In addition to increasing the risk of another devastating fire, the City of Oakland's deforestation/poisoning plan will also expose citizens to large amounts of dangerous chemicals, exacerbate climate change by releasing 17,495 metric tons of greenhouse gases into our environment, poison, displace and kill wildlife (including several protected species), radically alter the appearance and therefore the experience afforded by our public recreation areas, threaten homeowners values by degrading the aesthetics upon which those values depend, eliminate erosion control for hillside homes, result in (according to FEMA) “significant alternation of community character,” as well as cause a variety of other harms that FEMA admits are “unavoidable."
Read a letter to the Oakland City Attorney urging the City to rethink the dangerous policy: http://goo.gl/hfr7U0This is a subject close to my heart. I lived in the Bay Area for 30 years and to even THINK that this kind of measure is on the table is beyond my wildest nightmares. The Bay Area has been the "greenest" places I've lived - people were very concerned about the environment. It is heartbreaking and horrifying to me that this concern is dying and/or being overridden by political and corporate decisions that do not respect the environment or the people.
I happened to have lived in the area when the Oakland-East Bay Hills Fire occurred. Eucalyptus trees were NOT the problem - the wind was very strong that day; the fire department thought it had the original fire completely doused - they did not; narrow streets crowded with cars prevented fire trucks from getting to the area; fittings for the hydrants did not work; the fire department ran out of water; there was no "perimeter" set by the fire department; there was no evacuation order. None of which was the fault of eucalyptus trees.
The letter that Nathan has written (linked above) is lengthy but spells out why clear cutting these trees will not prevent another fire, and, in fact, will exacerbate a fire if one starts. The grasses are the fuel, not the trees.
In addition to the clear cutting, other problems arise: the use of glyphosate (Monsanto's RoundUp) in very large doses - it is a carcinogen; the welfare of the wildlife who live in the area being clear cut; no trees to sequester carbon; home values decreased. It is such a bad decision overall and it is beyond comprehension how it can be implemented.
Image is from here - the article is worth reading, too.