“That’ll teach ‘em!”
The conflagration in Southern California is one of those subjects that don’t necessarily concern me, other than the fact that the people affected are fellow Americans. Also, I’m no expert on the subject of the fires; BUT, some things are just common sense.
Amadeo recently posted on the California fires from the aspect of the wind and how the wind’s considerable energy has been the prime offender in the stoking of these incredibly costly fires and this is mostly true, however….
I commented that these fires might never have started at all, if not for the malicious arsonists that set them. These foul pyromaniacs, these murdering terrorists, should be hunted down and kept along with their brothers-in-terror down in the holding cells of Guantanamo.
What Al Qaeda has not been able to do in 6 years of trying, these homegrown terrorists have managed to accomplish with very little effort at all. And, as long as the conditions continue to allow it, these punks can keep on setting fires with very little chance of ever getting caught.
One of Amadeo’s commenters stated that Nature uses fires to prune her forests and Amadeo agreed, stating that he’d seen exactly that while driving through the thousands of burned over acres in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
Everything both of these fellows say is true, but… Yellowstone, and in fact Wyoming, neither, are anything like Southern California. The “rules of nature” they speak of, totally valid as they are, don’t apply to San Diego County and its millions of residents mixed in with its thousands of acres of undeveloped park and brush land. It’s apples and oranges.
People in California can't simply move their homes out of the way of a fire, and because of that, many—desperate to save their most valued possession, their homes—will end up putting themselves in extreme danger trying to save those homes. Some have already died trying.
Several mindsets must change. Californians are going to have to stop doing stupid things that set themselves up for these continued exposure to fires, mudslides and earthquakes. For now though, lets just talk about wildfires.
There are ways to build homes so that they do not lend themselves to easily catching fire from flying embers or even to be resistant to casual near fires. Thing is, it costs more; so many folks opt not to do it. Perhaps code should be rewritten to make fire resistant homes the law and not an option.
But there’s another set of culprits. I like to call them “conservation purists.” These folks believe that people and nature shall ne’er the twain meet. These persons are almost as bad as the monsters that are setting the fires, because through legislation, they have set the conditions making it possible for the arsonists to be so effective.
Just as Amadeo and his commenter state, forest and brush land must be cleared or “pruned” to keep the really big fires from happening. This is even truer in the heavily populated areas of California where huge swathes of dry brush land are interspersed with equally large tracks of housing located in and around the dry brush land. One of the primary problems is that the “purists” have made it impossible for the land to be made safe from the current kind of conflagration style fires.
There are several ways to make land more “inferno resistant.” Small control fires can be set during windless cool rainier times to get rid of the years of windfalls and brush build up. Fire trails can be bulldozed to allow access to firefighters and to brush clearing crews.
Sometimes, the brush just needs to be cleaned up. As much as “the purists” don’t like the idea of it, still, it’s as simple as that. You go in, gather it up into huge piles with heavy equipment; and during less arid, non-windy times, safely burn it up. However, to the purists, doing such a thing to “pristine land” is anathema.
Southern California is not Wyoming. The people there need to start realizing that they must now manage their brushy wildlife areas, and not wait to let Mother Nature have her final say.
I know this is cynical and probably mean on my part, but I think secretly many of the conservation purists are delighted to see all those homes burn up. “That’ll teach ‘em!” I can hear them cackle while rubbing their hands together gleefully.
Labels: Southern California Fires