Let it burn? That's National Park Service Policy
Unless a naturally occurring fire threatens lives or structures, Yosemite and other national parks are likely to let nature run its course.
As the massive Rim fire roared out of the Stanislaus National Forest and deeper into Yosemite National Park this week, public attention rose sharply.
But the intensity of firefighting did not.That's because part of the blaze had crossed into the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, which has a more restrained approach to managing wildfires than other federal, state and local fire agencies battling the 300-square-mile blaze.
Officials estimate that it will be fully contained in two or three weeks, but it is expected to keep smoldering for weeks longer and won't be truly out for months.
Although the 4,900 firefighters here operate under a unified command, the park service has a very different firefighting philosophy from that of the forest service or the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Park officials prefer to herd fires where they want them to go and allow blazes to burn out on their own. It's a science-based approach that serves the same function as off-season forest thinning and controlled burns. But those arguments often fail to stand up to public distaste for trees burning in beloved national parks.
We invite you to discuss and comment on this article using social media.
LATEST INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT HEADLINES
Why Jerry Brown Has Become Optimistic About Trump and Climate Change18 hours ago
In Houston's New Park, Art Goes Green3 days ago
Should Struggling Airports Be Turned Over to Companies?3 days ago
Oroville Dam Spillway Closing for Repairs Until Fall6 days ago
How a Lawmaker Who Created Colorado's First 'Public Lands Day' Is Celebrating1 week ago
Can Rewards for Not Texting and Driving Break the Habit?1 week ago