We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Especially in periodically dry areas of the American West, fire is a routine natural feature. In fact, wildfire is needed for many natural habitats, but fire-suppression makes wildfires more destructive and violent when they inevitably occur.
OMG! Get over the 'accepted explanation' baloney. Here is the reality. This is 2019. The management of timber has been re-designed, re-defined, re-mapped, and in general become completely different from when Bill Clinton destroyed the timer industry, but made the green happy.
We have finally convinced the US Forest Service that tourism is their best profit focus. We have also managed to convince them that clear cutting is just plain damn bad strategy for managing surface water, re-growth, snow melt, landslides, etc.
The timber experts have learned so so much in the past 30 years you would be amazed. HOWEVER, the older green hippies who have managed to hold on to their jobs in the Dept. of Agriculture still want no timber industry at all. The fact is the story that the indians let brush fires burn themselves out because it was good for the forests is wrong. The fact is that the Indians started brush fires to flush out meat--NOT, because they were more informed stewards of timber management--(sheesh, wth came up with that one?)
The management of today's forest fires is controlled from the union offices and democratic party flunkies decide what will be allowed to burn freely or not. We now know that the timber pros can manage healthy forests by pre-determining where trees should be cut, what should be left standing and then go in and do a controlled burn of the debris that has been left behind.
Not only have forest management ideas changed profoundly for the better, the tools available have, too - harvesting machines that can quickly grasp, topple, and shuck the branches from a fully-grown tree in seconds, with minimal disturbance to the soils. Skid-steer brush cutters on low-load tracks that gobble up underbrush and spit out woodchips for natural compost.
Ironic that none of the ecological experts realize that the philosophy of total fire suppression has created a forest environment that could never naturally exist and is unsustainable from a practical basis. That's California Dreamin', I guess.
There are really several issues. The first is the question of where people should live. In my view, we have encroached on the domain of wildlife to a disastrous extent. We need to get rid of cruise ships, get rid of all the Chinese fishing boats, and stop allowing chemical run-off from farms to enter our rivers. We also need to stop allowing hunters to kill everything that moves. And finally, we need to withdraw from certain areas; and let those places return to nature. I'm talking about large areas of Canada, and the Pacific Northwest. The Tlingit can move to Toronto. They were never responsible stewards of the land anyway.
If we are going to save the rain-forests, then that will need to be part of a much larger program of preserving nature. So in the future, people shouldn't be allowed to live in deeply-wooded areas. That's where bears and owls and bobcats live. If nature decides to have a forest fire, that's her own business. We don't need to put the fire out. In fact, we don't need to do anything. Another issue is the fact that we don't need to cut down any more trees at all. The "logging" business is mostly a fraud. The wood that we obtain from those trees is used for many things, but a lot of it goes to make 2x4's and other structural components. Just so you know: lumber is not the only material that we can use. We can use extruded plastic 2x4's and cement 2x4's (that's right) and cellulose 2x4's which are made from newspaper, and then waterproofed. We don't even need lumber anymore. The wood pulp that we use is easily supplied from recycled books, magazines, and paper.
The real reason for "logging" is to create real estate. That land can be sold for a fortune; it's worth much more than the trees.
So other practices will have to change, too. Zoning laws will have to prohibit all construction in Nature Zones. And local officials will have to stop taking bribes to provide a "variance."
There is no such thing as "Forest Management." That's just a code-word used by real estate developers; and the fire department.