During his State of The Union address, President Obama promised to end forest fires in Colorado.
The Pinus contorta as a species is a very dependent on fire as a mode of replacing itself. The bark of the lodgepole pine is fairly thin, minimizing the defense the tree has to fire. The stands are so densely populated that the trees self thin, or out compete, each other leaving dead trees in the stand. These dead trees become a dry ladder fuel to accelerate the fire to the crown of the tree. When the fire reaches the crowns of the trees, it can jump from tree to tree and becomes relatively unstoppable. These stand-replacing fires open the cones, releasing the seeds, and are what most species of lodgepole pine rely on to be able to regenerate.