By Dan Shapley
Mining, tree cutting rules, and -- yes -- global warming are all suspects For today's update on this story, Lake Tahoe Fire Is A Sign Of Global Warming, click here.
The Lake Tahoe Fire, which scorched 250 homes and other buildings, along with four square miles, had many causes -- most of which point back to human activity. People looking at the ashes of million dollar vacation homes have a long list of grievances to air. When fire officials pronounced the suspect of the blaze's cause -- "human activity" -- they referred to an illegal camp fire, or other immediate cause of the blaze. Wildfires like this are always abetted by immediate weather conditions -- 35 mph winds Sunday, and overall dry conditions that gave way to a calm, humid break Monday in this case. But the roots of the fire's cause go much deeper, and the human activity influencing them does too. There's the mining boom that denuded the hills a century ago, leaving forests of relatively young trees planted too close to one another. There's the nearly century-old policy of suppressing all fires, which led to the buildup of abundant underbrush. There are regional rules that make clearing land a bureaucratic headache for homeowners, and there are the rules that allow rampant development in fire-prone regions. Finally, there is global warming. Scientists say more intense and frequent wildfires will likely come as a result of global warming
because -- as in the case of the Angora fire in Southern Lake Tahoe -- there will be less runoff from increasingly small snowpacks in the mountains. That will lead to overall drier conditions ripe for the kind of spark "human activity" has been providing for all recorded history, according to a story in the June 26 Los Angeles Times. Your Photos Lake Tahoe wildfire photos submitted today by The Daily Green community to the Weird Weather Watch photoblog Angora Forest Fire, Lake Tahoe Tahoe Fire 3 Tahoe Fire 1 South Tahoe On Fire 2 Lake Tahoe Fire 4 Lake Tahoe Fire 3 Lake Tahoe Fire 2 Lake Tahoe Fire Smoke On The Ridgeline South Lake Tahoe on Fire Lake Tahoe Forest Fire Helicopter Response New photos are being submitted all the time. For more Weird Weather Watch photos, including photos of the Lake Tahoe fire, click here. To submit your own photo, click here. Related Stories Southeast Drought Unrelenting Summer Forecast: Hot, With Wildfires World's Largest Lake Drying Up Western Governors Get Climate Warming Global Warming Threatens Israel Drought Plagues 1/3 of U.S. Georgia Swamp Fire Could Smolder For Months