Flame On

Time once again to start that annual outing to your family’s favorite vacation spot. If your family is anything like mine, then that spot is a campground. And like every year we have to be careful about the use of fire.

Here are some simple – rules to follow: use the regulation burn areas for fires, never leave a fire unattended, put out your fire by adding water, stirring, adding more water and stirring again . Continue until you can touch the ashes with your bare hand and not get burned.

With that said …

Wildfire season is here and this season promises to be one of the most explosive seasons on record. We had a late, rainy season, creating new vegetation. Unseasonably high temperatures have followed this, which has dried out that vegetation.

One strike from a thunderhead, one carelessly tossed cigarette butt, one spark from an exhaust pipe and there will be a wildfire. This will cost thousands, if not millions of dollars this year throughout the western United States.

Prior to the crossing of Prairie Schooners , the native populations that lived and thrived on the plains used fire as a tool. They would set fire to the grasslands to help control the over growth of grasses and wild life.

This activity is also reported to have occurred in the desert areas on the United States as well as the forest lands. It is still used to a lesser extent by the forest service and other agencies to help curtail wild land fires. It is commonly called ‘Controlled Burning.’

But what happens when a fire starts high in the mountains, say by a couple of misguided hikers? The Forest service and other agencies move in and attempt to stop the fire before it completely burns the woodlands down.

This is a waste of time and money!

Firefighters should immediately move to protect homes and businesses in the area and the fire should be allowed to burn its self out. It will eventually do exactly that.

Tree-huggers everywhere are gasping for air at the suggestion that a fire should be allowed to decimate an entire forest. They are crying out, “What about the birds, the plants and the animals that cannot escape?”

They will escape, or enough of their kind will escape and they will repopulate.

When Mount St. Helens erupted over two decades ago, scientist and environmentalists both proclaimed that it would be dead zone for at least a hundred years. Some one forgot to tell that to the deer and bear that popular the area as well as the trees that are growing and the new grasses that have sprouted since that catastrophe.

Let us all save some green this fire season.

First, be careful with fire. Second, firefighters should protect homes and businesses first. Lastly, let wildfires burn wild.

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