Firespeak catastrophe #1
"Wildland-urban interface." This catchall phrase describing the forest fringe includes cabins and watersheds in the woods around Salmon, Idaho — a remote town of only 3,200 people that can hardly be described as urban. It also includes Lowman, Idaho, which has about 15 people, as well as Aspen, Beverly Hills, Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Deer Run Industrial Park in Illinois, and New Orleans. One alternative phrase, "the Red Zone," is more descriptive. Red, as in flames or danger. Also, as in budgets in the red.
Firespeak catastrophe #2
"Pre-settlement condition." This is the goal of those who call for massive thinning, pruning, raking, and a lot more prescribed fires in many of the West’s forests, to imitate the role once played by lightning. These scientists, policy makers, environmentalists and loggers hope to restore the forests to what was here before European immigrants caused the thickets to grow. But they ignore the fact that the West was already settled by hundreds of thousands of Indians, who lit fires on millions of acres. They also imply that before Europeans showed up, the land was unchanging, rather than dynamic — and sometimes explosive.