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  • Congress Still Perplexed by Wildfire0

    • October 9, 2012

    “U.S. runs out of funds to battle wildfires,” misstates a Washington Post headline. “In the worst wildfire season on record, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service ran out of money to pay for firefighters, fire trucks and aircraft that dump retardant on monstrous flames,” continues the article, making two more errors. Smoke from the […]

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  • Fire Season, Again0

    • July 12, 2012

    It’s summer, so there are wildfires. There are wildfires, so people are debating what to do about them. Should the Forest Service cut more trees? Should counties regulate rural land development? Should Congress give the Forest Service and Department of the Interior more money for fire suppression? The New York Times asked seven experts to […]

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  • Life in the WUI, 20110

    • September 12, 2011

    Unlike much of the rest of the country, the Northwest has had a mild summer. But at the end of August we finally had a few thunderstorms, and they naturally lit some wildfires. So we are getting another lesson in modern wild land fire suppression. Mary Bernsen photo of backfires started by a helicopter. Click […]

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  • Are Supertankers Worthwhile or Just PR?0

    • July 20, 2011

    Due to budget cuts, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection–CalFire for short–is canceling its contract for exclusive use of two DC-10 supertankers. These supertankers are “perhaps [the] most effective tool” the agency has for fighting fires, says the news story. That’s not just an exaggeration, it is probably completely wrong. When the Antiplanner […]

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  • New Fire Plan: Burn More Money0

    • April 1, 2011

    In the late 1990s, the Forest Service spent about $300 million a year on fire and the Department of the Interior spent another $100 million a year. Then came the 2000 Cerro Grande fire, which burned a billion dollars worth of homes in Los Alamos, NM. After that, Congress opened up the checkbook and told […]

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