2013年9月29日 星期日

NASA繪製空污死亡地圖/中國最嚴重 台灣也很糟 台灣大漢溪污染/在中國,「要命的」不僅僅是空氣

 NASA繪製空污死亡地圖/中國最嚴重 台灣也很糟

NASA繪製全球細懸浮微粒空污導致的平均死亡地圖,結果顯示,亞洲以中國的污染最為嚴重,台灣情況也很糟。(取自網路)
〔編 譯魏國金、記者劉力仁/綜合報導〕美國北卡羅來納大學一份研究顯示,空氣污染每年造成全球約兩百一十萬人過早死亡,美國航太總署(NASA)的地球觀測站 利用該研究數據,繪製全球細懸浮微粒空污地圖(左上圖,取自網路),結果顯示,亞洲以中國的污染最為嚴重,台灣情況也很糟。
細懸浮微粒會直侵肺部
細懸浮微粒是由二.五微米(PM2.5)或更小的塵埃、煤灰等粒子組成。如此大小的微粒可透過呼吸道進入肺部,影響健康。PM2.5可來自汽車廢氣或其他工業來源。
NASA地球觀測站的部落格指出,地圖上深棕色地區的過早死亡數較淺褐色區域為多 (台灣是深棕色);藍色地區的空氣品質較一八五○年有所改善,過早死亡數也下降。
台灣平均濃度高歐洲三倍
中興大學環工系教授莊秉潔表示,台灣地區PM2.5年平均濃度約30μg/m3(微克/立方公尺),比歐洲PM2.5濃度高二至三倍,中國北京、上海等大都會濃度又比台灣高二至三倍,香港也比我們差一點。
環保署將PM2.5年平均值訂為15μg /m3、二十四小時值訂為35μg/m3,與美、日一致。環保署空保處長謝燕儒表示,目標為民國一○九年達成全國PM2.5年平均值濃度15μg/m3。
這份發表於「環境研究通訊」(Environmental Research letters)期刊的研究,比較從一八五○年一月到兩千年一月,一百五十年來的空污程度,NASA據此報告數據,發布每年每一千平方公里細懸浮微粒恐導致的平均死亡地圖。
每年相關死亡數約210萬例
主持該研究的北卡羅來納大學環境科學助理教授威斯特推測,與細懸浮微粒有關的死亡數每年約達兩百一十萬例。該部落格也說︰「在中國華東、北印度與歐洲,細懸浮微粒尤其造成更大的死亡,自工業革命以來,所有這些都市化地區都增加大量的細懸浮微粒到大氣中。」





2013.2.28 新聞: 大漢溪在"無人飛機"的照相下呈紫色.....附近有染整廠....

----

在中國,「要命的」不僅僅是空氣


       【日經BP社報導】2月初,記者有機會去了一趟北京,就先從那時的感想說起吧。

       記者走下飛機舷梯後,便聞到一股像是機油的氣味。由於北京空氣污染的新聞此前已傳得沸沸揚揚,所以,記者做好了精神準備,但心裏還是想:「唉,也可能是因為離飛機引擎太近了吧。」

       一走進機場大廳,記者就在心裏想:「有人在抽煙吧。」儘管那煙味很淡。環顧了一下周圍,卻沒看到放著煙灰缸。

       北京的空氣很臟,是早就聽說的事情了。儘管如此,毫無疑問中國的空氣污染仍在加重,記者此次親身感受到了這一情況。最終,直到離開北京為止,一直能聞到這種像似煙味的氣味。

       因為有一些空閒時間,記者便來到了天安門廣場。恰逢春節之前,所以,這裡有很多來自全國各地的遊客。記者問一位遊客:「怎麼樣?這裡的空氣 不太好吧?」得到的回答是:「(我們當地)西安也是一樣的。」的確,從報導中國空氣污染情況的網站上也能看到,儘管有程度差別,各地不良的空氣品質數據則 是一個接一個。

       靠近天安門的王府井商業街的狀況也一樣。雖然並不是所有人都戴著口罩,但人流量還是有所減少。「讓人沒法心情愉快地購物」,記者從住在北京 的人的口中聽到了這種發自內心的感慨。有消息稱,中國高級餐廳的銷售額比上一年下降了2成。雖然輿論普遍的解釋是,新一屆領導人髮出了「節儉令」,但可能 也有人們為了避開污染而減少外出的影響吧。

       春節期間有所好轉的空氣污染,隨著企業重新開工,又開始趨於嚴重。雖然相關報導減少,但顯然這個問題並沒有得到根本性解決。

       其實,在中國「危險的」不僅僅是空氣,水和土壤的污染都在加重。1月26日出版的中國商業雜誌《新世紀》中刊登了詳細報導,記者在此稍做介紹。

比發生「痛痛病」的日本富山縣污染更嚴重的大地

       ●甘肅省白銀市民勤村。在這裡,50歲以上的大部分村民都為膝關節及骨頭的疼痛而煩惱。他們吃的是當地收穫的玉米、小麥及土豆等。

       專家推測,從位於河流上游的工廠淌出的廢水值得懷疑。這裡土壤中的鎘、汞、砷全都超過了國家規定標準,不適合進行耕作。1998年的調查結 果顯示,平均每1000克土壤中鎘的濃度高達10.36毫克。而日本富山縣神通川流域發生「痛痛病」時,平均每1000克土壤中含鎘才為2.27毫克。白 銀市民勤村的污染高達富山縣神通川流域的約4倍。

       理所當然,必須採取措施才行,但當地並不富裕的農民用不起價格較高的黃河灌溉水。大部分農民忍受著疼痛度日。

       ●內蒙古自治區包頭市。在有些地區,礦山廢石堆積如山。從那裏滲出的有害物質使井水受到污染,農田收成大大降低。在一個名為「打拉亥上村」的村子裏,土壤鹼化十分嚴重,幾乎全村土地都不能耕作了。

       根據打拉亥上村居民提供的數據,在從1999年到2006年的8年間,61人因癌症死去。而村子的人口還不到1000人。該村被冠以「癌症村」這一不光彩的稱呼。

       引發污染的大型鋼鐵企業包頭鋼鐵公司與當地居民就賠償事宜達成了協議。然而,由於包頭鋼鐵準備的遷居地點的住房品質低,因此,實際進行搬遷的住戶只是極少數。並且,補償金也大多未支付。

       ●在貴州省赫章縣,一直持續到1980年代的大肆煉鋅造成的土壤污染至今仍有影響。與甘肅省的事例一樣,土壤中的重金屬遠遠超過了標準。據介紹,農作物中也含有安全標準3倍以上的鎘。用這個地方生產的青菜製作的鹹菜是當地的知名產品之一。

       在某個鎮上,農民的平均年收入不超過3300元。雖然多數居民苦惱于類似風濕病的症狀,但卻無法就醫,只能靠止痛藥勉強維持。在別的村子裏,據說100名村民中,受「風濕病」之苦的超過30人。

即使採取環境對策也趕不上污染的速度


       其實中國政府已著手採取措施應對環境污染。在上海、北京及廣州等地限制發放汽車牌照,這實際上是對新車銷售進行控制。關於工廠廢氣、廢水的標準也一年比一年嚴格。群眾監督力度不斷加強,日本王子製紙公司設在江蘇省南通市的工廠就被迫調整了計劃。

       但即便如此,環境污染仍在繼續。非但沒有好轉,情況反而日益惡化。

       一直以經濟發展作為人事考核衡量標準的政府官員推遲實施環境對策,由此造成非常大的不良影響。官場舞弊導致環境對策實效性降低的情況,記者也時有耳聞。但經濟規模達到目前這種程度後,無論如何採取對策都無法趕上環境惡化速度。

       以中國名義GDP(國內生產總值)為例,2012年接近52兆元,而2000年僅為9.9兆元左右,不到10兆元。雖然其間通貨膨脹嚴重時期較多,但從名義GDP反映的經濟規模擴大至5倍之多,由此不難想像給環境造成的負荷也在相應增大。

       同樣,中國汽車保有量在2000年不到2000萬輛,而在2011年超過了1億輛,到2020年定會大幅超過2億輛。這樣的話,無論如何改善燃效,降低環境負荷,都是杯水車薪。

       或許中國對環境造成的負荷,已經達到無法實現經濟可持續發展的程度。中國經濟雖然可在短期內依靠慣性繼續發展,但如果像現在這樣公害繼續擴大的話,對國民造成的健康危害會非常大,終會成為制約經濟發展的主要因素。

       在預測今後的中國經濟時,老齡化與環境方面的對策將成為一個重要的因素。(《日經商務週刊》記者:張勇祥)


