U.S. forest fires versus climate model predictions

While we have one of the lowest US fire seasons to date on record so far…

screenhunter_1655-aug-04-06-59[1](Data at right from National Interagency Fire Center plotted by Tony Heller)

…we have this special report based on “…numerous predictions that wildfires—especially in the West—will get larger, more intense, and increasingly hard to contain with climate change,”.

The Interaction of Climate Change, Fire, and Forests in the U.S.
Special Journal Section Provides Regional Assessments

Asheville, NC — A special section of the September issue of Forest Ecology and Management, available online now, assesses the interactions among fire, climate change, and forests for five major regions of the United States.

The editors of the section—Drs. Chelcy Miniat from the U.S. Forest Service, Monique Rocca from Colorado State University, and Robert Mitchell (now deceased) from the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center—started the project by organizing teams of scientists from the Forest Service and universities to provide scientific input into the third National Climate Assessment (NCA), which is prepared at least every four years to assess the effects of climate change on sectors, resources, and regions of the United States.

“The idea for the section came from conversations I had with Bob Mitchell when I was working with the U.S. Global Change Research Program a few years ago,” said Miniat, project leader with the Forest Service Southern Research Station. “We quickly realized that the ability to manage wildfires and to use fire as a tool would be affected by climate change and that this interaction needed more attention in the next round of assessments. We wanted to tailor this information for forest managers.”

Articles in the special section review the interactions between climate and fire in five different regions of the U.S—the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. Each article follows the same general structure, providing a description of the region and its forest types; discussion of projected changes in climate and how they will likely impact fire and forests; and a synthesis of what is known about the effects of fire on forest ecosystem services such as water quantity and quality, air quality, and biodiversity.

“The growing interest in fire and climate has been fueled by numerous predictions that wildfires—especially in the West—will get larger, more intense, and increasingly hard to contain with climate change,” said Rocca. “Understanding the complex relationships among climate, fire, and vegetation is critical to the ability of policymakers and resource managers to respond to climate change. Our goal in these articles is not only to provide the best available science, but also to inform the conversation on how forest management choices can impact the valuable services we derive from our forests.”

Access the articles included in the special issue.

- See more at: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/news/572#sthash.pJRuAkna.dpuf

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55 thoughts on “U.S. forest fires versus climate model predictions

  1. “The growing interest in fire and climate has been fueled by numerous predictions that wildfires—especially in the West—will get larger, more intense, and increasingly hard to contain with climate change,”

    And what were the predictions due to other causes, such as Smokey The Bear’s fire suppression policies?

  2. I’ve been wondering for quite some time when the federal government is going to start taxing those states with forest fires for all that CO2 they are emitting. I’m sure any decrease in forest fires will be accounted for improved forest fire fighting technology. there is absolutely no way that any prediction made by a “climate scientist” could be wrong. Their words should all be written in red.

  3. Just to be sure I understand the graph: Is the data for 2014 partial or “projected” ? Is it approprate to combine partial years with full years on a graph? What part of the year exactly are the bulk of the wildfires in the US?

  4. Because of the environmentalists’ constant meddling with well-established practices of regular forest / bush burnoffs, we get more fires that are larger and harder to contain because of an abundance in fuel. Then they turn around and say that we get more fires because of climate change.

    can’t type any more; it will become a rant…

  5. Since CO2 results in more plant growth, I would have expected higher CO2 levels to result in more and bigger fires. All other things being equal, which they never are.

