Letter to the Editor: Prescribed burning unhealthy, the wrong choice | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Prescribed burning unhealthy, the wrong choice

By now a lot folks know that the Airport Board voted to support prescribed burns on the Waddle Ranch. This burn is not necessary for fire safety and will have a negative impact on our community, especially the residents of Glenshire. Mechanical clearing has already been done and to quote a fire official andamp;#8220;This is just whistle after the bell.andamp;#8221; The presentation made to the board indicated no fire threat; just cheap and easy.Research on the effects of smoke (wildfire and prescribed fires) indicate that these fires are a detriment to human health.andamp;#8220;In spite of the ecological benefits, prescribed fires as well as wildfires produce gases and aerosols that have instantaneous and long term effects on air quality.andamp;#8221; (Fang, 1999).andamp;#8220;Toxins produced as the combustion products of fire are Formaldehyde, Carbon Monoxide, Acrolein, Benzene, respirable particles and several carcinogenic compounds.andamp;#8221; (The Nature Conservancy, 2006).andamp;#8220;Each of these products have been associated with health issues (Naeher, et, al 2006 andamp; Luke 2007).Most of us agree that smoke is a nuisance. I want to scare you. Acrolein can produce severe pulmonary irritations; it is harmful to the skin and was used as a chemical weapon during World War I. Benezene is a known carcinogen that can suppress the immune system and cause great problems for your heart. I am not suggesting that anyone start a wildfire, but studies show that prescribed burns produce more of the bad toxins than wildfires.I understand until we change our thinking and use those burnable forest resources for useful purposes, the prescribed burning will continue in our forests. However, it is clear in this instance that it is not necessary to burn on the Waddle property and it should not be done. In fact, we should not burn near residences at all when alternatives are clearly available. The health of ourselves and our families are at stake.Let your voice be heard! Attend the public hearing at 6 p.m. on March 24 at Truckee Town Hall. If we donandamp;#8217;t stand up for ourselves, who will?Lynne Larson Truckee