Magazine
The fires next time

March 6, 1995

It's not a fluke, it's not just the drought, and it's not careless smokers. Decades of all-out logging and all-out fire suppression torched Yellowstone in 1988, ignited the fatal Colorado fire last summer, and set the stage for the thousands of fires in between.

Feature

How the West's asbestos fires were turned into tinderboxes
Decades of over-logging and fire suppression set the stage for deadly, destructive forest fires throughout the West.

Sidebar

Excerpts from Hellroaring: The Life and Times of a Fire Bum
Peter M. Leschak reminisces about firefighting in his book Hellroaring: The Life and Times of a Fire Bum.
After the fire comes the real devastation
The trauma caused by super-hot fires continues long after the flames are put out.
Excerpts from Flame and Fortune; Quote from Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt
Quotes from Stephen J. Pyne and Bruce Babbitt acknowledge the need to change attitudes toward fire.
'Indifference' caused deaths
A report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration blames Forest Service and BLM "indifference" and "willful safety violations" for deaths of 14 firefighters in Colorado.
Excerpts from South Canyon Fire Accident InvestigationTeam report
Quote from smokejumper Kevin Erickson depicts dramatic scene as fire overcomes 14 firefighters in the South Canyon Fire in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Bill would fight fire with chain saws
Idaho Sen. Larry Craig proposes a bill to give fast-track approval to timber sales in forests at "high risk" for fire danger.
Motorized beasts are noisy and stinky - and fun
Seeing Yellowstone by snowmobile is understandably entertaining.

Essays

Pride and Glory of firefighting is hard to resist
Pride and Glory of firefighting is hard to resist
Former firefighter Louise Wagenknecht says the rush at firefighting is as powerful as any drug.

Perspective

The word according to a weighty Republican
Alaska Republican Don Young, new chairman of the House Resource Committee, denounces environmentalism and offers his own conservative philosophy.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
Odds and ends; change of address advice

News

Logging protesters say they won't give up
Activists face arrest for protesting Cove-Mallard timber sale.
How Montana fouled a family's water
Cyanide from a defunct gold mill has contaminated Jan and David Zimmerman's well water.
Road plan gets rough reception
A Forest Service plan to close roads made by all-terrain vehicles provokes angry reaction from ATV users.
James Watt charged with felonies
Former Interior Secretary James Watt is indicted by a federal grand jury for lying to Congress and obstructing an investigation of fraud.
Yellowstone snowmobile crowd may hit limit
The winter influx of snowmobiles into Yellowstone creates problems.
A delicate question: When is an arch crowded?
Arches National Park uses pilot program to measure how many people are too many people at Delicate Arch.
No more free lunch
Muckleshoot Indian Tribe seeks to harvest troublesome sea lions.
Hunter-harassment law stands
The Supreme Court refuses to overturn Montana's "hunter-harassment" law.

Opinion

Democrats resort to banana bread
Formerly powerful California Democrats George Miller and Henry Waxman are lost in the new, Republican Washington.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • ARIZONA PROGRAM MANAGER
    National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's oldest and largest national parks nonprofit advocacy organization seeks an Arizona Program Manager. The Arizona Program Manager works...
  • CROWN OF THE CONTINENT COMMUNITY CONSERVATION SPECIALIST
    THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY is seeking a Community Conservation Specialist, for the Crown of the Continent DEPARTMENT: Conservation CLASSIFICATION: Grade 6 Specialist/Representative (Low of $54K) REPORTS...
  • ASSISTANT FARM DIRECTOR
    About The Organization Building community through fresh vegetables is at the heart of the Sisters-based non-profit, Seed to Table Oregon. Based on a four-acre diversified...
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • DYNAMIC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    VARD is seeking an Executive Director to lead a small legal & planning staff dedicated to the health and sustainability of Teton Valley Idaho and...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR
    Southeast Alaska Conservation is hiring. Visit https://www.seacc.org/about/hiring for info. 907-586-6942 [email protected]
  • FINANCE & GRANTS MANAGER
    The Blackfoot Challenge, located in Ovando, MT, seeks a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to conduct bookkeeping, financial analysis and reporting, and grant oversight and management. Competitive...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....
  • CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, BOOKS, CULTURE AND COMMENTARY (PART-TIME, CONTRACT)
    High Country News is seeking a Contributing Editor for Books, Culture and Commentary to assign and edit inquisitive, inspiring, and thought-provoking content for HCN in...
  • STATEWIDE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    ABOUT US Better Wyoming is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that educates, organizes, and mobilizes Wyoming residents on behalf of statewide change. Learn more at...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    TwispWorks is a 501(c)3 that promotes economic and cultural vitality in the mountainous Methow Valley, the eastern gateway to North Cascades National Park in Washington...
  • CLEAN ENERGY ADVOCATE OR DIRECTOR
    Location: Helena, Montana Type: Permanent, full time after 1-year probationary period. Reports to: Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Travel: Some overnight travel, both in-state...
  • PROFESSIONAL GIS SERVICES
    Custom Geospatial Solutions is available for all of your GIS needs. Affordable, flexible and accurate data visualization and analysis for any sized project.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Restore Hetch Hetchy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks experienced development professional to identify and engage individuals and institutions who are inspired to help underwrite...
  • PUBLIC LANDS COUNSEL
    The successful candidate will be the organization's lead counsel on public lands issues, including reviewing federal administrative actions and proposed policy and helping to shape...
  • HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
    Solar Energy International (SEI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit education organization with a mission to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower...
  • TRAINING MANAGER
    This is a full-time position based out of our Paonia office. This position is responsible for organizing all of Solar Energy International's renewable energy trainings....
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org