[env-trinity] The Mercury News: The reason that California wildfires are worse than ever

Paul Catanese pcatanese at dhscott.com
Tue Aug 7 13:48:10 PDT 2018

The fire started at whiskeytown Monday July 23? Burned redding, on Thursday that week. Redding is a city.fail to see the connection between a fire starting at whiskeytown a federal park and burning down redding 20 miles away.

The investigation that will transpire will shed light on this. Has nothing to do with houses in the forest. Same with Santa Rosa , Oakland hills or Southern California.

Living the northstate we have bigger issues with unbridled immigration into California over the past 30 years and no improvement to infrastructure to support this migration.

The real issue is squeezing five pounds of people into a 2 pound bag and have all Californians subsidize it.

Paul J. Catanese, Partner

D.H. Scott & Company
O: 530.243.4300 | F: 530.243.4306
900 Market St, Redding, CA 96001
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On Aug 7, 2018, at 1:03 PM, Kim <mattson at EcosystemsNorthwest.com<mailto:mattson at EcosystemsNorthwest.com>> wrote:

I really enjoyed this thread and value the comments I have read.  I think it is very important to have this discussion.

I read or interpreted the posts as building houses in forest areas is problematic as they create a greater need to fight fires to save those houses and not necessarily that the houses themselves create fires... the location of these homes create a greater need to fight the fires and a greater economic loss when they burn.

I also have this story to contribute that you may find interesting to read.  My son is a Cal-fire fire fighter.  He told me a story about fighting a fire as a member of his four-man engine crew at night on a ridgetop (I can't recall exactly where but it was about 2 years ago). They were protecting a nice house built on that ridge top.  The fire got too close and actually came up quickly so they were slow to retreat.  They jumped in the fire engine and he said the fire swept up and hit the passengers side window with a blast where he was sitting.  He said they have extra strong glass and the window held.  If it had broken, he said the temperatures likely would have immediately collapsed their tracheas and presumable the four man crew would have died.  They backed out leaving their hoses to burn.  They hit the owners car on the way out, but were safe. They were able to go back in and save the house.  The engine had scorched paint... and there was a meeting and discussion about it the next day....so I guess you call that a close call.   Every so often I think about that story and wonder as I look up at really nice homes built into the forest on slopes... I would probably want to live there too if I could afford it...on the other hand, I have neighbors around me where we live on the edge of town... I have lived further out before but I now I like living around people better and closer in to the town area... I get to know my neighbors and I enjoy their company.  So, the way I look at it is there is actually a number of social benefits to not living in the forest zones besides the fire fighting problems it creates.  We are planning a small neighborhood party this month...

If you elected me the king, I would pass a law that those that still wish to build in the fire zones further out could do so, but would pay an extra fee or tax that would discourage some building and would help to pay for the costs of fire fighting.  Economist often say that this sort of cost accounting is an effective way to change behaviors and still allows some level of choice.    But for now, if I lived further out in a fire zone, I would try to think through how I am going to behave once a fire appears.

Kim Mattson

Mount Shasta, CA

On 8/6/2018 8:35 PM, kristi bevard wrote:
My two cents.

Many opinions are being expressed about fires, responders and land use planning in California.

Many contributing factors to fires in California exist. It makes no sense to chastise others for choosing to live near the forest. 1. As it turns out, some of the most devastating fires in Trinity were caused by government sponsored agencies burning meadows during a dry, windy day.
2. If some folks remember the Santa Rosa fire, all of the incinerated homes (with the exception of a few wineries) were in subdivision designed neighborhoods, not wildland fire hazard areas.
3. We, who pay insurance, pay for all catastrophes, including disasters caused by flooding, tornadoes and other maladies. For those of us who live in the forest, our insurance is extremely limited.
4.  There are many reasons why our lands are burning;
A) little or no weed control from asphalt shoulder to 12 ft inland on both sides of all roads
B) people who improperly chain up when pulling a trailer
C) people who toss lit cigarettes out of their windows, into dry grass
D) transients who have unattended, out of season fires to keep warm
E) lightening strikes
F) people driving after their tire has shredded and their rim throws flames into dry grass which was never cut by the state, county or fed.

The list above are some reasons we are on fire. Stop making generalized judgements about people who live in the country or the forest. Living here doesn't cause fires.

Trust me when I say; we pay for the privilege in spades.

Kristi A Bevard
Former TAMWG member
Trinity County Resident

On Sun, Aug 5, 2018, 18:26 Denise Boggs <denise at conservationcongress-ca.org<mailto:denise at conservationcongress-ca.org>> wrote:
The National Forests aren’t the problem. It’s people living in areas they shouldn’t be. Interesting stats on CA and the wildfires throughout the state over time. Some of these areas have burned multiple times and people keep rebuilding in the same place. The state’s landscape is prone to fires and they are going burn regardless. Climate change only makes it worse.

“The Carr Fire burning in Shasta County was started by a single spark from a towed trailer on a road in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. It then quickly raced into high-end new residential subdivisions such as Lake Redding Estates, where it destroyed 65 upscale homes.”

The reason that California wildfires are worse than ever
The Mercury News

As California grows, people are moving into the rural edges of cities where we weren't before -- creating an "expanding bull’s eye’ effect" of higher wildfire risk, according to a new study by geographer Stephen M. Strader of Villanova University. Read the full story<https://apple.news/AO3JyVOhZQvS4W7C_ou3raQ>

Denise Boggs

"Some of them were angry at the way the Earth was abused; By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power; And they struggled to protect her from them, only to be confused; By the magnitude of the fury in the final hour."
'Before the Deluge' Jackson Browne
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