[Marxism] Fire on the Mountain
hunterbadbear at hunterbear.org
Tue Jun 12 05:25:07 MDT 2012
At the rate it's been going, this could be about the worst fire season in this country's recorded history. These "explosions" are pure tragedies in the drier Western settings where it can take a few hundred years for yellow pine or cedar or juniper or pinon -- and other trees -- to grow to full maturity. I feel especially and deeply sad personally about the massive destruction in the Gila National Forest/Wilderness Area in southwestern New Mexico. I know parts of that fairly well and, when I was fire lookout/radio man on very remote Bear Mountain in extreme eastern Arizona, the western "edge" of the Gila -- the Mogollon Mountains [Muh-Ghee-Ohn] were literally my next door neighbors to the immediate east and much in my official viewing purview.
The old weather rules are obviously gone at this point. Here in Idaho we've had a warm and dry winter, little moisture this spring, recent days which are intermittently cold with a little snow -- and then abruptly very hot. High, strong winds are frequent. With local variations, this bizarre and unpredictable flukiness is obviously a national pattern.
In normal fire season times in the Mountain West, the dry mid-May to early July period involves man-made fires, usually via carelessness. These almost always are in settings with some road access which obviously facilitates relatively fast action by fire control forces. Again, in normal times, as July proceeds, there's the very significant danger of dry lightning -- sans rain -- which can strike in very remote areas that take some time to reach. Given that, a fire can become very widespread. [The air dumping of fire control fluids -- e.g., borate solutions -- is helpful but no panacea.] Effective fire control still requires adequate numbers of ground troops and associated equipment as primary. Later in July, lightning and rain normally come together and fires develop and move much more slowly. Rain often continues into August and then there can be brief dry periods in the early fall where hunting season can pose some fire dangers.
In this current situation, it's wild weather roulette -- but with virtually every negative force magnified tremendously. In the West, much dry lightning in the context of extreme dryness and exceptionally high winds is already striking out all over -- and there's no rain at all on the horizon.
And that's pure Hell. You don't have to read the Bible these days to get a sense of that.
Hunter Bear http://hunterbear.org/forest_fires_in_the_west.htm
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
Member, National Writers Union AFL-CIO
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