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Firestorm British Columbia: The Thread.  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Great points all, I thought Northern CA-Southern OR had it bad until I saw the BC fire map. I was just backpacking up in the west side rainforest of Olympic NP and the first day was the hottest I've ever seen it there (I was a backcountry ranger there for 3 summers). It was unbelievably humid and uncomfortable for that place I always associated with temperance and perfect backpacking weather in the summer. Then it occurred to me...

This is why this forest still exists, its how it repels fire. The heat was causing immense transpiration from the trees upwards of 12' thick, and the smoke was holding that moisture low in the atmosphere, helping create a cool overcast weather pattern in a couple days. This is ultimately how the cloud forest just above the lower plain is formed at about 900-2000' ft, where yellow cedars over 3000yrs old are found and show a lack of catastrophic fire over their history. We see a similar phenomenon in the redwoods back where I live now. These rain and cloud forests near the coast must have contributed immense moisture inland. If a mature redwood can transpire 500gal/day, and in old growth you have 10 mature trees/acre, over the original 2mil acre range of the redwoods that was 10billion gallons of water transpired per day, carried inland usually and deposited over forest areas that are now burning like mad. Of course massive spruce-fir-cedar forests up north would do similarly. When I think of it this way, in addition to the loss of our precious beavers (http://s3cf.recapguide.com/img/tv/441/7x9/Trailer-Park-Boys-Season-7-Episode-9-43-d06d.jpg), it's obvious why we are now getting a slap up side the head with wildfire.
 
pollinator
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Nicole Alderman wrote:The smoke from the fires in BC has come down to us. Air quality is at 155. My neighbors are in an RV as their house is being built, and their daughter is really struggling to breath. I can't find anything about clean air shelters.
...


Wow! We just came home (Comox Valley) through Naniamo and I thought Naniamo was bad. That looks worse. It kinda takes the special-ness out of the moon eclipse not too long ago as the moon is just as red now as then. All of us have stingy eyes and rough throats. The wind is supposed to change through the night and into tomorrow and send the smoke back to where it came from.  At this point I almost feel: "let it burn" at least that way there won't be anything left to burn next year...
 
pollinator
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According to the CBC, all the smoke that blew out over the Pacific is now being blown back onto Vancouver Island at ground level. Although it "looks" clearer up high than several days ago, there's actually more smoke where I'm trying to actually breath, and it's starting to get to me. I'm usually fairly tolerant of natural smoke, so if I'm noticing it, I feel bad for those more sensitive.

Unfortunately, "letting it burn" will actually aggravate the situation in future years if we don't change they way we're managing our forests, our municipalities, and the interface between two.
 
gardener
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Yeah, Nicole, it's pretty bad for you there.  It's almost as bad as it is up here... well somedays you have it even worse than we have it in my valley.  There are days where I can't see across the clearly across the yard (it looks like fog hanging amongst the fruit tress) and I can't see the sun at all.  On those days, it doesn't warm up during the day much.  It was only 6 degrees C a few days ago when I woke up, and it only warmed up to 10.    Most of the smoke from the local fires (and there are no longer any really close, thankfully) is not staying here, but fires in the interior, including the big ones to our West, are bringing smoke into our valley (which runs the whole west side of the Rocky Mountains).  Some days the smoke is just a haze up high and I can see the mountains across the valley (7km) through it, but today it is dense enough I can't see them at all.  I can barely see the one in the back-yard.  

Sometimes the smoke gets knocked down by rain, and sometimes wind will swoop it over the mountains into Alberta.  We had two blessed days just this week with very little smoke and one with almost none. I took advantage of it by going hiking and cycling.  I don't want to overexert my lungs at all when there is so much smoke in the air, so I haven't been nearly as active this summer or last.  It's somewhat depressing in and of itself for me to not be active and outside.  I take lots of breaks from the garden in the house, rather than going for a walk in my woods or just changing tasks. 

I like to sleep with my window open, but for the past month or so, I have had to shut it more often than not. 

I'll probably have to change the air filter on my car twice this year.  It's brutal, but it's reality.      

People keep blaming forest management.

