Chetco Bar fire

The Chetco Bar fire is now nationally known, but it didn’t have to be.

Had this fire ignited on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, it would be out and the public would never have known its name. As it stands, the Chetco Bar fire is 142,857 acres.

When Forest Service crews arrived, it was one-quarter acre in size. The crew on site deemed the fire too dangerous to directly engage. However, if at that critical point the Forest Service had decided to have helicopters drop water, they could have kept the fire small and manageable. This did not happen, and the consequences are serious.

The health of the most vulnerable among us is endangered by the smoke. Detection of new fire starts is hindered. Aircraft cannot be utilized on fires because of dense smoke. People, property and especially firefighters are exposed to far more risk.

The Chetco Bar fire was lightning-caused and started within the remnants of two previous lightning-caused fires: the 1987 Silver Fire (96,540 acres), and the 2002 Biscuit fire (500,000 acres). That fire history alone should have prompted aggressive suppression tactics. Let’s hope it does with the next fire under Forest Service management.

Mike Backen

Medford

A moral response

Michael Long's letter of Sunday, Aug. 27, was one of the most arrogant and divisive I have read. President Trump did not support nor glorify neo-Nazis, KKK, or white supremacists. Perhaps he did not make the best or clearest statement, but he clearly stated his disapproval of these groups.

My father was a World War II Marine, my uncle a Navy flier, I was regular Army and served two tours in the 7th Cavalry. We are all Republicans. To say we are Nazi-lovers, etc., is insulting! The friends I play golf with are all Republicans and all veterans, some serving 20 years plus.

You have the right to feel about President Trump as you all like. But not to call people Nazis, racists, hateful or whatever just because they are Republicans. None of you were in my foxhole. I served my country and my community in youth activities and city committees. You on the left and Democrats should look at yourselves for hate and intolerance. Just because I don't agree with your views does not make me or Republicans haters, racists or Nazis.

Dennis Varin

Medford

Time to act

Scientists are persuaded by data, either data they have examined or data generated by reliable sources, usually other scientists. Scientists don’t make decisions on science based on discussions in the public square.

For those who are not convinced that climate change is real and caused by man’s current lifestyle, they might consider the conversion of Richard A. Muller. In 2009 Muller, a professor of physics, was a climate change skeptic. The Koch brothers and others funded Muller to investigate more deeply the data on climate change.

After detailed analyses involving a dozen scientists, Muller concluded in 2012 that climate change was real, with findings stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Muller published his findings and aired them in the New York Times in July 2012. The earth has warmed since then.

It is time to stop fruitless discussions on whether climate change is real. It is time to act to reverse or mollify the effects of climate change.

Neal Anderson

Jacksonville