Comments? We love comments. But these are the rules.

(This was written in 2009 but occasionally we will update it
or “pin” it to the top of the first page as a friendly reminder.)

We encourage you to comment on any subjects you see here on WildfireToday or FireAviation. Intelligent contributions from our readers can add to everyone’s experience.

When commenting, please consider the three doors that charitable speech must pass through. The gatekeeper at the door asks, “Is it true?” The second gatekeeper asks, “Is it helpful?” and the third gatekeeper asks, “Is it kind?” (adapted from the writings of Krishnamurti by James Martin in his book Between Heaven and Mirth.)

Here are the rules:

    1. Be civil. “Flaming” of writers or other commenters is not allowed. Neither are crude, rude, or mean-spirited comments, or personal attacks that fail to add to the overall discourse. Name-calling is strongly discouraged, but the site’s administrator reserves the right to use the term “idiot” — or worse — when it is richly deserved. Unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed.
    2. Be on topic, accurate, and helpful.
    3. No advertising. And no anti-science fantasies.
    4. Religion and politics will not be discussed, unless your comment affects wildland fire or firefighters.
    5. Criticizing firefighting tactics based on seeing a photo or a video is ridiculous. If you have a serious question and desire to learn, ask it. But don’t say a firefighter screwed up based on an image you saw. “But he has his sleeves rolled up!!” Please.
    6. Provide evidence, or at least facts. RE: “unsubstantiated allegations” above: If you’re going to make a claim about an arson plot or burnout conspiracy or secret government policy, provide a link to evidence or your comment will be deleted. Snarkyass remarks of this nature are also not tolerated, and repeat offenders will be blocked.
    7. Avoid libel. The “unsubstantiated allegations” includes ridiculous claims about illegal activities by agency people. If you’ve got facts or evidence, bring it on — otherwise keep your remarks on facebook.

Posts here are automatically closed to additional comments a year after they are first published. They may be closed earlier if commenting is abused. This is an adult forum on wildfire, not facebook or reddit.

This site is not a democracy, and we are not the government; you do not have here a right to free speech like you do on the steps of the courthouse. One objective here is to make this enjoyable for you — and also for the site administrator, who may remove any comment for his completely arbitrary or capricious reasons. His site, his rules.

Suggestions for effective comments:

    • Be concise. Rambling bores people and they will move on.
    • But not too concise. Just a few words saying you agree with something another person wrote does not add to the discussion.
    • Extremely long paragraphs are hard to read. Use <enter> key.
    • Spelling and grammar. Multiple misspellings and grammar errors cause readers to tune out and lose respect for what you say. We may occasionally fix one just to be kind — or we may not.
    • Facts. Include facts and links to back up claims you make (show others that your thoughts are credible and not just pulled out of nowhere).
    • Don’t try to end-run a block. If you got one, you deserved it, and having your friends stick up for you in the comments will just get them blocked too. Logging in with fake IP addresses or emails will not win you any points either. Just don’t go there.