Of course: Colorado wildfires are due to climate change, or something

posted at 1:21 pm on July 2, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Environmentalists aren’t ones to let a good crisis go to waste. Colorado is burning, and as we might all infer from the vociferous insistence of the green lobby, there are few ecological or weather-related disasters that we shouldn’t blame on climate change in some form or another.

Colorado and U.S. Forest Service firefighters are battling the state’s most destructive wildfires ever. Lightning and suspected arson ignited them four weeks ago, but scientists and federal officials say the table was set by a culprit that will probably contribute to bigger and more frequent wildfires for years to come: climate change. …

“We’ve had record fires in 10 states in the last decade, most of them in the West,” said Agriculture Department Undersecretary Harris Sherman, who oversees the Forest Service. …

A study published last monthin Ecosphere, a peer-reviewed journal of the Ecological Society of America, projected that most of North America and much of Europe will witness a jump in the frequency of wildfires by the end of the century, mostly because of increasing temperatures. …

Scientists say they do not have the data to link climate change to Colorado’s decreased snow and rain. But climate change has been linked to warmer temperatures that cause snow to melt earlier and rain to evaporate faster, parching the land, contributing to drought and drying out the vegetation that can fuel fires, said John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas’s state climatologist.

I completely agree with the basic premise of this article — Colorado’s table was set for a monster fire (indeed, much of the West is just a veritable tinderbox waiting to blow). And for the zillionth time, nobody is denying that climate change exists and is happening — I merely find ample reason to not take at face value the politically-motivated auspices of the scientific community in reporting the extent of humanity’s impact and the immediacy of the existential threat. The world has never been a stable place, having gone through periods of warmth as well as massive ice ages, and I find it difficult to believe we’re any more or less close to imminent catastrophe than we’ve ever been before.

It may very well be true that a warming planet is a contributing factor to the arid West’s parched forests and helping to spark wildfires — but just hold on there a darn minute. Let’s not be too hasty to skip over the decades of federal mismanagement and collective ownership that perpetuated absolutely terrible fire-suppression policies that led to overly dry and dense forests that strain the water supply — and nor should we forget the environmentalists who actively lobbied for those policies. If you’re into being a true, knowledgeable conservationist and not just a mindless eco-trendy green lemming, I highly recommend reading this entire piece at PERC:

The extraordinarily difficult job of balancing these competing demands is precisely the sort of thing that bureaucracies are bad at handling. As Malcolm Gladwell notes, these kinds of complex problems are not puzzles (which more information and better education can help solve), but mysteries (in which more information and better education tends to confuse). In the late-1980s, for instance, timber harvesting off national forest land came to a nearly complete halt as a result of court injunctions precipitated in the Pacific Northwest. Litigation by environmentally conscious lobbying groups, specifically over concerns of habitat destruction for endangered species, made large-scale timber harvest a thing of the past. Grazing permits likewise encountered a dramatic decline for similar reasons. Combined with an aggressive thirty-year campaign of actively putting out all fires (is there any more iconic mascot than Smoky the Bear?), these actions led predictably to a dramatic increase in forest-density and ground cover.

Forest density and ground cover is called “habitat” by the green contingent, “fuel-load” by their brown compatriots. And, of course, there is an element of truth in each view, often masking personal preferences and economic agendas. But the point is this: the kind of see-sawing policy shifts which encouraged dramatic, perhaps unsustainable, increases in extractive uses in the early 1980s was followed by dramatic, perhaps unconscionable, reductions in these uses a decade later. These market-insulated policy shifts were not based on good information (which markets are extraordinarily good at projecting), but on politics and the relative power of lobbying those in control. The short-term increases in forest habitat resulting from reduced extraction charged the pan for the tremendous blazes we have encountered in the past decade.

Isn’t it funny how bureaucracies can start off with the very best of intentions, but in the long run, end up bringing about the very results they were trying to prevent? The federal government owns almost a third of the surface area of the United States, and are loathe to sell or lease that land to private uses that would contribute to its healthfulness. Instead, they attempt to steward the land using their own limited knowledge and resources, leading to the type of calamitous environmental degradation we’re seeing in Colorado right now.

The WaPo article does go on to briefly acknowledge the role of environmentalists and the Forest Service in the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires, and even the federal government is starting to wake up and realize exactly what their fire suppression policies have done for the country. But until we fundamentally change how we look at conserving America’s natural resources and begin looking to individuals/private property/free markets to solve environmental problems instead of common ownership/central management, we’re going to be stuck with more of the same. The federal government just isn’t an agile problem-solver, no matter how much the greenies try to pinpoint the blame for everything on climate change — and the beautiful American wilderness is what we stand to lose.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Hmmm… global warming, and fire. Fire is hot… there must be a connection!

