Why Such ‘Violent’ WA Fires? Ignoring Warning Signs
“Washington’s forests are in a critical state. Millions of acres are overcrowded, filled with diseased and dying trees, and at high risk for catastrophic wildfires/"---from the 2019 annual report issued by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.
Although this has to do with Washington state, the same lesson could be applied to Oregon and California.
MyNorthest.com's Jason Rantz reported today (Monday 9-14) that Gov. Inslee should shoulder the blame for the fires that have ravaged our state, especially the Malden blaze in Whitman County.
Although she's no favorite of conservatives and folks who actually understand wild land management, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has actually sounded alarms as far back as 2018 about how these fires could happen, and again last year.
Rantz said in her 2019 annual report:
"Wildfire in forests composed of widely spaced, mature trees with minimal ladder fuels in the understory is more likely to remain on the ground. Large diameter, thick-barked trees with few lower branches are more likely to survive this type of fire. A low intensity ground fire has less risk of igniting structures, especially those with defensible space. This fire-adapted stand structure is maintained naturally through frequent fire return intervals or through management activities such as thinning, pruning, and/or prescribed burning."
Franz has been pushing for resources at the STATE level, that would match what most city and county departments have. According to Rantz, and legislative sources, Inslee and the Democratic controlled legislature didn't get around to passing two bills that would have greatly increased funding and resources for fire management and fighting.
Also, according to the Washington Policy Center, it appears that preventative maintenance in forest and wild lands is no longer a top priority. The WPC reports that Washington state no longer lists progress being made towards getting at least 200,000 acres thinned and given better health against fire. The goal, as stated by Inslee in his FIRST term, was do that by 2017. Department of Natural Resources said in 2016 they were not going to be able to reach that goal, and now no longer lists any progress reports on this task.
Much like he did in his visit to ravaged Malden in Whitman County, Inslee has blamed climate change for all the savage fires we've seen this season, Rantz says that's an easy out because Inslee himself cannot be blamed for climate change.
But it's actually poor forest and wild lands management, and Franz's reports back that up. The same could be said for CA, and especially Oregon, where it's seeing it's worst fire season in history.
Inslee blames Trump for the COVID Pandemic, he still has not assumed any responsibility for the ESD fraud (millions being sent to NIgeria) and now he is blaming climate change for his forest mismanagement, says Rantz.
To read the entire article, click here.