Circular Fire Arguments

The Eugene  Register-Guard editorial board discussed the impact of forest fire suppression on the Oregon State budget and some mechanisms for mitigating this impact.

No surprise that this is their big suggestion:

A longer-term approach would be to address a primary reason firefighting costs are so high — the buildup of flammable material in many forests. Thinning, but so is fighting fires.

Sorry, the buildup of flammable materials is not primary.

First, the high cost of firefighting is due entirely to the fact that they fight the fires.

Many years of unnecessary suppression is the prime reason for the buildup of flammable materials. Letting the fires burn will reduce the expense of fighting fires, reduce flammable material, and help return our forests to health.

So, stop fighting as many of the upcoming fires as possible. To the extent that suppression must be done to protect private property make sure that those property owners are paying enough to cover  the protection service.


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