Akzed on July 2, 2012 at 1:24 PM

What about D.C. and the downed power… uh, everything?

UnderstandingisPower on July 2, 2012 at 1:26 PM

And Bush.

newportmike on July 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Just wait for the next massively cold and snowy winter, and that too will be blamed on Anthropogenic GW. The arrogance of the greenie lemmings is that they have the answers, and all they need is a few trillion dollars, and they will be like God.

kirkill on July 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM

You posters can respond here as if the article was ‘Of course: DC Area Storms are due to climate change, or something’.

Same deal.

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM

There simply is no man-made Global Warming.

The Great Global Warming Swindle

Global Warming Doomsday Called Off

———————–

Axion on July 2, 2012 at 1:28 PM

When it gets super cold, thats global warming. Oops, what I mean is climate change. Sorry.

newportmike on July 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Of course, this doesn’t help:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday it wasn’t appropriate for conservatives to criticize President Obama over the number of air tankers fighting wildfires across the state.

Speaking to reporters about the fires Wednesday, Hickenlooper, a Democrat, was asked about charges leveled by conservatives online that the Obama administration helped fuel the wildfires by cancelling a contract last year with a private company that provided air tankers to the U.S. Forest Service.

kingsjester on July 2, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Of course it’s goregull worming you ninnies. There were never any “extreme weather events”, heat waves, or massive wildfires before about 1990.
Try to keep up. There will be a test later.

single stack on July 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

The cure for every liberal problem is money, and lots of it.

newportmike on July 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

It’s not climate, it’s weather. Oh, wait — wrong argument. It’s warm outside, not cold.

Prufrock on July 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

That this article doesn’t mention the beetle infestation at all indicates that the author doesn’t know the first thing about what’s going on in CO.

Also, as I and others have mentioned before, CO had a great winter last year with massive amounts of snow. So was that global warming too? Global warming or not, the web winter resulted in huge amounts of vegetation which couldn’t be supported this year and has dried out and exacerbated the fire risk.

Dead Hand Control on July 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Google bans shopping results for ammunition, gun-related searches; plans to ban any search related to weather prior to 1990.

“Its the right thing to do”

BobMbx on July 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Obama’s appearance in Colorado was due to the election.

Ben Hur on July 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Lets see if I can come up with what it MIGHT be? Lightening, campers who’s fire got out of control, illegal alien’s making a fire, or from many months ago on a rop type site saying they wanted to start fires here in the US to suck up funds? NOW any more I missed? gw is so far down the list, not worth putting on the list!
L

letget on July 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM

If gay marriage gad been approved more wedding invitations would have been printed, meaning more trees harvested, meaning more forests cleared, meaning less chance of massive wildfires, so it all goes back to homophobes preventing those in love from mailing out more engraved invites!

That climate must change!

profitsbeard on July 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Scientists say they do not have the data to link climate change to Colorado’s decreased snow and rain.

What decreased snow and rain?

darwin on July 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM

…of course it has nothing to do with Enviro’s never letting people cut old growth! No tinderbox under all of that!

KOOLAID2 on July 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM

That this article doesn’t mention the beetle infestation at all indicates that the author doesn’t know the first thing about what’s going on in CO.

Also, as I and others have mentioned before, CO had a great winter last year with massive amounts of snow. So was that global warming too? Global warming or not, the web winter resulted in huge amounts of vegetation which couldn’t be supported this year and has dried out and exacerbated the fire risk.

Dead Hand Control on July 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

First, let me say this. Before man made the weather change, earth was a paradise climate-wise.

Here is a small list of things that prove or are caused by AGW:

Hotter temps
Colder temps
More rain
Less rain
More snow
Less snow
More clouds
Less clouds

BobMbx on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Stop putting out the fires. Let the forest burn naturally. Stop urban sprawl and reduce the amount of structures in the wildland-urban interface.

reddevil on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

And for the zillionth time, nobody is denying that climate change exists and is happening

Is this a joke?

red_herring on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Let’s not be too hasty to skip over the decades of federal mismanagement and collective ownership that perpetuated absolutely terrible fire-suppression policies that led to overly dry and dense forests that strain the water supply — and nor should we forget the environmentalists who actively lobbied for those policies.

For those of you who’ve read “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” here is further indisputable proof that we are in fact descendants of the “B” ship passengers and crew.

MessesWithTexas on July 2, 2012 at 1:42 PM

What the enviro’s don’t like to talk about is that there is far more board feet of timber in the US right now than ever before. Even before Columbus ‘discovered’ America.

McBaine on July 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

And for the zillionth time, nobody is denying that climate change exists and is happening

Is this a joke?

red_herring on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

What does the climate do but change?

profitsbeard on July 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Weren’t we inundated a couple years ago with stories about THE RECORD LOW winter temperatures?

