AN OPEN LETTER: RE: Incinerating-Horrific Maui Fire

TO:  Claire Rush – AP

RE: Incinerating-Horrific Maui Fire – Your report at AP

FROM:  William E. Simpson II,  executive director/researcher – Wild Horse Fire Brigade

Dear Miss Rush:

As a former resident, *businessman (sailing/diving charters) in Lahaina and teacher for the University of Hawaii on Maui, I am deeply saddened by this horrific wildfire disaster. 

(*See attached Letters)

I know the pain people are feeling, having lost my wife of 47-years to the toxic smoke from the 38,000-acre Klamathon Fire, on which, I served as a volunteer (unpaid) local knowledge advisor to CALFIRE commanders on the ground at the key Camp Creek fire-line defending the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument for 9-days. 

Being college educated, I understand the chemistry of combustion as well as the practical aspects of firefighting and wildfire ecology from empirical experience.

You wrote:  “Fueled by a dry summer and strong winds from a passing hurricane, the wildfires on Maui raced through parched brush covering the island.”

Lets clarify some confusing things you keep saying in your reports for AP:

1. Fuel (grass, brush, wood, etc.) fuels fires, not wind, not drought.

2. Wind accelerates combustion by increasing flow of oxygen.  You can have all the wind in the world, plus ignition sources, and if there is no fuel present, there will be NO FIRE.

3. Drought and climate change have effect on moisture content of fuels (grass and brush) that have built-up because nothing (no herbivores) is controlling the fuel loading.

4. Numerous published peer-reviewed research studies prove that virtually in all areas and regions, when the herbviory collapses (animals that consume vegetative materials) catastrophic wildfire evolves.

5. KEY LOGIC:   No Fuel = No Fire,  regardless of ignition sources, temps or climate – drought.

6. The reversal of the evolution of catastrophic wildfire is possible to some extent via the reestablishment of a proper density of herbivores on landscapes with annually occurring grass and brush fuels, also known by CALFIRE’s handbook as ‘1-hour class fuels’.

If we can’t learn, then we’ll continue to burn.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly at this phone:  858. 212-5762

Learn More at this insurance industry video:

Learn More (fuel reduction) at this YouTube Video:

Author/researcher William E. Simpson II at Camp Creek Klamathon Fire command July 7th, 2018. The was the last photo taken by Laura Simpson

Regards, William


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