Wildfires Let It Burn

March 8, 2013 - 4:28 AM
FILE - In this file photo taken Saturday, June 9, 2012, smoke billows from the Little Bear fire in southeastern New Mexico near Ruidoso, NM. When lightning sparks a wildfire deep in remote wilderness, U.S. Forest Service firefighters in recent years have been under orders to respond immediately, often trekking miles through steep, dense terrain with heavy gear to extinguish the blaze as quickly as possible. The agency’s policy to kill all fires, no matter how small or remote, was meant to decrease the threat of a spreading catastrophe in an increasingly parched, drought-stricken Western landscape. But in 2012 the forest service spent hundreds of millions over its budget, leading to a new approach to wildfire management in 2013. (AP Photo/Roswell Daily Record, Mark Wilson, File)