March 17, 2014

Blind Leading The Blind

Forest Service in California used the term "Controlled Burn" in the recent past to describe one of the housekeeping tasks of the forest. Controlled would be the dominate term; informing the public that Forest Service is going out to clear some underbrush which would make forest fires of the uncontrolled type easier to contain, control, and manage.

These planned fires are now called "prescribed" burns. Of course, for you and I, just dumb regular Joe's that would make us believe that the forest doctor (Dr. Smokey?) is treating the environment for some type of illness.

Prescribed fires often ruin the environment, destroy food sources for wildlife, destroy wildlife and often, like the prescription drugs advertised on television, have other serious side effects.  Often the bulldozers used to create the "fire lines" cause incredible damage to the soil prompting erosion.

Some controlled fires develop authority issues, running amok. The Cerro Grande Fire in New Mexico burned 48,000 acres which included 280+ homes. In 2006 in California, the Sierra Fire jumped lines and burned 10,854 acres. 2012 "only" 103 acres were burned during the Creek Fire. The San Felipe Fire in 2013 went wild and destroyed 2,781 acres.

California released a plan ( Aug/2013) to burn (bull doze or spray with herbicides) over 38 million acres during the 2013/2014 period. That is one-third of the state and five times the normal area of forest housekeeping.

I know there is great controversy over this practice but isn't it weird how the verbiage is changed for public consumption? Makes the pill easy to swallow?

Oh, and the main reason for this post. Our local television station (Hi, KRCR)  reported that Forest Service announced there will be a "prescribed burn" in the Whiskeytown National Forest today. That report was followed up with the weather report which announced high winds today with gusts expected around 40 mph in the afternoon.

I wonder if Forest Service ever talks to Weather Service.

Good news; north winds today and I live east of Whiskeytown. I can go about my regular business. Muletown Road and Zogg Mine Road people, you might want to hitch your horse trailers up to your pickups and make sure grandma's china is packed.

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