Expect the big burn

  Dear HCN,

After the forest fires in New Mexico and Colorado, I had to write. This could be nature getting back at the hobby ranchers and interlopers. On the Front Range in Colorado and New Mexico, you don't have corporate tree farms, so most of the interface lands from the Plains to the U.S. Forest Service lands are BLM, state lands and private.

Having lived in Denver 16 years and being a USFS smokejumper for 10 summers, I have an overview. When was the last time you saw the BLM, state Department of Natural Resources or private ranches selective cut, chip brush or control burn their lands? I don't think it has happened.

Yep, the big burn will occur on the Front Range of the two states on a regular basis. I spent 18 years with Weyerhaeuser and I know clear-cuts do not burn! If you don't cut it, you better chip or burn it. Nature never stops working and thus we have dog-hair stands of juniper, piûon, lodgepole and spruce - not to mention the sagebrush, snow brush, oak, mesquite and manzanita!

I hope the insurance companies triple homeowners' rates on homes and outbuildings if they are outside an incorporated town or city in Colorado and New Mexico.

Also, it's time each county put in fire restrictions, and did rural homesite inspections for fire prevention and safety.

Anthony Peiffer
Bellevue, Washington

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