This story is kind of weird for me, because I live in the Pine Barrens
. Wildfire is just part of life here. Pine trees require fires to reproduce, so it's just sort of a thing that happens, and you don't think about it until they're actually evacuating people a few streets down. I mean, I smell forest fires all the time, from controlled burns.
We have amazing fire departments because of it, but I had never actually heard of hotshot crews before this. Apparently we only use them for the biggest fires, and they get sent out to us from the West. Otherwise we use specialized machinery to dig ditches/hew trees for firebreaks. These just get maintained, breaking the woods into sectors, and we cut new ones as-needed.
But I also recognize that it's probably a LOT easier to handle this when A. a lot of the Pine Barrens is a nature preserve and B. it's a single (albeit large) area where the problems arise, not areas throughout the entire state that catch fire spontaneously from drought.
Here's to the people in Arizona who are in danger from the fire, and the fire fighters who gave their lives. [:cheers:]