The Essential Ingredients of the Most Destructive Wildfires: Wind and Grass

From the Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Cliff Mass

When many people think of wildfires, they often first visualize a forest fire.

And when the media and politicians talk of wildfires, they usually hone in on drought and climate change as the cause.

But if one is interested in the wildfires that kill and injure the most people, or wildfires that do the most economic damage, forests and drought are not the key factors.

In reality, it is grass and wind, which can produce rapidly expanding grass/range fires that have resulted in billions of dollars of loss and the deaths of many hundreds of individuals.

As described below, grass/range fires are the main threat to humanity.  And there is much we can do to reduce the terrible impacts of these events using the best science, technology, and land management. 

Note: The term rangeland includes tallgrass prairies, steppes (shortgrass prairies), desert shrublands, woodlands of small shrubs, savannas, chaparrals, and tundra landscapes.   Such vegetation often desiccates during the warm season (or under temporarily dry conditions).Some Examples of Major Grass/Rangeland and Wind Fires

  • The 2023 Maui wildfire in which 60-90 mph winds descended the West Maui mountains and resulted in electrical fires that spread through fields of flammable grasses into Lahaina.  Over 100 lost their lives, with billions of dollars of direct and indirect loss.
  • The 2018 Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, California, resulted in 85 deaths and over 16 billion dollars of damage.  Strong winds descending the Sierra Nevada caused electrical fires that spread on grass/range vegetation (and some trees) rapidly toward the town, with little warning.
  • The 2022 Marshall Fire, when strong winds descended the Colorado Front Range, pushing a grassfire into Superior Colorado, killing two and destroying over 1000 homes.  Damage is estimated to exceed two billion dollars.
  • The September 2020 Malden (WA) Fire, in which powerful northerly winds resulted in sparks from the broken powerline that ignited range vegetation that surged into Malden, destroying most of the town.
  • The October 1991 Tunnel Fire, in which strong easterly flow resulted in a grass/range fire that destroyed nearly 3000 homes and killed 25 near Oakland, CA. 3-5 billion dollars in damage.

The Marshall Fire Burned Through Grass into Superior, CO. Picture courtesy of Tristantech.

The largest fires this spring/summer in Washington State were grass/range fires (see map for eastern WA).

I could provide you with dozens of other examples, but the message is clear:  the overwhelming majority of wildfire deaths and the bulk of the economic loss from wildfires are associated with grass/range vegetation and strong winds.

Grass and Range Fires

Grass and range fires occur in light fuels: grasses, small bushes, and the like.   They often go through a distinct seasonal cycle:  greening up during the cool/wetter winter and then drying out, with the foilage above the surface dying (see picture above).

Grasses and small vegetation (less than 0.25 inches) are 1-hr fuels, which means they can dry out within roughly an hour.  Small bushes are 10-hr fuels.

The fact that such vegetation can dry out very quickly under the right conditions (no precipitation, lower humidity, strong winds), means the previous weather/climate conditions are of minimal importance. 

Even if it rained the day before, they can rapidly dry out to support fire.   Particularly, with strong, dry winds, these light fuels will be ready to burn quickly.   So prior “drought” in the weeks or months before is pretty much immaterial.

What can increase the risk of range and grass fires is above-normal precipitation during the previous spring and winter, which results in more bountiful grass growth.  Thus, drought the previous winter would REDUCE wildfire threat,  a subtlety absent from most media stories.

Rangeland in Hawaii. Picture courtesy of Aaron Yoshino

Wind and Grass/Rangeland

Wind plays a huge role in grass/rangeland fires.  Once the fires are started, strong winds provide huge amounts of oxygen for the fire, and rapidly push the fire forward by moving hot embers and superheated air ahead of the flame front.

Wind can also help dry the light fuels, by greatly enhancing evaporation.   Dry winds are particularly good at very quickly drying grass fuels.     

This is why strong downslope winds are the absolute worst situation.   As the air descends and accelerates down the slope, it is warmed by compression, and the relative humidity plummets.

Thus, many of the great wildfire disasters (Maui, Marshall fire in Colorado, Camp Fire west of the Sierra Nevada) are associated with downslope windstorms.

It is important to note that there is no evidence that winds are increasing or downslope windstorms are becoming more frequeny due to climate change.  In fact, the opposite is suggested on the West Coast, where substantial research suggests that warm/dry easterly flow down the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades will WEAKEN under global warming.

