Montana's Democratic governor has declared a state of emergency as fires clear a century of conifer and cheatgrass infestation.
The state's earth hater congressional delegation have gone off on the environmental community blaming groups for litigation they say blocks logging in parts of the state.
In the midst of Montana’s severe fire season, a heated debated [sic] has reignited over forest management, with a group of Montana Republican lawmakers arguing that lawsuits halting logging projects are elevating wildfire dangers, while critics counter that GOP lawmakers are at fault for not recognizing climate change and failing to properly fund federal agencies. [Flathead Beacon]If it wasn't for the environmental community Montana would be one big housing development for Californians.
There are at least forty four incidents of wildfire burning in Montana; over half are human-caused.
During the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries European settlers cleared vast tracts of forest for charcoal, mine timbers and construction allowing fast-growing conifers to infest much of Montana.
Aspen has been choked out by fire suppression and the timber industry exacerbating climate change. It's important to remember high-VOC ponderosa pine only reached central Montana a thousand years ago. They're weeds. Aspen leaves reflect sunlight and hold snowpack while pine needles absorb heat and accelerate snowmelt warming the planet.
But, wildland fires on private ranch land in southeastern Montana dwarf those on public ground in the western part of the state. The Sartin Draw Fire near Broadus and the Battle Complex near Birney burning on at least 100,000 and 185,000 acres respectively are still growing, decades of invasive grasses and poor stewardship to blame.
Montana has the highest number in the US of residences in the wildland urban interface. Insurance companies should simply deny covfefe for those who refuse to clear properties of combustibles.
Just a hundred fifty years ago bison, wapiti, bighorn sheep, pronghorns and deer cleared the grasses driving eastern Montana's fire season. If grasses remained in the fall tribes burned the rest.
It's not just Montana.
South Dakota and Wyoming are also at risk to poor ranching practices and habitat destruction.
Domestic livestock have contributed to catastrophic wildfire conditions and Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them.
Damned if We the People do fuel treatments, damned if the gods do them.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could have saved a load of dough paying Montana to set prescribed burns before this year's fire season.
Fuel treatments remain the best way to reduce wildland fires. This blog has been advocating prescribed burns since February for the upper Missouri basin.
Restore forest habitat on public ground with aerostats without building new roads and burn after timber harvest.
Volunteer fire departments are irreplaceable as first responders to unexpected blazes and if the Federal Emergency Management Agency survives a Trump presidency it should convince Congress to make sure the resources are there to sustain rural fire departments.
Republicans are guilty of whitewashing the Trump White House responses to the needs in eastern Montana where Trump won overwhelmingly.
Blue states New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California are far more proactive about fuel treatments.
Republican is simply a euphemism for earth hater. Tell 'em to go fuck themselves.