Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 | It didn’t take long before the knee-jerk “solutions” for fire were dusted off and trotted out. We heard all these after the Cedar Fire, and they are still wrong.
It is not true that fire suppression has led to worse fires in the chaparral, even though the people who believe that are getting a lot of attention from the press. Scientific studies show that giant fires occurred in pre-written history in this area. Many areas that burned this time also burned in the Cedar Fire which was just four years ago.
Santa Ana fires will burn through all ages of vegetation. The trees next to destroyed houses did not burn down because they are irrigated and full of water. The houses burned because even now, our homes are not protected from the flaming wind-blown debris. They could be, but we have no political leadership who understands the issue and provides leadership to get houses retrofitted in a way that will reduce the chance that they will burn down.
And don’t let this one fool you – dropping seed on burned areas is a waste of money. Politicians like to get cheap credit for “doing something” when they dust this one off. Control erosion problems with sand bags until the deep-rooted vegetation recovers.