The Grassland/Range Wildfire Situation is Getting Worse–And it is NOT Because of Climate Change

Grass/range wildfires driven by wind have always been serious threats, but deaths and damage from them are increasing. Climate change is not the reason.

First, much of the western U.S. and Hawaii have been invaded by non-native, invasive, and highly flammable grasses.  One of the worst is cheatgrass, which is now found extensively around the nation (see map).

In Hawaii, invasive, flammable grasses have invaded agricultural lands that have been abandoned during the past few decades, resulting in huge flammable areas next to densely populated areas (see map below)

But the increase of vast areas of flammable vegetation is only part of the problem.

Increased population has resulted in far more powerlines, which are providing a potent ignition source of fire when winds are strong.

And increasing population near and in grasslands has resulted in hugely increased vulnerability to grass/range fires.

Finally, increasing grassland/range fires also results in increased forest fires, because grassland and forest are often adjacent and intermixed, and grasses/shrubs extend into forest areas.  Grass/range fires can move into forest areas, where the fire can ascend into canopies through a variety of ladder fuels.

Dealing with the Threat of Grass/Range Wildfires

There is much we can do to lessen the threat of grass/range wildfires.   We can save many lives and greatly lessen the damage from such fires.  

But to do so requires that society deals with the real origins of the problem and attack the problem in a rational, science-based way.  In this final section, I will describe some approaches that can help.

Use Weather Prediction and Fuels Information Better

During the past decade, the ability of high-resolution weather forecast models to predict the conditions associated with wind-driven grass fires has gotten stunningly good, specific in both time and space.  But this valuable information is often not effectively applied

For example, numerical prediction models clearly forecast the extreme winds and low relative humidity associated with the Maui fire (see my previous blog on this).  But little of the extreme threat near Lahaina was communicated.

In addition, satellite-based observations coupled with machine learning now provide real-time maps of where range-grass fuels are available in dangerous quantities (see the wonderful USDA Fuelcast site graphic below)

By putting the two data sources together (predicted winds and available dry fuel), we can provide very timely warning of wildfire threats.

Let me be very concrete here.   Wildfire Prediction Centers should be established for Hawaii, Alaska, and the lower 48 states to provide such guidance, as well as to interact with local authorities and power companies.  

The National Weather Service and other agencies must become much more aggressive in providing specific and timely warnings of this threat.

Deal with the Electrical Infrastructure Problem Through De-Energizing and Hardening Powerlines

Let’s be frank.  Many of the most deadly and destructive grass/range fires have been caused by failing powerlines, which cause sparking that easily ignites the “kindling” of dry grass/range vegetation. 

In many areas, power infrastructure needs extensive and expensive remediation. 

Until we can harden the current power infrastructure, much more aggressive de-energization of powerlines is required.   Fortunately, high-resolution weather prediction and knowledge of the state of the surface fuels can allow such power shut-offs to be limited in time and space.

Creating Fire Breaks around Range/Grassland Areas Near Populated Regions, Reducing Grass Load.

Firebreaks can be created near population centers, and grazing animals and mechanical cutting can be used to reduce fuel density, among other steps.

Improved Construction in Dangerous Areas

As clearly shown by the Maui, Marshal, and Camp Fires, homes and buildings take over as a fuel source as grass/range wildfires reach urban areas.  Non-flammable roofs, screens to prevent invasion of firebrands/embers, removing vegetation near buildings, and other steps can make a huge difference.  The lone house to survive in Maui was a stark illustration of the ability to reduce risk.

The Bottom Line:   Grass/range fires are the major cause of wildfire deaths and economic loss in the U.S.   Such fires generally result from seasonally dry fuels and strong winds. Since the dry fuels can be monitored and the winds skillfully predicted, the potential for large and rapidly expanding grass/range wildfires can be forecast in advance with some skill.   Climate change has little to do with such grass/range fires.  Many steps can be taken to reduce the grass/range wildfire risk.

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Tom Halla
August 28, 2023 6:12 am

Range management seems to be what is neglected. Cattle, goats, or controlled burns of light fuels would help a lot more than virtue signaling on climate change.

Ed Reid
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 28, 2023 6:22 am

Virtue sigaling has little real value to the signaler and no value to anyone else.