  I think that those people are right, but it's not just Forestry that we think of one-dimensionally, as in a clear-cut.  It's all the compounding factors that I outlined above in this thread, including 80 or more years of fire suppression, the elimination of large deciduous stands for farming or for conifers, and the focus on only conifers in all reforestation efforts(where deciduous species are brushed down and never planted--this super compounds the reduction in biodiversity), the non-utilization of pine for lumber until relatively recently, the planting of mono-crop forests in large blocks, the virtual elimination of beavers (which is compounded by the need to trap them to keep roads and fences intact, and by the reduction of their deciduous habitat), the loss of biomass/carbon from logging, the slash burning of 'waste' wood, and roads which become a source of erosive runoff.  And then there are the symptoms of the clearcuts including things like increased wind speed, lack of water infiltration, lack of water retention, lack of transpiration/reduced rainfall, increased evaporation, faster runoff, increased soil erosion,  and the siltation of the salmon spawning redds... it just goes on and on.  I'm really tired of the one-dimensionality of the climate change debate focusing only on the burning of fossil fuels; all of these factors just listed are huge contributing and compounding factors that are missed in that discussion.  The debate should include these things and things such as the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic outbreak that has increased an already massive fuel load geometrically towards this fire situation; it was caused by the combination of fire suppression and warmer winters and the lack of pine utilization.  People in that debate do not see that anthropogenic climate change is made up of hundreds if not thousands of factors that are inherent in bad management practices in a lot of different human choices, including, the clearing of land for ranching and farming, the tillage of soils breaking up fungal networks and releasing carbon, and large-scale mono-crop agriculture reducing biodiversity and exacerbating the situation in many ways.  Bad manage is the problem.  Permaculture, or wise Earth-stewardship design choices, is really the only answer.  All of these factors are preventable and the solutions are painfully obvious if only we (culturally) had the eyes to see it. 

Ack.  Sorry, Nicole.  This rant-ish writing was not meant to seem to be focused on your quote.  I just went off on a tangent. I don't mean to derail this thread at all.  :)         

*Also:  One thing that I didn't mention in previous posts is the vast reduction in Salmon (through overfishing and habitat loss) which, in the past, brought much-needed nitrogen (in the form of their dead bodies hauled onto shore by bears and eagles) and minerals from the ocean deep into the continental interior, which were then cycled through the local ecology in the riparian areas, bring lushness and vigor to spring growth and increasing water retention and biodiversity. 

There are so many factors which have had an impact in creating this situation.

Note: edited for clarity.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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that was 10billion gallons of water transpired per day, carried inland usually and deposited over forest areas that are now burning like mad. 

  Hi Ben.  That huge ancient redwood forest rain was also providing rainfall beyond the forested areas into the interior of the continent including non-forested areas, such as the prairies which are now farmlands which are irrigated like mad.  Your point is not lost.  The volume of transpired moisture that has been lost due to anthropocentric forest loss is incredibly large.  Thanks for making note of it and giving some stats.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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  At this point I almost feel: "let it burn" at least that way there won't be anything left to burn next year...

   The forest is WAY bigger than I think that you are imagining, Len.  This season will put a small dent in it.  It will take a decade or more of this increasing ridiculousness before we see a significant reduction in the fuel load, and some years in there we might not see such high fire activity as these last two.  It will be a long time before there won't be anything left to burn, and Jay is right, that without better management choices, it likely won't matter much:  The burned areas will almost exclusively be left to 'naturally' regenerate as almost exclusive mono-crop pine forests which will grow in single aged stands with increasingly dead lower branches/ladder fuel as the canopy closes, which then promotes more of the same: candling trees, crown fires, fire wind generation, a rain of embers, and firestorms...  

**The management choice of prescribed burns is really one of the best large-scale management choices, especially if combined with poplar (deciduous) regeneration, beaver re-introduction, and selective strip logging of conifers to increase fire breaks, the focusing on wetland regeneration and complete permanent reforestation of all windward slopes and ridge tops to increase transpiration.  A prescribed burn is one where the forest management team has a prescription based on a lot of factors that all have to be met before a fire is lit, and then it is allowed to burn to a certain point, and hopefully put itself out if those prescription factors have not been altered by the increased fuel load that changes the heat and thus the wind pattern.

The biggest issue is that the fuel load is so vast and tilted toward fire storming that fires are burning much hotter, and thus getting much larger than they would have naturally in the past.  It will take a lot of really proactive management to recreate a situation where a lightning-strike fire burns in a natural mosaic (that is: far cooler, slower, and tends to be more on the ground, and where candling conifer trees are balanced with deciduous trees dropping the fire back to the down, and patches of forest are left afterward) What we have now, is huge widespread all-encompassing events that are generated vertically and then it's onto the tree-tops, and is really challenging to even attempt to control.

