The link above will take you to an article written by an Australian fire fighter who witnessed the devastating 2009 wildfire season in Australia and had concerns about how those fires were mismanaged and how they seemingly caught everyone off-guard. He has some warnings for the U.S. and how we manage volatile fuels and manage wildfire when it occurs. It would be wise for us to read this man's comments and heed his warnings. We do not live in a soft green environment but rather an environment that has burned for as long as there has been fuel, and it will continue to burn. Knowing that this environment we live in is prone to burning what can we do to properly manage our environment and what are the best practices we can take to manage wildfires? Every few years we go through a period where the fuel loads are high, the conditions are dry, and the winds blow - and everything comes together for a big wildfire season. It is unfortunate that when these events occur we are not better prepared. It is sad that many lose homes and some even lose lives. I believe that we can better manage the resources we have to mitigate the damaging effects of these wildfire seasons. The amount of tax dollars that are spent on fighting wildfires and the number of acres burned don't seem to jive. If we were accomplishing our goal would more acres burn every year and would we not eventually see a decline in the number of devastating wildfires? Why do we continue to spend more and more money every year to fight fire instead of being proactive and spending only a fraction of that money on fuel management? We need to be good stewards of the land because what we do on our own land can affect those around us.
I hope you will take the time to read this article.