Saturday, January 26, 2008

Article About Current Issues in Wildland Fire

There is an excellent article by Richard Manning about some of the issues we are currently facing in wildland fire. Manning interviewed two well-known figures in the Northern Rockies area, George Weldon, Deputy Director for Fire and Aviation for the USFS in the Northern Rockies Region, and Orville Daniels, retired Forest Supervisor of the Lolo National Forest.

These two men show remarkable insight and candor in describing fire management strategy... what works and what doesn't. Weldon is quoted as saying:
"[The Ahorn] was a fire we went after very aggressively," Weldon says. "We put in a couple loads of smoke jumpers, a hotshot crew, aviation assets. We spent a lot of money on that fire. We exposed a lot of folks. We crashed a helicopter. We had a shelter deployment on that fire. Despite all that, we influenced that fire very minimally, and we spent $18 million trying."
Weldon goes on to say:
"I think it is disrespectful to tell people we are going to protect their structures when we don't have the capability," he says. "What's different is that the environment we are living in and working in is going to demand that we look at it differently. I don't think we have a choice."
A big thanks to Dick Mangan for the tip on this article.

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