  6. In the early 1980s, the frequency of fires in the U.S. dropped dramatically and remained low ever since. At the same time, the number of acres burned has increased dramatically, thereby giving a “hockey stick” appearance. The drop in fires around 1981 may be due to a great increase in both winter and summer precipitation. Precipitation is greatly influenced by the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) cycle. The short-term effect would be to suppress fires, but the longer-term effect would be to increase biomass fuel available for burning when things got drier. A change in forest management under the Endangered Species Act, i.e, lack of forest thinning may be contributory. See more: http://wryheat.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/wildfires-and-warming-relationship-not-so-clear/

  7. FS was given the climate inputs, they did not generate them. Even though the overview and each of the 5 regions is paywalled ($35 each, despite being done by the US Forest service using out tax dollars) the main points are summarized the various abstracts. Read them all Hotter and drier for longer summers would increase western forest fire frequency (duh!), but not northern, eastern, or southeastern frequency. Solution is more prescribed burns to limit fuel load buildup. Pretty benign stuff being fed by the FS to the Warmunist PR machine.

  8. Neil says:
    August 5, 2014 at 10:50 am
    Because of the environmentalists’ constant meddling with well-established practices of regular forest
    ______

    This is news to me. Many environmentalists favor a policy or regular “controlled” burns–which they often ignite. However, they do seem to oppose the harvesting of trees, dead or alive.

  9. I haven’t bought any of the detailed reports/studies but from what I’ve read here, it looks like the various authors were specifically warned against using the term “warming.” Only “change.” Yet most of the predictions would seem to result from warming being on the authors’ minds. Did any author or investigator include cooling as a possible feature of climate change? Seems not.

    And the Pause marches on.

  10. Dr Monica Rocco, CSU:
    “The growing interest in fire and climate has been fueled by numerous predictions that wildfires—especially in the West—will get larger, more intense, and increasingly hard to contain with climate change,” said Rocca. “Understanding the complex relationships among climate, fire, and vegetation is critical to the ability of policymakers and resource managers to respond to climate change. ”

    Translation: Give me a generous multi-year grant award to provide a Climate Change-confirming study and papers.

  11. Report on a recent conversation with a forester of the US Forest Service.

    The fires are fewer and this is the measure of success of the control of forest fires. Success, however, has its price: the growth of understory timber that normally would have been eliminated as seedlings by the regular processes of nature- forest fires!

    So what is wrong with understory timber? It is responsible for the huge, uncontrollable conflagrations that we see. It acts as a “fire ladder” that allows the fire to move to the upper canopy and it is the conflagration of this that makes the uncontrollable fires.

    So this is the present situation after decades
    of successful fire management. It is a real problem and of course the alarmists will seize upon the problem and shrill global warming and add to the problem, sort of like having to deal with the Southern Pine Beetle you can’t stop it, you just have to live with it.

  12. PhilCP says:
    August 5, 2014 at 10:49 am
    “Just to be sure I understand the graph: Is the data for 2014 partial or “projected” ? Is it approprate to combine partial years with full years on a graph? ”

    Apples to apples. No years are full years; they are all partial years through August 1. The data being compared for every partial year are “US Burn Acreage Though August 1″ as the label on the graph indicates.

  13. What is causing all these algae blooms in the news the last few years? All kinds of ideas, including smoke from forest fires, but mainly investigations are possibly wrong or inconclusive. Even blames cold winters killing off the good algae and of course… climate change, agw.

  14. There is no question that increasing CO2 is causing a booming biosphere, increasing plant growth/vegetative health as well as increasing crop yields/world food production significantly.

    These effects are occurring globally and for almost all plant species, with woody stemmed plants benefiting the most.

    Regards to forecast fires.

    1. There is no evidence that increasing CO2 is causing an increase in the “number” of forest fires.
    2. However, it seems logical to assume that fuel for forest fires is increasing, so they should be getting larger and more intense.

    So, is this a reason to cut back on CO2 emissions?

    Good analogy with another fuel, gasoline.

    Your car needs plenty of fuel. Increasing the amount of gasoline, allows your car to go farther and farther…………but we put the fuel in the tank of the vehicle and control how, when and where it gets burned so it serves us properly.
    Outside of the tank, as used as a fuel it can be very dangerous/burned in a harmful way, so we take extraordinary measures to use it where it serves us.

