The Wine Country wildfires

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An interesting look at governement inaction - from San Jose's The Mercury News:

Wine Country fires: Gov. Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at power line, wildfire safety
A year ago, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines went to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

It was vetoed.

The author of the measure — passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature — now says the governor missed out on a chance to tackle one of his state’s longstanding vulnerabilities: massive wildfires endangering residential communities. 

And this is a story why? From The Mercury News (different article):

PG&E power lines linked to Wine Country fires
As the first reports came in Sunday night of numerous fires that would grow into one of the most destructive wildfire disasters in California history, emergency dispatchers in Sonoma County received multiple calls of power lines falling down and electrical transformers exploding.

And of course, the chance for high wind had been forecast well in advance - from Cliff Mass:

The Northern California Fires: Driven by the Diablo Winds That Were Predicted Days Before
A large area north of San Francisco was devastated Sunday night/Monday morning by explosive wildfires that have killed at least 13 individuals, destroyed over 1500 structures, and burned over a hundred thousand acres. Over one-hundred people are missing.

Sad news indeed. I have driven through the USA on occasion and have come across areas that had been burned. I find it amazing that only now is our understanding of forest fire management getting to the point where it mimics nature.

Nature tends towards lots of small fires that keep the undergrowth clear from the mature trees but never get big enough to challenge the trees themselves. Our "management" has been to eliminate fires at all costs - the undergrowth accumulates as this huge fire-load and when it does reach the tipping point, everything is burnt. The forest burns and we are left with a meadow that takes 100's of years to return to mature forest.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 12, 2017 9:29 PM.

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