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Global warming in regards to forest fires

Letter to the Editor

I am 76 years old and this is what I have observed in regards to global warming in regards to forest fires, which definitely contributes carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In the early 1990s, the U.S.F.S. announced that the forests were getting overgrown and that they were going to let some fires burn if they were not threatening private property to thin the forest, which they did. Some examples are the Corral Creek, Burgdorf Junction, Graves Creek and Blackwell. They also announced that they were going to decommission some lookouts as they were expensive to operate and that they could detect fires cheaper with the use of airplanes. Most fires, when they start, give off blue smoke, which will evaporate very quickly, and if the airplane is over in the next drainage they will not detect the smoke. So much for early detection. Consequently, the fire gets huge before it is detected and is all but impossible to put out.

Now the negative side of all forest fires, large and small. It is my understanding that trees require three things to grow — soil, water and carbon dioxide — which they convert into oxygen through a process called photosynthesis.

Carbon dioxide is heavier than oxygen, so it does not go away, and it is also a greenhouse gas, which leads to global warming. Now a wildfires smoke puts untold amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which stops when the fire goes out. But what about the carbon dioxide that was already there needed to grow the forest? It does not go away, consequently, you add the two together and you have a terrible amount of carbon dioxide, especially when you consider the fires that have burnt over the last few years and more than likely a good share of this carbon dioxide is still in the atmosphere.

Yes, the U.S.F.S. is our atmosphere’s and our economy’s worst enemy, no exceptions.

Leonard Wallace

New Meadows


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