US Forestry Service Stopped Controlled Burns Over COVID Fears
As a native Californian, one thing I can tell you is wildfires are part of California life. The state is notoriously dry and goes through feast or famine spells with rain. If it's an El Nino year, California gets dumped with water. If it's not... short showers for you and only flush if you did a number two. The reason California is burning, though, is not necessarily all to blame on "man-made climate change" but on what seems like a willful ignorance when it comes to understanding forest management. Or in this case, ignoring forest management. According to this article dated MARCH 25th 2020, the US Forestry Service ceased controlled burns of California forests out of fear of spreading the WuHuFlu. I cough you not.
Remember, this article is dated back in March. We're now in September and the sky in Western Washington is orange from fires hundreds of miles away.
The U.S. Forest Service announced last week that it was suspending all new controlled burns on land it manages around the country in an effort to further reduce air pollution and protect fire personnel amid the spreading coronavirus. Included in this decision are the 20 million acres the agency oversees in California.
But following one of the driest Februaries on record in parts of the Golden State, the move highlights the difficulty in decision-making that pits wildfire preparation and adapting to the virus against each other.
Going out on a burning limb here, but maybe the controlled burns would've been better than what we're dealing with now. Just, you know, based on all this hindsight burning our eyes. Plus the raging fires. Did I mention my air quality index all the way up in Western Washington is about 200? It's normally 20. But hey, at least we destroyed all those businesses in order to flatten the curve and stuff. Yaaaaaay.
Shield your eyes climate change zealots who want to blame all this on anything other than who's actually to blame, because controlled burns do more to slow the spread than even the best of hashtags.
"There is nothing as efficient as prescribed burns," said Marko Princevac, a professor of mechanical engineering who researches wildfires at the University of California, Riverside.
"National Forests contain 6 million of the total 9 million acres of highly volatile brushland in California found mainly in the foothill country where urban expansion is increasing and many developments lack adequate protection against wildfire," according to the Forest Service's website.
Those of you who rely on pushing a button for your home heating needs may not know this, but in order to get a fire started, any fire really, you have to use "fire starter" if you will. This is typically comprised of smaller samplings of dry wood products. Think newspaper, small slats of wood from pallets, dried twigs, that kind of stuff. You can't just throw a match on a pile of timber and expect it to go. It's just not hot enough and there's not enough flammable material to pick up steam. That's why controlled burns matter. The forestry service performs these smaller burns to take out the dry material on the forest floor when there's little of it. Because if the forest floor is littered with dead, rotting wood and dry flora, and someone decides to throw an explosive gender reveal party, now we have a fire that burns so hot it can't be stopped.
So let's slow our roll blaming "man-made climate change" on all these fires. Maybe let's skip back in time and blame bad forest management policies brought on by even stupider viral management policies. While we're at it, maybe it's time for some people to start questioning why we're continuing to follow policies set by the same idiots who keep screwing us.
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