University of Idaho professor, Penelope Morgan, says warmer
weather will bring frequent droughts to the already dry West,
amplifying fire cycles and overwhelming federal and state programs
designed to limit the danger to rural residents.
Morgan is among the majority of scientists, who believe the fossil fuel economy is making it worse.
The underlying reason the West burns so furiously is simple:
Forests become choked with flammable debris because it's too cold
or too dry for the dead wood and downed trees to rot. But fires themselves are the product of complex interaction among precipitation, forest growth, wind and human activities.
Morgan says national firefighting policies have largely eliminated the small and medium sized fires that used to clean out dead and downed wood. Officials say forest thinning may help lessen the damage.