Secretary Dunn on Rhode Island Forest Fires

Secretary Dunn on Rhode Island Forest Fires

In commenting on the recent forest fires that burned over many acres of timber land in Rhode Island recently, Secretary J. J. Dunn, of the State Board of Agriculture, referred to the lax enforcement of the law forbidding brush and grass fires without a permit from the forest wardens. “There are thousands of acres of land in Rhode Island which are not fitted for cultivation,” said Mr. Dunn, “and which should be planted to timber. Such a policy the State has been doing its best to encourage. But when fires are permitted to sweep .woodlands simply because there is no enforcement of the law, it is hard to get anyone to take this policy seriously.” The most disastrous of the fires was in Charlestown, where the flames swept southward from Wachaug pond for four miles, across the Post road and to the Arnold cottage colony. There they were stopped by the work of the Westerly and Richmond firemen, assisted by the natives. About 500 acres were burned over and much of this was valuable woodland.

A pumper of the fire department of Brooklyn Borough of New York City was recently drafted into service when one of the two automatic pumps which had been installed into the subcellar of Public School No. 64 gave out. When the school was built, a spring gave much trouble and it was found necessary to install two automatic pumps to take care of the water. When one of these pumps broke down, the other one was not sufficient to keep the water from rising and the fire engine was brought into service.

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