3 Aug 2009, 2:44pm
The 2009 Fire Season
by admin

More Eightmile Foofurb Obfuscations

The Boise NF issued a press release about the Eightmile Foofurb Fire [here] this morning. The press release is not yet up on their website but can be viewed at InciWeb [here].

Some high- and lowlights, with commentary:

Lowman, ID – The lightning caused Eightmile Creek Fire, continues to burn and is being managed by the Boise National Forest as a “wildfire managed for resource benefits”. The fire is located about 12 miles northeast of Lowman.

They have dropped the “in the Lowman Burn” counter-factual verbiage. That’s just about the only highlight.

The Type 3 Incident Management Team assigned to this incident is completing development of a Long Term Implementation Plan (LTIP). The LTIP will aid in the management of this incident until a season ending event occurs. The LTIP will address the anticipated fluctuations in growth and predicted long-term weather.

Type 3 means local. The fire managers and crews are from the Boise NF. They plan on Letting It Burn until the snow flies (otherwise they would not need a LTIP).

Late on the evening of Sunday, August 2, management actions taken to help contain the fire in the main Eightmile Creek drainage included water application from Type 1 and Type 2 helicopters and several retardant drops from small fixed wing aircraft. These actions were successful in checking the fire. …

Some sort of half-assed suppression is underway. No line building is mentioned, just aviation. Without line building the fire will not be contained, controlled, or extinguished.

The fire has been burning since July 12 and has grown to 630 acres as of Monday, August 3. It is burning in a management area that is Proposed Wilderness and continues to show low to moderate fire intensity with small uphill runs resulting in tree torching. Other areas within the fire are experiencing creeping ground fire. Current resource objectives are being met. …

The fire doubled in size over the weekend. “Proposed wilderness” is a red herring; Let It Burn with zero fire suppression is not a legal requirement in wilderness, designated or not. Wilderness fires can be suppressed. In fact, every time that wilderness is proposed, the argument is made that the USFS will suppress the fires despite the lack of roads. They have developed special minimum impact techniques for wilderness fires. The idea that their hands are tied and they can’t suppress fires because the area is “proposed wilderness” is hideous obfuscation and totally objectionable.

Besides, the area has been occupied and managed by human beings for 11,000+ years. It isn’t “untrammeled” because human transportation networks, ancient and modern, crisscross the area.

When trees torch, they die. The “resource objectives” are unstated and have never been subjected to any NEPA evaluation or process.

The fire began on the west side of the Eightmile Creek drainage and has been burning in a west and southwest direction. It spotted across Eightmile Creek to the east and is now burning near the ridge line between Eightmile and the East Fork of Eightmile Creek. …

More obfuscation and a pathetic attempt to say that they knew all along the fire was not in the 1989 Lowman Burn. That’s either an admission that they lied, or an admission of incompetence at mapping. The fire has spread in every cardinal direction from the ignition point, something the press release minces around about.

As big game seasons approach, those hunters who desire to scout the Eightmile Creek and neighboring drainages should contact Fire Information 208-259-3729, or the Lowman District Office 208-259-3361, for current fire conditions. No closures or restrictions are in effect at this time due to the fire, but current information could be important to a successful recreational or hunting trip.

There is no game in the burned over area. The deer and elk either ran away or got fried. All forage and browse has been incinerated. If you want to hunt in an active fire that the USFS plans to keep burning until November, you must be a real idiot. Recreational use, including hunting, is kaput for this year. That resource category has been eliminated by this “fire for resource benefit.”

Smoke can be seen within the Highway 21 corridor in the evening and through early morning hours. Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has installed a Real Time Smoke Monitor to measure air quality. Local air quality is also being affected by drift smoke coming from wildland fires in eastern Oregon, where 132 new fires were started Sunday from lightning storms. In addition, several new fires were started on the Boise National Forest.