    With CO2, we can use it to produce much more fuel, in the form of growing food for humans. Other animals are also served as they eat plants or another animal that ate plants too.

    CO2, causes plants/vegetation to increase. Additional fuel for forest fires to burn. Though it’s not as easy as confining gasoline to a fuel tank, we know what this fuel can do to feed fires when not controlled and can take steps to lessen(not eliminate) the risk from this fuel being burned in a harmful way.

    This way, the massive increase in plants from increasing CO2 are used to serve us and the animal world, while taking measures to lessen(as best possible) the downside of this same fuel, when used by forest fires.

    Realistically, we should ask this question, in view of the fact that we can’t control many forecast fires.
    Is an increase in the world food supply of roughly 15% that effects billions of people more important or is an increase of X% in the size of some forest fires more important?

    Also, consider that increased CO2 allows burned forests and other vegetation to recover much faster.

  15. James Strom says:

    This is news to me. Many environmentalists favor a policy or regular “controlled” burns–which they often ignite. However, they do seem to oppose the harvesting of trees, dead or alive.

    Come to Australia. The rabid Greens there argue tooth-and-nail that fires are bad – never mind that some trees require regular fires to germinate.

  16. And no mention of arson, thought to be a factor in two recent large fires in southern Colorado,

  17. Here are the ten worst wildfires that caused the most damage & loss of life in U.S. history:

    1871
    Oct. 8–14, Peshtigo, Wis: over 1,500 lives lost and 3.8 million acres burned in nation’s worst forest fire.

    1889
    June 6, Seattle, Wash.: fire destroyed 64 acres of the city and killed 2 people. Damage was estimated at $15 million.

    1894
    Sept. 1, Minn.: forest fires ravaged over 160,000 acres and destroyed 6 towns; 600 killed, including 413 in town of Hinckley.

    1902
    Sept., Wash. and Ore.: Yacoult fire destroyed 1 million acres and left 38 dead.

    1910
    Aug. 10, Idaho and Mont.: fires burned 3 million acres of woods and killed 85 people.

    1918
    Oct. 13–15, Minn. and Wis.: forest fire struck towns in both states; 1,000 died, including 400 in town of Cloquet, Minn. About $1 million in losses.

    1947
    Oct. 25–27, Maine: forest fire destroyed part of Bar Harbor and damaged Acadia National Park. In all, 205,678 acres burned and 16 lives were lost.

    1949
    Aug. 5, Mann Gulch, Mont.: 12 smokejumpers—firefighters who parachuted near the fire—and 1 forest ranger died after being overtaken by a 200-ft wall of fire at the top of a gulch near Helena, Mont. Three smokejumpers survived.

    1956
    Nov. 25, Calif.: fire destroyed 40,000 acres in Cleveland National Forest and caused 11 deaths.

    1970
    Sept. 26, Laguna, Calif.: large-scale brush fire consumed 175,425 acres and 382 structures.

    None from the 20-year natural warming period, c. 1977-96, before the “pause” or during it, c. 1997-2013 & counting.

  18. Here are the five worst during the recent warming & “pause”. Arguably some could fit in the top ten, depending upon which factors you consider, & how you adjust cost damages:

    1988
    Aug.–Sept., western U.S.: fires destroyed over 1.2 million acres in Yellowstone National Park and damaged Alaska woodlands.

    1990
    June, Santa Barbara, Calif.: Painted Cave fire burned 4,900 acres and destroyed 641 structures.

    1991
    Oct. 20–23, Oakland–Berkeley, Calif.: brush fire in drought-stricken area destroyed over 3,000 homes and apartments. At least 24 people died; damage estimated at $1.5 billion.

    1994
    July 2–11, South Canyon, Colo.: relatively small fire (2,000 acres) led to deaths of 14 firefighters.

    2000
    April–May, northern N.M.: prescribed fire started by National Park Service raged out of control, destroying 235 structures and forcing evacuation of more than 20,000 people. Blaze consumed an estimated 47,000 acres and threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  19. @Ed Martin , I am fairly certain that agricultural run off , high nitrogen and phosphorous compounds likely, are feeding the algae blooms.

