Fires: Fuel Reduction Effort Saves Property, Vehicles During Fire

Aaron Flint posted on August 24, 2015 14:32 :: 769 Views

A fuel reduction effort (aka: cutting a few trees) is being credited with saving 15 vehicles left behind by hikers and other recreationists in Northwest Montana, as The Daily Inter Lake reports.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Bear Creek Fire near Spotted Bear swept through about eight miles of forest, jumped the South Fork River and grew from 465 to 17,755 acres in just a few hours Thursday afternoon.

While the fire tore raced through the densely wooded area, Koss said that fuel reduction around the Meadow Creek outfitter corrals and Gorge Creek helped keep property damage to a minimum.

“There were approximately 15 vehicles from people recreating and all of those vehicles were spared,” he said. “That’s kind of neat to be able to see that that really worked — it met its intention of fuels reduction right there.”

Meanwhile, the federal government is blocking state helicopters from fighting fire on federal land, as Eric Whitney reports.

The issue, according to the state of Montana’s John Tubbs, stems from the 2009 crash of a private helicopter the U.S. Forest Service contracted to fight fires. After that, the Forest Service put restrictions on what kinds of helicopters can be used to fight fire on national forests.

Tubbs, the director of Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, says the restrictions are now applied on his department’s helicopters, and cost valuable time.

“Earlier in the summer, we were in Kalispell with our aircraft, and watched the smoke column on the North Fork fire build for 4 hours before they were able to get a U.S.F.S. contracted helicopter on that. And we would have been up and over to the fire in 30 minutes, so that’s three-and-a-half hours of fire,” Tubbs says.

Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) released this statement over the weekend:

In a letter to Vilsack, Daines pressed the USDA for the maximum use of safe and effective resources to combat wildfires on federal lands. 

“As Montana and the nation confront one of the worst fire seasons in recent memory, I urge your Department to reexamine the current policy with respect to the UH-1H and modify existing regulations such that all safe and reliable assets are available and utilized as needed.”



Thursday, October 29, 2015 12:25 PM

I’ll briefly enter this dsoiusscin to clarify the post I wrote over at 4&20 (that is if Don doesn’t censor me). And I’ll not be back to engage in defense or counterpoint. People can do that over at 4&20 on my post if they choose. 1) RPS, I clearly stated in my post that the contributions were from individuals. Open Secrets aggregates donors by industry and company for illustrative and reporting purposes. Don confuses individual donations with corporate donations. I’m not going to divine his intent in doing so. 2) My post was an attempt to give one answer (out of many possible) to why Tester’s poll numbers are not reflecting the popularity shown him via individual contributions. It is clear that he is raising tons of money from east coast interests, and those people don’t get polled in Montana. Additionally, Montanans have been known to dim their view of politicians who predominantly raise money from out of state interests. This was one line of attack that Tester had against Burns in 2006. Now it will be used against him. My post just points out that he has an Achilles heel. And those who wish to sweep it under the rug because they believe other aspects of their candidate outweigh his reliance on Wall Street and lobbyists for his funding do so at their own peril. 3) I do not agree with the following statement of Don’s, that it is: “simply unfair to suggest that Tester is somehow beholden to big banks”. I have written many posts in the past at 4&20 outlining Tester’s votes on Banking Committee amendments like being against the Brown-Kaufman Too Big to Fail provision, or his stance backing major banks against Credit Unions and Community Banks in the credit card swipe bill. Jon has repeatedly voted for Wall Street interests in Committee. Those votes are reflected in the contributions he has raised from bankers and lobbyists. 4) And finally, when politics comes down to one candidate accessing unrestricted SuperPAC funds necessitates the other to raise money from the very interests that drove our economy into the ground, then politics become meaningless. The people have lost control of the political process to the wealthy, and the outcome from either candidate is going to reflect the interests of those who have funded him the most. I did not write “he s taken money from the wrong constituency. I wrote: “He s representing the wrong constituency” when it comes to issues surrounding Wall Street. Voters can make the inference if they want to, and all my post suggests is that maybe enough have to show that one of his weaknesses relying on Wall Street and lobbyist funding weakens his polling. To answer more directly James Conner’s assertion that something is fundamentally amiss with Tester’s campaign, I would assert that Jon’s reliance on east coast lobbyist, PR flak, and Wall Street banker funding has seriously weakened him as a candidate in many (not just my) Montanans’s opinion. I have had many conversations with Montanans all over the state about how they view Jon as just another good ole boy gone bad in Washington.

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