USFS puts 90-day pause on prescribed fires

Federal officials are warning that expanding drought conditions coupled with hot and dry weather, extreme wind and unstable atmospheric conditions have led to explosive fire behavior in the southwestern U.S., where large fires continued their march across New Mexico on Friday.

Crews also battled blazes in Texas and Colorado, where forecasters issued red flag warnings due to elevated fire danger.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore cited the extreme conditions Friday in announcing a pause on prescribed fire operations on all national forest lands while his agency conducts a 90-day review of protocols, decision-making tools and practices ahead of planned operations this fall.New Mexico wildfire sparks backlash against controlled burns. That’s bad for the West

“Our primary goal in engaging prescribed fires and wildfires is to ensure the safety of the communities involved. Our employees who are engaging in prescribed fire operations are part of these communities across the nation,” Moore said in a statement. “The communities we serve, and our employees deserve the very best tools and science supporting them as we continue to navigate toward reducing the risk of severe wildfires in the future.”

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Laguna Nigel fire has important lessons for all of us

Jay Perkins

Admin  · 28m  · I wanted to start this post this week with information from the recent fire in Laguna Nigel.AP May 11, 2022:“The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon between Laguna Niguel and Laguna Beach near a water treatment plant, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. Around 5 PM, the first was at 30 acres, but ballooned to more than 200 acres just an hour later. Hot embers entering attics posed a particular problem for firefighters.”“The fire, which occurred in Laguna Niguel, was relatively small at about 200 acres (81 hectares) but the wind drove embers into palm trees, attics and dense, dry brush on slopes and steep canyons that hadn’t burned for decades, Brian Fennessy, chief of the Orange County Fire Authority, said at an evening news conference. Fennessy said climate change has made even small fires that once would have been easily contained into extreme threats to life and property throughout the West.”Two carry home points: 1) embers entering the attic and 2) fires do not need to be large to be destructive. Home Hardening(cleaning eves, checking and/or replacing attic vents, etc and Defensible Space (place close attention to the first five feet away from you homes) are key imperatives for all of us to do. After that, you need a preparation and evacuation plan.So, let’s turn our thinking and preparation towards evacuation in the event that an evacuation is ordered. There are many considerations. It is best to consider them now rather than at the time of the evacuation order. Take a moment and ponder what do you need to do in the event of an evacuation? What about the kids? Or do you have an elderly member of the family? Do you have someone living with you that lives with a disability? Do you have neighbors or other family that may require special attention? Can you help them to prepare?We cannot be lulled by the return of cool, damp weather. Fire season will be here!Please visit this CAL FIRE link for additional information on how to prepare your family for an evacuation and the many different considerations that you may have.…/prepare-your-family/This is a treasure trove of valuable information. It is best to get prepared now.The brochure:…/calfire_set_brochure…En español:…/calfire_set_es…For other Disaster and Emergency Information:211 Disaster/Emergency Info: Fire Safety and Disaster Preparation guidance for families with young children: Seniors and Disabled Family Members:…/outreach/disabilities.html…/Disaster_Preparedness_for……/inclusive-preparedness……/General…/Home/A4497.pdf