If the forest services put a third of their fire suppression budget into the ** paragraph, then I think we would be quite well on our way in the next half-century toward providing for the future generations here in this province (with adequate forests, water, biodiversity, et cetera).  Anything less than that, especially if it keeps getting hot like this, and we can expect more of the same until there won't be much anything left to burn but pines, grass, cactus and sagebrush in few hundred years.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I'm usually fairly tolerant of natural smoke, so if I'm noticing it, I feel bad for those more sensitive.

  Me too.   I'm pretty tolerant of smoke, generally.  I've been a forest fire fighter (the last time was in 2003 at the big fire near Barrier, B.C.).  Being in the fallout zone is actually worse on the lungs, I swear, then battling the flames head-on.
 
Len Ovens
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:

  At this point I almost feel: "let it burn" at least that way there won't be anything left to burn next year...

   The forest is WAY bigger than I think that you are imagining, Len.  This season will put a small dent in it.



I think I should have put a smile or some indication I was not fully serious about that. Having said that, looking at the map of the area of the burn up by Prince George, it is already pretty big. Nor would I wish anyone to have to put up with the air quality we have here now and certainly don't want to extend this time for anyone. My thought is also that even in nature fires tend to not cover whole provinces, but I think that with the way we have managed them since that may no longer be the case.

At this point, to be honest, I just want my eyes to stop itching and my throat to stop tickling. I want the light outside to be normal and not alien.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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At this point, to be honest, I just want my eyes to stop itching and my throat to stop tickling. I want the light outside to be normal and not alien.

  Me too, Len.  I want to see the mountains that I bought land within.  I want to climb to peaks and see the massive view, and breath clean mountain air, and exercise to my fullest potential.   Last year I didn't get into the alpine once.



I think I should have put a smile or some indication I was not fully serious about that.

  Sorry.  I think you did actually indicate.  I was pretty sure you said 'almost' to indicate that you were sort of playing with the concept, instead of saying that you wanted it outright.  I should have indicated my thinking on your not being fully serious when I posted that.  Apologies. 
 
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Planting forests of poplar can result in problems with the poplar borer.  The poplar borer could very well turn your
forest into a bunch of dead sticks in the ground.
 
Len Ovens
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Hmm, the wind has turned, the alien sun has gone... blue sky! Hope the fires go out soon too. Rain this weekend may help.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Disease is evident in all stands of forest.  The poplar borer, for instance, does not infest and kill all the poplar/aspen in all of the forests throughout the province, or we would have no poplar groves at all.  I should clarify that I'm not talking about or suggesting exclusive massive mono-crops groves of only aspen/poplar in my statements about creating poplar groves.  What I am suggesting is that by getting rid of poplar and replacing it with conifers in regenerating forests has contributed greatly to this situation of fire risk in many ways.  We not only need poplar groves, we need poplar within the conifer stands, and poplar mixed with birches and cottonwoods in exclusive deciduous stands.  Most of these naturally occurring forest mosaics and mixes have been eliminated or greatly reduced with the idea of enhancing the growth of and increasing the volume of conifer tree farms. 

The MBP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_pine_beetle) was not always an epidemic.  The beetles were a naturally occurring insect in the plateaus of B.C. as well as throughout pine forests all the way into Mexico.  It wasn't until we continuously suppressed forest fires that our Northern subspecies of the beetles started to multiply to create outbreaks that were noticeable (the outbreaks were first noticed by foresters in the 1940's, I believe).  Then when the warming climate (more recently) stopped the long deep freezes, the beetles really stopped having significant fatalities (extended cold snaps of -30 C or greater are the other major known natural killer of these beetles except fire), and the populations blasted out of mere outbreak status (where the outbreaks were still somewhat small and isolated) into the epidemic that we see where vast areas of the province (and beyond) are effected by MPB. 
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Hmm, the wind has turned, the alien sun has gone... blue sky! Hope the fires go out soon too. Rain this weekend may help.

  Great to hear Len.  I hear the forecast here is for the smoke to clear for the weekend and that rain is coming too!!
 
