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Bluecut Fire

 
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Sean
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:47 pm    Post subject: Bluecut Fire  Reply with quote

The Bluecut Fire is burning in the Cajon Pass. Last Friday, I was in the area and pulled over to check out the river by the Blue Cut. Some homeless camper asked if I had a cigarette. I hope it wasn't some careless smoker who started the fire.


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AW
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its crazy time....

Weekend roundup:
08/15/2016 19:27 Abandoned Campfires Manker CG
08/15/2016 12:45 OAK FLAT ABANDONED CAMPFIRE OAK FLATS CG
08/15/2016 12:40 HORSE FLAT ABANDONED CAMPFIRE HORSE CAMP CYN
08/14/2016 19:40 ILLEGAL CAMPFIRE  APPLE TREE CG
08/14/2016 15:24 unextinguished campfire. Chilao, Little Pines CG site 31
08/14/2016 13:22 illegal campfire. Buckhorn campground site 16.
08/14/2016 13:13 illegal charcoal bbq. hwy 39 across westfork parking lot
08/14/2016 12:34 ILLEGAL BBQ EAST FORK MM 4.59
08/14/2016 09:37 Multiple rock rings/campfires. Little Jimmy/Islip saddle
08/14/2016 08:58 illegal campfire. blue ridge campgrounds

I think this thread shows that all a lot of  people can do is be stunned, sad, and that kind of reaction. I think there is not a lot of precedence for SoCal on how to react to this year. Ask people if there is going to be another major fire here this year and you get nodding heads. The expectations are drifting towards being indifferent in a sense.
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walker



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just rode my bike on the Vetter Mt. / Chilao / Mt. Mooney loop last weekend and was somewhat encouraged to see the burn-zone poodle-dog gradually giving way to a fair amount of pine saplings in lots of places. But then I thought of how not that long ago, that whole area was mature shady pine groves even after more than a century of people using the area a lot. That kind of setting seems to be rapidly disappearing from the range. It's kind of staggering when you think of the acreage of mature forest that's been eaten up since the late '90s. Besides, it's kind of hot for campfires now, isn't it?
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Sean
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[rant]

In some regards, the way the Forest Service has "managed" the land seems like a collosal abomination. They manage it overwhelmingly for misguided environmentalistic concerns, instead of traditional, human concerns such as food production, hunting, farming, trail/road creation, and building and protecting homes and dwelling areas. If you live near or on FS-managed land, you're likely in a disaster zone waiting to happen. It's possible that Native Americans thousands of years ago managed the mountains using fire better than we do with all of our National Forest, Park, Monument, and Wilderness zone restrictions and regulations.

It's not like the importance of using fire is unknown to us. But the voices of history's lessons are drowned out by the modern screams of environmental and conservationist groups, whose first priorities have little or nothing to do with human welfare and survival.

We can blame "climate change", "erratic fire behavior", "shifting wind patterns", "low relative humidity", arson, etc. We have lots of excuses for why the Cajon Pass burns to the ground. But never the excuse: because our management philosophy prioritizes human self-sacrifice to the great and mighty Environment.

Well, how are you liking your environment now?

[/rant]
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RichardK



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:35 am    Post subject: Fire Reply with quote

It has always been my understanding that the problem is 75 years of fire suppression which allowed huge fuel loads to accumulate. The Smokey the Bear approach that all forest fires are bad started decades before anyone heard the word "environment". We now know they should have let it burn naturally.

I am amazed by the number of proscribed burns that are done in Florida state parks. I had a discussion with a park ranger about these fires. A century ago, if a lightning caused fire started on one coast, it would burn across the entire state, coast to coast. There was nothing to stop it except rivers and lakes. Now, they have to emulate that in the remaining natural areas.
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SGBob



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sean wrote:

It's not like the importance of using fire is unknown to us. But the voices of history's lessons are drowned out by the modern screams of environmental and conservationist groups, whose first priorities have little or nothing to do with human welfare and survival.

We can blame "climate change", "erratic fire behavior", "shifting wind patterns", "low relative humidity", arson, etc. We have lots of excuses for why the Cajon Pass burns to the ground. But never the excuse: because our management philosophy prioritizes human self-sacrifice to the great and mighty Environment.

Well, how are you liking your environment now?


I hope you realize that environmental and conservation groups have been trying to get the Forest Service to restore fire to the natural regime for decades.
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Sean
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: Fire Reply with quote

RichardK wrote:
It has always been my understanding that the problem is 75 years of fire suppression which allowed huge fuel loads to accumulate. The Smokey the Bear approach that all forest fires are bad started decades before anyone heard the word "environment".


Too much fire suppression and too little fire prescription has certainly been a problem in the federal management plan.

The much larger problem, however, is simply federal ownership of the land. The Feds have an artificial monopoly on wilderness management plans. It is not a monopoly or system that developed through free exchange of ideas and values. It occurred because of government intrusion and force.