Was that also caused by global warming? And where are all the KILLER hurricanes that were going to come, one right after the other, following Katrina?

Global Warming. Ain’t nothin’ it can’t do.

GarandFan on July 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

these actions led predictably to a dramatic increase in forest-density and ground cover. Forest density and ground cover is called “habitat” by the green contingent, “fuel-load” by their brown compatriots.

It’s exactly these poorly thought out emotional greenie BS “environmental protections” that are fueling all of these deadly, destructive and costly fires in the west!

Several years back we had a really bad fire on the Mogion Rim here in AZ. All of the small towns hurt by the fire got together and bought ad space on billboards to all roads leading in thanking the “environmentalists” for the destruction!

The problem has always and will always be that these greenies base all of their environmental ideology on emotion and not sound science. In addition their ultimate goal is for everyone to be living back in caves and eating tofu and until that happens they will continue with their ludicrous and damaging agenda!

Liberty or Death on July 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

It’s been said that the Waldo fire might be arson. Which wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Many of the recent fires we have had here in Colorado have been from arson or neglect.

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Why are we allowed to talk about the Religion known as Environmentalism? But not religion as ‘allegedly’ protected in our Bill of Rights?

And talk about blind faith… the fruitcakes that follow the Church of the Au Natural…. remain undeterred even after they are proven to be frauds…again and again.

Repeat a lie often enough

Awesome column right here
You can’t separate politics and religion… nor should you try

deedtrader on July 2, 2012 at 1:48 PM

How do these folks explain the Dust Bowl?

Cindy Munford on July 2, 2012 at 1:51 PM

It’s been said that the Waldo fire might be arson. Which wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Many of the recent fires we have had here in Colorado have been from arson or neglect.

jawkneemusic on July 2, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Ahem…..those are “undocumented climate changers”

BobMbx on July 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM

You can bet that if these forests out west had been owned by, say, Georgia-Pacific that greater care would have been taken to prevent the fires to begin with.

kbTexan on July 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM

What does the climate do but change?

profitsbeard on July 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I believe our friend realized, too late, that if one leaves the anthropogenic part out, it really isn’t fun any more.

a capella on July 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Global Warming caused the Sun to heat up.

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM

If they are willing to arm Mexican drug cartels for the purpose of causing murders that will advance their anti gun agenda, then why wouldn’t they start fires for the purpose of advancing their climate agenda if the premise is accepted that climate change is to blame?

Buddahpundit on July 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM

How do these folks explain the Dust Bowl?

Cindy Munford on July 2, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Bush

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM

And for the zillionth time, nobody is denying that climate change exists and is happening…

Actually, when it comes to Colorado, the temperature trend has pretty much been flatlined since the 1850′s, so, I guess “climate change” is now not only hot and cold, but “the same as it has ever been.”

William Teach on July 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM

SparkPlug on July 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Of course.

Cindy Munford on July 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM

And for the zillionth time, nobody is denying that climate change exists and is happening

Were you on the couch with Newt and Nancy???

DOOF on July 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Global warming is NOT a tax! It’s a penalty.

SailorMark on July 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Another factor may be that rising CO2 levels is increasing the number and size of trees, just as it is increasing world agricultural output.

Nasty stuff, that CO2.

pedestrian on July 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Isn’t it funny how bureaucracies can start off with the very best of intentions, but in the long run, end up bringing about the very results they were trying to prevent?

Actually it’s not funny, it’s sad. Just look what bureaucracies with “good intentions” have done to inner city poor people and the public education system in the “long run.” And they’re still not done. I guess inner city youth unemployment has to reach 75%, maybe then the Left will reconsider their ideology.

visions on July 2, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Of course it’s do to climate change.

It’s just that humans had next to zero effect on that change in climate.

We have to live with what the climate gives us.

PastorJon on July 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Colorado’s table was set for a monster fire (indeed, much of the West is just a veritable tinderbox waiting to blow).

Loggers allowed in would have been thinning and removing the fuel on the ground. It’s called stewardship, and it’s not a new concept, it’s been around for a long long time.

Tree Huggers don’t like loggers, and Colorado has seen their share of an influx of enviro nuts. SEE ELF.

1996/1999
The ELF gained state attention in the state of Oregon in 1996 when they burned down the Oregon Ranger Station. The ELF gained national attention for a series of actions which earned them the label of eco-terrorists, and one of the top domestic terror threats in the United States. This came after the burning of a ski resort in Vail, Colorado, on October 19, costing $12 million.In a communique to the press, the ELF said:

They have been caught spreading exotic scat on private property in Colorado to stop development.

Playing into the Enviro Nut’s narrative by repeating their talking points is pretty predictable Erica, I am guessing they are counting on you repeating their propaganda.

