Fire breaks

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local vollie

Scout
Apr 6, 2011
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Bob, I NEVER said I planned anything. The plan was to attempt to guide the fire around Bamber Lake,which is exactly what happened. Whether it was by weather, God's hand, firefighter performance, it did in fact pass the town itself. What was planned was to bypass Bamber and somehow manuever it towards hardwoods closer to Waretown that don't burn so readily as Pines. Again, this did happen. A firebreak alongside the swamp most likely would not have worked that particular day due to severe winds, but does not mean on an average day it wouldn't have worked.

PLEASE do not call me son. You are NOT my father, and I've been around the pines alot longer than you. I have no illusions as to the power of a wildland fire. Probably speaks to why I'm still around after all these years, and lord knows I've seen my share of wildland fires.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,760
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Pines; Bamber area
A firebreak alongside the swamp most likely would not have worked that particular day due to severe winds, but does not mean on an average day it wouldn't have worked.
But Vollie, on an average day, when your fire break would have worked, there would be no threat. The moisture in a Cedar swamp will kill a fire on an average day. And even if not, then just park yer trucks at the next road and make your stand!

:clint:
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,130
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Atco, NJ
Ok, I feel like I have to chime in. First let me give you a quick review on my background. I was a very active member of the FFS for over 15 years until family and work commitments forced me to step back. I have fought fires not only in the pine barrens but in many other states as well. In reading this thread one can come to one conclusion. Both sides are right. NJ's prescribed burning practices have been studied and copied all over the country. There are locations that did not have any prescribed burning practices in place and are recently finding out that was a mistake. Our practices have been working here for a long time. NJ's forest fires are pretty unique since they are just fuel and wind driven. In the west and other areas terrain plays a large part since a fire racing uphill doesn't need as much fuel to get as hot. I don't have to tell any one that we don't have bad fires because of a lack of terrain and the barrens recover relatively fast compared to other areas. What NJ hasn't changed is what they do after a fire or Rx burn is out. All over the country after a fire is out the forest service spends almost as much time rehabing the area to bring it back faster and try to make it like there was no fire at all. I personally spent weeks on fires that were out before I even got there and planted grass and smoothed out bulldozer tracks. This doesn't happen here for a couple of reasons. One is the terrain (we don't have to worry on flat ground of a mudslide). Another is budget and the speed that forest recovers. The NJ FFS has to start rehabing these areas better. Unfortunately the plow lines are needed to do a safe and effective job, but with a little forethought and rehab the visual impact could be much less.

As far as the plow lines go I can say this, I have never used one during a actual forest fire. Most large fires are too fast and it is much safer to backfire off a road with easy escape routes, but stopping or even slowing down a fire before it gets to a cedar swamp has always been a priority for the FFS. I have even set up and maintained sprinklers in the swamps to try and save them.

Educating and teaching people why and how a prescribed fire is done is much better than arguing. Actually listening to the people that love this land the FFS might learn how to be less abrasive to it.

If anyone has questions about how a prescribed fire is done or why I would be glad to help.

John
 
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c1nj

Explorer
Nov 19, 2008
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Since we are discussing fire suppression and pre-suppression practices, it is important to note we are rapidly approaching
the 50th anniversary of April 20-22, 1963 where 193,000 acres burned, seven people died and 186 homes were destroyed in one weekend.
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,543
585
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It's good to hear from you John.
There are areas that absolutely need remediation after the bull dozers are done but it doesn't happen and the new roads bring in the 4 wheelers which makes it worse. Thus we have 1/4 mile after the fire of 99. Alot of us love the pines and the critters but my beef is I don't feel it is getting the respect it deserves.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,130
576
1,093
Atco, NJ
I agree. A lot of people feel that they can do anything to the pines and it will just bounce back. There are plenty of other fires that I was on where a new road was made but they never turned into anything like 1/4 mile. I have learned a lot just by cruising around this forum and listening to other people that really do care about the pines. I truly believe that for the most part the FFS is doing the right things with their practices but maybe they could just be refined a little.
 

Bobbleton

Explorer
Mar 12, 2004
464
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NJ
Bobbleton.......not too sure what your post meant with regards to....." but don't you dare speak ill of those who destroy for fun.....". I also don't quite nunderstand how the FFS keeps the forest healthy in ......"too sloppy a manner"..... If you're referencing plow lines, or fire lines, they are put into place according to what is deemed appropriate for the safety of the personnel, and the woodlands ,to make sure fire stays within the boundaries for said burn project.
I was taking your side, genius. Way to rally folks to your position. I could personally care less how unsightly fire breaks may be. The pines are meant to burn. While I don't really agree with many burn regimes from an ecological standpoint, its better than complete suppression.
 

local vollie

Scout
Apr 6, 2011
44
2
8
Bobbleton, no need for name calling. I was merely asking for a clarification to make sure I understood your position correctly.
 
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