Several days ago, when the Slide Fire first broke out, I sent out a tweet predicting it to become a very dangerous major fire. By this morning, the fire was expected to be as large as 8000 acres, with almost 850 firefighters working hard to get some containment.
Oh no. Slide fire in AZ looks like it's going to be very bad.
— Rick Novy (@RickNovy) May 21, 2014
The fire takes its name from its proximity to Slide Rock State Park, a place my son’s scout troop has visited many times. The photos on the park’s page linked above will give you an idea of the terrain. oak Creek canyon is extremely rugged, a complication that impedes the firefighting effort on most Arizona wildfires.
I took the opportunity during the fire to write an op-ed piece for the Arizona Republic discussing the link between global climate change and the predicted increase of severity of wildfires. The impact is estimated to be between 200% and 400% of increase in acres burned for every Celsius degree of global warming. (One of many pages to cite this statistic is the Agri-Pulse website.) Nobody in the west is talking about this. In fact, a few years ago, Arizona pulled out of regional climate change discussions.
I don’t know whether the op-ed will be accepted. I have not heard back from them at all since I submitted the piece. If it is printed, I will link to the online version. If not, I will post the op-ed in its entirety here.