Forests

Federal Regulations Have Made Western Wildfires Worse

Controlled, prescribed burns can stop wildfires from spreading. Too bad they are effectively prohibited by rules like the Clean Air Act.

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Parts of the western United States look like scenes from an apocalyptic movie—a red-orange tinge across everything, literally blotting out the sun, as more than three million acres burn.

The fires are running rampant, despite firefighters' best efforts, across California, Oregon, and Washington state. The human cost is huge: 35 people have already died, and more than 4,000 homes have burned. Yet these fires could have been stopped before they got this big, were it not for over-restrictive regulations that have made necessary forest management techniques impossible.

Take controlled burns: fires that are lit on purpose, intentionally burning tinder to keep potentially larger, unintentional wildfires from finding fuel. Especially since the 1960s, efforts to extinguish all fires—even natural, low-impact forest fires that serve as nature's equivalent of a controlled burn—have made forests more susceptible to larger fires and have made controlled burns more and more necessary.

But the regulatory requirements one must meet before starting a controlled burn are complex and lengthy. According to Jonathan Wood, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation and an adjunct fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center, the National Environmental Policy Act requires "a couple-thousand-page document analyzing every single conceivable impact to the environment that the plan might have." This is a public process, Wood adds, that "often results in litigation." There's even more paperwork when the controlled burn might overlap with areas designated as critical habitat for an endangered species.

"What you'll often find," Wood says, "is that there are projects which have been extremely well-vetted, which have been years in the work, there will be a 5,000-page document, which no one could conceivably ever read because it's so long and complicated, but then the project will still get put on hold for an indefinite period of time, because some special interest group filed a lawsuit." So much time is spent considering the ramifications of an action; little is spent considering the impact of doing nothing.

From 1999 to 2017, an average of 13,000 acres of California were subjected to controlled burns each year. In February 2020, Nature Sustainability published a report arguing that California needs to burn 20 million acres of forest in order to restore forest health.

The Clean Air Act of 1990 creates another obstacle. The law treat the smoke from a controlled, prescribed burn as a pollutant that must be analyzed and permitted before the burn can be done. The smoke from a wildfire is not similarly scrutinized. But needless to say, the environmental impact of a multi-state wildfire is much larger than that of a smaller controlled burn.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to the issue of preventing wildfires. But if we want to stop disasters of the scale, state and federal governments need to rethink forest management. They could start by easing the regulatory burden upon proven techniques.

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  1. The smoke from a wildfire is not similarly scrutinized.

    Well, there you go. Just file an injunction against the wildfire and prohibit it from spreading until it’s filled out the proper paperwork.

    1. Although I do find it funny (not “ha-ha” funny, but “oh god please shoot me in the head” funny) that the same people who can’t handle a fucking forest fire think they’re qualified to handle the entire global climate.

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    2. Reminds me of this classic.

    3. Ironically enough, forest fires release far more CO2 into the atmosphere every year than industry, agriculture and transportation does in the US.

      1. Citation needed. Also, the CO2 from biomass does not add net CO2 to the atmosphere.

        1. “the CO2 from biomass does not add net CO2 to the atmosphere.”

          How so? I get that it can be recaptured by growing new biomass, but there’s a time lag involved with wildfire, and for large acreage of old-growth forest the duration of that lag is decades or centuries.

          Controlled production/consumption of bio-fuels derived from annual plant crops is a different situation since the rate of burning and the rate of recapture can be managed to equal out over a much shorter period of weeks or months.

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      2. It all circles back to global warming: warming causes more fires, which causes more warming. The trees which were absorbing CO2 are not burnt and as they decompose, release more CO2. The ultimate solution is measures to stop releasing C02. The solution thus requires a new President who is on board with cutting back emissions.

    1. Speaking of forest fires, is Antifa now an environmentalist group?

      1. Probably a lot of overlap between Antifa and ALF/ELF.

      2. Antifa has been linked to a number of purposely set grass and forest fires in Washington and Oregon over the past couple of weeks. Their aim isn’t exactly clear.

        1. acceptable losses.

