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RobMc

Question about fires

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Just read personalfouls post on fire in Colorado and yes Athena it truly is sad as it takes years to recover. I seem to read this every year, moreso the States than Canada and other places like Australia, everywhere has them at times. Do you not have firebreaks?? designed to protect the fire spreading, I live near a very large forest (Keilder) and the breaks are visible and maintained, costs plenty but saves a lot. California seems to have loads of these every year, I realise that the scale of things in some countries are different to ours, but when you look at damage and destruction it surely must be worthwhile? Need a clever idiot to invent a fire retardent spray to use from the air to pre treat corridors to slow down spread, or do we have that,  any firefighters?

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Its more to do with the terrain. A lot of our fires in Canada are in places where not many people live so there is not much they can do. Another one is the mountains make it very hard to combat fires. Plus in the mountains with fire get the wind  going hard. Sounds like a freight train roaring past you. Then the last one and its a big one its so dry due to lack of rain over several years the under brush is just primed for fire and all of it together allows the fire jump over firebreaks with ease.

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Oh so there are firebreaks? that is what puzzled me with all these fires in populated areas like California. Great answer I understand now, we forget over here about just how large it is, forgot about mountains.

Edited by RobMc

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California is also special because of their "Santa Ana Winds" which are downslope winds that start very strong and are very dry.  They originate inland in the great basin area and increase in strength / velocity as they traverse the mountains and valleys towards the coast.  They reach between 50-70 mph (80-112 kph) at times.  No fire break will keep wildfires at bay with these types of winds.

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Yes what I forgot was our forests are managed and yours are natural,  that pine beetle thing looks terrible, I'm beginning to understand now why it's so hard to put them out which is a pity because of the destruction to these beautiful habitats. Are most of them natural or started by man?? or can you not tell.

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Actually they say the issue with the beetle is global warming. Usually the winters get cold enough to cut the beetles back but they had a few rather warm winters and the beetle population grew fast. As for what fires are man made I would guess, the more away from the populated areas its lighting but the ones that cause all the house fires are mostly man made. Kinda sad eh.  Things like sparks off train wheels cigarettes tossed out of windows careless fires while camping.

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I live in the mountains and have been a volunteer firefighter for many years. There are established firebreaks and roads for fire crews to access the hot zone in SOME places here, but in many places there are none. However, once/if it crosses over it can be a nightmare to control at times. Weather doesn't help as winds are generally greater at higher altitudes at times. Usually, man-made firebreaks are created DURING the wildland fire. Also, lots of dead trees are cut down to avoid spreading the fire.

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