Years ago we used to manage our forests with what is known as clear cutting. Lumber companies would come in and clear out the dead fallen trees and thin out some of the other trees. Environmentalists had a cow about this and thought the best thing to do was to let nature take its course and not to even touch the "pristine wilderness".
Since the time we have stopped clear cutting our forests and responsible managing them, our forest fires have grown larger, spread faster, and cost more to fight. Instead of clearing out possible fuel for these wild fires, it is all just left there to increase the burn.
The massive amounts of extra fuel in dead timber combined with high heat, low humidity, and windy conditions were a disaster waiting to happen. We have seen these happen many years in various parts of the west. We could and should re institute clear cutting in our forests to at least lower the amount of fuel these fires feed on. Interestingly enough, the only place there is still clear cutting is in Harry Reids state of Nevada.
Our prayers go out to those affected by these wild fires both directly and indirectly. Like I said, I am 2000 miles away and can smell it and I got a mild headache and my eyes sting.