        2. Antifa is linked with meth heads, cooking, dealing and using.

        3. Chaos. And make the government spread out enforcement efforts. Not that hard to figure out.

      3. All of the “environmental” groups are socialist

  2. “The clean air act is not a suicide pact”

    1. Except for anyone who supports free markets. And if execution counts as suicide.

  3. It’s weird some mornings to walk outside and everything looks yellow. Not red. A weird yellow tinge to everything, almost like one of those old sepia photographs. After a while, your brain adjusts to it and can see colors again, but they never do become normal colors.

    1. I have driving glasses that do the same thing.

      1. I tried some yellow driving glasses once, and they were interesting up to the first signal lights, where the colors got re-arranged. Maybe they’d be fine on the freeway, but I didn’t like the odds of forgetting to take them off in town.

    2. I live in Eastern Montana. It’s over 400 miles to the Idaho border. Our skies are gray and yellow from the fires, mostly the ones from Washington, Oregon and California, and to a lesser extent Western Montana and Idaho and a few extremely large range fires in central and eastern Montana (almost all of which are burning on BLM land).

    3. In Sacramento, CA, the smoke smells and tastes like burning electrical wires.

  4. lets not forget
    1.the almost complete elimination of logging in California which did create lots of fire breaks and got wood out before it died and became useless, it also created a lot of jobs. I’d rather build home form forest than burn teh forest.
    2. teh reduction in grazing because of multiple regulations. grazing cows eat and or trod down underbrush.

    but California would rather we get our food and timber from other states.

    1. You know who else got wood out before it became useless?

      1. Mr Bobbit?

        1. Me after someone referenced RBG in Sigoruney Weavers role and John Roberts in Rick Moranis’s role in the final scenes of Ghostbusters. Ugh the thought of RBG in that red dress ruined an adolescent spank bank material of mine…

          1. Your welcome for that by the way

            1. Yes my wife wants a word with you about that.

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      2. Paul Reubens?

      3. Robert Wagner (allegedly)

    2. “…1.the almost complete elimination of logging in California which did create lots of fire breaks and got wood out before it died and became useless, it also created a lot of jobs. I’d rather build home form forest than burn teh forest.
      2. teh reduction in grazing because of multiple regulations. grazing cows eat and or trod down underbrush…”

      All accomplished without a penny of taxpayer money.

    3. The added bonus of making logging so hard on so much of the west coast is that L.A. now has a plague of mosquitoes which have apparently been traced back to having originally come to the area along with some shipments of lumber coming across the ocean from China. The swarms inside my house near LAX are thicker and more aggressive than anything I’d ever encountered while spending the first 18 years of my life mostly in the Rocky Mountains (CO and MT with a couple of short interruptions).

      I’ve now got 4 indoor “bug zappers” being delivered so I can try using electricity to control them instead of spraying Cutter around as if it were air freshener every night when I get home from work.

  5. “Federal Regulations Have Made Western Wildfires Worse”

    And, once again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    1. And alliteration.

  6. “Federal Regulations Have Made Western Wildfires Worse”

    There is no problem so terrible that government efforts to fix it can’t make it worse.

    1. In this case it’s been 30+ years of the BLM and USFS leadership in DC allying themselves with watermelons to ignore the best science in favor of pro-“environmental” groups.

      1. Why would they make land management policies based on the kinds of science the public hasn’t been fed platitudes about in the MSM when they can just claim it’s all just caused by “climate change” and know that the media will portray anyone who brings up any other aspects as “science deniers”. Since so much of the public seems to buy in that parroting a “belief in climate change” is all that’s needed to claim that one is in line with “science” anymore, trying to explain that there are entire fields of science that are interested in something beyond atmospheric CO2 levels has become an exercise on futility from a PR standpoint.

    2. It is odd, though, why these federal regulations only seem to REALLY impact states that have given environmental groups fairly absurd levels of control over what is and what is not done.

      You’d think if the issue was FEDERAL regulations, CA wouldn’t be the usual hotbed for these problems but, you know, ALL states would have such issues.

      1. Actually most western states do have similar issues, albeit less serious since we manage our state and private lands more extensively. In Idaho and Montana for about a decade wildlands firefighters have taken to stopping the fires on state and private lands in Idaho and Montana because they are better managed, thus it is safer and more effective. Oregon and Washington, although they get less press are in the same boat as California.