Mr Ed
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 28, 2023 7:27 am

There was a piece earlier here about the dramatic increase in wages for prescribed
grazing goat herders in CA which the operators claimed it would put them out of
business. Cheat grass burns like gas soaked rags when dry, and goats actually
eat/control it.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 28, 2023 8:23 am

I’m very familiar with the Marshall Colorado fire having seen both the fire and its aftermath with my own eyes. I would note a huge difference between the Marshall fire and the Maui fire, that is in loss of life. Two people were lost in the Marshall fire. We know that over 100 perished in the Maui fire and over 100 people (many children) are missing.

The agencies in Colorado did a very good job in warning people to evaluate once it became apparent that the fire was spreading out of control. That apparently didn’t happen in Maui. In fact it seems that evacuation was hindered.

That said, with home reconstruction nearly completed for those with adequate insurance in Colorado, what steps have been taken to prevent a similar wildfire in the future? To my knowledge, not a damn thing. It seems no one wants to appear guilty of doing anything wrong in the first place.

At this time, there is no drought around here. In fact, it’s wetter than normal and vegetation is more abundant that I ever recall. It will inevitably dry out and there will inevitably be winds. Will our luck run out again?

Tom Halla
Reply to  Scissor
August 28, 2023 8:30 am

There was the Tunnel fire in the Oakland hills in 1991. The area was very overgrown, with a lot of eucalyptus and ceanothus.
A great example of failing to manage fuels.

Kit P
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 28, 2023 12:18 pm

Went out and tried to sail that day. SF Bay was like glass. You could read the headlines on newspaper ash floating on the water carried by the downdraft winds in the hills.

That night I watched the fire works from my marina. The ‘managed fuels’ (aka landscaping) looked like the navy was shelling the hills.

Mr Ed
Reply to  Scissor
August 28, 2023 8:50 am

The 2018 Camp Fire in California killed some 85 many in their cars trying to

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 29, 2023 9:21 pm



In late June I attended a Range Field Day sponsored by Oregon State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Northern Great Basin Experimental Range, about 10 miles west of Riley, Harney County, Oregon, which is in the High Desert Sagebrush Steppe of the American West. To summarize what I learned:

A. With regard to rangeland fires:
1. Fall grazing reduces ignitions by 50%. Spring grazing reduces ignitions by 8x.
2. Fires in grazed areas spread more slowly, and with shorter flame lengths. Flame lengths in ungrazed areas are 3x taller.
3. Because of the buildup of fuels in ungrazed areas (previous years’ dried and leftover rubble) fire temperatures are 200ºF hotter than in grazed areas; shrubs and forbs burn more completely. Grazing lowers the “heat load.”
4. The higher temperatures in ungrazed areas tend to kill more bunch grasses. Many bunch grasses spread outward from their center, leaving the center dead and dry. This dead rubble in the center of the expanding bunch grass becomes a “fuel bomb” which contributes to grass mortality.
5. There is a 10x increase in annual grass invasions in ungrazed areas compared to grazed areas following fires.
6. Grazed areas exhibit more unburned patches in a fire than ungrazed.

B. With regard to the level of grazing:
1. The results above indicate that the level of grazing should be moderate, i.e., 50% usage, alternating years.
2. Definitely not repeated heavy spring grazing.
3. With moderate grazing, for recovery of the pasture the “resting time” appears to be immaterial; i.e., whether cattle are returned to the pasture the following year, or after two or three years, the recovery rates are about the same.

I’m the Secretary of the Frenchglen (Oregon) Rangeland Fire Protection Association, a not-for-profit comprised primarily of cattle ranchers (and their buckaroos), trained in wildland firefighting; our area of responsibility is about 2500 square miles of the outback of Harney County in far southeast Oregon. We fight fire with other RFPAs, the BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service, and occasionally with the Forest Service.

I’d like to supplement Cliff Mass’s excellent post with the comments I hear from my rancher friends: they’re often more worried about fires in the second year following a wet spring, because there will be dried annual grasses left over from the wet year to combine with the current year’s grasses, effectively doubling the fuel load.

Thoughtful range management is a great fire prevention tool. Unfortunately, the brie and chardonnay environmentalists who try to dictate policy largely hate grazing. They somehow can’t come to terms with the fact that a healthy environment is good for the herd and vice versa, and today’s ranchers largely are committed to this.

old cocky
Reply to  PVLFG
August 29, 2023 10:35 pm

That’s excellent information. Thanks for posting it.

Tom Halla
Reply to  PVLFG
August 30, 2023 6:49 am

The greens have the fantasy that “ just letting nature take it’s course” will yield good results. Anything people do is automatically evil.

