Ecology of forest fires.

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Queen K
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Ecology of forest fires.

Post by Queen K »

Will someone please remind me and all of us of the ecology of forest fires?

I recall reading a study of the rehabilitation of Yellowstone National Park after it has suffered "devastating" forest fires.
The landscape was forever changed but it was only humankind's imposition of how it had changed for the worse while it was burning without the insight of how it was going to assist nature later.

Man's suppression of wild fires and inherent unwillingness for change the landscape, unless we're logging the hell out of it, has contributed to hotter and faster moving forest fires. Do we accept this? Is that all there is too it?

I'm trying to find a silver lining to the hundreds of fires out there. How did forest fires put themselves out before we suppressed them? What were the aftermaths? Imagine if for millions of years, the growth, burn and regrowth is just the natural process and here we are, freakin' out. Is because people year round now in remote areas where they never lived before?

Nothing like a little Pacific Institute of Biology to assist:

http://www.pacificbio.org/initiatives/f ... ology.html


What is bothering me the most is that if we accept that a full 90% of fires are human caused, then the other 10 per cent of fires are the ones we have to accept as the natural fire cycle.

So why suppress at all unless human structures and towns and cities are involved?

Causes of fire
Approximately 90% of fires in the last decade have been human-caused, either through negligence, accident or intentional arson. Some of the fires caused by accidents and negligent acts are through unattended campfires, sparks, irresponsibly discarded cigarettes and burning debris. The remaining 10% of fires are caused by lightning strikes, which are especially prevalent in the Western United States and Alaska.
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johnny24
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Re: Ecology of forest fires.

Post by johnny24 »

Queen K wrote:Will someone please remind me and all of us of the ecology of forest fires?

I recall reading a study of the rehabilitation of Yellowstone National Park after it has suffered "devastating" forest fires.
The landscape was forever changed but it was only humankind's imposition of how it had changed for the worse while it was burning without the insight of how it was going to assist nature later.

Man's suppression of wild fires and inherent unwillingness for change the landscape, unless we're logging the hell out of it, has contributed to hotter and faster moving forest fires. Do we accept this? Is that all there is too it?

I'm trying to find a silver lining to the hundreds of fires out there. How did forest fires put themselves out before we suppressed them? What were the aftermaths? Imagine if for millions of years, the growth, burn and regrowth is just the natural process and here we are, freakin' out. Is because people year round now in remote areas where they never lived before?

Nothing like a little Pacific Institute of Biology to assist:

http://www.pacificbio.org/initiatives/f ... ology.html


What is bothering me the most is that if we accept that a full 90% of fires are human caused, then the other 10 per cent of fires are the ones we have to accept as the natural fire cycle.

So why suppress at all unless human structures and towns and cities are involved?

Causes of fire
Approximately 90% of fires in the last decade have been human-caused, either through negligence, accident or intentional arson. Some of the fires caused by accidents and negligent acts are through unattended campfires, sparks, irresponsibly discarded cigarettes and burning debris. The remaining 10% of fires are caused by lightning strikes, which are especially prevalent in the Western United States and Alaska.


Where do you get 90% from? Stats for BC show only about 40% are caused by humans.

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safet ... e-averages
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Queen K
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Re: Ecology of forest fires.

Post by Queen K »

Did you click on the link?

I guess different sources have alternative facts, lol.

But the thing is, how are forests being helped by suppression versus say, too many fires period are human caused.
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Queen K
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Re: Ecology of forest fires.

Post by Queen K »

I am watching the Eagle Creek fire in the Gorge, between Oregon and Washingston State. It sickens me because it seems unstoppable. ONE guy wanted fireworks for some reason, in the Gorge. One guy decided the fate of thousands of trees and landscape worth millions.

I am no longer able to think of the ecology of forest fires so much as why don't these people get the death penalty for destroying so much so fast.

Is there a reason forests in the Gorge have been so green and happy for so many years and now this? I take it they get more rain down there due to proximity to the ocean. But this is just so destructive people are actually crying on fb about the losses.

Is there no comfort?
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Re: Ecology of forest fires.

Post by WeatherWoman »

https://enviroliteracy.org/land-use/for ... est-fires/

Wildfires are a natural occurrance and serve important ecosystem functions. Forest landscapes are dynamic and change in response to variations in climate and to disturbances from natural sources, such as fires caused by lightning strikes. Many tree species have evolved to take advantage of fire, and periodic burns can contribute to overall forest health. Fires typically move through burning lower branches and clearing dead wood from the forest floor which kick-starts regeneration by providing ideal growing conditions. It also improves floor habitat for many species that prefer relatively open spaces.
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Re: Ecology of forest fires.

Post by ferri »

Queen K wrote:I am watching the Eagle Creek fire in the Gorge, between Oregon and Washingston State. It sickens me because it seems unstoppable. ONE guy wanted fireworks for some reason, in the Gorge. One guy decided the fate of thousands of trees and landscape worth millions.

I am no longer able to think of the ecology of forest fires so much as why don't these people get the death penalty for destroying so much so fast.

Is there a reason forests in the Gorge have been so green and happy for so many years and now this? I take it they get more rain down there due to proximity to the ocean. But this is just so destructive people are actually crying on fb about the losses.

Is there no comfort?


That fire has jumped the Columbia River now from Oregon and is now in Washington too. Here's a lovely time lapse of the fire. :(

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Catsumi
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Re: Ecology of forest fires.

Post by Catsumi »

That time lapse was jaw dropping! Ugly but amazing at the same time.

Will this awful "burning season" ever end, and when it does, will anything be left ?

My thoughts are with the destroyed wildlife that couldn't escape, the trees that will take a century to grow back (if ever) and with those who are trying to halt this disaster.

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Queen K
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Re: Ecology of forest fires.

Post by Queen K »

Horrifying right?

We are now getting insider looks at the damages. There is a facebook group called PNW Photography which specializes in the gorge area. The photographers are literally photographing the damages and changes of the Gorge fire and publishing their findigns right on the facebook group.

Some are saying that the ecology will bounce back once the rains return in the Gorge, some are lamenting the changes as too much for the soil and to expect landslides.

But isn't that what a dynamic ecosystem does? Change? And not for us, in our time, but for all times?
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Re: Ecology of forest fires.

Post by Catsumi »

QK

It seems you are as interested in forest ecology as I am, so wonder if you've heard of The Hidden Life of Trees by P. Wohlleben? Trees communicate with each other and are very dependent upon the fungi that couple with their roots. Trees also have a welfare system, chat via chemical signals, have military-like defences and cleverly coordinate their mating cycles so as to not self-pollinate. There is much more amazement between these pages. You will not look at a tree the same way ever again.

It may be possible, depending on how deeply the fires' heat penetrated into the soil destroying the fungus that trees need to assist them in nutrient and water uptake, that may spell the end of forests in these super dry and burnt conditions of the last few years.

Change is good? Depends if you prefer forest or desert.

A smallish book by my standards but chock full of interesting info.

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“A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.” - Mark Twain

“The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.” – Edward Abbey

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