A Roundup reporter's account on page 10A of today's paper is a forewarning of what we may expect this spring and summer if drought continues - as expected.
The wildfire that reporter Myndi Brogdon describes burned only an acre of ground. But its intensity and the danger it represented portended far more dire consequences. After all, over the past six months the Rim country has received less precipitation than it did during the summer that the Dude fire consumed more than 24,000 acres of forest.
Lightning strikes are out of our control. But our own behavior can either add to the danger - or reduce it. To lessen the chances of tragedy, we all need to have an attitude of aggressive diligence. We need to pay attention to how we handle matches and cigarette butts and campfires and our charcoal grills. We need to pay attention right down to where we park our cars with their hot mufflers when we pull them off the road. And, surely, we need to pay attention to how our visitors from the Valley act while spending time in our neighboring wildlands.
We need to be educators, living billboards, to get the message across to those passing through to the forest that fire is a deadly enemy, an especially dangerous one this year.
Pass along a gentle reminder when you come in contact with forest-bound Phoenicians. Tell them of the tally for the summer of 1990: 63 homes, six lives.
A few words can make a difference.