■相關報導
中國大部被嚴重霧霾覆蓋的啟示

【好文回放】 悲哀的中國流行語「PM2.5」

台灣的廢水排放問題,毒害小鎮13年

2013年9月28日 星期六

消基會告3大糧商「詐欺」/施工1年 淡北道路 環評撤銷/富麗有機米繼被消基會檢出農藥殘留

頻出包 消基會告3大糧商「詐欺」

消基會董事長張智剛、秘書長雷立芬連袂到台北地檢署告發3大糧商涉詐欺,張智剛還特地舉個「火」字,形容民眾心裡的火大。 (記者侯柏青攝)
第二季包裝米抽查 泉順又上榜
〔記者侯柏青、鍾麗華、張勳騰、彭健禮、蔡政珉/綜合報導〕農糧署公布第二季市售包裝米抽查結果,泉順公司又上榜,「山水花東台稉九號米」品種標示不符,被罰四萬元,這也是爆發越南米混充台灣米後,泉順第四度被罰,不過,仍未達撤銷糧商執照標準。
無法嚴懲 消基會︰令人很火大
消基會昨則到台北地檢署按鈴告發出產中興米的聯米公司、生產三好米的億東公司及生產台稉九號國家標準一等米的泉順公司等三大糧商,涉以劣質進口米混充國產高級米販售,除廣告不實,另涉及「刑法」詐欺罪。
消基會董事長張智剛指出,業者常拿「碾米或包裝過程中不小心混充」當藉口,但超過標準檢驗值太多,就已經構成「刑法」的蓄意詐欺罪名,他舉著自製的「火」字牌,痛批:「這些糧商根本是累犯,不是這幾年才出現,令人很火大。」
農 糧署週一公布八月底擴大抽檢小包裝米結果,泉順仍有八件不合格,其中「大地情長ㄟ米」、「山水長纖米」混充台灣米,「台稉九號國家標準一等米」標示台稉九 號米,但含量不足八十%,這三件總計被罰四十四萬元,之前「山水佳長米」被罰二十萬,再加這次罰四萬,共被罰六十八萬。
農糧署組長蘇宗振表示,還有三件抽檢不合格,業者未改善,除「山水花東台稉九號米」外,還包括好的米食品「健康稻好運米」、苗栗公館鄉農會的「獻穀米」。
泉順公司委任律師羅豐胤指出,台稉九號品種標示未達標準問題,是因為收購時品質不一,接受消費者依發票等購買證明退貨或是換取一包等規格的山水日光米。
好的米食品公司經理涂雪英說,台稉八號在台灣西部幾乎已沒有農民栽種,公司不可能去收購囤積,再人為摻添。
公館鄉農會總幹事韓鴻恩指出,被驗出熱損害粒過高的獻穀米,是去年第二期稻作,委託的碾米廠商已被罰四萬元,且下架回收。
消基會建議,農糧署應立即引用「食品衛生管理法」第十五條的攙偽或假冒規定,先罰業者六萬元以上、一千五百萬元以下罰鍰。
農糧署密集開會討論「糧食管理法」修正草案,草案將罰款提高到三百萬元,對消基會建議比照「食管法」開罰一千五百萬元,農糧署表示,在討論範圍,但必須符合適法性與比例原則。


2003.9.23

山水米公司的「大地情長ㄟ米」、「山水長纖米」被查出完全沒有台灣米,業者表示,這兩款米在上月發生佳長米事件時已同時下架,願比照佳長米辦理退換貨與賠償。


203.9.5
施工1年 淡北道路 環評撤銷

高等行政法院 要求二階環評
〔記 者楊國文、劉力仁、李信宏、賴筱桐/綜合報導〕台北高等行政法院認為淡水河北側平面道路(簡稱淡北道路)開發案可能破壞自然生態和文化資產,距離紅樹林自 然保留區最近之處「僅一公分之譜」,對環境有重大影響之虞,當初環評委員會在資訊不足、未經實際審查就做成結論,有多處違法,應進行二階環評,昨撤銷環評 結論;全案仍可上訴。
淡北道路開發案是要解決省道台二線竹圍路廊例假日常壅塞的問題,工程共分三標,第三標已於去年八月動工,今年十月就應進行登輝大道到竹圍段的第一與第二標,台北高等行政法院的撤銷環評判決,引發軒然大波。
新北市副市長李四川表示,全案仍可上訴,表示環評仍有效力,前年底開始施工的工程仍會繼續。新北市議員蔡錦賢氣憤地說:「政府根本和淡水居民開玩笑!」他認為,法院不了解淡水居民塞車之苦,質疑「難道老百姓活該受罪嗎?」
全案仍未確定 新北市不停工
環保署長沈世宏表示,等收到判決書後,會找律師、開發單位研究是否上訴。依據以往經驗,如果環保署決定上訴,全案尚處於不確定狀態之下,開發單位就不用停工。
淡水居民王鐘銘、陳福齊等人認為淡北道路應進行二階環評,不應以有條件通過第一階段環評,曾要求撤銷環評遭駁回,改打行政訴訟。王鐘銘昨天表示這項判決可說是「居民的勝利」,他呼籲環保署勿上訴,新北市不應強行開發。
環團律師張譽尹說,淡北道路環評在八十九年間曾遭駁回,後來改用平面道路環評,光靠附條件的預防措施並不夠,應該進入二階環評,這次司法判決撤銷環評處分,希望行政機關能遵守。
提訟淡水居民 籲環署勿上訴
一位法官認為,判決已指出有多項違法,應先暫時停工較好。環保律師詹順貴表示,原告律師可聲請假處分或打「停止執行」訴訟,讓新北市不致執意施工,破壞生態。
台北高等行政法院指出,環評委員會是在資訊完全不充足及不知新北市政府能否履行相關負擔的情況下,作成審查結論,根本未確認開發案是否會破壞「紅樹林自然保留區」,也未具體要求新北市政府應設置多大的保護綠籬或何種隔離設施。
其次,該開發基地位於國家級「淡水河紅樹林濕地」及海岸區,與周圍的「國家重要濕地保護計劃」、「永續海岸發展方案」有顯著不利的衝突和不相容。
判 決並指出,開發案道路第三標工程採高架興建,對於「關渡隘口」自然地景產生影響,且終點可能經過關渡遺址及史前文化層,對文化資產保存及環境資源特性有不 利影響。此外,開發案未依規定預留足夠寬度、深度的緩衝帶,對多種珍貴稀有保育類鳥類及保育類野生昆蟲的棲息、活動、生存環境及遷徙路徑有不利影響,且環 保署沒有邀請居民參加公聽會,直接做出環評結論,剝奪居民參與。

****
富麗有機米繼被消基會檢出農藥殘留,今天(3日)再被報導富里農會自行送驗與消基會所驗同批號米殘留農藥。農委會農糧署署長李蒼郎呼籲,若殘留農藥,莫以有機米 ...

富麗有機米6月份曾被消基會公佈殘留農藥「加保利」,爭議尚未平息,今(3)日上下游新聞市集調查指出,富里農會「自行送驗與消基會同批號的一包有機米」,也 ...

 

2013年9月25日 星期三

杭菊農藥8種放寬到39種

為中國開方便門?杭菊農藥8種放寬到39種
Ads by Google
日本刀・刀剣販売e-sword www.e-sword.jp
日本刀を世界中にネット販売 日本刀在庫200口以上
選購菊花茶,可聞看看確認是否有異味,或選擇包裝完整、經檢驗認證的產品。 (記者劉信德攝)
〔記者鍾麗華/台北報導〕市面上杭菊八、九成以上來自中國,由於中國杭菊農藥檢測不合格比例偏高,目前邊境採逐批檢驗。不過,杭菊過去僅能用八種農藥,防檢局日前卻一口氣增到卅九種。消基會與主婦聯盟批評,這是為中國杭菊量身訂製的放水措施,農委會漠視國人健康。
農藥超量 全是進口杭菊
去年衛生署在中藥行抽檢杭菊,發現有農藥超標三百六十四倍,消基會抽檢九件樣品也有八件農藥超量,其中四件甚至檢出逾七種農藥,全都是進口杭菊,前年甚至還在海關攔截到農藥殘留多達十五種的中國杭菊。
苗栗銅鑼農會股長葉金城強調,台灣杭菊採收會定期送驗,近年全數合格,並獲吉園圃標章,紀錄不佳的全是中國杭菊。
農糧署統計,我國杭菊產區主要在苗栗、台東,去年種植面積廿五公頃、產量二十公噸,進口量則高達近百公噸。葉金城強調,銅鑼杭菊將在十一月採收,今年遇到風災,產量少五成,預計市面上的國產杭菊將更少。
杭 菊原僅可用貝芬替、陶斯松、益達胺等八種農藥,最近防檢局公告又開放福化利、芬化利等卅一種殺菌劑、殺蟲劑,使得可用農藥多達卅九種。林口長庚醫院腎臟科 主治醫師顏宗海表示:「開放那麼多種農藥很恐怖。」除將增加檢驗難度,農藥毒性也有加乘作用,政府若不能好好把關檢驗,將增加整體醫療支出。
消基會︰明顯是放水措施
消基會秘書長、台大農經系教授雷立芬認為,國產杭菊一直都符合藥檢標準,因此放寬農藥使用明顯不是為了方便台灣農民,而是讓進口的中國杭菊能過關。主婦聯盟董事長陳曼麗也強調:「農藥能少用一種就該少用一種。」她憂心在兩岸現實下,台灣食品安全被犧牲。
防檢局組長張瑞璋強調,過去僅對新鮮杭菊訂農藥殘留標準,但杭菊多是乾燥處理,因此才檢討放寬,並非針對中國開放,目的是要讓農民防治病蟲害。但他也坦承,訂定殘留容許標準有時也為解決貿易障礙。
不過,農委會藥毒所長費雯綺表示,杭菊乾燥後,水分去除,在濃縮作用下,農藥殘留會比新鮮的還高。但張瑞璋解釋,使用農藥不一定都會殘留,農民會遵守停藥期,亦會請食藥署根據國人每日攝取量訂出合理的殘留標準。
食藥署表示,杭菊是中國、台灣常見飲品,沒有國際標準,既然農委會主張開放,將提到食品安全衛生諮議委員會討論。

2013年9月24日 星期二

鉛害

林杰樑最後研究:男性鉛暴露恐不孕

 

