Use floodwater to fight forest fires?

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Dear Tom,
Why doesn’t the country invest in a water transportation system to take flood waters from flooded areas and move them to the West to put out forest fires there?
Dan Goode, Shorewood
Dear Dan,
The problem with forest fires in the West is not the lack of water. It’s the lack of water where the fires are burning, and it’s the same problem with fires everywhere (not just in the West). The issue in California, for example, is the climate. The dry season there, characterized by a lack of precipitation from late spring into the autumn, results in bone-dry conditions for several months every year. Vegetation does dormant and provides fuel for fires. Water for fighting fires is available from local lakes, reservoirs and rivers; it’s not necessary to transport water from distant locations. Most of the fires result from man and his activities.


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