California’s government solely responsible for states forest management and wildfire debacle

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

The inept government, political and regulatory policies of California have clearly driven the present forest management calamitous conditions with that failure leading to disastrous wildfires throughout the state.

Those government and political leaders that are responsible for this situation that has been decades in the making have tried to conceal their incompetence by making scientifically unsupported propaganda claims that “climate change” caused this situation. These government driven problems are clearly identified in two recent reports – one by Cal Fire and the other by the California Legislative Analysts Office.

The state has established a huge gauntlet of regulatory agencies whose policies, procedures and actions have interfered with, misdirected, wasted and delayed the use of appropriate resources that have led to the present forest management and wildfire catastrophe.

Cal Fire has identified a series of high priority wildfire policy actions that need to be addressed and that reflect decades long policy inaction by the state which have led to the buildup of increasing wildfire risks that are responsible for the severity of recent California wildfires.


These actions are summarized in the report noted above and include the following assessments:

“Recognizing the need for urgent action, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-05-19 on January 9, 2019. The Executive Order directs the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), in consultation with other state agencies and departments, to recommend immediate, medium and long-term actions to help prevent destructive wildfires.

With an emphasis on taking necessary actions to protect vulnerable populations, and recognizing a backlog in fuels management work combined with finite resources, the Governor placed an emphasis on pursuing a strategic approach where necessary actions are focused on California’s most vulnerable communities as a prescriptive and deliberative endeavor to realize the greatest returns on reducing risk to life and property.

Using locally developed and vetted fire plans prepared by CAL FIRE Units as a starting point, CAL FIRE identified priority fuel reduction projects that can be implemented almost immediately to protect communities vulnerable to wildfire. It then considered socioeconomic characteristics of the communities that would be protected, including data on poverty levels, residents with disabilities, language barriers, residents over 65 or under five years of age, and households without a car.

In total, CAL FIRE identified 35 priority projects that can be implemented immediately to help reduce public safety risk for over 200 communities. Project examples include removal of hazardous dead trees, vegetation clearing creation of fuel breaks and community defensible spaces, and creation of ingress and egress corridors. These projects can be implemented immediately if recommendations in this report are taken to enable the work. Details on the projects and CAL FIRE’s analysis can be found online which will remain updated in the coming months. The list of projects is attached to this report as Appendix C.

CAL FIRE has also worked with over 40 entities including government and nongovernment stakeholders to identify administrative, regulatory and policy actions that can be taken in the next 12 months to begin systematically addressing community vulnerability and wildfire fuel buildup through rapid deployment of resources. Implementing several of these recommended actions is necessary to execute the priority fuel reduction projects referenced above. Other recommendations are intended to put the state on a path toward long-term community protection, wildfire prevention, and forest health.

The recommendations in this report, while significant, are only part of the solution. Additional efforts around protecting lives and property through home hardening and other measures must be vigorously pursued by government and stakeholders at all levels concurrently with the pursuit of the recommendations in this report. California must adopt an “all of the above” approach to protecting public safety and maintaining the health of our forest ecosystems.

It is important to note that California faces a massive backlog of forest management work. Millions of acres are in need of treatment, and this work— once completed—must be repeated over the years. Also, while fuels treatment such as forest thinning and creation of fire breaks can help reduce fire severity, wind-driven wildfire events that destroy lives and property will very likely still occur.

This report’s recommendations on priority fuel reduction projects and administrative, regulatory, and policy changes can protect our most vulnerable communities in the short term and place California on a trajectory away from increasingly destructive fires and toward more a moderate and manageable fire regime.”

Governor Newsom had to invoke the declaration of a State of Emergency in late March of this year to waive California’s onerous and overbearing environmental laws and regulations to allow for these actions to commence in a timely manner. These most recent actions however represent only very small part of magnitude of the forest management and wildfire problems that must be dealt with by California that will take many years to address.

Another state report completed in 2018 that received little attention by the media documents in much more detail the huge extent of the problems confronting California’s forest management responsibilities. 

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) conducted a comprehensive review of the state’s wildfire and forest management situation and presented their results in a report titled “Improving California’s Forest and Watershed Management” which identifies the most critical issues facing the state in these areas including assessing the responsible agencies that need to take a multitude of additional actions.


The study clearly identifies the multiple entities that have ownership responsibility for California’s forestlands including state, federal, local agencies and private parties having numerous regulatory, environmental and administrative responsibilities and authorities relative to California’s forest and the manner in which these agencies share jointly in the responsibilities for addressing actions needed to improve the forest health and watershed management.

The patchwork of Federal, State, local government and private entities which own California’s forest is displayed below in Figure 3 from the LAO report.


The federal government through the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service owns about 19 million acres of the total 33 million acres of forestlands in the state of California representing about 57% of the forest areas. Private nonindustrial entities own about one‑quarter (8 million acres) acres of forestland. These include families, individuals, conservation and natural resource organizations, and Native American tribes. Industrial owners—primarily timber companies—own 14 percent (4.5 million acres) of forestland. State and local governments own about a 3 percent (1 million acres) combined. In total these non-federal entities represent about 43% of the states forest areas.

Increased fire risks are present throughout the state driven by forest conditions that have been allowed to develop for years. The report notes that:

“Dense forest stands that are proliferated with small trees and shrubs contain masses of combustible fuel within close proximity, and therefore can facilitate the spread of wildfires. Moreover, these smaller trees can serve as “ladder fuels” that carry wildfire up into the crowns of taller trees that might have otherwise been out of reach, adding to a fire’s potential spread and intensity. As shown in Figure 11, Cal Fire estimates that most forested regions of the state face a high to extreme threat of wildfires. Cal Fire estimates the level of threat based on a combination of anticipated likelihood and severity of a fire occurring.”


“In addition to increasing fire risk, overcrowded forests and the associated competition for resources can also make forests less resilient to withstanding other stressors. For example, trees in dense stands become more vulnerable to disease—including infestations of pests such as bark beetles—and less able to endure water shortages from drought conditions. This vulnerability has been on display in recent years, as an estimated 129 million trees in California’s forests died between 2010 and 2017, including over 62 million dying in 2016 alone. While this is a relatively small share of the over 4 billion trees in the state, historically, about 1 million of California’s trees would die in a typical year. Moreover, most of the die‑off is occurring in concentrated areas. For example, the Sierra National Forest has lost nearly 32 million trees, representing an overall mortality rate of between 55 percent and 60 percent. When dead trees fall to the ground they add more dry combustible fuel for fires, as well as pose risks to public safety when they fall onto buildings, roads, and power lines.”

Specifically identified in the report is an extremely important requirement often ignored by those trying to assign or deny responsibility for California’s forest management problems on the basis of who owns these lands. This requirement stipulates that regardless of ownership of the numerous forest properties the following key provisions apply:  

“While forest management responsibilities typically align with ownership, natural processes—such as forest fires, water runoff, and wildlife habitats—do not observe those jurisdictional boundaries. As such, federal and state agencies have developed certain arrangements to collaborate on management activities across California’s forests. For example, federal law has a provision—known as the “Good Neighbor Authority”—that allows states to fund and implement forest health projects on federally owned land. As discussed later, the federal government also funds a number of grant programs to encourage collaborative projects on both federal and nonfederal forestlands. Additionally, federal and state agencies have established agreements for collaborative fire suppression efforts across jurisdictions when fires do occur.”

Both the state and federal government exercise extensive government and regulatory control over California forestland activities through numerous organizations as noted in Figure 6 from the report.


Additionally the state of California has a large number of regulatory agencies whose procedures and processes have significant impacts on the ability of actions to go forward in a timely and effective manner regarding necessary forest management efforts. These numerous agencies are defined in Figure 7 below.


