What to do about forest fires

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Does the U.S. Forest Service have any kind of plan on what steps to take in case of a hot dry fire season like this year’s for next year? It seems to me they are surprised every time this occurs. Since the fires in Yellowstone in 1988 when they announced that the new policy was to “let it burn naturally,” the forest service does not fight fires aggressively.

When I was on a fire a couple of years ago, I asked a Forest Service person about this and he said, no, we “manage” them.

When I see all of the firefighting equipment parking in staging areas everywhere not moving to fight fires I think no wonder it costs the taxpayers so much.

What happened to cat fire breaks, fallers and other means of stopping the fires? It seems every year we have fires in August and September and they are never under control until it rains.

I realize it’s not all the Forest Service’s fault, the environmentalists stop a lot of projects and like no scars on the earth, they like to see it all black I guess. Why not harvest the trees sensibly instead of wasting our forests to fires.

I would guess that this will be no different than previous fires. When the fires are out the trees will be left to rot where they burned.

How long are we just going to sit and watch our country be ruled by people with no common sense?

Please write to your congressmen and senators to tell them what we would like to see happen. Tell the environmentalists we do NOT need to quit logging our forests, we can manage our forests responsibly.

Tell the Forest Service to start doing something besides closing gates, giving out tickets for not having a wood permit or Christmas tree permit. Start hiring summer firefighters when not fighting fires to be thinning trees, clearing roads, etc. Just think of the jobs that would create.

We are tired of excuses!

—Tim Kumle

Libby, MT

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