From the Publisher
The fire season has been said to start in late August or early September. However, this year was different. It started in June when a fire broke out in New Mexico, and moved into Arizona. Another fire broke out in Arizona, killing 19 firemen, the most tragic news of all.
Before the firefighters had time to contain that fire, another one broke out in Southern California, in the Palm Springs area. That fire was hardly under control when still another one broke out near the same area. Then fires raged in a few more areas, all of them within a radius of 200 miles. Hardly a week later, another fire broke out in the Park City area of Utah.
Many homes were lost, and I began to think of the mass destruction we are witnessing. The resources required to fight these fires—both human and financial—are enormous; however, equally as important is the care needed in the aftermath of these fires.
Funds are made available for this work, but usually not enough.
Denuded grounds need covering as quickly as possible, to prevent mudslides and future erosion before the rains come. The sooner this is done, and there can be some growth started, the more it will help slow runoff when the rains do come.
On the East Coast, they’ve experienced rain in excessive amounts. From New York to the Carolinas, to Georgia and into the Midwest, the rain didn’t stop for long. Although hampering work in the field, it did saturate the area, keeping it safe from further flames. We are fortunate that no fires of major proportion occurred in the East.
After the loss of lives and property, what’s really sad about the fires is when you begin to realize how many years it takes to replace trees that have burned. About four years ago, my wife and I took a trip to Yellowstone National Park. While driving through the park, we saw hundreds of trees that were black and stood out like tall sticks; you soon realize that even after 20 years, they are still a blight on the landscape.
My hat is off to the firefighters who fight to contain the fires before they can destroy lives and property. My hat is also off to those in our industry who work to bring those burnt lands back so that it can re-generate for the future.