The Wenatchee World

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Our mismanaged, tinder forests

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When our overgrown forests are rife with standing dead and diseased trees, a single heat source finds this to be the opportune fuel source for a catastrophic chain reaction, the type of catastrophic chain reaction that we are witnessing right now in Washington state. Here are my personal feelings on the fires that are currently threatening my childhood home in Plain:

The timberland that is under intense high heat currently referred to as the Chiwaukum Fire, after flames are put out by an act of God, in 20 years will look similar to Tumwater Canyon along Highway 2 or the Entiat Ridge. In 1994, there were three areas burned, referred to as the Hatchery Creek Complex, Rat Creek, and the Tyee Complex. Twenty years later, you can still see the damage done to our forests from raging flames that burned intensely, depleting the soil of nutrition that allows for regeneration. These fires started on July 24, 1994, and were not out until Dec. 24.

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