Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chris Harris tours to launch his new book: Motherstone

Coming soon to a venue near you (if you live in BC, that is).

Motherstone: British Columbia's Volcanic Plateau - by Chris Harris

British Columbia's Volcanic Plateau

In the high country of British Columbia's Central Plateau lies the Motherstone. It is a land that few people have walked over or seen before. It includes a chain of shield volcanoes formed over a mantle hot spot rising from a depth of 2,900 kilometers, a sea of crystallized basalts stretching 300 kilometers from Anahim Peak to the Painted Chasm, a river of obsidian, underwater volcanoes sitting high up above the world's only inland temperate rainforest, and a field of cinder cones still rising from among the trees they burned through when they were formed.

Tour Itinerary


Friday, October 01, 2010

Beetle-killed trees probably less flammable than green trees

NASA Satellites Reveal Surprising Connection Between Beetle Attacks, Wildfire
The results may seem at first counterintuitive, but make sense when considered more carefully. First, while green needles on trees appear to be more lush and harder to burn, they contain high levels very flammable volatile oils. When the needles die, those flammable oils begin to break down. As a result, depending on the weather conditions, dead needles may not be more likely to catch and sustain a fire than live needles.


For some years Dave Neads has been pushing this point. Perhaps it takes an authority like NASA to get past the sceptics and vested interests. In 2004, in his series, The Other Side of the Story, he wrote:
On the bright side, once the trees are dead, they actually are less of a fire hazard than the green tree that used to stand so prettily in your garden. This is because all those oils and turpentines have left the tree needles, and they are actually not as prone to explosive crown fires as green trees.
One they reach the gray stage, they are very low risk for naturally occurring fires, but once felled, these naturally air dried trees make good firewood, so there may be a bonus if you have several of them on your property.
From Backyard Beetles by Dave Neads

Other posts by Dave Neads:

Dave's personal blog: Chilcotin Ark