FOREST FIRE PROTECTION IN NEW YORK STATE.
A more scientific system of forest fire fighting in the Adirondacks and Catskills, in New York State, has recently been inaugurated by Superintendent of State Forests Clifford R Pettis, who has issued to the rangers of the commission, and to private land owners in the forest preserve counties, a large scale, printed fire protection map of all of the fire towns in the state. The completed map is the result of a full year’s work on the part of the forest fire fighting force and the foresters of the Commission, during the course of which every acre of land in the forests was reported upon by the rangers. A number of conferences were also held with private land owners, before the final revision of the map was sent to the printer. The object of this map is to give as much information as possible regarding conditions which must be met in fighting forest fires and is a basis upon which plans may be worked out in advance for the meeting of conditions that may arise. The character of the timber on every acre, as regards the amount of slash on the ground, is indicated, as this factor determines not only the rapidity of spread of a fire, but also the damage which will he done. Differentiation is made between virgin timber, cut-over lands and burned areas. The year of lumbering operations is also shown, as well as whether the land was lumbered for soft wood only, or for both hard and soft. All means of communication, such as railroads, highways, trails and telephone and telegraph lines, are clearly shown, and in the more sparsely settled regions the location of practically every telephone instrument is indicated. Camps are located on the map, and wherever possible the number of men available at each for fire fighting purposes. The map is to be revised each year and will be constantly kept abreast of all changes in the character of timber, the location of recent lumbering operations and of fires. Many of the larger land owners have offered their assistance in keeping this information up to date, and in fighting forest fires on the basis that the map makes possible.