"The biggest problem in California right now is that we don’t have enough fires" — everything we said before but more so

We are finally getting another winter storm -- rain in the valleys, snow on the mountains -- so I'm reposting this. Everything in it is as or more relevant now than it was in December. We've already let too many opportunities pass this year and the fires we didn't set in January and February will come back on their own at a much worse time. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The biggest problem in California right now is that we don't have enough fires

It's raining as I type this, snowing not that far from here. We've gotten lucky in the past couple of weeks and we are supposed to have another major storm before New Year's Day. All of this means that we desperately need to start planning as soon as possible for teams to go out into the forest and start some fires.

As Elizabeth Weil explains in her Pulitzer-worthy Propublica piece (which we discussed earlier here). [emphasis added]

Yes, there’s been talk across the U.S. Forest Service and California state agencies about doing more prescribed burns [a.k.a. controlled burns -- MP] and managed burns. The point of that “good fire” would be to create a black-and-green checkerboard across the state. The black burned parcels would then provide a series of dampers and dead ends to keep the fire intensity lower when flames spark in hot, dry conditions, as they did this past week. But we’ve had far too little “good fire,” as the Cassandras call it. Too little purposeful, (Read more...)