Fire is neither good nor bad, it's just fire. Ponderosa pine, like all other fire dependent ecosystems, requires fire to maintain it, yet the fire still has an affect on the trees and other plants, available nutrients, and the soil and water quality. But, with out the fire, the area eventually ceases to be and when a fire does occur it can be far worse than when the lower intensity ones happened.
Other than this year's winter being exceptionally dry and live fuel moisture levels being very low in this, the pre-monsoon time, the fire is largely beneficial. In areas which haven't seen fire in decades, it will be destructive and create ugly conditions for a while, but in places like McKenna Park, perhaps Little Turkey Park, and along Little Creek in the pine stringers, the fire should really improve things. The problems in pine, are really only encountered when overly dense conditions allow the fire to crown, or heat is trapped in the crowns and excessive leaf scorch occurs, but mostly when decades of duff burns at the base girdling the pines. The only thing that can be done to prevent that is to rake the base of the thick duff build up and to have more frequent fires.
The 2003 fire in McKenna was the first wide spread fire in a long, long time. The duff was thick at the base of the pines and though it was a low intensity burn, the duff burned deep and long and made a lot of scars into the bark of the trees. This in itself is not bad, but these dead areas then allowed for pathogens to enter the roots of the trees at the weakest and most vulnerable spot. Some trees died outright, and some lived with root rot. Last May, after years of rot and then that spring's high winds, many live crowned trees blew over. When I looked at them, it was all the same thing: root decay. It is important to differentiate between trees which blew over, root mass/ root ball and all, and these which just broke and blew right over. Sadly, the ones I anecdotally noted as going over most, were the oldest and most impressive ones. None are terribly tall in McKenna (maybe 100 feet, tops), as site index is not very impressive due to the basalt origin of the soil and the relatively shallow nature of it, but DBH's were. Some were 3 to 4 feet in diameter. The younger cohort which came in around the time of the wilderness designation is about 100 years old. After grazing ceased and before the grasses were able to reclaim their dominance, a pretty heavy pine regeneration crop emerged. These trees are denser and younger than the much older trees. Point is, they have smaller crowns because they grew in denser conditions, and therefore will not achieve the diameters of the older, more open grown trees. It will take a lot of time, but eventually, if the FS is more wilderness minded in management and not just name, then places like McKenna can redevelop into the conditions that existed in 1880 when the Texans first brought their live beef up there to graze. We are in a transition period now, with the trees having to deal with the affects of fire suppression and fire's reintroduction. If you're around in 150 years, we'll see how it looks out there.