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September 12, 1988 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-12

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Park
fear 1(
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL
PARK, Wyo. (AP) - Buffalo graze
nonchalantly near flaming trees, but
people are not reacting so cooly, and
residents once worried about losing
business to forest fires now fear
losing their homes.
Fire has destroyed buildings
around the Old Faithful geyser and
has threatened tourist towns on the
periphery of the country's first
national park.
The Montana towns of Cooke
City and Silver Gate outside the
park's northeast entrance were
evacuated twice last week. Jardine,
Mont., neat the northern gate, was
evacuated Saturday.
Firefighters saved Cooke City and
Silver Gate, but only by burning
thousands of acres of forest to
remove fuel from the fire's path. The
so-called backfires left the once-
picturesque towns flanked by black,
skeletal trees.
"All we can do... is herd it around
improvements and structures and
don't get anybody killed," said Bob
Martines, a structure protection
officer in Cooke City.
The 2.2 million-acre park,
dedicated in 1872, attracts more than

The Michigan Doily - Monday, September 12, 1988 - Page 5
residents

)sing
2 million visitors a year who marvel
at geysers and hot springs, mountain
scenery, and wild animals.
But tourists have stayed away in
droves this summer, and residents of
tourism-dependent towns around the
park have complained bitterly about
the Park Service's initial reluctance
to respond to the fires.
"A guy gets really bitter when it
keeps dragging on and on and on,"
said David Klatt of Cooke City, who
spent three days in a motel room
outside of town last week, waiting
out an evacuation.
In this summer of heat and
drought, Yellowstone is suffering
the worst fires in at least 200 years.
Forest fires have charred more
than 1 million acres in Yellowstone
and in the surrounding national
forests and parks in Montana,
Wyoming, and Idaho.
Each day, firefighters pray for
rain, but at park headquarters near
Mammoth Hot Springs this is the
third-driest summer on record. Only
1.6 inches of rain fell at Mammoth
in June, July, and August - one-
third of the normal rainfall.
It was also the hottest summer on
record, with temperatures steaming
an average of five degrees above
normal, the weather service said.
Though other areas are hard hit,
Yellowstone is the top concern of
federal officials. Of $250 million
spent so far on fighting fires, $78
million has gone toward efforts
around the park, said the Boise

iomes
Interagency Fire Center, which
coordinates firefighting in the West.
Since 1972, park officials has
allowed lightning-sparked fires to
burn.
"In the past 16 years, we had 140
fires that burned 33,000 acres. That
averages about 240 acres apiece
before they went out on their own,"
said John Varley, chief of the park's
research division.
The fires help cleanse the pine
forest. They clear deadwood, create
new meadows for forage, release
nutrients for new plants and free the
pines' seeds from their cones.
A cool, wet spring lulled park
officials into believing this summer
would be no different. But the heat
and low humidity left the forest
more parched than kiln-dried lumber:
By July 15, when the Park
Service decided to start fighting the
fires, it was too late to stop them.
Fire crew boss John Borton hag
battled forest fires in the West for 19
years, by the blaze he had beeit
fighting and sleeping near for 25
nights was something new.
"This is the edge of a fire that
goes back 50 miles," he said. "It's as
out of control as it was six weeks
ago. This is the most extreme fire
behavior that just about any of u.
has ever seen."

JESSICAGREEN/DiOy

The Lone Writer
Debbie Adams, social work graduate student, was the only person working yesterday in the
, Frieze Building computer center.
Deroi lky to

die violently, paper says Fire

1r DETROIT (AP) - Children
under 17 were more than twice as
likely to die violently in Detroit
than in other major U.S. cities in
recent years, a newspaper reported
Sunday.
Detroit's juvenile homicide rate
b 1986,had become more than three
tunes the overall rate in the nation's
I largest cities, the Detroit Free
Pess said.
Guns alone have accounted for 37
deaths of Detroit youths so far this
year, compared with 35 fatal
shootings for all of 1987, the
newspaper said.
Drugs, crumbling families, and
Rittention to children drew much of
the blame for the juvenile homicide
rate in the nation's sixth-largest city,
vWhich declined in only one year
litween 1979 and 1986,
"We don't love our children
enough," said Dr. Rosalind Griffin, a
Detroit psychiatrist. "With a
li micide rate like this, it can be said
that we don't cherish or think of

them as the future."
The Free Press, citing a computer
study it commissioned of FBI crime
statistics from 1979 throught 1986
and related research, said Detroit's
juvenile homicide rate during that
period was 2.7 per 100,000
residents.
Chicago was second at 1.9 per
100,000, followed by Los Angeles
with 1.6 per 100,000. The overall
rate for the nation's 10 largest cities
was 1.3 per 100,000, the newspaper
said.
Detroit's juvenile homicide rate
reached 4.1 per 100,000 in 1986, the
latest year for which figures 'were
available. That rate was more that
three times the 1986 rate in the 10
larges U.S. cities, 1.3 per 100,000,
the Free Press said.
Detroit also had the highest
overall homicide rate, 47 per
100,000 residents, among the 10
largest cities in 1979-86. Dallas was
a distant second with 31.7 murders
per 100,000, the newspaper said.
"Detroit is a violent city, and it
seeps over to the children," said
Robert Trojanowicz, director of the

School of Criminal Justice at
Michigan State University.
"Violence begets violence. It tends
to escalate until the method for
solving problems becomes
termination."
More than half of the youths
killed in Detroit in 1979-86, 52.3
percent, were shot to death. That rate
was exceeded only in Los Angeles,
where 54 percent of its young
homicide victims were fatally shot.
"In a fight it used to be getting
someone to say 'uncle' would be
enough," said Griffin, who counsels
children and the families of young
homicide victims. "Now, for some
people, killing is the last word to
say that you are right. Not only
right, (but that) you are above
society's rules."
Drugs played a role in many of
the slayings of Detroit children,
whether they were innocent
bystanders caught in shootouts or
members of rival drug gangs, Wayne
County Prosecutor John O'Hair said.
"It's been going on for a long
time with no light at the end of the
tunnel that anyone can see," he said.

Continued from Page 1
threatened West Yellowstone,
Mont., and destroyed several
buildings at Old Faithful geyser.
Park officials Saturday ordered all
families and nonessential employees
to leave Mammoth, near the park's
north entrance. But they were
allowed back after conditions
improved. Tobias did not know how
many people decided to return.
A mile from headquarters,
firefighters sprayed protective foam
Sunday on buildings at the Young
Adult Conservation Corps camp,
where fire destroyed a tent.
"Basically with this cold front
that's moved in it's going to put us
kind of in a holding pattern. We'll
see how it goes from there," Tobias
said. "Let's just drop this wind and
we'll be in business."
However, Brian Morris, a Forest
Service spokesperson in West
Yellowstone, said: "It's not going to
be with us too long. We expect
warmer weather and a drying trend
this week."

CLASSIFIED ADS!
Call 764-0557

.
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T

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WHAT'S
HAPPENING

RECREATIONAL SPORTS
* TODA Y IS THE FINAL DAY TO SIGN UP FOR
IM SOFTBALL
Ham - 4:30pm Intramural Sports Building
*IM SOFTBALL OFFICIALS CLINICS
Monday, September 12 and Tuesday, September 13
7:00pm Intramural Sports Building
*IM SOFTBALL MANAGER'S MEETING
Wednesday, September 14 .
7:00pm Intramural Sports Building

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Old
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