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Silent Earth

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I watch a snippet of news from the US about these dreadful fires and they were interviewing a family who were justly terrified they could lose their home, they had set up a couple of water pumps to their pool which they hope to use to spray water onto their roof from a jerry rigged sprinkler system ( so they could turn it on and still bug out) the chap slightly baffled me because he was saying " What other precautions could I take to protect my home? " but he was standing in front of his house and it had loads of trees planted probably within 15 feet of his home !!!!!!!!!! GET YOUR CHAINSAW OUT. Another dud had removed those funny cheap nasty little asphalt roof tiles that are used on many US home ( illegal as hell over here) and fitted galvanised corrugated steel roofing sheets which is much more resistant to burning embers ( but obviously not super heated air from real wild fires)
 

Brent S

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I watch a snippet of news from the US about these dreadful fires and they were interviewing a family who were justly terrified they could lose their home, they had set up a couple of water pumps to their pool which they hope to use to spray water onto their roof from a jerry rigged sprinkler system ( so they could turn it on and still bug out) the chap slightly baffled me because he was saying " What other precautions could I take to protect my home? " but he was standing in front of his house and it had loads of trees planted probably within 15 feet of his home !!!!!!!!!! GET YOUR CHAINSAW OUT. Another dud had removed those funny cheap nasty little asphalt roof tiles that are used on many US home ( illegal as hell over here) and fitted galvanised corrugated steel roofing sheets which is much more resistant to burning embers ( but obviously not super heated air from real wild fires)
I'm glad they banned the asphalt shingle there. I've always thought they were crap. Heavy, expensive and a relatively short life span. I have fiber cement siding, and a metal roof on my home here. Not only fire resistant but lower maintenance too. And I got a discount on the insurance rate. Yeah, a little fore thought can make your place a lot safer from Mother Nature. And it dosent have to cost more either.
 

Silent Earth

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Most british roof approx. 95% are either Slate tiles, Concrete tiles or metal, a small amount are thatch which burns very easy, some are sod or turf types, and a bit of glass fibre or bitumen coated.
 

Brent S

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Most british roof approx. 95% are either Slate tiles, Concrete tiles or metal, a small amount are thatch which burns very easy, some are sod or turf types, and a bit of glass fibre or bitumen coated.
Slate is my ideal roof, just too darn expensive over here. Great mix of durability and style.
 

Brent S

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if you looking out about just left of bout 11 o'clock its a lake oops I mean mud puddle lol I have my ground totally clean of grass so pretty safe more than fire regulations .
Yeah, if I lived out there with the drought, the lawn would be the first thing to go. Gravel and cactus!
 
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turns out it was the rim fire part of places in the ground that had a lot of rotted wood in it that's been smoldering since the fire 2 years ago we have had no rain in big enough amounts to put it all the way out
 

JackDW

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One major issue on the west cost of the US is politics. In a lot of areas, you are NOT allowed to cut the trees, even the downed ones, without a lot of permits and paperwork. The "so called" environmonlist really don't care about you house as long as they can get their way, screw you.
 

Arcticdude

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One major issue on the west cost of the US is politics. In a lot of areas, you are NOT allowed to cut the trees, even the downed ones, without a lot of permits and paperwork. The "so called" environmonlist really don't care about you house as long as they can get their way, screw you.
That sounds like California. There's no such restrictions in the rest of the western states, with the possible exception of cities.
 

Tommy H

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I'm glad they banned the asphalt shingle there. I've always thought they were crap. Heavy, expensive and a relatively short life span. I have fiber cement siding, and a metal roof on my home here. Not only fire resistant but lower maintenance too. And I got a discount on the insurance rate. Yeah, a little fore thought can make your place a lot safer from Mother Nature. And it doesn't have to cost more either.
When I was fighting wildfires, low these many years ago, the engine I was a crewman on responded to a fire in a canyon burning up toward hilltop homes. My Fire Captain told me to do a circle check of the properties for defensibility. When I came back from my circumnavigation of the 5 homes I reported "The 2 on each side are a led pipe cinch. [Those had Spanish tile roofs, stucco exterior walls, and good foliage clearances.] but the one at the end is doomed!" It had an untreated ceder shake roof, rough sawn Douglas Fir siding, and scrub oak brush all the way up under the redwood deck that hung out over the canyon on 3 story tall common steel columns. Steel looses most of it's structural strength at ~900 degrees Fahrenheit or ~280 Celsius. At that point I had already slung a hose pack on my back and picked up a brush hook when I was struck from behind by the enraged owner of that end house. While carrying ~90 lbs / 41 kgs on my back there was no way I was going to successfully defend myself with my hands so I swung the handle end of the brush hook at him hitting his shoulder hard and forcing him back right into the loving arms of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers who had come running to my aid. I dropped the hose pack just in time to stop the rest of the crew from beating him senseless. They had all grabbed up brush hooks and Pulaski tools. [The first looks like a shortened halberd of the curved hook variety that is sometimes sharpened on both edges. The second is a combination axe and grub hoe.] Having prevented the mayhem which nearly fell on him I said "Extreme emotional distress" to the 2 officers which is the legal description of a type of temporary insanity in California, USA. I threw my hosepack back on and started the hose lay that would save the 2 homes on the right side of the cul-de-sac. The rookie that was helping me asked me why I had said "There goes one happy fella!" as we started the hose lay. I replied "Haven't you heard that ignorance is bliss?" and left him to figure it out from there. About 30 seconds later he said "Tom your not right" meaning that I was a little crazy. I shrugged and went back to eating war surplus K rations.