  20. ” Ed Martin says:
    August 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    What is causing all these algae blooms in the news the last few years? All kinds of ideas, including smoke from forest fires, but mainly investigations are possibly wrong or inconclusive. Even blames cold winters killing off the good algae and of course… climate change, agw.”

    Of course the typical excuse is ‘agriculture’,but it is more likely to be lawns. There are more acres of lawns and golf courses in most of these areas than there are agricultural acres. Taking the recent Toledo bloom, for example…most of Ohio’s ag is a lot further south and drains to the south, Ohio/Mississippi drainage basin. Most of the lakeshore (going 10-20 miles inland) area drains into the lake and has a very high percentage of ‘lawn’.

  21. I don’t think there are may forst fires in Northern Africa despite the heat.
    The only way for there to be more fires is because the area is drying out- there was plenty of precipitatoin in the past to grow all those plants, but there’s less now, thanks to a warming and drying of the climate.

    Make the world really cold, as in the last ice age, and you get less evaporation from the 70% of the world covered by oceans, and less precipitation and more desert in the 30& of the world covered by land. Start increasing temperatures, and there’ll be more evaporation from the oceans, and more rainfall- about 30% or so of that rainfall will fall on land. Continue raising temperatures, you’ll continue to get more evaporation from the oceans, and more rainfall on land. There might be a shift in the horse latitudes due to climate change-and drying in those areas , but overall you’d get a wetter world less prone to drought and forest fires with a warmer world

  22. MJC, I’m not sure where you got your info about the lawns versus farrmland in Northwest Ohio, but it is simply not true. The Maumee watershed is an extremely large area and Northwest Ohio is almost entirely all farmland(I should know, we have many acreas of farmland bordering the Maumee River near Defiance, Oh). I wont bother regurgitating wikipedia info like it is my own, but the watershed is a very large area and I encourage you to look. We use filter strips along all waterways that drain into the maumee to lessen the fertilizer and soil run off. I am not claiing to be an expert of why Lake Erie is having its algae problems, but it has come and gone in the past so who know.

  23. I work in the forest in northern Alberta and the biggest factor in creating dangerous fire conditions is wind. Nothing dries out a forest faster than wind and nothing turns small fires into large ones like wind. Temperature and precipitation take a back seat.

  24. The latest issue of Men’s Journal also has an article about CAGW & fires. Perhaps based on same USFS paper ; I don’t know for sure because I couldn’t stomach to read it.

    And just what is CAGW & fires doing in Men’s Journal anyway ? I would be interested in the back story of how that got published.

    http://www.mensjournal.com/

  25. I noticed that nearly all these big fires occurred at sometime after Aug 1. Why do they choose this ending date when most fires, at least in my area of Cal. happen later in the fire season. We have had a number of moderate fires this year, but without the hoped for El Niño, I suspect our biggest fire this year is yet to come.

  26. I see retired engineer beat me to it. How many of those fires are man made? The Black Forrest area here in Colorado did not become a royal crown fire. It was the drift on the forest floor. It was a somewhat wet spring. The official line is somewhat murky on how the Waldo canyon, Black Forest, and Royal Gorge fires started, but most everyone believes that they were started by arson.

  27. “Historically, fire has been a frequent and major ecological factor in North America. In the conterminous United States during the preindustrial period (1500-1800), an average of 145 million acres burned annually. Today only 14 million acres(federal and non-federal) are burned annually by wildland fire from all ignitionsources. Land use changes such as agriculture and urbanization are responsible for50 percent of this 10-fold decrease. Land management actions including land
    fragmentation and fire suppression are responsible for the remaining 50 percent.”

    http://www.nifc.gov/PIO_bb/Policy/FederalWildlandFireManagementPolicy_2001.pdf

  28. OK…. but the number of large fires (over 1,000 acres) has risen since 1984, and the fire season has lengthened from 5 to 7 months. I’m glad fires are down, but it looks like you’re cherry-picking data here, Anthony. Not to mention the misleading headline… climate models do not predict forest fires.

