Professor: Fires in West will worsen

WASHINGTON — A Montana expert testified Thursday that climate change will increase and intensify wildfires, while members of Congress and U.S. Forest Service officials grappled with how to pay for the increased costs of fire suppression

Story: Professor: Fires in West will worsen. By Noelle Straub. Casper Star-Tribune Washington bureau.

This should be obvious, but it isn’t.

Some people will want to argue that we can’t say because global warming isn’t real. Regardless, the critical fact is this: conifers, especially pine, are already dead and are dying at unprecedented rates in the northern Rockies, B.C. and Alberta.

They are burning, and they are going to burn every summer that is not unusually wet. Thinning them is too late now, and often useless anyway, even if there was enough money.

This means that almost every summer is going to be awful smoky in Montana and other places that are downwind of large forest areas.

My advice to anyone with property in these areas is to unload it now before potential buyers figure this out. Move to a cleaner place like a city far from the forests.

This will not go down well, and one of those who will have to adjust to this new reality is Plum Creek Timber, which is trying to become mostly a real estate company that will sell land in “the fire plain.” Timber Giant Takes a Hit: Plum Creek’s Risky Businesses. By Myers Reece, Flathead Beacon (republished in New West).