PROBLEM: After the smoke clears

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I’ve just been looking at the American NOAA website: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/fire/201513

Wildfire losses (2000 to 2010) average 6,612,363 acres per annum.

That’s about a third of Scotland’s land mass, every year.

2015 was a particularly bad one: 10,125,149 acres (or over 50 percent of Scotland’s land mass).

I would postulate that one of the main reasons for such astonishing losses (and their consequent pollution/danger to health) is the total inadequacy of firebreaks.

Maybe you need legislation to make firebreaks 100 yards wide so that firefighters have a reasonable chance of knocking down wildfires before they get so big that they create their own wind.

The industry would undoubtedly be extremely upset by such an “inflammatory” suggestion, but when you consider the acreage lost by the creation of such firebreaks compared to the annual fire losses (and their attendant hazards to the wider community), I’d say it was a no brainer.

Enforcement should be easy, as non compliance would render the industry liable to the eye watering level of damages regularly awarded by the American court system.

JACK AITKEN

Glasgow, U.K.

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