August 28, 2023 6:30 am

Off topic but entertaining.

Story Tip: Video of Rangers breaking apart climate protester’s roadblock, and arresting protesters, on the road to Burning Tree. The Rangers show up about 9:35, and they do not fool around, coming from multiple directions.
FULL VIDEO: Climate Protesters Shut Down BURNING MAN, Rangers Ram Through Blockade – YouTube


Mr Ed
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
August 28, 2023 7:53 am

Outstanding video, we need more of this action..

J Boles
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
August 28, 2023 10:08 am

And I wonder, HOW did the protesters get there?? By bicycle or walking? NO! By car I bet! What flaming hypocrites!! AAARRGGHHH!!

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
August 28, 2023 10:31 am

Note that the brave protestors were ready to battle for their beliefs, armed to the hilt with –
their PHONES

Bob Rogers
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
August 29, 2023 8:22 am

Suitable caption: **** around and find out.

You know the stupid part? I bet 90% of the people in the cars didn’t know what had happened, but if the protestors had stood on the side of the road and held up their signs 100% of the people in the cars would have seen the message.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Bob Rogers
August 29, 2023 9:14 pm

Nobody ever accused the protestors of being smart.

August 28, 2023 6:35 am

Some aspects – like the human – can be difficult to control:

“”Greece has strongly condemned the actions of “arsonist scum” after the police apprehended 79 individuals suspected of arson in connection with the devastating wildfires sweeping the country. “”

It isn’t just a few, it’s a few dozen

Dave Andrews
Reply to  strativarius
August 28, 2023 8:57 am

“A supreme court prosecutor ordered an investigation into whether organised arson groups were operating after government officials said the fire started in 15 different places, creating a massive fire front” Grauniad 24th August in relation to the large fire in NE Greece

“By Friday, fire department officials had arrested 163 people on fire related charges since the start of the fire prevention season” Grauniad 28th August in relation to fires across Greece , note not all of these will be people who set fires intentionally.

Eric Vieira
August 28, 2023 6:54 am

“The Essential Ingredients of the Most Destructive Wildfires: Wind and Grass”What about climate change advocate arsonists? Arson has been often historically
used as a means to change land use, or land owners or government land grabs.

August 28, 2023 7:19 am

The other factor common to all these fires is the downslope winds causing very dry conditions. Could this be alleviated with active tree-planting on these downslopes? There is a rainfall issue on these slopes, but forests have a big impact on the wind-flow and even a modest irrigation program could reduce the extreme drying winds that are the root cause.

Victor Gunter Larsen
Reply to  RobPotter
August 28, 2023 9:08 pm

Hmm, not much if at all. I was on the intial strike team that fought the Corral fire in Mcall, Idaho, 1994 . That fire started upslope of an upscale community. During the day it made big runs upslope away from the pricey homes. But at night, the down slope winds carried flames and embers downslope, through heavy timber, much of it mature Grand & Douglas Fir suffering various disease states- root rot being rhe most prevalent. Note that there were not particularly high winds after the intial thunder storm that started the fire. The chimney effect in the day time and down slope winds at night were more than enough to carry the fire, defeating efforts at containment.

Reply to  Victor Gunter Larsen
August 30, 2023 3:07 am

We were logging some house logs way out on the Warren Wagon road the day that fire started. Also was on the Thunderbolt fire a couple weeks later. The next year we spent months logging the fires out of Idaho City from that summer. Believe a couple million acres went up that year but the hysteria was not so far along. Also lost the 13 in Colorado on Storm King.

Mr Ed
August 28, 2023 7:29 am

Outstanding presentation on the realities of wildfires, very well done.

Reply to  Mr Ed
August 28, 2023 7:51 am

Totally agree.

But will “the authorities” implement any of the effective measures that Prof. Mass identifies?

No, because it’s easier and cheaper for them to say “it’s climate change, so society is to blame”.

