Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Good Fire, Bad Fire

Controlled burn in Florida (
The science is nuanced.

Fighting fire with fire benefits forests, watersheds. [bold added]
Scott Stephens, a fire scientist from UC Berkeley, and fellow researchers have studied what happens when fires are allowed to burn, rather than repeatedly being put out....Stephens learned that allowing fires to burn tends to lead to more resilient forests, with smaller future fires and lessened impacts on the environment.
Wildfires are likely to become more destructive.
About 58 million trees suffered water losses greater than 30 percent, or about 7 to 10 percent of trees in most places, the research indicates. In an average non-drought year, only about 1 percent of California’s trees typically die.

While an El NiƱo weather pattern in the Pacific is expected to provide drought relief to California’s wildlands this winter, the researchers suggest that much of the state’s forests will remain in a weakened state indefinitely.
Letting fires burn has scientific support; however, that strategy depends on mistake-free controlled burns.

Also, "environmental laws can actually impede prescribed burning."

No comments: