A Dangerous Cycle: Western Wildfires are Contributing Significantly to Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and as the Planet Warms, Wildfires are Becoming More Frequent and Intense
Fire Defense Commentary
July 14 2021
Wildfire Smoke Undermines Clean Energy Initiatives
California tracks wildfire emissions separately from fossil fuel emissions, so the wildfires won’t impact the progress the state makes toward its climate goals on paper. But all carbon is the same once it reaches the atmosphere. Recent evidence indicates that as much as 10 per cent of wildfire produced carbon remains in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Even in circumstances where carbon sequestering does achieve balanced levels, for around seven months of the year the carbon released by wildfires still contributes to the total amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
Climate change is “an opportunity to create new industries and good-paying jobs with a free and fair choice to join a union, revitalize America’s energy communities and the economy, and position America as the world’s clean energy superpower,” the White House proposal released on Friday said. President Joe Biden’s 2022 budget proposal calls for more than $36 billion to fight global climate change, an increase of more than $14 billion compared with 2021, with major new investments focused on clean energy, climate and sustainability research and improved water infrastructure. Biden’s main spending areas on climate include:
$10 billion for clean energy innovation
$7.0 billion for NOAA research
$6.5 billion for rural clean energy storage, transmission projects
$4 billion for advancing climate research
$3.6 billion for water infrastructure
$1.7 billion for retrofitting homes and federal buildings
$1.4 billion for environmental justice initiatives
Maybe it would be wise to direct some of the climate change funds towards new wildfire defense tactics that can help wildfires down faster, so our gains in clean energy initiatives can have a meaningful impact on climate change.
Mighty Fire Breaker offers a new, safe, easy way to shut down wildfires faster. Mighty Fire Breaker’s MFB-31 fire inhibitor can be sprayed from tanker trucks and backpack cannons, to create envirmentlly friendly firebreaks. This tactic, added to current wildfire defense methods, can help reduce the production of CO2 emissions and smoke faster. And this wildfire defense innovation can replace the need to set backfires (which add to the smoke) or the labor-intensive use of handheld tools to dig firebreaks.
Firefighting is both a physically and emotionally demanding job. The dangerous work, heavy uniforms and overwhelming amount of stress cause strain on the heart. This strain, in conjunction with a toxic work environment – breathing in smoke, dehydration from the radical temperature and gas exposure – can trigger a sudden cardiac episode. Firefighters out there in the extreme heat and smoke need newer better tools because hand digging fire breaks is like carpenter framers using hammer when there are nail guns.