Fed Wildfire-Fighting Map Program Forgot People

Fed Wildfire-Fighting Map Program ForgotPeople

19 December 2006

published by www.newwest.net

USA — Federal land agencies in Wyoming and Montana will be the first luckyagencies to use a new, improved, bells ‘n whistles mapping program called theLandscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools Project, or Landfire, willcontain $40 million dollar’s worth of information about vegetation andtopography for the entire country.

There’s just one itty, bitty problem. The information layers don’t include thelocation of communities, houses or structures. Considering that saving privatepriority is something of a major priority for wildfire fighters, that could besomewhat problematic.

Ya think?

According to Lee Newspaper’s D.C. reporter Noelle Straub, “The programcontains information on vegetation types and density, canopy height, elevation,topography, slope and more. The maps will be available online. Those layers alsocan be combined and projected onto a screen so that viewers wearing 3-D glassescan see a geographical area with its peaks and valleys and ecologicalcharacteristics.”

But no homes.

Nevertheless, Interior Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett said, “To my mindLandfire is a great success story.”

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