Friday, May 15, 2009

Homer Fire, Problem Trees with Bugs and Cleaning up themselves in Tanana

Rain in Anchorage and outlying parts is a great thing. We are in dire need of it considering how high the fire danger is right now for south central. Unfortunately, Homer isn’t getting this much needed rain, in which they need more then us in Anchorage need at this moment in time.

But the spruce bark beetles are the reason why everything is shooting up in flames as you sit there, reading my article. These pesky little insects kill the tree from the inside out and you can see it dieing. I wrote a little bit about the fire danger a few days ago, but no one seems to have noticed.

I do not understand why we do not implement some type of State and City (no matter what city) group effort in cutting these trees down. They are a complete fire hazard, as after the tree dies its decomposing trunk with the old sap still clinging to it’s brittle dry branches is just tinder for the next lightening storms or flicked cigarette butt or someone not paying attention to their burning… which I think is the case in Homer. But either way there are these dead trees all over Alaska. Why not cut them down and give them to people for fire wood? It lets other baby trees grow and is better for the environment at time then just letting them rot or having a fire, which kills everything in its wake. Including animals, birds and people.

The Kuskokwim and Yukon have been taking up much of Palin’s time, which is good as it does show she does care about Alaska and the Residents. Even if you think she does not. A Tanana Elder said that they are just going to start and rebuild without waiting for help. Good! Why wait? I am in total agreement with her. If you do not do for yourself, you will never get anything done. Good for Tanana! I hope that the fuel is also cleaned up. But that may take some time.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, you can cut down beetle kill trees on state lands (if I remember correctly it's 3 cords a winter without a permit). I used to all the time, before I moved into Los Anchorage. The problem is that beetle kill trees don't burn well unless you get them within a couple years of dying.

    You can't cut them on federal land without a permit. On the plus side, a few years ago the feds (USFS) spent quite a bit of money paying small logging operations to cut down dead trees and reduce fire hazard and speed up the natural process.

    The biggest problem is in access. Some places are hard to get into even in winter, and it's difficult to justify the cost of access, when there's easier firewood to be had.

    I think one problem with the Homer fire is that it's so dry right now, sap is rising, and trees pop this time of year. The last time I was down East End Rd. there were few beetle kill trees left standing. The infestation moved through there so long ago that most have blown down (or cut down) and now it's the live growth speeding the fire. However, trees on the edges of the burn will now be weakened and susceptible to the beetles, so the cycle begins again.

    And I agree, don't wait for the government, get to it. Maybe they'll come along and help, maybe not. Hopefully villages will have help cleaning up toxic cr*p since it's almost impossible to do without big bucks.