September 13, 1988
The restorative powers of nature are awesome. Even as fires burn on in Yellowstone National Park, seedlings are beginning to peek through the ashes, and wildlife is grazing beneath still-smoldering pines. Nearly half of the 2.2 million-acre park - the nation's oldest - has been burned since forest fires began raging in July. Yet, contrary to some descriptions, Yellowstone has not been "destroyed. " It has merely entered into a new - natural - phase. Asked what Yellowstone will be like next year as a result of the fires, ranger Bruce Blair explained: "It will be different, that's all. There is no better or worse in this park; there is just change.
April 5, 1986 |
Maneuvering his car slowly down a narrow dirt road, Ron Couch hesitated beside a fire-blackened clump of trees, part of a 43-acre swath of smoldering forest land. "That's where this one started," said Couch, a U.S. Forest Service official, motioning toward a charred pile of trash. The fire - like so many of the more than 1,000 that have destroyed more than 23,000 acres of national and private woodlands in eastern Kentucky so far this year - was believed to have been deliberately set. But after a month-long battle with thousands of forest fires across the central and southeastern United States, firefighters appeared to be gaining the upper hand this week.
March 19, 1989 |
Firefighters contained a windswept blaze yesterday that burned 3,200 acres of forest in the Pinelands area of Burlington County and controlled an 800- acre fire in Ocean County. Ray Holmes, a division fire warden with the state Fire Service in New Lisbon, said that the Burlington County fire, in an unpopulated section of Bass River Township, was declared under control at noon yesterday. Holmes said temperatures in the mid-70s and winds topping 45 m.p.h. had hampered firefighters, who sought yesterday afternoon to burn a strip in the fire's path in order to prevent it from spreading.
May 12, 1986 |
It was a Monday evening about 5:15, and the two fire trucks from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service were doing what they were not accustomed to doing: crashing through the back fences of homes in the elegant King's Grant development in Evesham Township, racing to save homes instead of forest land. They would manage to save most by drenching them with water, but five houses would be badly damaged, one wood-frame home on Kirkwood Court would be destroyed and acres of forest would continue to burn.
November 8, 1987 |
Smoke from forest fires was blamed for a collision between a chartered and a stalled pickup on the West Virginia Turnpike early yesterday in which one person was killed, state police said. "It happened so fast. There was a truck in the road with no lights and the driver tried to swerve to keep from hitting him," said bus passenger Otha Robinson, 49, of Columbus, Ohio. "We went off the embankment and the next thing I know we were just going down the hill crashing into trees and things," Robinson said.
March 5, 2004 |
In the forests and woods of South Jersey, these are the waning days of the season of fighting fire with fire. From Cape May through the Pinelands, state Forest Fire Service crews, as well as private land owners, have been setting controlled blazes to burn leaves and undergrowth that could let a wildfire spread, possibly consuming thousands of acres of woods or homes in its path. It is a defensive measure that one seasoned firefighter said marked "springtime in New Jersey in the pines.
August 13, 2000 |
This year's forest-fire season in the West may be the worst in 30 years. By now, an area larger than Connecticut - 4 million acres - has burned, and more is likely to come before the fire season peaks in the weeks ahead. These fires are not random acts of nature. They are the result of government policy decisions that have backfired. Washington decision makers lost a gamble that the weather would remain wet enough and the winds low enough to avoid looming catastrophic fire. The current wave of devastating fires has resulted from an unnatural buildup of dry, highly flammable excess wood.
November 9, 1987 |
A glance heavenward over the weekend may have brought to mind that old favorite, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. " Smoke from forest fires ravaging hundreds of thousands of acres in Southern states has been carried northeast as far as New England by the winds, but a Philadelphia city health official said it has created little more than a pall of haze and some discomfort locally. "I would say people with severe respiratory problems may experience a little bit more difficulty than normal, but I don't imagine it to be a major health impact," Len Mangiaracina, deputy health commissioner and the city's environmental protection chief, said last night.
July 7, 2002 |
A massive white smoke cloud that moved through the Philadelphia area yesterday, prompting residents to call local fire departments, was indeed coming from a fire - in Canada. The 800-mile-long plume of acrid, chalk-colored haze originated from a large area of forest fires in central Quebec, Dean Iovino, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said. "It's actually a series of clouds that has spread south," Iovino said. The cloud arrived in the area about midday, he said.
April 4, 1994 |
The shaggy brown bear roaming the grounds of Valley Forge National Historical Park on Saturday did little to frighten unsuspecting visitors. On the contrary, children ran up to hug the friendly costumed character and wish him a happy 50th birthday. Smokey Bear has served as the U.S. Forest Service's symbol of fire prevention for five decades. According to a federal survey, only Santa Claus is a more popular children's icon. "I wanted to watch him," said Lars Lee, 6, of King of Prussia.