  29. So, wild in the years 1500-1800 consumed 145 million acres annually; arond 1990′s – 14 million acres; from 2004-2013 – 4 million acres.

  30. R. Shearer says:
    August 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft5z09p09z&chunk.id=d0e101&toc.id=d0e101&brand=ucpress

    David Douglas, an English (actually Scottish) botanist who arrived in the Willamette Valley (western Oregon) in the autumn of 1826, noted of the aftermath of burning, “Most parts of the country burned; only in little patches and on the flats near the low hills that verdure is to be seen.” A few days later he commented, “As I walked nearly the whole of the last three days, my feet are very sore from the burned stumps of low brush-wood and strong grasses.” Not only did the earliest European and Euro-American visitors and settlers in the Willamette Valley remark on the immediate effects of the Kalapuya’s use of fire, but they also left records of the actual process and scene of burning. On 15 September 1841, W.D. Brackenridge noted as he traveled out of the southern Willamette Valley, “day very fine but dense with smoke from prairies in vicinity.” Jesse Applegate, nephew of the more famous settler by the same name, left the following description of his family’s encounter with one of the last of the Kalapuya burnings, which occurred in the early 1840s:

    This season the fire was started somewhere on the South Yamhill, and came sweeping up through the Salt Creek gap. The sea breeze being quite strong that evening, the flames leaped over the creek and came down upon us like an army with banners. All our skill and perseverance were required to save our camp. The flames swept by on both sides of the grove; then quickly closing ranks, made a clean sweep of all the country south and east of us. As the shades of night deepened, long lines of flame and smoke could be seen. . . . On dark nights the sheets of flame and tongues of fire and lurid clouds of smoke made a picture both awful and sublime.[19]

  31. ” Winterrulz says:
    August 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    MJC, I’m not sure where you got your info about the lawns versus farrmland in Northwest Ohio, but it is simply not true.”

    I’m much more familiar with the Cleveland area…I haven’t been in Toledo in quite a while. Cuyahoga county is definitely NOT agricultural any longer.

    And in a way you make my point. Ag run off is strictly controlled, and has been for many years…urban/suburan run off from lawns is not. And in many areas, storm run off goes directly to the lakes/rivers.

  32. If you really want to get into the nuts and bolts of what causes forest fires and what makes them big, I have a challenge for you. Answer this question: Why is it that fires in the western states often burn out of control and defeat fire management but fires east of the Mississippi never burn out of control and never defeat fire management?

    I asked this question some two years ago and a resident of the Southwest gave a dynamite answer. He said that the factors that explain the differences are (1) population density (2) quality and number of access roads (3) quality and location of fire fighting resources and (4) relative difficulty of terrain.

    To make a long story short, in the western states fires can burn for some time before they are spotted because of low population density, once they are spotted access to them is difficult because the roads are relatively few, fire fighting equipment can travel some distance to reach a fire and, finally, the terrain is much more “up and down” than in the east.

    The great bonus question: How is some adaptation to climate change going to affect the critical challenges facing fire fighters in the West?

  33. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    There are practically no areas east of the Mississippi comparable to the national forests or BLM ranges of the West.

  34. I have been told that the Little Ice Age was a largely norther hemisphere affair. I have been told that the northern hemisphere has warmed in an unprecedented manner since around 1850. So here are the results from observations.
    Abstract – 2008
    Climate and wildfires in the North American boreal forest
    …Climate controls the area burned through changing the dynamics of large-scale teleconnection patterns (Pacific Decadal Oscillation/El Niño Southern Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation, PDO/ENSO and AO) that control the frequency of blocking highs over the continent at different time scales…
    ……Since the end of the Little Ice Age, the climate has been unusually moist and variable: large fire years have occurred in unusual years, fire frequency has decreased and fire–climate relationships have occurred at interannual to decadal time scales……

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2315.short

    ———————————
    Paper – 2008
    K.E Ruckstuhl et al
    Introduction. The boreal forest and global change

    ……In this issue, Macias & Johnson (2008) show that the frequency of these blocking highs in the North American boreal forest is controlled by the dynamics of large-scale teleconnection patterns (the Pacific Decadal Oscillation/El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation). They also note that warming itself is not a predictor of increased fires since, as shown in previous studies, fire frequency across the North American boreal forest decreased as the Little Ice Age came to an end in the late nineteenth century (Johnson 1992; Bergeron & Archambault 1993). The study by Macias & Johnson (2008) provides not only evidence for the link between decadal-scale changes in the teleconnection patterns (e.g. the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index) and the increased fire frequency in the late twentieth century but also an explanation of why the pattern of fire variability and fire-climate relationships changes at different time scales from centennial/decadal to interannual…..

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2243.short

    ———————————
    Abstract – 1998
    M.D. Flannigan et. al.
    Future wildfire in circumboreal forests in relation to global warming

    Despite increasing temperatures since the end of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1850), wildfire frequency has decreased as shown in many field studies from North America and Europe. We believe that global warming since 1850 may have triggered decreases in fire frequency in some regions and future warming may even lead to further decreases in fire frequency….

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2307/3237261/abstract

    doi:10.2307/3237261
    ———————————
    Abstract- September 1993
    Yves Bergeron et. al. – The Holocene
    Decreasing frequency of forest fires in the southern boreal zone of Québec and its relation to global warming since the end of the ‘Little Ice Age

    We present here evidence from fire and tree-ring chronologies that the post-’Little Ice Age’ climate change has profoundly decreased the frequency of fires in the northwestern Québec boreal forest.
    doi: 10.1177/095968369300300307
    ———————————
    Abstract – February 2000
    Henri D. Grissino Mayer et. al. – The Holocene –
    ….Century scale climate forcing of fire regimes in the American Southwest

    Following a centuries-long dry period with high fire frequency (c. AD 1400-1790), annual precipitation increased, fire frequency decreased, and the season of fire shifted from predominantly midsummer to late spring….

    http://hol.sagepub.com/content/10/2/213.short

    It’s always those darn observation

  35. Barry says:
    August 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Not to mention the misleading headline… climate models do not predict forest fires.

    Well, they predict warming and, in some locations, lower rainfall, which implies more fires there. The recent National Climate Assessment drew that obvious conclusion, I believe.

  36. milodonharlani says:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I am not sure what you are talking about. The second largest national forest system is in northwest Alabama. The Deep South is covered in forests.

    In any case, my point was not about the extent of forests but about the relative difficulties of fighting fires in them.

  37. milodonharlani says:
    August 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    You missed a big one.
    Haymen Fire, Colorado, June 8, 2002. 138,000 acres, several deaths, millions in lost property and suppression costs, started intentionally by a forest service employee, and since I was within 5 miles of ground zero when it started, quite spectacular to watch develop. The woman who started it plead guilty and was ultimately sentenced 15 years probation (wrist slap – bad killer, no cookie) and 1,000 hours community service.

  38. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    I’m talking about absolute number of acres & share of total by state.

    I don’t know what you mean by system. Number or area of national forests? Alabama’s national forest land isn’t a pimple on the ass of Western national forests, either in absolute terms or even by percentage of total.

    You’re right that there is a lot of private softwood land in the SE, & that it is flat & easily controlled & managed compared to the West, but even factoring in that acreage, there is no comparison to the public & private forest land in the West.

