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Fri Jul 31, 2015, 07:23 AM

The Wettest Rainforest in the United States Has Gone Up in Flames

The Wettest Rainforest in the United States Has Gone Up in Flames
by Subhankar Banerjee
The Nation
7/30/15

"When fire can eat a rainforest in a relatively cool climate, you know the Earth is beginning to burn."



The wettest rainforest in the continental United States had gone up in flames and the smoke was so thick, so blanketing, that you could see it miles away. Deep in Washington’s Olympic National Park, the aptly named Paradise Fire, undaunted by the dampness of it all, was eating the forest alive and destroying an ecological Eden. In this season of drought across the West, there have been far bigger blazes but none quite so symbolic or offering quite such grim news. It isn’t the size of the fire (though it is the largest in the park’s history), nor its intensity. It’s something else entirely—the fact that it shouldn’t have been burning at all. When fire can eat a rainforest in a relatively cool climate, you know the Earth is beginning to burn.

....SNIP....a very long, detailed, well-written account by a resident of the area who has a rich history & love for the PNW...please read if you have time, it's fascinating & educational. though tragic....


...A team of international climate change and rainforest experts published a study earlier this year warning that, “without drastic and immediate cuts to greenhouse gas emissions and new forest protections, the world’s most expansive stretch of temperate rainforests from Alaska to the coast redwoods will experience irreparable losses.” In fact, says the study’s lead author, Dominick DellaSala, “In the Pacific Northwest…the climate may no longer support rainforest communities.”...

....The harbors of Washington, a state that prides itself on its environmental stewardship, have already become a support base for one, and the other will likely join the crowd in the years to come. Washington’s residents will gradually become more accustomed to oil rigs and tankers and trains, while its rainforests burn in yet more paradisical fires.

In the meantime, the Olympic Peninsula is still wreathed in smoke, the West is still drought central, and anthropogenic is a word all of us had better learn soon.

http://www.thenation.com/article/the-wettest-rainforest-in-the-united-states-has-gone-up-in-flames/




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Reply The Wettest Rainforest in the United States Has Gone Up in Flames (Original post)
RiverLover Jul 2015 OP
daleanime Jul 2015 #1
RiverLover Jul 2015 #3
newfie11 Jul 2015 #2
RiverLover Jul 2015 #4
Hekate Jul 2015 #23
mountain grammy Jul 2015 #5
DFW Jul 2015 #6
RiverLover Jul 2015 #11
DFW Jul 2015 #18
Ilsa Jul 2015 #13
DFW Jul 2015 #19
Canoe52 Aug 2015 #43
DFW Aug 2015 #45
Uncle Joe Jul 2015 #7
RiverLover Jul 2015 #9
efilon Jul 2015 #8
erronis Jul 2015 #10
chervilant Jul 2015 #12
jwirr Jul 2015 #14
OnlinePoker Jul 2015 #22
jwirr Jul 2015 #32
Boudica the Lyoness Jul 2015 #30
OnlinePoker Jul 2015 #15
RiverLover Jul 2015 #16
OnlinePoker Jul 2015 #17
PearliePoo2 Jul 2015 #20
RiverLover Jul 2015 #21
Enthusiast Jul 2015 #25
Enthusiast Jul 2015 #24
cascadiance Jul 2015 #26
GliderGuider Jul 2015 #27
jtuck004 Jul 2015 #28
Alkene Jul 2015 #29
Jack-o-Lantern Jul 2015 #31
angrychair Jul 2015 #33
FuzzyRabbit Aug 2015 #34
angrychair Aug 2015 #37
RiverLover Aug 2015 #38
angrychair Aug 2015 #42
RiverLover Aug 2015 #44
Zambero Aug 2015 #35
RiverLover Aug 2015 #39
SunSeeker Aug 2015 #36
RiverLover Aug 2015 #40
raouldukelives Aug 2015 #41

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 07:24 AM

1. kick, kick, kick....

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Response to daleanime (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 07:35 AM

3. Thanks daleanime.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 07:31 AM

2. OMG

Meanwhile business as usual.
I cry for my grandkids and others who will be left with the disaster we've done to the earth.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 07:41 AM

4. That is the caring. This "gloom & doom" isn't a "fear of death" for ourselves as environmentalists,

Its an incredible sadness for the suffering & probable death of future generations, and the tragic loss of the magnificent plethora of animal & plant life which is slowly happening in front of our eyes.

And scientists warned about this back in the 70s. We could have stopped it. That tipping point has been passed by, we're tipped. But I would like to believe we could slow it down & perhaps salvage some level of sustainability if we act drastically now....

I just don't know.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 02:42 PM

23. When I think about leaving a letter for my 10 y.o. grandson to read someday....

...all can think of is "I'm so sorry."

