You are here: home   Issues   Cosmic Prospecting   The tyranny of technology
Topic: Politics & Policy     Department: Letters

The tyranny of technology

Document Actions

The following comment was posted in response to Katie Mast's Oct. 28 blog, "New satellite technology to detect wildfires an acre in size," covering advances in remote sensing that could help managers plan and execute firefighting efforts.

This sounds great until you consider that advances in technology have helped create the huge wildfires we're now experiencing. The last 100 years of putting out fires – especially low-intensity fires that are easier to control and historically created natural firebreaks across the landscape – created conditions where there are few safe zones in which fires will lay down and can be fought. If this technology were only used in areas where there might be an immediate risk to people or property, it might help. But that's not going to happen, because there's always the risk that fires in the backcountry will eventually become huge fires threatening homes and people. So we'll get better at putting out small fires that can be quickly contained, and we'll continue to have out-of-control fires that destroy life and property because we continue to increase fuel loads and decrease the natural mosaic of forests.

Randy Beacham
Troy, Montana

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  4. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  5. The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance | But few Californians seem to grasp what is at stak...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone