Are the ways forest fires are fought and prevented wise?

As summer advances, debate over the handling of forest fires, is one again on the front burner.

Are the ways forest fires are being fought and prevent “firewise?By Heath Druzin and Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. “We spend billions attacking almost every wildfire, but scientists say that’s bad for the forest, can put firefighters in unnecessary danger and doesn’t protect communities as well- or as cheaply – as we now know how to do.”

Reporters Druzin and Barker cite USDA’s inspector general who concludes that too many Americans who live to areas prone to forest fires do not join with their neighbors and/or accept personal responsibility to construct and landscape their homes in a way to reduce the danger of being burned in a wildfire. This is due in considerable measure to the federal effort to put out every fire and throw billions into wildfire suppression with no constraints.

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I believe their has been a decline in personal responsibility, but then I might be criticized as sounding cranky.

Note: please read the sidebar on rangefires. They are quite different the forest fires, and there are far too many of them. The result and the cause is mostly the spread of the flammable exotic cheatgrass.

The politics of Disaster: Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson seeks more grazing on Idaho’s burned rangelands

The politics of Disaster: Rep. Simpson Seeks Special Grazing For Fire-Riddled Idaho. By Brodie Farquhar. New West

Simpson is following a long tradition among Idaho politicians of using fire disaster to do exactly  the wrong thing, but something that pleases powerful constituents.

He seems to have taken the over the role of Larry Craig — a good fire is time for a good  feeding for the timber barons, and now increasingly big ranchers and corporate ranches.