My uncle was in charge of a Battalion of Forest Fire Fighters for nearly 20 years in the Mountains above Central Valley, CA. He has fought some of the largest wild fires in the country. Why do we get such huge fires out West? One reason is cyclical weather cycles. The La Nina's and El Nino's cause us significant problems in our civilization, Causing droughts and the floods, meaning you have growth and the fuel that burns when it dries out. We understand that many fires are started by lightening and occur naturally, but some are unfortunately from man. These are either from complete negligence or arson related. We have been through severe droughts before as you can see as well as years with too much water. If you are interested I have written a free online 21-page E-Book on setting up a Neighborhood Arson Watch Program in your area.
2005 appears to be a problematic year for such wild fires and so we must be diligent. Did you know that as many as 20,000 small brush fires each year occur in this fashion. Most are caught quickly and it is a fact of nature.
The earliest Voyages of the Spanish Explorers noted in Log Books of the many wildfires along the California Coastline. There are indigenous plants that require fires to help them reproduce and spread their seeds. As the forest service lessens the number of roads each year due to environmentalists lobbies these fires are harder to fight. President Bush recently reversed this problem but the roads will not be built in time to help the 2005 or 2006 fire seasons. And if the brush is not thinned out for years on end due to the old growth not being harvested by the timber industry or lessened by fires communities near forest areas will not have any breaks from danger. This fact tends to make the large fires even larger and almost unconquerable. This makes the forests and USDAFS controlled lands extremely vulnerable to this natural disaster.
A fire once out of control can burn without any additional heat or wind, creating it's own. Having developed our business model in my company over the past 25 years in harsh and sometimes extreme fire hazardous areas, we have come to understand that our little yellow mobile car wash trucks that drive around all day, can be used for other things when needed. Our team says, "when the going gets tough we will be there for the community." If we can put out or help control a small brush fire until the real fire department or forest service arrives we are more than happy to do this, as a matter of fact we feel it is our duty as Americans. Over the years this has happened a few times and we rushed in to help.
However after putting out or a least slowing the fire down in its early stages we go to thinking it might be much better if we could help deter manmade fires through conspicuous observation in an Arson Watch Program. These fires can be divesting to those who live near such areas, as well as well preserved land set aside for public use and future generations. Although small efforts in our humble beginnings it shows we have always been concerned for people, property, wildlife and public lands. I know all small businesses car about their community and want to help, perhaps you can volunteer to set up an Arson Watch program in your area. We have been designing these types of programs for governments for over a decade. It appears that our drought issues are in fact linked to climate change which maybe a completely natural cycle and only partly a factor of mankind's pollution, but what ever is going on, we are going to have to deal with these issues. These droughts will continue and as our population grows and uses more water they will appear to get worse.
It is more serious than you may have imagined. We discussed this information with a scientist from Los Alamos who said that the Santa Fe / Albuquerque are was preparing for a 23 year drought and they were discussing ways to mitigate it and the chance of fires and running out of water if they try to fight them . This occurred in CA in 1993 when they ran out of water, and did not have enough water flow to put out fires that were raging in seven counties simultaneously.
We are in the car wash business and the car wash industry is quite concerned and many of us in the industry are in the know. But we are not the only industry severely affected, it spans the through any industry that needs water, think of it; Golf Courses, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Hydro-Electric Power generation, Fishing are also severely affected and if it hurts those industries it hurts all of us. We need the water just like you do. Droughts are serious, fires are more intense when the land is dry and we need to be proactive to prevent arson and put out fires which endanger human life as fast as possible; think about it.