I remember it was a few months ago that the warning was Al Qeada was planning on setting wild fires in the west as a form of terrorism. I wonder if ELF was paying attention to that DHS meme?

DHS Warns Al-Qaeda Is Planning Large-Scale Wildfire Attacks
Posted by Alexander Higgins – June 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm -

Dr Evil on July 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM

The fires have more to do with the idiotic policies of the Forest Service and the huge overgrowth of underbrush we have than it has to do with Global Warming. This is a man made disaster, man made in that small fires were not allowed to burn of off the underbrush. Now we are paying the consequences for those short-sighted environmental policies.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on July 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

What the enviro’s don’t like to talk about is that there is far more board feet of timber in the US right now than ever before. Even before Columbus ‘discovered’ America.

McBaine on July 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Yepper. Environazi to Conservative translator:

Old-growth forest = ready-to-harvest timber

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Well the real question is what environmentalist PREDICTED the wildfires? As all of us “science-hating” conservatives know, according to the scientific method, you must make predictions in order for the hypothesis to become a theory.

For the climate, you have 2 choices really, develop your own environment with everything the Earth has, rain, oceans, clouds, spinning on an axis, seasons, day/night, deserts, tundras, animals, plants, etc. OR make your prediction on the actual world. They made a prediction that the average temperature of the Earth would continue to drop and we would enter a ice age… they were wrong. Then they said the EXACT same thing that would cause an ice age would cause the earth to gradually warm every year. They were wrong again so they started calling it “Climate Change”. Now they claim that anytime weather occurs anywhere on Earth, is proof they are right??? C’mon, that is just stupid! Make a prediction on the weather if you think you can. Don’t try to point out everything that happens as proof after the fact. Liberals are such idiots, I can’t even stand talking to them anymore.

jeffn21 on July 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Ok guys, lets play a game.

First we’re going to cut two LARGE logs out of the bottom of a tree.

Then we’re going to prepare the “global warming” test.

We’ll raise the humidity in one log 10%, and cool it 5 degrees. that’ll be my log to burn, you’ll get the warmer drier one.

Then we’ll try to set a fire using a bow and a stick (it’s do-able, I’ve done it before).

Ohm, and since forest management, underbrush, etc. don’t count; I get to use tinder when starting my fire; and you don’t. You have to set the log on fire without tinder; but that’ll be easier because it’s slightly warmer and drier and that’s all that matters; right?

We’ll see who gets their log burned fastest. Your slightly warmer slightly drier log; or my tinder fueled fire.

Anyone want to bet if “climate change” has a larger effect on this than tinder/forest management, and proper forest maintenance?

Do we even have to have this experiment? I know I can start a bow-fire with tinder; and I know I can not start a bow-fire without tinder… tinder makes a huge difference in the spread, expansion, and movement of a fire.

Why not accept that we screwed up our forest management to the point where we’ve got forests designed to burn easily even if we had a bit more humidity and a temperature a few degrees cooler?

Or if that is unacceptable I’m willing to have this “test” done so you can “prove” that global warming really is more important than anything else.

I’d wish you good luck with that; but lets be honest, even luck couldn’t help you win that challenge.

gekkobear on July 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM

I live southwest of Denver about equidistant from the the High Park, Waldo and Treasure fires. I can attest firsthand to the stupidity of current forest management environmental policies. The foresters at the USFS understand the issue, but are just tired of battling the environmentalist ninnies.

FerdtheMoonCat on July 2, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I see they didn’t mention the tremendous amount of pine beetle kill in the Colorado Rockies. The Rocky Mountain West was just a big tinderbox waiting for a spark to set it off.

lfwest on July 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

environmentally conscious lobbying groups, specifically over concerns of habitat destruction for endangered species, made large-scale timber harvest a thing of the past

don’t the fires damage the endangered species’ habitats, too..?

affenhauer on July 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

The foresters at the USFS understand the issue, but are just tired of battling the environmentalist ninnies.

FerdtheMoonCat on July 2, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I agree. I know some forest and park rangers and they all say… you can call them conservationists but never environmentalists.
They have all battled both the enviro nazis and their PC ninny bosses and politicos to no avail. The boots on the ground, so to speak, are capable and sane, but they’re fighting a losing battle.

Deanna on July 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Well the real question is what environmentalist PREDICTED the wildfires? jeffn21 on July 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Maybe they could predict them, because they set them? Just spit balling, but ELF is active in Colorado. They have been called by our own government as the biggest domestic terrorist threat that exist in this country. Eco terrorist wouldn’t have a problem with burning down suburban sprawl.

Dr Evil on July 2, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Remember, climate and weather are two different things…..unless they can both be used to support the warmist theology.

jnelchef on July 2, 2012 at 2:37 PM

don’t the fires damage the endangered species’ habitats, too..?

affenhauer on July 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

They use endangered species only as a tactic to force their agenda on private property owners. These people should not be confused with flakes like Darrel Hannah.