If individual states or counties managed their most precious wilderness areas, instead of the Feds, then you would see genuine competition and comparisons between each government's theories and management plans. Those that made logical sense and worked in practice would, over time, become dominant culturally. Instead, you have a federally dictated program that doesn't work, yet remains in place throughout the country because of dictatorial, oppressive measures.

Also, environmental and conservationist theories have been around since at least the mid-1800s. Not all of the initial ideas were horrible for mankind. Back then most people wanted to manage the land for public safety and economical reasons. But somewhere down the road hardcore environmentalists assumed power. Nowadays the main, philosophical notion is that nature should be saved from humans. When, in reality, it's the reverse. Humans need to be protected from nature.
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SGBob



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: Fire Reply with quote

Sean wrote:
It is not a monopoly or system that developed through free exchange of ideas and values.


Are you arguing that elections in the United States are not the result of free exchange of ideas and values?

Sean wrote:
Also, environmental and conservationist theories have been around since at least the mid-1800s. Not all of the initial ideas were horrible for mankind. Back then most people wanted to manage the land for public safety and economical reasons. But somewhere down the road hardcore environmentalists assumed power. Nowadays the main, philosophical notion is that nature should be saved from humans. When, in reality, it's the reverse. Humans need to be protected from nature.


Let us know when the survival of the human race is in immediate danger from nature. In the meantime, countless ecosystems are in a state of collapse because of humans. Makes sense to me to address the proximate threats. It's also true that protecting nature is protecting humans, it's just more long term. A farmer that sells all of his seeds today has nothing to eat tomorrow.
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Sean
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGBob wrote:
I hope you realize that environmental and conservation groups have been trying to get the Forest Service to restore fire to the natural regime for decades.


Any examples? I don't doubt that some tactics like fire prescription could be advocated on both sides. But it might be for different reasons. Fire prescription to create a "healthy forest" is different than doing it for public safety or other strictly human benefits. It's the philosophical divide that worries me.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sean wrote:
Any examples? I don't doubt that some tactics like fire prescription could be advocated on both sides. But it might be for different reasons. Fire prescription to create a "healthy forest" is different than doing it for public safety or other strictly human benefits. It's the philosophical divide that worries me.


Having healthy forests is for public safety and human benefits. You can't separate humans from the environment in which we live. We need air, water, food, and natural resources that all come from the environment. It's not wise to poop in the well, so to speak.

Examples of fire advocacy:

Sierra Club
Quote:
Naturally occurring fires should be allowed to burn in areas where periodic burns are considered beneficial and where they can be expected to burn out before becoming catastrophic. Human-caused fires in such areas should be allowed to burn or be controlled on a case-by-case basis. In areas where fire would pose an unreasonable threat to property, human life or important biological communities, efforts should be made to reduce dangerous fuel accumulations through a program of planned ignitions.


Center for Biological Diversity
Quote:
Fire — including high-intensity fire — is an essential component of the Sierra Nevada ecosystem. In fact, fire historically burned vast amounts of the Sierra landscape on an annual basis prior to the Forest Service’s fire-suppression policies.
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Sean
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:05 am    Post subject: Re: Fire Reply with quote

SGBob wrote:
Are you arguing that elections in the United States are not the result of free exchange of ideas and values?


No. I'm not talking about elections.

Quote:
Let us know when the survival of the human race is in immediate danger from nature. In the meantime, countless ecosystems are in a state of collapse because of humans. Makes sense to me to address the proximate threats.


Get back to me after you've researched the yearly destruction that natural forces inflict on Americans, their way of life, and their property. Then we can discuss some ecosystems.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Fire Reply with quote

Sean wrote:
No. I'm not talking about elections.


But elections are how we get the Federal government.

Sean wrote:
Get back to me after you've researched the yearly destruction that natural forces inflict on Americans, their way of life, and their property. Then we can discuss some ecosystems.


Your position presupposes that solutions to those problems and preserving ecosystems are mutually exclusive, while there's a lot of evidence that it's quite the opposite. Our destruction of coastal wetlands has resulted in more destruction from hurricanes, our suppression of forest fires has resulted in larger more destructive fires, and so on.
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Sean
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Fire Reply with quote

SGBob wrote:
But elections are how we get the Federal government.


True. But it's possible to elect federal dictators who do not respect state or individual rights. There is a long history of how elected Presidents and Congresses have undermined each state's control over its own land. And at least the majority of citizens have accepted this. I'm not debating that point. I'm simply saying it's wrong, and we are paying the consequences for it--in many ways besides land management.

Quote:
Your position presupposes that solutions to those problems and preserving ecosystems are mutually exclusive, while there's a lot of evidence that it's quite the opposite. Our destruction of coastal wetlands has resulted in more destruction from hurricanes, our suppression of forest fires has resulted in larger more destructive fires, and so on.


I agree with some of that. Certainly we don't want to destroy or preserve something without taking into consideration such action's possible future effects. But the focus should be on: what is good for human life? How do we manage the forest so that a wildfire will never touch this or that city--or this or that critical freeway through a major mountain pass!

