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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916
(1916)

Appendix to report of forestry division. Forest fire plan,   pp. [121]-138 PDF (3.3 MB)


Page 131


BIENNIAL REPORT
   During times of extreme drought special red fire warnings are issued
and posted by the town chairmen, prohibiting the setting of all fires except
those necessary for warming the person or preparing food. This is a
special preventive measure and is resorted to only in times of great danger.
Directing of tourists.
  Throughout the protected area many ideal camping sites have been
laid out by resort owners, forest rangers, or campers. In most cases these
camp sites are equipped with stone fireplaces, tables and benches. The
protective force, each season, endeavors to guide all camping parties to
such locations, as the starting of fires in definite spots which have been
previously arranged for such use, always decreases the danger of such a
fire developing into a forest fire. On such camp grounds the combustible
material about the fireplace is cleaned up, and the site put in good con-
dition for campers.
Press items, magazine articles.
  From time to time articles regarding protective work are issued for the
instruction of the people at large. This is a direct effort to train the
public
to be careful with fires. It results in a decrease of forest fires, and brings
home to the public one phase of the conduct expected of them when visiting
the great resort region of the state. These articles arouse interest, not
only in forest fire protection, but also in other forest activities.
Personal appeals.
  The forest ranger or patrolman, whenever occasion permits, is expected
to call upon settlers, campers, resort owners, woodsmen and all others
within his district to warn them of any particular fire danger, or to in-
struct them in being more cautious in setting fires. Under ordinary cir-
cumstances many fires are prevented in this manner especially on the part
of new campers who unintentionally leave their camp fires burning. The
rangers or patrolmen often visit camping parties in the more out of the
way places and call their attention to the danger of leaving fires in exposed
or dangerous places, or, at other times, advise a settler regarding the best
time and method of burning brush. This method of prevention can be
made very efficient if the rangers and patrolmen are men of tact and good
personality, and as a general rule men of these qualities make up the force.
Apprehension of persons setting fires.
  Occasionally some malicious person sets a forest fire. In such cases the
ranger or patrolman who has charge of the district in which the suspected
incendiarism has occurred takes steps to apprehend the offender. A
thorough investigation is made and if the evidence collected is deemed
sufficient to convict the offender, criminal action is brought against him.
Improvement of spark arresting devices.
  One of the most serious causes of forest fires has been the live sparks
thrown from locomotives. Of late years the attitude of the large, as well
as the small railroad companies, has been radically changed in regard to
their responsibility in this respect, and as a result we find that today
the companies are very thorough in their inspection of ash pans and front
end netting. This change of attitude has been brought about largely
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