Fires and climate change

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Gone_Fishin
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Re: Fires and climate change

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Report: Poor Management of Forests, Not Global Warming, To Blame for Widespread Wildfires

By Michael Bastasch
August 8, 2018 at 8:59am


“Many of the media and some politicians has been pushing a false narrative: that the fires are mainly about global warming. They are not,” Mass said in an email. Mass also criticized politicians and the media for trying to make last year’s wildfire season about global warming.

Zybach also doesn’t buy that global warming is exacerbating fires. Through his research, Zybach analyzed thousands of official documents, reports and first-hand accounts of wildfire activity going back hundreds of years. His conclusion: wildfire season hasn’t changed much.

“To say there’s been another change, other than management, is just grasping at straws,” Zybach said.

What has changed is land management. For example, declines in timber production on federal lands, particularly in the Northwest, not only meant the death of a once vibrant industry but also an end to thinning, controlled burns and other activities meant to keep forest growth in check.

Wildfire experts have also increasingly been pointing to the fact that more people and infrastructure are located in wildfire-prone areas than in the past, increasing the risk of wildfires impacting livelihoods.

A recent study found the number of homes at risk of wildfires in the western U.S. increased 1,000 percent since 1940, from about 607,000 in 1940 to 6.7 million. Since most fires are ignited by humans, the more people in fire-prone areas the higher the risk.

“This is a people problem,” said U.S. Geological Survey fire expert Jon Keeley. “What’s changing is not the fires themselves but the fact that we have more and more people at risk.”


https://www.westernjournal.com/report-p ... wildfires/
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