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2012 fire season is off to a bad start

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avatar 2012 fire season is off to a bad start
June 23, 2012 08:15PM
It is the first week of summer and the Eastern Sierra is almost 50 percent drier than average for this time of year. A bark beetle infestation on June Mountain and in the Sherwin Range above Mammoth stands red and dry as an old bone. It won’t take much to start a fire there. An unprecedented invasion of cheat grass up and down the Eastern Sierra valleys and rangelands (this began five years ago in response to changes in weather and/or climate patterns) exploded even more last year, after the historic wet winter of 2010-11. The now-dry grasses carpet vast areas of the Eastside that firefighters once thought immune to fires. A century of misguided federal fire suppression policy has left the Eastern Sierra full of historic levels of fuels—trees, grasses, and vegetation that can carry fires from one place to another fast—and as prone to fires as the rest of the country. And it’s only June.

avatar Re: 2012 fire season is off to a bad start
June 23, 2012 09:31PM
I guess this is a good a place and time to let people know that they can help; the Miami Mountain Fire Lookout, between Mariposa and Oakhurst on Hwy 49, is staffed completely by volunteers. If you've ever wanted to be in a lookout tower, now's your chance. Most volunteers do only a day or two a month. Just click on the link and it will show you how to volunteer.
Re: 2012 fire season is off to a bad start
June 24, 2012 11:57AM
I spend about three months a year in June Lake and never knew they had a bark beetle problem. This is potentially horrific. In southern California, both Idyllwild and Lake Arrowhead were ravaged by the bark beetle in the late 90's up until 2003.
avatar Re: 2012 fire season is off to a bad start
June 24, 2012 04:39PM
And that's how it might have spread to the June Lake area since most of the vacationers who visit June Lake are from Southern California. Maybe some transported infested firewood from around Idyllwild and Lake Arrowhead to their vacation homes in around June Lake.
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