STATESIDE STORIES: Wildfires and Patriotic Brown Lawns

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Temperatures have soared in the West and thunderstorms plague the East in a summer that will go down in the history books as one of the worst as far as weather is concerned. Some say man’s carbon footprint is to blame for this evidence of climate change. Here’s the situation:


By Mary Foran

“Massive wildfires are on the increase in the Western USA due to rising temperatures and worsening drought from climate change, and the trend could continue in the decades to come, new research suggests,” says Doyle Rice, in an April 2014 article for USA Today.

In July, a rash of wildfires spread across parched Western states prompting two Governors to declare states of emergency so they could call out the National Guard to fight the fires and help with the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

At the end of July, lightning from thunderstorms in Oregon and Washington sparked more fires, burning the barn of a local fire chief to the ground.

Thirsting earth

California’s worst drought in decades is devastating agriculture, including the many citrus crops for which it is so famous. Water is at a premium and brown lawns are now the patriotic fashion.

More than 1800 homes were evacuated because of the threat of wildfires, with more than 400 reduced to ashes.

In Colorado, 34,500 people were evacuated because of the Waldo Canyon fire, started in the scattered thunderstorms and propelled by dry and gusty winds.

Forests in Washinton and Oregon are literally going up in smoke, leaving charred spikes where greenery once flourished.

Tree struck by lightning

Awhile back, I wrote a blog for GUIDEPOST in which I appealed for the preservation of trees around the world because of a little thing we use called paper.

Well, wildfires are now threatening those trees, as well as the logging industry and National Forests which are meant to preserve trees for future generations. It seems the Fire God just wasn’t listening.

This news concerns Spain too because it is a wood importer. It takes a long time for replanted trees to grow enough to harvest.



Featured image/US Fish and Wildlife Service, PD
Thirsting earth/Modern Event Preparedness, CC BY2.0m, Flickr
Tree/Peterichman, CC BY2.0, Flickr