Data, Analytics Help Fight Forest Fires - InformationWeek

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Data, Analytics Help Fight Forest Fires
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kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
9/14/2015 | 5:02:05 PM
Controlled vs. proscribed
Controlled burn might be worse for PR but in a sense it was controlled by directing it to certain areas by digging trenches or wetting areas to prevent it from jumping (most of the time.) I've always found it interesting how quickly life returns to normal after a wildfire (or controlled burn). Touring one of the long needle pine forests I stumbled upon a wild turkey nest with over a dozen eggs. It must have started laying the day after a controlled/proscribed burn when the ground was still warm from the fire. With this devastating amount of wild fires I wonder how long it will be before the flora and fauna return to business as usual.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
9/9/2015 | 10:07:46 AM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
Brian, very interesting. Thanks. You seem to know a lot about birds. :) -Susan
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
9/9/2015 | 10:00:29 AM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
Curt, I can tell you are an omnibus geek. :) Thanks for the link. I so very much would like to have all your knowledge. Learning about this plant and its habitat is something. -Susan
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
9/9/2015 | 12:50:03 AM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
@Curt, that is a great point about controlled vs. prescribed burns and the meaning that it communicates. I am reminded of a report from the National Academy of Sciences titled "Warming World: Impact by Degree". The report says that an average temperature increase of 1C degree would result in 200-400% increase in wildfires. Imagine the ecological disaster and the PR nightmare that it might cause for the firefighters.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
9/8/2015 | 10:37:09 AM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
@Brian, your comment brings up one really interesting point: You refer to a "controlled burn." That term has gone out of favor with foresters, who now use "prescribed burn" for an intentional fire. They found that "controlled burn" implied a level of actual control that doesn't exist, so people would get upset if an intentional fire jumped a fire line or caused a lot of smoke. Prescribed burns are the same thing, but seem to be better PR.

The foresters I talk with would love it if they only had to think about forests -- people are the most challenging part of their jobs!
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
9/4/2015 | 11:30:19 PM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
@Susan, some of these wonderful birds will only nest in regenerated vegetation while, others prefer regenerated vegetation as their source of nutrition. Birds that are black in color can find a natural advantage to feed in post-fire locations because of the camouflage that is created. For territorial animals, a wildfire can be viewed as a reset button that allows territory to be redefined. All these variables can make the process of a controlled burn, a science as well as an art.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
9/4/2015 | 4:15:47 PM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
@Susan, I'm afraid I'm an omnibus geek! I'm not a life-long Floridian but I've always spent a lot of time outdoors and I do love it down here.

The sandhill rosemary is an amazing plant that is an integral part of our pine flatlands. It's interesting in that it shares the habitat with the sand pine -- a smallish pine tree with needles that smell just like oranges if you crush them between your fingers. 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
9/4/2015 | 2:49:42 PM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
Brian, how is their preferred living environment? -Susan
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
9/4/2015 | 2:01:15 PM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
Fascinating, Curt. Super interesting. Thank you so much. As I was reading and learning about those examples of how fire helps some species I was fascinated as well of your knowledge on these forest issues and the species living in it. Then I got the answer: the Master Naturalist program. :) I had forgotten about that. That plant related to the rosemary sounds evil. :/ The oak seems to know about surviving. -Susan
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2015 | 9:43:29 PM
Re: Data analytics cocktail
@Susan, fire is good for life. Some plants have evolved to live in an environment of cyclical fires and in turn, an entire ecosystem of animals depends upon these plants to survive. If wildfire is completely eliminated then, it will affect diversity. For example, the Mountain Plover and Warbler birds dependent on fires for the creation of their preferred living environment.
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