Take off the blinders
“Ambivalence: simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action.” Firefighters get a rush from attacking a fire; that doesn’t mean they enjoy the fire itself or don’t see the damage and heartache it causes.
How do you come to the conclusion that environmental policies such as roadless areas and stopping wood cutting that clears out dead and down fuels do not contribute to the suppression of a large wildfire? Roads provide fuel breaks and access for firefighters when seconds count. As incident commander on countless fires in the past, I used roads to expand on fire lines and hold the fire. And where is this thinning going on in our national forests and areas deemed untouchable such as the wildlife area in the Weber Fire or the wilderness areas certain special interest groups are pushing for more and more of?
Adding to the problem are the property owners that have been relentlessly warned to fire proof their homes and many have ignored the warnings, not just “some.” Near the Weber Fire, the homes along Highway 160 and in the subdivisions have tangles of thick brush right up to the homes and homes are built on a hill with thick brush encircling it. Urban interface has become a major problem for firefighting efforts. These home owners want their properties to look “natural” and when (not if) a fire comes, they expect firefighters to throw themselves in front of the unsaveable.
Firefighters are willing to risk their lives, not throw them away. Properties prepped to burn such as these threaten their neighbor’s property as well by fueling the fire’s advance.
Don’t label those who question environmentalist actions as having “no respect” or “duty of stewardship”. An attitude of my way or the highway seems a common theme among environmentalists. Environmentalist did not plant the brush, but with their “hands off” policies they are allowing it to create dangerous circumstances. Open your eyes, take the blinders off, clear your head of indoctrination and look at the world as a whole.
John M. Hopkins