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Letter to the Editor: Unfair blame



To the editor:

I think it is unfair to put all the blame for the devastation of the Eagle Creek Fire on the 15 year old Vancouver boy who started it. What he did was absolutely illegal and wrong, but he did not purposely do it.

It was an accident. It seems to me that the Forest Service and other government officials are as much if not more to blame for their refusal to use the 747 Supertanker and other large planes to put it out quickly.

Some years back, a wing fell off a larger plane fighting a fire and crashed, killing the crew. The decision was made not to use any plane with a capacity of more than 5,000 gallons. The Supertanker carries 20,000 gallons, and can drop it under pressure. The decision by the Forest Service and the State of Oregon not to use it and put the fire out quickly, avoiding most of the damage, is inexcusable.

Bob Mattila

Brush Prairie, Wash.



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