      2. The Rocky Mountain and intramountain west are a unique ecosystem, going from rain shadow deserts to Mediterranean climes. This means most of our precipitation (generally less than 20 inches for most areas, and some places less than 15 inches per year) comes in either the fall or winter with extremely dry summers. The management adopted by federal agencies is set by people living in a coastal environment with 30 plus inches of rain a year. We saw the outcry and weeping of these employees when Trump ordered that BLM and USDA were going to have to move operations to the western areas they are supposed to serve. They have no idea what it is actually like here, but they feel qualified to set policy from an office in DC.

        1. Exactly, most states can get away with little or even no forest management since their dry season isn’t so long or so dry. Then politicians from those states go to Washington and start making rules for everyone

      3. It is almost like environmental groups were working with favorable government entities in sue and settle scams to pass laws judicially instead of through legislation.

        An evil authoritarian president had to end the practice on 2017. Fucking fascist.

  7. Some other issues not mentioned are ridiculous regulations on salvage logging after fires, dead trees just produce fuel for the next fire and actually slow regrowth. Also grazing restrictions. This is especially troublesome on intramountain west grasslands. The current BLM regulations block grazing for three years after a fire, however, the science doesn’t support this approach.
    Limited grazing the next spring promotes native grasses and represses annual weeds. One of the most problematic is cheat grass which goes dormant fairly early and turns into perfect dry kindling. The fires knock back the native bunch grasses allowing cheat grass to expand and it often results in new fires before the three year moratorium is up. Grazing cheap grass, one of the first grasses to green up and fairly nutritious when young, in early spring helps promote bunch grasses while reducing cheat grass growth. The local BLM managers are usually aware of this but DC refuses to change the regulations. The same can be said about salvage cuts and grazing in National Forests and the USFS policies.
    If you want to see how the current salvage and grazing regulations hamper forest recovery you can visit western Montana or Northern Idaho and compare state or private owned land to national forests. The former doesn’t abide by the same regulations but recovers much quicker after fires and generally the fires are less devastating. They also produce revenue while NF cost revenue. And I’ve talked to a number of wildlands firefighters who have stated their preference is to fight the fires on adjacent state and private forests and grasslands rather than NF or BLM, because it is safer and easier to get under control.

    1. The trees and grasslands on state and private grasslands and forests in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana are healthier and have less fuel. Fires burn slower and less intensively. They also burn cooler, which doesn’t destroy the soil microbes.

      1. You seem fairly knowledgeable about this subject. You a rancher or related to one?

        1. Rancher. Grew up in Northern Idaho, live in Eastern Montana. Have a M.S. in animal science and took extensive range management training. I also am a agricultural professor. My FIL was a wildlands firefighters for 30+ years, and my best friend was a fire chief in North Idaho. My BIL works for the state of Idaho as a forest manager in Central Idaho, and my Cousin’s husband is a forest manager for USFS in central Idaho. Both have M.S. in forestry. My wife’s baby brother is a biologist for Idaho Fish and Game, and has a M.S. in wildlife management with a focus on large ungulate management and is stationed in Eastern Idaho (after being stationed in Central Idaho). My family has lived in Idaho since the 19th century and was heavily involved with the logging, mining and agricultural industries.

          1. I’m not seeing any gender identity and diversity inclusiveness certifications in your credentials list. You’re obviously not qualified to be commenting on federal policy.

            1. I am on the Autism spectrum, does that work? Shrugs.

            2. Both of my range management professors in college were females, maybe that works. Not sure how this whole diversity certification works???

              1. Ha, I’m not sure anybody does.

                1. On a less sarcastic note. Thanks for your comments on this board, interesting stuff.

                  I’ve done a little work with prescribed burns, and took some range management classes in college, but it was all flatlander, tallgrass prairie stuff. The mountains are a mystery to me, fascinating though.

                  1. I live on the short grass prairies (actually it’s mixed as I am just north of the demarcation line of the tall grass prairies) but took my range science classes at University of Idaho where we focused on intramountain west bunch grass ranges.

                    1. Gotcha, mostly big and little bluestem and Indian grass where I was at.

                      I worked for the K-State biology department on a tallgrass preserve when I was in school. It was broken up by watersheds and each one on different grazing (bison, cattle, or none) and burn (spring, fall, annual to 20 yr, etc) schedules. It’s amazing the difference either/both of those variables make on adjacent pieces of ground… flora, fauna, and soil constituency/microbes.

