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February 18, 2009



Control the undergrowth, burn it when it's slightly wet to prevent it from becoming kindling when it's dry.

Educate your populace. If people know the best ways to fight a fire, and the best ways to escape a fire (as well as knowing when to choose between the two), there is a much better chance of survival. Have an effective alert system. If there is a fast moving fire, it is highly advantageous to know about it before it's on your doorstep.

Keep the areas around houses clear (no long grass/timber/overhanging trees) for at least 15 metres, (preferably 25) in bushfire prone areas.

Robert Beverly

Two things. 1) Burn early before there's excess fuel. Burning is inevitable unless the forestry service is going to have a lawnmower brigade. 2) Build houses that are more fire resistant, such as monolithic concrete domes. You still would not want to be inside when a brush fire was outside, but the chance of survival would be profoundly greater.

Mark Bahner

Hi Tom,

I agree with Randall O'Toole's point that the Forest Service shouldn't be trying to manipulate the fuels in all the forests in the U.S.

Where I think we might disagree is that I wouldn't mind if the federal government developed a rapid response system that can protect houses from wildfires.

For example, fire retardant gels seems to work to significantly reduce the chances that a home burns down. I wouldn't mind if the federal government bought several million dollars worth of fire retardant gel, and used helicopters to get it from storage sites in various states to the location of fires that threaten houses.


Mark, I suggest that you look up Randall O`Toole. I`ve referred to him before on my blog:




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