October 1, 2015

Forest Fires

Something I’m not used to growing up with are forest fires. And there are plenty of them out here in the northwest this year. We actually had the opposite problem and would have to worry about hurricanes and massive flooding back in the south.

There are currently 26 active fires in Montana right now and 33 in Idaho. The Missoula region as well as eastern Idaho is being hammered with fires.

Additionally there is a pretty large fire east of Kalispell called the Bear Creek fire.

Though Montana has a few fires, they don’t seem to be near the severity of Idaho and Washington’s. Their states are literally burning to the ground. A friend of mine I met through hunting out here lives outside of the Kamiah Idaho region and told me the town has lost multiple homes to the fire as well as rancher’s livestock.

Three firefighters unfortunately lost their live’s in the Chelan fire in Washington as well. They’re saying this has been one of the worse years for fires in quite some time now.

How Does This Affect Wildlife?

Well it depends, so the fires themselves burn underbrush and actually open up the canopys to provide sunlight for the vegitation that will regrow. The ash also adds carbon and nutrients to the soil.

On the flip side of the arguement aside from the tragic destruction these fires cause to humans and their homes, many animals are also killed in these fires. I heard stories of some of these fires in Idaho burning deer alive because the deer were too stunned to move, much like when they see headlights.

If the fires burn enough of the vegetation then the animals that do survive the burn will struggle to find food as well.

For those concerned about the fires and want to keep up on the status visit this site here to monitor the progress the firefighters are making with each fire, the containment percent, number of people assigned to it, and more helpful information.

I’m worried that this fall could be a long tough one since September and October are the worst for fires and they say the budget allocated to fighting forest fires is already depleted.

Stay safe everyone. #Prayforthenorthwest