Forest Service now tries to tamp out every flame
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – If lightning strikes in the New Mexico wilderness and starts a fire, the blaze would normally be little more than a blip on the radar of land managers who have earned a reputation for letting flames burn to keep forested lands from growing into a tangled mess.
This season is different. Now firefighters are trekking deep into the Gila National Forest with trains of equipment-carrying horses and one overriding goal: snuffing out all fires, no matter how small or remote.
The U.S. Forest Service's decision is temporary. But after years of upholding fire's natural ability to clean up the landscape, the agency's about-face has drawn criticism from watchdog groups, some scientists and others who fear the agency might be setting the stage for an even more destructive season next year.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at email@example.com