We look forward to a tour of fire-affected lands in Grant County and urge citizens to register. The tour is being hosted by We the People, a non-profit organization. They plan to tour forest and grasslands on Saturday, Aug. 31.

The group plans to leave from the John Day Senior Center at 9 a.m. For more information, call Gene Emery at 932-4598 or Merle Brown at 575-0666.

The facts about forest fires and the devastation they have caused in America are well documented.

According to the U.S. Congress, upon completion of the 2001 wildfire season, 81,681 fires burned 3,555,138 acres, which threatened rural communities nationwide and killed 15 firefighters; more than 7.4 million acres burned during the 2000 wildfire season - equivalent to a 6-mile-wide swath from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, Calif. - destroying 861 structures, killing 16 firefighters, and costing the federal government $1.3 billion in suppression costs.

The U.S. Congress recognizes the dangers posed by fire and ways to reduce the risk. We need to protect our own back yard and become more aware of how to reduce fire outbreaks in Grant County.

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