Thursday, August 27, 2015

Re: Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California: Over a million Acres burned

Hi Fernando. The reason for these massive fires is three fold. The first reason has to do with the US Federal government's policy of fire suppression in our back country which has allowed the vegetation to grow in an unnatural and unhealthy thick way. This has been going on for decades. The second reason is due to the precipitation becoming less in the Western US throughout the 20th century which has been on going into the 21st century. This includes both the summer and winter precipitation. However the winter precipitation is the most important precipitation for the forested mountains and plateaus where the majority of these massive fires are occurring. The snow pack has become less and less every passing decade. The third reason is due to the ever increasing amount of irresponsible people that are using these lands. They are not making sure their camp fires are dead out before leaving camp or they are intentionally setting them for various reasons.
This year Arizona has not had any major fires and here is the reason for that. For about the past 8 months, the Federal government has been conducting massive amounts of controlled burns throughout the state. Basically they are just ground fires that are set in a forested area that consumes most of the small vegetation and blackens the tree trunks. They have also conducted some of these types of burns in our desert and grassland areas as well to remove some of the vegetation. The idea behind these controlled burns is to mimic nature's lightning set fires in order to remove the vegetation that fuels these massive fires. Prior to this year, controlled burns were practiced in only a handful of Arizona's back country on a regular basis. Those areas had only small fires occur there. While the areas with little to no controlled burns, which was the majority of Arizona's back country, had some of the worst fires occur. Hopefully, the Federal government will start conducting controlled burns in these other states where the fires are burning this year.
Eric

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not a bad theory but not accurate. The Pacific Northwest has a lot of dry and rugged lands. They have fires every year. Some years are worse and some not so bad. The lack of snow this year has little to do with the fires. But even there the theory doesn't hold water. Our weather is cyclical and next year or the year after we will get huge snowfall. It really depeneds on the El Nino/La Nina cycle and what the jet stream is doing. There is so much forest here and so much of it is in rugged country that controlled burns of all of it is impossible. So have controlled burns where it is easy to do and the fires will just start elsewhere.