The Consuming Fire: Fr. Gary

In Colorado Springs a wild-

fire is burning out of control;

tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes. It takes just a few seconds for a spark to become an inferno. An average of 5 million acres burns each year in the United States, causing millions of dollars in damage.

Once a fire begins, it can spread at a rate of up to 14 miles per hour, consuming everything in its path. As a fire spreads through brush and trees, it can take on a life of its ownit finds surprising ways to keep itself alive, creating its own weather and wind patterns, even spawning smaller fires by throwing embers miles away. It jumps boundaries and shows little regard for human expectations. All consuming fire can be a very scary thing; it defies predic- tion and understanding.

But fire is necessary to the earthly cycle of renewal. When stewards of the land extinguish every spark, refusing to allow any fire at all, the cycle of life suffers. Vegetation age sandbegins to choke itself, plant can’ t reseed and diversity of flora and fauna deteriorates. Drought and wind take their toll and fire inevitably does break out creating a confla

gration like the Yellowstone National Park Fire of 1988 which burned out of control for months, and could only be extinguished when cooler, moister weather conditions came with the change of seasons  read more ...