Ah, yes, August. This has become the rust-colored-sky month out here in the West. This is the month when forest fires start, and our government lets them burn. The practice started about 10 years ago. The idea being - forest fires `clean up' our forests.
I have walked through some of these forests. They actually look worse. Some `litter' got burned up, yes - but other litter was produced - trees that were killed but not turned to ash or carbon dioxide. Many still standing ten years later.
With some imagination a forest of dead trees is strangely beautiful.
In some places these fires burned so hot that there is no longer any soil.
I gather that there is the thought that the fires act as some `meticulous, conscientious gardener' once turned loose. Hmmmmm. Whoa. Fires that I know are wild, unpredictable, destructive. Fires I know of destoryed forests (trees, other vegetation), animals, and sometimes people. A fire has anything but a conscience. A forest fire is anything but meticulous. Fires cause a mess.
Sometimes my garage accumulates some litter - but I don't start a fire to clean it up. Same with our kitchen counters. Sometimes our family car is a bit messy after a long trip - but I don't toss a match into the back seat and let a fire clean it up. Gosh, sometimes my desk at work has a bunch of paper on that needs cleaning up ... but I don't take my lighter to it.
Fires may be `natural' - but natural isn't always good. Disease is natural. Wars are (sadly) natural. But that doesn't mean they are good. Weeds naturally pop up in my garden. But if I want anything to eat - I don't let the weeds take their course. And neither do I deal with them with a match.
Pictured is the School Fire, Eastern Washington, August 2005. It is about 60 miles distant in this picture. As night fell for many evenings the flames from trees `blowing up' were visible at this distance. While various government agencies were fighting each other (instead of the fire), as to who would, or wouldn’t, or who should, or shouldn’t, or whether to fight the fire at all, they let it burn. It quickly got BIG, became a MAJOR FEDERAL PROJECT, and before under control destroyed or damaged over 200 structures (residences and other), burned over 50,000 acres of forest and private land (nearly 80 square miles), killed various deer, elk, and other creatures, including a herd of bighorn sheep.
We have a lot of land out here in the west - but we don't have so much that we can throw it to the incinerator.