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August 09, 1979 - Image 10

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-08-09

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Page 10-Thursday, August 9, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Forest fires still rage in West

BOISE, Idaho (AP)-Smoke-filled
Western skies clouded over yesterday
and temperatures dropped, but the
director of 7,000 men and women bat-
tling 24 separate forest fires said the
situation remained "grim" and out of
control.
Fully half the nation's federal
firefighting forces were involved in the
battle against the fires,, which have
devastated more than 143,000 acres in
six states, a U.S. Forest Service official
said.
The agency is coordinating efforts to
quell fires in Idaho, Montana, Califor-
nia, Wyoming, Oregon, and Arizona.
MOISTURE AND lower tem-
peratures provided some aid to the fire
fighters, but Bob Bjornsen, Forest Ser-
vice director for the Boise Interagency
Fire Center, said, "The outlook is very
grim."
Bjornsen's comments came just after
Forest Service spokesman Joe
Nadolski issued the first good report on
weather conditions in several days.
TEMPERATURES AND winds were
down and humidity was up, said
Nadolski, adding, "That means the fire
won't burn nearly as fast."
But Bjornsen said the long-range
weather outlook was for more hot and
dry wiher in most areas over the next
to dv He called yesterday's overcast
rondi to "transient relief."
- i be extremely difficult to
nwk uch progress on the fires," he
said
r tAVE ALL the resources, men,
and e pment that we can use effecit-
ve W're looking for a change in the
wea ' that would allow us to work at
the iof the fires," Bjornsen said.
Fi ighters have been limited to the
flanks of major fires because winds
were blowing smoke so far ahead of
front lines, he said.
Bjornsen said there was little danger
to buildings, commercial property, or
commercially valuable timber.
GOV. JOHN EVANS, whose state is
hardest hit with 123,000 acres charred
or burning, said Idaho appeared to have

..... _

SMOKE BILLOWS from one of several forest fires in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Firefighters are
battling 24 separate blazes throughout the Western U.S.

"the most serious conditions that ever
existed." He flew over the fires yester-
day.
The governor admitted he was
"second guessing" but queried a Forest
Service decision to let the Gallagher
Peak blaze burn out of control. The fire
eventually exploded to destroy 57,000
acres along the Idaho-Montana border.
"The Fore'st Service did not.
recognize the serious fire conditions at
that time. That fire should not have
been allowed to go on as long as it did,"
he said.
THE FIRE STARTED July 6 when
lightning struck a mountaintop. Last
week, high winds suddenly pushed it out
of control. Bjornsen said it was the
right decision under conditions that
existed.
Nadolski said one quarter inch of rain
fell on the Gallagher Peak fire over-
night and the blaze was expected to be

controlled tomorrow.
Gordon Stevens, boss at the Mortar
Creek fire, burning on both sides of the
Middle Fork of the Salmon River, said,
"There's no force on Earth powerful
enough to cope with what we've seen.
Nature will just have to do her thing fir-
st."
SMOKE FROM Mortar Creek, which
Stevens said "will rank with the
greatest fires in recent memory,"
darkened the sky more than 100 miles
away at Yellowstone National Park.
Also burning in Idaho were fires at
Moose Creek, Ship Island, and Little
Eight Mile in the Salmon National
Forest, at Tupperman Lake in the
Panhandle National Forest, and at East
Fork in the Payette National Forest.
In Montana, a wind shift threatened
to spread the stubborn 2.500-acre
Barker Canyon fire, burning west of
Anaconda, over a ridge and into a large

area of downed timber.
FIRE FIGHTERS DROPPED a
gasoline gel substance from helicopters
Wednesday to start a "backfire" at
Barker Canyon. The backfire method
involved digging a fireline well in ad-
vance of the blaze then burning timber
back from it to createa wider fire line.
The other major fire in Montana,
along Cabin Creek in the Lincoln-
Scapegoat Wilderness, remained out of
control. But fire fighters there-from
as far away as New Hampshire and
North Carolina-said they were within
five miles of ringing the blaze with
firelines yesterday.
A serious brush fire had eaten
through 1,200 acres of rocky terrain in
the Sequoia National Forest near Por-
terville, Calif., by yesterday. A smaller
blaze was burning on the north-facing
slope of the San Bernardino Mountains
10 miles northwest of Big Bear Lake.

Memories of Manson
(Continued from Page 3> cult leader.
convict was arrested in the desert near Even now, the Manson murders form
here with a drug-crazed tribe of young a puzzle with missing pieces.
followers ,who called him Christ and "I don't think there has been a real
,God and the devil. effort to learn and understand the real
THE BIZARRE saga of the roving mechanism of the control Manson had
Manson "family" unraveled at a over" these people," says Paul Fit-
dramatic murder trial. The youthful zgerald, defense attorney for Patricia
murderers - three of them women - Krenwinkel in the Manson trial. "There
killed with no apparent motive other are still so many unexplained things."
than mindless devotion to a demonigc IF THERE IS an answer, he says, it
may be locked in the prisons where
14st Manson and four of his followers serve
life sentences for murder. Here is what
I Ais known about them today:
Charles Manson, now 44, is described
as "strange" by his prison counselor at
U the California Medical Facility at
Vacaville.
E E "His conversations are very disjoin-
NAT L BOARDS ted," says David Caprio. "I've never'

clan still haunt L.A.

had a conversation with Manson that
didn't turn into gobbledeygook. He's a
strange individual in that regard."
MANSON LIVES in a cell in a high-
security area, a moody, withdrawn
loner who sometimes preaches to
others the jumbled philosophy with
which-he led his ragged clan. He still
claims he is innocent.
"He's the same old Manson. Nothing
has changed," says Caprio. "His ego is
strong. He will not give in to anyone. Do
it Charlie's way or not at all."
Manson strums his new guitar - he
broke two other guitars and a TV set in
fits of rage - and is very interested in
current events. "He's right on top of
Jimmy Carter's energy programs,"
says Caprio.
THE THREE women who killed for
Manson - Susan Atkins, 31, Patricia

Krenwinkel, 33, and Leslie Van Houten,
29 - once isolated from other inmates
at the California Institution for Women
at Frontera, are now in the general
prison population.
"You might say they are model in-
mates," says assistant superintendent
Lee Cribb. "They are very dependable
and they're good influences on other
inmates.
Atkins, a "born again Christian,"
works as a clerk typist in the prison's
psychiatric unit. Krenwinkel is a prison
janitor and takes college courses.
VAN HOUTEN, who tasted freedom
briefly during two re-trials, was convic-
ted again last summer. Although her
attorney, Maxwell Keith, says, "It was
a terrible blow for her to go back," she
has adjusted. She works as a medical
clerk, edits the prison newspaper, and
takes college correspondence courses.
Charles "Tex" Watson, 33, Manson's
chief lieutenant in the Tate murders,
also is a "born-again Christian" who
preaches in church at the California
Men's Colony at San Luis Obispo. He
has repented, he says, and plans to
marry a woman he met at the prison
chapel.
Other Manson followers are in prison,
too: Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, con-
victed' of threatening President Ford's
life, and Sandra Good, convicted of
sending threatening letters to
businesspeople.

I

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