Comments and concerns following the field trip to the American Fire

The following comments and concerns were sent to me from Jerry Bloom, a participant in our field trip to the American Fire, June 19, 2014:

"I went on the SNAMP tour of the Last Chance area. It was interesting but I was pretty disturbed by the lack of follow up on what actually happens when the fire runs through the study area. I know that the fire came through before anyone expected that it would but still it would have been nice to have had funds available in advance to monitor the fire behavior and the suppression activity. A good example is that there was much backfiring in the area - I would bet that much of the study area was actually backfired rather than burned by the wildfire. However, the FS has no idea as to where the backfire met the wildfire - not because they could not have made the determination - they just didn't bother to do the monitoring that would have been required.

The roadside hazard sale is really aggressive. They are taking many large old green trees that they claim are dead (they just don't know it). Where have we heard that before?

They did take us to an area where there was a large area of dead fir that they said were not killed by crown fire. The trees were green after the fire was extinguished but have subsequently died. Interestingly this was an area where they had cable logged and thus the slash had been left on the ground. They had hoped for a couple of years of snow to crush the slash down. In an adjacent area that hadn't been logged, the ground fire did not kill the trees. They thought that both these areas were from the wildfire, but I am suspicious. After returning home and looking at the maps, I think that both those areas may have been backfired. Again, with no monitoring, there is no way to know.

The SNAMP team is trying to get emergency funds to do some monitoring now but the roadside salvage is occurring regardless and I fear a great opportunity has been lost."

Jerry Bloom, Science Director Forest Issues Group Nevada City, CA

Thank you Jerry. We will have someone respond to your comments and concerns as soon as possible.


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