Also addressed in the LAO analysis is a discussion of the huge backlog of forest lands requiring actions to restore forest health and decrease wildfire risks including 20 million acres on state regulated lands and 9 million acres of federally regulated lands noted as follows:

“The draft Forest Carbon Plan states that 20 million acres of forestland in California face high wildfire threat and may benefit from fuels reduction treatment. According to the plan, Cal Fire estimates that to address identified forest health and resiliency needs on nonfederal lands, the rate of treatment would need to be increased from the recent average of 17,500 acres per year to approximately 500,000 acres per year. The plan does not include associated cost estimates.”

“Based on its ecological restoration implementation plan, USFS estimates that 9 million acres of national forest system lands in California would benefit from treatment. The draft Forest Carbon Plan sets a 2020 goal of increasing the pace of treatments on USFS lands from the current average of 250,000 acres to 500,000 acres annually, and on BLM lands from 9,000 acres to between 10,000 and 15,000 acres annually.”

The report provides a definition of what functions, duties and responsibilities are associated with performing forest management actions as follows:

“Forest management” is generally defined as the process of planning and implementing practices for the stewardship and use of forests to meet specific environmental, economic, social, and cultural objectives. Activities forest managers employ include timber harvesting (typically for commercial purposes), vegetation thinning (clearing out small trees and brush, often through mechanical means or prescribed burns), and reforestation (planting new trees). Figure 5 describes specific activities that managers typically undertake to improve the health of forests. As discussed later, research has shown that these are the types of activities that are most effective at preserving and restoring the natural functions and processes of forests, and thereby maximizing the natural benefits that they can provide. Efforts to extinguish active wildfires are not generally considered to be forest management activities, as they are more responsive than proactive.”

The very poor forest conditions that exist today are a consequence of decades of inappropriate forest management neglect and are described as follows:

“As noted above, forest management practices and policies over the past several decades have (1) imposed limitations on timber harvesting, (2) emphasized fire suppression, and (3) instituted a number of environmental permitting requirements. These practices and policies have combined to constrain the amount of trees and other growth removed from the forest. This has significantly increased the density of trees in forests across the state, and particularly the prevalence of smaller trees and brush. Overall tree density in the state’s forested regions increased by30 percent between the 1930s and the 2000s.

These changes have also contributed to changing the relative composition of trees within the forest such that they now have considerably more small trees and comparatively fewer large trees. Figure 10 illustrates some key differences between healthy and overly dense forests. The increase in tree density can have a number of concerning implications for California’s forests—including increased mortality caused by severe wildfires and disease—as displayed in the figure and discussed below.”


The very important function of timber harvesting on both state and federal regulated forests has been particularly hard hit and is described in the LAO report as follows:

“Figure 4 shows the amount of timber harvested in California on both private and public lands over the past 60 years. While subject to annual variation, total timber harvesting in California has declined by over twothirds since the late 1950s. As shown in the figure, harvest rates have dropped from over 4.8 billion board feet in1988—its recent peak—to about 900 million in 2009, when it was at its lowest in recent history—a decline of over 80 percent.”


“These trends are due to a variety of factors, including changes in state and federal timber harvesting policies. For example, several federal laws were passed in the 1970s that shifted the USFS’s forest management objectives away from production forestry and more toward conservation and ecosystem management. Those laws included the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—which requires federal agencies to evaluate any actions that could have a significant effect on the environment—and the Endangered Species Act—which prohibits federal agencies from carrying out actions that might adversely affect a species listed as threatened or endangered. Environmental protection policies have also contributed to declines in private harvests, along with other factors. More recently, the economic recession in the late 2000s sharply reduced demand for new housing construction, thereby also suppressing demand for timber. Since 2009, timber harvesting rates have picked up somewhat, but have not returned to earlier levels.”

There are a significant number of state polices and practices which have exacerbated the ability to proceed with needed timber harvests noted as follows:

“We find that one key component of the state’s FPR (Forest Practice Rules) —that a THP (Timber Management Plan) or other timber management plan generally must be prepared any time timber is removed from the forest and sold commercially—may be inhibiting some beneficial forest restoration work. Restoration and forest management work often involves the removal of trees that could be commercially viable. When sold, the revenue generated from sales can help offset the cost of restoration activities.

However, selling any forest products commercially usually requires additional documentation, such as a THP. The FPR were initially created to regulate timber harvesting on private lands in order to ensure that logging was done in a sustainable manner. At the time, the Legislature was concerned that forests were being overharvested for commercial purposes. This led to the requirement that a THP be prepared anytime harvested trees are to be sold. However, based on our conversations with stakeholders, small landowners and proponents of forest restoration projects are finding that the costs and time associated with preparing one of these plans can be cost prohibitive. They therefore often forego preparing such plans, meaning they also forego the opportunity to earn revenues from selling any marketable timber. Foregoing that revenue reduces the total number of projects that can be undertaken with limited resources.

Solutions to address this concern have been attempted—most notably, the implementation of NTMP (Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan) and the more recent Working Forest Management Plan program, which have fewer planning requirements for smaller landowners and are valid for a longer time period compared to THPs. While these strategies reduce regulatory costs for landowners compared to preparing THPs, they still present substantial upfront costs that are problematic for some small landowners.”

The multitude of state agencies and regulators involved with reviews and approval authority have significantly inhibited needed forest management health activities as identified in the report as follows:

“While the multiple state permits required to carry out many forest health activities (described in Figure 7 on page 12) are intended to protect against undue negative environmental impacts, these requirements are likely inhibiting some of the potential positive environmental effects that improved forest health could yield. (Our findings and recommendations focus on state regulatory requirements, since federal laws and permits are beyond the scope of the state Legislature’s authority to change.)

Project proponents seeking to conduct activities to improve the health of California’s forests indicate that in some cases, state regulatory requirements can be excessively duplicative, lengthy, and costly, thereby delaying and limiting the pace and scale of their proposed projects. In particular, stakeholders suggest that undertaking largescale, multiphase treatments across many acres of forest land—referred to as “landscapelevel” projects—can be particularly difficult given existing permitting structures. This is because regulatory agencies often consider each phase of the work as a specific project needing an individual set of costly and timeintensive permits, rather than considering and approving the overall strategy.

Additionally, when entities want to use state funds to conduct a thinning project on federal forestlands, in certain cases they must conduct both the federally required NEPA review and certain components of the state required CEQA review, and undertake multiple public comment and scoping periods. As we discussed earlier, while certain permit exemptions and streamlined processes do exist—such as specific programmatic EIRs—these only apply for certain types of projects.”

The state agencies reviews of needed prescribed fire burn projects delay or encumber the ability to utilize this needed process noted in the report as follows:

“Several Limitations Constrain Use of Prescribed Fire. There are three main conditions that must be met in order for a prescribed burn to take place under VMP (Vegetation Management Program). First, all documentation—including a burn plan, CEQA compliance, and air quality permits—must be completed by the landowner and Cal Fire for the project in advance. Second, Cal Fire firefighters must be available in the same geographical area as the project in order to conduct the burn. Third, weather conditions and other factors—such as wind speed, humidity, temperature, and air quality—must be within specified limits established in the burn plan and air quality permit.”

We found in different situations any of these three conditions can impede the ability of a VMP project to proceed. In some cases, weather conditions are such that a prescribed burn might affect air quality conditions in a nearby community in violation of the air quality permit. In other situations, Cal Fire fire crews are not available to conduct prescribed burns because they are engaged in firefighting activities. We note that in recent years, the Legislature has provided Cal Fire with additional yearround firefighting staff, which should increase the department’s capacity both to combat wildfires and conduct prescribed burns and other proactive forest management activities.”

“As discussed earlier, biomass that is not utilized is most frequently disposed of by open pile burning. While this approach is often less expensive than efforts to use biomass, it still requires landowners to invest significant time, planning, and funding. These challenges can also create barriers for undertaking forest thinning projects. Typically, open pile burns require air quality permits from local air districts, burn permits from local fire agencies, and potentially other permits depending on the location, size, and type of burn. To reduce smoke, permits restrict the size of burn piles and vegetation that can be burned, the hours available for burns, and the allowable moisture levels in the material.

