FOREST FIRES AGAIN
The State Fire Marshal of North Carolina, Colonel Young, is, as you would naturally suppose, indignant, over the fact of the immense losses sustained in his State by its forest fires, but North Carolina is not alone in its misery.
Forest Fires occur in even State in which there are Forests.
There is but one way to deal with the problem, and that way was indicated by The FIRE ENGINEER in August, 1919.
Many Fire Chiefs, instance Chief Stanton of Norwich, and Chief Mulcahy of Yonkers, have been for years, several of them anyhow, employing the activities of the Boy Scouts of their Cities in Fire Prevention measures, and once or twice in fighting fires Chief Stanton has converted several of the older and stronger ones into hose men and in the several instances, where they have been so employed, the Boy Scouts have, according to the Chiefs, given most gratifying accounts of themselves, but however, wherever the City Chief employs or gets aid from the organization of Boy Scouts or the individuals of the organization, that assistance is purely local.
Forest Fires is another matter altogether and as it is a national matter it should be dealt with by the Federal Government. True, it has been attempted by the Federal Administration, but equally as truly, the forest fires have not been prevented and the loss runs up into millions of dollars; worse, the effect of repeated and withering fire strokes upon large masses of the earth’s breathing, growing, sensitive tree tissue is a positive peril to climatic conditions, rani fall and crop production, to say nothing of merchantable timber.
The Nation must handle the forest fires, nobody else, for no mere group of men can, and whereas there arc a great many ways by which these forest fires can be mastered by the Federal Administration, there is only one method economically sound from even the low view point of salvage, and which in reaction must prove an immensely profitable investment, and that is for the work of cleaning up the forest floors, trimming tip the limbs of the trees, replanting the burned over districts, making fire lanes, etc. etc., to be done by the Boy Scouts of America in the time of their School Vacations, under the different troop leaders, in turn directed by West Point Undergraduates or full fledged Army Officers, and all set in the field by the Bureau of Forestry.
What do you think of it? The outline as it is given? Isn’t the prognosis a good one, and isn’t it the only means which directly and by cumulative reactions promises most happy results to every man engaged, to every boy engaged, and to the whole country at large? And, wouldn’t all these reactions, much more than reimburse the National Treasury every dollar expended in the preservation of the present forests and in the creation of new forests where forests should be?
Think it over!, and if you approve it, say so, and let’s put the thing into prompt and active operation.