Man Haters Strike Again
Environmentalists--who value wilderness over man--appear to be largely responsible for the fires currently raging here in California. Refreshingly, a mainstream media article actually points this out:
Some critics suggested that protests from environmentalists contributed to the disaster, which came after the brush was allowed to build up for as much as 40 years.A university professor, who lives off of our tax dollars, had this to say in rebuttal:
"This brush was ready to explode," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, whose district overlaps the forest. "The environmentalists have gone to the extreme to prevent controlled burns, and as a result we have this catastrophe today."
Prescribed burns are intended to protect homes and lives by eliminating fuel that can cause explosive wildfires. The wildfire that has blackened 140,000 acres — or nearly 219 square miles — in the forest over the past week has been fed by the kind of tinder-dry vegetation that prescribed burns are designed to safely devour.
The blaze has destroyed more than five dozen homes, killed two firefighters and forced thousands of people to flee. Firefighters reported modest progress Wednesday as investigators said the blaze was human-caused, though it was not clear exactly how the fire started or whether it was accidental or arson.
Figures from the California's South Coast Air Quality Management District suggested even less was protectively burned. The agency said it granted seven permits sought by the Forest Service to conduct prescribed burns on 2,748 acres in the forest this year. The agency reviews such requests to ensure air quality in the often-smoggy Los Angeles area will not be worsened by smoke from intentional fires. But records show only 12.8 acres burned.
Four of the permits, totaling 1,257 acres, were granted in areas involved in the wildfire, according to the air quality agency.
But the Forest Service disputed those figures. Bear said the plan was to burn 1,748 acres, and 193 were cleared.
Government firefighters set thousands of blazes each year to reduce the wildfire risk in overgrown forests and grasslands around the nation. Prescribed burns can also improve overall forest health and increase forage for wildlife.
Obtaining the necessary permits is a complicated process, and such efforts often draw protests from environmentalists.
Ultimately, he said, the answer is to stop building in fire-prone areas instead of spending huge sums on firefighting.That's the anti-man view in microcosm.