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Journal SPAM: SoCal Burned for Iraq 3

U.S. needs to keep fire tanker funding
Oakland Tribune, Nov 27, 2005

WHILE trying to slash billions of dollars from the federal budget to help cover the costs of the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration wants to cut funding, a move that would ground much of the federal fire-fighting tanker fleet.

This would be a bad idea.

While western states have managed to get through the last two years without a major flare-up of wildfires, wet winters and long, hot summers mean that the inevitable has only been delayed.

If major fires break out next year, we could find ourselves with a 50 to 75 percent reduction in our aerial fire fighting capability.

The administration wants to cut a $500 million reserve fund that's tapped to battle blazes across California and the West during heavy fire years. The $700 million annual fire-fighting budget is often exceeded, with costs rising to more than $1 billion.

"This fund -- developed on a bipartisan basis -- ensured that fire-fighting costs could be met," said California's Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. And environmentalists also have joined to oppose the proposal, which requires congressional approval.

Any year when the fire season worsens, the U.S. Forest Service would have to cancel other efforts, such as removing dead and dying trees, that are needed for fire control.

Coupled with a proposed spending limit of $100 million next year on federal aerial fire fighting, it would severely cripple the tanker fleet.

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SoCal Burned for Iraq

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  • So we have massive problems with "forest fires"... yet the native Americans practiced this sort of thing by intentionally starting forest fires and burning away the underbrush and dry wood... when our "ancestors" (read: white people) arrived here, they found a land ripe for conquest and plunder. Why was that, if intentional forest fires are so absolutely evil?

    I know this is partially off subject, but maybe not letting the EPA and other related agencies "manage" problems, we can actually find out that some
    • Intentional forest fires only became evil when yuppies moved to the forests and started building homes there, or when commercial logging operations are threatened. Even then, they're looked at often as a standard, natural way to reduce the type of undergrowth that leads to the really catastrophic stuff. Due to this, out here in the west, a fire will be allowed to burn itself out as long as it is "contained" by roads or firebreaks built after the fire started, and no houses or towns are in the way.
    • by tqft ( 619476 )
      The history of forestry management in Australia should give some of these people a clue if they haven't already.

      For a while there - all fires were bad, extinguish now type stuff.

      After some massive firestorms from the built up fuel and some study, people have wised up a bit and realise that the fires are natural and useful.

      Some of the trees have seeds in pods so tough that it requires a major blaze around them before they will open & germinate. That also means that the competition for resources has also

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"