Has society chosen to have fire under the most extreme conditions?

Above: Lolo Peak Fire at 6:25 p.m. MDT August 19, 2017 as seen from the Missoula area. Photo by Dick Mangan.

An article by Rob Chaney in the Missoulian quotes a research forester and a Type 1 Incident Commander talking about the characteristics of the wildfires we have been experiencing in recent years. Below is an excerpt:


…“This has been a choice society has made to have fire under the most extreme conditions,” Mark Finney, a research forester for the U.S. Forest Service Fire Sciences Lab, told the Missoula City Club on Monday. “There are alternatives if we choose to use them, instead of waiting for fires to start and then responding to them.”

Greg Poncin, incident commander for both the Lolo Peak and Rice Ridge fires of 2017, added that 12 of the 30 largest fires in the past decade all occurred last year…