Fires and mud in Callifornia

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There were many fires in California last September, and there is rain now, and mud.
I don't concentrate on California in my news reading, but I've been wondering for a long time if the residents downhill from where the fires have been ever do planting where the fires have burnt away the plants. I do read and watch and listen to the news and I've never heard an indication that they do.
Would grass planted last September have taken root by now? Trees are more expensive but what about trees? Sod is expensive, but perhaps it could be placed in strategic areas so it works without having to cover everything.
Do the residents water what is planted? I have 100 feet of hose and I live in a townhouse. If I lived there and there had been a fire uphill from me, I'd buy 1000 feet of hose or more, whatever it took.
Sometimes the time before fire and mud is much longer than this time, and yet i still hear about fears of mudslides, or about the mudslides themselves, and never about places where the residents did anything to prevent the mudslides.
Do the residents downhill do planting or do they generally/always just wait until the state or county government gets around to doing it?
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On 12/12/2014 1:33 AM, micky wrote:

I heard that when land was developed for housing, plants were removed whose root systems had stabilized the land. Ground gets real wet and mud slides occur where they did not occur before.
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On Friday, December 12, 2014 11:43:22 AM UTC-5, Frank wrote:

That's certainly a factor. And IDK about Micky's replanting question, but I'd bet that in most cases, it's not practical for a homeowner to replant the areas taken out by fire. For one thing, if the fire is that close, the house is probably gone anyway. And I would think many of the fire areas are open land, govt land, etc where a homeowner can't just go plant trees and shrubs. I would think there probably is a lot of re-establishment, but that it's done by govt, not a property owner directly. Isn't that what they pay all those high taxes in CA for?
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no, the high taxes are to hand out as political favors and buy votes. Whenever more money is needed, taxpayers are told Police and Fire don't have enough money. No mention is ever made of cutting down the handouts and vote buying and giving the money to police and fire.
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On 12/12/2014 09:35 AM, Reggie wrote:

Ain't that the truth. :'(
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On 12/13/2014 2:02 AM, Todd wrote:

Dems in DE robbed the transportation fund to balance the budget. Then, the Dem governor asked for a 10 cent a gallon increase to get money for transportation. Did not get it. Even Dems are not all dumb enough to have not seen through this.
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On Friday, December 12, 2014 12:34:47 PM UTC-5, Reggie wrote:

As if money for any public projects, whether for planting trees, or building roads, bridges, trash removal, doesn't have similar political favor angles. Idiot.
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Frank wrote, on Fri, 12 Dec 2014 11:43:15 -0500:

It's worse than that.
At least here, with Franciscan sediments abounding, the "mountain" is basically 3,000 feet of mud.
Scrolling back to before the San Andreas fault formed, as I understand it, the Pacific plate pushed northward against the Farallon Plate, which pushed eastward against the North American plate, and since ocean bedrock is, by nature, more dense than granitic contintents, your basic subduction occurred.
This created a huge trench (much like the Marianas Trench of today) something like six miles deep, where all this ocean mud and mafic rock (mostly very wet volcanic bedrock) mixed up as if it were in a blender (they called it the "Franciscian Nightmare" when they were first trying to figure it out before plate tectonic theories were proven).
When the Farallon Plate was totally consumed (below Mendocino California), the wholly mashed, mushed, and blended ocean muds popped up to form a level plain, and the San Andreas Fault line formed as the Pacific Plate continued to move northward.
Over time, water erosion found weaknesses in the level plain, and the mountains were formed which surround Silicon Valley. At some point, a fault block dropped down a few thousand feet, which created the San Francisco Bay (which at that time, was just a river).
Fast forward a few million years to about sixteen thousand years ago, and the glaciers melted from the last ice age, which flooded the sunken fault block, which created the San Francisco Bay.
Meanwhile, the hills, which are really a 3,000 foot tall pile of mud, started growing stuff on the top 30 feet, which made them look solid (redwood trees, chaparral, bay trees, etc.).
Yet, the topography is *everywhere* influenced by erosion and landslides. Entire towns are on top of landslides. Entire mountains of earth slid downward, once every few thousand years, while countless smaller landslides occurred on a daily basis everywhere.
It's landslide country everywhere. And it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with mankind. Mankind is powerless to stop these landslides. Mankind is also very stupid for putting houses on top of cliffs which are doomed to be at the bottom of the cliff some day.
For reference, bear in mind that Phoenix and Morristown NJ both had mountains *taller* than the Himalayas, more than once!
That's how powerful erosion is. Anyone who says it's caused by man doesn't know geological history. Of course, man can accelerate erosion - but - it's gonna happen anyway.
My own house is, eventually, doomed to slide down the hill some day. And so is the hill itself, doomed to slide down the hill.
Now, thinking of the good news .... with all this mud ... I was easily able to pull out the scotch broom infestation which has a long (1 foot or so) taproot, which *only* comes out easily when the ground is soaked!
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Danny D. wrote, on Sat, 13 Dec 2014 00:57:18 +0000:

