16 Aug 2008, 8:36am
Federal forest policy The 2008 Fire Season
by admin

More Burning in Siskiyou Wilderness?

By Mark DuPont

At the weekly IC meeting yesterday I was informed that Tyrone Kelley, the Six Rivers Supervisor in Eureka, is directing the Orleans IC to conduct burnout operations along the Sawtooth Ridge – Lake Harrington area of the Siskiyou Wilderness in order to connect the Blue Complex with the Sikiyou Complex to the north. As I understand it, this operation could add several square miles to the fire in steep wilderness terrain.

Personally I am strongly opposed to this proposed action, and my sense is that the current IC would just as soon let the existing fires run their course, but they are being prompted by Tyrone to start a whole new burning operation.

We are now entering the worst of our fire season, when temperatures are highest, fuel moistures and relative humidity the lowest and winds may become strong and unpredictable. Fire prediction models show that it the fire is not likely to spread into this area on its own, (i.e. less than 50% probability) thus I cannot see the logic in spending more money and resources and creating an even greater impact, especially in a remote wilderness area with no roads or structures, that holds cultural importance to the Karuk Tribe.

We have been told since June that the strategy for these fires has been to be aggressive with burning early, before we enter the worst of the fire season. With temperatures now in the triple digits I feel we have reached that point and it is time to back off of burning. With virtually all controlled burn operations in the area winding down and the worst of the fires season yet to come, I feel this is not the time to be introducing more fire on the landscape, especially on this kind of scale. Several fires in the state have recently been contained and resource availability is presently good, therefore a better option would be to closely monitor the fires and use helicopters to bucket on water if intensity spikes.

If you are concerned about this then I think it is critical to contact Tyrone Kelley today at the SO and make your voice heard. Today is Friday and I don’t know that he will be reachable during the weekend. Thus far, the fire teams have been in quite a hurry to burn before conditions get any worse and burning could possibly be well underway by Monday.

Tryone Kelley’s e-mail - tkelley01@fs.fed.us
Tyrone Kelley’svoice mail - (707)-441-3534
Tyrone’Kelly’s personal assistant - (707)-441-3517

Below is the text of a personal letter I’ve e-mailed to Tyrone. I’d be interested in any comments or feedback on this matter.

Mark DuPont

———————————————————-

August 15, 2023

Dear Tyrone Kelly:

At the weekly IC meeting yesterday I was informed that you are directing the Orleans IC to conduct burnout operations along the Sawtooth Ridge – Lake Harrington area of the Siskiyou Wilderness in order to connect the Blue complex with the Sikiyou complex to the north . As a local business owner, Vice President of the Mid Klamath Watershed Council and concerned Orleans citizen I am strongly opposed to this proposed action. With virtually all controlled burn operations in the area winding down and the worst of the fires season yet to come I feel this is not the time to be introducing more fire on the landscape. Several fires in the state have recently been contained and resource availability is presently good, therefore a better option would be to closely monitor the fires and use helicopters to bucket on water if intensity spikes.

I am specifically opposed to further controlled burns at this time for the following reasons:

Unnecessary Risk – We are now entering the worst of our fire season, when temperatures are highest, fuel moistures and relative humidity the lowest and winds may become strong and unpredictable. Fire prediction models show that it the fire is not likely to spread into this area on its own. We have been told since June that the strategy for these fires has been to be aggressive with burning early before we enter the worst of the fire season. With temperatures now in the triple digits I feel we have reached that point and it is time to back off of burning.

Community Health – Our communities have been suffering from critically poor air quality for almost two months. Everyone is ready for a break in the smoke and hoping for any improvement in air quality

Excessive Footprint – the Siskiyou, Ukonom, Blue & Panther Complexes have already covered almost 150,000 acres. With fire production models showing that the fire is not likely to spread to this area I cannot see the logic in spending more money and resources and creating an even greater impact, especially in a remote wilderness area with no roads or structures that holds cultural importance to the Karuk Tribe.