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Whoa, I thought it was bad in Australia
 
R Jay
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Fortunately,on my quarter-section property, the large pine were logged off just before the pine beetle hit.  My son and I
are still in the process of cutting up the smaller pine "sticks" for fire wood.

Maybe because we were close to last years fires, we had to chop down some spruce due to the spruce beetle probably
moving away from the fires.

Now the property is mixed trees, but with lots of poplar groves.  Keeping them from encroaching the fields is a full-time
job.

Perhaps because we are sitting 2 miles in a southern direction from the Shovel Lake fire, the borers had to make a run for it....I don't
know......my son has chopped down at least 50 poplars and is seeing, if the place does survive the surrounding fires
that he will probably have to cut down a couple hundred more.  He says an infected tree is easy to spot...just look for
the pile of sawdust near the base....

Forestry does overflights with helicopters and I got to see one of the pictures they took of the property and the photo
analysis that went with it.  A mix of poplar, spruce, and pine....from what I understand could fit the description as being
a "perfect forest."



 
Roberto pokachinni
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I think, since we are near the end of page two of the thread, that a little recap and reflection on my part might be in order. Massive changes in the forest have occurred over time. 


We, through human intervention, have (in no particular order of importance):

*suppressed forest fires for an extended period of time in the failed attempt to preserve lumber resources

* increased the number of single age stands

*increased the number of monocrop forests or

*eliminated vast areas of diversity even in non-monocrop stands via clearcutting and focussing on a few conifer market trees with replanting stategies

*not put any focus on marketing pine until recent years

*increased the ratio of conifers to deciduous almost everywhere

*cleared massive areas of the province for ranching and farming and for logging, increasing wind speeds and as well as soil erosion while also increasing runoff potential and speed

*decreased the water holding capacity of large areas of the landscape

*nearly annihilated the beavers and they have recovered only in a small part of their natural range

*dramatically reduced or eliminated the predator/prey relationships (wolves caribou/elk) that defined many of the ecological functions throughout the province historically

*have farmed the lowlands that used to hold water systems or water-rich forest systems 

*farmed where many of the natural poplar groves fed the beaver and their systems 

*log, and then plant only conifers, and then we pay silviculture guys to brush down or space out deciduous trees when they try to regenerate 

*reduced the rainfall, by our land clearing, or logging activities to the west (via reduced tree based transpiration) 


These and other factors have all dramatically contributed to this situation and are mostly or completely being ignored by our government and most land users.     



Adequate diversity in animals and companion plants are extremely important, as are the right soils, the proper ph, the right fungal partners, and the proper moisture levels.  Some people think that the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic was a natural event.  Maybe.  The way I see it, it is natures response to our mismanagement.   

I have a lot of dead pine on my property, but I also have a lot of live pine. In my forest, I can walk almost anywhere, turn a quick circle and count at least three tall tree species within the diameter of 30 feet, sometimes I can count 8.  I have pine, birch, cedar, white spruce, Douglas fir, Engleman spruce, cottonwood, Balsam Fir, and poplar.  I have trees of varying ages, and heights within those species. For instance, I have Doug Fir that is anywhere from three feet across at the base decreasing in size to seedlings, same with birch.   I don't have that much young spruce, but young cedar trees are starting to come up amongst other species.   If I get into smaller trees, I have alder, saskatoon, willows, dogwoods, Douglas maples and others.  I have a diversity of shrubs and small plants as well. 

Every once in a while we get a year when the spring cankerworm seems like a plague.  These little green worms get into the birch primarily and hang off long silky threads, and build crazy looking web works in the trees.  They partially defoliated all of my birch trees this year.  The birch trees are not happy about it, but I don't know if any of them died. 

I don't know why all my pine weren't killed by the beetles, but I have thousands that are alive on my 40 acres.  While it needs thinning, and a decrease in ladder fuels, I am also planting more trees in my forest, and hope to increase the species, to include hemlock, larch, white pine, yew and others like mountain ash, while increasing cedar, birch, alder, saskatoon, elder, and maples.  I also hope to build at least one pond in the forest in the future.    Maybe something in my diverse forest protected those other pines?  I don't know.  Most of the pine that died were the older ones, but not all of them that died were old.  Certainly, the oldest did die, but many that survived were older than the majority that died. 

