Misinformation on wildfire effects | TheUnion.com

Misinformation on wildfire effects

Misinformation on wildfire effects by those opposed to forest management areas continues, characterized by a recent letter commenting on the Gap Fire. In fact, the Gap Fire restoration was not litigated, but appealed, creating the same effect – restoration work was delayed months, causing trees with less than 16 inches in diameter to deteriorate beyond value (‘the flammable slash debris’).

Estimates are that restoration will cost $400,000 above were these trees salvageable – funds that could mitigate fire hazard elsewhere. Only fire-killed trees over 30 inches were removed.

Claims that the old-growth forest burned only moderately are misleading – the difference between a “high intensity burn” and a “moderate intensity” burn is that dead trees without needles characterize a high intensity burn, and for a moderate burn, the trees are killed, but the dead needles remain! No evidence exists to support claims that previously harvested areas burned hotter than unlogged areas (other than Chad Hanson’s opinion).

The Muir Project and others appealed the Gap Fire and continue to appeal and litigate salvage and restoration of fire-killed areas. These misguided actions result in an increased taxpayer burden to restore burned areas, with valuable forest products lost.

Bruce Van Zee

Nevada City

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