Dr Evil on July 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Crap, I heard the moon is actually ORBITING the Earth. It HAS to be because of global warming/climate change/phrase of the day.

You all must go out and start driving electric vehicles now.

Now. You heard me, GO!

Wolfmoon on July 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I blame Lassie.

Woof woof…woof wooof woof…woof!

“There’s a fire? And its coming this way? And there’s a baby deer stuck on the train track about to get run over and then burn up in the fire? Gosh Lassie…you sure are terrific!”

BobMbx on July 2, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Dr Evil on July 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Evil, that’s exactly the point I was making in my earlier comment.

They have been caught spreading exotic scat on private property in Colorado to stop development.

Dr Evil on July 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Reminds me of the movie 28-days when those “do-gooder animal rights activists” set the infected chimps free…the first one to die was one of the animal rights activists…then quickly followed by the death of nearly the entire population!

As I pointed out earlier environmental, animal rights, and 99% of lefty activists base all of their actions/decisions on emotion and not sound science and that leads to making things worse not better!

A great example of that is when the greenies forced gasoline manufacturers to use the additive MTBE in gasoline to make it burn cleaner only to find out years later MTBE was polluting the ground water as MTBE is extremely micible with water! Prior to being forced by the greenies to find an additive the gasoline manufacturer’s wanted more time to find a suitable additive but the greenies sued them as they thought the “evil gasoline companies” were just stalling, but in reality the gasoline companies just wanted more time to ensure they were using the right additive that wouldn’t cause more harm.

What’s the saying, the road to destruction and suffering are paved with “good intentions?” Seems to me the left have the market cornered when it comes to these supposed “good intentions” that more times than not lead to failure, suffering and destruction!

Not only is liberalism a mental disease…liberals are emotionally stunted/damaged!

Liberty or Death on July 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Over 20 separate fires set in a 7 day period in Colorado Springs and they claim global warming is to blame? I just spent the last week in Colorado Springs covering the fires. Apparently the author has never been there though. The area is considered high desert, a lot of the trees are dead because of beetle infestation killing them. Warm dry temperatures in high desert? That article is seriously stupid.

Logboy on July 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM

The Federal Government owns this hook, line, and sinker. They are the poorest managers of the People’s lands that there could be. Time to push for the lands to be returned to the states, who have actual interest in preserving them for their citizens.

djtnt on July 2, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Fire is no threat to the American forest. Fire is its friend. I’m happy to see the current wildfires.

thuja on July 2, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Liberty or Death on July 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Some of it isn’t even done because of good intentions. They are drawn/attracted to extreme groups like ELF so they can act out their adolescent rage on society. It’s an outlet for them to be destructive. ELF for instance is a highly destructive terrorist group.

Dr Evil on July 2, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Little known fact.

Not only does logging decrease the chance of these monster forest fires from occurring, but its good for the wildlife population as well. When trees are cleared, you create patches of land where for the first time in decades, significant sunlight is actually reaching the ground. This results in an explosion in growth of grasses, saplings, and various smaller plants, that herbivores thrive on.

So long as the forest isn’t so thoroughly logged as to remove underbrush for cover, the logging will increase the size and relative health of most game animals, which in turn benefits the rest of the food chain in general.

WolvenOne on July 2, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Heres an excellent WaterBombing Run,aboard a C-130!

Ride-Along in C130 with Wyoming ANG Aerial Firefighting Crew
*************************************************************

Incredible Aerial Footage Of Fight Against Colorado Wildfires with Radio Chatter included. Watch as these big C-130′s line up in attack positions behind the spotter aircraft.

Cockpit footage of fire retardant drops in an effort to aid in the fight against the Colorado wild fires. You won’t get much closer to the inner workings of aerial firefighting than this, unless you join the Air National Guard.

The
Department of Defense provides firefighting support for the Colorado
Springs area. Members of the Wyoming Air National Guard from the 153rd
Airlift Wing, and airmen from the 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air
Force Base, prepare specially equipped C-130 aircraft with the Modular
Air Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS), to spray fire retardant onto the
wildfires.
Added: 3 days ago Occurred On: Jun-29-2012
Video(8:32)
===========

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=854_1340962078

===========================================

canopfor on July 2, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Global Warming caused brain fever, which in turn caused someone in the community to commit arson.

kenny on July 2, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Of course: Colorado wildfires are due to climate change, or something
==============

**************** Its Da Sun **************************!!

canopfor on July 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Some of it isn’t even done because of good intentions. They are drawn/attracted to extreme groups like ELF so they can act out their adolescent rage on society. It’s an outlet for them to be destructive. ELF for instance is a highly destructive terrorist group.

