I could do pages of a post on the politics of these fires. It infuriates me. They are not fighting fires to put them out. Nope. They are "fire managers". Why? Well, first off there is no forest management anymore, thanks to all the environmentalists who don't want one single tree cut down. If one single tree is in the works to get cut down they throw out a lawsuit so fast. These counties in this state can't afford the legal fees.
So, the forests are completely overgrown. So much undergrowth. So much fuel for the fires. Over a million acres has burned in this state, alone. We can't even see the sun anymore, literally. It's hidden every day by haze of smoke.
And instead of putting out these fires with the available resources? No, no....they'd rather make sure everyone is getting a cut of the MILLIONS of dollars and just "manage" the fires. Not to worry that people have had to evacuate their homes and try to evacuate their livestock. Had their crops burned up. Just the fire near our town, alone, is up to over 25,000 acres and cost of well over 20 million dollars. That's just ONE of the fires in this state....there are almost 50 of them.
So now we'll all get to look at charred forests for the next umpteen years. Wonder how many wild animals have been killed this summer? I'm all for the environment and the animals. But there has to be a balance. If the forests are managed properly there won't be these huge, out of control fires. If the forests are managed properly there will be jobs for the people that live around here - long term sustainable jobs..not a 3 month job of putting your life in danger fighting a fire (2 firefighters have been lost so far this year).
At one point there were almost 600 people working on just the fire in our area (most from out of state). That's almost as much as the population of this whole town. There were 6 or 7 helicopters...that honestly sat at the county airport for most of the time. Most of these millions of dollars being spent are going out of state, to out of state people and companies.
From our Senator Steve Daines:
“Too many forest management projects have been held up in frivolous litigation at the expense of the people of Montana,” Daines said. “We need litigation relief. We need to reform the process that our land managers go through to get these projects done.”
“I can speak on behalf of all of Montana we are tired of being told that others know better than we do while we watch our forests burn every summer, our mills close, our neighbors lose jobs, our counties lay off road crews because we don’t have the funds anymore to support basic infrastructure, and our communities suffer from the lack of management of our federal lands,” Daines added.- Senator Steve Daines.