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Thread: Wildfire 2021

  1. #1001
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    Wildfire 2021

    My understanding is that many of his compelling arguments are not based on peer reviewed science.

    For structure protection mitigation >30 ft from structures in primarily pine, incense cedar, and Doug fir forest, I’ve witnessed (and helped a little on) mastication that focused on certain fuels and left other fuel alone, 4 years to dry, rx burn that focuses on duff and masticated material. Peer reviewed method at a research center.

  2. #1002
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    hanson discussion, especially in the comments: https://forestpolicypub.com/2021/07/...nerating-them/

  3. #1003
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    I wonder if dispersing a lot of chipped fuel like that perhaps affects the fuel-loading-reduction objective of the thin-pile-burn process we did in my career. Seems possible you just create a nightmare of smoldering wood chips if it burns, like a sawmill fire…. Which are incredibly hard to mop up.

    Or like that hilarious thing where all the grass is cold but there’s smoldering cow turds everywhere. “Ok rookie, go cold trail over there” lolol
    In most spots they are pretty diffuse. This thing sprays chips in about a 50’-75’ arc and they moved it quite frequently. There was only one spot I saw that appeared to have 4-5” of chips. Hopefully the chips will also act to retain water. Regardless I’ll trade a slow moving smoldering fire for a raging fire any day.

    Chatted with one of the crew yesterday and he said it is just as fast as stacking piles to burn and they don’t have to come back to burn them.

    Saw three deer in the newly thinned area. No new growth so no idea why they would have moved in so fast.

  4. #1004
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    Quote Originally Posted by altasnob View Post
    I'm just summarizing what I have read Chad Hanson put out there. He's got a Phd in Ecology from Davis, he has peer reviewed published studies. The Forest Service cites his studies depending on the context. Disagree with him, but I don't think anyone can call him stupid.

    Hanson does not seem to be against prescribed burning. But not all "thinning" gets prescribed burned. Hanson pushes the narrative that a lot of what the Forest Service calls thinning is just a ruse to sell lumber. It wasn't that long ago that the Forest Service and forest schools, like Oregon State, were claiming that growing trees was just like growing corn. Today, the National Forest still make about $150 million a year selling the public's trees. So, like Hanson, I remain skeptical that the Forest Service puts long term forest and biodiversity health as their top priority.

    From my reading, I think the jury is still out on whether thinning and prescribed burning is the best long term management of these forests. Hanson makes compelling arguments that when you thin trees, you are exposing more sun to to the forest floor, and you allow more wind. Not to mention you are removing trees and all the benefits they provide. And decaying wood, burned and not burned, is essential to soil health. Hanson correctly point out that the biggest factors of all are climate and weather. Of all forest types, it is older, mature, forests that are best able to handle fires (see my next post). The million dollar question is how to get these previously logged forests to once again, become mature forests.
    I’ll agree that some FS thinning may be a ruse to sell lumber, but that should be looked at on a case by case basis rather than used as a case against thinning in general.

    I was in forestry school in the 70s and, yeah, tree farming was the ideal. Forestry isn’t the only science that has had radical rethinking over the last 50 years. I doubt that corn-growing is still held as the ideal, except on certain commercial sites.

    But Hanson’s claims about wind, solar radiation, and the “benefits” of every tree only sound reasonable if you say them really fast and don’t think about them with a critical mind.

    The wind will hit the tree crowns regardless of how many there are or how thick. Thick stands with touching crowns will burn harder and more catastrophically during windy conditions than open stands.

    The sun will bake closed stands just as hard as open ones, and when crowns burn there will be no advantage to shaded forest floors. Also many species like Ponderosa, Douglas-fir, and Aspen are not shade-tolerant, they need sun to thrive. Less desirable (and burnable) species like White Fir thrive in shade.

    Thinning can release (desirable) sun-tolerant species, renew and refresh watersheds, and reduce/prevent “dog-hair” stands that choke other species (and things like wildlife habitat), suck water, and carry fire effectively into crowns. Not every tree provides “benefits” by a long shot.

  5. #1005
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    I just want to say that this is one of the better discussions I’ve seen on this topic on the interwebz anywhere. Carry on.

  6. #1006
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    I meant to add earlier that it’s nice that Hanson has a UCD degree, but as a f’r instance there are a number of people with law degrees that seem to have some bad thinking going on.

  7. #1007
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    One of his current areas of focus is Los Padres NF. Googling will get you to some articles. Challenging NF use of a CE for a 1k ac thinning project with the arguments discussed in past handful of posts above and with misinformation about the NEPA compliance process. It feels like he’s pulling the wool over the eyes of the locals of that area who will likely lose their town before he lets an EIS/ROD get signed without legal challenge. It is interesting what forests he picks and chooses to focus on and what species he focuses on.

  8. #1008
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    I bet Dr. Chad lives in a big city and couldn’t start a husqvarna 372 if his life depended on it.