林口長庚醫院臨床毒物科前主任林杰樑病逝後,其生前參與的最後一篇生殖毒害研究曝光,首度證實男性不孕與重金屬鉛暴露有關,當精液中鉛濃度越高,精蟲數量就越少。腎臟科醫師提醒,彩色吸管、彩色食具、玩具等都可能含鉛毒,而從事電鍍工作的男性更要注意。
林杰樑醫師生前最後參與的研究首度證實,男性不孕與重金屬鉛暴露有關。
林杰樑醫師生前最後參與的研究首度證實,男性不孕與重金屬鉛暴露有關。
俠醫林杰樑病逝後仍遺愛人間,其最後參與的生殖毒害研究,乃林口長庚醫院費時2年囊括341位28~44歲的不孕症男性,排除鉛相關職業與吸菸、肥 胖等可能干擾因子後進行精液採樣分析。研究發現,精液中的鉛濃度與精蟲數量成反比,首度證實兩者相關,極富研究價值,成果已刊登於《生殖生物學與內分泌 學》期刊。
主要負責研究的林口長庚不孕症科醫師吳憲銘向媒體透露,男性不孕與鉛害的相關性一直以來沒定論,因此在研究進行時邀請林杰樑醫師參與指導,當研究結果首度證實相關後,對未來預防男性不孕症將是一大突破!
彩色吸管、食具、玩具恐含鉛毒
早在2009年消基會曾抽檢早餐店、夜市的吸管,在80件樣本中驗出10件的鉛含量超標,並以黃色吸管的鉛含量超標最嚴重。中華民國毒物學學會發言人、台大醫院腎臟科主治醫師姜至剛指出,包括彩色食具、玩具等看似華麗的物品上,都可能暗藏著鉛毒殺手。
 
小孩的彩色玩具中也恐含有鉛毒。
小孩的彩色玩具中也恐含有鉛毒。
姜至剛醫師解釋,鉛是油漆、顏料的成分之一,因此鉛毒常潛藏在日常生活隨處可見的劣質用具中,尤其兒童若長時間接觸,還可能導致毒害累積,引起智力下降、學習能力低落等症狀。若是過量暴露讓鉛毒累積在腎臟、血管之中,將提高腎臟纖維化、高血壓、動脈粥狀硬化等風險。
姜至剛醫師強調,以往也有調查發現,在電鍍工廠的工人,甚至是工廠周圍飲用地下水的居民,都出現鉛中毒的反應,呼籲從事相關產業民眾仍須做好防護,並仔細清潔;日常生活中要預防鉛毒,應避免來路不明、色彩鮮艷的劣質吸管、食具、玩具,或是未認證核可的中藥材。

《雨衣含鉛超標》中毒恐影響孩童智力




2013年9月22日 星期日

Into the Wildfire






An experimental fire spreading through laser-cut cardboard in the wind tunnel at the Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula.


Video by Ian Grob/Missoula Technology Development Center

INTO THE WILDFIRE


What science is learning about fire and how to live with it.






BY PAUL TULLIS
PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICHARD BARNES
September 19, 2013


Lassen Volcanic National Park, in Northern California, consists of more than 100,000 acres of wilderness and woodlands surrounding Lassen Peak, a volcano named for a pioneer and huckster who guided migrants through the area, that last blew its top in 1915, before anybody knew it was an active volcano. Last summer the park, like much of the West, was in the midst of a yearlong drought — which could be more accurately described as the continuation of a decade-long drought that had merely been less severe for a couple of years.


A forecast of thunderstorms might seem like welcome news for a firefighter in charge of so many acres of dry forest — parts of the park can get so hot and dry during the summer that rain evaporates before it reaches the trees — but Mike Klimek, the firefighter in charge of the park on July 23, 2012, knew better. Storms bring lightning. So Klimek was patrolling the park road, in regular communication with other firefighters, when late that afternoon, he got word that a column of smoke had been spotted. Klimek and a U.S. Forest Service firefighting crew stationed in the park drove as close as the main road would take them to the smoke, then he and a captain from the crew hiked into a wilderness area, where an aircraft reconnaissance team directed them to a single tree that was burning. When they got there, the red fir was smoking and there was some fire on the ground, but it wasn’t spreading. Klimek’s job at that moment was to decide what to do about the fire: put it out immediately or allow it to burn and monitor it carefully. If he let it burn, it would be for the sake of what wildfire experts call resource benefit: letting fire play its proper role in the ecosystem, and allowing forests in the West to revert to the conditions that characterized them in the days before every wildfire was extinguished as quickly as possible. That practice — pursued for more than a century, and today recognized by scientists as a really dumb idea — allowed younger trees and underbrush to flourish in many places, increasing the density of flammable material and thus exposing forests to fires hotter and more intense than they had evolved in response to. Now firefighters like Klimek look for ways to reduce the potential fuel in the environment, which sometimes means letting lower-intensity fires burn and watching them closely. This seemed like an opportunity for just such a “managed” fire.


“That fire is not going anywhere fast,” Klimek recalls thinking at the time. He took out a notebook and wrote down the altitude: 7,100 feet above sea level. The cooler mountain air was one factor telling him this fire would not spread quickly. Another was the tree’s location: a relatively sparse area where there wasn’t all that much that could burn. And because the tree was on a northern slope, the other trees, underbrush, grasses and fallen branches around it were probably not as dry as they would be on a southern slope, where they would have absorbed more sunlight. There was also a ridge, a road and several creeks nearby. Firefighters are trained to “build a box” around a fire, taking advantage of topographical features that tend to slow a fire’s spread, including existing breaks in the woods, and clearing new breaks as necessary to contain a fire within controllable boundaries. “In suppression training, you always talk about the ‘three R’s’: ridges, roads and rivers,” Klimek told me one day in June. “And I had all three.”


He had evening on its way too, bringing with it a likely rise in relative humidity that would dampen the grasses and woody vegetation around the burning tree. Klimek radioed an interagency fire center in the nearby town of Susanville to say there was time to decide how to deal with the fire.








Left: Scientists at the Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula observe the behavior of fire in a wind tunnel. Right: Mark Finney observing the behavior of flames fueled by ethylene gas.


‘By suppressing fires ... we’re saving the landscape for the worst conditions,’ a fire researcher says. ‘We need to choose good fire over bad fire, and if we understand spread we can make better choices.’


Time, yes, but that wasn’t going to make any decision easy. Whatever Klimek and his superiors decided to do would entangle them in a knot of political, economic, legal and ecological issues that involve firefighters, regulators, scientists, politicians, homeowners and others, from Washington, D.C., to state capitals throughout the West. As more and more acres burn, all these different constituencies are asking, without arriving at the same answers, What are we going to do about these fires?


The area around Klimek, about 150 miles north of Sacramento, was often still patchy with snow in midsummer, though on that day, after another dry winter, it was bare. And the hottest, driest time of year — the period when Lassen Park is most susceptible to dangerous wildfires — was still to come. Before he left the burning tree, Klimek jotted down one more thing in the margins of his notebook: “August?”


Fire has always been a part of the natural ecology — many plant species evolved in direct response to it and couldn’t survive without it; when the sap of some pine cones melts, for example, seeds are released. But the reflexive practice of putting out all fires, which has dominated national policy for so many decades, has turned much of the American West into a tinderbox. On June 30, in the deadliest incident in wild-land firefighting in decades, 19 of the country’s most highly trained, highly skilled firefighters died in a fire near Yarnell, Ariz. While awaiting the findings from a federal investigation (expected this month), many have asked whether unexpected changes in the wind’s direction and speed, which abruptly exposed the men to the fire, were simply the most immediate factors contributing to their deaths. The Phoenix New Times, for instance, reported that the team should not have been deployed at all that day because its members may have already reached the maximum number of consecutive days they were allowed to be in the field. What’s clear, however, is that the buildup of flammable materials in the area and the ongoing drought in the Southwest contributed to the fire’s intensity. And it was a fire the firefighters were combating there in order to protect a housing subdivision on the outskirts of town.





Jack Cohen (left) and Mark Finney, of the Missoula fire lab, observing the leading edge of the Lolo Creek Complex Fire near Missoula, Aug. 21, 2013.


Seven weeks later, a hunter’s illegal campfire started a wildfire near Yosemite National Park; named the Rim Fire, it would go on to burn an area about the size of San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento combined, involve nearly 5,000 firefighters at one point and cost roughly $90 million to fight. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency as the fire threatened San Francisco’s water supplies and access to electricity. That same week in August, images of giant flames from a fire burning over a 174-square-mile area near Ketchum, Idaho — close to where a fire in 2007 burned 65 square miles — dominated nightly news coverage.


Wildfires of a size and intensity that only a decade ago were rare are now almost an annual occurrence. This summer, more than 500 homes were destroyed by fire in the Colorado Springs area; last year, the nearby Waldo Canyon Fire burned down 347 structures, at a cost of $453 million. In 2011, 5,600 homes and buildings were destroyed by fires in Texas. In 2009, one wildfire lasting several weeks burned an area in Los Angeles County the size of more than 10 Manhattans and cost $93 million. The amount the federal government spent putting out fires over the last decade was triple what it was in the ’90s.


We probably wouldn’t be as concerned about fires that are getting bigger and spreading farther, of course, were it not for the increasing intrusion of people and buildings into fire-prone landscapes. This development creates what fire experts call the wild-land-urban interface, or WUI (pronounced WOO-ee), and from Bozeman, Mont., to Laurel Canyon in California, more and more of us want to live there, with forested views and coyotes for neighbors — but without the fire. About 80,000 wildfires in the United States were designated for suppression each year between 1998 and 2007, and only an average of 327 were allowed to burn. Yet trying to put out all those fires leads inevitably to more intense, more dangerous and more expensive fires later on. The accumulation of dead wood and unburned “ladder fuels” — what ecologists call lower vegetation that can carry fire to taller trees — turn lower-intensity fires into hotter fires that kill entire stands of trees that otherwise might survive.





The fire-whirl generator inside the Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula.


