Most of the people who move to the forest do so for a number of reasons. Most often cited is the desire to live in a natural environment or something similar. To most folks the term natural means whatever the forest looked like the day they moved in.
Chances are that the forest in your front yard is about as natural as A Rod’s physique.
This is because your forest is supposed to burn about every 20 to 30 years but it hasn’t burned for a century. When ponderosa pine forests like those around Woodland Park burned frequently there wasn’t a lot of fuel build up between fires. Heat from fires on the ground pruned the lower limbs so that there was no fuel ladder to take the fire into the tree tops. Frequent fires also thinned the forest so that the trees were widely spaced. In the open forest with little fuel fires were cooler and tended to stay on the ground. Large trees with their thick bark weren’t harmed and younger trees were thinned, so the forest remained open.
After a century of fire suppression your forest is unnaturally dense, loaded with combustible fuel and unhealthy to boot. In such a forest a fire will quickly move from the ground to the tree tops and become an unstoppable inferno just like the Hayman Fire.
For example compare the two photographs of Woodland Park taken about a hundred years apart. Aside from the obvious differences of how our downtown has changed, look at gold hill in the background. Notice that the trees on Gold Hill are a great deal less dense, and that there are obvious openings in the trees in the old photo. This is the result natural result of frequent fires. In the modern photo the large opening on the left side of the photo has completely disappeared. A fire on the hill today will have a great deal more fuel and will be more intense.
Thus leaving the forest as you found it isn’t leaving it natural. Thinning the suppressed and unhealthy trees returns your forest to the natural open condition. In addition to reducing the threat of severe crown fires, the tress become less susceptible to attacks from bark beetles, wildlife habitat improves, property values increase, and the forest looks better.