After 9/11, the timber industry was asked to be very vigilant since terrorists could start forest fires to consume first-responder resources, to cause economic damage, and/or to cover or enable other dangerous activities. So far this year, about 32,000 wildland fires have burned 3.4 million acres, and fire season is not nearly over.
Lightning did not start all of these fires.
Firefighting costs for the U.S. Forest Service alone are now at a billion dollars this year. About 600 homes (and irreplaceable memorabilia) have been destroyed; 19 firefighters have been killed; massive evacuation, relocation, and health costs (from smoke) have impacted thousands of people; incalculable wages and commerce have been lost; and huge resources of timber, grasslands and animal habitat have been destroyed. How's that for economic damage?
No matter who/what started the fires, you can thank radical environmentalists and many elected officials for creating the conditions that resulted in forests stuffed full of dead, tinder-dry trees. Thank them also for kicking cows off some grazing lands, letting grasses grow too thick and high. Thank them again for getting some firebreaks banned because they might impact some critter's habitat. Now we have crispy critters and no habitat.
Speak up! Tell Congress we want our forests managed to improve habitat instead of destroying it, to minimize catastrophic wildfires instead of fueling them, and to provide the wood products we all use and the jobs we need. Help prevent forest fires.