Preventing Wildfire Deaths in Western United States

Discussion of general forest ecology concepts and of forest management practices.

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MarkGraham
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:19 pm

Preventing Wildfire Deaths in Western United States

Post by MarkGraham » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:38 pm

Based on these Wildfire events over the last couple years, what can be done in the very short term to prevent this horrible loss of life. These people burning to death in their cars and houses, it is awful.
Sure, reducing carbon output helps a lot long term, but what about right now? Yes, there is a big drought, and it gets very hot and windy, and there are more people living in and near forests. That is the reality, how can more deaths be prevented starting right now?
I am thinking of things like hardening towns, positioning big portable water tanks in and around towns with necessary pumping and hoses, creating large fire breaks, lots and lots of prescribed burns, and removing/collecting/burning woody debris.
How fast can people be hired and trained to do this work, what do you think is a fair wage? How can workers be recruited, this kind of work is not for everyone.
Looking forward to your knowledge and ideas.
Mark

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JHarkness
Posts: 249
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Preventing Wildfire Deaths in Western United States

Post by JHarkness » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:01 pm

Managing forests better and restoring wetlands are the first things to come to my mind. Just think how many wetlands in California have been drained or modified for agricultural purposes, and it is easy to see how droughts and wildfires can dramatically increase in intensity. It is my personal opinion, from what I have read, and observed myself in our eastern ecosystems, that it it is this loss of wetlands that is playing a bigger role than climate change (and it certainly is influencing the climate itself) in intensifying these wildfire events. I am disappointed by how little discussion I hear about restoring natural wetlands to mitigate these fires; it seems that the focus is almost purely on climate change, which people can't do much about themselves locally (and I am becoming increasingly pessimistic that we can do anything about this globally, seeing how disorganized and greed-stricken we are), when they could certainly do a lot to restore and better manage native ecosystems. Shouldn't we be acting because we love the Earth and all its life, not because we fear for our economy? The words and ideas of Aldo Leopold certainly come to mind here.

Joshua

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