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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

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

Page 127

                          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
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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