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68   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

debris and slash accumulation make the reduction of the_fire risk most difficult. The average new settler is extremely careless, and added to this is the lack of passable highways. Several very important factors militate against the conservation of the merchantable timber and young growth. It has been shown that the most dangerous zone for fires lies between the railway line and the virgin forest, because here the settler is clearing up. This strip may be two miles wide, and, in some places, it is five miles in width.

Local organizations are needed in the villages and settlements to handle all fires. Equipment for fighting fire could be kept in an accessible spot, under the care of the local police officer, who could be named " fire warden." Telephone lines and lookout stations could be constructed at a comparatively small cost. The value of the two last mentioned improvements is indisputable, especially where topographical conditions such as exist in the Laurentian mountains permit.

Two protective associations, which are made up of lumbermen and pulp-wood limit-holders, are doing most efficient work along fire protection lines. One of these associations gives permits to burn during the fire season. This idea has proved very valuable, as it educates the settler not only to use care in handling his slash, but his contact with the local fire officer tends to ensure a more amicable relation between the settler and the lumberman.

In the Timiskaming country, the question of fire protection ought to be comparatively simple. Waterways allow the use of motor boats and a mobile equipment, and easy access could be gained to fires occur-ring near the lakes and rivers. Telephone lines and trails are badly needed in this area.

Ontario The lack of organization for handling fires, the Conditions Very absence of cleared highways in the timber districts, Unsatisfactory and the non-existence of the permit system for burn-

ing on settlers' lands have resulted in a very dangerous and unsatisfactory condition. Especially is this so between Muskoka and Sudbury, and between Chalk River and Chapleau.

The system of fire protection which has been in force in Ontario looks only to the conservation of merchantable timber, and seemingly disregards reproduction, which is so essential.

To reduce the fire loss to forest properties a fire pro-

 

Can. Pac. ctRy.

i   tection system has been developed by this company,

Fire Protection

and the co-operation of all operating employees is given. A fire inspection force gathered data of all fires on or within five miles of the company's lines. Reports on the efficiency of the


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