Not the taxpayers' problem

August 17, 2013 

Most always fire protection should be a right funded by taxpayer money, usually local. However, the tragic deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona while fighting a wild fire bring up another issue. Much of this type of activity is funded by federal tax dollars. So we all share the cost.

Much of the time fire-fighters in western rural areas are protecting homes of people who have chosen to live in a fire-prone area. Both developers and homeowners have made a choice to build in these areas that are also environmentally sensitive. This should not be permitted.

However, since such construction is allowed, developers and homeowners should pay for fire protection. Taxpayers should not be financially responsible for fire protection in an area where building should never have occurred.

Wild fire has always been a part of natural phenomena in the West. Usually caused by lightning and sometimes purposely set by native Americans, fire has been a part of natural activity for thousands of years. It had a positive effect of renewing natural growth. Today, however, the attitude seems to be that all wild fires need to be extinguished. Mostly, this is because developers and homeowners choose to build and live in areas where they should never be.

Most fire protection should be a right funded by local taxes. However, if people choose to build and live in a fire-prone area, they should be the ones to pay the cost, not U.S. tax payers.

Larry L. Brown

Glen Carbon

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