                    2. Little bluestem, buffalo grass some big blue stem but rare. Growing up it was Idaho Fescue that dominated native grasslands.

        2. I haven’t just read about it, I’ve lived the change since the late 1970s to today. Fires were slower, smaller and cooler when I was a kid, today they are devastating. Forests were open and healthy, dead trees a rarity. Today you can’t drive through the Bitterroots without seeing stands of dead trees on almost every mountainside. Elk and deer and bighorn numbers are declining where once they were all growing. Grouse numbers are way down. When I was a kid, grouse were plentiful. We called them road chickens because of how plentiful and easy they were to hunt. When I moved back to Idaho in 2012 and took my sons on their first hunts, we couldn’t find a grouse, were once I limited out in less than an hour. The forests are thicker. It’s extremely sad to see.

  8. At a grazing and winter feeding program I attended a few years ago our keynote speaker nailed it. The problem is to many people who live in urban areas and don’t understand forest and range management. They have an idealistic view of how “nature” should look, and to them logging and grazing cattle are not part of that picture. They visit National Forests and Parks and think that nature should be preserved with no human interactions. They’re convinced that the proper way is to leave it to nature, without understanding that what they consider natural really isn’t. The dominant tree in the western Bitterrots for example was the western white pine and Western Red Cedar. These trees produced huge cathedral forests with little underbrush and low density. The local tribes would periodically burn areas to create habitat for deer and elk and they also used burns to flush deer and elk into holding pens to hunt them. This further kept forests low density with little underbrush.
    Today’s forests, ever since Clinton majority curtailed logging on National public lands, and Obama doubled down on this policy (Bush tried to return to a more historically average, low density forests) has resulted in high density forests. This reduces habitat for almost all animals, especially grazing animals like bighorns, deer and elk, as well as upland species such as grouse and hares. It also stresses the trees making them far more susceptible to disease and insects. Unstressed trees are usually resilient and can absorb some damage from insects and disease, but stressed trees tend to die off. So the result is high density, diseases and insect damaged and killed trees with thick underbrush. This results in bigger, faster and hotter fires. These fires devastate rather than renew the forests. They sterilize the soil microbes biota and promote soil erosion, while actually decreasing water quality and kill huge numbers of wildlife. In slower fires, wildlife can generally get away, but in today’s fast moving hot fires, they are overcome and die. My FIL was a wildlands firefighters for over 30 years with the USFS. He said when he started in the late 1970s it was rare to find dead deer in burnt areas by the time he retired around 2012, he said not only wasn’t it rare, it was the norm. And the number of dead deer and elk was devastating.
    My BIL and my Cousin’s husband both are forest managers. The former works for the state of Idaho, while the latter works for USFS, both in Central Idaho in the western Bitterroots. They’ve fought on the same fires and both tell the same story, the last fire they fought, they pulled back from NF land because it was moving to fast and hot, and fought it on Idaho forest land, it was just to dangerous to try and control on the NF land.

    1. Who remembers the beetle climate panic? Turned out the bark beetle infestations were driven by the unnaturally dense forests Soldiermedic describes.

      1. Exactly. And they have devastated the Northern Rockies. Whenever I drive home to see my parents on the Palouse and I drive through the forests I grew up hunting and fishing in, they don’t look at all like what I remember.

    2. thanks SM76 lots of us have been saying this but like myself have no degree to back up our claims that are based on natural knowledge. grow to much of something and it get stressed and diseased or beetles. Yes the climate is changing but we still need to maintain the land, just reducing carbon fuel usage and taxing won’t solve a maintnence problem.
      Are there good reference books that you could recommend for average people

      1. Actually the books 1491 and 1493 both address this topic to a degree albeit that isn’t their main focus. They also dispell many myths about American Indians and even slavery in the west. And they were written by a left of center reporter.

          1. Also you could try some periodicals such as Beef Magazine and Western Cattleman for journalistic articles that reference scientific articles.

            1. On a side a number of the writers for Beef magazine are progresses at some of the top rated colleges of natural sciences and colleges of agriculture. The very people who are the scientific experts. And many of their staff writers have degrees in range management or animal science.

              1. “First put out the Fire” by James Petersen is another book on this subject.

    3. Just to add a bit of forest science trivia, some trees, like the ponderosa pine, will not drop seeds until after a fire burns underneath and triggers the cones to release. Makes you kinda thing that periodic fires are very natural.