We know this, but we haven’t wanted to pay the costs to do things differently. It’s possible to break up and remove smaller trees and other vegetation, but the heavy equipment needed to do that is very expensive. (The process can inhibit plant growth too.) It’s also possible to set “prescribed” fires, but these carefully controlled operations can take decades to produce the desired effects in a given area. And managing a fire that starts naturally in order to let it clean up ladder fuels is risky and costly.


“If we let fires burn, it takes up resources to watch them, and we don’t have the luxury to do that,” says Ken Pimlott, the director of California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. “We’ve got to put it out and move on to the next fire.” A sudden change in wind can send a fire raging toward populated areas, which can lead to fatalities, damage and lawsuits. With responsibility for 31 million acres, almost all privately owned, that have more and more people living on them, Pimlott maintains a strict policy of immediate and full suppression for every fire that starts in his area, even as he recognizes the policy flies in the face of logic and science. “The entire cycle is out of whack,” he says. “The movement of people into the WUI, the fires they start there and infrastructure that needs protection, plus drought, climate, suppression — you combine all these things, and it’s creating more intense fires. It just becomes a larger problem.”


‘Nobody really heard about it until after it crossed out of the park, and by that point it was beyond control,’ one resident says about the fire. ‘Manage a fire at the end of July? It was a really bad decision.’


But it’s not an unfamiliar one in its broadest outlines, in the way that the narrow pursuit of short-term gains can undermine longer-term interests. We know we shouldn’t build wooden structures in the wilderness, but we do. We know the Mississippi River will flood disastrously again, as it has at a rate of more than once a decade since 1927, yet we keep planting crops in the rich soils alongside the river and subsidizing farmers in its floodplains. We know it’s only a matter of time before another giant storm smacks the New Jersey shore — as one did in 1903, 1944, 1991, 1999 and 2012 — yet in that state alone we’re hauling in 27 million cubic yards of sand to replace what Sandy washed away and allowing an estimated 200,000 homes to remain — and in some cases be rebuilt — in the possible paths of future storms. We don’t want to pay more for fossil fuels or otherwise make serious sacrifices to limit climate change (which is also amplifying the other problems). We get caught in feedback loops.


Our firefighting policies may have more direct and immediate repercussions than our other environmental choices do, though. “The harder you try to remove fire, the worse it gets,” says Mark Finney, a research scientist at the U.S. Forest Service’s research lab in Missoula, Mont. “By suppressing fires in all the conditions we can, we’re saving the landscape for the worst conditions. We won’t say that’s our policy, but by our actions, we are selecting for only the most extreme fires. We need to choose good fire over bad fire, and if we understand spread, we can make better choices.”





Kyle Shannon, a computer programmer at the Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, operating the mass flow controller for the burner, to control the amount of ethylene gas burned. The burner is used to study flame structure.


Thanks to experiments that Finney and his colleagues are now conducting, we may be on the cusp of a new understanding of fire. Despite the fact that humans have been using fire for at least 300,000 years, “people have no idea how fire actually spreads,” Finney says. It turns out, for example, that one assumption about how grasses and pine needles catch fire — a significant factor built into the computerized models of fire spread used to fight fires — may be completely mistaken. Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratories, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Forest Service and elsewhere are investigating other aspects of fire propagation, like how big fires create their own weather — a process that has contributed to some of the most devastating fires in recent years — and how prescribed and managed burns might affect a landscape’s propensity to catch fire later. Much of this research is so new that it hasn’t made it into any models yet. With results from this new science in hand, foresters in the coming years may be able to keep fires (whether managed, prescribed or otherwise) from becoming as extreme as they have lately. We may yet return to the days of “good fire.”


The day after Klimek found the single tree on fire, he talked things over with Eric Hensel, the fire-management officer at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Among other things, they considered the point of ignition, the surrounding topography and forest, current drought conditions and the potential places where a team could create breaks in the trees to contain the fire. They consulted with the National Park Service’s regional fire ecologist and regional fire management officer, in San Francisco, then presented their findings to the park superintendent. The nearest town was more than 10 miles away, and a lot would have to go wrong before the fire could get close to it. The group decided to manage the fire rather than put it out right away.


Five days later, the fire was doing just what they hoped. Klimek described it to me as “a low-intensity backing fire” — that is, one moving downhill rather than up; an uphill fire tends to spread faster. It was “cleaning up” underbrush and wood on the ground as it moved. On July 30, the fire’s extent was only three acres, and a person could still walk safely in its midst. (When officials describe a fire’s size in terms of acreage, it doesn’t necessarily mean every spot in that space is actively burning.) When I walked the area 10 months later with Scott L. Stephens, a professor of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley, and an expert on prescribed and managed fires, he said, “This looks exactly like what I would’ve aimed for if I were setting a prescribed fire in here.”


Hensel gave thought to initiating a “burnout operation” between the park road and the fire’s location. That would entail starting a second fire that would burn toward the existing one, thus reducing the risk that it would spread beyond a chosen limit, in this case the park road. This line of control was selected because there was a stand of lodgepole pines on the north side of the road. Unlike Ponderosa, Douglas firs and other conifers in the mountain West, lodgepoles are highly susceptible to fire, and this stand, nearly a hundred years old, had never burned; it was like a land mine waiting to be set off. But more thunderstorms were in the forecast, and the cold air they brought with them was likely to create a downdraft with the potential to spread the fire rapidly in any direction (and additional lightning strikes could also start more fires). It was this risk of its becoming unpredictable, Hensel later explained to me, that made a burnout unwise.





Jack Cohen next to the reflector tunnel, which is used to produce a steady level of radiant heat to examine how different materials heat up to ignition.


As Hensel weighed the options, Calvin Farris, the Park Service fire ecologist in charge of Lassen Volcanic, was working with an analyst who studies fire behavior for the Forest Service. They were using a computer model that Mark Finney helped develop, called FSPro (Fire Spread Probability), which predicts a wildfire’s likely movement, based on variables like topography, weather, the types of trees in a forest and how dry they are. In a typical year it works well, but for whatever reason, as August and its heat approached, that wasn’t the case. It was consistently underestimating the likelihood that particular areas would burn. This wasn’t unusual; at one point during the 1988 fires that burned nearly 800,000 acres in and around Yellowstone National Park, the statistician whose work underlies many fire-spread models used his own model to project where the fire would be in two weeks. It spread twice as far in the next 24 hours.


On Aug. 6, 2012, the weather in Lassen Volcanic National Park changed: the wind turned around and picked up significantly, blowing the fire across the road and into the lodgepole pines. Once the fire spread into the lodgepoles, it became very hard to control, because of the surrounding terrain and the weather at the time. The next day, a federal interagency fire-management team was brought in to coordinate suppression efforts. On Aug. 8, the fire expanded beyond the park’s borders, and it became a threat to the town of Old Station.


The new people in charge held a public meeting to inform area residents about the fire’s status and possible evacuation procedures. Both Hat Creek Valley and Old Station had evacuated their homes because of wildfires twice in the previous 10 years, most recently in 2009, when lightning ignited fires that burned 9,300 acres.


Darlene Koontz, who is the park superintendent at Lassen Volcanic, was in charge of some federal lands in New Mexico a few years after a prescribed fire there spread out of control and burned part of Los Alamos in 2000; 400 families lost their homes, and the fire’s total cost was estimated to be $1 billion. So she was familiar with balancing the risks in a drought-stricken forest and aware of the public outcry that could follow mistakes. Yet efforts to notify the community near the Lassen Fire were minimal, and reports in the local news media seemed to add a measure of anger to the public’s anxiety.


“It was a really hostile setting,” according to one firefighter who was at the meeting. Because the fire began as a managed wildfire, he says, it was regarded differently from past fires. “They had a particular place and person to, in their perception, set blame, and that was the park and the park superintendent. I thought she was going to get accosted.”








Top: The gate of a house that burned in the Lolo Creek Complex Fire near Missoula. Bottom: Landscape burned along U.S. Highway 12 in Montana.


Koontz confirmed the tension. “I have very little butt left after last summer,” she told me.


Pam Giacomini, whose family has been ranching in the area for generations and who now represents Old Station on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors, says Koontz should have consulted with Cal Fire before deciding to manage the fire. “Nobody really heard about it until after it crossed out of the park, and by that point it was beyond control,” Giacomini says. Lassen Park officials “act like they’re an autonomous unit, but they reside within the community where they’re located. Manage a fire at the end of July? It was a really bad decision.” More than one firefighter told me that one mistake with a prescribed or managed burn can set public acceptance back a decade.


As August stayed hot, the Reading Fire, as it was named (after Reading Peak, near the fire’s starting point), raced north toward Old Station. On Aug. 9, 10 and 11, with the temperature topping 90 degrees and relative humidity around 5 percent, the fire had a high potential to grow significantly and act unpredictably. It started to create its own weather: the fire’s heat generated a mass of upward-moving energy that spread flames in all directions. On Aug. 13, embers carried by the wind ignited a satellite fire just four miles south of Old Station. When the fire-management team reached its maximum allowed number of days in the field and was rotated out, another, more experienced team was brought in.


How do we reintroduce fire into this landscape?”


It was the middle of June this year, and a Forest Service expert in tree cultivation named John H. Bassman was crouched on a steep, damp slope in the Priest River Experimental Forest, in Idaho’s panhandle, putting that question to a couple of dozen ecologists, soil scientists, firefighters and others on a Forest Service-sponsored field trip. The Priest River Forest is 6,300 acres of mixed-conifer woodlands about 60 miles northeast of Spokane, Wash. The Forest Service probably leads the federal bureaucracy in quaint traditions, and field trips where scientists from different forests can get together at camps like the one located here are a big part of its culture. “We learn best when our boots are in the dirt” is how Bassman put it to me over a breakfast of biscuits and gravy in the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps-built bunkhouse. He lamented the loss of the tableware adorned with the Forest Service logo and said that with budget cuts and virtual training, “this kind of thing is getting rarer.”


