A travel blog about Scotland, Italy, Central Asia, and everywhere else

All you need to know about wildland forest fires but have not asked anyone yet

A report by Dr. Dominick DellaSala, Director of Forest Legacies underscored the need to acknowledge a concurrence with forest fire and proposed the best pathway is: confine ex-urban sprawl through land-use zoning; bring down home ignition factors by working from a home-focused viewpoint with home retrofitting for defensible space and vegetation management, rather than the wildlands – in context of logging to decrease fuels; thin little trees with prompt prescribed burning in ranches while prioritizing wildland fire boots use in forests far from homes; preserve more carbon in the ecosystem by shielding open forests from incentivizing carbon stewardship on non-federal lands and logging; and move to a low-carbon economy as soon as humanly possible. Anything less won’t accomplish the coveted aftereffects of climate-resilient forests with high biodiversity giving what might as well be called billions of dollars in ecosystem administrations.

The report pointed out the general impediments of ‘fuel reduction’ thinning, and damages to the ecosystem. Thinning lessens living space for canopy-dependent species like spotted owls, needs a far-reaching road network damaging to the oceanic ecosystems, can spread flammable and invasive weeds and discharges more carbon outflows than flames. There is additionally a low likelihood (3– 8%) that a thinned forest will experience a rapidly spreading fire amid the 10-20 year time of lessened ‘fuels’, so vast scale thinning recommendations that change forest conditions over expansive zones and discharge gigantic measures of carbon have a low possibility of ever influencing a wildfire. Thinning is rarely savvy, requiring open sponsorships or the business sale of extensive fire-resistant trees. In certain regions such as Klamath-Siskiyou and the Sierra Nevada, time since fire isn’t related with increasing fire chances because of fuel development—this is quite true on the grounds that as these forests grow old, they turn out to be less combustible. At regional scales, active management (unspecified types of logging) has been related to more elevated amounts of high-level fires, showing logging has a tendency to increase the chances of fire. In particular, thinning adequacy is reduced under extraordinary fire climate, the main factor governing huge flames.

Dr. Timothy Ingalsbee further stated, “Climate-driven wildland fires, the primary factor in the biggest out of control fires, can’t be halted until the climate changes, yet they bring about unnecessary expenses and firefighter dangers amid ineffective fire concealment. Funds used for suppression and widespread thinning would be better spent helping communities get ready for flame by means of defensible space.”

Dr. Dellasala went on to say, “fire is a natural phenomenon that has formed the biodiversity of dry forest over the West for centuries. Fire is just calamitous when it devastates homes or claim lives. Tragically, fire has been utilized as a reason for opening up a large number of sections of land of open terrains to unlimited logging in view of the false idea that logging can prevent future flames or can ‘reestablish’ forests that have consumed. Significantly, overseeing fierce fires for environment benefits isn’t the same as ‘let it burn.’ Instead, it includes checking out of control fire conduct at first, focusing on fire suppressions prone to spread to towns within, directing fires in the back-country within safe conditions, cutting flame lines closest to residential areas, and keeping firefighters safe.”

The report concluded in a confident tone, providing forest management alternatives that are good with western forest flexibility and fire-interceded biodiversity in an evolving atmosphere.

Clouds of Kyzylorda

Kyzylorda, Kazakhstan

Things everyone says: “My hometown is the worst.”

I am guilty of this myself, even though I am from one of the prettiest areas in the New York City radius. So when my Kazakh friends complain about being from Kyzylorda, a small town on the Syr Darya River in southern, relatively western Kazakhstan, I take it with a grain of salt.

On the other hand, Kyzylorda is in the middle of the Kazakh steppe hundreds of miles from the nearest city, the nearest point of interest being Baikonyr (where most of the world’s manned space flights are launched), although the actual cosmodrome is on land leased to Russia and you can’t just drop in unannounced. Further up the road (another hundred miles) there is Aralsk, the depressed ex-fishing town that used to be on the Aral sea before they drained a third of the water to irrigate cotton fields in Uzbekistan. What there is to see there now is an interesting history lesson and a “graveyard” of old ships, some sunken, some never taken out of the water when the sea receded.

The point I’m trying to make is: “Kyzylorda is in the middle of nowhere” is a totally valid claim. But that is only a bad thing if you don’t like it here and/or don’t have the option of leaving. For a few short days, I am enjoying it.

Almaty, the big city to the east, has me living under some majestic mountains and all, but also a blanket of smog that never moves. So my first love poem to Kyzylorda would probably be a hundred pages long and focused entirely on the subject of clean air. The air is so clean, you can see really far. The air is so clean, my hacking cough of two months got better as soon as I got off the plane. The air is clean because it’s really windy all the time, but it’s not so cold anymore so it certainly works for me.

It’s been raining off and on for the past few days, so my favorite clean air effect so far has been the clouds. In Almaty, every day is either clear or hazy with nothing in between. In Kyzylorda, every time I look up there is something to take a picture of.

Marin Headlands

One foggy San Francisco Sunday, I finally made it to the Marin Headlands. Stupidly inaccessible by public transit, the headlands have been the single most elusive day trip of my five-year Bay Area existence. It’s a beautiful area, a straight 20 minute drive from where I live near Daly City, and now I own a car so no more excuses.

AGENDA:

breakfast stop at sufficiently greasy diner in the Outer Sunset
mile-long hike out to the ocean
four-mile loop through the hills
run around like a hippy with flowers in my hair