Treehugger has this post on this year’s west’s belt fire predictions. Kinda scary.
The Burn Belt: Fire Predictions ‘Out West’
by Tim McGee, Los Angeles on 05.17.07
To match what we have been seeing ourselves, The U.S.D.A. Forest Service and Oregon State University researchers are predicting the Western U.S. is in for a ‘fairly severe’ fire season this year. The widespread drought throughout the region, along with 50 years of moderate weather have left large quantities of dried biomass, often called ‘fuel’. Efforts to reduce biomass through thinning have been talked about for years, but no large-scale efforts have evolved to counteract the matter. There may be some nasty fires this year, and the research points specifically to the American Southwest, including California, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Great Basin. But, don’t feel bad– there is a lot you can do. If you live ‘out West’, a good idea is to clear brush from around your house, and contact your local fire department for other prevention techniques that fit with your area. If you live East of the Rockies, you don’t have to worry as much (about the fire at least), as it is expected to be a wetter than normal year ‘back East’. Scary Beautiful Photo Credit to John McColgan BLM Alaska Fire Service.:: OSU News