- Because of how dry SoCal is and the requirements to safely do controlled burns, there are only about two weeks a year when you can do them.
- The firefighters who do the burns are under contract for only 6 months out of the year.
- Air pollution regulations consider the smoke from controlled burns to be man-made particulates, making it hard to get permits to do the burns.
- Unlike the South, where controlled burns are the norm, in the West, we have followed a path of all-fires-are-bad and so there hasn't been much political support for increasing the amount of acreage burned.
The end result has been an accumulation of massive stockpiles of fuel in scrub and forests. One site claimed that, due to decades of build-up, the heat and size of the inevitable wildfires are beyond what can be contained.
Another interesting fact I pulled up is that under controlled burns, the flames aren't allowed to get much more than a foot high. The big trees get singed, but not burned down. The idea is to use fire to get rid of the flammable detritus on the forest floor.
|On the plus side, we will soon have connected a couple of tiny, rural towns with high-speed rail service. Massive wildfires are a small price to pay for that!|