Placing the Blame for Wildfires

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Placing the Blame for Wildfires

Arizona governor Jane Hull has blamed eastern environmentalists for the wildfires now consuming hundreds of thousands of acres in her state. Governor Hull says the environmentalists have lobbied against controlled burns of underbrush and created the dangerous and combustible situation that has lead to the tragedy in Arizona and Colorado. The forest service spends 40 percent of its annual budget defending itself against environmental groups.

Controlled burns clear out underbrush and help keep fires from rapidly spreading. If a fire does break out, firefighters have an easier time of extinguishing in than if a roaring inferno develops. Small fires clean out underbrush without harming the tall trees. Controlled burns were successfully used beginning in the late 19th century. But then the environmentalists came along in the 1960s and we've had these awful fires ever since. Homes are destroyed and people's lives and memories are ruined.

We should go back to the old and better way of controlled burns if the environmentalist crazies can be stopped. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.