Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, May 11, 2007

Catalina Burning

If you've ever had the pleasure of visiting Avalon on Santa Catalina Island, this dramatic LATimes photo will turn your stomach a bit. Fortunately, reports the LAT news blog, weather conditions are improving and fire fighters are optimistic they'll get a handle on the fire shortly, so those evacuated to Long Beach will be able to return home.

Environmentalism may have been a cause for the fire's rapid spread:
Standing outside a nearly empty Avalon City Hall about 8 p.m., his hands on his hips, Joe Voci, 85, a resident of Avalon since 1956, shook his head in dismay, muttering, "The biggest mistake the Catalina Conservancy ever made was getting rid of those goats -- the goats kept the darn brush down." (source)
The Conservancy got rid of the goats because environmentalists in and outside the organization pressured for a return to the island's native species, and removal of non-natives that they deemed destructive of the environment.

As a result, highly combustable native plants (i.e., "the darn brush") became re-established.