Lessons From the Wallow Fire: The Western Inferno

George Wuerthner puts the Wallow fire in perspective….

The Wallow Fire is now the largest in recent Arizona history, encompassing more than 500,000 acres. The media discussion of the fire often leads to misinformation and misunderstanding of wildfires, and feeds the political agenda of politicians, and industries from developers to the timber industry.

One of the problems of media coverage is that most reporters have little or no training in ecology, much less in-depth understanding of wildfire ecology. Context for large blazes like the Wallow Fire are often missing from reportage. The emphasis on fuels makes for easy reportage, but misses some important nuances that lead to simplistic solutions—the common refrain that if we only logged more of the forest such fires would be prevented.