CAL FIRE has produced a public service announcement encouraging residents to “be ready for wildfire”.
A report commissioned by the British Columbia Forests Ministry suggests that with impending climate change, more emphasis should be placed on preparing structures and communities to co-exist with fire, rather than hoping to suppress every fire.
Below is an excerpt from an article in the Vancouver Sun. Unfortunately the author conflates the prevention of fires with fuel reduction and community preparedness.
As the planet heats up and the risk of “mega fires” rises, B.C. will no longer be able to lean on its world-class wildfire-fighting teams to keep people and property safe, according to a draft provincial document.
The Forests Ministry paper, called Climate Change Adaption Action Plan for Wildfire Management 2014-2024, suggests fire prevention should become the top priority of the province.
“It is not an option to continue to increase fire suppression response and associated costs, because even the most aggressive action would neither be safe nor effective for the extreme wildfire events such as those seen in Kelowna in 2003 and Slave Lake in 2010,” reads the draft, obtained through an access to information request.
“During these events, suppression response cannot be relied upon to protect communities or natural resource values. The only protection provided will be the protection established before the fire, provided through wildland-urban interface fuel reduction and landscape fire management…”
The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released its final environmental impact statement (EIS) relating to grant applications totaling $5.67 million to fund proposed hazardous fire risk reduction projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. The EIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of proposed vegetation management projects designed to reduce wildfire risk in the East Bay Hills of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and at the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Contra Costa County. The final EIS was filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on November 26th and will be published in the Federal Register this Friday, December 5, 2014.
Between 2005 – 2010, the University of California Berkeley, the City of Oakland, and East Bay Regional Parks District submitted a total of four grant applications to FEMA through California’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) for federal financial assistance totaling $5.67 million to implement hazardous fire risk reduction projects. Based on the wildfire hazard characteristics of the East Bay Hills and the Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline, and the prolonged state-wide drought which has further intensified fire risk, FEMA has concluded that a need exists to reduce hazardous fire risk to inhabitants and structures in these areas.
The proposed grants were submitted to FEMA by the State of California on behalf of the named sub- applicants and are as follows:
- PDMC-PJ-09-CA-2006-004 Oakland Regional Fuel Management Project (City of Oakland). Total project cost = $4,000,000; federal funding application = $3,000,000
- PDMC-PJ-09-CA-2005-003 University of California Fire Mitigation Project – Claremont Canyon (UCB) Total project cost = $418,143.00; federal funding application = $291,000.00
- PDMC-PJ-09-CA-2005-011 – University of California Fire Mitigation Project – Strawberry Canyon (UCB). Total project cost = $404,040.00; federal funding application = $282,828.00
- HMGP DR-1731-0016-0034 – East Bay Regional Park District, Brush Fuels Management Project. Total project cost = $3,025,210; federal funding application = $2,268,908