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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the fiscal years ending June 30, 1917, and June 30, 1918

Weaver, E. M.
Forest fire prevention plan,   pp. 113-120 PDF (1.6 MB)

Page 113

                    Chief Ralxger,-E. 'M. WPAvx.
  Under the Weeks Law the National Government cooperating with
the state for fire protection on the headwaters of navigable streams,
appropriated $4,500 for the salaries of patrolmen employed during the
fire season, April 1, to December 1. These patrolmen with the state
rangers and general laborers, constitute the fire fighting force. They
are men of experience and knowledge of fire fighting. During the
season when there is no danger of fire they are employed in building
roads, fire lines, Improving and repairing telephone lines.
  In the year 1917 we confined our protective work principally to the
proposed forest reserve area; Vilas, Oneida, Forest and east part of
Iron county. This territory is the headwaters of the Wisconsin and
Chippewa rivers'and is well covered with timber and a good stand of
reproduction. Within this territory we had forty-four fires which
burned over-an area of 16;252 acres with a damage of $11,650 to timber
and improvements.
  In July and August of this year the Government called for volunteer
engineers to aid in the prosecution of the war and eight of our men,
without urging, immediately answered the call. Their enlistment in
the National Army crippled our organization but fortunately weather
conditions were such that we suffered little from fires, but our construc-
tion work was hampered considerably due to scarcity of help and high
wages paid in all fields of labor.
  The forest area was divided into 17 patrol districts varying in size
from 60,000 to 138,000 acres with a ranger or patrolman in complete
charge of each district and held responsible to the head ranger for the
efficiency' of the fre ftghtIng force under his command It was the
duty of each man in charge of a' district to -eep posted on general
conditions and affairs within his 'district that had a bearing on the fire
situation, take care of the fire flgliting apparatus -and oversee all
important Work, such as road building,'fire lines and trail construction,
telephone lines, maintenance and inspection. He was'ierpo'nsible for all
state property and was required to make reports once a week of work
done each day and forward tp head ranger. After each fire he must
make a report of cause of fire, location and area burned over, amount
of timber destroyed and all other loss of property; what steps were
         8-C. C.

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