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Smog complicates aerial offensive against the spreading mountain blaze

Published: Tuesday, June 12 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Stansbury, UT

We'll have to live with wild fires, as long as we do not acknowledge that not only carbon dioxide and temperature stimulates plant growth, but more important the increase of reactive nitrogen in the atmosphere. The atmosphere consists out of 80% nitrogen gas, this nitrogen is not available, due to the strong bond between the two atoms. Forms, like nitrogen oxides and ammonia, caused by human activities, are 'reactive' and can be used as fertilizer, which will not happen when still part of the air. This will change when it rains and reactive nitrogen is dissolved in water and this "green' rain will fertilize the plant growth.
During wet weather conditions you will get excessive growth, while during dry weather this growth (grasses and brush) will become fuel for the hard to control wild and range fires. Now often so hot that also large trees will burn and root systems are destroyed that keep the soil together. When it rains again this will cause soil erosion and in some locations, mud slides. These large nitrogen molecules in the air also cause global warming, but since that does not exist, neither does 'green' rain.

Manti, UT

Chemicals in the atmosphere are an almost minuscule part of the wild fire situation. What you are seeing in the last decade of wild fires is mother nature demonstrating how she manages forests and ranges. It's a simple equation at work fuel+oxygen+ignition=fire. The fuel part of the equation is tipped even further buy some invasive species like cheat grass. But the bottom line is as we reduce logging and grazing we are building vast amounts of fuel in our forests and on our ranges and the only way nature knows how to control it is fire. Nature manages by catastrophic events. Until we get back to managing our resources you can expect this type of fire season every few years. It will reek havoc with with watersheds and species management (especially those under the endangered act which nature doesn't care about). Buy hey, it's natural, right?

Stansbury, UT

If chemicals in the atmosphere are such an almost minuscule part of wildfires, why then is the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the main source for plant growth on earth?

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