The “Camp” fire in Southern California which is the predominant fire that was so deadly in terms of damage and loss of life, occurred almost entirely on private land, which was mainly shrub land. The shrub and brush in these areas is left in place due to the fact that winter rains would cause massive mudslides without it. When the Santa Anna winds blow into these areas, it’s like blow drying your hair. The shrubs get totally dried out and any sparking, such as the impetus of this particular fire, which was started by a PG&E malfunction, is like striking a match to dry cotton.
Hundreds of people have lost their lives here, with hundreds more missing, and many thousands with permanently disrupted lives. It’s easy for people who are not there to say: “well they should have done this or that to prevent it”. It’s easy to make a political football of other people’s lives when it’s not something in which we are personally involved. That includes me and whatever I have to say.
The breakdown of forest management is, as far as I can tell from researching: the federal government manages just over 57% of the land in California, 39% is privately owned, and only 2% is owned or managed by the state of California.
This post is strictly informational, and not meant as a statement for or against any person or group of people.
I hope that everyone continues to remember the people who have been affected by these tragedies, and others this year, such as Hurricane Michael. All these people could probably use any help we can give them, and prayers if you’re so inclined.