These restrictions limit the amount of biomass that can be disposed of and increase the perunit disposal costs. While the Regulations Working Group of the Tree Mortality Task Force recently issued new guidelines—under the authority of the Governor’s tree mortalityrelated executive order—for high hazard zone tree removal that relaxed some of those permit requirements, these exceptions only apply in areas of extreme tree mortality. For example, the guidelines allow more burning to take place under different weather conditions, such as slightly higher wind or temperature conditions.”

State energy and environmental polices have decreased the ability to deal with disposing of the significant amount of biomass material which is created when needed forest thinning is undertaken. This result has made it more difficult and expensive to undertake needed forest thinning. The report summaries this issue as follows:  

“Some stakeholders report that costs associated with the limited options for utilizing or disposing of woody biomass can prohibit them from undertaking projects that would improve the health of their forestlands, or limit the amount of acres they are able to thin. As discussed earlier, woody biomass typically is not useable in traditional lumber mills. This is because these byproducts of timber harvest or thinning operations may be of an undesirable species, too small in diameter for lumber production, or malformed.

Historically, much of this excess forest product was burned to produce bioenergy. However, a significant number of bioenergy facilities have closed over the course of the past two decades. Specifically, in 1991, there were 54 woody biomass processing facilities across the state, with the capacity to produce around 760 megawatts of electricity. In contrast, at the end of 2017 there were only 22 operational facilities with a total capacity of 525 megawatts. These closures have occurred as facilities—largely built in the 1980s—fell out of compliance with more modern air and energy standards, and as bioenergy has increasingly had to compete with cheaper energy sources such as wind, solar, and natural gas.”

The state has improperly focused priority on fire fighting instead of fire prevention that is achieved through effective forest management actions as shown in Figure 9 from the report. This is resulting in the ineffective and costly misallocation of billions of dollars that are driving the continuation of unhealthy forests and increasing wild fire risks and occurrences.


The federal government changed its priority in 1964 from fire control to fire management as noted in the report:

“The passage of the 1964 Wilderness Act encouraged allowing natural processes to occur, including fire. Accordingly, USFS has changed its policy from fire control to fire management, allowing fires to play their natural ecological roles as long as they can be contained safely based on weather patterns, terrain, proximity to development, and other factors. This policy includes both naturally caused fires and intentionally prescribed fires. This shift reflects a growing resurgence in the perspective that moderate fires can have beneficial effects on forestlands, such as clearing out smaller brush and stimulating natural processes like tree seed dispersal and replenishment of soil nutrients.”

California’s government and regulatory agency policies, procedures and actions are out of step with the need to address forest management actions in a manner that effectively enhances forest health and decrease wildfire risks and occurrences.

The LAO report issues noted above do not represent all of the problem areas identified in this report but provide a clear portrayal of the staggering and mind numbing complexity and ineffectiveness of the states governmental and regulatory agencies and policies that have led to the present debacle in California forest management with the result being significantly increased wildfire risks and occurrences with devastating results in California’s communities.

Those responsible for this dire situation in the state government and its regulatory agencies along with their media supporters have tried to conceal the state’s role in manufacturing this debacle and instead falsely focus attention on scientifically unsupported claims of “climate change” as being responsible for California’s problems while Californians continue to suffer.

In addition to the states massive overlay of ineffective and bureaucratic regulatory agencies that have made such a mess of dealing with California’s forest management and wildfire prevention needs a new impediment from these agencies has now emerged regarding the critical ability for communities experiencing disastrous wild fires such as occurred in the city of Paradise to be able to proceed with recovery as noted in a recent Sacramento Bee article.


The article notes:

“Environmental concerns, including fear of harming sensitive frog species, have forced Camp Fire crews to back away from cleaning some properties in the Paradise area.

State officials tasked with debris cleanup say they have been directed not to enter an estimated 800 burned Butte County home sites within 100 feet of a waterway. They’ve been told to wait for representatives of several state and federal agencies to reach an agreement on environmental assessment guidelines.

The issue cropped up well into a yearlong, estimated $2 billion-plus cleanup operation at about 11,000 properties in Paradise, Concow, and Magalia that burned in November’s Camp Fire, the most destructive blaze in state history.

The revelation that some stream-side properties are now on hold triggered a strong public rebuke Thursday from two local legislators who said they heard about the issue from angry constituents on the ridge.”

The state’s climate alarmist politicians, media and climate activists have attempted to make nebulous and lame excuses that man made “climate change” is accountable for the poor forest conditions and increased wildfires but these claims are unsupported by climate data going back more than 1,000 years showing extensive periods of extreme droughts and precipitation in California have long existed and that no definitive change in this very long term climate record has been established as was noted in a Los Angeles Times article from 2014.


In a more recent Los Angeles Times article the headline speculated that man made climate change impacts maybe associated with the long record of the states drought and precipitation on the basis of  “computer models” but the articles substance doesn’t support the hype reflected in its headline. In fact the article states that:

“Some researchers aren’t yet convinced that the results show a clear human influence on past drought trends.”

“But scientists have had a tougher time picking out the effects on precipitation, which should increase in some places and decrease in others.”

“Part of the problem is that the changes driven by humanity’s production of greenhouse gases usually get swamped by the tremendous natural variability of the climate system, particularly when studying the history of a specific region.”

“Other researchers said the study authors’ method can’t determine whether the soil moisture changes recorded in the tree ring data occurred because of an increase in greenhouse gases or because of natural causes — which are also included in the model simulations used to create the fingerprint. For instance, there’s evidence that the sun emitted slightly more energy over the first half of the 20th century, which also affected the climate.”

An extensive study published in ScienceDirect addressed the North American drought history going back to year 800 using tree ring data. The study noted the following regarding the long term climate behavior of drought and precipitation in the West:   

“Severe drought is the greatest recurring natural disaster to strike North America. A remarkable network of centuries-long annual tree-ring chronologies has now allowed for the reconstruction of past drought over North America covering the past 1000 or more years in most regions. These reconstructions reveal the occurrence of past “megadroughts” of unprecedented severity and duration, ones that have never been experienced by modern societies in North America. There is strong archaeological evidence for the destabilizing influence of these past droughts on advanced agricultural societies, examples that should resonate today given the increasing vulnerability of modern water-based systems to relatively short-term droughts.”

“Recent advances in the reconstruction of past drought over North America and in modeling the causes of droughts there have provided important new insights into one of the most costly recurring natural disasters to strike North America. A grid of summer PDSI reconstructions has been developed now for most of North America from a remarkable network of long, drought sensitive tree-ring chronologies. These reconstructions, many of which cover the past 1000 yr, have revealed the occurrence of a number of unprecedented megadroughts over the past millennium that clearly exceed any found in the instrumental records since about AD 1850, including an epoch of significantly elevated aridity that persisted for almost 400 yr over the AD 900–1300 period. In terms of duration, these past megadroughts dwarf the famous droughts of the 20th century, such as the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, the southern Great Plains drought of the 1950s, and the current one in the West that began in 1999 and still lingers on as of this writing in 2005.”


These results established natural climate drivers are behind the extensive drought and precipitation cycles over the last more than 1,000 years as noted in the graph provided below indicating that the politically driven claims by climate alarmists that “climate change” is driving drought and precipitation outcomes in the West is flawed.


The 1,000 year long tree ring data record provided in the information above demonstrates that California has been subjected to extensive intervals of natural climate change driven cycles of droughts and precipitation events for centuries. Claims that recent drought and precipitation events are somehow influenced by “man made climate change” are scientifically flawed and represent nothing but climate alarmist speculation and conjecture.

The Cal Fire and LAO reports present a real world picture identifying that California’s government and regulatory agencies are responsible for the present terrible condition of California’s forests along with the resulting increased wildfire risks and occurrences. The excuse that “climate change” has caused these problems is nothing but scientifically unsupported propaganda being used in an attempt to conceal that the state government is really responsible for these outcomes.     