Dr Evil on July 2, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Agreed, that’s why I put “good intentions” in quotes…

Liberty or Death on July 2, 2012 at 3:18 PM

The cure for every liberal problem is money, and lots of it.

newportmike on July 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

More precisely…Other People’s Money.

(like…yours…and mine…..but not theirs.)

Solaratov on July 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Agreed, that’s why I put “good intentions” in quotes…

Liberty or Death on July 2, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I don’t think the FBI would be Investigating if there wasn’t a strong suspicion that this was a man made disaster.

Dr Evil on July 2, 2012 at 3:38 PM

If they are willing to arm Mexican drug cartels for the purpose of causing murders that will advance their anti gun agenda, then why wouldn’t they start fires for the purpose of advancing their climate agenda if the premise is accepted that climate change is to blame?

Buddahpundit on July 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM

It’s all for the greater good, don’tcha know.

Solaratov on July 2, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Buddahpundit on July 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Yeah, but maybe all the fires contribute to global warming, too…

affenhauer on July 2, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Bad News,and Prayers to the crew!

A C-130 was lost today.
________________________

SD fire slows, but toll includes tanker crash
*********************************************

Posted: 07/02/2012 05:00:11 AM MDT
Updated: 07/02/2012 12:12:15 PM MDT
The Associated Press
*********************

EDGEMONT, S.D.—An overnight thunderstorm slowed the advance of a wildfire in southwest South Dakota, bringing a moment of respite just hours after an air tanker fighting the blaze crashed with six people aboard.

The White Draw Fire on Monday was holding steady at about 6 1/2 square miles, about 30 percent contained, fire spokesman Brian Scott said. The storm didn’t bring much rain but high humidity caused grasses to burn slower, and fire activity was “really subdued,” he said.

No people or livestock had been harmed by the fire that was sparked by a vehicle Friday afternoon in the Edgemont area, about 80 miles southwest of Rapid City. However, an Air Force C-130 plane crashed while fighting the fire on Sunday.(More…)
=========================================================

http://www.denverpost.com/wildfires/ci_20988921/officials-id-plane-that-crashed-sd-forest-fire

canopfor on July 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Can someone explain to me why in some of those neighborhoods where about 90% of the houses are ashes, even some of those very lots are surrounded by nice green trees? How were they less susceptible to fire than the houses? Do building codes there allow less-than-appropriate building materials?

slickwillie2001 on July 2, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Well, I’m sure Mitt and Boehner fully support human caused global warming. Is there any dissent on this?

Mr. Arrogant on July 2, 2012 at 3:55 PM

A couple of years ago a family in Australia was successfully sued by their govt. environmentalists because they had cut down trees and brush surrounding their house. They did so as a firewall. A year or so later there was a fire in their community burning up the trees and brush. Their house was the only one in the neighborhood that did not burn down.

hadsil on July 2, 2012 at 3:55 PM

don’t the fires damage the endangered species’ habitats, too..?

affenhauer on July 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

That’s called “natural habitat management“.

Solaratov on July 2, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Stop putting out the fires. Let the forest burn naturally. Stop urban sprawl and reduce the amount of structures in the wildland-urban interface.

reddevil on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Fire is no threat to the American forest. Fire is its friend. I’m happy to see the current wildfires.

thuja on July 2, 2012 at 3:05 PM

There are some seriously ill people running around here.

Solaratov on July 2, 2012 at 4:17 PM

The government is an expert at incompetence. Trusting it to do anything right is a fool’s quest.

woodNfish on July 2, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Stop putting out the fires. Let the forest burn naturally. Stop urban sprawl and reduce the amount of structures in the wildland-urban interface.

reddevil on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Fire is no threat to the American forest. Fire is its friend. I’m happy to see the current wildfires.

thuja on July 2, 2012 at 3:05 PM

There are some seriously ill people running around here.

Solaratov on July 2, 2012 at 4:17 PM

No, they are mostly correct Solaratov except thuja’s comment about the wildfire which is just plain stupid. If more small natural fires were allowed to burn the underbrush and dead vegetation, we would have fewer large-scale wildfires.

The government can’t manage jack-sh*t and the wildfire proves it. They are completely incompetent and always have been.

woodNfish on July 2, 2012 at 4:25 PM

thuja on July 2, 2012 at 3:05 PM

These kinds of wildfires are a threat to the forest. Not all fires are created equally when it comes to trees. These are extremely hot fires that are burning the trees themselves. The kind of fire you are thinking of burns more quickly and at lower temps taking care of the underbrush and seeds that require a fire to release them.

chemman on July 2, 2012 at 4:37 PM

News Flash! The northern hemisphere gets hot in summer.