The IDEQ installed a smoke monitor on private property in the community of Eightmile, at the request of a private property owner. The USFS had nothing to do with it, it wasn’t their idea, and it freaked them out. Here are the early readings:

Note that for the first 24 hours the device was malfunctioning. The smoke has been (still is) very thick, and the declining readings during the first 24 hours are anomalous and incorrect. For more on health damage from wildfire smoke see [here and here].

The smoke impacting the residents is 99+ percent from the Eightmile Foofurb Fire. It is not Oregon smoke. That’s another specious claim made by the Boise NF. You would think that having been caught in other lies about this fire, the Boise NF would start telling the truth. If so, you would think wrong.

Jackson Peak Lookout continues to closely monitor the fire and reports to the Incident Management Team twice daily. Adequate suppression resources are available if needed.

More specious claims. When this fire blows up the Boise NF will be begging for help, and help is already detailed to other fires. They could have doused this fire when it was one tree aflame for far less than they have already spent. When all is said and done, it is likely that millions of taxpayers dollars will have been spent incinerating the Boise NF (par for the course) and $millions more in damages will have been inflicted.

The Boise NF is out of control and so are their fires. Their game is Burn Baby Burn America’s forests, for specious reasons, attended by out-and-out lies and feeble attempts at cover up. This forest needs a management overhaul and complete house cleaning. The citizenry cannot trust the current crop of Boise NF leadership, and should not, and should seek a new crop immediately.

3 Aug 2009, 4:02pm
by Foo Furb


This used to be called “playing with fire” before it became Big Business.

In fact, that is the biggest moneymaker going for the US Forest Service these days — watching America’s forests burn to the ground, close our highways and campgrounds, and fill our towns with smoke. And then sending some diversity bureaucrats to go on TV and to the newspapers with a bunch of eco-babble “fire ecology” excuses.

Remember when the US Forest Service used to put fires out and manage our forests? At little or no cost to taxpayers? What happened? (Seriously: what happened?).

3 Aug 2009, 10:29pm
by Mike


From the Boise NF press release this evening:

The fire began on the west side of the Eightmile Creek drainage and has been burning in a west and southwest direction. It spotted across Eightmile Creek to the east and is now burning near the ridge line between Eightmile Creek and the East Fork of Eightmile Creek.

Late on the evening of Monday, August 3, management action taken to help contain the fire in the main Eightmile Creek drainage included retardant drops from small fixed wing aircraft. This action was successful in checking the fire. The incident meteorologist is closely monitoring the predicted weather.

Maybe our gentle persuasion efforts are paying off.

4 Aug 2009, 1:46am
by Foo Furb


Mike:

Are you saying that the level of fire management retardation is dropping?

If so, when will the meteorologist begin monitoring the weather rather than the “predicted weather”? Or will that require additional retardant drops?

And who is monitoring the weather predictor? Has he or she predicted what the weather will be like if the fire blows up and begins making its own weather?

I think more retardant drops are likely to be needed if this is to be brought under control before snowfall — that’s my prediction.

4 Aug 2009, 9:54am
by Mike


Not exactly. The Boise Burners are attempting to steer the fire, not contain or control it. Some areas they want to burn, and other areas not, although they have declared vast tracts as free fire zones.

All that declaring was done without public input or involvement. The Boise NF is at war with the public and both disdains and fears public dialog. They are also acting illegally, since NEPA specifically requires Federal agencies to go through the NEPA process before implementing actions that significantly impact the environment.

IMHO, it is inaccurate to blame the behavior of the Boise NF on incompetence or stupidity. They know what they are doing, they know it is illegal and at odds with the community, but they persist anyway. The arrogance factor is off the charts. They are bullies and petty tyrants and seek to harm local residents, whom they resent.

The divide between the Agency and the public is wide and growing. The USFS has become an occupation army that uses scorched earth tactics to oppress the populace in their domain. Violence to the land - violence to the people is their modus operandi. It is difficult to see a way out from here. Until the USFS decides it wants to a part of America again, instead of a oppressive overseer, discussions about water, wildlife, vegetation, stewardship etc. are mostly meaningless.

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