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Publication Information

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Title: Wildfires and Forest Development in Tropical and Subtropical Asia: Outlook for the Year 2000

Author: Goldammer, Johann G.;

Date: 1987

Source: In: Davis, James B.; Martin, Robert E., technical coordinators. 1987. Proceedings of the Symposium on Wildland Fire 2000, April 27-30, 1987, South Lake Tahoe, California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-101. Berkeley, CA: Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; p. 164-176

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: California's foothill counties are the scene of rapid development. All types of construction in former wildlands is creating an intermix of wildland-structures-wildland that is different from the traditional "urban-wildland interface." The fire and structural environment for seven counties is described. Fire statistics are compared with growth patterns from 1970 to 1985. Potentials for the year 2000 are suggested. California planning law is overviewed in relation to development. Local governments and fire services have underutilized existing authorities in describing and mitigating fire impacts in the intermix. Productive ways of improving mitigation requirements are suggested. A stronger planning-related partnership between fire services and local government is called for. Recommendations are made in the areas of legislative improvements, applied research, and strategic fire pre-planning. The study is presented from the perspective of a retired fire management specialist who is now a County Planning Commissioner. The presence of structures in wildland areas of California has been a continuing fire problem for over 60 years. As population and development increase, so do the cost and loss impacts of wildland-structural fire. Whether structure fire spreads to wildlands, or wildland fire ignites structures, the complexities of wildland fire management are drastically increased by all forms of development. The problem has mushroomed in seven California "foothill" or "Mother Lode" counties used as a study area. Fifteen years (1970 to 1985) of history confirm that fire trends follow population increases. Those trends indicate that a significant impact has already occurred. Growth predictions to the year 2000 indicate that greater impacts are ahead. The study area represents a change in character of the wildland-structural relationship from "interface" to "intermix." Former boundary definition between structural encroachment and wildlands has essentially been lost; structures are now present on a random or matrix pattern throughout large areas. The intermix adds another dimension of difficulty to fire suppression, increases costs and losses, and presents additional threat to public safety. Neither local government nor fire services have adequately recognized this problem. Unacceptable adverse impacts will undoubtedly occur in the future unless changes are made in both fire management and local planning procedures.

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Goldammer, Johann G. 1987. Wildfires and Forest Development in Tropical and Subtropical Asia: Outlook for the Year 2000. In: Davis, James B.; Martin, Robert E., technical coordinators. 1987. Proceedings of the Symposium on Wildland Fire 2000, April 27-30, 1987, South Lake Tahoe, California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-101. Berkeley, CA: Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; p. 164-176

 


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