Wild Fires Need New Proactive Science Not Controlled Burns

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Wild Fires Need New Proactive Science Not Controlled Burns

February 21, 2020 by Steve Conboy

California Controlled Burns Are A Third World Approach To Removing California’s Threat of Wild Fires. To think we can trim down all that is growing in our canyons and hillsides would be as silly as thinking we can cut down all the dead trees in our forest. Controlled burns can have a major downside. If conducted in unfavorable conditions, they can lead to destroying the air quality in populated cities. To make things worse, flat fields full of dry fuels are not our problem it's the canyons and rolling hills, full of fuels that become our biggest threat. Fire Fighter's use flat grounds to train young firefighters with hand held hoes to check their endurance. These burns do very little to remove the growing threat.

Wild Fire Becomes Political To Support Elections Without Andy New Science

All of the candidates have outlined policies to slash U.S. carbon emissions and fight climate change. But some have also focused on what the federal government can do to support California and other wildfire-prone Western states facing increasingly deadly and costly wildfires — many of which were sparked by damaged power lines from PG&E and other utilities.

The president can play a big role in fighting wildfires in the state because 57 percent of California forests are owned and managed by the feds. Ken Pimlott, a former Cal Fire chief, said the federal government should be investing more on fire prevention efforts, instead of just supporting the state after huge fires break out.

“Historically it has been state and local governments working in these areas — but with the size of the problem we’re facing, this is clearly a federal issue too,” Pimlott said.

Steyer — the only Californian still in the race — has called for spending a total of $130 billion on forest health and fire safety as well as other agricultural policies. The fires that have devastated communities around California “serve as a reminder of how uncertain our future will be if we don’t address the climate crisis immediately,” Steyer said.

Bloomberg has come out with the most specific plan, calling for doubling federal funding to $10 billion to manage forests and to help communities protect themselves against fires, with half of that going to forest restoration and mitigation work. He would also increase FEMA funding for fireproofing homes.

Sanders is the only candidate who’s called for a public takeover of the California utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric Co., criticizing the company for prioritizing corporate payouts over fire safety in an online video ad released last week.

Warren, Bloomberg, and Klobuchar have called for federal investments in microgrid technology — energy systems disconnected from the main electricity grid — which experts say can help reduce fire risk and avoid the blackouts that plagued Northern California during last year’s fire season.

Several of the candidates would start new programs to put more people to work defending against fires. Bloomberg calls for a “Wildfire Corps,” a team of thousands of workers who would be trained in leading fire resilience work. Steyer has a similar proposal for a “Civilian Climate Corps.”

Trump has urged California to improve its forest management — memorably, calling for the state to “rake” its forests — and approved disaster relief funds for communities devastated by fires. But he’s done little to change the federal government’s approach to wildfires.

Forest Management is the least of our worries when it comes to lowering the loss of homes to future wild fires. Its all our green hillside that turn into deep dry fuels driven by winds in canyon that make it impossible for firefighters to defend until they embrace new science and new proactive engineered fire breaks.

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