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Yellowstone Park Fires

September 18, 1988

In response to the editorial "Cooling the Fire (Sept. 13):

Your editorial is the first sensible commentary I've read in several weeks. Nature, tragically, combined every negative element, i.e., years of drought, low humidity, high winds and a kiln-dried forest, and then defied man to extinguish the holocaust.

I attended the Sept. 6 daily fire-line update in west Yellowstone and learned that at that moment $73.8 million had already been spent for equipment and 9,235 dedicated men and women firefighters. Some personnel had been on the fire lines over 40 days and were truly dead tired from their fight against insurmountable odds.

Future visitors to Yellowstone Park will be better served if the anticipated costs of congressional hearings were held to a minimum. Save the money needed for long drawn out investigations looking for a scapegoat and direct those dollars towards cleanup and reforestation.

Don't condemn the Park Service's let-burn policy or go paranoid looking for heads (National Park Service Director William Penn Mott, Interior Secretary Donald Hodel or Yellowstone Supt. Robert Barbee) to decapitate.

RAYMOND T. BURNS

Rolling Hills Estates

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