Wildfire propaganda

Big surprise–WtD has a post on the California wildfires. It features an article from the Los Angeles Time. Very scientific….

Why the fires? Something about sea surface warming, glaciers melting. and lakes warming. It was not at all clear how these have any effect on fires since all three involve water, the enemy of fire.

For those who missed the explanation for why fires are a problem in California and elsewhere:
1. The earth has a large amount of flammable material that can be ignited by both nature and humans (a subset of nature)
2. Humans tend to live in flammable housing.
3. They tend to put their flammable housing in flammable trees and brush.
4. Flammable housing in flammable trees often results in loss of homes when a fire occurs.
5. Failure to remove the flammable material around the flammable houses, also known as defensible space
6. Increase in the number of humans living in the flammable structures in an area (can result in more accidental fires and increases fire losses)
7. Increases in recreational activities that can produce accidental fires.
8. Arson–for the thrill or for money

All of these can be readily verified without adjustments, statistical analysis or models.

Hot weather, low humidity and wind increase the intensity of fires, but if the basic reasons for fire were addressed, the weather would not be such an issue. Until we admit that building flammable structures in flammable areas will cause losses when a fire does occur and until we admit humans are very bad about following the rules concerning fire safety and defensible space, no amount of the weather cooling will make a significant impact, short of a new ice age.

Scientific badger

Scientific badger

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6 comments on “Wildfire propaganda

  1. http://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/nfn.htm

    I have to check if these numbers take into account the “let them burn” fires which add to acreages because we do nothing to stop them.

    • youkipper says:

      Check all you want but unless they has been significant policy changes in the fire fighting departments , your “let them burn” fires will only have increased in proportion with the increasing number of wild fires.

  2. Us data:
    Year-to-date statistics
    2013 (1/1/13 – 8/16/13) Fires: 30,908 Acres: 3,148,014
    2012 (1/1/12 – 8/16/12) Fires: 43,049 Acres: 6,373,225
    2011 (1/1/11 – 8/16/11) Fires: 48,315 Acres: 6,432,920
    2010 (1/1/10 – 8/16/10) Fires: 43,435 Acres: 2,213,757
    2009 (1/1/09 – 8/16/09) Fires: 61,780 Acres: 5,074,905
    2008 (1/1/08 – 8/16/08) Fires: 58,067 Acres: 4,075,061
    2007 (1/1/07 – 8/16/07) Fires: 61,017 Acres: 6,049,497
    2006 (1/1/06 – 8/16/06) Fires: 76,089 Acres: 6,305,082
    2005 (1/1/05 – 8/16/05) Fires: 42,454 Acres: 6,153,151
    2004 (1/1/03 – 8/16/04) Fires: 52,306 Acres: 6,049,670
    National Interagency Fire Center
    I don’t detect an increase in the United States.

    I cannot locate numbers for Europe, Asia, etc right now. I suspect that when looking at actual data and not models (which are not reality–I’ll just keep saying that) there is no significant increase.

    Perhaps PeterB has statistics on the worldwide trends based on actual fires.

    • youkipper says:

      If you had of read the science that I linked to you would have read;

      “The recent decade has seen an exceptional number of extreme
      heat waves around the world that caused severe damage to
      society and ecosystem”

      By why have you only given the numbers for the last few years – less than a decade since 2013 hasn’t finished yet? But I’m not sure where you get the figures from. The National Interagency Fire Center data shows a clear trend between both number of fires and increasing acres from 1960 to 2009;

      http://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/fireInfo_stats_totalFires.html

      Graphed here;

      And that is with ever more being spent of fire suppression.

  3. youkipper says:

    PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “Of course there will generally be more fires, and fires with higher intensity during dry, windy years… perfectly natural.”

    Except published research suggests that warming since 1970s has strongly increased the occurrence-probability of heat extremes and therefore more fires with higher intensity.

    Recently published;

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/3/034018/

  4. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Forest fires and brush fires have been, and always will be, nature’s way of “clearing the dead wood” and, in the long run, increasing the overall health of the ecosystem.

    Of course there will generally be more fires, and fires with higher intensity during dry, windy years… perfectly natural.

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