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Is the Firefighting Industry Sustainable?

Scarcity of Prime Fire Lands

According to an analysis in Environmental Research Letters, the relative risk of forest and shrubland fires – and the need for firefighters – is most directly connected to two factors: whether land is being reserved for purposes of biological diversity and whether the land is federally owned. Lands reserved for bio-diversity are only allowed to benefit from limited land management while other federal lands tend to suffer from simple neglect. Even given global warning, both of these factors dramatically increase the probability of fires and the need for the firefighting industry.

Oshit Ithot, CEO of the WildFireFighters of America, has explains the risk: “Most people think there are infinite forests. And there are. But not all forests are equal. Even given global warming, certain forests are particularly ideal grounds for out-of-control fires while others just don’t burn as fast or as well. The problem is that these ideal forests have been burning at an unsustainable rate. Before long, there will simply not be enough stock of prime, disease-filled and poorly-managed forests to maintain our current burn rates.”

Industry Impacts

Worried Member of the Firefighting Industry
Worried Member of the Firefighting Industry

The lack of prime fire forests could make the entire wildfire firefighting industry unsustainable. As a direct result, many firefighting jobs could be lost in the not-so-distant future. Of course, that is only the first order effect.

Mr. Ithot explains, “People fail to understand the secondary economic benefits of firefighters. Wildfire firefighting is a high-risk profession that attracts people who embrace high-risk lifestyles. As a result, firefighters do a lot to benefit local industries. Although I have no data to support this and would never suggest it applies to any particular wildfire firefighter, firefighters are major contributors to critical industries in economically fragile areas. Without us, diners, bars, police forces, hospitals, and brothels in these areas would all face major economic headwinds. And without these industries, what will remain? Recreational boating?”

While journalists prefer to remain behind the fourth wall, this also presents a challenge to journalists. Ms. Booh Gotcha, from Fear News, explains: “Few things sell like dramatic photos of fires, destroyed homes and alarmism about the impact of fire emissions. This is especially true when talking about the all-powerful and highly-desired avocado-toast demographic.”

Hope for the Future

Among all this doom and gloom, there is good news: forests do grow back. At current burn and growth rates, experts project that there will be another generation of seriously fire-prone forests just in time for the next generation of journalists and prostitutes to benefit economically.

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