  9. #1009
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  10. #1010
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    ^^^Is there an inside firefighter joke here? All of my husqis (two 4hp, one 5hp) were easy to start.

  11. #1011
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    Wildfire 2021

    He used to live in the Grass Valley, ca area… I never noticed him challenging the USFS, fema, or state park fuels thinning projects in his (former) home area that have all been approved in the past 15 yrs….
    Last edited by bodywhomper; 10-13-2021 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Damn auto correct

  12. #1012
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    An amusing note about the incident objectives in the Wildfire Today article on the Alísal fire.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #1013
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    Very funny!

  14. #1014
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    Wait!! What about the oil spill?!?!?

  15. #1015
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB View Post
    Wait!! What about the oil spill?!?!?
    Not to worry, they did a prescribed burn on the oil slick.

  16. #1016
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    Severity

  17. #1017
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    Wildfire 2021

    What it now looks like. Click image for larger version. 

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    What it used to look like.Click image for larger version. 

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    Crew in action(zoom in). Looks like they have 1 person drive it and they drive it towards the cut down brush. The 2 man loading crew just throws it in about as quick as they can unless they get to a larger log. Bring the machine to the brush. Thing went through a 10” log like butter.
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    Manzita and brush that burned in the Bridge FireClick image for larger version. 

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    As a lay person, it would take pretty sound evidence to convince me that pic 2 is a more desirable than pic 1.

  18. #1018
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  19. #1019
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    regarding pictures #1 and #2 -
    picture #1 is probably more resistant to a significant Fire event, but is missing several layers of a natural ecosystem, And I would be concerned about how it would absorb a big Rain event if it was in the midwest ( in the arid west, this may be of no concern ) ;
    picture #2 ,,, seems more susceptible to Fire, but I believe represents a healthier natural ecosystem ( habitat for small creatures ) ;

    in the midwest, it might take less than four years for the environment to restore itself to something closer to #2 than #1.

    a good friend recently said, 'it grows back. '

    I hope our Forest management practices are evolving.

    Huge Respect for Firefighters ! skiJ

  20. #1020
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    Some photos of prescribed burns in Metolius River basin of Central OR

    This stand (totaled 200 acres) was just torched
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    This stand (150 acres IIRC) was torched in May
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    This stand is next to ^^^
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    It needs to be burned to clean the understory and thin out the lodgepole

    And some spawning Kokanee for shits and giggles
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  21. #1021
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  22. #1022
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    Looks like a controlled burn jumped containment lines today in the Watsonville (Santa Cruz County, CA) area

    https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/loca...ville/2683989/

  23. #1023
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    I hope that Watsonville fire isn’t too bad!!

    On another note:

    “I and my colleagues are getting really tired of the type of activism that pretends to be science and in fact is just self-serving garbage,” said Crystal Kolden, a professor of wildfire science at UC Merced and co-author of a journal article that rebutted Hanson’s arguments.

    Read more at:
    “I and my colleagues are getting really tired of the type of activism that pretends to be science and in fact is just self-serving garbage,” said Crystal Kolden, a professor of wildfire science at UC Merced and co-author of a journal article that rebutted Hanson’s arguments.

    Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/californ...#storylink=cpy

  24. #1024
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    I hope that Watsonville fire isn’t too bad!!

    On another note:

    “I and my colleagues are getting really tired of the type of activism that pretends to be science and in fact is just self-serving garbage,” said Crystal Kolden, a professor of wildfire science at UC Merced and co-author of a journal article that rebutted Hanson’s arguments.

    Read more at:
    “I and my colleagues are getting really tired of the type of activism that pretends to be science and in fact is just self-serving garbage,” said Crystal Kolden, a professor of wildfire science at UC Merced and co-author of a journal article that rebutted Hanson’s arguments.

    Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/californ...#storylink=cpy
    People would be wise to look at The Nature Conservancy’s stance IMO. They actually manage land for ecological benefit. They are pro restoration of forests to a natural fire regime and step one in that process is often some sort of mechanical fuels reduction so you can manage fire effects when you burn it.


    Edit- what is Hanson even talking about?

    “ Hanson argues that thinning removes a lot of thick, old-growth trees that are fairly resilient to fire. What’s left is small trees, saplings and seedlings that ignite like kindling.”

    This is exactly opposite of what anyone involved in fire management thinks of when they use the word “thinning”. I’m

    TBS - in that photo you posted of the stand that needs fire, I bet they would struggle to burn that without really high mortality in the ponderosa they want to retain. They will probably mechanically treat it before burning.

  25. #1025
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    I agree, TNC is taking a leadership role.

    I am fairly certain tnc has conceptually designed the forest restorations projects that will be funded under Feinstein’s wildfire bill, if it passes.

    Tbs. will those recent burn sites get a big flower bloom in the next couple of springs?

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