Dana Pruhs’ recent op-ed regarding the early management decisions of the Swan Lake Fire was right on target. Since any criticism of these efforts is extremely volatile to my neighbors here on the Kenai, let me quote from Dana’s op-ed up front: “Nothing said here is meant to implicate the hundreds of hard-working men and women who fought that fire every day after fire suppression was approved. Once the attack on the fire was allowed, all resources were rapidly deployed as needed.”
We love our firefighters, and they have saved my house on the Kenai River at least twice in the past half-dozen years. What I don’t understand or agree with is putting the creation of moose habitat above the health and well-being of the human residents.
By delaying action on fighting the fire, we ended up with a maelstrom of bad air, a large swath of decimated territory and a huge negative impact to the local economy. The basis to decide when and how to fight these fires aggressively that start in our volatile black spruce forests needs re-evaluation in the worst way. Come on, federal policymakers, get with the times.
— Tom Wellman
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