Letter to the editor: Wildfires affect us all

To the editor:

Australian bush fires have recently been in the international news. We might think such events have no effect on us, but in imperceptible ways they do. Many rare and exotic forms of life exist in Australia in each of the six kingdoms of life. A real tragedy for all of humanity unfolds when wildfires devastate a natural landscape. Perhaps the most effective avenue in counteracting the damaging effects of uncontrolled wildfires lies in various forms of prevention and, very importantly, the early detection of fires. A wildfire caught in its earliest stage is much more easily contained and put out than a fire that has burned unchecked for hours. With volunteers and paid personnel, a network of people using computers and cellphones should be able to provide the early detection of fires needed to alert firefighting units and greatly reduce the destructiveness of fires. This would be true not only in Australia but also in other parts of the world such as California, where problem fires sometimes occur.

Charles Gilmore,



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