Stop Fires and Grow Forests
State Forester Rane, of Massachusetts, at a recent meeting of state fire wardens, advised the adoption of the above slogan. The meeting was one of a series of about 20 such meetings which are being held throughout the state for the purpose of open discussion among the fire wardens relative to bettering their equipment and talking over their problems. “Three-fifths of the land of this state is not good for agriculture, but is suited for forests,” said State Forester F. W. Rane, “and if we stop fires we can grow forests.”
The greatest cause of forest tires is slash or brush wood which is left on the ground after cutting timber. Last year 75,000 acres of wood in the state were cut for fuel, due to the shortage of coal, and the slash left offers one of the gravest lire dangers. Campers, hunters, automobile parties and railroads are the chief agents for setting the brush on tire. With the 50 lookout towers in the state, which are for the purpose of detecting a tire in its early stages, and co-operation of the town officials in keeping the slash cleaned up, it was the sentiment of those present at the meeting that the tire situation could be considered well in hand.
The claim agents of the Boston and Albany. Boston and Maine, New York Central, and New York, New Haven and Hartford railroads were present at the meeting and the resentment which has existed in manv cases on the part of the towns, who have sent hills to the railroads for damages and expense of lighting tires caused by them, hut which had not been paid, was considerably lessened. Often such hills were reported not to have reached the claim agent, were not itemized, or, in the case of small grass fires, were considered exorbitant. The representatives of railroads said that their companies would even be willing to pay for the expense of burning up the slash on private property by the side of their tracks in order to prevent tires.
Ways and means of bettering equipment were dis cussed and samples of extinguishers were shown. There was also considerable discussion regarding the interpre tation of existing lire laws, and the authority of the war dens in enforcing the laws was emphasized.
Dayton, Ohio, has raised the pay of firemen to $115 a month instead of $100. Only the chief of the department is omitted from the increased pay list.