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May 14, 2019 6:08 am

I remember in the late ’70s and early ’80s people involved in forestry services telling people that the “new” policies and regulations would create a major disaster in the not to distant future. All can now see they were correct.

Bill Powers
Reply to  2hotel9
May 14, 2019 8:59 am

It was shortly thereafter that the politicians created the Department of Redirecting Blame which now employs more government workers than the Department of Nature Resources.

The DRB has a seat on the IPCC and funded the most recent report of how Global warming caused a pine beetle holocaust. As the pine beetle was destroying forestry through no fault of the bureaucracy it ran into a firestorm created by the same global warming that caused the pine beetle to be in the forest in the first place.

“Darn Global Warming” the title of the report read. It included a picture of Smokey the Bear pointing straight at the reader proclaiming “Its all your fault” only you can prevent global warming.

As a political footnote: The DRB was the agency responsible for the primary research on HRC’s Book “What Happened” and quietly takes credit for the Steele Dossier but publicly redirected blame to Fusion GPS.

Reply to  Bill Powers
May 15, 2019 4:15 am

That is really hilarious Bill Powers, thanks for the laugh!

Reply to  Bill Powers
May 16, 2019 5:43 am

Redirect is a very effective weapon. Keeps people confused and allows the users to score hits without taking hits.

Old England
Reply to  2hotel9
May 14, 2019 4:29 pm

The Greatest threat to earth, it’s environment and ecology and thus to mankind is not “climate change” it comes from politicians in thrall to eco-activists and their stupidly anti-scientific dogma fuelled by their socialist-marxist religious doctrine.

Reply to  Old England
May 16, 2019 5:46 am

You are preaching to the quire, Reverend! It is a tactic the left has embraced for decades. With the fall of the Iron Curtain leftists flocked to “environmentalism”.

Tom Halla
May 14, 2019 6:21 am

The regulatory process in California is designed to cater to the green blob’s desire to stop any use of wildlands that benefit people.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 14, 2019 9:30 am

And now … shutting OFF the power to millions of customers … also “fits” the “green” policies. PG&E are providing a really helpful map for customers at risk of having their power shut OFF for as long as a week …

You see … we Westerners USE too much energy. So we need to “get off our high horse” as Obama was fond of saying. What better way to knock us off that high horse than to CUT the POWER!?

And note all the NEW management and maintence techniques that PG&E promises to employ now! Like camera monitoring of their transmission lines, and maintenance of their transmission Rights of Way. All this points out is that PG&E had NOT been properly monitoring and maintaining their infrastructure. Instead, they have been spending ratepayer dollars on “green” energy projects, and a sh*tload of Money on a massive PR campaign to virtue-signal after incinerating people with a gas leak in San Bruno. In addition, PG&E has been spending $Billions to clear BUILDINGS that had been allowed to be constructed OVER their underground gas lines. And now … the ratepayers are facing INCREASED rates to PAY FOR PG&E’s bankruptcy and wrongful death claims.

All of this indicates another SEVERE political problem … the CPUC … the California PUC which is supposed to REGULATE this public energy monopoly in the best interests of the CONSUMERS .. the PUBLIC! Where was the PUC in the degeneration and destruction of PG&E? Why wasn’t the PUC monitoring the MAINTENANCE funding dedicated by PG&E? Answer: The CPUC is a highly politicized and appointed Commission who all embraced the WASTE spending on “green” power and initiatives. Who embraced DIE policies (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity) instead of focusing on the business at hand.

Ask yourself the question as to WHY PG&E was operating SAFELY, smoothly and economically for DECADES!? But has suddenly degenerated into an unreliable, expensive, and DANGEROUS system? Answer: Leftist “Progressive” policies have pushed aside the simple “mission statement” of PG&E … which is to deliver SAFE, affordable, reliable, ENERGY to the people of N.CA. Instead, the entire Utility has been overtaken by PC policies that have diverted PG&E from its simple, primary Mission. The supermajority leftist political policies of the State have infected the primary PG&E mission like a deadly virus KILLING the company.

And now? Our POWER company will be randomly shutting OFF your Power. Which has been determined to be both “safe” … and “green”. Communists simply LOVE taking things away from the public. CA is doomed. And rest assured … DOOMSDAY is coming … economically. And when the recession hits … the deficit will be so deep, there will be no return.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 14, 2019 10:41 am

The Green Blob are reprehensible people.

On the radio call-in show a guy said he thought it was OK to remove dead falls from the forest. The next caller was an obvious member of the Green Blob. She was apparently literally spitting mad. She left no doubt that the previous caller should be drawn, quartered, and left out for the buzzards for the environmental crime of removing a desperately needed dead fall from the precious forest environment.

I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes:

Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false. Bertrand Russell

Reply to  commieBob
May 15, 2019 12:48 am

“…people feeling quite certain about something…”

Good point Bob, but have you noticed how many posts here are delivered with hermetic certainty?

Reply to  Loydo
May 15, 2019 1:50 am

One of our denizens is so predictable that he was accused of being a bot. 🙂

Reply to  commieBob
May 15, 2019 6:54 am

2+2 remains 4, no matter how many times the tale is told.

Reply to  Loydo
May 15, 2019 6:53 am

Loydo has absolutely no sense of self awareness.

Fred Hubler
May 14, 2019 6:46 am

It was reported that the Camp Fire that destroyed so many houses last year was caused by a faulty PG&E transformer, and made much worse by poor forestry management practice. Is it know whether or not the transformer failure was caused by an over-voltage condition created by a sudden increase in wind or solar output? It has also been reported that California has to pay Arizona to take excess power when that occurs.

Reply to  Fred Hubler
May 14, 2019 7:57 am

Good point. It would perhaps coincide with Santa Ana winds that fan the flames i.e. a correlation between grid overload and larger fires fanned by the winds (whether those fires are started by overloaded transformers or not).

Reply to  Fred Hubler
May 14, 2019 9:22 am

And PG&E has declared bankruptcy due to the liabilities they face from adverse court suits. And their request to harden their distribution network was refused, “too expensive.”

Reply to  Fred Hubler
May 14, 2019 9:30 am

It does look like the state of California must share responsibility for the cause of that blaze – somewhere between 50% and 95%. More to 95% if the transformers can be shown to be overloaded by wind/solar. Those are state mandates.

PG&E are still 5% responsible, in that they did not identify and publicize the threats. Politically wrong, but it gives them some culpability.

Fred Hubler
Reply to  KalifoniaKook
May 14, 2019 12:48 pm

I feel compelled to explain the difference between a transformer overload and a line surge. An overload occurs when there is a greater current draw than the transformer was designed for. For example, all air conditioners on the load side running at the same time may cause an overload. This can cause a drop in voltage (brown out) and it can also cause a transformer failure due to overheating.
A line surge is an increase in line voltage and can be caused by switching large inductive loads or by more power being generated than is currently in demand. That can cause the transformer insulation to break down shorting out a winding. The links below are for transformer failures occurring around the Y2K time period. As wind and solar have increased there will probably be many more line surges due to sudden changes in wind velocity.

Reply to  Fred Hubler
May 14, 2019 2:49 pm

Fred Hubler May 14, 2019 at 6:46 am

It was reported that the Camp Fire that destroyed so many houses last year was caused by a faulty PG&E transformer, and made much worse by poor forestry management practice. Is it know whether or not the transformer failure was caused by an over-voltage condition created by a sudden increase in wind or solar output? It has also been reported that California has to pay Arizona to take excess power when that occurs.

I think you owe it to the readers and yourself to go back and re-read what started the fire. You do NO service to any cause jumping to unsupportable hypothesis, such as contained in the above post.

Butte County prosecutors have collected equipment from several additional towers along the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power line suspected of starting last year’s deadly Camp Fire, a sign that the county’s criminal investigation into the historic disaster is progressing.

