The forest campaign 2017 has arrived, all equipments, people, and logistic systems are ready to work. The budget for all these agents is completely justified. Fire risk has a toll, and it's called "forest campaign".
Forests tasks and prevention actions are ended last weeks. Now all depends of weather and people. Weather provide us of summer heat (your tanned skin), rain (to hydrate plants and ground), wind (to dry all it touch), electrical storms (lightning fires). People can change the evolution of a quiet summer... mowing, plowing and agricultural work can produce fire ignitions. Bonfires, fireworks, firecrackers, oversights or negligences are other human causes.
|Incendis el 2016|
All are factors that can't be controlled with extinction media, however the money (budget from taxes) is spent in equipment, people and logistics to control wildfires produced due to weather and people items. It seems an easy reasoning. And this often used by politicians to justify this spenditure. They count burned hectares.
Is it so simple? NO, it is not.
What are the real causes? What can we do to reduce the number of causes, the potencial of these causes,
Actually the main problem is heat potential. It is produced by acumulations of combustible like dense forests, understorey, brushwood that produces a vertical continuity of dense vegetal layer of forest, abandoned farming field that produce a great extension of vegetation. When spring has brought little rain, and temperatures are higher than previous years all vegetable contains less humidity.
Furthermore, in recent years there is deficit of rain, and therefore there are many dried branches and leaves and these are the main factor of fast growing of fire. Accumulations of dried combustible are cause of high heat and it is the engine energy in wildfires. This big problem is growing every year, not only by climate change (it is a real problem, boreal forests suffer it yet) and also because our extinction method has changed our scenery.
|Font: Estadadística del Ministeri d'Agricultura|
|more forest in a century|
As I have explained in other posts, Boreal forests have a new enemy. Climate change is melting snow some weeks early from a few years ago. Heat dries the ground, and the wildfire season is extending as well as the number of ignitions and wildfires. A big green area is transformig in a new fire danger zone.
Why has to be right to have a dense forest area in a southern european peninsula? Mediterranean coast has spring windy weeks, hot summers, pyrophyte plants and adapted seeds, that promote fire and a fast regeneration. But humans are believed wiser than nature. We need to unlearn this cultural cliché. All types of forest are not beneficial to society. And Nature is wise. If fire exists is because it is a natural tool to reduce and to control vegetal growth. The Nature' slogan is "be wild". It means that we have to let nature act with all their weapons, including fires and wildfires.
We are modifying the natural protection of Nature. Fire is used to reduce large areas of forest, to create free trees zones. to reduced dead specimens, and to create a resistent vegetal layer. Now we are in the opposite side, Fire is awful. The consequence of this human action is: more forest, more hazard, more heat to be used for wildfires engine,... and The Beast is comming.
All of these reasonings are not a new discovery, many technical experts are claiming to the society about the importantce of preventive work that has to be made throughout the year. It is necessary to reduce understorey and brushwood, and to decrease trees density. The consequence is easy, fire hazard would be reduced therefore less ignitions, less fire attempts, less available energy to the engine of wild fire. And why not? Whay can not we let fire burn?
Maybe the question is another... why we need to spend so much money in equipment, people and logistics to extinguish fire? Because fire is a bussiness, and it feeds many people, many projects, many enterprises...