The experimental forest, which has some of the most complex and productive woodlands in the country, has been used for wildfire research since its founding a year after the great fires of 1910 first brought the issue of fire’s impact on the West to national prominence and prompted the young Forest Service to elevate “over all other duties and activities,” as an agency bulletin that year put it, its policy of suppressing fires. The early work was on seed growth — to figure out how to replace what burned — and until then, virtually the only places where Americans were studying forestry were in Europe or back East.


Research foresters from around the region like to come to Priest River and have a local fire officer torch some trees and plant various seeds afterward to see how they respond, testing the effectiveness of prescribed fire and seeing how a burned area recovers. Bassman and the others were here to focus on different ways to reduce the accumulated vegetation in a landscape, through prescribed fire, for example, or mechanical thinning. Research by Finney in the last decade indicates that burning or cutting up as little as 30 percent of a forest can, if done strategically, have an outsize effect on limiting a wildfire’s spread. (The federal government, however, has slashed the budget for putting those experiments into practice.) The visitors’ hope was that they’d be able employ these tactics to influence how fire moves through the forests where they work. Bassman wants to restore Montana’s Flathead National Forest so that the frequency and severity of its fires more closely resemble what the land was like before the Forest Service started fighting every fire a century ago.


Even if he successfully manages his forest, the social geography will still be fraught. “In parts of the northern Rockies, the historical fire-return interval is 100 years,” Bassman said, referring to the average time between fires in a forest. “But those are stand-replacing fires, and nobody’s going to put up with that. So understanding landscape-fuel treatments is the key to how those forces can be altered so we can better protect people and property and wilderness.”





The remains of a house near Lolo Creek that was burned by a wildfire.


Jack Cohen, who works at the Forest Service’s Fire Sciences Lab in Missoula, probably understands “landscape-fuel treatments” as well as just about anyone else thinking about fire in America. Cohen told me that he started stealing matches and lighting fires when he was 5. He knew this would get him in trouble, he said, so he made sure to keep his fires small. This proved to be excellent experience, decades later, when he was the lighting supervisor for prescribed fires in the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California.


Cohen noticed then, to his surprise, that live foliage could keep a fire going in the absence of dead plant matter. He discovered he could rearrange piles of vegetation in various manners and still get them to sustain fire. By changing his ignition methods, he could increase the height of flames and get fires to spread when they otherwise wouldn’t. Cohen describes this as “campfire knowledge,” but it occurred to him these sorts of observations were missing from — or contrary to — what was reflected in the models.


Years later, when he came to the Fire Sciences Lab, the only facility in the world dedicated to studying wildfire through experiments in a chamber, he worked a great deal on what he would call the Home Ignition Zone, or H.I.Z. He decided to try to figure out how close a fire needed to get to a house to set it aflame. On seven occasions, Cohen placed walls like those used in house exteriors at distances of 33, 66 and 98 feet from the edge of an experimental forest plot, where he set trees ablaze. Three times the walls at 33 feet failed to catch on fire. The walls at 66 and 98 feet were never even scorched.


Intrigued by how unsusceptible the walls seemed to be to nearby fire, he started investigating houses that had burned in wild-land-urban areas: how near to the most dangerous flames had they been? “Not very,” he learned, reinforcing what he saw in his tests. In Los Angeles in 1961, houses on fire in Bel Air were the sources of the fire that burned houses in Brentwood a mile away: residential structures facilitated the fire’s spread. In San Bernardino in 1980, some 280 houses were destroyed in a fire that might have stopped at the forest’s edge, if they hadn’t had wooden roofs.


When I visited Cohen, who is 63 now, in his office last June, he showed me a picture taken from a helicopter over Lake Arrowhead, Calif., in 2007, that showed a house on fire eight hours after the fire had moved through the neighborhood. “We see wildfire destroying houses,” he said, “but 90 percent of the houses burn down after the wildfire has ceased its significant activity in the vicinity.”


In these cases, embers, which can be as small as a thumbnail, were carried by the wind from the fire to some flammable part on or near the house (wood shake-shingle roofs that aren’t treated with flame retardant are especially vulnerable). When residents had been evacuated and firefighters were off fighting the wildfire, or were too few in number to protect every house, nobody was around to put out the smoldering firebrand.


“It’s all embers,” Cohen said. “That’s not an intense igniter; that’s an insidious igniter.” Burning pine trees toppling onto roofs weren’t causing these fires to spread, in other words; the problem was burning material blown under wooden decks or into gutters clogged with dead pine needles, where it smoldered for hours amid other flammable stuff. “Embers don’t ignite houses if the houses aren’t susceptible to them, and that’s something we can mitigate through engineering.” And, he admonished, get the dead leaves and branches and pine needles off your house.


California has been a leader in adopting building codes and brush-removal regulations, but for the most part, despite the clear evidence from Cohen’s published research, municipal governments in the western United States have been slow to follow. Some people don’t want to cut down trees; others don’t want government telling them what to do with their property. Cohen said that when he took his research to urban firefighters, he didn’t find an enthusiastic audience. His experience with fire departments that had not been “kicked multiple times” by wildfire has been that they don’t want to be the ones telling homeowners they’re part of the problem; his impression is that urban firefighters prefer instead to say, “This fire was so big and fast, there was nothing we could do to save your house.” And that’s true, as far as it goes. But until people grasp or act on what Cohen has demonstrated — that homeowners would not need to rely on firefighters as much as they do if their houses were better built and maintained and the properties around them were prepared to withstand fire — changes to forest management and firefighting policies are unlikely to significantly improve matters.


One person who is putting Cohen’s message into practice is his colleague at the Fire Sciences Lab, Mark Finney. A former wild-land firefighter, he uses prescribed fire on his own property to maintain a defensible space around his house outside Missoula. For eight days in 2007, he defied an evacuation notice — in Montana, the police cannot order an adult to evacuate his residence — and stayed home with his Labrador retriever while the Black Cat Fire raged to the west of him. (Convincing firefighters that he was not insane and that they should not build a fire break through his back yard with a bulldozer was challenging, but ultimately he prevailed.) About a decade ago, Finney and Cohen started engaging in long conversations in the hallway at the lab, and Cohen, discouraged by the lack of public response to his research on the home-ignition zone, joined him in focusing on the physical properties of fire itself.








Top: A block of wood ignited after exposure to radiant heat. Bottom: A fire experiment in the wind tunnel of the Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula.


Finney would tell Cohen something like, “I was burning this pile on my property, and I didn’t see ignition until the flame touched.” And Cohen, drawing on his experience in Southern California, would say, “I can get live vegetation to burn without dead vegetation.”


The more they talked, the more they realized that many of the things they’d observed, both in the field and the lab, weren’t incorporated into the computer programs firefighters were using to predict the likelihood that a particular forest would catch fire, or that an existing fire would spread from one point to another over a period of days or weeks.


One day a scientist named Don Latham, who was retired from the Fire Sciences Lab but was still friends with Cohen and Finney, told them about his attempts to measure the amount of energy being transferred by radiation to a pine needle when it caught fire, but that the pine needle wouldn’t ignite. Latham hadn’t been trying to determinewhat causes pine needles to catch on fire — he assumed it was radiant heat — so he basically ignored what he figured was an anomaly. In the context of Cohen’s and Finney’s other observations, though, it took on new significance. “I said to Mark, ‘Well, we’ve got to try this,’ ” Cohen said.


They had a machine that emitted radiative heat at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit without convective heat, and they started placing different flammable materials in front of it. (Radiative heat is transmitted by electromagnetic waves from one point to another without warming the space between them. Convection transfers heat from place to place — and through the space in between — by the movement of a medium like air or water.) When I visited Finney and Cohen in June, they showed me video of a wood block placed in front of this apparatus, which they call the death ray. (“Don’t worry, it won’t actually kill you,” Finney assured me when I saw it later.) The block ignited after about 25 seconds, but nothing happened to a pine needle placed in the same spot. Other fine fuels — grasses, shredded wood — did not ignite, either. Their higher surface-to-volume ratio allowed the surrounding air to cool them faster than radiation could heat them to the ignition point.


We all know that kindling ignites faster than logs, though, so this is not only puzzling to anyone who’s ever tried to light a campfire; it’s also, Finney said, “absolutely contrary to the models,” most of which assume that radiation from a wildfire lights the flammable materials at the fire’s leading edge.


Cohen searched the scientific literature for experimental support for this assumption and found nothing. Because the models are based on what has been observed in the field, of course they sometimes accurately predict what happens there. But because they don’t take into account what has been learned from experiments in the lab, they sometimes fail to explain a fire’s unexpected behavior. Cohen likes to quote the statistician George E. P. Box: “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” Until Cohen and Finney thought to test radiation in controlled conditions, no one realized that flames must touch the fine fuels to ignite them.


“If radiation can’t ignite the stuff next to it, the fire doesn’t spread,” Cohen said. And yet, clearly, fires are spreading; it’s just that the models aren’t telling us why. “We’ve allowed modeling to get way ahead of our actual understanding,” Cohen continued. “The models have become illusions of understanding.”


So, if radiation isn’t lighting the stuff at the edge of a fire, Cohen said, “that means flame contact is required.” But flames are hot; they rise. So how do flames extend laterally? Fire can spread horizontally even when there’s no wind.


And that’s what leads you to look in other places for convection, Finney explained. With a laser cutter, he started making his own objects to ignite inside a wind tunnel. He filmed them burning with a high-speed camera so he and his colleagues could watch the results in superslow motion. It turns out that fires have frequencies, like radio or magnetic waves. The pulses that create a flame’s peaks and troughs come at intervals that aren’t random.


