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  • How wildfires contaminate drinking water sources

    https://www.colorado.edu/today/2018/...-water-sources

    quotes:
    Wildfires can contaminate nearby streams and watersheds through mobilization of sediments, nutrients and dissolved organic matter, straining the capabilities of downstream municipal treatment facilities, a new report co-authored by CU Boulder researchers shows.

    The report recommends that utilities serving fire-prone regions of the U.S. expand water storage capacity, expand use of pre-sedimentation basins and diversify clean water sources in order to prepare for potential disasters.
    /
    Not a direct problem if you use a well but, IMHO, worth a read.
    --
    It does not mention subsequent effects on wildlife, erosion, mud flows, fords etc.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Nik View Post
    https://www.colorado.edu/today/2018/...-water-sources

    quotes:
    Wildfires can contaminate nearby streams and watersheds through mobilization of sediments, nutrients and dissolved organic matter, straining the capabilities of downstream municipal treatment facilities, a new report co-authored by CU Boulder researchers shows.

    The report recommends that utilities serving fire-prone regions of the U.S. expand water storage capacity, expand use of pre-sedimentation basins and diversify clean water sources in order to prepare for potential disasters.
    /
    Not a direct problem if you use a well but, IMHO, worth a read.
    --
    It does not mention subsequent effects on wildlife, erosion, mud flows, fords etc.
    I'm aware of a number of problems caused by wildfires but there immediate impacts on wildlife are actually negligible. Some animals will die in the fire but most will move out of the area and completely avoid the fires. Much of the impacts that will effect wildlife are similar to what will effect humans. The severity of those impacts will depend on a lot of factors ie. topography, precipitation, wind, humidity, migration routes, breeding grounds, etc. If the surviving wildlife can make it through the first winter then most habitats in the USA respond very favorably to fire and will be able to actually sustain more wildlife and a greater number of species after a fire. Much will depend on the fuel load of the wildfire area and how hot the fire got as to how long the recovery period will be.

    Just a FYI.

    Dale
    Judge no one, until you have walked in the same mud and spilt the same blood. Him, I call brother.

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    • #3
      well that makes sense.
      there is currently a big wildfire in Yorkshire in the North of England, they reckon it will take another week to put it out.
      its on peat moorland, as soon as they put it out in one place it pops up in another.

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      • #4
        nasty stuff.......fires in peat. they can burn underground for years until the area gets thoroughly soaked. I've burned in many different conditions but I've never touched peat and never will........by choice.

        I also agree with Dale regarding wildlife's response to burning; the majority of wildlife does very well in post burn conditions, which is why it's such a useful tool for wildlife management. Nature's response to fire, how it impacts water quality depends on many many factors, one of the main ones being the severity/intensity of the burn. Just in the last decade have Americans begun accepting that burns are good things. I would much rather have a low level fire run through the area every 2-3 years, instead of dealing with a high intensity every 20 years. Letting the fuel load build up for 20 years only makes the fire that much hotter and devastating.
        Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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        • #5
          Is it better to clean out a forest or wildlife area, or just leave things as they are, and let nature take its course? There is a county park close to me that has a lot of wildlife. I have always thought that the county should sell firewood. They wouldn't have to cut anything down. They could just pick up the dead fall, and what has come down from storm damage. Would this help, or would this hurt?
          The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

          Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Morgan101 View Post
            Is it better to clean out a forest or wildlife area, or just leave things as they are, and let nature take its course? There is a county park close to me that has a lot of wildlife. I have always thought that the county should sell firewood. They wouldn't have to cut anything down. They could just pick up the dead fall, and what has come down from storm damage. Would this help, or would this hurt?
            Morgan,
            It's better to do a controlled burn and return those nutrients to that vegetation. Removing the wood removes the nutrients. With that said, here in the real world controlled burns aren't always possible. If the park won't burn to control there fuel load they should do something to remove the fallen timber and firewood permits allow for that removal. As long as there isn't any commercial types of operations in the park for removing the timber/firewood (they should also consider selling saw logs) the wildlife will be unaffected. You didn't mention how large is this park? If it's large enough they really should have an integrated use management plan that is available to the public. Wildlife and fire should both be addressed in the plan. You could ask park management about it.