An attorney for PG&E told lawyers representing wildfire victims and others on Monday that the company had “recently assisted” local prosecutors in their collection of parts from four towers along the high-voltage Caribou-Palermo transmission line.

He said the Butte County district attorney’s office wanted to have the Federal Bureau of Investigation test on cross-arm sections and suspension hooks from those towers — which appears to be the same kind of equipment that malfunctioned on another Caribou-Palermo tower right at the origin point of the Camp Fire.

Fred Hubler
Reply to  _Jim
May 14, 2019 4:45 pm

I made no claims about what caused the Camp Fire; I claimed only that a line surge was a possibility. Your link does not claim that the cause has been conclusively determined.

Reply to  Fred Hubler
May 14, 2019 7:59 pm

It does not matter whatsoever what started the blaze. Whether lightning, match, campfire, piece of glass, muffler, rock strike or whatever.
What matters is that the fuel was set and ready for the initiator. When the conditions are ripe, the fire will start and burn. With an infinite number of initiators the fire will start.
Set up a room full of standing dominos, they will fall sometime. Whoever set the dominos up is the guilty party. Not the cat.
That fire was 100% the fault of the rank stupidity of the pencil necked soy eaters in the government.

Fred Hubler
Reply to  Bill McCarter
May 15, 2019 7:34 am

It matters even if only because PG&E is who is being sued. But it matters also because the more we depend on intermittent energy sources, the more vulnerable the grid becomes to line surges.

May 14, 2019 7:22 am

The exact same thing that is happening California is happening in other places as well, and for the same reason. Out of control fires burned in British Columbia for most of last summer. The smoke from the fires was so bad in Alberta that many days it wasn’t fit to go outside.

May 14, 2019 7:22 am

This article could also apply to the poor forest practices in British Columbia.

Steven Lohr
May 14, 2019 7:28 am

There is so much in this article but the overarching conclusion is clear; government meddling has created this disastrous situation. But, ultimately it is the mindset of the people that has driven the policy. Every inhibition to management practices was implemented by “good” intentions but with little fore thought as to the ultimate result. Intentions do not always produce the desired result. I recently observed the area of the Oakland fire and was astounded to find brush and overgrowth so dense between houses and in the gullies that it is obviously primed for another deadly fire. If the people who are living where it has already happened haven’t done anything to prevent a recurrence, how can we expect any change in policy whatsoever.

Reply to  Steven Lohr
May 14, 2019 9:35 am

I think that the very concept of “management” has suffered degradation by rampant ideas that seem to regard any sense of standards as exclusion, prejudice, racist, sexist, communist, or some other fault.

Have managers, in general, gotten worse? — I’m suspecting that they have. Recently, it was reported to me that a local McDonald’s in the neighborhood ran out of soft drinks. Also, recently, it was reported to me that a local university dining hall ran out of forks. Seems like piss poor management to me — slack standards, no concept of standards, no idea what proper management even means, … as if the very idea of pride, discipline, or integrity has become extinct in later generations.

Childlike idealism is insidiously taking the place of rational thinking, and it is being allowed, with disastrous consequences.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
May 14, 2019 10:12 am

There will be more incidents of “throwing out the baby with the bath water” when someone passes a law that says all bathwater must be thrown out by 4pm daily regardless. Managers today have way too many regulations to follow that detract from their primary role. This causes more managers to be hired until nobody is directly responsible.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
May 14, 2019 11:32 am

Sounds about right, DM.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
May 14, 2019 3:31 pm

re: “I think that the very concept of “management” has suffered degradation by rampant ideas that seem to regard any sense of standards as exclusion, prejudice, racist, sexist, communist, or some other fault.”

I think it boils down to one factor now rampant (and growing) in civilization: the idiot.

They occupy positions of power and control at all levels. To find actual competence and someone who can ‘solve’ a problem is rare.

nw sage
Reply to  _Jim
May 14, 2019 5:35 pm

The real fault lies in Government’s assumption that only the government can fix it. Private industry – ie logging – did a good job for centuries in reducing and controlling fires. Government stepped in and look where we are now. Government will tell you that we can fix it – if we only had enough budget. Of course there will NEVER be enough budget!
At no cost to the taxpayers private interests could go in, harvest what can be sold, and replant for future generations. Of course the forest will look different, it looks different after a big fire too! and different with a bunch of dead trees lying on each other. The only thing the government has to do is give the OK and get out of the way.

Reply to  nw sage
May 14, 2019 5:39 pm

Extremely astute. Well said NW Sage.

Reply to  nw sage
May 14, 2019 8:17 pm

re: “The real fault …”

THIS is ALL a consequence of having idiots at ALL levels, regardless of the organization. Government scientists (in the case of forestry management) may have a PhD after their name, but STILL posses the qualities of “the idiot” and therefore act as a hindrance to progress and ANY chance of a correct decision being made, or a correct ‘policy’ being drawn up.

I saw this earlier today on another subject (concerning lawmakers and enforcement bureaucracies): “This is what happens when idiots are allowed to make laws and morons are hired to enforce them.”

The ‘root’ problem is still idiots; recommending half-measure cures will only be a temporary band-aid that will again, eventually “revert to the mean” with the idiots dominating and bad policy being implemented.

Reply to  nw sage
May 15, 2019 5:22 pm

TLX May 14, 2019 at 5:39 pm
Extremely astute. Well said NW Sage.


What part of “all will revert to the mean” do you not grasp?

Some fundamental changes to our educational systems are required, or ALL WILL REVERT TO THE MEAN AGAIN.

nw sage merely pens a common sense prescription WHICH CANNOT BE FILLED. This last point is not being grasped.

May 14, 2019 7:37 am

Love those environmental regulations. They help everyone all the time.

What I really Don’t understand is the fatalities. Who built those homes in areas susceptible to forest fires? Who bought them? Pine forests BURN, Duh. Paradise, indeed. I had a house in the woods, beautiful view, but the trees were maples and oaks, which do NOT burn, and the house is still there.

The other think I don’t understand is fighting forest fires. They have been burning for millions and millions of years. They will still be burning for the foreseeable future.

If no one lived there, the only people who would care are timber companies, and they are in it for the money, so they can manage their own land as they see fit.

Reply to  Michael Moon
May 14, 2019 8:29 am

The fire changed in Paradise to an Urban Wildfire that jumped from building to building so fast that people became trapped and unable to get out.

Reply to  Michael Moon
May 14, 2019 3:15 pm

Yep … we should all live in high density cities … packed into shiny metal boxes, contestants in a suicide race? And put all of nature in a museum-like, no-go zone?

Your future sounds dystopian as hell.

Steven F.
Reply to  Michael Moon
May 14, 2019 4:39 pm

I “had a house in the woods, beautiful view, but the trees were maples and oaks, which do NOT burn, and the house is still there.”

Oak and Maple do burn if conditions are dry enough. There are Oak forest in california and they also burn. Keep in mind the climate on the west cost is very different than it is on the East coast. On the East cost in the summer you get periodic thunder stormes with high humidity. Yearly rainfall amounts can easily be 2 times higher with much coold temperatures during the winter. On the west coast summer thunder storms are very rare, humidity levels are very low, and many west coast areas get no rain. Conditions that make wester forest fires easier to to start and faster to spread.

Reply to  Steven F.
May 17, 2019 7:12 am

Study Raytheon,skunkworks, Lockheed **

Brooks Hurd
May 14, 2019 7:58 am

California is a clear example of what happens when regulations run wild.

I lived more than half of my life in the eastern half of the country but the last 30 years in California. I remember seeing fire breaks throughout the East, but I have seen none in California. Even the major highways do not provide adequate fire breaks because of a buildup of fuel on both sides of the roads.

I am happy to see that both Cal Fire and the Legislative Analyst have identified both the causes and an action plan to fix the government created problems.

