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hiwall 06-23-2012 10:11 PM

Head to the country when SHTF?
If you and everyone else is thinking about heading to rural areas when SHTF then here is a thought. Many many people will be doing that same thing. Everyone will have a camp fire, cooking fire, fire to boil water to drink, warming fire, whatever fire. You can safely also assume that therefore there will be wildfires. Wildfires with no one to stop them will burn un-checked thru-out the USA. The fires will kill thousands of people(maybe you and I). Some wildfires will be started on purpose some by accident but they will burn many areas. If SHTF happens in the summer or spring it will be worse. If it is dry (like it is now all over the western US) it will be bad indeed. Expect thousands of square miles to burn. If you have a cabin or summer home or regular home start now and make a large open area around your home (this will also allow you to see intruders coming). Good luck to all.

Axxe55 06-23-2012 10:27 PM

but HiWall, what if you're like me and already live in the country? meand the missus, if it should ever happen, we plan on the bugging in, not bugging out.

i agree about the clearing around the house. very good idea.

Jim1611 06-23-2012 11:24 PM

Get goats and let them eat everything in sight. You can milk them and eat them too. There's your fire break and no hard work on your part.

c3shooter 06-23-2012 11:37 PM

VERY salient point. Back in 94 the missus and I were house shopping in Colorado. Real estate agent showed us a house halfway between Evergreen and Conifer- it was in a monoculture forest- spruce. Trees within touching distance. No grass. The ground was covered with dead branches and cones. Told realtor no thanx- one cigarette butt at wrong season, would be lucky to make it to the road. The whole place should have been listed as "unlit bonfire".

3 years later, watched that neighborhood burn. There were hot embers dropping out of the sky at our house- 20 miles away.

We now live in VA- oaks and hickories, but 150' minimum from the house.

trip286 06-23-2012 11:50 PM

Thinking about the wildfires that WILL happen in a no crap countrywide SHTF, brings something else to mind.

It won't be, "this of the end of civilization as we know it, now deal with it." It will be more along the lines of, once it all falls apart (and I think it will), it's only going to get worse, at least for a while.

I think in a true SHTF, something similar to Rawles' "Patriots", things will steadily get worse for quite a number of years, maybe a steady decline for up to 15 years, unless a strong entity steps in and fixes it all. Beyond that, peaceful living will be pretty much up to the community.

For all those thinking "I'll live in the Woods, just me, the ole lady, and the chillrens", you're forgetting one thing. People are herd animals. We WILL tend to congregate. Someone comes to your camp, maybe one out of every 50 people you meet post SHTF you decide to take in, or at least cooperate with them setting up a neighboring camp for mutual benefit. Then they allow someone into the circle. Then THAT person brings someone into the circle.

My point is, communities WILL congregate. The best thing people can possibly do is HELP each other and rebuild. I'm not saying give charity or handouts, but rebuild communities and trust among like minded people with similar goals and morals.

Sadly, many people (including people here) are going to shoot first and ask questions later. Possibly even some of our members will be the ones to set some fires intentionally to drive rivals out of a given area.

Txhillbilly 06-24-2012 12:07 AM


Originally Posted by trip286 (Post 846833)
People are herd animals. We WILL tend to congregate.

I guess I never got that memo! I've been a loner my entire life,and really can't stand to be around many people.

trip286 06-24-2012 12:14 AM


Originally Posted by Txhillbilly

I guess I never got that memo! I've been a loner my entire life,and really can't stand to be around many people.

I'm generally the same way. You and I are here, correct? Online, in person, on Facebook, on the phone... Human beings communicate. Communication breeds congregation. Congregation breeds communities. Then villages, Towns, cities, and governments.

There are always exceptions to the rule. Some folks can (and do) live extremely isolated lifestyles, and are happy that way.

The simple fact that we are here right now on this forum tells me that we both put some value in human interaction.

mrm14 06-24-2012 01:06 AM

We have several properties in the Sierras with homes on them. We keep a minimum of 200' of clear cut and pine needle free defensable fire break space around each of these homes. One property we bought in 2008, as an example, had not been taken care of for near 50 years and the growth was absoluty insane dense and out of control. A real tender box if a fire was in the vicinity. The total acreage is about 27 acres. The majority of fauna was and is consisting of pine, madrone, manzinita, and mountain misery. There was some scrub oak but we totally got rid of these ugly mis-shapen trees. We had an outfit come in with a large mulcher on a bobcat tractor and clear the total property of what we wanted to get rid of. The unit the outfit used was similar to this one.

There was quite a few of beetle infected pine trees either totally dead or near death. We removed all these pine trees to keep the beetle infection from spreading to the remaining healthy pine trees as well as to get rid of the very combustable kindling they had become. The left over scraps of limbs and pieces not hauled off were mulched with the rest of the unwanted growth. The remaining pine trees, we totally limbed them up to about 12'. (the tall pines of course didn't need it) We also had most of the massive groves of manzanita mulched into the ground as well. We thinned the modrone tree groves out which has been good for the remaining madrones to grow.

The mulch does a fairly good job keeping the soil from erroding and mostly has decomposed into the ground since 2008. Good for the soil.

We planted quite a bit of wild strawberrys for errosion control along with some other ground cover plants for errosion control suitable for the location and climate this property is at. We did this to the whole 27 acres of this parcal.

At first for about a year the property looked kind of crappy and barren but by two years or so it was looking real good.

Last year (2011) we had about 300 goats brought onto the property for 10 days and they cleaned it up real well. The very little remaining growth the goats didn't totally get, we mulched it. We intend to bring the goats back every three years or so.

The biggest fastest growing problem on the property is the manzanita and mountain misery. It grows fairly fast but we keep on top of it and contained to the areas we want it. Not really that big of an effort as long as we stay on top of it.

I imagine if a large forest fire broke out around this property that, even though they are green and healthy now, the canopy of the tall pine trees possible would burn and be somewhat of a probem, but the area around the house and out buildings should be fire defensable without too much effort.

c3shooter 06-24-2012 01:43 AM

Yep- that would be a "Crowning fire". Was out as wildlife guard for some BLM smokejumpers in Alaska, and saw that happen next valley over. Scared me about as bad as anything ever has. Fire jumps treetop to treetop.

Sounds like you have a very sound plan for landscape mgt. at your place.

Some reading for all-

Suppose I could just plant sycamore trees- I can't get THAT stuff to burn in a wood stove!

trip286 06-24-2012 01:56 AM

Just so happens sycamore is my favorite tree. The white under bark, the huge spiney looking leaves...
Yep, if a tree is purdy, it's a tie between them and gingko trees in the fall.

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