We have a long way to go in order to create perfect forest situations in this province, where the forest itself is taking care of itself to prevent the large-scale fire events instead of smaller mosaic fires.  This was (if we include the past fire practices of Indigenous people that contributed to the increase in fire-tolerant, fire-dependent, and fire-generated stands) created over millennia, and may take a very concerted long-term effort even if we do not consider those patterns part of the problem.  The time of the Fur Trade stands alone as a large factor that might be considered the turning point.  That would put us at 150 to 200 years of damage toward not holding water, and toward creating habitat for dry-tolerant or fire supported system species while hindering the ones who need more moisture or have little tolerance for fires at all. 

Susceptibility of plants to disease (just like in humans) has a lot to do with stress.  This can come in the form of drought, extreme cold snaps out of season, increased wind, and other factors, like fire coming to the land in shorter time frames that would enable a full recovery (similar to how pasture grass does not do well if it is repeatedly overgrazed).   In addition to that thought, my way of thinking would make the assumption that diversity brings resilience and health while reducing stress.  This may be simply an assumption, but I think it has a strong basis in sound ecology. 

Note: Edited for Clarity.
 
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Roberto pokachinni: question for you, I read the whole thread, I totally agree with your points. I was looking up beavers, they are considered a nuisance animal here, which to me means I can move some in! I tried to figure out if poplar trees make it here (I think they do, I'm still learning the trees here) and I hit all sorts of things about poplars, they are cottonwoods, and aspens, but not yellow poplars. Now I'm all confused! Exactly what species are you calling poplar that beavers like? If I get beavers, I want to know they have food they like growing near. Where I'd love to let them dam things there's Osage Orange currently, don't think many animals find that wood tasty. I'd not try to remove the Osage, just plant other trees by them.

I have learned a lot from this thread, been chasing down weird rabbit hole links today (Things like: Why did Charles II make a law that hats had to be made of beaver? Turns out the beaver fur traders were very influential and gave him money.)
Fascinating! I want beavers. Sounds like they have the same plans I do!
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I was looking up beavers, they are considered a nuisance animal here, which to me means I can move some in! 

  Sounds like you could get yourself into trouble, there, Pearl.  Tread carefully introducing rapidly reproducing rodents. I'm not really recommending beavers as livestock, but it is possible to raise them.  I highly recommend Grey Owl's books.  He was one of the few trappers who turned his ways around through the passion of his wife, started raising beavers and reintroducing them.  Also, the book, Three Against the Wilderness, where a family was concerned about forest fires and started building dams, and a warden or the head of a park or something ended up bringing them some beavers to help maintain the system.  Both of these happened quite a while back.  I don't know the legalities of getting beavers or keeping them, or anything, so that might be a hurdle for you to jump.  Apart from that, I imagine, but I can not confirm, that all poplars will serve well as beaver food, though I know that Cottonwood is not nearly as preferred as Trembling Aspen(which i call poplar).  I don't know if they like yellow poplar.  Around here, I know that they also enjoy willow, alder, birch, and wild cherry, but Trembling Aspen is their preferred food and building material.  They like to chew the bark of fruit trees so if you have these you will want to cage the trunks in wire fencing to protect them.  
 
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Air quality is turning nasty again for us. We had about two days of moderate air quality, and half a day of "healthy." Now we're back over 100 on the air quality index. My kids' lungs have been getting progressively worse, even though we've been trying to filter the air and stay in filtered places, and even though the air quality did improve for a short while.

Both kids are coughing, and half of my son's words now come out in a squeaky voice. Today, after calling four hardware stores, I finally found one that has box fans in stock. I bought one fan, and two filters to tape onto it, It was a little over $60 (American dollars). I'm hoping it helps. With air quality worse again, I really don't want my kids lungs getting any worse.

I'll try to take and post pictures of my air filter/box fan contraption after my daughter's nap.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Roberto pokachinni: Crud. Good point. I'll learn more before I get in trouble.
And yellow poplar trees are actually a magnolia. Which just gets  weird :)

Nichole Alderman: Something I did when the smoke from upwind fires was bad was make a filter for fans out of loose woven cloth, like cheesecloth, that I wet and wrung out really well before hanging so it covered the intake air flow but not the motor (in case it was too wet.) The amount of crud you rinse off of the fabric is amazing, you may have to rinse it out every few hours check it often till you know how often you need to clean it.
 
