Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Forest Fire in the Sierra Nevada

During the past few years there has been some intense controversy over the issue of forest fires, especially in Arizona. With the Wallow Fire this last summer and the previously largest fire, the Rodeo- Chediski Fire in 2002, the issues have become extremely divided. The Wallow Fire consumed 817 square miles and more than 30 structures. The damage from these two fires was entirely eclipsed by the tremendous destruction in Texas in 2011. From the beginning of the fire season to October 31, around 27,976 fires had burned 3,959,040 acres (about double the previous record), 2,862 homes (1,939 of which were destroyed over the Labor Day weekend), and over 2,700 other structures.

On one hand you have the indignation and outrage from "conservationists" who oppose all timber cutting and forest thinning projects and on the other hand you have timber industry and those involved in forest management. The controversy is far from over and the fires will likely continue as the climate changes and the drought continues in Arizona.

The above panorama shows a controlled burn in the Sequoia National Park. To see the picture, click on the image.

1 comment:

  1. In some areas, conservationists and timber industry people are beginning to adopt a collaborative approach. The old growth trees that were cut down by the timber industry years ago were much more resistant to fire -- the brushy, spindly stuff that took its place grows much closer together and creates a fire hazard. I hope cooperation will take the place of controversy.