Tommy H
 

Tommy H

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One major issue on the west cost of the US is politics. In a lot of areas, you are NOT allowed to cut the trees, even the downed ones, without a lot of permits and paperwork. The "so called" environmonlist really don't care about you house as long as they can get their way, screw you.
Those "Lot of areas" Are National Park or Forest Wilderness Areas. Those are the only parts of the State of California were you cannot cut a tree including downed ones because that is inconsistent with Wilderness Area Management Plans. Much of the State of California is Federally managed land and a part of that land has been set aside as wilderness area for wilderness recreation such as deep back country hiking and camping. You want to talk about politics. The wealthy ranchers believe that anything that prevents them from overgrazing federal land is an attack on their Open Range Rights. Read rights that never existed. Grazing on any land has always been at the sufferance of the owner. The ranchers and farmers fought range wars over that during the wild west era and like it or not the courts always ruled in favor of the land owner. But those rich multi thousand head cattle herd robber barren ranchers have never excepted that there can be any limits on their behavior or their pillaging of public lands.

The big logging companies are just as bad and sometimes worse. When they purchase a timber contract at a Forest Service auction they base what they pay on what they believe they can get away with. They never act as if the prescription for harvest they signed actually limits their profit. A decadent only permit means only trees that are dead or identified by a Forest Service timber management officer may be cut. If the manager is not constantly checking on them they will clear cut the entire stand of timber leaving nothing behind to hold the soil in place when the next winters snow melt and spring rains arrive. Try to take them to court and a politician that they have lined the pocket of with campaign contributions will work very hard to get the Department of Justice to turn a deaf ear to the Department of Agriculture's and the Department of the Interior's pleas for prosecution of these scoff laws.

That is what I call politics.

Fuel abatement is much loved by CalFire; which is the State's fire protection agency; and they would never interfere with a home owner doing it. As for the Lease Holders in the wilderness areas they new what they were getting into when they signed their leases so tough on them!

--
Tommy H
 

DrHenley

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Those "Lot of areas" Are National Park or Forest Wilderness Areas. Those are the only parts of the State of California were you cannot cut a tree including downed ones
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), shrubs and live and dead vegetation are the most important factor in forest fires, being an easily ignitable fuel source that helps spread the flames quickly over vast distances. For a dry and warm state prone to fires, regular clearing measures removing this vegetation should be common sense. However, California has enacted several laws that heavily restrict such vital fire-preventing measures as logging, removal of dead trees, and clearing of dry underbrush.

During a congressional hearing in May, California congressman Tom McClintock blasted environmentalists for having fervently opposed such measures since the early 1970s. Instead, they have been advocating that forests be left to their own devices – despite the fact that thousands of years of history shows that forests need to be appropriately maintained in order to reap all their benefits and reduce the risk of fires. This understanding of the environment has too often been trumped by politics in California.

When a 2013 environmental impact report advocated the benefits of large-scale vegetation management in San Diego County, activists violently rejected its conclusions. As in the decades before, concerns over wildlife and environmental impacts were ultimately more important than the safety of fellow citizens, with the result that brush and dead vegetation were allowed to accumulate unimpeded for more than forty years.
 

Maverick

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Before I became a Federal Game Warden I worked as a US Forest Service law enforcement investigations arm of the USDA, things really started changing in 1994, the Wilderness Act of 1964 was manageable but in 1994 most of the USFS funding were going to species preservation like the Northern Spotted Owl that stopped the practice of reducing the brush, we had every environmentalist taking us to court to stop the brush clearing and downed timber removal. In California we had to set traps out to make sure no rare or protected species were in the area before clearing, when we didn't find anything here comes another lawsuit and again and again, eventually we stopped all together.
 
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