Missoulian mailbag
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Thanks to all the firefighters who continue to protect us.

The Missoulian article “Experts weigh in on wildfires” (Oct. 6) reviewed options to minimize future firefighting risk factors, and the dangerous public downsides of wildfire. This story ran over 2,200 words and 57 paragraphs, yet had no direct suggestion about earlier and more aggressive containment.

Western Montana citizens are tired of being told of too dangerous terrain, etc. These conditions have always existed and we know more could be done with quicker tactical suppression.

With drought being a big future factor, one answer is less costly, quicker suppression. Using aerial retardant with aerial ground strike force insertion sooner will result in greatly reduced costs and less rapid fire growth. Reaction time is the key here. We can’t afford the current national written policy of using wildfire to reduce fuel loads.

The U.S. Forest Service should honestly tell us on which major fires where the wildfire “tool” was not an initial consideration. There were more excuses than strike force action. The Lolo Peak fire was a prime example, and also most of the major fires around Missoula.

Try to save those important federal and state tax dollars. You are killing us with your smoke.

Rod Dietz,

Missoula

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