For those of you that hunt in Arizona, it seems the whole state is on fire.
Currently the Wallow Fire is buring in eastern Arizona, and will no doubt effect this upcoming year's elk, deer, antelope, and bear seasons. It's too early to tell the extent of the damage, but I do look for this to be a prime hunting area in a couple of years, and it already is such. This just means that I look for things to be improved upon, and already has good conditions for hunting. For your information, the Wallow Fire is now the largest fire in state history.
The Monument Fire is currently raging on the Mexican Border by Sierra Vista. This will impact deer herds, but it remains to be seen as to how. It currently, from reports I've read, is the fastest traveling and fiercest fire at the moment, with the potential to significantly impact nearby communities and Fort Huachuca.
The Horseshoe 2 Fire is burning in the southeast corner of the state. Deer, pronghorn, and Bear, as well as lions seem to be the most impacted, excluding people and cabins/homes. Flagstaff has expirienced a couple of fires as well this season and the monsoon rains are predicted to get a late start this year in southern Arizona. The Murphy Complex fire is the joining of two fires, the Murphy Fire and the Parjarita Fire. Pena Blanca Lake lost an outhouse and the historic Atascosa Lookout was destroyed. This area is a prime area for drug and human smugglers to trek their way north, as well as being prime Coues Deer habitat.
It is believed by some, and I am one of them, that at least three of the four fires in southern Arizona at this time were caused by drug and human smugglers, or the actual illegal aliens being smuggled. It is reported that all of these fires are human caused. It is obvious that there is a problem on our southern border, and in our national forest in particular, being that it is such a tinderbox. As long as we allow unfettered access to our backdoor we will continue to have these fires. I guess it's Washington, D.C.'s desire to spend money on things they shouldn't have to, rather than risk offending a third world nation.
These fires will impact hunting in Arizona, but to what level remains to be seen. Hunting on the border is already dangerous enough without having to worry about being burned to death, along with being shot and killed by drug and human smugglers. I am posting this here to implore anyone that likes to hunt to let your represenatives know that we need to control our border, as it significantly impacts the hunting in those areas.
Through mismanagement of our natural resources, and the elimination or curtailment of logging, controlled burns, as well as aggressive fire suppression in the past we are now seeing some of the best hunting opportunities for this year go up in smoke. It is reported that the Wallow Fire, that's the big one that makes the national news every night, that it was allowed to burn because the powers that be didn't want to disturb the wolf habitat.
I think in the long run these fires will be beneficial, but I have to wonder if the cost are worth it? Wolves are not more beneficial to me than viable game like deer and elk. Nor are illegal aliens and drug smugglers worth more than a deer or other game animal in my eyes.