Mr Ed
Reply to  Mr.
August 28, 2023 8:43 am

When the pine bark beetle hit back in ’07-08 there were a number of things
that happened. The needles on the pine fell out opening up the canopy allowing
sunlight to reach the ground. Each tree drank on average 2 gallons of water per
day, so springs started flowing. By the 3rd year there were large acreages of
dead trees with a moisture content of kiln dried lumber with grass which started
growing under the open canopy and heavy moisture that was
chest high, 4-6 tons per acre. Now the lodgepole has “jackstrawed” with
15 yrs of dead grass layered and a fresh crop of grass which is dried this time of year.
Simply put it’s a death trap to go into the forest this time of year. There are thunder
storms forecast this week. Most people living in this area have no clue as to
what the forest is like these days. We had a heavy fire year back in 2017 and
there were areas burned that were “stand clearing fires” they won’t have trees
growing on them for 400+ years.. There were management actions that were
stopped by enviro lawfare and signed by federal judges on one fire, the Rice Ridge
fire in particular. The same groups pushing climate change are behind the
enviro lawsuits.. Michael Garrity and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies..AKA
Earth First!! ers. Are a local group. They make $6+Billion dollars/yr according to some sources in the western US.. But hey don’t get me started..

Reply to  Mr Ed
August 28, 2023 10:10 am

Yes I’ve driven past the endless vistas of dead lodge pole pine trees in northern BC and Alberta.
Remarked to my wife that they wouldn’t be a good place to get caught at if a fire broke out.
Which is what has been happening in these areas just these past few weeks.

Mr Ed
Reply to  Mr.
August 28, 2023 10:33 am

At least in Canada they have done a few things to utilize the dead timber
via biomass power plants & bio fuel ect. The governor of Montana when he
was near the end of his term in 2013 tried to convert a pulp mill that was
going to close and remake it into a solids to liquids plant with Fischer-Tropsch
system. He found out that it would need the permission from the Wood Products Association to do that and they said no. There are a lot
of interests involved. See the money behind the VLAT fire bomber planes if
you can..

There was a lightning fire near Lolo that had a small crew sent out to put it out. The wind took off when they got on site and it blew up and burned over 600 acres in a 1/2hr. The crew boss had lots of experience and he had never seen the likes of that fire. He said it was like a grass fire with the grass being 100 ft tall. It hit a fire break and laid down which saved the day. If a smoldering lightning hit gets hit with wind this time of year you don’t
want to be in the timber down wind.

Mumbles McGuirck
August 28, 2023 8:00 am

This article brought to my mind John Stewart Curry’s mural in the the Kansas state capitol. In the background are the two natural plagues of the Praries, tornadoes and grassfires.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
August 28, 2023 2:07 pm

Looks like John Brown trying to cure another type of plague.

August 28, 2023 8:12 am

Maui Officials Reveal Cause of the Devastating Wildfires – Blowing Up Leftist Democrats’ “Climate Change” Narrative

Maui County released the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants acted negligently by failing to power down their electrical equipment despite a National Weather Service Red Flag Warning on August 7th.

The lawsuit further alleges HECO’s energized and downed power lines ignited dry fuel such as grass and brush, causing the fires. The lawsuit also alleges failure to maintain the system and power grid, which caused the systemic failures starting three different fires on August 8th.

Jim Steele
August 28, 2023 8:23 am

TOTALLY AGREE guestblogger! A great summation of the problems many of us have been talking about for decades regards wildfires! If possible I’d like to know guestblogger’s name so I can be on the lookout for more of your articles.

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 28, 2023 10:13 am

It’s Cliff Mass, Jim.
From your neck of the woods I believe?

Jim Steele
Reply to  Mr.
August 28, 2023 10:22 am

I should have guessed it was Cliff. An excellent scientist. That will teach me to check out his blog more regularly than I do. He’s up in Washington I’m in California but I’ve had many private talks with Cliff, regards ocean acidification & oysters and wildfires over the years. I’ve learned much from him.

Ron Long
August 28, 2023 8:27 am

This report is a great demonstration of the cheatgrass fires of northern Nevada. And, as the report says, it’s a lot of rain, in the late SPRING growing season that sets the conditions for aggressive summer cheatgrass fires. Watch out.

John Oliver
August 28, 2023 8:46 am

I have always found the historical and archaeological record ( as well as oral history I think has reference to many catastrophic events) fascinating. Treasure divers off the coast of Florida have even found what turned out to be evidence of large ancient forest or grass land fires while digging around under water for Spanish treasure.

August 28, 2023 9:30 am

Dry grass and winds sure but land management and human ignition sources are at least as important factors.

Beta Blocker
August 28, 2023 9:32 am

In this YouTube video, Washington Governor Jay Inslee blames climate change for two large wildfires which burned large portions of grassland and forestland last week near Spokane, Washington:

Washington Governor Discusses Destructive Wildfires in Spokane County

“The beast is at the door,” Governor Inslee said in blaming climate change for the two Spokane County wildfires. He has repeated this meme some number of times in his years as a climate activist Washington Governor and sometime candidate for President of the United States.   

