'The Lake Tahoe basin, which sits on the border of California and Nevada, is managed by a maze of bureaucratic environmental agencies. Through ineptitude, those agencies did not allow property owners even to hand-clean brush on their properties for fear it would intrude on the “natural state” of the forest. As a result, the area was consumed by a superfire, which burned down 253 homes and consumed 3,100 acres.
Beginning in the late 1960s, a new attitude started to pervade our state and national forest-management practices. Fire, long the key tool in maintaining healthy forests, started to become a bad word in the environmental world. Forest fires caused air pollution - and a charred forest doesn’t generate tourist dollars to such beautiful locales as Yellowstone or Yosemite.
The original forest management practiced by American Indian tribes was deliberate setting of fire to the woods because the tribes knew that a few years later the forests would be healthier and more vibrant. Wood-destroying pests, undergrowth and built-up downfalls would be destroyed, while the trees usually survived. This same sort of management tool was used extensively by forest management in Western states to clean forests and create firebreaks that would stop future wildfires.'
You guessed it, overregulation has put an end to the ecologically sound practice of controlled burns, of underbrush clearance, of removal of deadfalls, resulting in a proliferation of wood and debris ripe for the burning in the next dry season. As you read of the damage to hundreds of thousands of acres of land in the American west, remember, we regulated ourselves into this disaster.