Out of Touch SF Cronicle:
“As the Wine Country fires close in, rancher in Bangor, CA awaits rescue for 72 horses”
—- (clueless about CA geography – Bangor is about 150 miles northeast, in Butte county. Writer finally corrected headline after many FB comments)
“The fires occured in year of record-breaking setting heat and persistent drought”
—-(“persistent drought” ????? —- This year was the second wettest on record !!! – Oroville dam had major damage resulting in thousands of evacuations, some vineyards under water ’til end of June and planting delayed due to soil too wet.)
…..And this article just continues to get more stupid as it goes….
“How Climate Change is ‘ Turning Up the Dial’ on California Wildfires” Oct., 13 by Stefan Beckert:
“California Governor Brown laid the blame squarely at the feet of climate change on Wednesday.”
“We had a wet winter and that provided moisture to vegetation which grew a lot grass, brush, trees. When you have a lot of vegetation that grows then it dries out and stays around longer than usual”
—( well, at least Gov Brown…unlike the Chronicle… recognized that we had a wet year and not a “persistant drought.” )
“Brown added that grazing and logging have contributed to the conditions fueling severe wildfires across the West:”
“We’ve done a lot of commercial logging that removed old-growth trees that were fire resistant.”
“We’ve also increased grazing. When you remove low-intensity fuels what you’ve got left is a condition on the ground that is more flammable and less resistant to responding well to fire.”
—( REALLY…???…so I guess clearing a defensible space…by either grazing or mowing…leaves a condition that is more flammable due to low-intensity fuels being removed…???)
…And here, a rare bit of common sense from unlikely Bay Area media & academic sources…
San Jose Mercury News:
“Wine Country fires: Why are they so deadly, destructive and difficult to stop?” Oct. 15, by Lisa M Krieger
“Sonoma and Napa tend to be rugged and rural and wilderness is reclaiming land that was once heavily farmed, ranched and logged.”
“Unlike the owners of cattle and timber companies of a century ago, current property owners haven’t managed their vegetation, so the region’s fuel loads are high.”
“And to protect these homes, fires have been prevented for decades – which paradoxically, makes them more vulnerable to big infernos because of the excessive accumulation of dried brush and other fuels.”
“And the once-agricultural Sonoma and Napa hilltops have been bought and managed as open space preserves, so former pastures are now covered by trees ‘basically ember-generating machines in wind-driven fires’. ”
—— Bill Stewart of UC Berkeley Center for Forestry & Fire Research
Mismanagement of Sonoma county vegetation – a case in point:
….Earlier this year at the CA State Fair, a Santa Rosa rancher told me that this year the city wasn’t managing the vegetation on the land it owned that was bordering his ranch.
He called repeatedly to complain about the fire danger and offered to graze his goats, but city turned him down.
Frustrated, he finally just opened up the gate and let his goats onto the city property and let ’em graze.
After the brush was cleared, the city sent him a “trespassing” notice, and fined him $1,200.
He responded by sending them an even bigger bill for clearing the brush.
The city quickly responded by rescinding their fine.
You just can’t fix stupid-Ed.
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