“And here’s where the thing gets blown open,” Finney said, jumping up from his desk to point at a big flat-screen TV on the wall. It showed the U-shape of a flame from one of his chamber experiments. What he and Cohen found is that that U-shape is caused by air being drawn into the fire and spinning in two counter-rotating vortices that converge (picture interlocking gears) and push the flame down and forward, scorching whatever is beneath it. That establishes the contact necessary for ignition.“Flame is just a hot, buoyant fluid,” Finney said, “but no one was looking at that, because they assumed radiation was lighting fine fuels.”


On the wall next to the TV was a photograph of some flames. The resolution was low, and there were no discernible objects in the picture, so you couldn’t tell the scale of the photo. It happened to be a picture of an enormous grass fire in Australia, photographed from a satellite. The structure of the flame in the photo was the same as in the video. “You can see these peaks and troughs in any fire,” Finney said. “That’s cool! That means you’re on to something.” He said that previously he and other fire scientists “were watching fire, but we weren’t seeing it. We were observing the wrong phenomenon.” No one sought to understand flame structure before, he said, because of their assumptions about radiation. “Well, they couldn’t have been more wrong,” Finney said. “And we demonstrate that very, very clearly.”


“All this stuff that’s not in the models is affecting the propagation of fire, particularly those that produce big flames,” Cohen told me. “And every time we have big flames in the WUI, people get scared. And that causes us to go to suppression.” Suppression, in turn, allows forests to grow to the point where they produce big flames. “And we end up with a 200,000-acre fire instead of a 10,000-acre fire,” he continued. “So we’d better figure out how fire burns.”


The Fire Sciences Lab is hoping to come up with a physics-based model that would incorporate the findings. More than that, they want their research to lead to a better understanding of fire and hence better decisions in the field. The dynamics that Finney, Cohen and their collaborators have observed would explain a lot of fire behavior that has puzzled firefighters — a wildfire suddenly spreading rapidly without wind, say, or failing to be tamped down by cooler, moist night air. “There may be a general principle that can be applied to every wildfire,” Finney said.


What that general principle might be is still unformulated, so exactly how it might change the way we approach any specific fire remains unknown. But what we do know now is that fire spreads in ways we didn’t realize before. This argues even more strongly for a policy that encourages removal of underbrush and managed or prescribed burns, and for the regulation of communities living at a forest’s edge. The way to make wildfires, and the people living near them, safer is by making peace with the idea that we need to let more of them burn longer.


In June, I toured the Reading Fire’s burn area with Hensel and Klimek. We were joined by Calvin Farris and Robin Wills, fire ecologists with the Park Service; Scott Stephens, from Berkeley; and Carl Skinner, a research geographer with the Forest Service who is highly regarded for both his experience as a wild-land firefighter and his scholarship. Skinner grew up on a farm not far away, where his family regularly set fires to manage their land, until the state strictly limited the practice.


We were 20 yards from the stand of lodgepoles that ignited on Aug. 6 last year; it was too dangerous to walk among the dead trees, which can drop limbs at the slightest breeze. Since it was devastated by the eruption of Lassen Peak nearly 100 years ago, the area has become what foresters call “parklike” — mostly grass, with Ponderosa pines, white firs, some lodgepole pines, wild currants and various species of ceanothus, which elk prefer, sprinkled throughout. It’s as aesthetically appealing and as ecologically rich as any stand of trees in the region (or, for that matter, in any of the undeveloped areas I visited in six states while reporting this article). And it wouldn’t have happened without the fire that followed the volcano’s eruption.


As I listened to them speak, it was evident that there is still much to learn about fire and its effects, which was why several of the top scientists in the country who study fire had gathered here in the first place. But a few conclusions were emerging. Through interventions driven less by fear and more by data and science, it would be possible to get forests closer to the state they were in a century ago, before firefighting policies began to turn them into tinderboxes. But to let — or help — nature run its course again would mean tolerating greater risk, and as Cohen says, we’d have to keep our roofs clean. With each passing year, though, it becomes clearer, at least to those whose interests lie in not fighting ever-larger and more destructive fires, that this is the only sensible course of action.


We talked about the impacts, both ecological and political, of the Reading Fire. The alternative to managing it, Stephens said, was to “kick the problem down the line and have a worse situation later. What the hell were you going to do with this lodgepole-pine bomb? The prescribed-fire budget is being reduced, so we’re forcing fire managers into wildfire management. Then they’re panicking as the season goes on and suppressing any fires that ignite. It takes away the only tool they have.”


Wills said, “If this had been a suppression fire from the outset, we probably would’ve built the same box around it and formulated the same plan.”


The plan later involved using bulldozers to create a number of breaks in the trees south of Old Station as the fire moved north. But to the east, they didn’t need the fire breaks. Lassen Park fire managers had, over the previous decade and a half, conducted a prescribed burn and managed several other fires that, taken together, formed “a nice, continuous solid layer of previously burned areas, which had consumed a lot of the forest,” as Farris put it.


I talked to him days after he first saw data on the severity of the Reading Fire. The forest had been successfully managed, he said, so firefighters confidently allowed the east and northeast flanks of the fire to burn out on their own, while they focused on protecting Old Station, due north. “Had it not hit those treatments” — the places where the prescribed burns were conducted in the past — “it could’ve gone over the ridge into lower-elevation, high-temperature areas,” he said. “But it got to the prescribed fire zone and stopped.”


Wills pointed toward Raker Peak, where patches of trees that had survived the Reading Fire could be seen, indicating that pockets of less-intense flames had passed through. “You look at that mosaic pattern, and it’s exactly what you’d want,” Wills said. “We always struggled over what to do about Raker Peak, then the Reading Fire did it for us. From an incident-management standpoint, it’s an example of success and patience” — even if that’s not at all how the public viewed it.


Wills continued, joking: “If this had been a suppression fire from Day 1, the firefighters would all be getting cash rewards — ‘You saved Old Station, not a single structure was burned, no loss of life.’ The biggest lesson here was not operational or ecological, it was sociopolitical: what we perceived versus what the public perceived. So that’s the place where potential change resides. We’re never going to eliminate fire or fire risk. We have to develop some acceptance. And we’re not going to stop managing fire, no matter how unpopular it is. We’re managing a fire right now, in Yosemite.”


The Rim Fire near Yosemite hadn’t ignited yet — Wills was talking about a much smaller fire, which would creep around harmlessly for several more weeks. When the Rim Fire crossed into Yosemite two months after we spoke, the Park Service didn’t commit any additional resources to it. But the portion of the fire in the park didn’t present any threat, and two weeks later, the entire fire was almost completely contained.


In early September, the fire chief in Ketchum, Idaho, where so many square miles had recently burned, announced he would be “fighting tooth and nail” to ban wood-shingle roofs in his city.


Maybe the people of Ketchum will take his message to heart, and wise and needed change will follow. And maybe this summer, with all the lives and property lost, will mark the time when we began to reckon rationally with fire.

2013年9月19日 星期四

男性衰老,雌激素分泌不足也是關鍵

男性衰老,雌激素分泌不足也是關鍵

這是許多中年男人的痛苦:他們開始有了大肚腩,開始減少健身器械的配重,而且不知為何,沒有了年輕時候的性慾。
一個已經明確的元兇是睾酮,因為隨着時間的流逝,男人產生 的雄性激素漸漸變少。但現在還出現了一個令人驚訝的新答案。醫生稱這個答案會為有關男性身體如何變老的研究注入新的活力。結果證明,雌激素,也就是女性荷 爾蒙,在男性身體中發揮的作用遠大於之前的想像,而且,與女性一樣,雌激素水平降低會導致男性腰圍增大。
  • 檢視大圖 本·艾弗森參與了一項針對20歲至50歲男性的研究。受試者志願讓睾酮停止分泌16周。科學家們正在跟年長的男性身上重複此項研究,以衡量他們的生命力。
    Nathan Weber for The New York Times
    本·艾弗森參與了一項針對20歲至50歲男性的研究。受試者志願讓睾酮停止分泌16周。科學家們正在跟年長的男性身上重複此項研究,以衡量他們的生命力。