MTinMN on July 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM

woodNfish on July 2, 2012 at 4:25 PM

I understand that some small -operative word: small - natural fires are necessary to efficient forest management — but that’s not what they are advocating.
Reddevil wants to put trees ahead of human habitation – or life; and thuja is operating out of some fantasy world where fire is some magical purifying agent of Gaia.
And, the “environmentalists” are opposed to controlled burns. Evidently, it’s all or nothing with them.

Solaratov on July 2, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Too many comments I would like to respond to, so I can’t quote all of you.
I’ve lived in Colorado Springs for 30 years, and watched much of the Waldo Canyon fire from my deck. Here are a few relevant points to consider:
1) The fire started on a hiking trail (no camping) away from the road, so it was either intentional or some idiot throwing a match or cig. Some idiot has been running around the area setting fires – so we know some of them are arson (he should be shot).
2) The 346 houses burned in the Waldo fire were due 60+ mph winds that kicked up and blew the flame and burning embers over a ridge and down into the residential areas – at times hundreds of yards, so some houses burned while surrounding houses survived, and due to fire fighter efforts some houses were saved while others around them burned. The firemen did what they could – and did a hell of a job – but just couldn’t save everything due to the way the fire flew and jumped.
3) The Rocky Mountains have thousands (if not millions) of acres of dead pine forest due to the pine bettles.
4) Because of enviro-wackos, very little logging, or underbrush clearing can be done to thin the “fuel”, and we can’t use chemicals for the pine beetles.
5) One of the Boulder area fires a month or so ago (1 dead) was from a state forest service “prescribed burn” that was not put out properly and flared back up a couple days later.
6) Some of the fires are lightning caused – Colorado is second only to Florida in annual lightning strikes. See other comments as to why the fires are taking off the way they are this year.
7) This is NOT climate change. Colorado has had alternating droughts and wet years, hot and cool years for the 30 years I’ve been here. That’s annual weather change due to el nino, la nina, and many other factors.

dentarthurdent on July 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM

BTW – this past winter in Colorado was very dry along the front range. Some areas in the mountains got a lot of snow early on, but down along the front range we got almost nothing. That means everything along Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo is extremely dry this year, while some areas up in the mountains have more moisture. The weather is often very different between the mountains (ski areas) and the front range.

dentarthurdent on July 2, 2012 at 5:29 PM

I think it was Clinton who prohibited new roads in national forests. True, roads are not used to fight forest fires; we use the air fleet Obama cut for that. But roads are essential in order to thin forests of dead wood. Without them, dead wood builds up, turns to kindling and makes the next fire an inferno.

Laurence on July 2, 2012 at 5:35 PM

I think it was Clinton who prohibited new roads in national forests. True, roads are not used to fight forest fires; we use the air fleet Obama cut for that. But roads are essential in order to thin forests of dead wood. Without them, dead wood builds up, turns to kindling and makes the next fire an inferno.

Laurence on July 2, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Actually the roads ARE used to fight the fires. First the roads allow the fire fighters quicker and easier access to wherever the fire is; and second, the roads themselves form a basic fire line on the ground. In order to stop the Waldo fire, they are essentially plowing a bunch of dirt roads as fire breaks all over the place – most visibly on the Air Force Academy grounds.
The rest of your comment is dead on.

dentarthurdent on July 2, 2012 at 6:05 PM

HERE’S WHAT REAL SCIENTISTS SAY:

Fire occurrence is strongly tied to interannual drought conditions and is associated with cycles of ENSO. Fire events tend to occur in years of reduced moisture availability (La Niña years) and are often preceded by 2–4 years of increased moisture availability (El Niño years). http://is.gd/m7YJ0H

From “Climatic and human influences on fire history in Pike National Forest, central Colorado” (Think #WaldoCanyonFire) by Joseph A Donnegan, Thomas T Veblen, Jason S Sibold

…btw this is a La Nina year…

The fire record for the Western US is pretty well documented in virtually every forest…these fire histories go back several thousand years in some cases. From damage to tree rings, they can tell how often fires happen, how intense the fires are and how wide spread the fires are.

There’s nothing new nor unusual about the Colorado fires other than than that they confirm what we already know
1. Big Fires happen in La Nina Years
2. Fire Suppression from 1920 – 1990 has been a disastrous policy and we will continue to have big fires in the West until fuel loads and diseased forests are burned off.

Afterseven on July 2, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Afterseven on July 2, 2012 at 6:48 PM

You got it. Bottom line being – nothing unusual climate-wise.

I was also a bit disturbed with the comments from some of the government people when the Waldo fire took off last Tuesday – things like “unexpected” or “unprecedented winds”. We get 60mph wind gusts here on a fairly regular basis – they should have been very expected and should not have been underestimated. I live about 5 miles (straight line distance) straight east from the neighborhoods that got burned and we have burned pine needles all over my neighborhood.

dentarthurdent on July 2, 2012 at 7:07 PM

And for the zillionth time, nobody is denying that climate change exists and is happening

Most posters need to read the entire paragraph. Erika is right.

