With all of the recent news of the devastating floods in Texas, Florida and surrounding states, the media has ignored the fires in Montana. Severe drought conditions have made it so dry there, that record numbers of fires are taking place.
How bad are the fires? As of the end of August, there were 1,589 fires, affecting 759,486 acres. (Now it’s over 800,000 acres.) Compare that to the annual average of the last ten years (2006-2016), with 1,750 fires in the average year, totaling 311,915 acres.
Several firefighters have died. The air quality is poor. There are statewide evacuations. Homes and historic landmarks have been consumed along with personal and public land, crops, livestock and wildlife. The Federal government has spent $190,000,000, while State and County budgets have been depleted.
With severe droughts in our northern states — Montana is not alone — and extreme hurricanes and flooding in our southern states, how much longer will it be before we wake up and recognize that not only is our country in trouble, but our entire planet is also in trouble?
Montanans say, “We will rise out of the ashes.” But what are we doing to prevent this from happening again?
We have had our wakeup calls … several within the last few weeks. But will we listen? When will climate change deniers recognize that climate change — the actions of mankind — are changing our world? Will it be too late?
The Sound of Silence. An odd topic for this article? If you watch this video, it will make sense, and you will learn more about the Montana fires.
Here’s an update as of September 15:
Illustration for this article adapted from the nbcmontana.com article.