Even a simple-minded climate scientist might be able to understand this.
Since 1970, the Washakie Ranger District of the Shoshone National Forest has averaged 26 wildfires each year. Around 51 percent of those fires have started from natural causes, forest officials said.
“Over the years, fire managers have learned that attempting to suppress all fire on the landscape has undesirable consequences,” Hottle said. “If we were to do so, we might limit the size of some fires for a period of time.”
Hottle said prolonged fire suppression allows forests to overgrow, leading to large stands of diseased trees. It creates greater fuel loads capable of supporting catastrophic fires, like those experienced in 1988.
“At some point this unnaturally created forest would experience an intense fire which would be difficult to suppress,” Hottle said. “It could burn over a very large area and create significant ecological and aesthetic impacts.”