At ground zero of the Biscuit Fire
larryc at teleport.com
Mon Dec 9 19:36:43 EST 2002
In article <b9eb3efe.0212090644.368290e0 at posting.google.com>,
wolfbat359 at mindspring.com writes:
> I climbed to a bluff high above the lake for a wider view. Yes, the
> lakeshore was a circle of green in a small black spot, but beyond
> stretched 40 miles of wilderness where virtually all of the old-growth
> trees had survived. In this larger picture, the forest had been
> rejuvenated, not devastated.
The beneficial effect of fire has been well known for centuries. The
famous Great Fire of London in 1666 allowed architect Christopher Wren to
rebuild a model city. It is often rumored that the emperor Nero burned
Rome as a means of slum clearance. The Great Fire of Chicago in 1871
burned about the same percentage of the city as the Biscuit fire, and led
to a great economic boom as the city was rebuilt.
Unfortunately, our cities are suffering from a century of ill conceived
fire suppression, leaving massive unhealthy areas of decaying buildings.
We need to return to a policy of encouraging regular burns in our cities
to clear the ground for new development. The old buildings that are well
built will once again be exposed to sunlight as rapidly built but less
durable buildings are consumed.
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