The climate has been changing, daily, weekly, monthly, ye…. for over 4 billion years. We have been here for but a blink of the eye in the history of the earth. Yet some people are so arrogant to think that we have control, except very locally, over the climate, Yeah Right.

1791 on July 2, 2012 at 7:08 PM

JBoxleyNBC tweeted:

Photo of damage from Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs – @JBoxleyNBC

Submitted 18 mins ago from twitter.com by editor

https://twitter.com/JBoxleyNBC/status/219936194555953152

canopfor on July 2, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Complete bunk.

The main cause of these monster fires is fuel buildup because the enviroNazis stopped responsible management of the forests. We used to thin regularly, as well as aggressively fight pine beetle infestations. That all stopped in the 60s. Now the buildup is critical so since 1996 and the Buffalo Creek Fire, we’ve been having these monster fires. The largest fire before that fire was around 3,000 acres.

Colorado is a semi-arid state. That means “like a desert”, we get very little rainfall. Under those conditions, we should only have 4-5 Ponderosas per acre in the Red Zone when we have far more than that now. We ALWAYS have a week of 100+ degrees in the summer, usually the 3rd week of June. We ALWAYS have a week of below zero temps, usually the 3rd week of January.

Despite Hickenlooper and his “unprecedented weather” comments, this streak didn’t even break the record, a tie between a year in the late 1800s and another more recent year. That’s despite official temps being recorded at different places over the years. Early on, it was downtown Denver. Then it was Stapleton Airport. Now, it’s DIA.

The reason these fires are more destructive is that more and more people move here and like to live in the Red Zone, basically the foothill areas that provide a mountain lifestyle with an easy commute into the cities. The Red Zone is called that because that’s where most fires are happening. It’s drier and warmer than the higher forests with daytime temps close to those of the cities. We also get high winds in those areas which exacerbate fires. Most people are unaware of the dangers of living in the Red Zone, and like most people, like to have their homes in the trees. However, even with fire mitigation, when the wind blows 65 mph, nothing can save your home. Embers are thrown 1-2 MILES in front of the fire. Firefighters can’t build fire lines 1-2 miles deep. They do what they can and hope the wind changes so the fire blows back on itself and goes out. There should be a picture of fire-destroyed homes and a waiver included in every home sale in the Red Zone.

There is no clause anywhere in the Constitution that allows for Federal ownership of state lands. Most of the West is now owned by the Feds while most of the eastern states are not. All open lands in the West should revert to their respective states for proper management of the land. Each state is unique and no bureaucrat in DC can understand what’s involved in managing these lands.

Common Sense on July 2, 2012 at 8:13 PM

They spouted the same nonsense when the typical 2 weeks of ‘winter storms’ hit SoCal and wipedout the Malibu canyon homes…that had been built next to canyons full of fuel (destroyed by oct/nov santana fed fires) and building of the mansion’s led to the destruction of acres of ground cover…preceding to the february mudslides…

…duh…

socalcon on July 2, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Common Sense on July 2, 2012 at 8:13 PM

If only more politician idiots understood these things that us normal people all see and understand – and were willing to do the right thing. But it most disturbed me that a lot of the fire fighting team or the Waldo fire didn’t seem to understand it either.

dentarthurdent on July 2, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Let’s specify something: warming would contribute to these fires not a whit. Raising the global (or even local) temperature by 0.1 or 1 or 5 or even 10 degrees Farenheit will not make fires begin, nor spread, more easily. Green (standing) wood will burn if a flame is applied at about 250C; at that point, we don’t have to worry about rising seas anymore, as they will all have boiled away. If you want it to spontaneously combust, I’m seeing numbers from 450C to 600C.

If “global warming” has anything to do with this, it could only be due to long-term drought. Since someone else pointed out that CO got plenty of snow this winter, that seems unlikely. (TX, on the other hand, does have a drought situation; but that’s more likely due to it being TX than to GW.)

GWB on July 3, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Most of the West is now owned by the Feds while most of the eastern states are not.

Common Sense on July 2, 2012 at 8:13 PM

More and more of the eastern states, too, are being taken over – often as “historical” sites or ‘unique’ bio-habitats.

GWB on July 3, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Another way of seeing the global warming issue: Too many sinners. Hell is hot. In a Lovecraftian vain, sinning summons the Devil. Hence, Hell on Earth. So, if we get rid of demon-summoning-sinners (liberals, commies, pinkos, and death cults) we’ll get rid of global warming.

TwilightStruggler on July 3, 2012 at 4:56 PM