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Before retirement, I led a local wildfire planning effort that included landowner education and database development in the Columbia River Gorge. An Oregond Department of Forestry colleague referred to this region as a "wind tunnel lined with flammable material."The following obervations are probably known by those in wildland and structural fire. I offer them for the public for their consideration.
Fire exists when adequate fuels, oxygen and heat are present. the fire triangle.
Residents in our wildland-urban interface tended to be blase' or even opposed to taking easily implemented steps that can reduce wildfire risk to their structures.
Information on these steps is abaialbe from Extension offices, Conservations Districts, Oregon Department of Forestry and Washington Department of Natural Resources offices.
WUI resident concern about wildfire increases greatly after nearby fire incident. An eduational moment
Wind driven fires may last less than a day, but can develop so quickly that significant damage occurs before resources can be marshalled or that available resources are overwhelmed.
WUI residents who fail to take steps to protect their own properties are their own worst enemies. Firefighters will not deploy to an area that cannot be protected or that has no escape route. Better to lose a multi-million dollar estate than to have one fire fighter suffer injury or loss of life. This a no-brainer.
The structural volunteer fire chiefs and wildland fire managers our project worked with at the local, state and federal levels are smart, hardworking, can-do men and women. They fully understand the risks involved and the constaints on their abilities.
Developing Community Wildfire Protection plans can bring local communities together and access grant funds for fuels mitigation. To be successful, the plan writing process needs to be completable within 6 months and to deliver a solid usable document. Local volunteer firefighters, and state and federal cooperators have short tolerance for ineffective process.
posted 2 years, 8 months ago
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