Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wildfire news, August 12

New fire use fire in Idaho

The Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho decided to declare the 350-acre South Barker fire a fire use fire, a fire that will not be suppressed but will be herded around as long as it remains within the maximum management area. It is burning in an area that was planned for a prescribed fire. A Fire Use Management Team is in route.

Plan ahead for fires with direct deposit

We had not thought of it before but an article by the Social Security administration advises that if you have your salary or social security checks directly deposited into your bank account you could still access your money if a wildland fire disrupts mail delivery or if you are evacuated.

Air quality rules restricting prescribed fire?

An article in the Macon, Georgia Telegraph indicates that there are concerns that prescribed fires may be limited by federal air pollution rules even as support for prescribed burning in Georgia increases. Land managers in the state annually burn about 1.5 million acres a year, putting them among the top five nationally for prescribed fires. The other states in the top five are Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
"As a council, we want to preserve our ability to burn so we don't end up like California," fighting huge and uncontrollable wildfires, Mark Melvin of the Georgia Prescribed Fire Council said.

Extinguishing fires is usually far more expensive and dangerous than conducting controlled burns, he said. And controlled burns generate less air pollution. Melvin said smoke from last year's Okefenokee Swamp fire hurt air quality as far away as Cuba for weeks.

And speaking of smoke

Here is the latest smoke map.

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