I realize some problems are hard to solve. But, c'mon, it's like we aren't even trying. As a society, we're still debating the intellectual and ethical issues. We haven't really gotten to the practical ones.
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AW
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Fire Reply with quote

SGBob wrote:
our suppression of forest fires has resulted in larger more destructive fires, and so on.


A typical myth lie of the chaparral institute.
These fires are human caused....but thats not PC.
The large number of fires is human caused....but thats racist bigotry.

How can the govt better react to a terrorist attack...except you cant mention terrorist attack as human caused. The only thing that matters is equal access for all, even for arsonists. The customer(forest visitor) is always right, even if they are a certified lunatic. Its their land, its their birthright. If they 'want to mess this hair up, its their hair, and they can mess it up anyway they want to'. Got it. There is no such thing as evil.
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robnokshus



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would opine that episodes such as this have been occurring since the San Gabriels were first formed. Do you think the excessive (by human standards) build up of fuel has only occurred in the last 100 years? I would imagine there have been long stretches of relatively little fire activity to huge infernos like we are seeing today. Drought, pests, lightening pre-date humans, the Federal Government and Obama (I'm sure he'll be to blame at some point).

While we view these events as tragedies, we view them through the miopic lens of human existence, which is but a grain of sand in the hourglass of time. Think about it, how many 1,000-year old trees do you see in the San Gabriels? There might be a couple of Limber Pines that come close, but for the most part, we measure tree rings in tens, maybe hundreds of years. Sucks for us, but it's just nature being nature. In another few hundred years, the forest will be back to business as usual. I can't say the same for us.
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Sean
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

robnokshus wrote:
Think about it, how many 1,000-year old trees do you see in the San Gabriels? There might be a couple of Limber Pines that come close...


More than a couple. The Wally Waldron Tree is said to be 1500 years old. And I've seen many other, thick, gnarly-ass pines above 9000 feet, where undergrowth fuel build-up is less of a problem.

But even at lower altitudes it takes a lot to kill a pine. Look at how many survived the Station Fire! Most species only have a lifespan of several hundred years and shouldn't be expected to survive for a thousand.

Yes, wildfires have been raging since the beginning of time. But they generally help trees, not destroy them. They help weed out the weaker trees and allow the stronger ones to reproduce, among other benefits.
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Ed



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Fire Reply with quote

RichardK wrote:
It has always been my understanding that the problem is 75 years of fire suppression which allowed huge fuel loads to accumulate.


Actually, there's been a debate going on about this for quite a few years, between researchers.  One, a professor at UC Riverside, looks at cross-sectional data - Southern California versus Baja - and endorses the conventional view, by noting that Baja has less fire suppression, and many but smaller fires.  Others - a professor at UC Berkeley and his coauthor at the USGS -  looks at longer-term time-series data, and arrives at the opposite conclusion, by noting that Southern California had massive fires in the era preceding significant fire suppression.  In other words, the only difference between today and the past is the increase in population: more people to start fires, and more damage to property.

Below is a link to an article published on this after the October 2003 Cedar Fire. There are other articles on the web on the same subject.  I read them carefully because my house burned down in the Cedar Fire.

http://legacy.sandiegouniontribun...fires/20040512-9999-1c12fire.html

I'm not fond of our land management bureaucracies, but I found some of Sean's and AW's comments to be the usual knee-jerk anti-government ranting.
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Sean
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Fire Reply with quote

Ed wrote:
I'm not fond of our land management bureaucracies, but I found Sean's comments to be the usual knee-jerk anti-government ranting.


I take offense at the "knee-jerk" description. Because I put a lot of thought into my rants. Sorry you lost your house.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sean wrote:

But even at lower altitudes it takes a lot to kill a pine. Look at how many survived the Station Fire!


Hehehe....yes, it takes a lot to kill a pine. Especially when phos-chek is dropped on it. Not saying people are going to know what they are seeing, but the Station Fire was a massive modification to the forest and fire. All-out war by firefighters. Had there not been a brave fight, it would have been lights out. The other part of it was old-school mgmt. Chilao,etc was altered back in the day to fight fires....all of those trees were specifically allowed to be there....and it worked. Just dont tell the REI collective that their forest is 'fake'.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Closure order map


Some dude was arrested for violating arson parole in the area
http://www.vvng.com/arsonist-arre...ammables-near-blue-cut-fire-area/
"....They conducted a vehicle search and discovered Missirlian had a 5-gallon can of gasoline, large butane torches, lighter fluid, and new cigarette lighters underneath the driver’s seat. The items appeared to be set ready for immediate use. Missirlian was arrested for arson and for violating his arson / parole terms. He was booked at West Valley Detention Center without incident...."
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JerryN



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:48 am    Post subject: On the PCT 2 weeks later Reply with quote

I hiked the segment from Silverwood Lake to Swarthout Canyon Rd about two weeks after the fire. (18.5m)  Here are some pics.



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Sean
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks pretty.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:12 pm    Post subject: looks pretty Reply with quote

Sean,

It actually was hauntingly beautiful.  It is not often that one sees the hills in that way.

Jerry
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoiks.

Thanks for the post, Jerry.

HJ
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