With the cost of fighting wildfires increasing you'd think that firefighters would be encouraged to be efficient when using the most expensive tactics, like dropping water or fire retardant on raging fires.
Not so, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Politicians and others in power have been known to order air drops to make for good television. It's an expensive way to say "we're doing all we can." Of course, firefighters on the ground see through the smokescreen. They call the useless but expensive flights "CNN Drops."
How much of the $1 billion-plus federal taxpayers spent in 2007 was unnecessary?
As of Monday, active fires were burning more than 500,000 acres in the United States, and more than 3.5 million acres had burned so far in 2008. That's an area the size of Connecticut.
The most destructive current fire, near Yosemite National Park in California, has destroyed dozens of homes and spurred the evacuation of 4,000, according to the San Jose Mercury News. As of Monday, nine states were battling a total of 25 large fire complexes, according to the Interagency Fire Center, 14 of them in California.
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