Author Topic: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous  (Read 3836 times)

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Offline MountainDon

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The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« on: September 04, 2014, 06:06:04 PM »
We have a managed burn going on in our neck of the woods. The latest fire info shows the closest point 2.01 miles from our cabin; according to Google Earth's measurement. That is close!   Yes, we have had a wet July and August, but we were dry as tinder before that. Even now, in the last week their fire danger indicator has risen from the Low it finally dropped to after the rains, back to a Moderate. The pine needles on the ground were starting to crunch again last weekend.

This is the same FS division that had a controlled burn in 2000; the one that got away and destroyed several hundred homes and other damages to the tune of over 1$Billion. However, that was in May when it was much drier.

Search for the Pino fire.  Started by lightning in the area that had been planned for the managed burn all summer. http://www.geomac.gov/index.shtml    The View KML option will let a map overlay be opened in Google Earth.

I know it has to be done, but it is a tad hard on the nerves.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 07:36:19 PM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline hpinson

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 05:20:16 AM »
We've seen it and (cough) smelled it.   Up close are they keeping it a ground fire or is it larger and moving in the tree tops?  I had heard yesterday that it's size was over a 1000 acres. 

We were backpacking in the San Pedro Parks 2 weeks ago and it was as wet as I've seen. There seemed no chance of natural fire. I've never seen so many mushrooms around there.

Todays rain should help keep it down.  Un-nerving though that it is so close.  I hope that they are able to manage it.

If it works as they hope, maybe in the long term that is a good outcome for you?

Offline MountainDon

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 05:33:33 AM »
It is winding down, according to the news.  In the long run it is very good. But it still makes for nerves right now. They have kept it south of FR 270. There is a small development that the 9/3 satellite images show was only a few hundred yards north of the burn line. No new maps so far today; maybe it was too cloudy to fly last night?  ???  This coupled with the thinning of lands adjacent to the planned burn area makes the lands SW of us less prone to bad wildfire. We'll see about having a look this weekend.

As far as the type of burn, we were told it is supposed to be a ground fire. Not hot enough to get the tree tops involved. That's what they told us two years ago when they did some burning along hwy 4 between La Cueva and Los Alamos. Have you driven that lately.? The fire burned hotter than expected and they did a lot of lower half damage to the ponderosa pines. Lots of brown needles from heat kill. In places entire trees got it.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline hpinson

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 06:17:18 AM »
Generally, from the ones I've seen, they do a good job of it, and I think conditions are right.    Maybe you can get over and see it this weekend like you say.  I've seen two controlled burns this year up close, in Utah, and they truly were ground fires, and looked very beneficial to my eyes.  The one in 2000 was a major fu-k up. They had no business doing that, given the dry conditions.  I've not driven over to Los Alamos lately, but I know they can get out of hand, even if only a little.

Rain again today I believe.

I wonder how the FS would respond to a controlled burn threatening dwelling structures?


Offline MountainDon

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 09:17:22 AM »
I'm sure they'd be there with a fleet of fire engines.  When neighboring property had a small fire go out of control in May '09 there a total of 6 engines including some from a pueblo and the Cuba volunteers.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 03:49:25 PM »
The 'managed burn' worked out well enough. We drove through the area Fri night and saw some smoke, about a thousand little hot spots; stumps, bigger logs on the ground etc flaming and smouldering. Time will tell if any of the larger trees got heat burned enough to kill them. The trash on the ground, pine needle duff, fallen branches and the like were all burned up. However, the forest is still overpopulated with trees, mostly conifers. The crown fire danger may not have been helped much, but it should be a while before any ground fire danger grows back. I have some pictures if anyone is interested.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline hpinson

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 05:49:16 PM »
That's really good to hear.

There is a devastating article about the Forest Service Southwest Region, and their ongoing slow-moving train wreck project to mange that overcrowding in Arizona forests:

https://www.hcn.org/issues/46.15/lost-in-the-woods\

I don't know if you subscribe. Only a very short preview is at that link. I think you have to be a subscriber and login to read the rest.

I'd be interested in seeing the pictures of the results of a controlled burn.  Maybe some others would be too?

Offline MountainDon

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 06:33:49 PM »
Thanks for the hcn link. Now I am a member  :)

Three photos that are more or less typical. Some unburned small branches and debris, unburned grass here and there. From what I see a burn like this clears up a lot of the collected debris I call trash.... pine needles from many years, twigs, branches and grass and other small plants that will grow back anew. But as I said before it doesn't do a thing for the tree population. I didn't do an exhaustive photo essay, otherwise I would include some photos showing some areas where there were / are groves of sapling size ponderosas. They were probably burned enough to kill them, but not to consume them. So already we have the next layer of trash in the works. It may take a few years for them to fall over.
ooops.   gotta redo the images

« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 06:48:37 PM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 06:52:25 PM »
Here we go...










Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline ColchesterCabin

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Re: The Forest Service is making Us Nervous
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2014, 03:06:42 AM »
looks like the next step should be a select thinning of the trees to open up the canopy tops!
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