Letters to the Editor

Gaither letter: Fire season

It won’t be long before the U.S. Fire Services can begin planning for next fire season. They will need more people, trucks, planes, personal equipment, helicopters, hire more contractors for food, water, shelters, potties, etc. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars and it works for them, as they have more and more fires every year.

For the last 40 years they have been fire managers and have managed to burn hundreds of thousands of acres of the public lands they manage and private lands next door. So how do they control a wild land fire? It’s simple, they fight fire with fire. Most people probably don’t know that 10 percent to 25 percent of acreage burned is set by firefighters. They call them “back burns, controlled burns, burnouts, etc. In many cases the fires change directions and they just increase size of the fires.

I certainly don’t find any fault with those young men and women on the fire lines. It is a physically demanding, dirty and dangerous job. My heart breaks when one of them is burned and/or dies. So, what’s the answer?? Stay tuned.

John Gaither, Grangeville

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