Officials of South Carolina forestry recently showed off the new equipment of wild fire-fighting on Wednesday which keeps fire fighters much safer and allows them for getting much closer to flames, along with a lot of time for winter wild fire season. Gene Kodama, the State Forester said that this day was really historic and he vehemently thanked the lawmakers for purchasing first closed cab bull dozers in South Carolina. One which is displayed on State house grounds was sitting close to open cab 1966 model leaking the hydraulic fluid – under scoring this maintenance of the older units along with the issues of reliability.
Forestry Commission had got ten of new units in this week and it was bought along with three million dollars designated from current budget of the state. Proposed budget for this fiscal yr which starts from 1st of July gives three and half million dollars for twelve additional units. Legislature isn’t expected to get all the work wrapped up for the spending plan till later in this month. Staying in front of the bull dozers, Governor Nikki Haley said that it was an example of what indeed deserves for spending increase amidst the economy which is really improving.
She says that there is a need for starting to say that this is what really matters. The pet projects do not matter much. Bulldozers are used often for creating fire breaks which are meant to rob fuel wildfire and contain flames. Closed cab tractors easily filter out the smoke and there is air conditioning for warding off any heat. Thick glass layer gives very safe place if there is any fire over running the equipments. The open cab operators can hop inside safety tent as last resort if any blaze comes towards them aggressively.
Terry Cook, who is technician supervisor, said that open cab is like death trap. You get to smoke and dust and this also affects the hair on the body. He also said that they have been in situations which have been really dangerous. The cabs are enclosed and this means a lot in daily parts of their lives. Cook is pretty much wary about all the different kinds of dangers. In 2009 April, she along with a fellow fire technician were fighting against worst wildfire in the state history close to North Myrtle Beach when the tractor had been stuck in fire break. They are now waiting for two when winds changed, pushing flames wall of 150 foot on them.
Each had taken cover in fire shelter which just looks like big piece of foil of aluminum & hunkered in small ditch that is filled along with water as fire had roared all over them. Cook says that this is really miracle that some body wasn’t killed on that night. He has back on his job on the next day. This state currently has 140 units and they are between four and twenty five years of age. A lot of them date way back to 1996 because of bulk buy through bill of state bond. Industry standard says that the equipment should be replaced once every fifteen years says, Scott Hawkins, the spokesman for forestry.
Closed cab bull dozers range somewhere around $150,000, while entire system – including transport truck & plow – costs about $265,000, says manager of fleet equipment – Doug Mills. While proposed budget for the year 2012-13 gives $3.5 million as 1 time designation, bill that is heading to desk of governor will give estimated $15 million over next 5 years through the insurance premiums. From 2013 to 2017, 2.25% of taxes that are paid by the insurance companies will get transferred to Forestry Commission.
This bill, approved on Wednesday, will allow commission for getting caught up, says Mills. Forest covers about 13 million acres in South Carolina, or simply a little more than 2/3rd of this state, along with eighty eight percent of this privately owned. Forestry Commission does responds to around 2,000 to 3,000 fires on a yearly basis, Hawkins said. President of South Carolina Forestry Association, represents paper-products & wood industry, thanked the law makers for new equipment, and said that the forest protection is really essential to any industry which provides for about 90,000 jobs all over the state. Big devastating wild fires means none of resources for mills, says Cam Crawford. He says that there is a need for them to have good and healthy forests.