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 08:31 AM

5. It's pretty much over...I'm beyond disgust.

We've evolved into a planet killing machine... laughable that anyone would think this to be intelligent design.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 08:53 AM

6. Olympic was on my "must see" list, too

Still is, I guess--what's left of it.

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Response to DFW (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:54 AM

11. Me too.

That whole area is on my wishlist...we'd better get going, eh?

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #11)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:53 AM

18. Sounds like it!

It's a little far from us, about 7000 miles, but we'll find the time some day.

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Response to DFW (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:11 AM

13. Go see it. It's a big park. Sol Duc, Hoh Valley,

etc are beautiful places to visit, hike, even backpack. As long as the fire hasn't reached those areas, then maybe the park service can manage this fire and develop a plan to restore that part of the forest eventually.

Keep it on your bucket list!

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:57 AM

19. Oh, it's there!

We just have to fit it in among the Galápagos, New Zealand, Hong Kong (my wife hasn't seen it), and a few other places. The timing is the hard part. My wife has retired, but I haven't. The Neander Valley (German: Neanderthal) is a 20 minute drive from our house, and it took us 15 years to get around to seeing it!

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Response to DFW (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 2, 2015, 12:44 AM

43. Come on out!

The Olympic Peninsula is huge and the area affected by the fire is small in comparison. And it's so beautiful out here. Just moved out here 3 years ago from the midwest and every day I'm just blown away by the beauty.

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Response to Canoe52 (Reply #43)

Sun Aug 2, 2015, 10:36 AM

45. I've been to the PNW before

I've seen how beautiful it is. It's still on the list, just have to find the time. In my line of work, it has been said, retirement isn't confirmed until the last nail is in the coffin.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 08:53 AM

7. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, RiverLover.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:51 AM

9. Sure.

I can't say it was "my pleasure", but its important to know this is happening. I had no idea, myself.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:08 AM

8. Kick

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:52 AM

10. The Olympics are a treasure, this is very sad.

I'm going there late August to visit my daughters/granddaughters (from Vermont). The view from the ferries of the smoke must be horrendous and scary.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:00 AM

12. I grieve for our younglings.

This lovely planet has been rendered a hostile environment, and our species is unlikely to survive our own hubris.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:12 AM

14. How did the fire start? As I read I was thinking of why farmers are warned not to put wet hay into

the barn. The moisture heats up and becomes combustible all on its own. It seems to me that when the rotting foliage in a rainforest heats up it more or less starts its own fire?



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Response to jwirr (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 01:35 PM

22. According to the inciweb report, lightning

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #22)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:19 PM

32. That will do it to I guess. There must be some dry wood even in a rainforest.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:33 PM

30. We are hay growers.

 

Farmers don't have to be warned about putting wet hay in a barn. Farmers are not stupid. Maybe the warnings are from the farmers to their customers.




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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:16 AM

15. Fire is not unheard of on the Olympic Peninsula

Most of them happen on the eastern rain-shadow side, but they have happened on the wetter west side before. The article makes it sound like the entire rainforest has burned, but as of yesterday, the Paradise Fire was at 1786 acres (Olypmic National Park is 366,000 acres) and 21% contained.

From the following National Park Service link: This increase in fire size at Olympic is partly due to a policy update to the Fire Management Plan in 2005 that enabled park managers to use wildland fires for resource benefit instead of immediately suppressing each new start regardless of cost or location.

http://www.nps.gov/olym/learn/management/fire-history.htm

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Response to OnlinePoker (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:36 AM

16. Read the article, online poker.

You'll learn about the lack of snowcaps, normally in play. And more.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #16)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:51 AM

17. I read the article.

I also live in Victoria and can see the Olympics across the Strait from my front window. I know it was a bad year for snow as we had the same here on the Island. The north Pacific warm blob kept the temperatures unusually high all winter and the spring dry period came a month to 6 weeks earlier than normal. But we've had hot, dry summers with little snowpack in the past as well and people seem to forget those. Unfortunately, in El Nino years we are normally drier here in the winter, so next year could be just as bad.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 01:01 PM

20. Here are two pages for some more info on this fire:

Inciweb page with recent photos:
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/photographs/4305/

Paradise Fire Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Fire/831205013596015?fref=nf

BTW..I have hiked, camped and fished this area for 40 years. It is a treasure to behold. I have witnessed Roosevelt Elk come wandering right through my campsite on the Hoh River. A Bull stopped to slurp some Redhook Ale from a cup on the picnic table. We didn't dare move or make a sound.
When the wind is from the right direction, I can smell this fire from my porch. I can hardly bear it.

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Response to PearliePoo2 (Reply #20)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 01:07 PM

21. Thank so much for sharing the links & your personal account.

Your post is exquisite. Thanks. I'm sorry you are having to bear it.

