Pointed out that the fire fighting activity of the large-scale wildfire 'Megafire' is wrong in the first place


Daria Devyatkina

In recent years, large-scale fire 'Megafire' has frequently occurred in California, USA, and many residents are evacuating. When a fire occurs, fire fighting agencies will be dispatched to fight fires, but it has been pointed out that such an approach is wrong as a fire prevention activity.

They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won't Anybody Listen? — ProPublica

The state of California in the United States is hit by large forest fires every year, and many residents are affected.

A wildfire approaching the highway shot in Los Angeles is too dreadful-GIGAZINE

Timothy Ingalsby, who has been active as a firefighter since the 1980s, obtained a Ph.D. in environmental sociology in 1995 to gain a deeper understanding of forest fires, and is also a faculty researcher at the University of Oregon. It seems that he is irritated by the gap between 'fire management' and 'actual front line'. Ingalsby said in 2005 that he founded Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology, saying, 'Wrong fire policy causes megafires. We have been conducting lobbying activities and educational activities, but it was difficult to hear the voice.

'It's the worst thing to see in this situation. It was scientifically clear. I'm in Cassandra Syndrome ,' says Ingalsby, who witnessed MegaFire in California today. Every year he said, 'A disaster will come. We must change.' Nobody heard, nothing happened.' Cassandra syndrome is a spouse or partner with Asperger's syndrome who fails to communicate, loses self-confidence because the other person cannot understand, and exhibits physical and mental symptoms.

Mr. Ingallsby explains that the countermeasure against a forest fire is to 'burn the ground and eliminate what becomes fuel.' The method of 'controlling fire with fire' sounds intuitively dangerous, but it has been used as a method of preventing forest fires from ancient times.

Since California has a high temperature and dryness, and it is an environment that is prone to wildfires, the theory says that before history, there were 4.4 to 11.8 million acres (about 17,000 to 48,000 square km) each year. The land was burned. Also, between 1982 and 1998, an average of 30,000 acres (about 121 square kilometers) of land was burned, but between 1999 and 2017 it was 13,000 acres (about 52 square kilometers). Reduced to. The law was revised in 2018 to increase the number of open fires intentionally, but it seems that the situation is not expected to change significantly.

Then, the reason why open burning can be avoided is that this is caused by distortion due to the combination of culture, greed, responsibility, and goodwill.

The cultural background is that the United States Forest Service, established in 1905, had a military perspective. Philosopher

William James has stated that 'Americans should turn their fighting urges from humans into'nature',' and this kind of 'fighting flame' mentality is common in California. thing. The state of California eliminated the indigenous people who were familiar with the treatment of fire and burned open fire, and prospered the city with a gold rush . Half a century after the Gold Rush, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and associated fire killed 3,000 people and left 220,000 homeless, but most of the deaths were caused by the fire.

It has also been pointed out that California's fire suppression has grown significantly as a business. The California Forest Conservation and Fire Department (Cal Fire) did not spend more than $1 million annually before 1999, but from 2007 to 2008 the annual cost was $5.24 million ( Approximately 533 million yen), and it will be 7.73 million dollars (about 817 million yen) from 2017 to 2018.

Most of these are due to the use of airplanes and helicopters that drop flame retardants from the air, but the problem is that most of the personnel and equipment for fire fighting are outsourced to private companies. Cal Fire often pays firefighters, and 'every 5 to 15 years, a firefighter who wants to earn overtime pays a fire himself,' says Crystal Associate Professor of Fire Science at the University of California. Says Colden.

There is no lack of action to solve the Megafire problem. On August 12, 2020, representatives of the United States Forest Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) stating that 'California should increase open burning.' However, because MOUs are not legally binding, Ingallsby considers MOUs to have little meaning. Nick Grett of the non-profit Watershed Center has pointed out that Cal Fire needs to move away from its existing system and rethink what it can do within its annual budget.

in Note, Posted by darkhorse_log