Use Military Planes to Fight Forest Fires
06/27/2014 7:06 AM
06/28/2014 7:18 PM
Nearly every day on television, I see uncontrollable forest fires in the West apparently with the virtual inability to extinguish them quickly. I usually notice a plane dropping a quick dose of fire retardant then departing. Several minutes later, a helicopter does the same. The pattern seems to be repeated with their too infrequent appearances as the conflagration rages.
Serving four years in the Air Force, I visited Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska to look at leftover aircraft from World War II, retired and decommissioned from service. There were hundreds, possibly thousands of them, some apparently still capable of flight.
Is there a shortage of fire retardant? Should we reactivate these aircraft, refit them to allow tons of it to extinguish these voracious fires within hours, not days?
For those who are conscious of this country's spending habits, shouldn't we spend millions to save billions?
-- James Cook, Schaumburg
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.