Fire in the West

 

A losing battle

High Country News launches its redesigned print edition with a critical look at fire in the West.

Since the 1960s, the 'let it burn' approach to wildfire has gained wider and wider acceptance. But as fires increasingly come up against the West's phenomenal population growth – and as some scientists warn that a century of aggressive fire fighting has caused an explosive buildup of trees and brush – we're spending billions fighting 'catastrophic' forest fires every year.

Now, some scientists are finding evidence that the big blowups will continue, whether we like it or not. And for the forests, that may be good news. To read the story, www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=13984.

For a sample copy of the newly redesigned High Country News, www.hcn.org/freepapersubscription.jsp.

To check out Radio HCN's three-part series, "The Myth of Catastrophe: Understanding Big Fire in the West," www.hcn.org/radio.jsp.

To check out the "Fire in the West" special report, a collection of High Country News' most compelling stories and essays about how fire has shaped the American West, www.hcn.org/specialcollections/fireinthewest.jsp.

In a column from Writers on the Range, Ed Marston reviews Stephen Pyne's new book, Smokechasing, www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.WOTRArticle?article_id=14004.