Reply to  Brooks Hurd
May 14, 2019 8:55 am

The Eastern US is now plagued with the Emerald Ash Borer. One can not drive down a road, highway, interstate, etc without seeing 1/4 to 1/2 the trees dead and fallen. In the spring the woods and forests look like the pictures of the areas in the west burnt by fires. PA Parks will only let you remove “fallen” trees which is not much of a help. [May have changed in the last few years as I no longer use a fireplace/woodstove.]

May 14, 2019 7:58 am

The only viable answer is to declare Sacramento and San Francisco as wilderness areas.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 14, 2019 8:46 am

Better to classify as a Blighted Area.

May 14, 2019 8:00 am

So President Trump was right all along about raking. Dyou think any of the idiots who ridiculed him will apologise?

Donald Trump Junior
Reply to  Scute
May 17, 2019 1:57 am

Its amazing how often he gets called stupid and weong and then it turns out he is smart and right!!! MSM has never apologused or ackniwledged this and they never will.

Ron Long
May 14, 2019 8:05 am

I don’t believe for a minute that the citizens of La La Land, even with reality staring them in the face, think that conduct has consequences. No, they think that feelings are what’s important, and there is no way they will hurt our brother, the tree. As regards past megadroughts, remember that a submersible took photos of Indigenous stone rings at 90 feet below the surface of Lake Tahoe (the stone rings are large stones in a circle which are used to support bent branches to form the frame for a roof, which roof is animal skins or foliage). OK, it’s good to see some reasonable studies showing up in California, but they have such a long way to go that becoming reality-based is not in the equation.

Reply to  Ron Long
May 14, 2019 4:10 pm

It’s not that they don’t believe that conduct has consequences, it’s that they are convinced that good intentions guarantees perfect outcomes.

They meant well, therefore there’s no way something bad could happen.

May 14, 2019 8:19 am

California is a totalitarian state. More regulations are not the answer. I think it is too far gone to save. It would require a complete ideological change in its government, which is not going to happen.

May 14, 2019 8:24 am

At this point, the devastation of communities by wildfires should be make this an OBVIOUS and ABSOLUTE priority for not only Fire Response but even more so with Resource Management and Fire Prevention! Be Prepared! (Where did I hear that before?) It seems there is more priority, and certainly more political action, on so-called “Global Warming” than on proactively protecting the residents of California!

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  SteveC
May 14, 2019 11:25 am

proactively protecting the residents of California” …… WILL NOT GET a political candidate elected to a local, state or federal office.

Donald Trump Junior
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
May 17, 2019 2:13 am

Why not…it should after this. Californians are just too dense to see the forst fire thru the trees.

May 14, 2019 8:48 am

This hysterical post is self-refuting and self-debunking.

Just go to that graphic above in this post that illustrates that the overwhelming area of lands owned and managed by the Federal government, and by private landowners, not by the State of California. The state owned lands that the State of California is responsible for managing is not even in the noise level of land ownership and management in California … yet literally, the State is supposedly “100% at at fault” for mismanagement of forest lands in the state> In what alternate universe would that be true?

Just look at your own damned figure!

In point of fact, the State of California only owns 2.2% of the state’s total land area. The Federal government owns 52. 1% of the State’s land area – in other words the Feds own 23.7 times as much of California’s land area than does the State of California. State and private and municipal ownership account for 97.8% of all lands in CA. That’s 45 times the amount of land owned and managed by the State of CA.

In point of fact, the worst wildfire that took place last year – the Camp fire – started on Federally owned lands, not on state owned lands.

So I guess by any reasonable measure the horrible wildfire management that resulted in last year’s destructive wildfires is 100% the fault of Donald Trump … amiright?


You guys and your ideology driven nonsense masquerading as science talk .. you guys make Bill Nye look like an actual science guy, instead of an entertainer/hack.

Reply to  Duane
May 14, 2019 9:44 am

You obviously didn’t read the article, have poor reading comprehension skills, or only see what you want to see. CA’s onerous regulations affect all land owners, even what is done on federal land. The governor had to declare a state of emergency to cut through state regulatory cr@p so that real solutions can be implemented.

Reply to  icisil
May 14, 2019 12:39 pm

Not actually reading the article seems to be an article of faith amongst the acolytes.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Duane
May 14, 2019 10:25 am

I guess you didn’t bother to even read the article. All the lands in private hands are regulated by the State, which has severely limited what the landowners can do. In addition, much of the Federally owned land is managed cooperatively with the State (under the “Friendly Neighbor” doctrine), and in many cases the Feds just grant money to the State to manage large areas. So the State of California entirely or mostly controls what happens with the forested lands within it’s borders, and as such is responsible for the current debacle.

So next time you fingers get itchy to make what you think is a devastating retort, maybe you should consider doing a bit more research and make a real effort to understand the issues. Otherwise you just wind up looking like a fool as you did here. And here’s a pro tip: never use the term “amiright” as it immediately leads people to believe you are a child, an idiot, or both.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
May 14, 2019 11:22 am

Yes, I read the post and it is bullshit.

The State of California does NOT manage privately owned lands. Nor does the State of California have any authority whatsoever to regulate the 52.1% of lands owned and managed by the Federal government.

The State has little regulatory control over privately owned lands.

The “itchers” are you guys …

{???? .mod]

Reply to  Duane
May 14, 2019 12:42 pm

Duane, are you actually [pruned] enough to believe that no homeowner in CA has to abide by state regulations when it comes to what they are permitted to do?

(That’s a rhetorical question, Duane proves every day that he is more than [pruned] enough to believe what his paymasters tell him to believe.)

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Duane
May 15, 2019 4:20 am

OK Duane, you must be willfully ignorant. I will waste no more time arguing with a child.

Reply to  Duane
May 14, 2019 11:02 am

, in addition to icisil’s on-point response, you failed to notice the examples given in the article of how state regulations — even now during cleanup — are impacting fire cleanup and abatement efforts across the board.

The article doesn’t make a chart out of this, but it provides the data:

CA: 20 million forest acres needing remediation. Remediation rate: 17,500 ac/yr
Fed: 9 million forest acres needing remediation. Remediation rate: 250,000 ac/yr
Recommendation: 500,000 ac/yr both CA and Fed.

Yet CA owns 14 (43%) and Feds own 19 (57%) of 33 million acres of forest in CA.

To reconcile this, we’ll assume the CA “20 million need remediation” includes the Federal 9 million.

CA alone:

The Need: 11 of 14 million forest acres need remediation (78%)
Current work: 0.0175m/yr remediated (will finish this round in 629 years, ie never)
Goal: 29x increase to 0.5m/yr (to complete this round in 22 years if they immediately accelerate)

Fed alone:

The need: 9 m of 19m need remediation (47%)
Current work: 0.25m/yr remediated (will finish this round in 36 years)
Goal: 2x increase to 0.5m/yr (to complete this round in 18 years if they accelerate)

So. Please explain how wonderfully CA has been managing their forests, and how awful the feds have been? (And I”m being very generous in my assumptions. If we accept the assessment by CA that they are responsible for remediating 20, not 11m acres, it’s far worse.)

Steven F
Reply to  MrPete
May 14, 2019 4:28 pm

Keep in mind that most of the forest management regulation in any wester state were simply copied US forest service regulations. The USFS own owns 57% of california forest. In the 1950 the USFS set down rolls for managing USFS lands and California was tasked with doing the forest management according to USFS guidelines. California simply copied and applied those USFS regulation to California owned Forests. And those same rules were applied to privately own lands in California. This did just happen in California. Most US states have done the same thing. Meaning all forests in the US are managed the same way. Since the 50’s there have been some modifications to the rules by USFS and state. The biggest change is due to pollution controls put in place in the 70 and 80’s. Those new regulations unfortunately made it more difficult to do controlled burns, in every state. Not just California.

The reason the situation seems to be the worst in California is simply because the wester droughts of the last decade were the strongest in California. Organ and Washington states were also affected by those droughts but they were not as intense as they were in California. Also if you look at the East cost of the US you will find the same forest management rules bing applied. But with with a dry season only lasting as 2 to 3 months with about 2 times the rain fall and much higher summer humidity levels, the forest fire and land management issues are simply not as difficult on the East cost.

