Wildfires and Safety

Wildfires and Safety

Fire plays an important role in the life of a forest, clearing away dead wood and undergrowth to make way for younger trees. But for much of the last century, fire-suppression policies have sought to extinguish wildfires as quickly as possible to preserve timber and real estate. This approach has led to the accumulation of brush and other vegetation that is easily ignited and serves as fuel for wildfires. Most of the large fires with significant property damage have occurred in California, where some of the fastest developing counties are in forest areas.
2014 AND 2013 WILDFIRES
Between January 1 and June 14, 2014 the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to approximately 2,324  wildfires that have charred nearly  17,806 acres. The five year average for the same interval is 1,447 fires and 12,428 acres charred.
In 2013, 47,579 wildfires burned over 4 million acres, with California, North Carolina, Oregon, Montana and Arizona experiencing the most wildfires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. On June 30, 19 firefighters were killed while working to contain the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. This was the deadliest event for firefighters since 9/11 and the third-highest firefighter death toll attributed to wildfires. A massive wildfire that began near Yosemite Park in California on August 17 had burned over 255,000 acres and was designated as the state’s third-largest wildfire. The December 17 fire in Big Sur, California, burned 917 acres and more than 30 homes. Read More at III.org