Forest Fire Losses.
The amount of loss resulting from forest fires this year may never be accurately known; but (says a Minneapolis expert) it is safe to say that they amounted to $1,000,000 a day while the fires lasted. If adequate patrols had been provided, and if lumbermen had resorted to the ordinary precautions, these fires could have been checked in their incipiency. Facilities for the transportation of large forces of men should be installed, telephone lines constructed and firebreaks built to furnish obstacles to the spreading of fire. It is particularly important that the forest covers on the watersheds of large irrigation streams be protected. The government is now engaged in building hundreds of miles of trail and road, from which all inflammable material and timber have been removed, to provide a defence in fighting fire. Every national forest should be furnished with axes, shovels and other tools, and these implements should be installed in accessible places and where there is the greatest danger of fire. “In timber alone the annual loss is approximately $20,000,000, to say nothing of the loss of life and the depreciation in land values and forest wealth. There are probably 168,000,000 acres of timber land in the United States, and it is absolutely necessary that these invaluable natural resources be preserved and protected.” ,