Most fire fighters agreed the Chetco Bar Fire is one of the most dangerous fires they have encountered. The "Chetco effect" caused fire to jump fire breaks on Labor Day Weekend. If not for cool weather and early rain the fire could have jumped back across the Chetco River and threatened Brookings. The valor of the fire fighters has won the hearts of people. Several fire fighters have said the people in Curry County, Oregon are the most appreciative people they have met.
Forestry managers are split as to current policy to "Let it burn" in the wilderness. In the 1935 the Forest Service established the so called 10 A.M. policy, which decreed every fire should be suppressed by 10 A.M. the day following its initial report. However, in the 1990s there was a radical change. New policy was to let naturally caused fires from lightening to burn themselves out in wilderness areas and allow nature to clean the forest. Mega forest fires are now costing hundreds of millions to fight.
Many believe the deep ecologist's devotion to their god, Gaia, or Mother Earth, is at the heart of the ludicrous position to let fires get out of control. The Forest Service argues it is sometimes too dangerous to send fire fighters into rugged remote areas alone when fires first start in the Wilderness. However, critics say the Wilderness is dangerous because lookout towers, fire roads, and mechanized fire fighting equipment have been removed. The core issue is one of worldview. The Judeo-Christian tradition is that man is to have dominion over plants and animals. The Godless pagan concept is that man is merely an animal evolved by chance. When man is not allowed to manage the forest, life is placed at risk. Progressives want to double down and create wilderness corridors for animal migration across the U.S.
Christians believe God answered their prayer and brought favorable weather. However, if Federal law and Forest Service policy are not changeed, towns, fire fighters, animals and trees will be lost. The Forest Service needs to reinstate the 10 A.M. policy to put out fires the day following initial report. Lookout towers, fire roads, and mechanized fire supression equipment need to be brought back into romote areas.
Dr. Steve Johnston