It's so satisfying pulling out the Scotch Broom when the ground is soaked!
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8635/15386097104_7647a91489_b.jpg
What is impossible in 99% of the year, is trivially easy just after a good soaking!
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8564/15388735433_920b1d9533_b.jpg
The taproot can be two-feet long, but still pulls out easily!
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7478/16007663232_c4dc35aa34_b.jpg
The trick is to use the California weather to our advantage!
https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7509/15822352059_1f9ce7714e_b.jpg
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2014 00:57:18 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

No, no, no. They don't waste their time removing plants from land they do not own, that is not on a lot where they are building a house.
The mudslides don't occur in 99% of places until after the fires have burned away the various plants.
Maybe you're thinking about the landscaping of lots that are sold, or some small areas, but the vast majority of land that is not the property of the homeowners has never been touched.
But say I'm wrong, and 50% of the land has had its good plants removed in favor of bad plants. In such areas the fire makes things worse, doesn't it? And there is still 50% of the land that hasn't been stripped like you suggest and there are people lving downhilll from those areas too, who are subject to mudslides after the fire burns away those plant s.

Where is here?

I never said mankind cause mudslides, and it doesn't. . The fires usuallly started by lightning burn away the plants and the rain causes mudslides.

Mankind is capable of replanting in areas where the plants have been been burned away. Doesn't the government do that, just not quickly enough to get every area before the rains come?

All this background information is interesting, really, but it distracts from the question of whether the homeowner do or hire someone to do replanting.
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On Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:30:29 -0800 (PST), trader_4

No, no, I'm not talking about preventing mudslides to keep from burying a road or other plants. I'm talking about the many many cases where the house is still there. What do the firemen do all day and night but try to keep the fire from getting to the houses, and if you follow the news you know they succeed a lot of the time.
So there is no "probably the house is gone". !00% of my quesiton is about the cases when the house is there, and 90% of my question is about a house whose owner is living in it, or in some cases, renting it but close enough that he can drive there and spend a day or many days planting grass or bushes, or if he wants, maybe he can hire someone to do that. But if he can't hire someone, don't you think it's worth taking off a couple weeks to keep his house from being washed away during the next big rains?

Perhaps not without asking, or asking what to plant, but if they were going to plant the same thing the government was, it woudl take little, maybe only a call to a government office or a newspaper, to get the governement to agree to this. Or if you don't believe that, add to my first question, Have you heard of any residents trying to get permission to plant?
The point of the question is, Mudslides are always predicted on a hill after fire burns away the plants. Have residents done anything since September to save their own property, and in other cases where they had more time, did they do anything, and how much did they do?
Sometimes there has been moderate rain for two years after the fires and the plants have plenty of time to take root

So you would just sit and wait for the government to do for you, even though they may well not plant until it's too late for the plants to take firm root, and they may not even plant before the rains? You'd just sit back until your house and everything around it was pushed down the hill by the mud, except the swiimming pool which was filled by the mud? That's what you would do?
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On Saturday, December 13, 2014 1:10:00 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:

I said if the fire burned out the trees on property that you actually own, to the extent a mud slide is coming, the house was probably lost. Most of the homes I see saved on the news footage are saved by intercepting the fire long before it gets to a house, usually before the fire even gets to the actual property the house is on.
!00% of my quesiton is

and spend a day or many days

Maybe, if he owns the property so that he can do the replanting. And if it were effective. It was a drought you know. Planting stuff on a barren hill, in a drought, having it survive, seems like it would require more than just taking off a couple weeks from work. Like how are you going to keep it irrigated?