In the video, Governor Inslee claims that the main solution to preventing large wildfires in the future is for the world to decarbonize. In the meantime, he advocates that greater resources be devoted to fighting wildfires once they begin.

Little or nothing is said about taking the proactive measures in rangeland management, in forestland management, in weather prediction, in proactive emergency preparedness, in building codes, and in home protection measures which Cliff Mass and rational science say are necessary for dealing with the increasing risks of wildfires to an expanding human presence on the edges of our grasslands and forestlands.

August 28, 2023 10:09 am

That large swath of land from Montana down to Texas showing the grasses coincides with the least dense population of the USA. It is where the buffalo used to roam.

Kit P
August 28, 2023 12:59 pm

This is a matter of the chicken and the egg!

What came first; crazy arsonist, big city elected politicians, or climate hysteria?

I maintain that climate is just the last thing chicken little whine.

I joined the navy from the inter city. I did not go back. When I had a choice of where to live, I chose a few acres in mountains.

Guess where the people who live in a con

Kit P
August 28, 2023 1:27 pm

This is a case of the chicken and the egg!

Which came first; crazy arsonist, big city elected politician, or climate alarmist?

I maintain climate is just the latest from chicken little.

I joined the navy from the inner city. I did not go back preferring a few acres with lots of trees.

While agree with the technical issues and think wild fires is last big environmental issue, the root cause is how big cities vote.

Power lines is not a root cause of wildfires. Power companies know to clear a right of way so that a power line going down does not result in a out of control fire.

But it cost money and it is not a big city problem. How many times do we hear about greedy power companies? From people with a private jet?

old cocky
August 28, 2023 3:05 pm

The most deadly and expensive fires in Australia have been forest fires rather than grass fires.

The common feature is lack of fuel management.

Victor Gunter Larsen
Reply to  old cocky
August 28, 2023 9:20 pm

Well stated. If you ain’t gonna let Mother Nature have her way, by being too effective at fire suppression while ignoring the need manage the fuel loads, fire seasons just get worse and worse. A predication made decades ago for North America. It is not human caused climate change; rather it is human caused habitat change that increases fire intensity over time.

Jimmie Dollard
August 28, 2023 4:10 pm

Great article and right on. I once researched megafires (deaths or over 100,000 acres), and they only had two things in comon: IGNITION and WIND. Smokejumpers were killed at Mann Gulch in a grass fire. Firefighters were killed at Storm King Mountain (aka, South Canyon Fire) in a fire in heavy brush. The terrible fires mentioned in the article were not in forest with heavy fuel load.


When I was a smokejumper (70 years ago) our goal was to control the small fires before 10:00 am when the upslope winds started. Wind was always on our minds. For all the years since, I have followed publications about fire mitigation and have always been disapointed that many did not mention the two things all large fires have in comon: ignition and wind. As this article shows, fuel load is not the only consideration. We should do more research on preventing ignition and predicting wind.

aka: Old Gobi Jumper

Victor Gunter Larsen
Reply to  Jimmie Dollard
August 28, 2023 9:57 pm

Yes, but fuel loads and types can’t be ignored nor down played. It’s perverse in a sense that the easiest fuel types to manage are grass and other fine fuels, especially when they are easily accessed, like in Maui or Paradise, Ca. Flammable roofing materials are also suicidal insanity in any kind of fire prone habitat, while letting grass and brush build up against structures and under power lines is just asking for it, whether it’s a downed powerline or a grease fire in a barbecue grill.

August 28, 2023 9:51 pm

Wait, wait, wait… You’re telling me that using atmospheric oxygen for combustion in vehicles and powerplants (creating mostly inert CO2 and H2O) ISN’T causing the rest of the planet to burst into flames?!

August 29, 2023 3:09 am

Time to stop preventing Climate change 20 years in the future and instead deal with it today.
The future is the ultimate political excuse to do nothing because there is not a single metric that can measure the future.

August 29, 2023 3:17 am

Kelowna BC, Canada burned twice 20 years apart almost to the day. In spite of BC having a carbon tax longer than any other place in Canada.
Politicians love solving problems via increased taxes. So long as they are solving problems 20 years in the future, no one can prove higher taxes are not working.

Clyde Spencer
August 29, 2023 8:56 pm

It looks like a lot can be done to improve building codes to make buildings more fire resistant.

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