賓夕法尼亞大學(University of Pennsylvania)醫學教授彼得·J·斯奈德博士(Peter J. Snyder)表示,雌激素對男性的作用的相關發現是「一個重大進展」。斯奈德博士正在主持一個新的大規模研究項目——針對65歲及以上男性的激素療法。 一直以來,睾酮不足幾乎被認為是導致中年男性出現常見身體不適癥狀的唯一原因。
此項研究涉及一些新領域,比如弄清楚每一種激素對男性的作用,以及不同的激素水平如何影響身體機能。根據《新英格蘭醫學期刊》(The New England Journal of Medicine)周三發表的一篇論文,雖然睾酮水平下降是造成中年男性肌肉萎縮的原因,但雌激素水平的降低管控着脂肪的堆積。該論文提供了迄今為止最具說服力的證據,證明雌激素是導致中年男性遇到麻煩的主要因素。這兩種激素都是激發性慾所需的。
周三,哈佛大學醫學院(Harvard Medical School)內分泌學家、上述論文的第一作者喬爾·芬克爾斯坦博士(Joel Finkelstein)在新聞通稿中表示,「通常被認為是因為睾酮不足而產生的一些癥狀,實際上部分或幾乎完全是由雌激素減少引發的。」
芬克爾斯坦博士的論文只是一系列研究的開端,在很多人看來,這些研究有望讓我們對男性身體中睾酮及雌激素的作用形成一種新的認識。斯奈德博士正在主持另一項名為「睾酮臨床試驗」(Testosterone Trial)的研究。該研究測量兩種激素的水平,並探尋睾酮治療是否能使睾酮水平低的年長男性變得更年輕——使他們走得更快、感覺更有活力、增強性功能與 記憶力,並強化骨骼。小規模研究的結果讓人看到了希望,但並不可靠,而且雌激素還沒有成為考慮因素。
「我們以前忽略了男性身體中的雌激素,但我們現在正在做相 關研究,」華盛頓大學醫學院(Washington University School of Medicine)睾酮及老年病學研究員、退伍軍人事務部皮吉特灣醫療系統(V.A. Puget Sound Health Care System)研究員阿爾文·M·松本博士(Alvin M. Matsumoto)說。「在這方面,我們只是剛剛起步。」松本博士是睾酮臨床試驗項目的研究員。
無論是男性還是女性,雌激素都是由睾酮轉化而來的。男性的 睾酮水平較高,因此他們最終的雌激素水平至少是絕經女性的兩倍多。由於隨着年齡的增長,兩種激素的水平都有所降低,身體會出現一些變化。但迄今為止,研究 人員幾乎只注重研究雌激素對女性的影響,以及睾酮對男性的影響。
芬克爾斯坦博士的研究為兩種激素各自的功能及其在不同水平 下的表現給出了一份新路線圖。結果表明,不同程度的睾酮缺乏會觸發不同的癥狀。他發現,睾酮是肌肉張力和去脂體重的首要調節因素,但維持肌肉所需的睾酮水 平比之前預想的要低。年輕男性的平均水平是每100毫升血清中含有550毫微克睾酮。醫生們普遍認為,低於300毫微克的話就屬於過低,可能需要治療,而 一般的治療藥物為睾酮凝膠。
然而,芬克爾斯坦博士的研究發現,除非睾酮水平降至200毫微克以下的極低水平,肌肉力量與尺寸不會受到影響。不過,脂肪堆積會在較高的水平發生:睾酮為300到350毫微克的時候,雌激素就會降至觸發中年發福的水平。
至於性慾與性表現,兩者均需要一定的雌激素和睾酮,而且隨着這兩種激素水平的上升而穩步提高。研究人員稱,現在距離給出諸多明確建議還差很遠,不過,並不建議男性使用雌激素,因為高劑量的雌激素會導致胸部增大等女性特徵的出現。
芬克爾斯坦博士表示,儘管醫生會為每100毫升血清中睾酮 含量低於300毫微克的男性開出睾酮凝膠的處方,但這種一刀切的標準過於武斷,而且沒有臨床依據。一般情況下,男性使用激素是為了治療疲勞、抑鬱或性慾減 退等癥狀,但它們與睾酮水平低下的關係並不明確。芬克爾斯坦博士稱,數據顯示,睾酮水平在300毫微克的男性如有性問題的話,可以嘗試使用睾酮,但肌肉乏 力的人則不應歸咎於睾酮不足。不過,他還說,「睾酮水平低下的癥狀往往非常不明顯。」
目前有數百萬男性使用睾酮凝膠,促成了一個近20億美元(約合122億元人民幣)的市場。
為了進行研究,芬克爾斯坦博士及同事招募了400名20到50歲的男性。他們志願讓睾酮停止分泌16周。其中一半接受不同劑量的外來睾酮,另外一半則同時使用一種藥物,讓雌激素停止合成。這樣,研究者可以分析在沒有雌激素的情況下睾酮的效應。
芬克爾斯坦博士目前正在更年長的男性身上重複這項實驗。斯奈德博士的睾酮臨床試驗也以年長男性為研究對象。
斯奈德博士及同事招募了近800名年齡不低於65歲的睾酮 水平低下男性。其中一組人用安慰劑,另一組人則用睾酮,使得血清含量達到400到800毫微克之間。研究人員正在測試他們的行走速度、性功能、活力、記憶 力、紅細胞計數、骨骼和冠狀動脈。這項研究為期一年,將於明年完成。
研究者稱,下一步,他們希望開展一項大型研究,和2002年的一次涉及數千名女性的激素療法長期風險與益處的研究類似。比如說,他們想知道,睾酮療法是否會提高前列腺癌風險?能否預防心肌梗塞?
「我們還不清楚這些臨床問題的答案,」松本博士說。「它到底能不能預防一些很重要的東西?」
翻譯:許欣、黃錚

2013年9月17日 星期二

昇鴻科技公司偷排廢水

昇鴻偷排強酸毀紅樹林 被抓包反怨政府「抄家滅族」



▲昇鴻科技公司偷排廢水,造成台灣紅樹林潮間帶史上最嚴重的生態浩劫,16日環保局上門稽查,負責人還嗆說:「這不是什麼大事!」令人傻眼。(圖/新北市環保局提供)
社會中心/新北報導

八里風帆碼頭9月6日出現令人怵目驚心的「陰陽海」,造成保護區內濕地動植物大量死亡,堪稱台灣紅樹林潮間帶史上最嚴重的生態浩劫!新北市環保局16日逮到偷排廢水的元兇昇鴻科技公司,立即勒令停工停業,未料昇鴻負責人反怨政府「抄家滅族」,董事長黃茂達還大言不慚地說:「這又不是什麼大事!」態度惡劣令人搖頭。

新北市府日前接獲檢舉,指有不肖業者排放廢汙水,造成挖仔尾自然保護區內彈塗魚、水筆仔數量銳減。環保局驚覺事態嚴重,派出「陸、海、空」3隊人馬在鄰近區域地毯式清查,經過一個星期不分晝夜的努力,終於找到昇鴻科技偷埋在沙地的排放廢水涵管。

新北市副市長侯友宜16日親自帶隊突擊昇鴻科技,面對稽查人員詢問,昇鴻高層還在扯謊,堅持絕無不法情事,甚至以「商業機密」等藉口阻擋記者進入拍攝。但沒過多久,環保局就在工廠後方水溝中,找到以橡皮軟管另接廢水儲存槽的汙染源頭,董事長黃茂達見苗頭不對,趕緊躲進會議室,派總經理謝汎鐸上陣當炮灰。

謝汎鐸拿著手邊資料喊冤,辯稱都是因為酸鹼貯存槽快滿了,不得已只好接管將廢水排入水溝,但只有排放一天,純粹是員工操作不當的偶發事件。謝汎鐸還說,該公司生產電腦外殼,廢水中不含「鐵」,與八里風帆碼頭「陰陽海」成份不符。

但環保局人員從汙染面積研判,昇鴻科技排放污水至少已有2到3個月時間,現場抽測發現廢水pH值達1.67(圖左/新北市環保局提供),濃度可比「鹽酸」,除依水汙染法裁罰20萬至100萬元罰鍰外,侯友宜當場表示,該工廠污染情節重大,環保局將勒令業者停工停業,廢止昇鴻科技的登記證,未來還將追討其不法利益所得,移送地檢署接續偵辦。

一旦登記證被廢止,公司就形同關門大吉,面對如此重罰,謝汎鐸聽了差點傻眼,痛批新北市府不給昇鴻一點辯駁機會,簡直是「抄家滅族」。


2013年9月13日 星期五

用過期原料生產小泡芙 義美4員工被訴

用過期原料生產小泡芙 義美4員工被訴 【10:52】

新聞圖片
義美公司龍潭廠今年5月驚爆使用過期的原料生產小泡芙。(資料照)
〔本報訊〕義美公司龍潭廠今年5月驚爆使用過期的原料生產小泡芙,桃園地檢署今天依偽造文書罪起訴4名員工。

 桃園地檢署今年5月搜索義美龍潭廠,查扣標示「過期」的原料投料單等,廠方相關人員包括廠長、品管人員、原料單位與生產線至少有4人在被傳訊時,坦承確實使用過期原料。當時報導指出,這批過期原料,已生產144萬盒泡芙。

2013年9月11日 星期三

業務過失傷害罪: 提神飲料卻變成「強酸」

提神飲料卻變成「強酸」,還被老翁喝下肚造成食道灼傷送醫,差一點送了命。警方重回商店再調查,原本以為是千面人下毒,居然是一場大烏龍,商店老闆坦承是自己拿空的飲料瓶,裝了擦皮膚用的酸性「電瓶水」,不小心放進冰箱,被鄰居買走還喝下肚,也因此涉嫌業務過失傷害罪。
  提神飲料被下毒是誰下的,這裡面的強酸液體,又是誰倒進去的。警方重新回到事發商店,從冰箱開始查起,仔細看冰箱裡,除了販售給客人的飲料,裡面居然還有裝剩菜的鍋子,以及裝著菜的塑膠袋,商店冰箱跟自家冰箱一樣,警方開始懷疑,整起意外和商店老闆會不會有關聯。
   真的是客人放的嗎,看看來商店光顧的客人,都是左右鄰居,平常就像這樣,連安全帽都沒拿下來,就走進店裡快速拿了飲料,結帳離開,時間很短,應該不可能 下毒,而且有問題的飲料,警方還發現了另外一瓶,連續兩天,都在同一間商店,發現裝有強酸的提神飲料,反覆問了又問,商店老闆的兒子說了實話,原來都是一 場大烏龍。
  飲料罐裡的強酸,其實是商店老闆用來擦皮膚病的電瓶水,他習慣裝進空的飲料罐,又把他放回商店的冰箱保存,就 這麼剛好被客人買了回去,甚至喝下肚喝出問題,酸性大概PH1跟胃酸一樣。現在真相大白,老闆因為太害怕才會說謊,最後還是被依業務過失傷害移送法辦,而 這原本以為的千面人,其實都只是老闆亂騙人。

