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Old 09-06-2014, 08:22 AM   #3
cityboy
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 575
According to some experts the answer is no. They cite the following reasons:

1. Decrease in Logging
2. Use of best practices in Logging
3. Lack of coal burning locomotives creating sparks

"Itís generally accepted that the main reason fires were so awful in 1903 and 1908 was that loggers left huge piles of slash behind them: bark, branches, twigs, etc. This dried up and became tinder waiting for a spark. The sparks often came from the other significant distinction between now and then: coal burning locomotives, with no controls on sparks. After the great fires, state foresters noticed that they were far worse in the slash zones. The state passed a lopping law (requiring that debris be cut up and left on the forest floor, where it would rot more quickly), and regulations on locomotives were passed."

On the other hand Western States like California seem to be seeing an increase in fires and presumably are using best lumbering practices too and have no coal burning trains either.
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