Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916
Appendix to report of forestry division. Forest fire plan, pp. -138 PDF (3.3 MB)
BIENNIAL REPORT 127 The forest assistants and permanent workmen are also a part of the permanent protective force. The former have charge of raising the plant- ing material, of the reforestation work on state and private lands and of all work that requires technical training; the latter are employed irreg- ularly throughout the entire year to help with any of the various under- takings. These men are always ready to go on the fire line when occasion demands. They are for the most part trained fire lighters and are gener- ally well acquainted with the region. Temporary force. Under the Weeks law the National government cooperates with the state in forest fire protection on the headwaters of the Wisconsin and Chip- pewa rivers. In 1915 a fund of $4,500 was obtained from which 8 patrol- men were kept in service during the fire season (April 1 to December 1). They, with the general laborers, constitute the temporary fire fighting force. They are all men experienced in fighting fires, and during dry seasons are either on lookout or patrol duty. During times of little danger, as after heavy rains, they help in the maintenance and construction of roads, trails and telephone lines. At the beginning of the fire season each federal patrolmen is assigned a definite area to patrol. His route is out- lined, and he is expected to comply with all provisions in the set of instruc- tions furnished him. Emergency force. The emergency force consists of the inhabitants of the protected area. Under ordinary circumstances these men act as a detection and prevention force in that they report fires that occur without making any attempt to put them out, and through their care and warnings to those inclined to be shiftless with camp fires, brush fires, etc., many fires are prevented. These people are largely settlers, resort owners, guides and woodsmen. In times of emergency, when great fires are burning, the presence of these people permits the rapid expansion of the fire fighting force, as each ranger and federal patrolman, having previously been appointed fire warden by the town chairman in which his district is located, is empowered to call out all able-bodied men to fight forest fires. The rangers have a thorough knowledge of the available emergency fire fighting force. The emergency force is composed of several hundred able-bodied men, and is of great importance during very dry seasons when the fire risk is exceptionally great. Payment of outside fire fighters. All men called out to fight fires by a ranger or patrolman who is acting under his authority as fire warden, are paid one-half by the county in which the fire occurs and one-half by the state. The law further provides: "No payment shall be made to any claimant under this section until he shall have presented an itemized account, and made oath or affirmation that said account is just and correct, which account shall be approved by the county board, and audited by the county clerk. The county clerk shall thereupon issue to such claimant his warrant upon the county treasurer for the sum to which such claimant is entitled and the county treasurer shall pay the same.
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