      1. Yeah. Small, slow burning, cooler fires. These massive fires actually kill ponderosa seeds and lodgepole pine seeds.

    4. Its not just that they have a distorted view of what nature is, they also have a distorted view of what no human interaction means

      Fires a natural part of the forest cycle but when small fires are extinguished or prevented from spreading as far as they otherwise would have naturally, areas of the forest that should have been burned and recycled are left to die and ultimately just make for an even larger fire next time

      Some trees even require the heat of a fire to activate their seeds. When fires are extinguished these trees can’t reproduce, which changes the makeup of the forest and may also make it more susceptible to larger fires

  9. You think this is bad. Wait until the day after election day. One side is going to go apeshit.

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  11. Forest fires are the way nature replenishes, and expands its growth, by turning overgrowth into useful chemicals to feed regrowth. Few forests survive long term with man’s overreaching arm, interfering with millions of years of natural growth management by the forests, and its inhabitants. It would be better were forest ‘managers’ able to limit human habitation in dangerous areas. To continue would do nothing but reveal man’s lack of knowledge of nature’s doings.

    1. Bullshit. Managed forests are healthy. Unmanaged forests are stressed and diseased. The science if clear on this. And man has been “managing” forests for using controlled burns and such since before Hominids had evolved into Homo-Sapiens. Complete unscientific rubbish.

      1. Charles Mann wrote an interesting perspective in 1491, summarizing many archeologists and anthropologists who interpret the Americas as pretty heavily populated–and pretty completely modified by human activity (you know, those noble natives who lived in tune with nature)–before the evil Europeans arrived.

        1. I love that book. I referenced it above to Ron. Yes, the Coeur d’Alene tribes and Spokane tribes (tribes I grew up with, lived on the CDA reservation) used to burn the white pine forests to clear the land to promote areas for elk and deer to graze. They also used burns to herd elk and deer into holding areas to be killed. The northern plains tribes such as the Assiniboine, Sioux, Mandan, Cree, Blackfoot, Crow etc would burn the prairies to promote grass growth and attract buffalo to preferred hunting areas. The laughable myth that American Indians didn’t manage or alter their landscape for their benefit still persists despite historical and archeological evidence to the contrary.

        2. 1493 also does a good job of dispelling a number of myths about slavery in the west and also does a good description of Chinese culture and how China has gotten to where it is now.

          1. Are those the book titles?

            1. Yes. 1491 and 1493 are books written by science journalist Charles Mann that looks at the Americas before Columbus (1491) and how Columbus’s discovery has impacted the world since (1493). Both have a little bit of a leftist narrative but we’ll researched and well written. And avoids most trope.

              1. My book queue is getting short; they just got ordered. Grazie.

                1. You’re welcome. Good reads. I am actually going to re read them after I finish re reading the Lost Fleet Series. Just finished the Expanse series and they still haven’t released the new novel yet (and final novel dmaniy

                  1. Actually going to re read them after I finish re reading the Lost Fleet Series (new book this fall yay). Still waiting on the new (and last, boo) Expanse novel.

                    1. Suffice to say that I’m of an age where novels are a ‘luxury’; non-fiction is pretty much taking up my time and shelf space.
                      Aside: “Comanche Nation” was recommended here and is now recommended by me. A non-PC look at south-west Amer-Indian culture, organization, actions, and power.

                    2. I’ll check it out. Another recommendation is The Irish General which reexamines Thomas Meagher’s life and his role in the Blackfoot wars. And Blood on the Marias: The Baker Massacre. Both are written by Montana historian Paul Wylie. Stephen Ambrose’s Crazy Horse and Custer is also an interesting read and dispells a lot of myths about both characters.

    2. I have discussed at length why your conclusions are wrong upthread. My conclusions are based upon best available scientific understanding of range and forest management, as well as historical evidence.

    3. BTW there is nothing natural about the current wildfires as the forests are way thicker, with far more underbrush than what is considered a “natural” state of forests. This means fires burn extremely hot and fast, destroying rather than renewing forests (the same goes for grassland ranges). “Natural” fires historically were slow burning, and cooler, and far less devastating. Modern fires sterilize the shallow topsoil, killing the natural micrbiota necessary for healthy plant life. Fires in managed forests burn more naturally, cooler and slower moving, renewing the soil. Unmanaged forests today are not natural. Managed forests are much closer to what historically forests once were, low density, with little underbrush.

