M Hill Fire: told you so

Like wipin' yer ass with a hula hoop: it's endless.
A call from the Rapid City Police Department to the Rapid City Fire Department concerning a fire on M Hill came in at 6:57pm on Wednesday. It's believed the fire is human caused. [KOTA teevee]
Embattled Denny Daugaard is a climate change denier: the earth hater governor of the failed red state has declared a wildland fire emergency for West River.

Mike Maltaverne is one of the most honorable, competent men to ever run a fire department or to date a daughter.
Rapid City Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne says he doesn’t have enough firefighters to answer the growing number of fire and ambulance calls. He has been warning policy makers in memos for three years. Now the Rapid City Fire Department personnel shortage is “significant.” [Rapid City Journal]
Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider. How much more stupider can Rapid City be? Especially after a 2011 fire on M Hill and a May, 2010 grass fire in Robbinsdale one might think authorities would listen to Fire Chief Maltaverne.

C'mon, Mike: get out there and burn every right of way to stop fires from crossing roads.

One more time from a post at interested party: yep, pure heptane.
Turpentine distilled from the California pines such as Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Gray Pine (Pinus sabiniana) yield a form of turpentine that is almost pure heptane. When producing chemical wood pulp from pines or other coniferous trees with the Kraft process, turpentine is collected as a byproduct. Often it is burned at the mill for energy production. The average yield of crude turpentine is 5–10 kg/t pulp. In 1946, Soichiro Honda used turpentine as a fuel for the first Honda motorcycles as gasoline was almost totally unavailable following World War II.
The spontaneous ignition of the beetle-killed ponderosa pine in a hundred-yard radius would be measured in megatons. Now consider that there are at least 70 million acres of collapsed pine forest in the United States.

So, here's the part that nobody wants to talk about publicly:

For parts of the West this is as much a reduction in the threat of weaponized wildfire than an economic development opportunity. Harvesting timber is diesel fuel intensive. Just paying for pine removal after the collapse of the housing market has exacerbated the potential for catastrophic conflagrations.

Keystone, Hot Springs, Custer, Pringle, Hill City, Rochford, Nemo, Silver City, Deadwood, Lead, Newcastle, even Rapid City, Piedmont, Sturgis and Spearfish are at extreme risk from the tactical use of wildfire.

Just six strategically-placed improvised fuel air explosives (FAEs) deployed during red-flag conditions have the potential to create a firestorm that would be virtually unstoppable. Repeated discussions with the Forest Service, law enforcement, fire department officials, even the Rapid City Journal, elicit smirks and suspicion from their representatives.


But look on the bright side, people: your lives could be much worse; you could be living in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...

Mike Maltaverne is on the leading edge of wildfire detection from his office in Driggs, Idaho: Jackson Hole News and Guide.