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( SchuylerKing )

Comments made by SchuylerKing

New Study: Logging Beetle-Killed Trees May Be Pointless

I'm a wildland firefighter trying to remember the number of times I've watched wildfires burn in ways chair-bound academicians said couldn't happen. I've lost count. Nature doesn't give a levitating rodent's patootie about what educated fools write, doing it's own thing despite silly papers to the contrary.

Hopefully, these academicians will ask *firefighters* how fires burn. I've never been asked, nor has any firefighter of my acquaintance--we often discuss such things because academicians, politicians and mis-named "enviromentalists" make our jobs more difficult. And infinitely more dangerous.

Park and forest officals love such disingenuous reports, using them to divert funding toward attracting and coddling tourists and away from proper forest management, (google the National Park Circus'...um...Service's...$1,000,000 outhouse). If there's a bad fire, officials will blame the report or the weather guessers--anybody or anything. Anything but their own negligence and dereliction of duty. Been there, seen that, got covered with soot. More than once.

As a wildland firefighter, the *best* I can say about this report is that the irresponsible negligence it encourages puts not only my life and the lives of my fellow firefighters in danger, but endangers families living near areas in which thousands of dead trees abound. Carried by the winds, a burning firebrand can travel farther than a rifle bullet, with tremendously more destructive--often, deadly--results.

Leaving--nationwide--millions of dead trees standing is like leaving an open bucket of gasoline in the smoker's lounge: It isn't a question of IF it will result in a tragedy but WHEN. Such an idea is malicious if not downright criminal.

There are 4 possible ignition sources for wildfires: Lightning, men, women and children. Inevitably, one of those ignition sources will meet up with the fuel. It may be sooner, it may be later, but it WILL happen.

It takes only grade-school logic to understand that, if you remove the fuel, a fire is impossible--a word I rarely use but it bears repeating: If you remove the fuel, a fire is IMPOSSIBLE. No one can die in it, no one's home can be reduced to smoldering rubble, because without fuel, fires simply *cannot* happen. Period.

The *worst* I can say about this outrageous, politically-tainted report is that it is a bald-faced lie. Someone will die, horribly, painfully, as a result of it. I hope it isn't me. Or you. Or your children.

BTW: I'm a *volunteer* firefighter. I don't get paid one red cent to fight a fire--in fact, it costs me money out of my own pocket; to take time off to fight fires, to drive sometimes a couple of hundred miles round-trip to take courses (from firefighters, not academicians) in fire behavior, or incident-command structure, or standards, or survival or EMT training. What I have said here is based on experience, observation and conviction, not conflict-of-interest or political agenda.

March 8, 2010 at 4:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )