Dent fire was good training
Regarding your story in your Thursday, May 22 edition "Dent burns 37 Acres". Over the past 20 years, I have acquired a great deal of experience by burning 35 grain elevators for firefighter training in Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.
Mother Nature chose to give the firefighters a new twist to their drill, and they did what they are trained to do. They contained the fire. These drills are invaluable to the firefighters and other emergency workers, and from time to time an unexpected event (like a strong wind) can arise and challenge the teams of firefighters. This incident should be used strictly as a quirk in the plans, and the good folks on your fire departments did their jobs - they adjusted their efforts and overcame the sudden change. The wetlands will come back, green, fresh and thick - as that is what happens after a fire.
This type of training is absolutely necessary and more important than the public will ever imagine. The "quirk" in this case should not be used to hamper future drills, as these are invaluable lessons that allow the teams to work together, plan new strategies as new dimensions appear.
Every firefighter in attendance learned new things - the new things that can save your lives and property when you have an incident that requires their assistance.
The 25th Space Shuttle went up in a ball of flames. This was not totally a "mother nature" incident, it was more human error. And we didn't scrap the space program, and there is no need to think about scrapping drills like these.
Darrell Graf, Chief
Fire Academy of ND