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Response to PearliePoo2 (Reply #20)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 05:38 PM

25. I bet that ale tasted like nectar to that elk.

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 05:37 PM

24. Kicked and recommended!

This has serious implications.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 05:44 PM

26. We just hit 100 degree weather here in Portland for the first time in three years too...

 

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Portland-to-break-100-for-the-first-time-in-3-years-320160741.html

We've been cooking up here lately, and unlike California, air conditioners aren't a "staple" up here, so it's hard for many to get away from the heat.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 06:20 PM

27. We broke a 100-year heat record in Ottawa on Wednesday.

 

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 08:13 PM

28. Paging Ms.Clinton.Your pipeline is ready. n/t

 

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 08:39 PM

29. ..._ _ _ ...

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:59 PM

31. …how can this be??? Climate change is a hoax doncha know.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2015, 11:48 PM

33. Rest easy in this case

The Paradise Fire is VERY small compared to ONF and though it is being kept in a very specific area, it is being allowed to burn naturally. It will burn for months. That being said there has been a lot of wildfires in Washington this summer...record setting actually. Its not over yet either. We have red flag warnings over most of the state for the next several days. I spend most of my summers at wildfires here in Washington and this year is very bad.
#climatechangeisreal

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Response to angrychair (Reply #33)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 12:04 AM

34. Interactive map of US wildfires.

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Response to FuzzyRabbit (Reply #34)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 12:41 AM

37. Very true

Alaska is getting hit hard. Haven't gone up there but at least one of our teams had been up there earlier this year.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #33)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 06:44 AM

38. You work with US forest service, maybe? Thanks for the info but

it leads to more Qs!

Like, why is Paradise Fire being allowed to burn naturally? How do you keep it contained? It's already the largest fire in that park's history, why wasn't it contained sooner? Do you agree with the OP author that this just shouldn't be happening in a rainforest, turning it into a fireforest?

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #38)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 03:12 PM

42. No problem

I work in field. While I am no expert I do have a fair understanding of the "hows" and "whys". In this case, the incident was lightning started , in a remote area. Fire is essential for a forest ecosystems long-term health.

This fire is only 1,800 acres and is in so remote a location that wildland firefighters either have to hike or be flown in. It is no where near the largest fire in the park's history. In the early 1900's there was a 30,000 acre fire. Pre-historical fires are harder to determine due to the remote areas and size of the ONP.

Fires are contained through a lot of hard work and science. Combining experience with wildfires and the science of Fire Behaviour and weather monitoring, it is possible to predict how the fire is going to behave in a given day or for several days. Then the hard work begins. In this case the actual work is all done by hand with chainsaws, shovels, rakes and a tool called a pulaski to create handline breaks and more importantly the natural terrain itself. Using rivers and rocky terrain as natural breaks.
It's not this one fire that is of concern. It is the thousands of fires that are of concern. The hundreds more still that are likely to come this year. That is what we should care the most about.
#climatechangeisreal

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Response to angrychair (Reply #42)

Sun Aug 2, 2015, 06:08 AM

44. Very interesting. Thanks. I appreciate your take that the most concerning thing is the volume of

forest fires now. I suppose you heard the sad news of a firefighter dying in a CA wildfire...you be careful out there.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 12:18 AM

35. Wildfire is a normal ecosytem function. However...

It is happening with greater frequency and intensity these days. Part of this is long-term fuels accumulation. Good old Smokey and company did a great job of keeping fires small and infrequent, while dead and down woody debris kept piling up. Given warmer and drier conditions in recent years, when fire visits an area, it will burn hotter and is more likely to be a "stand replacement" event, as opposed to low intensity underburn. Even the wettest Pacific Northwest forests will have high intensity wildfire, but on a given acre this has occurred rarely, with centuries between events. What we're seeing is nature's way of reacting to what humans have brought to the table. And more intense fires also equates to a further increase in greenhouse gases, with warming temperatures and a further increase in wildfire disturbance. It doesn't take a team of astute scientists to conclude that a tipping point is approaching.

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Response to Zambero (Reply #35)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 06:55 AM

39. Good post, so true. And with drought, the forests aren't able to recover as well after fires,

and so aren't able to absorb as much CO2 from the atmosphere, and climate change worsens....cyclical.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 12:38 AM

36. This is so sad, and terrifying. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #36)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 06:56 AM

40. Yes.

It's heartbreaking. Especially if these types of fires in rainforests continue.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 07:42 AM

41. No matter what, keep investing. It might get better, financially, for you.

If you can profit enough from assisting the most evil and uncaring people on the planet you may be able to afford to leave when your mess has to be cleaned up by those who cannot and, most importantly, those who will not.

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