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Treebeard's Stumper
17 September 1999

Wild Fire

Fire is on my mind. It's our first topic in science class. It's also the peak of the wildfire season, and I live in the woods. We witnessed an arson-caused fire on our way to the Sierras and watched bombers drop retardant. The week before, lightning started a fire near Red Rock, too close to home. There have always been lightning strikes and summer-dry chaparral ready to burn. But bombers and hotshot crews are something new. What controlled wildland fires before modern procedures? Did the whole state burn at once?

Fire on the hills
Lightning-caused fire burning into the backcountry behind Red Rock on August 26, 1999. Santa Barbara city firefighter Stephan Masto died fighting this fire, apparently from heat stroke.


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Copyright © 1999 by Marc Kummel /