2013年9月10日 星期二

Diabetes Epidemic Grows in China 中国糖尿病患者过亿,比例超美国

Diabetes Epidemic Grows in China

中国糖尿病患者过亿,比例超美国

China has the world’s biggest diabetes epidemic, and it continues to get worse, according to the latest study of the disease’s devastating effects on the world’s most populous country, which has risen from poverty to become an economic superpower in 30 years.
一项最新研究显示,中国的糖尿病患病率居于世界首位,而且还在继续恶化。中国是世界上人口最多的国家,在30年里从贫困中崛起为一个超级经济大国。该研究调查了糖尿病对中国造成的灾难性影响。
Previous studies had found rapidly rising rates of the disease, and the newest, published last week by The Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that China has just passed the United States: 11.6 percent of Chinese adults have the disease, compared with 11.3 percent here; in 1980, prevalence was below 1 percent.
之前的研究发现,糖尿病患病率正在迅速提 高,上周发表于《美国医学会杂志》(Journal of the American Medical Association)的前述最新研究则表明,中国的糖尿病患病率刚刚超过了美国:11.6%的中国成年人患有这种病,美国为11.3%。1980年, 中国的糖尿病患病率还不到1%。
The total — 114 million people — means China has about a third of the world’s diabetes sufferers, who are at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. That will put enormous strain on the country’s public health system, the authors said.
中国糖尿病患者总人数达1.14亿,也就是说,全球大约三分之一的糖尿病患者都在中国。糖尿病会增大患者罹患心脏疾病、中风和肾功能衰竭的风险。文章的作者说,这会给中国的公共健康系统带来巨大压力。
Perhaps even more alarming, the study, which involved testing almost 99,000 people, found that half had “prediabetic” blood glucose levels.
或许更让人忧虑的是,这项研究对将近9.9万人进行了测试,发现有一半的人血糖达到了“糖尿病前期”水平。
For unknown reasons, weight gain leads to Type 2 diabetes in Asians at even lower body-mass indexes than it does in whites or blacks.  The average body mass index in the study was 23.7, which is considered normal.
由于不明原因,跟白人或黑人相比,亚洲人体重增加到更低的身体质量指数(BMI)时就可以导致2型糖尿病。本项研究测得的BMI平均为23.7,这个数值通常被认为是正常的。
But obesity is increasing rapidly in China. Experts have blamed many factors: the introduction of high-calorie Western diets and fast food, more travel by car, sedentary factory jobs replacing farm labor, and families who spoil the one child that most are allowed to have.
但是,中国的肥胖问题正在迅速加剧,专家们将它归咎于很多因素:引入高热量的西方饮食和快餐;人们驾车出行的时候更多;久坐不动的工厂工作代替了农场里的劳动;大多数中国家庭都只能有一个孩子,导致长辈对独生子女娇生惯养。

《福島核災後龍門電廠(核四廠)壓力測試評估》

《福島核災後龍門電廠(核四廠)壓力測試評估》

出版刊物 - 2013-09-09
核四電廠爭議不斷,安全問題是核四續建或運轉與否的重要關鍵。原能會在九月底邀請歐盟與歐洲核能安全管制機構ENSREG(European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group)來臺兩週,為核四廠進行壓力測試,預計11月將對核四廠提出改善建議。
綠色和平與綠色公民行動聯盟委託在核能安全與風險管理領域具有20年經驗,參與監督評估歐盟14個國家的核電廠壓力測試的第三方獨立核安專家歐妲.貝克 (Oda Becker)為核四廠檢查。報告結果指出,核四在設計上的弱點以及在結構、系統、組件上的缺陷,面對現存的自然災害,不可能加以改善進而達到可接受的安 全層級。因此建議應立即終止核四計畫,不應繼續興建或取得運轉執照。 
 http://www.greenpeace.org/taiwan/zh/publications/reports/climate-energy/2013/Lungmen-Nuclear-Power-Plant-stress-test-report/
 
 

2013年9月5日 星期四

請進一步研究: 台大教授詹長權團隊研究/六輕10公里內居民 罹癌率暴增4.07倍

台大教授詹長權團隊研究/六輕10公里內居民 罹癌率暴增4.07倍

台塑六輕廠區。 (資料照,記者林國賢攝)
〔記 者劉力仁、林國賢/綜合報導〕環保署昨天召開「六輕四期擴建計畫揮發性有機物(VOCs)洩漏管制因應對策」專案小組會議,環保團體引用台大職衛所教授詹 長權研究報告指出,距離六輕十公里範圍內的全癌症粗發生率,二○○八至二○一○年為一九九九至二○○一年的四.○七倍,且雲林台西及麥寮兩地的癌症粗發生 率明顯高於雲林縣,六輕應該全面停工。
這份「一○一年度沿海地區空氣污染及環境健康世代研究計畫」,由雲林縣政府委託詹長權團隊進行。詹長 權以六輕為中心,零到十公里、十到二十公里、二十至三十公里區域各選取約一千個長期世代居住當地的民眾,檢測尿液,並統計健保資料,結論為六輕十公里範圍 內的居民,體內重金屬、PAH(多環芳香烴)濃度較高。十公里內民眾的慢性氣道疾病粗發生率統計,二○○五至二○一○年則為一九九九至二○○四年的二.○ 一倍,且較同時期十到廿公里、廿至卅公里高。
台灣水資源保育聯盟發言人陳椒華表示,鄰近六輕的麥寮、台西及彰化大城,都測到六輕工業區代表 性汙染物丙烷、丁烷、乙烯、丙烯與致癌性有機苯。六輕廠區近二千座儲槽,六輕改善計畫才提出一百四十五座;六輕燃燒塔共四十多座,六輕也才提出二十七座改 善計畫,難以改善污染問題。
台塑:六輕致癌說法無科學證據
台 塑回應指出,依衛福部資料,全國各縣市罹癌率均呈上升趨勢。以彰化大城鄉為例,一九九九年至二○○九年罹癌率增加四.五%,低於全國平均增加率四十八. 六%。以受空氣品質影響較大的肺癌來說,大城鄉於六輕營運後,增加二.五%,也低於全國平均增加五十二.四%,六輕引發癌症說法並無科學證據。
六輕污染排放加嚴管制 10月實施
雲林縣副縣長施克和表示,環保局已擬定六輕污染排放標準加嚴管制計劃,VOCs排放標準將從環保署原訂的10000ppm,降低至1000ppm,已送環保署核備,預計十月實施,不排除逐年加嚴。此外,也會要求六輕廢水處理必須加蓋,提升處理效能等措施。

2013年9月4日 星期三

新生南路三段這起老舊公寓火警,"Walkie Talkie" skyscraper 凹面鏡溶Jaguar/

"Walkie Talkie" skyscraper 凹面鏡溶Jaguar

 最新消息,今天9.4 凌晨2點多,台北市新生南路三段,有一處公寓突然發生火警,造成一死三傷。

由於事發在黑夜,現場火勢猛烈、警消趕到救援時,公寓三樓有一名男子已經沒有生命跡象,四樓有三名女子被嗆昏,附近住戶在火災當時只聽到劈哩啪啦的聲音,也從睡夢中驚醒,至於詳細起火原因仍有待警消進一步調查。


 今天凌晨新生南路三段巷弄的老舊公寓發生火警,造成一死三傷的悲劇。台北市消防局經過初步鑑識之後表示,起火點是在三樓房間衣櫃,燒損面積約二十平方公尺,不過,起火原因有待釐清。另外,消防局指出,受到嗆傷的三名女子中,二人已經恢復清醒,傷勢比較嚴重的傷者經過急救也恢復心跳。
(杜大澂報導)

有 關新生南路三段這起老舊公寓火警,消防局表示,獲報之後,立即出動前往搶救,同時將一二樓的六位民眾疏散,火勢撲滅後也一一救出受困的一男三女,其中男子 傷重不治,四樓有三名受到嗆傷的女子,二人送醫已經恢復清醒,一名年約五十歲的婦人,一度沒有生命跡象,所幸經過急救也恢復了心跳。
台北市消防局第二副大隊長王耀震表示,三樓房間的衣櫃是起火點,四樓住戶是租屋房客,被濃煙嗆傷。(t)
不過,詳細的起火原因,火調人員將會同警方做詳細的調查。消防局也呼籲,住家應裝設火警警報器,才能在火災發生後及時逃生。



 (中央社記者劉建邦台北4日電)台北市新生南路三段附近公寓今天凌晨發生火警,造成1死3傷;消防局呼籲民眾裝設「住宅用火災警報器」,保障生命安全。

台北市政府消防局說,據資料顯示,北市發生火災地點67%為住宅,57%死亡原因是發現火災後避難太過延遲。像日本推廣安裝警報器後,火災死亡比例下降,美國雷同。

消防局表示,4日凌晨發生在新生南路三段附近公寓火警,起火點是3樓,卻造成4樓的3名民眾遭濃煙嗆傷,其中1人仍插管治療,另2人還未清醒。

消防局第二救災救護大隊副大隊長王耀震說,民眾遇到火災時,勿緊張,先研判火勢和濃煙方向,若在屋內,不要輕易打開大門,會導致濃煙竄入屋內,先以濕毛巾堵住門縫,爭取時間。

他表示,遇到火災時,盡量往房間內空曠地點移動,像凌晨發生在新生南路三段的火警,其中1人疑似因急於逃生,打開大門時,不慎吸入過多濃煙昏迷,「往有新鮮空氣的地點移動,靜待救援」。

他說,民眾在住家內裝設「住宅用火災警報器」,也就是偵煙式探測器,在火災發生初期,有利於逃生、滅火。

消防局表示,「住宅用火災警報器」可至大賣場購買,並裝設在樓梯間、廚房、寢室,要認明產品貼有銀底黑字的「內政部消防署個別認可合格標示」。1020904