Christine Wiedinmyer* and Jason C Neff
Corresponding author: Christine Wiedinmyer email@example.com
Carbon Balance and Management 2007, 2:10 doi:10.1186/1750-0680-2-10
(2007-11-05 02:54) Committee for Green Foothills
Interesting article - for policy purposes discussed in the article, it would be helpful
to have an estimate of C emissions from firefighting (e.g., transporting firefighters
and equipment, bulldozing fire breaks, use of aircraft). Relative to small fires
at least, this C source could be substantial and weigh into the decision of whether
to fight the fire or let it burn.
This C source doesn't appear to be captured in the model the article used for estimating
Modern firefighting in the Western US also involves occasionally setting very intense
fires to create scorched-earth fuel breaks that are very different from mild prescribed
burns (this was done during the Biscuit Fire, if I recall correctly). Separating
C emissions from natural fires versus scorched-earth fuel breaks would also be useful
for policy reasons, although I expect it could be difficult to measure.
No competing interests
(2007-11-02 01:43) cal state university
This is an interesting study. Unfortunately, the yahoo news summary of the article's
findings may provoke misunderstandings, particularly where the summary seems to suggest
that planting trees (as a way to offset carbon dioxide emissions) may have the negative
unintended consequence of contributing to even greater emissions.
Perhaps the most crucial step that needs to be taken, which is beyond the scope of
the article, is better forest management. Instead of extinguishing every small fire,
these need to be allowed to burn, as they are in many other countries with more sensible
management. Allowing the smaller fires is one step toward offseting the major "century"
fires. Of course, also needed are stricter zoning regulations and/or legislation
to prevent or discourage housing development on the fringes of public forests.
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