Fire Earth

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California Fires: Not Hard to Understand!

Posted by feww on July 31, 2008

“A Conspiracy Against the Public”: For political reasons, Google has blocked this post. [Aug 14, 2008]

Wildfires are big business. Big business is good business!

Here’s how the formula works:

1. Calif residents, instead of being discouraged (for obvious reasons), are encouraged to build their dream homes at the edge of wildlands, areas prone to wildfire. More than 1 million homes (about 61% of all new housing) built in California, Oregon and Washington between 1990 to 2000 were erected at the edge of fire-prone wildlands, a University of Wisconsin study reported.

2. Brush clearing and creation of firebreaks are frowned upon because they are regarded as “too expensive!” The “excess fuel” which is not cleared away [or allowed to burn out the previous years] increases the danger to life and property, which continue being erected on ill-situated sites. The 2003 fires which extended from the Mexican border to Los Angeles suburbs, claimed about 20 lives, including one firefighter, and about 2,750 homes and other building. Official damage estimates ranged from $1.25 to $2 billion, making the fires the most expensive in state history. Now, they’ve got everyone by the short and curlies [soon their hearts and minds will follow!]

3. Thus a mini cold hot war is declared [an “arms race” with forest fires,] and the stakes are upped each year.

4. But what ever happened to President [sic] Bush’s Healthy Forests Initiative (HFI)? Wasn’t it meant to stop the wildfires? Using the hype of the 2002 fire season, the Bush administration proposed a series of drastic administrative changes to the way our National Forests are managed. Combined, these proposals will give free reign to the timber industry across National Forests under the guise of “fuel reduction.” The President’s ill-named “Healthy Forests Initiative” will do little to protect communities and homes from forest fires, instead this sweeping initiative is concentrated on decreasing public involvement, reducing environmental protection and increasing access to our National Forests and other federal lands for timber companies.

gwbushfire
Hiding behind the Smokescreen! President [sic] George W. Bush signs the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 at the Department of Agriculture Wednesday, December 3, 2003. White House photo by Tina Hager.

Bottom Line?

5. Wildfires are big business. You can’t afford to upset them. There must be enough fuel left in the wildlands each year for the business to remain profitable!

“In Southern California, clearing out the ‘excess fuels’ that have resulted from past fire suppression, and reconfiguring the landscape to create more firebreaks and other barriers to fire, would have been expensive but feasible,” said Robert Nelson, professor of environmental policy at the University of Maryland.

“So why didn’t government take effective management and policy action to reduce fire risks before total disaster struck?” Nelson asked. “Leaving aside the individual human tragedies, the costs [of 2003 wildfires] would certainly have been less than the $2 billion (and climbing) that is now projected in terms of fire-fighting costs and lost property values.”

Now, that wasn’t so difficult to understand, was it?

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One Response to “California Fires: Not Hard to Understand!”

  1. […] California Fires: Not Hard to Understand! […]

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