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My daughter just woke from her nap (by sneezing and then coughing ). So, I was able to take some pictures of our home made air filter. They didn't have the 20x20 size in the highest filtration, so I bought 2 16x20 size and formed them in a triangle. It's a bit more complicated than simply taping a 20x20 filter on, but it actually give more filtration, because it can draw through two, and can draw the air faster. The employee at the store actually used four on his fan, forming them into a cube attached to the back for more filtration.

I didn't want to spend even more on filters, so I just got two and taped triangles of cardboard on the top and bottom (to make sure I had the right-size cardboard triangles, I taped the filters on first, then tipped the fan+filters over onto the cardboard and traced the shape onto the cardboard).

The fan we got blows strongly and it isn't terribly load. I hope it's cleaning the air.

Edit: sorry for the blurry pictures. My daughter wanted me to hold her while I took the pictures, LOL!
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Pearl Sutton
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Nicole Alderman wrote:I wonder if I could use some of the word out, thread-bare cloth diapers...


Probably... blow through something like a handkerchief or bandanna, that's too tight of a weave, then blow through the diaper, see if the air flows well through it. Wet filters hold onto the ash, and can be rinsed and reused.
I like your triangle, that works well, increases the amount of filter space related to the air flow. I do screens like that when I want the air flow high, but no bugs in the house. Makes a lot more air flow per window. 
Spiffy work there, Madam!!
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Great Job, Nicole !!  I'm so sorry that this is happening to you and your kids.  Waking up coughing sucks.  I've had it happen a few nights here and had to close the window, but generally I just keep it closed when I go to bed these days.

The air quality here is not so bad as that.  Probably because the mountains above the smoke and behind the property keep draining clean cool air downwards on my place.  It's been raining off and on today.  What a blessing!  But the clouds and smoke have joined this afternoon making it really super otherworldly gloomier than even the 'new normal'.  No sun visible in it.  I can't see more than a couple hundred feet in the combination of the fog like moist air and the smoke. 

It's so miserably cold for August that dad actually lit the wood stove the last few days.  I know!!! Crazy right!  But it's true. We might not get any more summer.  This could progress right into the cool of fall which is not far away. 

Makes me kinda want to climb a tall mountain and take a picture of this eery shit from above, but the labor on my lungs of hiking in it would likely kill me.   I was hoping that we would get some clear skies as some other places to the west did for a day or so, but no such luck.  Oh well.  At least we got some rain, and this cool air is not going to allow much of it to evaporate so that will help the forest a little at least.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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The rain pounded the smoke into the ground, I think.  It's still raining.  Just went out and I can't smell smoke!! !! !! !!  Took a lot of deep breaths. Makes me want to run!  The air is so fresh and clean.  It probably actually isn't as clean and clear of smoke as I think since my nose has been desensitized, but it sure is a HUGE improvement. 
 
Jay Angler
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I've been reading a Bill Mollison article and found this quote:
"Effects on Snow and Meltwater

Although trees intercept some snow, the effect of shrubs and trees is to entrap snow at the edges of clumps, and hold 75­95% of snowfall in shade. Melting is delayed for 2­10 days compared with bare ground, so that release of snowmelt is a more gradual process. Of the trapped snow within trees, most is melted, while on open ground snow may sublime directly to air. Thus, the beneficial effects of trees on high slopes is not confined to humid coasts. On high cold uplands such as we find in the continental interiors of the USA or Turkey near Mt. Ararat, the thin skeins of winter snow either blow off the bald uplands, to disappear in warmer air, or else they sublime directly to water vapour in the bright sun of winter. In neither case does the snow melt to groundwater, but is gone without productive effect, and no streams result on the lower slopes.

Even a thin belt of trees entraps large quantities of driven snow in drifts. The result is a protracted release of meltwater to river sources in the higlands, and stream-flow at lower altitudes. When the forests were cleared for mine timber in 1846 at Pyramid Lake, Nevada, the streams ceased to flow, and the lake levels fell. Add to this effect that of river diversion and irrigation, and the whole series of lakes rich with fish and waterfowl have become dustbowls, as has Lake Winnemucca. The Cuiuidika's Indians (Paiute) who live there lost their fish, waterfowl, and fresh water in less than 100 years. The 'cowboys' have won the day, but ruined the future to do so."

