My Spearfish neighbors have been casting a nervous eye toward smoke on Crow Peak. Lightning Saturday sparked a fire that has burned 125 acres on the rugged west side of the westerly jewel in the Queen City's crown.

We get all hopped up on images of brave firefighters risking the heat to battle Nature. But expert outdoorsman Larry Kurtz wonders if all that effort is necessary:

Winds are out of the southeast as is typical for the season, moving the fire into oak and aspen breaks where it slows. There are no structures threatened anywhere near the burn zone where decades of slash and overgrowth burden aspen restoration in there.

Dozers reopened an old road and the scar will be visible on the north face for years to come: gawd.

Cooler temperatures and some rain are forecast for the next few days: let 'er burn [Larry Kurtz, "Crow Peak Fire: Let It Burn," Interested Party, 2012.06.26].

I've seen that west side: there's not much out there but a darn fine view of Wyoming. Could we do more for the health of the forest by doing less?