Summer Arrives With a Vengeance

Spring ends with wildfires making people homeless. After the fires are contained and controlled, does it really matter if ignitions were man-caused or the result of “nature”? Actually, there seems to be a “natural component” of human-caused wildfires. We should not be welcoming this “natural” and inescapable component.


This view from an abandoned fire lookout on the Toiyabe National Forest shows a decreased snowpack compared to a “normal” June. The Colorado fires were expected but, the “whatever happens” strategy has once again failed  us humans. There are MANY things we could have done to reduce or eliminate this tragedy but, it seems that some people prefer shade over safety. The Forest Service seems willing to reduce detection services, to save a few pennies.,-104.692841&spn=0.114038,0.264187&t=h&z=13

This view of the Black Forest area shows how very little fuels work was done prior to this year. News footage seems to show that homeowners preserved the trees all around them. The aerial view shows why people wanted to build their homes there. They love their shade! It IS unfortunate that so many people’s homes burned but, there is ignored reality working here.

Similarly, are we really prepared to accept whatever damage or loss to our forest ecosystems? We do know that there will be big wildfires this year, due to weather conditions. Are we willing to let “whatever happens” (including arson, stupidity, auto accidents and any other human ignitions) determine the state of our National Forests? Remember, there ARE people out there who will sue to stop fuels projects that sell merchantable trees.

11 thoughts on “Summer Arrives With a Vengeance”

  1. Well put, Larry. Those who place barriers to proven forest management and refuse to take measures to ptotect their homes place a burden on all of us. And worst of all are literally destroying our National Forests.

  2. Sorry, Larry, but come again?

    A likely human-caused fire burning within the city limits of Black Forest, Colorado and miles away from the nearest National Forest “proves” exactly what about National Forest management? “Anyone….anyone….Bueller?”

    Here’s more real information about the Black Forest fire….not just some more pathetic and predictable excuses to justify more logging of our National Forests.

    • This is a PRIME example of preservationism in action, Matt. It is very clear that residents were unwilling to manage their lands, for fire safety. The parallel to public land is also very clear. “Preserving” fire danger always ends in unintended consequences. Severely burned habitats, whether they are human or goshawk or bull trout, are bad for everyone. Let’s also hear about people with health problems from all the smoke, too! Let’s hear about people in shelters.

      Of course, Matt pulls out an imagined quote, claiming I am trying to “prove” something. I am merely making observations, and you all can bring your own opinions here, too. I’m hoping that fire insurance companies will do onsite inspections, coming up with pro-rated coverages customized for their levels of fuels reductions. Only then will homeowners be able to make educated decisions about their properties.

      It is also too bad you have to resort to insults, Matt. I’m trying to justify “management”, and the word “logging” doesn’t exist in my post. Yes, it is highly predictable (proper spelling, Mr. English Major! [ of course, he corrected his spelling, after the fact!]) that you ignore the multitude of intermediate treatments and compromises.

      • Larry, Actually I just have an English minor….Oh, and I’m in the middle of scraping/priming/painting my neighbors house, so I’m just doing a quick fly-by comment.

        Besides, Larry, what’s this comment of yours supposed to mean in the context of the Black Forest fire burning within city limits and well outside of any National Forest?

        Remember, there ARE people out there who will sue to stop fuels projects that sell merchantable trees.

        Oh, and Larry, since you are saying the Black Forest fire “is a PRIME example of preservationism in action” do you mean that the good people of Black Forest, CO are just like Chad Hanson?

        Seems like you got a lot of moving targets here in this post Larry. Try and try as you might, I’m just not sure how the Black Forest fire proves anything about National Forest management. Thanks.

        • As long as we are putting words in others’ mouths:

          “Oh, and Larry, since you are saying the Black Forest fire “is a PRIME example of preservationism in action” do you mean that the good people of Black Forest, CO are just like Chad Hanson?”

          Do YOU mean that the fires in Colorado are “natural and beneficial”, and should be welcomed as a valuable fuels reducer, regardless of where they burn?!?

          • Larry, you’re the one who made the original post and said the things I highlighted.

            Larry, you’re the one who wrote in a comment, “This [Black Forest fire] is a PRIME example of preservationism in action, Matt.”

            I’m not putting words in your mouth Larry….although you might be putting your foot in your mouth. Thanks.

            • “just like Chad Hanson” are some of the words you are putting in my mouth, Matt. It is very clear that many residents didn’t cut a single tree, in their yards and on their properties. If they won’t cut trees for safety, it is evident that they are fine with “nature taking its course”. Hey, they even broke laws rather than reducing fuels and providing defensible space.

              Does anyone else find it odd that there is little talk about a lack of defensible space, and the tally of burned homes? The residents love their shade and they love their privacy (from other residents). Additionally, there is a video going around where firefighters are burning out the flashy fuels surrounding individual homes. This looks labor-intensive and dangerous to firefighters. We cannot continue to do this as fire season shifts into high gear. Whether it is on public or private lands, it is all about the fuels.

  3. I have to question your reading comprehension, too, Matt.

    Larry, you’re the one who wrote in a comment, “This [Black Forest fire] is a PRIME example of preservationism in action, Matt.”

    You obviously misunderstood my opinion. “This” meant the choice of residents to preserve the fuels around their homes. I wonder if some residents don’t consider green trees to be flammable fuels. I still think I am right about residents preserving the fire danger all around them. Eco-faith-based dogma demands that you embrace the “whatever happens” belief and strategy. I am sure some residents subscribe to that mindset, judging from the thickness of trees in that community. Yes, they look like lodgepoles, ready to burn.

    Yes, I would say that this wildfire is catastrophic, in most people’s books. Again, I say that it doesn’t matter at all whether the fire is man-caused or “natural”. If fuels treatments had been done, the destruction would surely have been less. I’d also say that the two deaths wouldn’t have happened, either.

    Basically, this was a fire bomb, waiting for a trigger. How many other communities across the west are in the same exact situation??? How many communities are surrounded by overstocked and unhealthy tinderboxes, waiting for the inevitable spark???

  4. Of course it was stupid and tragic that this fire burned out so many homes and caused un-necessary deaths.
    This has nothing to do with fuels mgt or thinning on the national forests.
    These people are just ignorant, and the local leaders are not leading, obviously. After the fires and destruction nearby last year, there is no excuse for allowing these “in the forest” communities to continue without strict fire-proofing…and I mean mandatory actions, either paid for by the homeowners and/or the city/county with tax funds.
    Now I wonder what, if anything, will be done NOW, this summer, in these same areas and neighborhoods. Will they just shrug their shoulders and hope for the best, or hope that the firefighters will save them?
    We have city-slickers living in the forest, in the “wilderness” to them,and they have no sense of their situation or hazards.
    They badly need education rammed down their throats. A hefty fine of a thousand or two dollars for those who won’t do what is needed might get their attention.

    • Yes, but it has everything to do with the mindset of this situation. Again, we shouldn’t be preserving fire danger, whether it is on private land or National Forest. Of course, there will be some public lands where nothing substantive can be done, for many reasons. Of course, there will always be public lands that can and should have fuels managed, for many reasons, as well. We will see just how costly the “whatever happens” strategy will be, this summer.

      Better put your seat belts on, because it is going to get bumpy!


Leave a Comment