Also it you look at any forest fire in any state you see the same claims that man made climate change is the cause. Everyone is simply repeating claims by NASA, NOAA, and the PCC. Those are all US federal government agencies. So if you want to address the Climate change excuse you need to start at NASA and NOAA.

Reply to  Duane
May 14, 2019 12:40 pm

Your Soros stipend must be really late this week, you’re even crankier than usual.

Reply to  Duane
May 15, 2019 6:52 am

BTW, this report was prepared by an agency of the State of California.

Donald Trump Junior
Reply to  Duane
May 17, 2019 2:04 am

Wow, how convenient of you to Forget who the President was , 8 out of the last 10 years. Obama was too busy propping up Muslim regimes worldwide to prevent forest fires. Checkmate

Phil R
May 14, 2019 8:53 am

Out of curiosity, I searched the Forest Management report for the term, “climate change.” It is mentioned in the report, but only minimally and generally is association with mitigation of GHG’s, no claims of the apocalypse from forest management, clearing of underbrush and controlled burns. so even if you’re a CC zealot, they’re saying that forest management and healthy forests are generally beneficial.

May 14, 2019 9:19 am

“These reconstructions reveal the occurrence of past “megadroughts” of unprecedented severity and duration, ones that have never been experienced by modern societies in North America. ”

Unprecedented is the wrong word. Perhaps a phrase like, ‘never experienced in modern times’ would be correct, but it is clear that megadroughts, long lasting and severe, is the ‘normal’ over long time periods, not unprecedented events.

Reply to  jtom
May 14, 2019 9:40 am

And now we are experiencing several years of a mega-monsoon. Severe weather WARNINGS were just issued to the Sierra as a MID MAY storm bears down on CA … after one of the wettest winters on record. This is what from my own limited 63 years in CA is called … NORMAL for CA. Periods of drought … periods of wet. I’ve experienced this my entire life.

CAGW is a HOAX! Just like Russian “collusion” was a HOAX

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  jtom
May 14, 2019 1:49 pm

I flagged that statement.
It is a shame that CA doesn’t have a good editor.

Useful document.
Replace CA with Washington or Oregon in the text and most still fits.

May 14, 2019 9:36 am

Why would California want to fix a problem when they can use that problem to tax people more?

Bloke down the pub
May 14, 2019 9:46 am

Perhaps all those trees that need thinning will be chipped and shipped to the UK for burning in Drax power station.

mike the morlock
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
May 14, 2019 10:35 am

Bloke down the pub May 14, 2019 at 9:46 am

No, no, no… you don’t want them, they would be liberal-progressive wood chips. Not good redneck Conservative wood chips that you get out of Georgia. The California chips might subvert Drax , give it ideas, autocratically turn off the power, or go on strike.

michael 🙂

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
May 14, 2019 10:57 am

Only if it loses money for all concerned.

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
May 14, 2019 12:03 pm

Too far to ship. Would be better used keeping western US coal plants open. Renewable, yano.

May 14, 2019 10:14 am

I started choking on all the “Carbon Plan” phraseology. Whatever happened to the age-old fire-management term of “Fuels Management Plan”? Do they not understand that adopting that terminology will simply scare the chicken little brigade into demanding inaction, especially when they find out the “Treatment” prescribed is to burn during low wind, high humidity and wet periods to safely rid the undergrowth fuel buildup?

If you make them have to make the connections to the climate change mythology themselves, most of them will miss it and not oppose. If you use climate change language, their imbecilic minds will latch onto the “carbon – bad” meme and oppose all elements of this vital need.

May 14, 2019 10:23 am

Outstanding post. I suspect for those involved in forest management as a profession there was nothing surprising about this report. It should be required reading for econuts.

J Mac
May 14, 2019 10:45 am

Observing the self-induced disasters promulgated by the delusional socialist democrat government of California is disheartening. It is analogous to observing an alcoholic or drug addict slowly killing themselves with their chosen excesses.

California is killing itself with its delusional environmental over regulation and unrestrained acceptance of illegal aliens, human trafficking, and illegal drugs.
The first step on the road to recovery, delusional socialist California, is admitting you have a problem…..

DR Healy
May 14, 2019 10:54 am

I was an acquisitions forester for Boise Cascade in Northeast Oregon in the late 1970s. What shut us down there was environmental groups, primarily the Sierra Club. In the western U.S. the mills depended upon timber from federal lands to survive. For just a few hundred dollars, the environmental groups could stop a timber sale, which they did for virtually every proposed sale. Our mills were forced to close, or drastically cut production, and seeing no future in forestry I left for other endeavors. The State of Oregon was very encouraging of harvesting, but they could not fight the legal system either.

May 14, 2019 10:56 am

Now that SF is trying to bid on buying PG&E assets in that city and had long-term plans to do so we need to ask who set the fires.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 14, 2019 3:21 pm

One wonders, are you aware of the meteorological conditions at the time of the Camp Fire?

Let me put it in the form of multiple choice:

1) No wind
2) light wind
3) moderate winds
4) high winds

The Depraved and MOST Deplorable Vlad the Impaler
May 14, 2019 11:00 am

“Did things just get better … … … or did they get worse?”

— — — — — Bruce “John McClane” Willis, ‘Die Hard II’

May 14, 2019 11:27 am

I can remember a time many decades ago (before liberal California) when forests were actively managed, and when forests did burn, the debris was cleared away and hundreds of volunteers would come out to replant the forest with pine tree seedlings. Scrub brush that had taken over former forest land due to earlier fires were cleared out and replanted with pines. Contrast that with modern-day practices where forests were off limits to management, letting undergrowth build up to dangerous levels, and when the disastrous fires did occur, the decision was made to leave burned forests untouched and subject to erosion with dead trees standing everywhere.

May 14, 2019 11:39 am

It then considered socioeconomic characteristics of the communities that would be protected, including data on poverty levels, residents with disabilities, language barriers, residents over 65 or under five years of age, and households without a car.

So they are going to make sure they protect the “politically correct” communities and to hell with middle class communities populated with mostly able bodied working people who speak English?

May 14, 2019 12:39 pm

Never never never put a state government in charge of anything serious.

State governments have become nothing but centers of corruption.

The only people who are watching what state governments do are the corrupt entities with their hands out on the receiving end of State expenditures…and meddlesome groups like environmental whackos. This is because the Federal government has usurped most of the legitimate State functions (take a thick book to describe)….so most folks don’t have the time to watch what their State Governments are up to.

Quite a few poor souls burned to death (picture the raw reality of that, please) because of the incompetence arising from the unholy alliance between meddlesome no nothing goddamned environmentalist and the no nothing goddamned forest service of California. May the real perpetrators roast in hell…and take the frickin liars that blamed the fires on global warming with them.

Reply to  DocSiders
May 14, 2019 3:26 pm

re: “State governments have become nothing but centers of corruption.”

So, they (CA) chose poorly; that’s the heart of the ‘federal’ system where the states have their defined role, and fedgov SHOULD have their limited, defined role.

Speaking as a Texan, I would rather have ‘power’ in Austin than Washington DC, which is at least 1,000 miles further away …

Reply to  _Jim
May 14, 2019 4:15 pm

There used to be a time when the further away a politicians was, the less of a danger he posed.

Reply to  MarkW
May 15, 2019 5:27 pm

MarkW May 14, 2019 at 4:15 pm
There used to be a time when the further away a politicians was, the less of a danger he posed.

NOT CLOSE enough to optimize the feed-back loop is also a bad thing; better to have your pols close to so they can be kept track of.

Gary Pearse
May 14, 2019 12:54 pm

I think a hat tip for all this new California wisdom on fires should be made to Donald Trump who diagnosed the trouble and was heaped with abuse by the Demozens. Oh others already knew of course but sometimes a pragmatic bit of sarcasm from a guy who makes things happen is all that is needed to mobilize over the inertia and resistance. You saved countless lives and vauable assets in California, Mr. President.

