Brian Head Burning

A picture I took last night on a ridge above Brian Head, UT tells of a much deeper tale than just another forest fire.  Brian Head lies at about 9700 feet in elevation with lush and verdant streams decorated by elegant blooms of wildflowers while aspen trees quake in the breeze.  The land is damp, forested, meadowed and beautiful.  So how does a fire of this level explode like a volcanic upheaval with such spectacular evidence of a fury born within new paradigm.  The smoke of this fire is of excess.  It stretches across the western states and somewhere near the Mississippi River, over a thousand miles away.  This sublime place is telling us a prophecy.  Looking among the green firs, flowers, and aspens are barren trees gray and dead.  There are not a few dead trees, but forests of them.  Here in Brian Head and its high elevation surrounds these trees are masked, but in most of the western United States, they are all there is covering hundreds of square miles of mountainsides.  Dead wood that is dry and ready to burst.  Brian Head's conflaguration's smoke is being created by the immense lush greenery.  Anyone who has ever thrown a green branch with leaves in a fire, knows exactly what is happening.  However, when this or other fires hit the dead mountains of tinder, the result will and is infernos never seen before.  This is an indication of what the entire western United States will, not if, experience.  The dry wood is the result of the notorious pine bark beetle that has succeeded in killing the pine forests of western America.  These small insects were kept at bay when the winters got colder.  A few weeks of severe cold would kill off most of the population, then in spring when they would hatch there were not enough of them to kill forests, but certainly enough to kill off weak trees leaving ample space for the healthy trees to thrive.  This is a natural and important cycle.  But, as is seen over and over again, once there becomes an imbalance of an element in nature, the cycle is disrupted and something goes awry.  Climate Change has made the pine bark beetle go awry.  Now, fires are going awry.  And the dead wood is being rid of in nature's way.  The problem for people is that nature does not understand man's design.  It responds to what it must, and it is.

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