May 23, 2000 |
Do you like to play with matches? Does fire fascinate you? If so, maybe you ought to apply for a job with the Park Service or the Forest Service. You may not be aware that the recent wildfire in Los Alamos, N.M., is a predictable result of federal forest management and a harbinger of things to come. Federal forest management has allowed dead and dying amounts of wood to accumulate in forests, increasing the likelihood of severe fires, threatening the lives and property of people that live near the forest and damaging the ecological health of forests.
April 5, 1986 |
Just three weeks ago, Sydney Kurtz, an assistant district forester, could not get to fire-lookout towers in Schuylkill County because of too much snow. This week, Kurtz was in those same woods, this time sweating in 80-degree temperatures while helping to combat what he called "a bumper crop" of forest fires. Kurtz said the sudden warm weather has quickly melted the snow and have turned the forest into a tinderbox. On Tuesday and Wednesday alone, flames consumed more than 1,000 acres in the Weiser Fire District, which includes Carbon County, northern Lehigh County, Schuylkill County and part of Berks County.
April 10, 2012 |
Three days after crews battled two suspicious fires that scorched 400 acres in the Pinelands before being controlled, firefighters fought a new wind-whipped blaze on Monday that burned more than twice as many acres and threatened several homes in Burlington County. Michael Drake, acting fire warden for the state Forest Fire Service, said officials had evidence that Monday's blaze was set, as were Friday's blazes in the Winslow Wildlife Management Area in Camden County. He would not elaborate.
November 10, 1987 |
The pall of smoke that has blanketed Philadelphia and much of the Northeast for the last two days is expected to dissipate today as rain is forecast to cleanse the air, meteorologists said yesterday. The pollution has been caused by the smoke from massive forest fires in the South being carried to this region on a huge warm air mass. Southern foresters said the rain anticipated for that area was expected to bring only temporary relief in the battle to control the fires that have destroyed tens of millions of dollars' worth of woodlands in West Virginia, Kentucky and 12 other Southern states.
June 17, 2002
In many ways, Smokey Bear is just wrong. Not the part about "only you can prevent forest fires. " That's right. Humans cause 88 percent of all wildfires, including, it appears, the 100,000-acre conflagration that has charred Colorado for a week. Smokey misleads by portraying forest fires as something to be feared and prevented at all costs. That suppression philosophy, prevalent from the 1940s to 1990s, literally fuels the fires that devastate U.S. forests summer after summer.
August 19, 1994 |
The threat of catastrophic fires, such as those now ravaging the West, will continue to menace the nation's forests for years to come, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service warned yesterday. "It's an accepted fact that past policies got us into this situation. . . . But it will be decades, at least, before we can correct it," said Jack Ward Thomas. Since July 4, about 14,000 fires have burned 1.2 million acres, and more than 400,000 acres are still burning and 20,000 firefighters are in the field.
September 19, 1994 |
On a recent morning, a sound alien to the forest gulch where I live told much about the American attitude toward wildfire. Most of the nation, suburban as it is, has come to accept this sound, the din of the lawn mower. But here in the mountains, it is still a vexing incongruity. Some of us chose to live in the woods almost as visitors. We slipped our houses among the trees and let it go at that, but our houses granted others license the way the first stroke of graffiti opens the way for decay in an urban neighborhood.
May 18, 2010
I remember vividly Miss Havisham, a spinster in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations , who wears an old wedding dress with one shoe on, living in a room covered with cobwebs, with all the clocks stopped at 20 minutes to nine. She hasn't seen sunlight in decades because her heart was broken. I asked my English teacher why Miss Havisham didn't just move on, and she replied, "Self-pity makes a good story. " The devastation on Osage Avenue in 1985 is no different from devastation that occurs every year in America due to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, and earthquakes.
July 1, 2010 |
The pleasant weather Wednesday and Thursday comes with warnings. Wildfires are a worry throughout the entire region - Eastern Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware and all of New Jersey - following a hot June with little recent rain, according to the National Weather Service. Last week, several forest fires burned about 1,300 acres in the New Jersey Pinelands. With no rain expected through next Wednesday, the threat could even worsen, with peak fireworks season kicking in as the heat returns.
November 8, 1991 |
Smoke from more than two dozen forest fires sparked by arsonists and careless hunters in West Virginia drifted as far north as central Pennsylvania but was pushed back by shifting winds before reaching Philadelphia. "From what I heard, southerly winds ahead of the cold front pushed it up as far as central Pennsylvania," said Joe Hasko of the National Weather Service office in Philadelphia. "Once the front went through, the winds turned around to the north and northeast, pushing it south and southeast," Hasko said.