Lacking to put fires out is common sense

Letter: Leonard Wallace, New Meadows

Starting on Aug. 19 all I heard on the news was how bad the air was from the forest fires; now this is not something that happened overnight. What a lot of people don’t realize is this has been building up for years. You see, it takes soil, water and carbon dioxide to grow trees. Now more than one million acres of the forest has been burnt, this in turn destroys the trees leaving no shade to help keep the snow from melting in the spring, which means we are headed for a drought.

By destroying the trees there is nothing to take the carbon dioxide out of the air and there being enough carbon dioxide to grow and maintain a one-million-acre forest for years, which in turn means that every forest fire and clearcut in the last 100 years is not removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; however, it is still in the atmosphere 24/7, 365 days a year. This puts a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, consequently the air is leaning toward hazardous, and getting worse all the time.

Another thing that confuses me is in 1960 we only had the loggers, Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association, smokejumpers and a few Forest Service employees, yet we never had the terrible forest fires like we do today. Yet if you talked to a Forest Service employee, all he could say was we need a fire, as that is where we make our money, but the fires were still put out.

Today we have untold numbers of firefighters, heli-repellers, somejumpers, helicopters with water buckets, retardant planes and unlimited resources and large devastating fires. Somehow this doesn’t make sense to me. The only thing that I can see that they are lacking to put a fire out is common sense.

Yes, the U.S.F.S. is our forest’s worst enemy. No exceptions.

Leonard Wallace

New Meadows

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