The stories out of Colorado Springs about the Waldo Canyon fire are pretty horrific. Here is a recent one from the Guardian. Next to Indiana and Ohio, Colorado is probably the state I know best. My Dad moved there sometime around 1978, and I’ve been going there ever since. It’s where I first learned about drought. And probably something about government antipathy — I seem to recall picking up some dissatisfaction about water policy. (In particular, I remember flushing the toilet and saying, “there goes the water to Denver” to some general levity from adults in the vicinity.)
A couple of notes: 1) The idiots who pointed to snow storms as evidence that Al Gore was stupid and wrong about global warming should be offered up as human fire breaks. This doesn’t prove the case for global warming – just that they’re misguided for conflating weather with climate.
2) These fires go well beyond anything individuals can contend with on their own. Government is vitally necessary to combat the flame and will be vitally necessary to deal with the aftermath. It should be interesting to see how Colorado Springs – a hotbed of anti-government sentiment copes with that reality. My guess is by grabbing federal money and resources with both hands, ignoring the dissonance, and, if confronted, by explaining that their only against other, unspecified, types of evil government.
Also, as a final note, Indiana is dryer than I remember seeing it. The fireworks lobby is making noises about what a bad idea and potentially illegal for governments to restrict fireworks use. I’ve seen individuals grumping about their god-given right to use fireworks around the Fourth of July. Without getting too deep into the weeds on this issue just now, don’t be stupid people. I know the fireworks people need to make money, and people like to celebrate their country by blowing stuff up. But sending hot, flamey things into bone dry vegetation puts everyone at risk.