisdictions and localities clear the brush along side roads. Normally so access is not in jeopardy but just as much so that vehicles and people in them do not start huge fires. But the other 2,000 acres are not cleared.

      I suppose if you were smart you would have your house next to the access.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      4 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      They say you learn something new every day. Some of what you said was new t me, and I must admit I never heard this before. Thanks for the eye-opener.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Dora thank you for your comment. Someone once told me that small forest fires don't do damage to people. Probably an overstatement but the point is clear. Manage our forests.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you John. I think a power company here just paid out an enormous amount of money as it was shown that their negligence in maintaining their equipment caused a devastating fire. Seemingly anything can start a small fire.

      Controlled burns are good way to go.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Now there is a shift in my perspective on and my reaction to wild fires. Thanks Eric. I'm even more comfortable, though still hoping that we can avoid the destruction of homes.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 months ago from Queensland Australia

      What you say is very true Eric and something most

      people don’t consider. I was a fire fighter and secretary in a volunteer fire brigade for about six years. There have been some horrendous Forest (bush) fires here in Australia over the years..Ash Wednesday one notable one. Uncleared and built up undergrowth is a big concern, and people’s desire for building in or near forested areas. It is natural for fire to rejuvenate every seven years and if living in wooded areas controlled burns should be done at least that’s often.

      Fires can be started as easily as a blade of a ride-on mower striking a stone and causing a sparkor a cigarette but thrown from a car window. Great article.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Manatita. Of course your point is clear. I think the TV and Radio and online know the man devastation. What they do not know is that their government is complicit in the horrendous losses. By simply not having a program managing undergrowth the air is filled with more garbage than L.A. ever has in the same time period.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Liz it is horrible in every aspect from lizards to human death, injury or loss of home. I suspect that people will just not accept that our treatments are what cause these.

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 months ago from london

      A very interesting discussion about forest fires. You did not say much about people and homes. Still, you presented a new way of looking at it. Have a great day.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      This is a very topical and interesting article. In our recent heatwave even the UK has had to contend with wild fires. I was surprised to hear that the hill I once sledged down in the winter was the scene of a big wild fire a few weeks ago. This year though more from around the world have hit our news headlines. Very hard for those who lose loved ones and homes in the blaze.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lori, my favorite hike here is a place a fire tore up in, I think, 2007. It is so cool where the underfire whipped through rapidly leaving 200 year old Oaks charred but standing. Every year it changes and is more alive. Although this year it looks as though the heat is changing things, like ground water dry up. But even that is amazing to watch.

      Funny but I am sure that if I stop changing and growing I will start dying. Just like my wild lands.

      Our Ca. Smoke has reached NY!!??

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Remember the guy who played for both the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Celtics. Oh by the way Connors was also the Rifleman. I got to visit him a few times up in Idllewyld. He had ancient pictures of his view toward L.A. and it was way more "smoggy" than now -- we are talking 1910 or so.

      And just look it up, the smoke from the Western forest fires has reached New York, 3,000 dang miles away. So smoke effecting weather from CA to NY.

      Now our climate change type folks are the same ones that rally against "clearing" forests. "That against" could cause full weather changes like the Ice Ages. Known fact, L.A. smog has never reached KC. Mt. Penatubo smoke and ash reached the coast of California -- Pinatubo is in the Phillipines. We would sit on our ocean bluff in Encinitas (So. Cal.) and watch the spectacular sunsets caused thereby.

      Man is so insignificant. Accept when he realizes that.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      I had never heard things before. The only part i take concern about is the wild fires that reach people. My cousin just this month had to evacuate his home. The week preceding was very stressful for residents. The other thing is how badly the smoke affects people like me. Especially when there is ash.

      But what you say does make sense. I live in Washington state, aand I marvel at how the earth replenished itself after Mount St Helen's blew in the 80s.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      4 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD


      Good job and I knew this but now anyone that didn't know can read this hub.

      California is the chief icon for the government that you mention here. And you are right on when you say building where you shouldn't is a calamity in the making.

      I just heard that the smoke from the current Love fire has reached New York and it is in the air about a mile off the ground.

      One question, what about the Smoke and the air pollution?

      It seems to me that fire as a recurring control of the environment should also have the mechanism to control the air from being polluted. Although, I heard that when it was just Indians in Los Angeles that air was smokey looking?

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill the references here are to the 1974 fire that was horrendous and ultimately the impetus for the one you speak of being left alone. Some suggest taking all the manpower and using it only to save homes. Above my pay grade.

      Nature will deal with man. Natural "disasters" is a misnomer.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Charmaine. Probably the intentional arsonist is so depraved that even execution would not register. Here is a scary one. A Hot Shot fire fighter was convicted of starting a large fire, because the money was so good.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Remember back to the big Yellowstone Fire? It's been quite a few years now, but they let that one burn out, and everything came back better than ever...but there was a huge backlash for that decision. Here's what I think: Nature will find a way.

      Nasty year in these parts for fires, from Northern Cal all the way to our neck of the woods......oh well, stay safe...only 94 here so you have us by six.

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      A interesting read Eric. Im surprised and then not surprised. I ended believing so many fires at once or a patrticular huge soul destroying fire that could only be due to the hands of arsonist-the hands of human being.

      All the losses of lives homes property and animals. I often think what could be a just punishment for the arsonist? Work in a burns unit in a hospital! Caretaking our burnt alive animals? Or finding out what their pet hatred is and forcing them to do that for x time units. I dont know you?

      PS. so.. so... amazed at all of your roles in life Eric. You never cease to amaze me!! .

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Man made is seldom well made.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      4 months ago from Jamaica



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