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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:34 am
by cmon4day
You are correct in that the size, scope, and intensity of wildfires are due to environmental factors. But the OP's original question as to what's causing these fires, the environmental factors you state are not the cause.

Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:09 am
by longri
I wasn't responding to the OP. I was responding to your claim that the as "the number of humans increase [so] does the amount of fire activity". The evidence in California contradicts your claim.

The OP was clearly baiting us on the issue of anthropogenic climate change. While it's obvious that it isn't the only reason we're experiencing larger and more intense fires it is clearly a big part of it. It's not just the "arguably smaller factor in higher temperatures" that the OP mentioned but the effect of climate change on how dry the forests are. A study published in 2016 estimated that anthropogenic climate change is responsible for almost half of the forest fire area from 1984-2015 in the Western U.S.

Imagine if this year's fires were halved.

Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:05 pm
by cmon4day
Now certainly one can say anthropogenic climate change, once ignition occurs, is responsible for size, scope, and severity of wildfires But, one can't say that anthropogenic climate change is responsible for half of the forest fires. This is simply not true. Responsibility for forest fires are a sources of ignition. Sources of ignition can be natural, i.e. lightning; misuse of equipment, i.e. poorly maintained vehicles, sparks from bulldozers; or acts or omission from persons, i.e. discarded cigarette, abandoned campfire, or arson.

Over 80% of wildfires are caused by human activity. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way ... u-s-humans

Without a study or a report, (which I cannot quote) I think it's safe to say that as human activity increases in the wildland environment the incidences of fire will increase.

Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:31 pm
by longri
cmon4day wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:05 pm
But, one can't say that anthropogenic climate change is responsible for half of the forest fires. This is simply not true.
That's not what the study I linked said. What has increased because of anthropogenic climate change is forest fire area, not the number of fires.

cmon4day wrote:
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:05 pm
Without a study or a report, (which I cannot quote) I think it's safe to say that as human activity increases in the wildland environment the incidences of fire will increase.
It isn't safe to say that at all. The incidence of fires in California has decreased in recent years even as the population has increased.

But one could say that humans are ultimately responsible for the increase in forest fire intensity and area since it is we who mismanaged the forests for so many years and have altered the climate as well.

Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:04 pm
by dave54
Some of the increase in size is due to the change in strategies over the past thirty years.

The era of 'stop all fires immediately' ended decades ago. Now fires in remote areas not threatening communities are managed with indirect attack. The strategy is to back off to key locations, like roads or ridgetops, and let the fire burn to the control line miles away. Usually with burning out the intervening fuel. Look at the map of the Mendocino Complex -- see how most of the burned area is National Forest? The part threatening homes was aggressively fought with all the tools available. The NF portion was allowed to burn to a convenient perimeter. This is a form of 'letting fires take their historic natural course'.

Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:51 pm
by rlown
Dave.. +1

Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:32 pm
by happycamper0313
I very much enjoyed reading through this thread yesterday and coincidentally, this TED talk appeared on my FB feed today posted by the USFS last week.

https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_hessburg ... it#t-58061

It's speaking to a lot of what the community here is theorizing and it's very interesting!

Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:01 am
by rightstar76
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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:20 pm
by rightstar76
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Re: Everyone's thoughts on what's really causing fires

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:43 pm
by dave54
rightstar76 wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:20 pm
...
My thoughts:

It makes the housing crisis much worse, but there's an even larger context. It's getting harder to have a city that isn't in a burn zone. Civilization is under fire.
...
+1
What's the alternative -- paving over more farmland? Ignoring California's housing shortage?

Fires stop when they run into old burns, whether wildfire burns or old prescribed fires. The window is around 10-20 years, depending upon location in the state. After that, the old burn has regrown and is highly flammable again. Fuels treatment is not a one-time-and-your-done. It must be continual and recurring. Prescribed fires make smoke, and the same nearby homeowners that demand something be done are the first ones to complain and complain the loudest when prescribed burn smoke drifts into their yards. The same for mechanical treatments. No one wants heavy equipment scarring up the hillside behind their house.

Despite the recent legislation exempting certain fuels treatments from environmental regulations, there will still be some group running to the nearest judge for an injunction. Some of these so-called 'environmental activists' (misanthropic luddites) need to doxxed and publicly shamed in social media.