default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Snapshot: News-Sentinel readers rate their vacations Ghirardelli Square, Disney museum make for perfect day in San Francisco

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 7:48 am | Updated: 1:29 pm, Wed Apr 20, 2011.

Who went: Patti and Helen Newton, Claire and Sylvia Augusto.

Where you went: San Francisco.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login now

Need an online subscription?



You must login to view the full content on this page.

Thank you for reading 20 free articles on our site. You can come back at the end of your 30-day period for another 20 free articles, or you can purchase a subscription at this time and continue to enjoy valuable local news and information. If you need help, please contact our office at 209-369-2761. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login now

Need an online subscription?



Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Readers Choice Awards 2014


Popular Stories

Send Us Your Snapshots!

TUCSON, Ariz. — As wildfires burned in California, a study by several major environmental groups estimated that climate change could mean that future blazes will be much larger and add billions of dollars to already costly losses.

The 46-page study released this week, titled “Flammable Planet: Wildfires and the Social Cost of Carbon,” is part of an ongoing project by three groups to examine what it calls the missing risks, such as wildfires, that climate change can make more expensive. The groups are the Environmental Defense Fund, the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

U.S. wildfires cost as much as $125 billion annually, but climate change could add as much as $60 billion to the bill by 2050, the study said. The projected cost increase is attributed to an expanding area in which wildfires burn, a growth estimated to reach 50 percent to 100 percent by 2050. California “could experience a 36 percent to 74 percent increase in area burned by 2085 under a high emissions path,” the study says.

“Climate change is here now, and its toll on our health and economy is rising every day,” said Laurie Johnson, chief economist at NRDC.

“The current scientific consensus is that wildfire risk will increase in many regions of the world as climate change leads to warmer temperatures, more frequent droughts, and changing precipitation patterns,” the report, published Tuesday, said. “Fires are expected to become more frequent and intense, and fire seasons are projected to last longer.”

However, fire officials in several Western states said climate change wasn’t solely to blame for the size and cost of fires. Other factors must be considered, they said, such as hundreds of years of overly aggressive fire suppression, leading to overcrowded forests that will continue to spark more intense wildfires.

“That problem only grew as we went from periods of abundant rainfall, to average rainfall and then to drought,” said Dan Ware, fire prevention and outreach program manager for New Mexico State Forestry.

Jim Paxon, who retired from the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico in 2003, serving as a spokesman for major wild land fires for 13 years, blamed lack of forest management for an explosion of unwieldy and costly wildfires in the West.

Lack of prescribed burns and less timber cutting are major factors, said Paxon, who now serves as special assistant to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

“I could spend hours showing some daylight on what it has cost us taxpayers since the demise of the timber industry at the hands of enviro-litigants,” he said. “Now we have mega-fires as a partial consequence.”

According to federal statistics released Tuesday, firefighters were battling 15 uncontained large fires, eight of which were in California. Between 7 million to 9 million acres are burned each year in the United States, while globally the damage is 865 million acres.

How to measure the full cost of a wildfire is complicated and becomes difficult depending on what is included in calculations. The cost includes direct market damages such as lost timber and property, non-market damages such as health effects, and added expenditures such as fire prevention, according to the report.

“Research suggests that the total costs of a wildfire are typically 10 to 50 times its suppression costs,” according to the report. “Given that the United States spends roughly $2.0 (billion) to $2.5 billion on wildfire suppression per year, we estimate that the total cost of U.S. wildfires is presently between $20 billion and $125 billion annually.”

Although most fire officials agree that the cost of fighting fires will probably keep increasing, there isn’t consensus on the costs anticipated by 2050.

“The projection given in the report is concerning, but with millions of dollars dedicated to hazardous fuels mitigation, forest and watershed thinning treatments and prevention outreach, our hope is that will also mitigate costs spent on fire suppression,” Ware said.


Paxon said that the cost of fighting wildfires has increased dramatically since he started his career in 1969. It used to cost hundreds of dollars an acre to suppress wildfires when he first joined the agency. By 2000, it was in the tens of thousands, he said, because inappropriate forest management had led to enormous fires.

He described the new report as “pretty extreme,” saying that although fires change the vegetation and — in the most extreme hot fires — soil and watersheds may take decades to recover, millions of acres of forests are not “destroyed” as stated in the report.

Kent Hamilton, Rocky Mountain aviation safety manager for the U.S. Forest Service, said the complexities of fighting fires in modern times contribute to escalating costs. For instance, modern aircraft fleets for fire suppression are more expensive but more effective than in years past, increasing the margin of safety for the firefighters on the ground, he said.


©2014 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


Topics: t000037113,t000198107,t000034452,t000002824,t000036956,t000040408,t000002537,t000033252,t000033253,t000040348,t000129480,g000362661,g000066164,g000065558



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists