American Agri-Women — Amanda Astor, Southwest Oregon Field Forester Presented at Vitals Virtual Meeting

American Agri-Women Stand Up and Speak Out promoting Forest Management Best Practices

Colchester, Vt. (AgPR) October 21, 2020  American Agri-Women (AAW) held their monthly vital issues meeting on October 13 via Zoom, with Amanda Astor, Southwest Oregon Field Forester and Oregon Women in Timber member presenting Wildfires in the West.

Amanda stated that there are two causes of wildfires: 1. Human causes—abandon camp fires, cigarettes, arson, fireworks, power lines, heat from cars, and sparks from dragging chains. 2. Natural causes— weather i.e. lightening.

Fire weather is hotter temperatures and severe drought. Heat is the rising temperatures.

In the US, the biggest increases in summer temperature have been in the Southwest where they have risen more than 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970. The Pacific Northwest has also seen substantial increase in average summer temperatures which has gone up as much as 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit over that same time.

Excess fuel, fire suppression, decrease timber harvest have caused the forests to become more dense.

Fire fighting is hindered by lack of access and safety. Due to lack of maintenance of roads, lack of construction of new roads each year, and abandonment of existing roads on federal forest lands, the access is limited. Private lands maintain their own roads, create better access and act as fire breaks.   Safety is in slope of the lands, snags of dead trees, and lack of resources.

Fire intensity – is determined by the amount of energy/heat released through combustion. When fire intensity is low, the radiant heat of the fire is lower which allows for a more direct attack of the fire, thus fire intensity, driven by fire behavior, is what dictates firefighting strategy not fire severity.

Fire severity – The extent to which those fuels are consumed.

Some have confused these terms – oftentimes purposely – to promote a political agenda opposing any form of forest management because harvest activities can have a short-term increase in fire severity as logging slash is more likely to burn completely that is left on the landscape.

Fire attacks are: 1. direct – airplanes and good access on the ground and 2. indirect – fire line far away and back burns.

Solutions are combination of prescribed fire, thinning of trees and fuels reduction and reforestation after these said activities   which is better forest management.

From American Agri-Women’s point of view grazing should also be part of the solution to better forest management and fire prevention as it would reduce the fuel source substantially.

We have the environmentalists seeking to control carbon dioxide by obstructing the land use which in turn has created excess fuel that has burned on 4.6 million acres this summer.

While we all listen to the various groups and individuals discuss, condemn, lay blame for all things perceived bad as they pertain to water, air, wildfire, and social unrest on climate change, we should take the time to review historical scientific data.

About American Agri-Women

American Agri-Women (AAW) promotes the welfare of our national security through a safe and reliable food, fiber, and energy supply. Since 1974, AAW members have worked together to educate consumers, advocate for agriculture, and offer networking and professional development opportunities. Go to the AAW web site for more information and to join, Find AAW on social media at: (@Women4Ag) and (@americanagriwomen). #standupspeakout4ag

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.