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Wildfires - The real story about how so much money gets spent.

Paul Strajer

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Wildfires - The real story about how so much money gets spent.

By Paul Stramer

September 11th 2017

As most of you know we have been experiencing wildfires in Montana for weeks, some of which are in the Tobacco Valley where we live. We have fires in two directions from us. The Gibralter Ridge fire to the southeast is about 7 miles from town and about 12 miles from our house.

The Caribou fire is due west of us about 5 miles, but  across the Koocanusa Reservoir which is about 1.5 miles wide.  We are getting ash from that almost every day depending on which direction the wind is blowing. That fire has destroyed over 22 thousand acres now including the ground in Canada, and close to a dozen homes have been burned.

Today the wind is pretty calm, and the smoke is starting to get thick in the valley again. Yesterday we had a wind from the southeast that blew the smoke up into Canada.

You can see more on these fires here:

These fires were both discovered when they were just a few acres.

As most of you know I spent 26 years in the Woods of 5 states running logging Equipment. As part of that job, when we had forest fires we always were part of the crews who did direct attack on the fires with that equipment, working with some type 2 and type 1 incident teams from around the country.

I always wondered why we were not allowed to be more aggressive in putting out these very destructive fires, and why many of the machines were just setting on standby when they could have been out dozing fireline or cutting trees to create fireline.

Today I received an affidavit from one of our readers, who was part of a fire department in Yarnell Arizona.  He served on a fire where 19 firefighters died. This confirms a lot of what I had always suspected about the mismanagement of these fires, and the lack of early suppression. Please notice that the document is certified, and if you want to ask him some questions his email address is on the bottom of the document.



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