Saturday, August 24, 2013

24 August 2013 Fires on the mountains

Cassi Creek:  Today is reasonably mild in temperature.  The expected high is to be in the low 80s.  The air is as clear as it gets in the Great Smokies and Southern Appalachians.
          We’ve had a wet spring and summer.  There have been some forest fires but not nearly as many as in the past several years. 
          Look westward and it may seem that the nation is aflame.  Last year the Colorado fires were disastrous.  This year Arizona fires have been lethal. 
          Now the western tier of states is dotted with its annual crop of fires made worse by Santa Anna winds.  California is a desert, made habitable only by bring water from out of state.  Every state west of middle Kansas qualifies as a desert. 
          Many of the prairie grasses have evolved to be dependent upon fire to release seeds for the next generation.  Many of the pines reproduce in the same manner.  When the current fires burn out, it will be time for a new growth cycle.  Unfortunately, human intrusion into these desert regions requires that they must be fought, turned, and extinguished, often at cost of firefighters’ lives. 
          Yosemite National Park is burning now.  It isn’t the first time, and if we don’t allow growth to destroy the park, it won’t be the last.  The scars from the Yellowstone fire are now overgrown for the most part.  Fire on the mountain is not a bad thing unless you own property on the mountain.

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