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Letter: Investing in our nation would save lives, forests

Investing in our nation would save lives, forests

While watching a recent TV show, I was shocked to find out about the lack of federal funds provided to our brave firefighters who risk their lives to help save our nation’s forests. Specifically, the discussion centered around the terrible tragedy that recently took the lives of 19 firefighters. A call was made for backup air tankers to assist in stopping the raging fire’s progress. Only one tanker was available, and it never showed up.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that at one time there was a fleet of 55 tankers ready to assist our on-the-ground firefighters in putting out these destructive forest fires. Now, the fleet has dwindled to only 11 tankers, many of which are old and often unavailable when needed. The cause of this reduction was attributed to the inability of Congress to find funds to build and maintain this important fleet.

If more tankers had been available to answer the call that fateful day, maybe those brave firefighters’ lives might have been spared. It’s way past time for our government to reduce foreign aid. Some of the money saved could be better spent supplying our firefighters with the resources they need to keep our country from going up in flames.

Dick Greene