June 9, 2012
Courtesy Coconino National Forest
The prevalence of crown fires is the result of overgrowth that has created “fuel ladders” capable of carrying flames that would normally be contained to the forest floor, to the very tops of the trees.
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All the conditions necessary to create another Rodeo-Chediski or Wallow fire, or the nightmare now scorching New Mexico, the 250,000 acre Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire, are out there in the forest.And if one expert's observations are correct, the day may come when one of those "mega fires" could come calling on the Verde Valley, or the hills above.