Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

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jessbee
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Re: Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

Post by jessbee » September 17th, 2020, 8:15 am

BurnsideBob wrote:
September 17th, 2020, 7:45 am

Which leaves restriction of human activity as our only effective strategy during extreme wind events.
Yes, so how do we, as a society, change a culture of people who would rather express their freedom to do as they please wherever they want on labor day weekend than prevent fires from happening? (Yes I know that some of our big fires were started by lightning--but not all) How do we protect people from themselves?

Do communities built in the forest need to be able to survive without power for a few days so that power companies can cut power in advance of projected high fire danger times? Do we need better management of humans who are starting campfires/using chainsaws/etc in the forest when it's not safe to do so? Shut down recreational access altogether? And if a fire does get started (regardless of the cause), how does forest management need to respond?

Based on what I've been reading in this thread, there's no one easy answer and every fire is in a unique situation. For those of you who have actually worked in fire management, what do you see as the path forward?
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retired jerry
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Re: Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

Post by retired jerry » September 17th, 2020, 8:52 am

(I don't work in forest management :) )

They cut power in Mt Hood area. That could have prevented fire(s). The Paradise fire (Camp Fire) in California was started by downed power lines. That would be straightforward to do more of that in the future. Also, more maintenance to prevent downed lines, but that's expensive.

If you shut down a forest, the people that are less likely to start a fire will comply but less so people that are more likely.

Ban on fires seems like a low cost solution. People can still enjoy the outdoors. More education campaign about how campfires have started fires in the past.

Do after incident reviews of fires and brainstorm how to prevent them in the future.

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Re: Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

Post by adamschneider » September 17th, 2020, 8:54 am

jessbee wrote:
September 17th, 2020, 8:15 am
Do communities built in the forest need to be able to survive without power for a few days so that power companies can cut power in advance of projected high fire danger times?
Yes.

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Re: Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

Post by justpeachy » September 17th, 2020, 9:32 am

drm wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 1:04 pm
The wind event we just had was quite exceptional for September, it would be unusual for the winter. I saw that other post about blowdown on the Timberline and am anxious to get out where we can and see how widespread that is. Plenty of areas far from fires may be smoke-free and hikable next weekend and I plan to check some areas out.
Just a reminder to everyone, before making a long drive, that the entire Mt. Hood National Forest is still closed to public access. Same goes for Willamette NF. Even with rain in the forecast it seems unlikely that things will open up in time for Sunday's nicer weather. MHNF posted this on Facebook today:
The extreme weather system forested last week delivered- propelling the Riverside Fire on the Clackamas River Ranger District and toppling thousands of trees & dozens of power lines across the forest.

The Mt. Hood National Forest remains CLOSED to public access and will re-open as soon as it's safe for visitors and employees. Crews don't yet have safe access to large parts of the forest to assess conditions and clear roads. Many recreation sites have suffered damage and down trees.

Additionally, many of our employees were evacuated along with their neighbors and/or without power for about a week. The safety of our people and our communities is our first forest priority.

Thank you for your patience and stay safe out there!

Information about the Riverside Fire with links to local emergency resources is at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7174/

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Charley
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Re: Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

Post by Charley » September 17th, 2020, 1:27 pm

adamschneider wrote:
September 17th, 2020, 8:54 am
jessbee wrote:
September 17th, 2020, 8:15 am
Do communities built in the forest need to be able to survive without power for a few days so that power companies can cut power in advance of projected high fire danger times?
Yes.
Yes.

If they've been paying attention to the news this last week, those communities might be quite in favor of such orders.

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Charley
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Re: Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

Post by Charley » September 17th, 2020, 1:31 pm

Greendrake wrote:
September 16th, 2020, 9:29 pm
Clear cutting isn’t the answer:

https://forestpolicypub.com/2020/09/16/ ... -cascades/
Just in case I was unclear in my earlier comments:

I view preventive Forest Closures and preventive de-electrification of power lines as useful tools in preventing forest fires than clear cuts.

In writing about possible extremes of values-based fire management plans, I was laying out unrealistic examples of using clear cuts and continual applications of Roundup (to reduce grasses and shrubs, etc) to keep strips of land free from fuels, in order to act as firebreaks.

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Charley
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Re: Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

Post by Charley » September 17th, 2020, 1:40 pm

I offer this not as proof that powerlines definitively caused this fire (or the fires in the Santiam canyon), but rather as proof of principal that powerlines can cause fires. I see this as evidence of why authorities should more proactively use the tool of preventive de-electrification, as I originally argued.

"Explosion, sparks from power line preceded Oregon’s Holiday Farm fire, area residents say"

https://www.oregonlive.com/wildfires/20 ... s-say.html

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Greendrake
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Re: Leaders Failing to Prevent/Mitigate Fires

Post by Greendrake » September 17th, 2020, 3:12 pm

Can’t help but think the big cuts to the Forest Service plays a part as well, they need to reopen Ripplebrook RS, add more Forest Rangers patrolling the forests and some full time fire crews during the fire season etc.
Teddy Roosevelt never intended public lands to be merely a resource he hammered on how we need to protect them
The likes of Gifford Pinchot are the ones who hijacked that notion and solely focused on revenue via timber sales and mining.
We need to correct the course more towards John Muir’s thinking.

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