Forest Fire, European Edition

Oops, they did it again


This past weekend, a series of forest fires broke out in Portugal. Approximately 61 people — mainly civilians — are reported to have died while trying to flee the fires by car, or while sheltering in villages near the highway.

I pause for my usual statement:  May God have mercy on the souls of the dead, bring healing to the injured and comfort to the bereaved.

Coming barely a week after the equally fatal Towering Inferno of London, this tragic event serves to re-iterate the same point: the North America is far superior to Europe in many critical ways, a concept which soft-headed lefties still can’t manage to comprehend.

The last time a wildfire in the U.S. claimed so many lives was around a century ago: 82 people died in massive wildfires in the Rocky Mountains in 1910, while at least 400 people were killed in the Cloquet Fire which affected Minnesota and Wisconsin, burning both woodlands and settled areas, including towns and villages. In the century since, American fire officials learned their lessons and the only mass-casualty wildfire events (and in each case still much smaller than the recent tragedy in Portugal) involved smokejumpers and firefighters, who knowingly put themselves in harm’s way — not fleeing civilians or people sheltering inside settled communities.

Once again, our (American) great-grandfathers figured out fire safety far earlier and far more competently than contemporary Europeans. Consider than in 1949, a fire as deadly as the 1910 Rocky Mountain wildfires broke out in France, killing 82 people. And yet lessons were not properly learned; look at which just happened in Portugal.

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