Radio Speeds Up Forest Communication
Short wave radio messages are speeding over the twenty national forests of Oregon and Washington this season, carrying information on fire and weather conditions, and tightening up organization plans generally for the summer fire fighting campaign, according to announcement by Assistant Regional Forester F.V. Horton, in charge of the radio development project of the U. S. Forest Service, Portland, Oregon.
The Olympic national forest in northwestern Washington tops the list in number of forest radio stations, according to Horton, with 91 stations in use. The Chelan national forest, with headquarters in Okanogan, Washington, ranks second with 79 stations, and the Siskiyou national forest in Southwestern Oregon uses 59 stations. Between 300 and 400 radios are in use in the North Pacific region.
The greater part of this equipment is made up of portable 9-pound and 16-pound radio transmitting and receiving stations. The 9-pound sets are made compact enough to fit into the “pack sack” of the “smoke-chasers” in order that they may be constantly in communication with lookouts and ranger stations while fighting fire. These smallest sets have a working range of about 20 miles, receiving messages by voice, and transmitting by code.
With these portable radio stations, a few minutes’ work will put the most isolated forester into touch with the nearest ranger station, and thence with forest headquarters.
In many parts of the forest service motorcycles are used for transportation. Not a bad combination, motorcycles and portable radios.