Forest Service now tries to tamp out every flame

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- For years, federal land managers in New Mexico have allowed many forest fires to burn to keep the land from growing into a tangled mess. This season is different.

Now firefighters are trekking deep into the Gila National Forest with pack horses and one overriding goal: snuffing out all fires, no matter how small or remote. The U.S. Forest Service says its decision is a temporary move to save money because it's cheaper to put out fires than to spend weeks monitoring them as they burn.

But after using fire to clean up the landscape for so long, the agency's about-face has drawn criticism from watchdog groups and some scientists who fear the practice might set the stage for an even more destructive season next year.

(COPYRIGHT 2011 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Szabla on Aug 17, 2012 at 03:15 PM
    Clear cutting and logging always made for a healthier forest, and healthy Wildlife. Roads always made great transportation, hunting and firebreaks.
    • reply
      by Duh on Aug 17, 2012 at 05:24 PM in reply to Szabla
      No Duh Szabla, but what would life be if Democrats couldn't mess with it?
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