I LIVE ON TUCSON'S eastside, so I've got a pretty good view of the Aspen Fire.
All I have to do is walk outside my apartment complex and look north over Speedway Boulevard, and there it is. It's an awesome sight, especially after dark, when the glowing orange flames become visible. Even dozens of miles away, the fire's destructive powers are evident for all to see.
Fire is something mankind has watched like this for millennia. We all have to remember that fires like this, whether we like them or not, are supposed to happen. It's nature. That section of Mount Lemmon, where the fire rages out of control as I type, has burned dozens of times over the last million years. That's the life of a forest.
What makes this fire a bit different, at least as far as we humans are concerned, is that we put a town on that mountain--a town that, for all intents and purposes, is gone now, because it got in the fire's way.
Check out James Reel's story on Page 14. The piece covers many important topics and raises numerous tough questions. What's in store for Summerhaven--should it be rebuilt? What role should the government play in forest management? Did political and profit-driven business interests endanger forest communities such as Summerhaven?
These are crucial questions that need to be pondered. After all, this is not the first fire to sweep through a mountain forest community like Summerhaven. And it will not be the last.