A battle we can win
- Wildfires are out of control
- It has become
1) Prime-time news
Wildfires have become known to everyone through prime-time news coverage and newspaper headlines:-
- California wildfires: 23,000 people displaced from homes
- A total of 1,450 homes destroyed in California wildfires
The sad reality is that the impact is across the entire community including, animals, wildlife and ground quality.
We have seen the impact on the ground in the California mudslides in October that were the direct result of the wildfires of the previous three year. Wildfires resulted in the destruction of the ground cover that normally holds back the ground and prevent mudslides, the result highways covered in mud.
Wildfire simply has become a major environmental destructive force.
2) Wildfires have become a growing global threat:-
- Longer fire season; The overall fire seasons are now on average 30% longer than 20 years ago;
- Climate change; Increased global temperatures;
- Hotter and bigger fires; The wildfires are burning hotter than ever before in known history and the total vegetation burned increases year on year.
- Management:– It is also so that some forest management practices also contribute.
- More people:- Activity and urban infringement into the wild and forest regions result in more accidental fires and more property losses.
3) The carbon double negative, a vicious cycle
Increased carbon;- Wildfires contribute to:-
- An acceleration of carbon input into the atmosphere through smoke and
- At the same time it reduces the amount of plants and forests that can extract carbon through photosynthesis from the atmosphere.
The combined effect is a total disaster, as it increases the carbon input and cuts the volume of carbon extraction.
4) This is battle we can win!
To win this battle we need to look at:-
1) The money
2) The people
1) The money
Due to the increased intensity of wildfires, the cost of the containment and suppression of wildfires is busy to escalate out of control, year on year.
Currently this is being funded from the overall forestry budget. Resulting in less and less funding being available for forest management services.
The US Department of Forestry’s management is in the process of a proposal to Congress to fund major wildfires in future via a catastrophe fund and not the forestry budget.
This is a positive proposal, it still however, does not result in an improved containment/reduction of the growth and size of wildfires.
To achieve an improved containment/reduction of the growth in wildfires we need to address a large number of aspects.
Form prevention, detection to the actual containment and suppression; and finally the rehabilitation.
The biggest cost driver is the containment and suppression.
The Firefly Innovations was initiated via an African development program Agri2000. (See the web-page “About”). Under which new containment & suppression options was tabled.
Major shifts from wildfires to expanding forests
Options that could result in a 35% to 65% improvement in the containment and suppression with substantial environmental and financial benefits.
It is these options that are currently being developed and that will be funded via The Firefly Innovations platform.
The result … a major positive shift:-Environmentally and financially;
These options are now under development with an initial target of a 10% improvement. This alone over the period 2016/17 to 2025 could result in a saving of over $1,4 billion US dollars.
Funds that could be redirected for the funding of prevention via the servicing of wild-areas and forests, as well as, the expansion of forests.
2) The people
It further became clear via Agri2000 that we need the best people and input to win this battle.
Currently less than 11% of people are directly involved in wildfires, forestry and related services.
A further approximately 15% are outdoor people. Leaving 74% of people not involved or committed.
The Firefly Innovations was therefore also structured to specifically provide a platform to bring business in general* and their customers into the loop. *(Business not directly involved with forestry and wildfires.).
With this The Firefly Innovations platform specifically provides options for business brought into the loop to mobilize their customer base. To give their customers an opportunity to participate and contribute towards potential and ultimate final solutions.
For more details on The Firefly Innovations program and how businesses can get involved see “The Firefly Program”
It is a program that is structured to give your business growth by making your business a catalyst for real solutions.
Where you work with; and in collaboration with your customers.
This provides for you business growth and real solutions and awareness with regards to wildfires.