Monday, July 21, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Majority of Sierra fire threat high

By
From page A1 | November 29, 2013 |

A September report by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy shows that the Central Subregion, of which El Dorado County is part of, has more than half of the acres in the subregion being of “high and above” threat.

The report, “Fire Threat,” by lead author Mark Stanley with data analysis by Steve Beckwitt, shows that of the approximately 25.5 million acres of the forest in the state, about 17.5 million acres are categorized as “high and above” for fire threat, or about 68 percent of the forest. Of the 2.5 million acres in the Central Region, comprised of parts of El Dorado, Placer, Nevada and Yuba counties, 1.7 million acres, about 67 percent, is “high and above.” The simple definition of fire threat, the report says, is “the possibility of a fire occurring based on the history of fire occurrence and the potential damage based on the behavior a fire may exhibit.”

Cal Fire tracks the areas in four classes: Extreme, very high, high and moderate. There is also non-fuel, meaning there is little to no threat. The report notes that high and above are grouped together as they are, as far as the SNC is concerned, functionally the same.

Subregions across the state have high fire threats, the report reads. “The North, North Central and South Central Subregions average about 75 percent in the high and above fire threat classes, while about two-thirds of the Central and South Subregions is in that threat range … The landscape of the Central Subregion, which contains the bulk of the region’s population, has been much more modified than other subregions. The South Subregion is likely at slightly lower overall threat because it has the highest elevations and contains the most area at little or no fire threat, which is primarily high alpine terrain with little vegetation. The large area of national park land is the south may also play into the figures. Only 48 percent of the East Subregion is in the high and above threat range, due mostly to lack of heavy vegetation to carry large fires due to dry conditions on the east slope of the Sierra and in the Owens Valley.”

The Central Subregion contains the highest amount of wildland urban interface, or WUI, of all the subregions. About 640,000 acres, or about 25 percent of the total acres in the subregion, is WUI. Of that, about 541,500 acres, or 85 percent, are in the high and above threat range. The Central Subregion accounts for 39 percent of the total WUI in the region.

“The portion of Sierra wildfire that occurs each year that is in the WUI is generally fairly small … in a typical year since 1998, 1 to 3 percent of total land burned in the Sierra is in the WUI. The one major exception in the past 15 years was 2004, when nearly 10 percent of the burned acreage was in WUI, though this was overall a modest fire year.”

Last year, about 475,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada Region burned; of that, only 1,075 acres were in the WUI, or 0.23 percent. Despite this, the Central Subregion’s WUI has not been affected much by fires, and “the cumulative amount of WUI burned over the past 15 years has actually been less than some of the other Subregions, and certainly a much smaller percentage of the WUI than any other Subregion.” Just under 7,000 acres of Central Subregion WUI burned between 1998 and 2012, more than only the South and East Subregions.

Changing climate in the Sierra Nevada Region has not helped with fire threats.

“Restoring the health of the forest and reducing fire threat will take a significant amount of time (most likely decades) and increased investment,” the report concludes. “These Fire Threat Indicators can help us track the progress that is being made in terms of on-the-ground efforts to improve forest conditions and reduce fire threat over time and help inform strategic investment.” A methodology is currently being developed to that end, to help characterize and track the severity of fires in the future.

Comments

comments

.

News

P’ville hires Camino superintendent

By News Release | From Page: B1

 
Heard over the back fence: Public swim times announced

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Highway 50 collision fatal

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

IRS unveils Taxpayer Bill of Rights

By News Release | From Page: B1

 
EDH community unites to patch up historic barn

By Mike Roberts | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Stay connected through sheriff

By El Dorado County Sheriff's Office | From Page: B1

 
Bird tests positive for West Nile

By Ross Branch | From Page: A1

County gets partial refund on promotional event

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

 
Jeepers expo Wednesday in Georgetown

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

Help SWR with squirrel babies

By Sierra Wildlife Rescue | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

Different place, different priorities

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
California rambling: Giving cities a pass

By John Poimiroo | From Page: A4 | Gallery

The rural life: Save the day: Neuter and spay

By Jennifer Forsberg Meyer | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

A thank you note

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Prada belongs in Berkeley

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Ready for Hillary?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Fukushima

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Diamond Springs Firefighters Union is corrupt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
100+ years and thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Valley View Sports Park

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 20, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Schedule: July 21-26

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Becker slips by in wild KWS finish

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A6

Sports Scene: July 20, 2014

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 20, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Season over for Post 119

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sophia Barden wins strut title

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

How to safely help a horse

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Railroad Museum offers a fun ‘History Happy Hour’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B4

 
As we were: Money for home repairs

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Volunteer kitchen help needed in EDH

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: B10

 
Marshall Medical Center to host day of fitness and fun

By Marshall Medical | From Page: B10

 
Kids parade for free admission to the fair

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

Crime Log: July 6-8

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Jerry Grant Young Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Kathryn Noreen Nolan

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Betty Ellene Hock

By Contributor | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
Douglas J. Beam

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sukodu

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Monday, July 21, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8