Without all that ready-to-ignite material, the fires would never have been able to gobble up thousands of acres and reduce thousands of homes to smoking rubble. It seems that to the wackos who dominate both the extremist environmentalist movement and the controlling left wing of the Democrat party, human habitats are less important than owl nests.
Notice that neither Mr. Gore nor his environmentalist friends who are so worried about saving the trees have arrived on the fire lines with even a thimbleful of water to douse the flames. Instead they stand far off, tut-tutting about the horror of it all, blaming global warming, President Bush and the Iraq war for a tragedy to which they so abundantly contributed.
Thanks largely to their efforts to stop fire-preventive controlled burning for the past 20 years, they may have saved a few spotted owls, but the thousands of people who lost their homes paid the price for their victory over common-sense preventive measures.
The very warmth and dry climate that all but guarantee wildfire outbreaks are the exact reasons why people live here. And recurrent wildfires that threaten their homes and their lives are the price they pay to escape the harshness of winter and the summertime humidity that plague much of the nation. All through the winter there is a huge influx of people from colder climates coming here to enjoy a warm, dry climate.
Californians understand this. They know the fires will come. It's the price nature makes them pay and when the bill arrives they shrug their shoulders and get on with their lives. Most of all, they don't scurry around looking for somebody to blame. They are adults.