June 5, 2013

Fire is part of the natural environment...

An image of the Powerhouse Fire in California:

...According to the CBSnews.com, "Nearly 3,000 people from some 700 homes were under evacuation orders Monday as a wildfire north of Los Angeles kept growing, feeding on old, dry brush, some of which hadn't burned in decades.

The blaze had burned about 46 square miles in the mountains and canyons of the Angeles National Forest, destroying at least six homes and damaging 15 more."...

"some of which hadn't burned in decades." That's the problem, one we already know how to solve. Fire suppression causes fuel to accumulate to the point where a fire can be like letting off tactical nukes. What should happen is that this area that is now burning should henceforth be targeted for intentional fires every 3 or 4 years. Done during cooler and wetter times. Presumably starting with carefully controlled back-fires moving outward from the inhabited areas. And these fires would not produce a devastated burned-over landscape. They would be patchy and of low intensity, with plant life quickly recovering.

But it probably won't happen. Because this would require a cultural change. A change in thinking. But people won't re-think.

The chit-chat of people in a fire-danger area should change from, "Why can't big government take care of these fires?" to "Should we burn this year? Looks like about time to me." Like so many of our problems, this is partly an issue of lingering Industrial Age thinking. We assume that a problem must be handled by a few "experts," not by the linked brain-power of the many.

Posted by John Weidner at June 5, 2013 6:48 AM
Weblog by John Weidner