Officials: Western states will have fewer resources to battle wildfires

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Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 11:00 pm | Updated: 9:36 am, Tue May 14, 2013.

WASHINGTON — The drought that caused record wildfires in California and other Western states last year is expected to persist through the summer, but fewer firefighters will battle this year’s blazes in other regions because of federal budget cuts, top federal officials said Monday.

The U.S. Forest Service will hire 500 fewer firefighters this year, the result of “line by line” budget reductions required by Congress, Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a conference call with reporters. The reduced staffing also means 50 fewer fire engines will be available, Vilsack said.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Christopher Smucker posted at 8:25 am on Tue, May 14, 2013.

    Cricket Posts: 16

    Air fire fighting is one of the weakest links in our great nations capacity to fight fires. Please go to Evergreen 747 Supertanker at Wikipedia. It will tell you about a plane that can deliver 20,000 gallons of water or fire retardant. It was rejected for mass usage due to potential crashing. However, it has been used in fighting a fire in Isreal and is still used sparingly in the USA. If we had a fleet of ten of these we would no longer be subject to fire catastrophe on the current scale. Further, there has been invented an environmentally friendly fire retardant that does zero damage to the ecological integrity of the land. None of these things are being done. After reading this I want you to contact your state and federal political representatives and demand it from them. We pay approximately $600.00 per gallon to deliver gasoline to our military vehicles in Afghanistan. We also pay millions to build newer and better military aircraft but we can't build out a fleet of super efficient fire fighting planes. What's wrong with this picture? Why can't we buy into covering the land in our back yard? It is because we are rendered ignorant and politically easy to manipulate into sheep. This issue is one that should be picked up by everyone west of the Mississippi River regardless of political affiliation. Perhaps we can be united for once and save property and lives.

  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:01 am on Tue, May 14, 2013.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    Making the sequester hurt!


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