Logging may just be an ironic solution to the California forest fires. According to the State of California, the federal government and green groups in a joint effort, this will help make forests less flammable. What brought on this unlikely coalition?
It is no secret that climate change, global warming, and human actions have been the reason behind many forest fires. Sadly, these effects will not slow down quickly enough, but by reducing the number of trees, forest fires can become more controllable, which saves lives and trees.
What Brought On This Unlikely Coalition
Deforestation is something that most would agree is bad for the environment, but in this instance it is beneficial and even environmentalists agree. While many of the factors that cause these fires are the direct results of climate change, that isn’t going to stop any time soon.
Instead, reducing the number of trees that can be affected by and spread forest fires can solve the problem and can be done immediately. The devastating effects of recent forest fires have made it clear, immediate action is required and fires of this scale cannot continue or there will no longer be forests in California.
How Does Climate Change Affect Forest Fires
While some forest fires are caused by human actions, like campfires, many are caused naturally. Let’s look at some facts. 14 of the largest forest fires have happened in the last 15 years and 10 of the hottest years have also happened in the last 15 years.
This is no coincidence. If a forest becomes hotter and hotter, it becomes dried out, thus the perfect place for a forest fire. After that, it only takes one small spark to set it ablaze. That blaze spreads to all of the surrounding forests that also suffer in these hotter conditions.
The biggest side effect of climate change is global warming and sadly, it is getting worse according to the Emissions Gap Report 2018, with a record-setting level of carbon emissions. While many countries make pledges to change, it doesn’t appear they are fulfilling them.
How Many Trees Will Be Cut Down
The movement aims to cut down trees in 2.4 million acres of forest. These will mostly include very dry forests that are likely to start the next fire. Not only will they be removing fully grown trees, but also small trees, and other ignitable items like brush.
By doing this, the crews will be eliminating potential fuel sources for future fires and provide breathing room for the other trees. This makes fires more containable and less likely to spread wildly around California.
Ultimately, removing trees and more importantly, removing ignitable materials like brush, will save more trees and lives by not allowing them to be fuel for the fire.
Will Forests Be Empty
Absolutely not, in fact, forests in California are overcrowded. In some forests, there are four times as many trees as there should be. This makes it extremely easy for fires to spread quickly and become devastating to the area.
Properly maintaining how many trees belong in certain areas of a forest will dramatically help. This gives more room for trees to breathe, while also making it harder for fires to spread. These preventative measures are to stop large-scale fires from destroying millions of acres of forest every year.
What About the Animals
Surely removing trees from these animals’ habitats is bad, right? In most situations, you would be correct, but when you have the choice of small calculated tree removal or widespread fires that burn everything to the ground, the choice is pretty clear.
Animals are the biggest victims of forest fires, they lose their home and lives when the fires burn. Preventing these fires helps protect the wildlife that lives in these areas.
What Can We Do
For starters, humans need to be much more careful when in these areas. Simple things like a lit cigarette or campfire can turn into a devastating forest fire if the conditions are right.
It is also important for every person to reduce their carbon footprint. There are many simple ways you can help prevent climate change. By stopping or slowing down climate change, the Earth’s temperature will not increase every year and forests will become less flammable.
However, until that happens, proper forest management and controlling the number of trees and ignitable materials found in forests is the next best solution.