The enormous Wallow Fire continues to rage in eastern Arizona, and it has rekindled the debate over whether environmentalists are to blame for wildfires.
Over the years, environmentalists have filed lawsuits that put restrictions on loggers who clear a lot of the dry brush from the forests. They say "old-growth" logging puts endangered species in the area, like the Mexican spotted owl, at risk.
Many area residents feel that the build up of dry wood on the forest's floor -- caused by restrictions placed on logging companies by environmentalists' lawsuits -- makes fighting blazes like the Wallow Fire more difficult.
In other words, many feel that the dry timber that fuels these giant fires is the result of hippies who want to save a few owls.
Environmentalists say that theory is just a scare tactic.
"That's just wrong, flat-out wrong,'' Bryan Bird of Wildearth Guardians, which has been involved in some of the lawsuits, tells the Associated Press. "These people are misinformed, or they're intentionally trying to scare people in a time that they're already terrified. It's pure politics.''
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