English on the Internet - English Magazine


August 13, 2000

When a forest fire starts in the US and a lot of trees and wildlife are being destroyed the country pulls together to save the land. The forest fire in Montana brought firemen from as far away as Canada, Pennsylvania and other states.

These firemen aren't paid to go and fight the fire but volunteer their training and skills because they don't want the fire to spread or to destroy a lot of our forest which we consider one of our most valuable resources. The forest fire was out of control so firemen left their homes and families to go to Montana to fight the fires. Many of them knew it may be weeks before they could return home but they went believing that with their help it could be brought under control.

Firemen in the US can be paid by their community or just be unpaid volunteers. The professional firemen may be paid to go to another state as a good neighbor and to help educate others who aren't familiar with firefighting techniques. The unpaid volunteer will get permission from their employer to go and fight a fire. Most employers allow them to go and continue to pay their wages others allow them to take vacation days so they will still receive their wages. The expense of getting to the fire can be covered by several means. The fire company that employs firemen may pay their way, the state may volunteer transportation, bus companies or air lines may donate transportation or the people in the area will donate money to help them get to the fire site.

Fire is one of the most dangerous disasters that can hit a state because it destroys homes, property, wildlife and leaves a lot of people with the need to rebuild their homes and lives. The fire in Montana had devasted a lot of property and will need help from the federal government to cope with the loss. USA has funds set aside for disasters such as floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earth quakes. Once you prove you need the help they will help you rebuild and start over again.

by Jane Custer - USA, has a BS in Communications and loves writing

© August 2000 English on the Internet www.aj.cz