Walter Sobchak
May 14, 2019 4:00 pm


May 14, 2019 5:15 pm

As a outsider living in Australia, it son ads like a case “Far too many
cooks spoil the broth”. In this case a lot of the cooks are Greenies.

Living in cites they are not directly affected by their Green polices, but others are, and people die.

So despite the “”Emergency legislation” can the Greenies still slow down
things via the Court system. ?

Plus of course a lot of Green types are set to lose there safe jobs in the various agencies created by years of neglect by the politicians., plus pressure from the Greens .


May 14, 2019 5:25 pm

My company produces massively enhanced broadband electrical grounding devices – that regardless of the source of the fault (failed support hooks or transformer over-voltages) would have harmlessly dissipated to ground such fault current thus preventing any arcing — which very well may have resulted in a fuel ignition.

That said, and without any commercial overtones, we have no interest whatsoever in doing business in California, regardless of the obvious need there for our products and technology: The inane and excessive regulatory hurdles to bring our products to California markets are not a supportable expense for our company to take on. I’m saddened to have made this decision, but the governance of the once great State of California has become comical at best and entirely incompetent at a minimum.

Until the California legislature wants to recognize economic reality and accountability, we can only offer our best wishes to the residents of this magnificently beautiful, yet massively mismanaged State.

Curious George
May 14, 2019 7:03 pm

A man pours gasoline over a house. Later a group of schoolkids passes by, one of them discards a butt, and the house burns down. Who is legally responsible for the fire, and in what proportion?

Reply to  Curious George
May 14, 2019 8:00 pm

The difference here is the guy with the gasoline clearly has the destruction of the house as a goal: Dousing a house with gasoline can have no other desired outcome. But, he didn’t strike the match, so to speak.

However, the State’s wanton neglect of prudent forest management techniques so necessary in urban areas, along with regulations preventing removal of dried trees and vegetation in close proximity to populated areas was NOT designed to cause destruction of structures and loss of life – as the man with the gas can had in mind. Rather, the State was more interested in preservation of natural habitat in preference to structures and lives, ignoring the greater probability of fire that would result.

In this light, the State is fully guilty of failure in its protective duties, which directly ensured eventual loss, whereas the gas-can guy was simply desirous of loss but took no steps to create the actual loss

Both actions are dangerously wrong…and the attempted arsonist could easily be held accountable. For different reasons, the State should also be held highly accountable, perhaps more so than the accused PG&E.

May 14, 2019 7:37 pm

Another stratospheric intrusion over California will bring snow in the mountains and heavy downpours in the Midwest.
No El Nino effect.

May 14, 2019 8:35 pm

Probably 1978 or 79, I was a fire captain. After 3 or 4 fires on the local mountain, in fighting yet another, I ordered my crew to back fire the entire damn thing. It burned off, no one hurt, no structural damage and we were done for the season. Had a complaint filed against me by the Bay Area Air Pollution Control District for causing excess smoke pollution. My Chief looked the a hole in the eye and said, “the Captain was in command in an emergency situation, NO ONE can question his command decision after the fact”. Loved him for that. These people today are deranged

Bill Treuren
May 14, 2019 10:46 pm

Higher CO2 will increase the rate of dry matter generation in both dry and wet conditions, its a real impact however, they will never say this because it implies a lot of positive stuff in relation to CO2 elsewhere in the region.

I suggest run it as story and calculate the risk associated cost of the CO2 rise against the states value from CO2 I would say that an agricultural growth rate improvement of just 5 to 10% would show 100 fold value addition to the state of CA relative to the fires experienced thus far and that still allows the option of better fire management.


May 14, 2019 11:26 pm

In the southern CA mountains where I have lived for 21+years, the major factor that’s obvious to me is that very little harvesting of firewood for heating purposes is happening today compared to when I first moved there. Fireplaces and woodstoves are so regulated that it’s not worth the trouble or expense anymore. So the number of trees per acre multiply, and the deadfalls are everywhere. There’s been no commercial timber harvesting here for decades, so no help there either. Cattle grazing used to keep the underbrush down, but they’ve been removed from the picture for 20+ years also.

The government budget for thinning and management never seems to get past the proposal stage for lack of funding. They spend all of their time and money preparing studies and never get around to the actual forest management due to the complicated regulations that must be met before the first tree can be cut. So the fuel biomass gets bigger and dryer, until nature takes care of the problem with massive fires (whatever the cause), and all the funding and more is used up fighting the them.

May 14, 2019 11:33 pm

And it being exceptionally dry at times, followed by rapid growth and drying out of plant material after exceptional rainfall (providing fuel load) has absolutely nothing to do with this?

Also I note ‘an estimated 129 million trees in California’s forests died between 2010 and 2017, including over 62 million dying in 2016 alone’. and why did they die? Pest infestation driven by climate change.

It is as plain as the nose on your face California is suffering from climate change….

Tom Halla
Reply to  griff
May 15, 2019 6:48 am

Griff, California gets dry enough every year to burn, given the entirely normal climate of no rain for eight to ten months every year. Climate change would be having summer rains, not the normal Mediterranian climate of winter rain only.

Michelle Z.
Reply to  griff
May 16, 2019 9:02 am

California has always observably had a fire season that is followed with mudslide season on denuded slopes.

Anni Webb
May 15, 2019 12:28 am

The fires in British Columbia have been the result of poor forest management practices. Too many government types growing up with Smokey the Bear telling them all forest fires are bad, and that’s what sets policy. Our forests were meant to have fires burn through every few years to burn off the deadfalls, shrubs, and other fuel. Allowing this fuel to build and build makes for a devastating fire when it finally occurs. Each and every one of the large fires in BC was predicted by “old timers” ,but political correctness and virtue signalling always trumped action. (By the way, we live at a forest interface and we are prohibited from removing any trees on our property, even to improve our safety. In addition, the local government keeps hassling us to plant MORE trees to “improve the canopy” or some such nonsense.)

Coeur de Lion
May 15, 2019 1:12 am

wrt the hugely self-damaging TV programme ‘Climate Change The Facts’ put out recently by the corrupt BBC, Mikey Mann and poor sad Attenborough went big on wildfires as a result of GW. Will they get to read this?

Keith Willshaw
May 15, 2019 4:03 am

Its worth pointing out that a large part of the reason Pacific Gas and Electricity have spent less on maintenance than was expected was the the policy of the State of California to restrict prices and regulate they way they did business drove them into bankruptcy in 2001 .

Enron managed to game the system California imposed and engineered an 800% rise in wholesale prices while PG&E could not raise its price . They were aided and abetted by California Governor Pete Wilson. I was in Oakland when the rolling blackouts started. This cost PG&E over $10 , forced massive increases in prices and cut new spending on replacement and maintenance.

History is about to repeat itself as PG&E have once again filed for bankruptcy.

mr bliss
May 15, 2019 4:57 pm

From the Los Angeles Times article – “Part of the problem is that the changes driven by humanity’s production of greenhouse gases usually get swamped by the tremendous natural variability of the climate system” – one of the clearest statements yet that the obsession about blaming CO2 is just plain madness

Michelle Z.
May 16, 2019 9:00 am

This was linked here earlier this year. A wonderful interactive map of annual wildfires since 1878.
There is a fire season in California so there were always wildfires each year. The timeline reveals, quite clearly, that since all of the total suppression and lack of prevention began the fires became much, much larger.
The state of California is run by criminally irresponsible people who care not one little bit about impacts on people, up to and including loss of lives and property.

Fred Hubler
Reply to  Michelle Z.
May 16, 2019 12:48 pm

And many environmentalists acted like the bristlecone pine was the only species in Yellowstone Park as they yelled burn baby burn when it went up in flames.

Tom M
May 16, 2019 4:47 pm

Liberalism; works to perfection every time….

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