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.
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.