      1. “…with far more underbrush than…”

        AKA “kindling”

          1. Just a small story.

            Was in Kentucky in the forest on a family camping trip this past weekend. We stopped for lunch in a picnic area. There was a trail leading up to where a fire had recently happened. Not a very large one.

            The six year old is the young scientist. She looks at and observes everything sometimes taking samples for later observation.

            So she was doing that and asking questions. Her mother looked and said “see. There are some things you cannot learn in school”.

            1. Exactly. Come to the west and look at the difference in forest and rangeland on private, state and national lands, especially after fires.

      2. Thanks for the free lecture. Really.

        Learn something new every day.

        1. Sorry about the lecture. This is a passion of mine because I’ve seen what decades of mismanagement at the behest of so called environmentalist have done to the grasslands and forests I grew up with. Not to mention the local economies. I joke with my wife that it is a good thing I didn’t take range management classes until my last two semesters of grad school or I might have changed my major again (went back to school in my 30s and was married with kids and it took a definite toll on our budget).

  12. For reasons of her own, wife watches TV news. She knows my views on the causes of the huge fires, and just mentioned that a UC prof was interviewed; he mentioned that ‘as long as CA keeps it’s current logging regs, we can continue to look forward to fires of this sort every year’.
    Well, dog my cats!!!!!!
    Followed almost immediately by a Biden ad whining that Trump’s statements regarding CS’s mis-management of the forests amounts to ‘forest arson’; here’s your hat, Joe, what’s your hurry?

    1. Or better Bill Engvel “here’s your sign”.

  13. At the moment, now, for just the second time on record, the Atlantic has five simultaneous hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions, as Hurricane Paulette, Hurricane Sally, Tropical Storm Teddy, Tropical Storm Vicky, and Tropical Depression Rene all roamed the waters. Which are the federal regulations, however well intentioned, are responsible for this?

    1. Nothing completely stupid response.

    2. What a fucking idiotic (and expected) question.
      “Weather” causes that sort of stuff.

      1. “Weather” causes that sort of stuff.”

        Weather is a Chinese hoax.

        1. And you, predictably, post bullshit.

          1. I remember witnessing the fires that were burning south east asia a dozen years of so ago. I passed through some mountain side roads with flames on both sides. But the darkened skies and soot at all times of the day reminded me of Mordor, bastion of the evil lord Sauron, in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
            http://library.lol/fiction/1DEF866A75E07E359054C182BEA8C89D

            1. I remember you proving you’re a fucking ignoramus:

              mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
              “Spouting nonsense is an end in itself.”

              My comment it relevant, yours is so much bullshit.

  14. BTW, a noted right-wing publication had this to say about the issue:

    “A Century of Fire Suppression Is Why California Is in Flames”
    […]
    “…For more than a century, people have been snuffing out fire across the West. As a result, forests, grasslands and shrub lands like those in the Bouverie reserve are overgrown. That means that, when fire escapes suppression, it’s more destructive. It kills more trees, torches more homes and sends far more carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change…”
    Guess the source, especially luddite shits like trueman.

    1. Sierra Club?

      1. If it was I would like a word with them about their role in ending forest management practices such as logging and controlled burns.

        1. I was hoping for trueman or Tony to guess ‘wattsupwiththat’ or similar.
          It’s Mother Jones:
          https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/12/a-century-of-fire-suppression-is-why-california-is-in-flames/
          Yep, even Mother Jones admits that Trump knows of what he speaks, while Biden’s handlers are ‘confused’.

          1. Good article, though the didn’t mention logging as a possible solution and only mentioned grazing in passing.

    2. “That means that, when fire escapes suppression,”

      The question, of course, is why did they decide to let this fire escape suppression, knowing the disastrous consequences, and who is this ‘they’ so we can fire his ass and his lousy fire escape decisions?

      1. They didn’t let it escape suppression it happened because more fuel makes it harder to control. Fuck you are an idiot.

        1. “makes it harder to control”

          So who failed to control it and why isn’t he fired?

          1. Start with Clinton and moonbeam; they are ‘fired’, but they left their legacies behind and low-watt bulbs like you think there’s some magic here.
            Pathetic.

            1. “Start with Clinton and moonbeam”

              Non of these people were on the scene. None were responsible for suppressing fires. They are politicians. You’d do better blaming those who decided to let these fires go out of control by failing to suppress them. Given that these are democratically controlled forests, you might start blaming democrats.

              1. “Non of these people were on the scene. None were responsible for suppressing fires.”

                Correct. They were both responsible for the policies which made the fires both more likely and far more damaging.

                1. Why not blame those who are responsible for snuffing out the fires and have clearly failed miserably? What happened to accountability? These failing firefighters are union members and probably vote for politicians you dislike. That should help you with your finger pointing.

                  1. I guess you need some instruction here, since you obviously haven’t read anything about the recent fires:
                    Because of the forest mis-managment, the fires are now much hotter and faster-moving than they were in the past; not easily controlled by techniques used in the past.
                    If you have the expertise missing from those fighting the fires, I’m sure they’d appreciate hearing about it.
                    You don’t; you’re a lying sack of lefty shit.

          2. I would love to fire idiot environmentalist who have pushed for these policies despite being contrary to science.

            1. Shouldn’t you be blaming those responsible for preventing fires to escape suppression? We know that when fires go out of control, the results can be disastrous. Why are you so keen on politicians and environmentalists for the shoddy work done by those responsible for suppressing fires?

              1. “Shouldn’t you be blaming those responsible for preventing fires to escape suppression?”

                No, you should be blaming (and changing) the policies which MAKE them uncontrollable.

                1. “For more than a century, people have been snuffing out fire across the West. ”

                  That’s from the Mother Jones article. For more than a century, people have been snuffing out fires. Now they are failing to do so, and you blame policies that have been in place for more than a century,

                  1. I guess you need some instruction here, since you obviously haven’t read anything about the recent fires:
                    Because of the forest mis-managment, the fires are now much hotter and faster-moving than they were in the past; not easily controlled by techniques used in the past.
                    If you have the expertise missing from those fighting the fires, I’m sure they’d appreciate hearing about it.
                    You don’t; you’re a lying sack of lefty shit.

              2. “Fuck you are an idiot.”

                Can’t be said often enough.

          3. “So who failed to control it and why isn’t he fired?”

            This is tiresome; you are a fucking idiot.
            I guess you need some instruction here, since you obviously haven’t read anything about the recent fires:
            Because of the forest mis-managment, the fires are now much hotter and faster-moving than they were in the past; not easily controlled by techniques used in the past.
            If you have the expertise missing from those fighting the fires, I’m sure they’d appreciate hearing about it.
            You don’t; you’re a lying sack of lefty shit.

        2. “…is why did they decide to let this fire escape suppression,..”

          Do you post here to prove who stupid someone can be?
          The “decision” was nothing other than an acceptance that the fire (a result of both CA and Fed mis-management) could not be contained.
          Either you knew that and were hoping those who read your bullshit were stupid enough to buy your bullshit, or you are stupid enough to ‘feel’ that’s true.
          Pathetic…

          1. “The “decision” was nothing other than an acceptance that the fire (a result of both CA and Fed mis-management) could not be contained.”

            How is it that a fire ‘could not be contained?’ You ever hear of water?

            1. Gee, why not wishing for a genie to help out?

              1. For more than a century, people have been putting out fires in the west. Now, they are unable and are letting the fires go out of control. The firefighters need to be punished and replaced. But you think yammering on about Hillary will make the fires go away somehow.

                1. If you have the expertise missing from those fighting the fires, I’m sure they’d appreciate hearing about it.
                  You don’t; you’re a lying sack of lefty shit.

  15. Read long enough ago that the source is now a mystery; maybe McPhee and possibly limited to Eastern US forests?:
    Forests typically begin as meadows, progress through grasslands to various stages of tree species to arrive at ‘pinnacle’ forests (or something like that) which typically exist until they are burned to the ground.
    Regardless, when someone refers to ‘the balance of nature’, they might just as well start spouting nonsense about ‘mother earth’; both are religious concepts, not derived of observation.
    There is no ‘balance of nature’; it is constantly in flux. Yellowstone and Yosemite are rural Disneylands.

