76° Good Evening
76° Good Evening

Letters: Fire lessons unlearned?

Lush new growth, including low brush blueberry and

Lush new growth, including low brush blueberry and huckleberry, rises up from the understory after a fire that scorched large sections of pine barren forrest near Schultz road in Manorville. (June 19, 2012) Credit: Daniel Brennan

I've been reading your series of articles on the wildfire that hit the pine barrens three months ago, and nowhere have I seen mentioned any lessons learned from the 1995 Sunrise wildfire that were employed in fighting this year's Ridge-Manorville fire ["Pine barrens: Fire protection," News July 10].

What I find disturbing is that Peter A. Scully, chairman of the Central Pine Barrens Commission, is quoted as referring to the 1999 Fire Management Plan as having "to be sort of dusted off and reinvigorated." What was it written for?

The article also states that, "The commission this month plans to redistribute a 1999 Fire Management Plan to the 43 local, state and federal members of the Wildfire Task Force." The agencies involved should have been very familiar with that plan, and if that report referred to any changes needed to better use resources, those changes should have been made.

Also, the idea of updating the report annually, as is mentioned in the article, should have done from its inception. The commission should not have waited for an incident such as the Ridge-Manorville fire to trigger that action.

The actions and efforts of the men and women who fought that blaze in 1995 can never be discounted, but the importance of the administration and management of that and similar incidents should never be minimized. Learning from the past can only lead to the best results possible for the situation at hand.

Lee Pedowicz, Jericho