As a result of the recent Tinder Fire there has been a flurry of Firewise activity. We all understand that thinning, laddering and raking are necessary to keep our houses from burning down, but do we really understand how each of these activities function to keep us safe?
For thousands of years before man came to the Mogollon Rim, the forest looked something like this picture, which was taken in our forest about a quarter-mile north of Starlight Drive and Ute Circle.
For all those years, there was a master gardener at work– thinning, laddering, clearing the ground, and fertilizing the soil. That very efficient gardener was fire. But when humans moved to the Rim, they arrested fire until they realized the consequences of not allowing fire to do its job. Now we have controlled burns, but of course in populated areas we must do fire’s job. We must thin our trees, limb them up, and mow the grass as well as rake the ground to remove the fire fuels. If we don’t, fire will do it for us.