            Dale
            Judge no one, until you have walked in the same mud and spilt the same blood. Him, I call brother.

            Comment


            • #7
              Seems wildlife has more common sense than our fellow human beings...

              With fire being part of the whole ecological system I think it's part of how the good Lord planned it. Things have to burn, heck there are seeds that won't germinate until the heat of a fire triggers them. By man preventing these fires I think it makes things even worse when one finally happens. I get it, I don't want my house to burn but in some of these back country areas maybe they should just let the burn. I know it's a lot of timber to be destroyed but heck these loggers can't get permits or access to it in the first place. If the could and they were forced to chip and shred everything they don't haul out it could go a long way to helping, at least from what i see. Dale I know you've a lot of forestry background so I'm definitely interested to hear your take.I heard somewhere not to long ago, think was listening to something on permaculture, that the Indians used to do burns to help to manage the forests and their food systems. Now I haven't read that anywhere so maybe it was hearsay BS. Anyone know any more about this and if it is truth?

              PA has started doing controlled burns in areas the last several years with the claim it will help things respond faster but I've heard people say mixed results on it. they have also been doing select cuts taking logs and then leaving all the tops to support habitat. To me it seems like they are putting a load of fuel on the ground for some camper that doesn't put out their fire or for a lighting strike to light it off.
              I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CountryGuy View Post
                Seems wildlife has more common sense than our fellow human beings...

                Always! LOL!

                With fire being part of the whole ecological system I think it's part of how the good Lord planned it. Things have to burn, heck there are seeds that won't germinate until the heat of a fire triggers them. By man preventing these fires I think it makes things even worse when one finally happens. I get it, I don't want my house to burn but in some of these back country areas maybe they should just let the burn. I know it's a lot of timber to be destroyed but heck these loggers can't get permits or access to it in the first place. If the could and they were forced to chip and shred everything they don't haul out it could go a long way to helping, at least from what i see. Dale I know you've a lot of forestry background so I'm definitely interested to hear your take.I heard somewhere not to long ago, think was listening to something on permaculture, that the Indians used to do burns to help to manage the forests and their food systems. Now I haven't read that anywhere so maybe it was hearsay BS. Anyone know any more about this and if it is truth?

                CG, There is plenty of evidence that native Americans (North and South) used fire to modify there environment. By burning here in the east they were able to create areas for there agriculture and encouraged the new growth of herbaceous plants and grass which brought the herds of elk and bison closer to them for hunting. Eastern chestnut (like many other trees), had evolved with fire as a necessary part of the ecosystem and it was the primary mast species of the time. It didn't have all the toxic tannins in it that todays oaks have. The forest in the eastern USA before colonization was far different than what exist currently with virgin Chestnut trees being the dominant species in the east. Our area in the Appalachian mountains has little resemblance of what used to exist. Most of our area is actually on it's 3rd or 4th growth cycle. During the latter 1800's most of the eastern USA had no forest. It had been destroyed by over logging and wildfires which created terrible erosion problems. That in turn started much of the devastating flooding of the early 1900's which began the construction of our current dam system. There are few pockets of virgin forest left in the eastern USA. Here in WV a site called, Gaudineer Knob has the last standing area of virgin red spruce forest in the eastern US. The air in that forest smells different than the rest of the forest to me. It smell clean and I can't explain it.

                PA has started doing controlled burns in areas the last several years with the claim it will help things respond faster but I've heard people say mixed results on it. they have also been doing select cuts taking logs and then leaving all the tops to support habitat. To me it seems like they are putting a load of fuel on the ground for some camper that doesn't put out their fire or for a lighting strike to light it off.
                CG, I hope the people of PA give controlled burns a chance, I believe your sportsmen especially will be very pleased with the final product. I hope Myakka gives his opinion on wildfires. He would be our expert on the subject.

                Dale
                Judge no one, until you have walked in the same mud and spilt the same blood. Him, I call brother.

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