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The news this morning about the Rodeo-Chediski Fire is sure sombering. So far 375,000 acres have burned, 385 homes have been destroyed, and the fire MIGHT have 5 percent containment today. The economic damage to the area is devastating. The White Mountain Apache Nation has lost $236 million in timber sales so far and it estimated that the forest will take at least 100 years to be restored. The wall of fire hasn't hit Show Low yet, but it's less than a quarter-mile away as of this morning. Tucson has been collecting supplies for the evacuated residents and firefighters and sending truckloads of stuff up there.
 
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Wow! The local radio station up here in Washington State said that things were looking better for you down there. Hope they can get the fire out soon, but will take a lot of work to do so.
 

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Tragic! That are was so beautiful and undesturbed. I wonder if fires burned with that kind of appetite and voraceousness 100 years ago when it was by natural means?
 

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I know, I can't stand it... one of the more beautiful areas of refuge in this dried up state is being eaten up. So depressing.
 

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I doubt that they did, at lot of the problem now is that the Forest Service hasn't been allowed to manage the forest and clear the deadwood out or even thin the areas. I'm all for environmental protection, but this fire shows what happens when you go too far with it. The reality is that a lot of people live there and their lives should come first. The Forest Service has to be allowed to do their job.

What's even sadder is that both fires were human caused. The Chediski Fire was set by a woman hiker who got lost and lit a signal fire. Then a news helicopter team spotted her and went to pick her up. The wind from the helicopter blades spread the fire. I still haven't heard how the Rodeo Fire started, but the White Mountain Apache Nation has a big reward up for information (the fire started at Cibecue on tribal land at the rodeo grounds).
 

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The crooked state of Florida is sending a lot of firefighters to AZ to help out. First, it is our rainy season, and the risk of wild fires is about nil. Secondly, in 1998, FL had some disasterous fires, and fighters from all over the country came out to help out. Just paying back our dues.

I used to go fishing up there on the Apache reservation as a small kid. Great memories, and wonderful location. Fishing was good too, especially after they stocked the streams! /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif
 

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This may sound pretty stupid, but It is a thought I was wondering about for some time now. There are all types of bombs nowdays, some that will kill off the people and leave the structures and so on. Well, why can't they drop a few bombs on these fire areas to create an oxygen less area aand at the same time they will be making a bit of a fire guard. The fire guard will have to be in front of the fire of course but why can they not bomb a fire????
Don
 
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The Forest Service has been allowed to do their job ........ promote aggressive industrial logging over the last 100 years. That's exactly why our fires are so devastating now. If ancient, old growth forests burned as bad as our current forests do, they wouldn't have covered huge portions of this continent when the first settlers came here.

I thought one of those fires was started by a USFS employee.
 

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What the Forest Service hasn't been allowed to do in Arizona is remove the underbrush and thin the dense thickets of smaller diameter trees, which now are fueling the fire. Also, the removal of cattle from a number of areas has once again allowed the grasses to grow. That's great, except when there is a drought and the grass is dry. We haven't had any rain in southern Arizona in more than four months.

The Arizona fires weren't started by the Forest Service employee, that was in Colorado.

It's interesting, in the Tucson paper today there is an article about the biggest fire on record in the state. It occurred in the 1880s and it burned more than a million acres.
 
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You are correct, the underbrush and dense thickets of smaller diameter trees are now fueling these fires (as well as years of logging slash). And this is my point exactly. In an ancient forest environment, large, dense canopies do not allow the enormous amount of underbrush and small trees to grow that now dominate our current forests, along with millions of acres of tree farms. Forest canopy shade keeps underbrush and small trees to a minimum, and although fires in the past were often huge, they mainly burned out underbrush, seldom affecting the large, ancient trees.

Anyhow, I hope your fires are controlled soon. I experienced a bad one myself last year in an area that I've been going to in the Sierra's for the last 30 years- not pretty. Also, I go to Arizona in the winter, metal detecting or gold, and would hate to see any serious damage ....... pretty state, and great winter weather.
 
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