Viridian Note 00186: Wildfires of 2000

Bruce Sterling []

June, 2000 fire in the Pecos Wilderness area of northern New Mexico

June, 2000 fire in the Pecos Wilderness
area of northern New Mexico

Key concepts
Los Alamos, American West, wildfires, green military response

Attention Conservation Notice: Though very alarming and depressing, it's also very far from over.

Entries in the Viridian Magazine Cover Contest: (((he's still adding entries!))

This contest expires very soon: August 31, 02000.

(((Since my PlaNetwork speech about the symbolic meaning of the burning of Los Alamos, the fire situation in the American West has been getting steadily worse.

(((Lest one conclude, as certain spin doctors have, that this is a failure of American federal forest management, I might also point out that Europe is also extensively on fire this summer.

(((How long will it be before the American military is permanently deployed to fight climate disasters here and abroad? The military are, after all, the traditional last resort for politics-by-other-means.)))


"More Military Troops Head West to Fight Fires

"Posted on Mon, 28 Aug 2000 20:47:31 GMT

"Written by Christina Ward, Staff Writer,, with news reports

"A weekend of strong winds fueled dozens of raging wildfires across the West, forcing fire crews to focus on protection of homes and people, rather than on containment of the blazes."

(((Viridian rewrite: "The American landscape is burning out of control and the Army is fitfully attempting to

shelter the interests of insurance companies.")))

"President Clinton ordered 500 more troops from the
U.S. Army to join the fire lines this week == part of a
federal goal to have 2,500 military personnel, or five
full battalions, assisting firefighting efforts by Labor

(((The US Army may be grateful for a working role here. They saw no action at all during the war in Serbia.)))

"The fifth battalion is due to arrive from Fort Bragg, N.C., today (Aug. 28), and will be assigned to the Troy South fire in Montana's Kootenai National Forest.

"There are 84 large fires burning in Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)." (((If you live in one of those states, go out and have a good look at your sky. Remember when it used to be blue?)))

"This year's fire season in the United States is the worst in 50 years." (((And counting, since it's by no means over yet.)))

(...) "There are about 22,000 people fighting fires in the West." (((And they're losing so badly they had to call the Army in.))) "The cost of fighting the Montana fires so far is estimated at $87.4 million." (((Put it on the coal company's tab.)))

(((Now here's the good part. Check out this unintentional poetic litany of web links.)))

"Related Stories

"Waiting Out the Fires: Little Improvement Expected for
Weeks == Aug. 21, 2000

"Wildfires Continue to Flare Up Across the West == Aug.
18, 2000

"Fires in Montana: Living Amid the Smoke and Flames ==
Aug. 10, 2000

"Montana Closes 10 Million Acres, as Wildfires Get Worse
and Worse == Aug. 10, 2000

"President Visits Fire Lines in the Blazing West == Aug.
9, 2000

"More Evacuations Ordered as Nearly One Million Acres Burn
== Aug. 7, 2000

"Helicopter Crash Kills One, as Western Fires Multiply and
Strengthen == Aug. 4, 2000

"Firefighters Battle Dozens of Fires in West: 640,000
Acres Burned in Two Weeks == Aug. 1, 2000

"Firefighters and Archaeologists Team Up at Mesa Verde ==
July 28, 2000

"Fierce Wildfire Burns Through Nuclear Reservation in
Washington State == June 29, 2000

"Colorado Wildfires Burn Homes, Force Hundreds to Evacuate
== June 13, 2000

"Drought Threatens Florida With Rampant Wildfire Outbreaks
== May 30, 2000

"Los Alamos Family Brushes Off the Ashes and Begins Again
== May 16, 2000

"Los Alamos Evacuees Survey Their Charred Homes == May 15,

"Deserted Los Alamos Neigborhoods Burnt to Ashes == May
12, 2000

"Los Alamos Engulfed By Wildfire == May 11, 2000"

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