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David Boze

Reducing greenhouse gases won't prevent wildfires

The Watermelon Hill fire consumes trees after crossing Pine Springs Road near Fish Trap, Wash., Saturday July 19, 2014. The wildfire is growing rapidly and is moving in a southeast direction toward timber. A level three evacuation order has been given to people living near the path of the fire. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Colin Mulvany)

Taken from Monday's edition of the David Boze Show

Before the wildfire season began, Washington Governor Jay Inslee began pushing for lower carbon emissions because he said if the country didn't cut down on greenhouse gases, our forest fires would get worse.

According to The Spokesman-Review, Inslee said the number of wildfires in Washington could quadruple by 2030 if steps aren't taken to reduce carbon pollution and slow climate change.

I've been spending a lot of time hunting in the Okanogan area. There is a lot of standing dead trees, I think maybe caused by a beetle infestation. When you've had multiple days of 100-degree and hotter weather in Central and Eastern Washington, these pine trees and pitch become nature's version of napalm. Just one lightning storm and it's ignited.

I'm stunned the fires don't happen more often. We have multiple fires in the state right now and there are a number of factors.

We've spoken with Todd Myers Director of Washington Policy Center's for the Environment about this before, when you have a lot of trees that are close together. Odds are there was some logging at one point, which led to replanting trees, followed by a decision not to log anymore because we don't like logging. But that leaves trees closer together than they would otherwise have been, creating conditions conducive for a fire.

In Pateros, it's different. There's dry grass and sage brush, and that's about it. I don't know how you stop something that goes that fast.

I remember as a kid burning trash, when you could actually burn your paper trash, (it was the country way of recycling.) If it was dry out and if you had grass catch fire, you had to act so doggone fast. It was like lighting a barbeque with Kingsford Charcoal Lighter Fluid at the drop of a match. That's what the dry grass does.

I'm grateful for the reduction in temperature and wind so that those fighting these fires stand a bit of a chance.

But I get supremely tired of pointing at some kind of global reason for a wildfire that's going to happen. We're going to have forest fires from time to time. That's the nature of lightning, the nature of the way these things are going to work. It's impossible that these things would not take place.

Taken from Monday's edition of the David Boze Show

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