Fire Season

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by giddyupgo55, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. giddyupgo55

    Active Member

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    Just a reminder, the wife and I were up in the woods today, first thing this morning, and we came across someone's camp fire still burning real good. I had started carrying 5 gallons of water with me and it took all I had to put it out. Like I said just a reminder be careful.
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  2. Joe13

    NW of Vancouver
    Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer

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    Saw some regs requiring a shovel of a certain size and water or a fire extinguisher on one of the state forests.

    Never a bad idea to have extra stuff with the weather we are getting.
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  3. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu
    PDX OR
    Member Emeritus Silver Supporter

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    It's a tinderbox out there!
    He77! My urban yard is a tinderbox!
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  4. CoastRange57

    Western Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    Going to be a very interesting year. As a man of the soil, this year will rival and likely well exceed the drought of 77 and 83. The lack of rain in February and March is really going to show. Conventional measurements of evapotranspiration, which is the amount of water leaving the soil are made in evaporation pans, and calculated in computer models to water use by various crops. A string of 90 degree days will rip out .60 of an inch of water per day. You can expect our upcoming heat wave to evaporate well over 2 inches of water IF the water was in the profile to evaporate, since it is not, vegetation will be the only place that evaporation will come from, and that rate of vegetation evaporation then becomes expotentially worse as the days wear on. Pretty bad spot to be in for the 22nd day of June.

    We used that method to determine how much water to apply to keep vegetation growing and thriving. You always needed to replace what was lost to evaporation, plus at least 25% to 30% more to make plants or turf grow at a production rate.

    Depending on the crop, and type of crop, grass seed growers are now watering their fields, which is only something a few of them can do to try and fill out seed heads. Some of the crops are already turning color that they would after being cut. The reason for this is that the soil profiles already are pretty much empty of all moisture. The heat and demands of the plants will now cause the root systems to shut down terminal tip growth in order to allow the root system to survive to put out another crop next year. The plants are already writing off this year, seed heads are as filled out as they are going to get on unirrigated grounds. All unirrigated crops have produced what they are going to produce. Done.

    This will hasten the drying of standing vegetation, and in Western Oregon where we have heavy loads of grass and brush, but in "normal " years have always had suitable soil moisture and precipitation, those fuel loads remained reasonably green even in late summer, and any fires that did develope were slow moving and easy to contain. Not so this year, we still have the heavy fuel loads, but those loads are now going to become tinder dry very fast, subject to easy ignition and will provide much fuel for any fires that start. We saw a harbinger of what we could see more of this year in the Scoggins Creek fire last September 9th, which was the largest fire in Western Oregon in sometime and was still much smaller that the 1,200 acre Garrish Valley conflagration in Yamhill County in 1978. I spent 2 days on that fire and pumped a lot of water on that one.

    Farmers expect to start harvesting winter wheat and other fall planted grains around the 4th of July, a full 3 weeks earlier than normal dates of around 22 to 25 July normally. Clover and most seed crop yields will be horrible, the wheat will be OK, but still going to be off from the lack of winter rains. Irrigated crops will be above average, but irrigators are likely to face water right restrictions and shut offs except to the most senior holders a lot sooner than the usual late August first of September timelines in more normal years.

    Bow hunters can pretty much write off their early season this year, the woods will likely be completely closed by that time, and and any amount of rain early in rifle seasons is still going to soak in, and be completely ineffective in solving dry vegetation issues. These conditions are likely to not be relived until we see 4 or more inches of rain, likely in November.

    I am knocking down 4 acres of grass that is very dry on my place this Wednesday, since my moron neighbor does not believe in burn bans and still burns garbage, paper and other shi* every day.
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  5. soberups

    Well-Known Member

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    I would be calling the cops and doing everything I could to make his life a living hell until he quit burning. What he does on his own property is his business, to a point, but wildfires don't give a damn about property lines and all it takes is one spark or ember. Burn bans are in place for a reason.

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