Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Majority of Sierra fire threat high

By
From page A1 | November 29, 2013 | 2 Comments

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.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

  • Walking TallNovember 29, 2013 - 7:57 am

    Hear that Ray "High and Above" that means SET NO Fires Ray, oh wait you can't read so sorry....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Clyde NeedhamNovember 29, 2013 - 6:03 pm

    Somebody take away Baby Rays matches.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 15 Comments

Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 29 Comments

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments