Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to Prevent Damage from Forest Fires

Forest Fire Protection

While several earlier posts in this blog have advocated the creation of more forests and planting more trees as a measure to mitigate adverse climate changes, forests pose a danger to humans too. This danger arises when forest fires occur and engulf a human habitation. The ensuing damage can be tragic. Some areas such as those in California and Australia are more prone to such damages than others and preventive measures need to be put in place in order to avert tragedies especially in areas prone to this danger.

One possible preventive measure is the creation of an agricultural strip or body of water such as a lake between the human habitation and the forest as shown in the adjoining schematic. If such a strip is being newly created an excellent design for the surrounding agricultural land is the use of AM strip farms. This type of farm was proposed in an earlier post as a job creation measure but it has excellent application in the present case too.

The Characteristics of AM Strip farms

  1. They consist of agricultural holdings in narrow strips that are two hundred feet wide and about half a mile deep yielding lots of approximately ten acres
  2. Non agricultural activity and construction is permitted up to a depth of two hundred feet from an approach road that is between 100 to 200 feet wide. No other construction is permitted on the remaining lot.
Animals entering water during a forest fire

If the presently suggested method is used as a mitigation measure, it would lead to at least a half mile deep agricultural strip between the habitation and forest with the first two hundred feet adjacent to the road permitted for construction. Each farm will have a front on the road whereas the rear would be adjacent to the forest. Such a town would be blessed with fresh agricultural produce too. This initiative could be combined with a job creation initiative as described in the original posts on strip farms. It would mean removing some forests in some cases and this loss would need to be compensated by planting a similar forest elsewhere.

What about persons who like living adjacent to a forest? This author is one of them but in that case one must relocate to an area that does not have a history of damaging forest fires. There are other risks too of living adjacent to a forest in the modern age such as the risk of a break-in. Even with the present proposal the forest is less than a mile away for walks and picnics on forest trails.

The present proposals need greater study in detail before implementing. This author is available for any further information if required and can be contacted as a comment in this blog to begin with.

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