So instead of a few dozen trees per acre, the Southwestern mountains of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are now choked with trees of all sizes, and grass and shrubs. Essentially, it's fuel....For the annals of unintended consequences.
"Now the fire behaviors are just off the charts.... I mean, they are extraordinary. Actually, I think in some cases, they're fire behavior that probably these forests haven't seen in millennia or maybe even tens of thousands of years."...
"Basically, the mountains in the Southwest — you can almost think of them as caskets of fuel.... Gunpowder has been building up in these things for a century, and now it's dangerous to try to defuse."
August 23, 2012
"The irony here is that the argument for setting these areas aside as national forests and parks was... to protect them from fire..."
"Instead, over time they became the major habitat for free-burning fire."