Direct from firefighters who battled the current blazes in Idaho the guys at Fusee hold nothing back as they discuss the Cascade Complex Wildfire, the ICP burn-by (burn over) and the efforts to save the small community of Yellow Pine.
The essential point made in the Idaho fires related series of blog posts is why put firefighters at risk to save cabins and homesteads of those that subvert (snub) defensive space ordinances.
Some excerps from their series of posts on the Idaho wildfires of 2007 (to date);
“Everyone tasked with fighting these fires reaches three basic conclusions:
1. Once these big fires become established, no amount of firefighting will stop them ‘until the snows fly’.
2. We are fighting these fires because some people live in these woods, and nobody wants to be the person who burned them out, and,
3. After 50 years of saving Yellowpine, we could have paid Big Sur land prices to buy out each and every hermit between Yellowstone and Oregon, and still come out ahead.”
“Most of the characters that I met in Yellowpine look like they would be happy living in the 19th century. That’s fine with me, but we should recall that the West of the 1800s had no organized wildland fire suppression, and that frontier towns burned to the ground on a fairly regular basis. As much as I would hate to deprive Yellowpine’s residents of an authentic historic experience (wildfire burning their town), I am even less excited about putting wildland firefighters in there to chase spotfires through hazmat shacks, ammo caches, and tire fires as the big one rolls in. [for photos of Yellowpine, click here]
Now don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against people living in the hills, being off-the-grid, or collecting a personal treasure-trove of ‘might-come-in-handy-someday’ car parts, old trucks, snowmachines, old barrels of acid, or junk lumber. The personal junkyard is a Western Institution, and I would be a hypocrite to advocate for its abolition; just don’t expect me to put my ass between your junkpile and a running wildfire.”Hear hear, take a few minutes to read this well presented material. Bookmark them and consult their work often, I will. It’s refreshing to hear the guys from the trenches speaking the truth.
Don’t just stop at the blog, Fusee’s mission statement says it all;“FUSEE promotes safe, ethical, and ecological wildland fire management. We inform and empower fire management workers and their citizen supporters to become torchbearers for a new paradigm in fire management.” Fusee.org