Obviously you haven't dealt much with govt.
Or if you don't believe that, add to my

No, but then I'm not the one so interested in it and I don't live there, so why would I know about what citizens are requesting?

Good grief, try reading what I posted. I didn't say what I would or wouldn't do. I just pointed out that you generally can't just go plant things on land you don't own and I would bet that in many cases, the homeowners don't own or control the land up the hill someplace that the mud slide is going to come from. And if you want to re-establish plantings on a burned out hill in the middle of a drought, it's not as simple as just digging a hole and shoving some plant in. I remember an arbor day here in NJ when I was president of a condo association. One of the board members got a bunch of seedling trees from the county govt and wanted volunteers to go plant them. I didn't go, because I knew that putting a small seedling in the middle of an open, unirrigated space was doomed to failure. They spent a day planting 100+ seedlings. You know how many survived the first summer? Zero. And that wasn't even a drought situation.
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micky wrote, on Sat, 13 Dec 2014 01:04:22 -0500:

The land burned by fires is 1 billionth of the land available. Plus, nature recovers the flora and fauna after a fire relatively quickly. Anyway, that's all I'll say as I'm not an expert in reforestation dynamics.
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On 12/13/2014 12:36 AM, Danny D. wrote:

Hi Danny,
Have you ever looked at a fire map of California versus Baja California?
The Mexicans can not afford to put out their fires, so they don't. Consequently, the burn sports on their map is tiny. Mexico does not interrupt the natural fire cycle, so they don't have a problem. No mud slides, no problem with the natural flora growing back, etc..
California on the other hand, goes and put everything out, so the natural fire cycle is interrupted. Consequently, California's burn spots on the map are HUGE. And, they get all the mud slides, pollution, loss of life and property, natural flora burned so bad it won't grow back, etc..
These burn maps were part of my college geography courses. They are a real eye opener.
-T
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On 12/13/2014 01:01 AM, Todd wrote:

Burn spots, not sports. mumble, mumble.

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On Sat, 13 Dec 2014 08:36:36 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Why are you telling me this? I"m not interested in how much other land is available . I'm only talking about the area where there are fires and the possibility of mudslides. The people who live there who lose their homes won't have much solace because there is other land elsewhere.

Relatively, but not so fast that rain after fires doesn't often cause mudslides. Or are you saying it's not often, so since there a smaller chance their house will be washed away by mud, it's reasonable that they don't do anything, even though some houses will be? If you're saying that, assume my question had said to concentrate on the ares where mudlslides from uphill were very likely. Do those people make an effort to plant replacement plants or do they just sit back?
My first post and every post has been about what people in risk areas do so that the mudslides won't happen and their houses won't be destroyed, Do they do anything and how much do they do?
Or do they just wait for nature or the government to do it, even if neither nature nor the government does it in time to save them.

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On Sat, 13 Dec 2014 00:57:18 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Very interesting. Thanks
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Todd wrote, on Sat, 13 Dec 2014 01:01:26 -0800:

Actually, um, no. As I said, I'm not an expert so I probably should have kept my mouth shut.
My main point was that landslides are part of the geology of California.
So, I'll try to gracefully weasel out of here as I'm not at all informed as to what the effect of putting out fires is. ...
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On 12/13/2014 05:28 AM, Danny D. wrote:

It is called "mass wasting". And you are correct.
It is oh so much worse when you interrupt the natural fire cycle.

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micky wrote: ...

you forget that the replacement of most of the ecosystem has taken place over the past few hundred years (often caused by over grazing animals on very marginal arid lands, subsequent fires, mudslides, etc).
over half the grasses and plants that used to be there are gone and replaced by species that are suited to fire and mud flows and not at all for stablising the hillsides.
replanting burned areas can happen in some areas but you need water to grow plants. for such huge areas the water must come from natural rainfalls which simply have not happened during this drought.
to change the plant mix back towards one that would stablise the hillsides would take quite some years. more regular burns would likely help as they make fires burn more quickly, but with less overall damage to trees and shrubs or the deeper rooted grasses. however, you won't see many people in favor of more fires because it does put houses at risk, especially those that have been during the recent past where fire has been suppressed.
songbird
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