By Barbara Simpson Posted: September 07, 2009 ~ 1:00 am Eastern © 2009 Thank God for small favors. At least there were no Santa Ana winds – the hot, tornado-like desert winds so common to California during fire season, were nowhere to be found during the largest brushfire to hit Los Angeles County in history. That was a blessing for the thousands of firefighters on the line of the Station Fire trying to get the flames under control but conditions were still awful: scorching heat, low humidity, light wind and land filled with an accumulation of brush that hadn't burned in decades. U.S. Forest Service incident commander Capt. Mike Dietrich told the Associated Press it was a "perfect storm of fuels, weather and topography … essentially the fire burned at will; it went where it wanted to, when it wanted to." It was a disaster waiting to happen – and it did. It's called the Station Fire, the largest fire in county history, and it continues to burn, tearing through the Angeles National Forest. "It ain't over till it's over." We've all heard that line, but in the case of California wildfires, it's true. Even after those blazes are "controlled and contained," they burn for weeks – sometimes months, until they're truly out. The Station Fire has already devastated more than 242 square miles of the Angeles National Forest and, as it swept across the hills and canyons, it took with it homes, property, history and lives. The investigation is now an arson homicide case. Two firefighters were killed as they attempted to evade the roaring flames. Their vehicle careened off a mountain road, tumbling down a canyon. Capt. Ted Hall of San Bernardino was 47 and firefighter Spc. Amaldo "Arnie" Quinones of Palmdale was 35. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to those responsible for the fire. The investigation at the fire's point of origin continues. [CLICK HERE TO READ ENTIRE COLUMN]
Be sure to read the rest of the column. Barbara goes on to write:
The forests of the state are in dangerous condition because of activist environmentalists who have, via propaganda, lobbying and lawsuits, managed to virtually stop commercial logging and debris salvage in the woods.
They claim the land needs to be free of "human intervention." Fire roads, providing firefighter access to remote areas, have been reduced or removed. Following a fire, salvage of still viable trees for lumber is forbidden and underbrush and debris removal prohibited.