Insurance companies cancel policies
Some homeowners in the Scripps Ranch area near San Diego have received notices that their policies are being cancelled. The residents live near the areas that burned catastrophically in 2003 or 2007, fires that destroyed thousands of homes and took 16 lives. According to an article at 10news, one of the homeowners said, “They canceled us and also several people on our street, saying they couldn’t renew our policy because we were too close to the brush line.”
Which area near Colorado Springs will be next?
Some residents in the Colorado Springs area are a little concerned about the vulnerability of their homes after the fire disasters of 2012 and 2013. Last year the Black Forest Fire just north of Colorado Springs destroyed approximately 480 structures, and in 2012 the Waldo Canyon Fire on the other side of the city wiped out 347 homes. There is concern now that the Broadmoor area could be susceptible to fires that start in the Cheyenne Mountain area. Fox21 news has more details.
Two Senators on the same page as President Obama about fire funding
Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have praised President Obama for proposing that wildfires be funded in a manner similar to other natural disasters. Monday the President met with most of the nation’s governors and told them that wildfire funding in the administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 would be similar to provisions in a bill introduced in the House, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 3992), which would create an emergency funding process for fire response. If enacted, it would mean the federal land management agencies would no longer have to rob dollars from routine ongoing non-fire activities to pay unusually high fire suppression expenses.
Tom Zimmerman lectured at the University of Montana
Tom Zimmerman, a former Area Commander and Type 1 Incident Commander, lectured at the University of Montana on February 20. He was the first speaker in the Mike & Mabelle Hardy Fire Management Lecture Series which was established through an estate gift from Mike Hardy, a 1939 alumnus of the School of Forestry. Now the President of the International Association of Wildland Fire, Dr. Zimmerman, had a key role when he worked for the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in promoting, training for, and establishing procedures for managing wildfires that are not fully suppressed. In fact, he has the dubious honor of being instrumental in coining some of the terms for these fires, including “fire use fire” and “fire for resource benefits”. Below is an excerpt from an article in the Missoulian about his lecture.
“…Fire has a natural role in the environment and we need to embrace that and accept that,” Zimmerman said. But we also need to keep preventing human-caused, unwanted fires. And we have to understand that the firefighting tools we have aren’t designed to protect the thousands of private homes that now stand at risk of wildland fires.
“You’ve got to keep working with your communities to explain what’s going on,” Zimmerman said. “You’ve got to keep laying out the facts. But there’s a threshold to understanding, and I don’t know if you can keep that buy-in for very long when people are breathing smoke all summer. We talk about restoring fire as a natural process, and then you have one that burns five times as much as the plan calls for. You can’t say, well we won’t burn anything for the next five years.”