From Bloomberg Business News: Why Is California Rebuilding in Fire Country? Because You’re Paying for It. “After last year’s calamity, officials are making the same decisions that put homeowners at risk in the first place.”
Two decades ago, the cost of fighting fires only consumed about 15% of the Forest Service’s budget. But increased development in and around undeveloped open spaces, along with, paradoxically, decades of fire suppression, mean that wildfires are growing larger, more intense and more dangerous to communities. Many scientists believe the warming climate is exacerbating the situation.
As the cost of firefighting has gone up, the Forest Service budget has stayed relatively flat. The result is that fire suppression now consumes 55% of the agency’s annual budget, and some officials estimate that could grow to two-thirds in a few years.
One more article on what is now the biggest fire in CA history.
Here is an infographic on the wildfires this year. [Thanks to Chris Jones for the citation.]
The need for more collaboration between various municipalities and the consequences of poor land use policies were just two lessons learned from the Fort McMurray wildfire, a speaker said on Wednesday at the Canadian Insurance Financial Forum.
Thanks to Chris Jones for the link.
Here is an analysis of the program made and resilience shown in Fort Murray. See:
Fort McMurray By The Numbers One Year After The Wildfire
FEMA Guide for Building in a Wildfire Zone. Here’s a list of suggestions for building and fire-proofing structures within an area prone to wildfires.
Neither re-entry nor recovery are easy to do. See: Fort McMurray Fire: Road Blocks Lifted As Residents Allowed To Return To City. Some details:
Returning residents are being warned that it won’t be business as usual and to bring with them two weeks worth of food, water and prescription medication as crews continue to work to get basic services restored.
Crews have been working to get critical businesses such as banks, grocery stores and pharmacies running again. Supplies of some items may be limited in the beginning and the government says some things may need to be rationed.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley plans to be in Fort McMurray when the first evacuees return because she says the city will not be the same one they left. It’s not like, ‘OK, you’re home. See ya. Bye bye,”’ she said.
- Calling Climate Change; Canadian Fire Makes a Case for a New Normal in Disasters; May 9.
- Canadian fires could last months!, May 8
- Pet Rescue in McMurray. May 8.
- Emotional Recovery From Disasters. (AJEM, 2014)
- Canadian Officials Start To Get Handle On Massive Wildfire. The inferno looks set to become the costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history. May 8.
From the Homeland Security News Wire: WildfiresU.S. must address the “wicked problem” of wildfire.
U.S. wildfires burned more than 10.1 million acres in 2015 — a new record. Wildfire suppression costs the United States, on average, $2.9 billion a year. Researchers say that the United States must make preparing for and adapting to wildfire a top national priority, recognizing that widfire is a “wicked problem” — one so complex that a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist.