California’s age of megafires. Drought, housing expansion, and oversupply of tinder make for bigger, hotter fires. By Daniel B. Wood. Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor.

Many factors behind the current California wildlfires are similar to those last summer in Idaho and Montana, except, of course, the sprawl into the “fire plain” is worse, and I haven’t head about a role of any invasive species like cheatgrass.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project and the creator of The Wildlife News.

One Response to California's age of megafires: Drought, housing expansion, and oversupply of tinder make for bigger, hotter fires

  1. avatar Mike Post says:

    Bob, the CA fires are solely related to historic fire suppression policies, poor landscape and house designs, and the recent drought. Now, having said that San Diego County is a different story. Those folks have lived on the cheap, depending upon mutual aide for major fire suppression and spending next to nothing on local fire resources. There is no county FD in San Diego, it is all volunteer. The worm turned when LA County rightfully sucked up the lions share of the mutual aide resources (not to mention that LA County actually leases the Canadian super scoopers each year to augment local aircraft) and then San Diego county caught fire after the fact and cried wolf once again. The individual victims deserve our empathy but the politicians down there should tied to a bark beetle pine and left for the embers.
    Invasive species played a very minimal role in all this, assuming you don’t count humans as an invasive species…


October 2007


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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