Forrest Fires, are one of the worst enemies to conservation that exists in our nation toady. In just the last few years forest fires, whether intentionally set or caused by nature, has ravaged millions of acres in several states. It has caused damage to valuable timber and even wiped out entire towns in California. And, no one will forget the massive fire in the Smokey Mountains just a few years ago.
The recurrence of these great fires has been so regular that states have had to start preparing for them every year. This can be expensive. Now states have had to raise the budget for fire equipment and fire fighters. These states now every year have to prepare for disasters that it’s not if they will happen but when.
Sometimes, the uncontrollable fires are unstoppable and consume thousands of acres of land and homes. The question is often asked, is there no way to stop this devastation? Is there a way to protect towns and homes? These questions are hurled at the forestry service all the time and is generally discussed.
The forest service will usually say that there are ways to prevent these annual fires; but these methods can not be deployed with any certainty of success. Why you may ask, well nothing is guaranteed except taxes and death one might say. It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at the issue or how much equipment or men that are hired to use said equipment. So, what are we to do about these fires that seem to happen on a annual basis ?
There are a few things that can be successful.
The causes of the fires must be eliminated, the conditions in the woods which help it’s spread must be done away with. and the the people who use the forests must be educated or forced to give up careless practices in the handling of fire.
The first measure necessary for the successful practice of forestry is protection from forest fires. This means employing more wardens and forestry agents. Cleaning up natures forest beds of dead and fallen trees and underbrush. Clearing right of ways for roads and power lines. Some people don’t want trees or brush cut back, but I bet they would rather see an old dead tree cut down than watch their entire town burn down.
The risk or threat of forest fires can never be eliminated entirely, for in the forest there is always flammable material which is very easy ignited. They may however, be largely prevented and under efficient organization damage kept down.
Ways of Fighting Forest Fires !
The firemen of the woods have learned that beside the fire retards and water that are dropped from planes, that the best time to fight fire is at night. The damp air slows the progress of the fire as long as there is a low wind. High winds can fan that fire like crazy. A fire will sweep ten or twelve miles in the day time but will eat it’s way slowly at night.
The forest fire will burn uphill with such rapid pace that hardly any strategy of the fighters can deter it. Sweeping from the bottom of a canyon or the foot of a hill, it rushes up the slope like a hot blaze up a chimney carrying the fire to the top in an incredibly short time.
Once at the summit of a hill, the fire burns more slowly descending the other side and fire fighters have the opportunity to dig trenches or cut fire lines and prepare other defenses to head off and stop the fire.
The source of the greatest danger to forests is the presence of dry tree tops and piles of brush left by loggers and windfalls of heavy storm