Liberal Environmentalists, NOT Climate Change Largely to Blame for So Many Destructive Wildfires

At the time of this writing, California is once again being ravaged by devastating wildfires:

“A pair of fast-growing wildfires are raging in California, forcing tens of thousands of residents from their homes and burning some 30,000 acres across the northern and southern parts of the state.”

“The Camp Fire, about 90 miles north of Sacramento in Butte County, has scorched over 31 square miles in Butte County, Cal Fire said in its 7 p.m. PST update. Officials said 15,000 structures are being threatened as 2,289 fire personnel work against the flames.”

“In Southern California, the Hill Fire had charred 15 square miles, Cal Fire said Thursday night. Spurred by strong Santa Ana winds, the Hill Fire flared amid red-flag warnings near Thousand Oaks, which was already reeling after a late-night shooting at a dance bar left 13 people dead, including the suspected gunman.”

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In another report:

“‘Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation,’ Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean said late Thursday. ‘The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out’.”

Paradise is an incorporated city with a population of about 26,000 who have all been evacuated in advance of the fire that has nearly wiped out the entire town.

Misguided environmentalists blame climate change for the huge increase of devastating wildfires, but then they have a socialist agenda they are pushing and fail to understand that they are largely to blame for the devastating effects of recent fires.

I lived in Arizona most of my life and wildfires were a yearly occurrence. For many years, they were easily contained and prevented from spreading. Then things changed and two wildfires got out of control, merged and destroyed over 732 square miles. The Rodeo-Chediski fire came within a quarter mile of my sister’s house and about half a mile from my parents’ house in the White Mountains.

The people in the area blamed the US Forest Service and environmentalists.

The White Mountain Independent published the following post:

Rodeo-Chediski Fire underscored need to thin forest

For years, it was common practice for the Forest Service to clear a lot of undergrowth in many forests and to thin the trees. Then environmentalists complained that the clearing of undergrowth and thinning the forest was harmful to wildlife and forced the Forest Service to greatly reduce or stop the practice. Once the undergrowth was allowed to grow and remain, the yearly wildfires were much harder to contain and spread further and faster than in years past. The reason was that the fires had lots of fuel in all of  the undergrowth. The thicker undergrowth and more trees also made it harder for firefighters to maneuver.

A college classmate of mine worked as a smokejumper during the summer, fighting forest fires in remote areas of the western US. He told me that the more undergrowth and in forests that were not thinned, the harder it was to fight and contain a fire. The heavier undergrowth and unthinned areas helped the fires move faster and cover more ground.

If you check many of the areas in California and other western states especially, you will find that many of these devastating fires occurred in areas that had heavy undergrowth and unthinned forests.

Yes, you can blame socialist driven, misguided and uninformed environmentalists for today’s devastating wildfires that are killing dozens of people and destroying thousands of homes and businesses. It’s not climate change, but those using climate change to push their dangerous and destructive socialist agenda.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

David Jolly
R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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