berths. It is a frontier country, bordered by the advance line of settlement, busy clearing land by fire, with railway and highway construction in progress, and constantly travelled by prospectors, freighters, trappers, surveyors and campers. The task of protecting it from fire is correspondingly difficult.
The whole territory, under the administration of a Dominion inspector of fire ranging, is divided into nine districts. These are organized, as regards location and intensity of patrol, according to the nature of the country and the fire risk, as indicated by man's activities. Each district has a staff of fire rangers, in charge of a chief ranger, who has no other duties. The rangers are engaged in patrol work exclusively from May till November, temporary men being taken on during the more dangerous periods. About 115 men, exclusive of chiefs, were employed in 1913.
During the past season, in Manitoba, the south-eastern portion of the province with the north half of the peninsula between lakes Manitoba and Winnipeg, formed one district, the water routes, from the foot of lake Winnipeg to Hudson bay, another district, and the country around The Pas, including Hudson Bay railway right-of-way patrol, a third. Approximately 35 rangers were employed in these three districts. In Saskatchewan, the region protected was in a general way that along the Canadian Northern railway, extending on the north side to Saskatchewan river, Montreal lake and Beaver river. This was subdivided into three districts, with Hudson Bay Junction, Prince Albert, and Battleford as centres. The ranger staff about equalled that in Manitoba. In Alberta, attention was centred on the large territory from Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House north into the Peace River country, and the northward route of travel down the Athabaska river from Athabaska Landing. A patrol boat was used for the portion between Athabaska Landing and Grand Rapids. A total of some 45 rangers was required in Alberta.
In these sparsely settled districts little can be done in the way of fighting fire, as aid is not available. The prevention of fires is all the more important, and the rangers are thus called upon to do much patient work in educating the people as to fire damage and the law. The fire act at their disposal is that of the province in which their district lies. Manitoba has one act, Saskatchewan and Alberta an-other, and the Dominion government simply enforces the provincial fire laws.
Unfortunately, these fire laws are inadequate, as legislation, to prevent forest fires. Both are old legislative measures, that of Saskatchewan and Alberta dating back 15 years, and that of Manitoba 18 years. At those dates settlement was restricted to the south, away from the forested parts, and the fire legislation was designed primarily