Arizona continues to burn…..

Posted: June 18, 2011 in AZ, Global Warming, Gov. Jan Brewer, Natural Disasters
Tags: , ,

Now in addition to the Wallow fire in the eastern part of the state (as of this morning it was only 33% contained), we are now having to deal with a second large wildfire that has exploded in the southern part of the state. The Monument fire, which started on June 12, occupies over 18,000 acres near in the south central section of the state and over the Mexican border.

As of this morning the Monument fire had consumed 40 houses and one church, but within the last 24 hours had doubled in size.  There is also another fire nearby called the Horseshoe Two fire which has been burning at least since June 15th.  Taking just these three wildfires together, it would appear that the following area within Arizona is an active battleground of man v. fire:


2011 Summer Wildfires

The majority of the land is Federal Park land and therefore the majority of the cost is borne by the U.S. Government.  See all of the colored land below versus the colorless areas and the red circle that show the wildfires?  It is either Federally managed land or it is an Indian Reservation (which means more Federally Managed land*).  Do you see how little Gov. Brewer is actually responsible for?**

Wildfires compared to Federal v State Lands

Wildfires compared to Federal v State Lands

Gov. Brewer has declared a state of emergency so that extra funds can be allocated to deal with those area that the state controls.  I think it is important to note this discrepancy but I am willing to bet that if the fires are controlled successfully that  Gov. Brewer  will take credit for it and if they aren’t, she’ll be blaming the Feds.  After all, that is her MO.  Make note, I am making a bet on how she will behave, anyone want to bet on the outcome? I don’t mean to trivialize what the residents (human, domesticated pets, wild animals, etc) are going through as a result of these fires.  I AM being cynical about how our esteemed Gov. will behave.


*Yes, the Indian Reservations are sovereign nations but no nation is sovereign absolutely, in a de facto sense, not even the U.S., no matter what right wing conservatards may say or believe.  Indian Nations govern themselves, but they receive a great deal of money and support from the Federal Government particularly in the area of law enforcement and safety support such as wildfire fighting.  From a practical standpoint it would be absurd for the Feds to sit back and wait for an Indian nation to deal with a rapidly spreading wildfire because it would then spread to non-Reservation land and they’d have to become engaged once more anyway and it would have more momentum.

**So after two or three or four glasses of vodka and Cranberry Juice, I took the map of Arizona from AZCentral showing the fire locations (although I don’t think they take into account the acreage affected, it seems more like they are giving dots for the center of the fires) and then combined that with the map of Federal Lands). So what we get is what you see here, as best as I can muster at midnight, Arizona time after a few cocktails.  So sue  me……


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