The above is a photo of the ongoing Robertson Draw fire, located in Montana near the Wyoming border, on the east face of the Beartooth Mountains. The map quadrant is known as “Mt. Maurice,” and I assume that to be Mount Maurice itself.
Over 100 homes have been destroyed, a reminder not to build in the forest interface, says the guy living in the forest interface. Evacuations are ongoing or people are in “pre-evac status,” sitting on pins and needles. Just a few thoughts, if I may:
- Forest fires are emotional events for humans, as so many of us have favorite places, and watching them burn hurts. Part of the problem is that the life of a forest is so much longer than our own lifetime. This area will grow back, just as Yellowstone National Park did. It is now 32 years after the “tragic” 1988 fires, and the place is green and lush.
- Forest fires are caused by hot weather. When it is hot and dry, they cannot be prevented. Certain timber companies like to imagine (they have PR Departments for this purpose) that humans control the forests. In order to get their hands on more lumber, they have invented themes like salvage logging and thinning, all done for the sake of “forest health.”
- If this is a lodge pole forest, as I assume it to be, it is reseeding itself as it burns. Lodge pole pines have cones that are sealed by resin, and when the heat of a fire melts the resin, the seed opens up and if on fertile ground, will grow again.
- Climate alarmists, as always, will tell us that forest fires are increasing in size, number, and intensity. They are, as always, lying. The image bellow, a bit blurry as I scanned it from the book Inconvenient Facts by Gregory Wrightstone, shows that the area burned globally has been in decline since 1910 forward. Even the 1930s, the hottest decade on record, showed less area burned than decades before.
- Our writer Steve Kelly, a lifelong forest advocate, knows all about this, and I hope chips in down below. He knows that forest fires are part of the natural cycle. Just as with building a home on a thirty-year flood plane, building in a lodge pole forest will inevitably mean rebuilding. The woods around our home are doug fir and aspen, an occasional ponderosa, along with lodge pole. Mea culpa, but we are not going anywhere.
In other matters, I went to the website of the Billings Gazette to find out about this fire, and after shutting down the screen in disgust, sent them the following “news tip:”
I came to your website to catch a glimpse of the Robertson fire, and clicked on a video. Right away I was confronted with a one-minute ad, and no way to stop it or bypass it. Then came the popups, flash ups, banner ads, as if the whole screen was on fire. So annoying I had to get the hell out of that website, and find a real news source instead of an ad agency.
Years ago, when popups were a new thing, a national news outlet ran down one of the companies developing them and interviewed a woman, who was advised that the ads were annoying. Her exact words: “Well duh! It’s our job to get your attention.” There was gunfire, she collapsed in a bloody pool on the pavement, and the event was surrounded by wide applause.