Letter: 747 tanker
To your editorial on Thursday, “Close the forest, not take changes,” Prescott National Forest (PNF) officials’ statements like “current scientific indicators of fire behavior are not at levels that warrant precautions above Stage 2 Fire Restrictions” is another example of the stupidity of government. One forgetful driver throwing a cigarette out his car window would quickly obliterate “current scientific indicators.”
PNF surrounds a population area of 80,000-plus people. Other forests are being closed that have very limited residential and commercial areas, but the one large forest surrounding a major populated area within Yavapai County is not being closed? Really? Where is effective risk management, avoiding a small fire turning into a large fire impacting residential areas near Prescott or Prescott Valley?
It almost seems like these PNF “experts” are saying they can fight and control any fire that may start, so don’t worry. But as your Editorial Board states, why even take the risk? These “experts” must be the same group of government people who refuse to use that 747 tanker until a fire is so out of control that they have no choice. Don’t use the tanker in the early stages of a fire even if you might be able to put out a small fire in one or two drops.
The 747 tanker should only be used when the fire has grown to serious levels and has destroyed homes. At that point, the tanker is cost justified. I bet if you took a vote of the Prescott and Prescott Valley residents, the majority would vote to close the PNF until monsoon rains come to dramatically lower the fire danger.
William Von Rohr