    Nearly half of Oregon’s 63 million acres, some 30 million, are forested. Of this total, 18 million acres, ie 60%, are federally owned. This is nearly the area of South Carolina. In contrast, the Southeast is mostly privately owned, with less than 10% of its land under public ownership. Alabama might well exceed this average.

  39. dp says:
    August 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    You’re right I should have included it, as CO’s largest fire. I’ve discussed it on this blog before, to support my point about intentional arson. The West Fork Complex last year was pretty close.

    I also didn’t mention the four worst known fires in Oregon history, which occurred between 1846 & 1868, burning 300K to a million acres each.

    I neglected the Great Michigan Fire of 1871, which happened about the same time as the Peshtigo Fire, both of which didn’t get the ink they deserved because of the contemporaneous Great Chicago Fire, all fanned by the same strong winds.

  40. milodonharlani says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Why are you talking about the total acreage of forests in the West? What does that have to do with anything? Are you thinking that each fire affects the entire forest acreage in the West? Take a pill, man.

  41. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I’m trying to understand your point.

    Single fires in the West have burnt more acreage than in all the national forests of Alabama, ie ~667,000 acres. One in Oregon burnt about a million acres.

    Your claim about National Forest System land in Alabama is not just wrong, but hilariously so. That’s my point.

  42. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    What did I say that was wrong? I never said Oregon was number one. Besides which, we’re talking wildfires. Add in public grasslands that burn & Oregon alone has more land susceptible to wildfires than GA & AL together, let alone the larger Western states.

  43. Found one example… Here is a deadly algae superbloom where it is undetermined what the cause is. Harsh winters is prominently mentioned. Recent forest fires are considered a strong possibility. Even smoke from west coast forest fires occasionally get mentioned as a possibility in the great lakes super blooms because the smoke travels that far away and drops (in rain). Like the ash fall from volcano eruption can cause plankton superbloom.

    http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/environment/lagoon/2014/05/03/indian-river-lagoon-went-wrong/8672245/

    These algae blooms are often toxic to people and critters. A lot of Florida wildlife are getting killed by superbloom of algae. A lot of critters died from cold in the last five years or so too, where far fewer were before.

    Record 829 Manatee Deaths in 2013 Puzzle Scientists

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140122-manatee-deaths-florida-red-tide-threats-endangered-species/

    Frosty Winter of 2010 Still Haunts Florida

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/the-frosty-winter-of-2010-stil/14597892

  44. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    If you really want to get into the nuts and bolts of what causes forest fires and what makes them big, I have a challenge for you. Answer this question: Why is it that fires in the western states often burn out of control and defeat fire management but fires east of the Mississippi never burn out of control and never defeat fire management?

    I asked this question some two years ago and a resident of the Southwest gave a dynamite answer. He said that the factors that explain the differences are (1) population density (2) quality and number of access roads (3) quality and location of fire fighting resources and (4) relative difficulty of terrain.

    So why has the Forest Service decided to stop maintaining logging roads in its forests, letting them fall into disuse when a tree (for example) falls across them?

    (Presumably this is the result of greenie indoctrination and pressure.)

  45. PS: I wonder if a decline in the number of usable logging roads has hurt some recent fire-fighting episodes.

  46. To add insult to injury, the actual current fire-proneness of US forests goes back to one of Roosevelt’s policies that implemented a forest management policy that made existing forests more amenable to sustain fires. Adding into the equation that these management policies took a while to roll out nation-wide plus the fact that population growth and/or urban sprawl has brought property closer to fire hazards this tallies so well with the increase in CO2 that it is suggestive of causation where only correlation may be at play.

  47. rogerknights says:
    August 6, 2014 at 12:09 am

    You, Sir, know what you are talking about. Logging roads are so politically incorrect.

  48. milodonharlani says:
    August 5, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    You write as if you are engaged in some kind of West-East competition. That line of thinking has nothing to do with anything I have written. If you find it necessary to continue your imaginary competition then please do not respond to my posts.

Comments are closed.