Adverse Economic Effects – I own and operate a cabin rental business and the fires have largely eliminated our business as well as that of other recreation business such rafting companies and vacation rentals. This is normally our peak season and we presently have virtually no bookings for the second half of August. Our only hope of reclaiming some of the season is by ceasing burning operations and allowing the opportunity for the air to clear in September and the fall.

Cultural Concerns – I have spoken with several Karuk tribal members who have cultural, spiritual and family connections to this area and are opposed to conducting controlled burns at this time.

I deeply appreciate the efforts of the fire crews and forest service that have worked tirelessly in managing these fires. Several community members, including myself are monitoring and documenting the fires closely. We will ask for and expect full accountability for any burning operations that are conducted for here until the end of the fire season. I would appreciate a response to my concerns, if telephone is better than I can be reached at 530-627-3379.

Sincerely,

Mark DuPont
Sandy Bar Ranch & Nursery

Sandy Bar Ranch & Nursery
PO Box 347, 797 Ishi Pishi Rd.
Orleans, CA, 95556
Tel: (530) 627-3379
Fruit Tree Nursery: www.sandybarnursery.com

16 Aug 2008, 8:43am
by Marie


This comment was originally posted at W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking on July 14th:

Once again it is apparent that if locals do not attend the community fire meetings and represent their region/locale then concerns over the protection of native cultural/spiritual land and private land holdings are not in the forefront of the minds of the incident management team.

The “box” or proposed perimeters of the Blue2, Siskiyou, and Ukonom complexes will eventually become joined into one super large complex.

The lack of resources is due to our remoteness and lack of citizens being the squeaky wheel.

If resources were put on these fires, then they would not be burning till October. It is a shame that we accept the burning down of the forest around us.

16 Aug 2008, 10:20am
by Bob Zybach


All:

The problem with “controlled burns” is NOT with “time of year” or “current weather conditions.” Timing could not be better. Fires burn best when fuel is driest and heat is up and humidity is down.

The problem is fuel. The proposed “controlled burn” is taking place in an area that has NOT (in Mike’s words) been “prepared for fire.” Adjacent lands are full of dying trees, snags, dessicated shrubs, dry grasses, charcoal, and wildlife. Setting a fire under such conditions is just asking for trouble.

IF the area had been stripped of most excess fuels (which it has not), and IF the perimeter was made largely devoid of risk (which it has not), then NOW would be a great time to have a prescribed fire — and by “prescribed” I mean one in which points and methods of ignition are carefully considered and implemented by knowledgeable individuals, AFTER fuels have been treated and perimeter boundaries made safe.

Burned out landscapes, random ignitions, and inexperienced kids are not the proper mix for a “controlled burn” in any situation at any time of the year.

16 Aug 2008, 11:52am
by Mike


Accept the burning? The Northcoast Environmental Center lobbied hard for years to promote the indiscriminate burning. Now those loud and obnoxious voices got their wish: total forest annihilation. Don’t worry about logging now, because all the trees are dead, the streams run foul, the air is polluted, the economy destroyed, the birds and beasts fried, etc.

The problem is our fellow man, and women, who are as stupid as oxen, or worse. Every single member of the NCEC lives in a wood-framed house. They all depend on boards and wood products for their daily existence. But they are so filled with hatred for bad, bad logging and forest stewardship that they demanded (and got) forest holocaust.

The Native American tribes have been totally opposed to burning for the sake of burning in their ancestral watersheds from the very first days of the NorCal fires. But the extremist anti-forest radicals won the day. The USFS capitulated to the dopey set, and burned, baby, burned.

The Radishes (red on the outside, burning on the inside) should not be running the USFS. Disaster and bankruptcy result. The Region 5 Regional Forester issued an order in early July to the NF Supervisors to stop playing with fire. They ignored him, and catastrophe ensued.

The Radishes stole your vote, they stole our rights to accept or not accept, they forced holocaust on the region, and now they sit smugly in their wood-framed homes and pat themselves on the back for “doing it to the Man.” What a farce, what a charade, what a horrible disaster they have wrought!

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