Reporting Cambi Brown
DAVIS (CBS13) — “Only you can prevent forest fires.”
Smokey the Bear and the message most of us grew up hearing may be facing retirement.
It comes as the U.S. Forest Service reevaluates its methods for preventing forest fires as part of a 30-year process.
“You can not prevent all forest fires just by making sure someone doesn’t throw a match out the window”
This year could bring big changes.
“Have the fire intentionally burn under the right weather conditions.”
The Rim Fire is a fast moving fire because of all the brush, and the forest service just can’t keep up.
“We simply don’t have the budget, not enough people to do brush clearing at the scale we should be”
Instead of focusing on brush clearing, this forest service researcher says the idea is to let the fire do all the work. So if it burns again, it’s easier to manage. But there could be some pushback from those who feel the best way to deal with fire is to fight the flames and put them out.
“Brush clearance doesn’t prevent a fire from starting, but when we put in fuel breaks around communities, it absolutely helps us stop a wildfire,” said Daniel Berlant.
Cal fire says it’s goal is always full containment. They added that the U.S. Forest Service deals with open spaces and those fires are not as big a threat to buildings.