Fire regimes have been historically present from coast to coast during periods of prolonged drought. Massive forest fires are not new. Today through a combination of climate change and resultant drought, various missteps have elevated the dangers. Fire suppression and habitation in wild lands threatens human and natural communities alike including some of the largest trees in the world. The human toll has already been high and will likely grow, creating an underlying fear and uncertainty in many residents of fire prone areas.
Timothy Egan is a lifelong journalist, a columnist for the NYT and the author of nine books, most recently “A Pilgrimage to Eternity”. He won the National Book Award for “The Worst Hard Time” and was awarded a Pulitzer for his coverage of race in America.