Firefighters have stopped the northward advance of the second-largest wildfire in recorded Arizona history and are now focusing on its eastern flank, which has burned its way into New Mexico….
The Arizona blaze, known as the Wallow Fire, has burned 706 square miles, officials said Monday, up from 694 square miles the day before. The fire remains about 10% contained, but officials are optimistic the number could grow to 15% on Tuesday….
The fires, as mentioned above are the 2nd-largest in Arizona’s recorded history (though, is getting close to becoming the largest — the largest burned 732 square miles) and come in the midst of a tremendous, unprecedented drought in the Southwest that is exactly like what climate scientists have been predicting for that region for years. Climate scientists predict such drought to become more frequent and more intense in the years to come due to climate change and I think the only people who will be surprised by them will be the politicians and citizens who have had one pulled over on them by the fossil fuel industry, which has tried to convince the public that climate change isn’t happening and isn’t caused by humans.
Some of that party are all but one of the GOP contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination who took part in the GOP debate last night. Unfortunately, those politicians, who have either been confused by the industry and their climate denier propaganda or have just been bought by the industry, will leave many more suffering the destruction and hear and inconvenience of fires like those we are seeing in Arizona and New Mexico now.
Of course, you can always go ahead and pretend like there is no connection, as this video below suggests:
For a little more on the fires, check out NPR: Western Wildfires Fanned By Windy, Dry Conditions