    1. ” it is constantly in flux”

      It’s a matter of speed. The flux in a region like the Amazon is faster than the flux of the Sahara. More flux is good for humans and creatures who benefit from and exploit differentials in the flux.

      1. Did you have an intended POV or just some bullshit? I’m guessing the latter.

        1. Flux means change. Humans benefit from environments with more flux than otherwise.

          1. Thank you, Mr. Obviousman.
            Why did you waste time posting that?

  16. And who’s responsible for NEPA? Pretty much every libturhd living in the affected areas. Don’t expect me to cry about their chickens coming home to roost and roast.

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

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  18. Hamilton’s rule says discrimination is biological. People prefer their kin. A non-racist government might be possible. Non-racist humans are out of the question.

    1. “Non-racist humans are out of the question.”

      What if their kin are of another race?

  19. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. There is on average 50 times as much of it in the atmosphere as CO2. Explain how CO2 is dominant.

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  21. You do know, I hope, that one of the authors on that Nature Sustainability report you cite is Christopher Field, a co-chair on the IPCC and one of our preeminent climate scientists. Yes, he believes there are things we can do to help mitigate harmful effects from climate change, like planned burns. Know what else he believes? That it’s man-made climate change making these things worse every year, and that in addition to doing all you can with mitigation, you better also address the elephant in the room, climate change.

    But that’s right. Libertarians. Need to ignore climate change. Like Trump has said:
    “It will start getting cooler. You just watch. I don’t think science knows actually.”
    No wonder everyone here loves this idiot…he fits libertarian mindset about science perfectly.

    1. “That it’s man-made climate change making these things worse every year, and that in addition to doing all you can with mitigation, you better also address the elephant in the room, climate change.”

      Please tell us how climate change must be addressed IN SPECIFICS, and how soon we can expect those efforts to bare fruit.
      As a lefty shit, I’m pretty sure I’ll get nothing or impossible solutions or just plain irrelvancies.

    2. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. There is on average 50 times as much of it in the atmosphere as CO2. Explain how CO2 is dominant.

      Or do we need to start draining the oceans?

    3. I see you’ve yet to offer anything other than arm-waving to propose what addressing CC could accomplish WRT the fires.
      As predicted; lefty shit spouting lefty lies.

  22. Want a true libertarian analysis of what’s occurring in the west? Go to the Niskanen Center, which clearly shows that you better address forest management AND climate change:

    “Our ability to mitigate the risks associated with extreme fires, and their effects on communities, lives, and the environment, depends in part on why these fires are increasing in the first place. The underlying causes of wildfire cannot be reduced to a simplistic dichotomy between climate change and management. Solutions to the growing wildfire problem must be multifaceted and location-based. They must include an aggressive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, ecologically appropriate fuel management that incorporates indigenous knowledge, consideration of local communities and resources, and strategies for living with fire.”

    It doesn’t, as is a must here, ignore fossil fuels and climate change. https://www.niskanencenter.org/megafires-climate-change-or-land-management/

    1. “…It doesn’t, as is a must here, ignore fossil fuels and climate change…”

      Please tell us how climate change must be addressed IN SPECIFICS, and how soon we can expect those efforts to bare fruit.
      As a lefty shit, I’m pretty sure I’ll get nothing or impossible solutions or just plain irrelvancies.

    2. Could you explain something to me?

      Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. There is on average 50 times as much of it in the atmosphere as CO2. Explain how CO2 is dominant.

      1. I’ll keep it brief and let American Chemical Society explain it in the link.
        Yes, water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas.
        Yes, it contributes to global warming.
        Water vapor would remain fairly constant over time with 1 exception.
        The problem is that it increases with rising temperatures.
        The thing that has changed greatly over time is the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere from man made activities, thus raising temperatures. Thus increasing water vapor.
        https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/climatesciencenarratives/its-water-vapor-not-the-co2.html

        1. I see you’ve yet to offer anything other than arm-waving to propose what addressing CC could accomplish WRT the fires.
          As predicted; lefty shit spouting lefty lies.

  23. Not that it would matter in the slightest if the feds relaxed the Clean Air Act. Some lefty in Kalifornia would sue before the preventive burn plan ink was dry.

  24. If Trump would talk about this instead of raking the forest floor, he would be on to something.

    But Trump is a moron.

    1. Gee, what do you think he’s talking about, you ignoramus?

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