Hopefully, the water officials in the Big Bear area will allow resources to be used when the inevitable wildfire does break out.
I classify the Maui wildfire as the first woke-cause disaster.
Unfortunately, California may be the site of the second one. Environmental groups are suing the US Forest Service for plans to thin about 13,000 acres of forest area around Big Bear.
A U.S. Forest Service project aims to thin what officials call an overgrown forest, although the plan is being met with resistance by several environmental groups.
“The problem is that the approach the Forest Service is taking,” said Chad Hanson with the John Muir Project. “Using big machines to cut down tens of thousands of trees out in the remote wildlands, as opposed to focusing on the homes themselves and the zone immediately around the homes.
“That makes all the difference in terms of whether homes survive or not.”
The John Muir Project, as well as the nonprofit group Friends of the Big Bear Valley and the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society, has filed a federal lawsuit hoping to stop the project.
…But Forest Service documentation about the plan, known as the North Big Bear Landscape Restoration Project, claims “Over 100 years of fire suppression activities on the San Bernardino National Forest have excluded fire from much of the landscape, resulting in a departure from the natural range of variation and the pre-settlement fire return interval… Fires that burn in stands with high amounts of surface fuels ignite ladder fuels, which allows fire to reach tree crowns, resulting in increased flame lengths and fire behavior intensity.
In order do do prescribed burns, Forest Service officials also must jump through California’s massive regulatory hoops. Forest Service burn boss Christina Barba shared her experience on attempting to do prescribed burns in the Big Bear area in the 2021 season.
Next on the list of obstacles in Barba’s way is air quality. In the eyes of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Big Bear and the nearby Inland Empire are part of the greater Los Angeles area. When smoggy skies in places like Fontana or Pasadena don’t meet the national clean air standard, local air quality officials can say no to Barba’s plans up until noon the day before a prescribed burn. In Big Bear, where the skies are usually clear, it’s difficult to tell when that will happen.
“We share an air basin with Los Angeles and the entire Inland Empire. So, because the Inland Empire has ozone or some days they have more [pollution] than they should, it shuts down burning in the entire basin,” she said. “We lost about five burn days that way.”
Hopefully, the water officials in the Big Bear area will allow resources to be used when the inevitable wildfire does break out. Then, at least, California may be able to stave off a massive tragedy caused by eco-activism and over-regulation.DONATE
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