1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer
    NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Angry ANGRY firefighter

    PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) - Krstofer Evans is angry that someone's
    Halloween prank put him in a wheelchair.
    A firefighter in one of the U.S. Forest Service's elite Hot Shot
    crews, Evans was trying to extinguish an arson fire in the
    Appalachian Mountains last Oct. 31 when the flames toppled a tree
    that fell on him.
    Dozens of forest fires, believed to have been set by Halloween
    pranksters, were burning across the highlands of eastern Kentucky.
    One minute, Evans, 31, of Quincy, Calif., was cutting a fire line
    in the rugged Red Bird area of the Daniel Boone National Forest.
    The next, the 6-foot-6-inch firefighter was on the ground, unable
    to move.
    "My world has shrunk so much since then," Evans said. "There
    could be a million dollars sitting right over there, and I couldn't
    get it - just because some individual decided to start a fire for
    no reason."
    Evans returned to Kentucky this week to participate in a
    conference intended to help change the attitudes of Appalachian
    Kentucky residents about forest arson.
    Forest fires burned about 180,000 acres in Kentucky last year,
    destroying timber and sending up smoke so thick that it caused
    traffic accidents and sent a flood of patients to hospitals and
    doctors' offices with breathing problems. Authorities estimate that
    90 percent of those fires were started by arsonists.
    "We don't get lightning fires here," said Leah MacSwords,
    director of the Kentucky Division of Forestry. "Our fires are
    human-caused, whether accidentally or intentionally, and all too
    often they're intentional."
    Dennis Whitehead, a Forest Service law enforcement supervisor,
    said he asked each of the seven people arrested on arson charges in
    Kentucky last year why they set the fires.
    "They said we had nothing better to do," Whitehead said.
    "That's a pretty lame excuse."
    State and federal officials call the annual outbreak of
    wildfires an epidemic, and they're calling on residents of mountain
    communities to be vigilant and report arsonists.
    Marie Walker, spokeswoman for the Forest Service in Kentucky,
    said Evans is evidence that the fires also pose grave risks to
    personnel.
    "We can give them the proper safety gear. We can do everything
    we can to keep them safe, but what would really keep our
    firefighters safe is for the arsonists to stay out of the woods,"
    Walker said.
    Evans said he would still be able to walk now if not for the
    arsonists.
    "We were going through a spot where the fire had burned through
    a couple of hours before," he said. "The fire had burned into the
    trunk of a black locust tree and caused it to fall. At that moment,
    memories stopped for 2 weeks. I woke up in the hospital."
    Since then, Evans said he has had time to ponder why residents
    of a region as beautiful as central Appalachia would go out each
    year and intentionally set fires.
    "It's so unbelievable, such a different way of thinking," he
    said. "It's hard for me to get my mind around the concept."
    ---
    On the Net:
    www.krstofer.org
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  2. #2
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    Default Yep

    It's been like that around this time every year for the last 5 or so years.
    ~*Chris McCown*~
    FireFighter / Rescue Sergeant / NREMT-P

  3. #3
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    UTFFEMT's Avatar
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    Cool

    Five Years, think again, I was there in 1985-1986-1987 on a California Hotshot crew doing the exact same thing in Kentucky and north Carolina. Were talking about a major Culural situation there, something needs to happen to break that chain. It been about 17 plus years this has been happeing.

    Time to put in some serious PR work to the public and strengthen the punishment for thos who start those fires.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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