Wildfire news, October 8, 2012

White Draw fire
White Draw fire
White Draw fire, Black Hills of South Dakota, July 7, 2012. Photo by Bill Gabbert

U.S. Forest Service ran out of money for fires

Because the federal government only appropriates funds for firefighting based on a 10-year average, and with this year having more than the average number of fires, the U.S. Forest Service ran out of money. The agency had to take funds from other accounts to continue to suppress fires. Congress dealt with the issue, providing $400 million from the 2013 Continuing Resolution.

The Washington Post has a straight forward article on the subject, and if you like a little commentary thrown in, you can check out how FireDogLake reported the story.

Air tanker company busier than usual

And speaking of more fires than average, New Frontier Aviation which operates single engine air tankers, has been much busier this summer than in an average fire season. Andy Taylor, the owner of the company told a reporter for the Capitol Journal, that the last time he remembers a fire season being this busy was in 2006.

Nebraska official says better forest management could have lessened impacts of recent fires

A District Forester for the Nebraska Forest Service said better forest management could have lessened the adverse impacts of some of the recent fires that burned forest lands in the northwest part of the state. In the article attributed to the Associated Press, Chadron based District Forester Doak Nickerson suggested that land owners could concentrate more on “active management, a term that includes activities such as logging, grazing, thinning out diseased and insect-infested trees, and purposely setting controlled fires to clear brush that can feed a fire”.

Interestingly, the article was published by many organizations around the country with a misleading headline reading “Logging Could Have Eased Neb. Fires”, found on The Weather Channel, the Scotts Bluff Star Herald, and My San Antonio. To their credit, The Republic, an Indiana publication, had the following headline: “Official says Nebraska forest struck by wildfire was overgrown, could have been better managed”.

The Associated Press probably distributed the article with the suggested headline about logging, but The Republic must have actually read the article and composed a headline that more accurately reflected what the District Forester was reported as saying in the article. Good work by The Republic.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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