Thursday, August 27, 2015

Re: Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California: Over a million Acres burned

Hi Fernando. The reason for these massive fires is three fold. The first reason has to do with the US Federal government's policy of fire suppression in our back country which has allowed the vegetation to grow in an unnatural and unhealthy thick way. This has been going on for decades. The second reason is due to the precipitation becoming less in the Western US throughout the 20th century which has been on going into the 21st century. This includes both the summer and winter precipitation. However the winter precipitation is the most important precipitation for the forested mountains and plateaus where the majority of these massive fires are occurring. The snow pack has become less and less every passing decade. The third reason is due to the ever increasing amount of irresponsible people that are using these lands. They are not making sure their camp fires are dead out before leaving camp or they are intentionally setting them for various reasons.
This year Arizona has not had any major fires and here is the reason for that. For about the past 8 months, the Federal government has been conducting massive amounts of controlled burns throughout the state. Basically they are just ground fires that are set in a forested area that consumes most of the small vegetation and blackens the tree trunks. They have also conducted some of these types of burns in our desert and grassland areas as well to remove some of the vegetation. The idea behind these controlled burns is to mimic nature's lightning set fires in order to remove the vegetation that fuels these massive fires. Prior to this year, controlled burns were practiced in only a handful of Arizona's back country on a regular basis. Those areas had only small fires occur there. While the areas with little to no controlled burns, which was the majority of Arizona's back country, had some of the worst fires occur. Hopefully, the Federal government will start conducting controlled burns in these other states where the fires are burning this year.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Nightmare Monday as Stocks Plunge around the World

Today we’ve seen some of the worst decline in years as people lose faith in the market and rush to sell, hammering major indexes, with the S&P 500 losing nearly 6 percent last week, it’s worst weekly slump since 2011. The Dow took a big hit, at times down 1,000 points.

This has been mostly fueled by the crisis in China, with the economy slowing down globally but most of all China’s inability to find ways to regain people’s trust in their market.
The U.S. Dollar has lost ground to the Euro and chances of the Fed increasing interest rates are pretty low. Although oil has reached record lows under $40, gold and silver have gone up, the typical shelter during times of trouble.

So how bad is it really? It’s bad, but not terrible. You could even say it was a good time to buy, “"blood in the streets" type of situation. The market is in a way adjusting after a perhaps unreasonably high period and on the long run this adjustment may bring parameters back to reality rather than keep inflating the bubble until it pops. People sometimes forget that its both a bull and bear market.

It is important to keep calm, diversify assets so as to compensate any shift of power, and keep an eye both on the Chinese stock and the US economic growth. Any red flags you should notice, that’s the direction where you’ll see them pop up first.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Reply: Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California: Over a million Acres burned

Fernando, I looked at numerous areas in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho for a rural homestead. With the exception of some desert areas in NV, nearly all of the areas I looked at have burned to some extent in the past few years.
IMO it is unwise to think that one is safe from crime in a rural area, but one only has one LONG route of escape in case of fire. In the Sprague River/Moccasin Hill fire last year in Oregon, “survivalists” who had chosen the area for its remoteness found their escape route blocked by fire and had to submerge themselves in ponds so they wouldn’t burn to death.
There was a murder/suicide incident in Montana earlier this year where a paranoid “survivalist” killed his family and set his cabin on fire before shooting himself. He lived at the end of a long, rutted dirt road that took 45 min to travel via 4×4 vehicle, and the cops and firetrucks had an awful time trying to get to his cabin.
That road was the only way in or out of his homestead, which was located deep in a forest. He had called a friend and said that he would kill himself, or else nobody might have ever found him out there. Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking to go live in such remote areas.
Before Collapse
Here’s something from a bit further North, in Canada… basically the fires moved so quickly, people didn’t even have time to gather their things, they just had to literally run. That makes an argument for the importance of physical fitness as well!

Thank you folks for the interesting comments. I sure do agree. I believe many people practice selective risk assessment, simply to justify their personal preferences regarding where they live. They focus on the aspects they would hope such a choice would present an advantage while completely overlooking the disadvantages of living in such places, some of which are far more likely than the extremely unlikely events they are theoretically preparing for.

Pocket EDC Update for August 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California: Over a million Acres burned
Wildfires have devastated hundreds of thousands of acres across the Northwest.
One of the States that was hit the hardest was Idaho with over a quarter million acres. In the southeast corner of the state, the fire has razed more than 265,000 acres in Owyhee County. In northwest Idaho, the fire affected around 21,000 acres including the Old Greer, Kamiah Gulch, Lawyer 6 and Adams Grade. Nearly 53,000 acres burning in Clearwater Complex. A 70 year old woman died in Kamiah when escaping the flames. Mandatory Evacuations and closures are in place.
The high temperatures combined with the draught has become a cocktail for disaster regarding wildfires.
It is worth noticing that many of these areas are often specifically selected by preppers and survivalists who believe that seclusion provides a greater degree of safety and is a strategically wise decision.
Important Lessons that must be learned
1) I’ve said it before many times and I’ve written about it in my second book, “Bugging Out & Relocating”: You can’t live in your Bug Out Location. The minute you live there it is no longer an alternative place of residence for when your main place of residence is compromised because such a place just became just that when you moved to live there. The “We moved to out BOL” mentality is critically flawed and it is in moments like these when it becomes obvious why such an attitude can be dangerous. Thinking you already live in an alternative place often means little or no thought is given to a true BOL and Bug Out plan.
2) Selective risk assessment. It often happens that people only focus on the things they do enjoy and overlook the ones they would notice if they were capable of a more objective analysis. Thinking that living away from cities means you’re safe from all dangers of society while overlooking more likely threats such as these means that risk threat analysis wasn’t very accurate or objective. Floods, storms, fires, earthquakes, draughts, all potential emergencies must be taken into account and estimated how likely they are of happening again.
3) If you must go, go.
Fire can move at incredibly fast speeds due to wind. Personal possessions sure aren’t worth dying for. If mandatory evacuations are in place its probably because of a good reason. Don’t hesitate or overestimate your capacity of fighting a fire and find safe shelter. Make sure you have a bug out plan in place, with the needed Go bags and a strategy around which the entire family is organized.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.