Letters to the Editor for May 19

Eagle Creek fire blame

I think it is unfair to put all the blame for The Eagle Creek fire on the 15-year-old boy that started it. What he did was absolutely wrong and illegal, but he didn’t start the fire on purpose. It was an accident.

What the Forest Service and the State of Oregon did by not allowing the use of the 747 Supertanker to put out the fire quickly was done on purpose, so I think they are as much, if not more, to blame for the damage that the fire did.

Some time back, a larger airplane fighting a fire had a wing fall off, causing it to crash and killing the two people in it. Then the Forest Service made the decision not to use any plane with a capacity more than 5,000 gallons. The Supertanker’s capacity is 20,000 gallons and can drop the water under pressure. The refusal of the Forest Service to use it is totally inexcusable.

Bob Mattila

Brush Prairie, Wash.

Column thanks

Although I am a loyal subscriber, I confess to dedicating only a few minutes to reading most issues of the Hood River News. That changed with Kirby Neumann-Rea’s May 16 “Editor’s Notebook” on the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. I read this wonderful column twice, lingering over both the writing and content. Thank you, Kirby, for sharing your personal experiences and reflections, and for reminding readers why it is so important to support print journalism.

Mike Scroggs

Hood River

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