American Fire, Tahoe National Forest

I pilfered this awesome photo off of Facebook. Yet another sobering reason why wildfires aren’t good for humans. Meanwhile, there are an unknown amount of new lightning fires this morning, after a night of intense dry lightning. Also, the same conditions will exist for two more days, with a red flag warning still in effect. Here at home, the morning light is orange, due to other wildfires currently burning. This situation feels really similar to to the 2007 fire season, when many fires burned for more than six weeks. We need forests which survive drought, bark beetles and wildfires.


4 thoughts on “American Fire, Tahoe National Forest”

  1. RE: “wildfires aren’t good for humans.”

    If humans (and other species inhabiting planet Earth) need ecosystems that are functioning, then wildfire is part of that. Sure, smoke and ash from wildfires can be a bummer, and unhealthy. Yesterday, it was yet another 90+ day in Missoula (adding to the record total number of days over 90 this year), humidity bottomed out at 16% and the winds gusted from the west at 40 mph and you know what? The West Fork 2 fire, burning through a heavily fragmented, clearcut, logged, roaded, weeded landscape just west of Lolo, Montana ripped pretty good, burning some houses and dumping smoke, ash and charred needles, bark, etc into the Missoula Valley.

    RE: “We need forests which survive drought, bark beetles and wildfires.”

    Regular readers of this blog will recognize that this is Larry’s mantra. But aren’t drought, bark beetles and wildfires natural and essential processes that many ecosystems require to remain “healthy?”

    • Certainly, enhanced mortality, enhanced bark beetles, loss of long-lived forests, etc aren’t very desirable for humans or endangered species. American Indians knew this, and manipulated their local forests to enhance their survival and prosperity. Luckily, modern man can act to manage forests and achieve goals that benefit both man and animals. The last time I looked, we already have plenty of burned lands, bark beetles, dead trees and impacted habitats, due to what you call “healthy”, Matt. There are a great many things in this world that are “natural” but, not at all desirable.

      • Larry: Here are two sat images of the American Fire, which I got directly from the official government’s InciWeb site:

        Yet again the view from above shows that the landscape burning has seen previous clearcuts, industrial logging, roads (and one has to assume noxious weeds).

        So, Larry, when you make a comment such as:

        Luckily, modern man can act to manage forests and achieve goals that benefit both man and animals.

        What are you referring to exactly? Hasn’t this landscape already been “managed” by “modern man?” Sure looks like it….I’m just not sure if it benefited “both man and animals.”

        • Of course, “management” by timber companies definitely differs from what I am proposing, Matt. Your weak attempts to associate me with private timber companies aren’t working! The bulk of this fire is burning in canyon zones on one fork of the American River. Of course, there will be some “slop-over” when the fire makes a run. I was in that area, back in June, and the terrain is pretty extreme. Ridgetops in this areas should have shaded fuelbreaks.

          Note the lack of clearcuts and roads in THIS view of the fire’s locale!


          One might also notice a slice of a previous large wildfire in Matt’s first aerial photo. AND, ironically, the fire is in the area of “Deadwood Ridge”, where I am sure that there is ample “natural” fuels. Remember, it has been 20 YEARS since the Forest Service has used clearcutting, here in the Sierra Nevada!!


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