This photo (via TPM) of the wildfires currently burning up Colorado Springs and environs is pretty amazing:

Obviously as a mathematician I’m not professionally qualified to comment on this, but the US policy vis-à-vis wildfires is fairly insane, and has been for quite some time.  (Of course, this is probably true of US land use policy more generally; actually the fire policy might be more sensible now than it has been in the past.)  Some interesting comments from someone who is professionally qualified can be found in this comment thread — look for the blue-green responses from Jim.

(Some pines thrive on fire, and in particular drop cones that won’t open without the heat from a blaze.  Apparently the dominant flora in the area currently burning in Colorado are not of this type, however.)

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