More evidence, if only we could convince people, that a properly managed forest is part of the solution!

The whole PDF is:      https://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/trees_gs.htm
  and it's got some interesting info in it, but I haven't finished reading it yet - busy time on the farm!

(I just tried to fix the link - let's hope this time it works.)
 
Len Ovens
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Jay Angler wrote:I've been reading a Bill Mollison article and found this quote:
"Effects on Snow and Meltwater

...

More evidence, if only we could convince people, that a properly managed forest is part of the solution!



research is expensive, so only people with money do research, people with money still want their money's worth and so tell the research what they should find before hand. This something I realized in doing my own research into medicine. However, it appears there is more to it than that. Once research is done, it costs much more to get that research in front of the right eyes and to have action taken on it. I would hesitate to include any governing body in that group of right eyes. It may be true that was the force behind replanting initially, but I think forestry companies realized they could end up with a patch of only the trees they wanted that way. The real job is convincing the people doing the damage that it will put money in their hands to not do that damage. Very few people think in terms as long as even five years (mostly two) yet many of these things are hundred(s) year problems.

In the end it seems we can only manage the land we are on the best we can. We can be involved in the community in public land clean up and reclamation. We can choose to buy land that will have more effect on the local environment. I have a city plot where it seems the best I can do is to keep the weed man away and provide flowers for the bees.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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The real job is convincing the people doing the damage that it will put money in their hands to not do that damage. Very few people think in terms as long as even five years (mostly two) yet many of these things are hundred(s) year problems.

  Yes.  The paradigm is going to be hard to shift.  The local mentality to clearcut Old Growth and Ancient Rainforest and then replant with fast growing stands of spruce is indicative of this mentality.  We need the entire industry and the governing bodies to understand that selective harvesting, value-added products, and the management toward biomass retention and mycological integrity as well as diversity are in the economic interests of the province.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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research is expensive, so only people with money do research, people with money still want their money's worth and so tell the research what they should find before hand. 

  This is a big part of the problem.  Also: The Forestry Funding at the universities is funded by the Forest Industries.    Problem is also that most of the research is done, the verdict is in, (traditional rather than conventional, practices need to be initiated, and diversity and biomass must be integrated) and still, they push to fund research towards data that will perpetuate the status quo of fast rotation, rapid growth, low-quality wood.  The averages of growth rings in a stick of 2X4'' lumber a hundred years ago were probably a minimum ten times that of most of them today.  Nowadays, after cutting in the second or third growth forests, they have to band the lumber with steel so they don't warp like a hockey stick or bend fully in banana shapes.  Warping is common in a lot of lumber, but now it is so common that banding is necessary for much of it if it is second growth. 

I've seen growth rings in second cut areas that were nearly two inches apart on the North Coast.  Many of the old stumps in the fresh cut Old Growth nearby had 60 years growth rings in the same spacing (you needed a magnifying glass to count them).     

Very few people think in terms as long as even five years (mostly two) yet many of these things are hundred(s) year problems. 

  Indeed.  The problem is actually as ancient as the culture of 'developing' land and 'improving' land towards human needs.  This has most often resulted in forest loss, soil loss, biodiversity loss, increased wind speed, and decreased water holding capacity--all of which contribute to the fires we see today.

In the end it seems we can only manage the land we are on the best we can. We can be involved in the community in public land clean up and reclamation. We can choose to buy land that will have more effect on the local environment. I have a city plot where it seems the best I can do is to keep the weed man away and provide flowers for the bees.

  While I agree that we do need to focus on our own little project, our own region, and the needs of our locality, and do these small things as right as we can, there is still much that we are capable of if we organize right and implement properly to affect the larger scale.  Permaculture is part of this cutting-edge, this zeitgeist of new thought and action.  Like the Margaret Mead quote in my signature, I think it's important to remember the lesson I learned from the mosquito in my tent:  "If you think you are too small to make a difference, then why kill that one mosquito before you try to sleep?"  Sometimes we feel small and insignificant on a global scale, but I try to get out of this mindset.  Even though I believe in the "Think Global and Act Local" mantra, I also feel that we need to start to Think and Act Globally.  Never doubt your potential significance or the significance of the many small decisions you make day to day.  Every act, every choice, every time we reach out to provide the better information or 'do the right thing', we change the future of this entire planet through the minds and aspects of the world that we affect. 
 
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