Posted by: reisendame | September 10, 2007

Fire and Brimstone on Earth

ffire.jpg

We all furrowed our brows in concern over the Greek wildfires last month, but experts for BBC say forest fires in the America West are becoming a bigger threat than ever before. In fact, the fastest growing areas of the U.S. are in places most prone to heat and destruction, places where more than 50 wildfires are raging at this very moment. While forest fires can be a part of the natural process of eventual regeneration, they are now burning hotter and longer, and show no signs of slowing down. They will unavoidably have dire ecological and social consequences. As our communities stretch further into previously unpopulated areas, these fires have and conceivably will continue to swallow up homes and neighborhoods. After 14 firefighters died defending a wealthy neighborhood outside of Aspen, the forest service rewrote their manual, citing that saving lives is ultimately their priority, while property ranked least important on the list. Still, over a dozen have lost their lives since. This loss ultimately may be attributed to the fact that fires are so unpredictable that we can’t possibly foresee just how much havoc one may wreak.

Wildfire on Storm King Mountain: South Canyon Fire Explained

Wildfires in the United States have, for the most part so far, been uncommon in populated areas. However, their increasing presence combined with human movement towards these hot spots sounds like an inevitable recipe for disaster. America is certainly not the only area at risk, however. Fires in other parts of the world, like Indonesia and Australia, have brought critical and life-threatening levels of pollutants into the environment. These ultimately affect the entire global environment. The major problem here is that there isn’t a whole lot we can do to stop a widespread conflagration problem with erratic temperament. The increasing prevalence of forest fires is partially a result of global warming and human activity. At this point, the most we can do is support the Forest Service and increase global awareness of the severity of this trend so we might limit environment-threatening behavior.

Satellite Images of Greek Wildfires

Problems: Forest Fires

National Interagency Fire Center

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Responses

  1. […] is burning… When I blogged about the threat of wildfires in the American West last month, I certainly didn’t expect disaster to strike so severely and […]


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